The Country of the Blind: The Soviet System of Mind Control

By George S. Counts; Nucia Lodge | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SEVEN
EDUCATION AS A WEAPON

THE PRESENT CHAPTER may be regarded as a capstone of nearly all that has gone before in the volume. The fact is difficult to conceive in the West that in the Soviet Union the term "education" is made to embrace all the processes and agencies involved in the moulding of the mind of both young and old. This means that the ways of life and all institutions have a recognized educational function and are under perpetual scrutiny from the standpoint of current Party policy. But it means more especially that certain branches of the culture which in other countries are supposed to enjoy a measure of independence are judged in the Soviet Union first of all in terms of their bearing on political education and propaganda. The resolutions of the Central Committee stress this point over and over again.

This vast educational enterprise includes the school system as one of its important branches. But it also includes as major divisions the press in all of its aspects, other media of mass communication such as the radio and television, all agencies of entertainment such as the theatre and the moving picture, literature and art in all of their forms, libraries, museums, and "parks of culture and rest," and all basic institutions of family and community. The trade union, the co-operative, the Red Army, and all organizations of the people are expected to perform educational functions. The Party, of course, with its societies for children and youth, falls under this category. Indeed, the Society of Young Pioneers and the League of Young Communists, the one enrolling about twelve

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