Cultural Revolution in Russia, 1928-1931

Cultural Revolution in Russia, 1928-1931

Cultural Revolution in Russia, 1928-1931

Cultural Revolution in Russia, 1928-1931

Excerpt

"Cultural revolution" is a term most familiar from the upheaval in China in the 1960s. But, whether or not the Chinese Communists were aware of it, their cultural revolution had a precedent in Soviet history. During the First Five-Year Plan, and particularly in the years 1928-31, the old Russian intelligentsia was buffeted by a militant movement in which Communist youth were particularly prominent. Students challenged their professors, forcing them to undergo "reelection" to their positions. In the professions, established authorities were overthrown by younger, more militant, Marxist groups, and scholars were urged to focus their research on topics that were of practical relevance to society and the economy. Along with a drive to link the whole educational process with the "real life" of industry, kolkhoz agriculture, and the political campaigns of the day, Communist and working-class students were recruited to higher education in unprecedented numbers. Cultural revolutionaries attacked "bureaucratic" administrative forms, proposing instead new organizational methods to which they gave military-sounding names--"light cavalry" charges, production "brigades," "campaigns" of the "cultural Army." In the climate of . . .

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