the method of establishing permanent parliamentary commissions and committees, extending their control over the ministerial council and agencies of state. A new State Council was also created which, together with other parliamentary committees, the supreme court, the prosecutor general, and public mass organizations, had the right to initiate new legislation. The presidium of the National Assembly was replaced by the State Council, which was to act for parliament when it was not in session. Since the National Assembly met only twice a year for a short time in each case, real authority lay in the hands of the members of the State Council, who were members of the Politburo of the Bulgarian Communist party.
The composition of the government under the new constitution remained unchanged. The local administrative organs were granted a greater measure of autonomy than before. The concept of elected judges was introduced, and the post of the prosecutor general was made independent of the government--at least on paper.
Oren Nissan, Revolution Administered: Agrarianism and Communism in Bulgaria ( Baltimore, 1973).
Cultural Policies. The conquest of power by the Bulgarian Communist party in 1944 provided its leaders with the opportunity to reshape Bulgarian culture and orient it toward the Soviet Union. The basis of cultural policies was to be state subsidies provided for conforming writers, painters, musicians, and other "cultural workers." In turn, they were expected to be loyal to the Communist ideology of Marxism-Leninism and serve the party's aim of creating a socialist society. The instrument of these policies was the Ministry of Culture. It organized unions for writers, artists, filmmakers, and others. Each of the unions, in cooperation with the ministry, assigned subjects to be treated and arranged the production of art works. Membership in these unions was the sine qua non of cultural existence.
The unions also provided remuneration for the works produced. Creative people, who deviated from the party line, were disciplined by the unions. In the worst cases, they were expelled and their works were not popularized or were even removed from circulation. There was no artistic freedom to speak of, but this was compensated for by lavish rewards for those who conformed.
These policies created a new, privileged stratum of Bulgarian society who, together with talented sportsmen, were dedicated to the glorification of the socialist system, intending to prove that it was superior to the capitalist way of life. At a time when life was hard for ordinary Bulgarians, the creative people lived a life of leisure indeed.
Nevertheless, there was discontent among them because of the straightjacket imposed upon them by the official notion of "socialist realism." Many writers and artists who had real talent, could have been successful under competitive conditions. They eventually became impatient and grew disillusioned by the ever-widening gap between communist promises--and Marxist-Leninist ideology--on the one hand and
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Dictionary of East European History since 1945. Contributors: Joseph Held - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1994. Page number: 99.
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