CHAPTER VI

PROLETARIAN CULTURE AND PROLETARIAN ART

WHAT IS PROLETARIAN CULTURE, AND IS IT POSSIBLE?--THE CULTURAL
METHODS OF THE BOURGEOISIE AND OF THE PROLETARIAT.--THE
DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT IN RELATION TO CULTURE.--
WHAT IS PROLETARIAN SCIENCE?--WORKINGMEN-POETS AND THE
WORKING-CLASS.--COSMISM.--DEMYAN BIEDNY.

EVERY ruling class creates its own culture, and consequently, its own art. History has known the slave-owning cultures of the East and of classic antiquity, the feudal culture of mediæval Europe and the bourgeois culture which now rules the world. It would follow from this, that the proletariat has also to create its own culture and its own art.

The question, however, is not as simple as it seems at first glance. Society in which slave-owners were the ruling class, existed for many and many centuries. The same is true of Feudalism. Bourgeois culture, if one were to count only from the time of its open and turbulent manifestation, that is, from the period of the Renaissance, has existed five centuries, but it did not reach its greatest flowering until the Nineteenth Century, or, more correctly, the second half of it. History shows that the formation of a new culture which centers around a ruling class demands considerable time and reaches completion only at the period preceding the political decadence of that class.

Will the proletariat have enough time to create a "proletarian" culture? In contrast to the régime of the slave-

-184-

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