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date: 05 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Culture served communist-ruled states by presenting a vision of nations and peoples in transition from a dark and oppressive past into the projected bright future of communism. National and party leaders followed Lenin in ascribing great importance to the persuasive powers of the arts and insisting on their incorporation into the machinery of government. Artists creating works of literature, film, and the performing and visual arts according to the official doctrine of socialist realism presented images of new socialist persons overcoming difficulties and accomplishing tasks to instruct and entertain their audiences. While they might enjoy the benefits of state patronage, artists also risked condemnation and punishment if their works displeased the ruling party and its leadership. The arts of socialism have largely lost their political function and are now viewed as nostalgic memorabilia or kitsch.

Keywords: culture, arts, literature, film, patronage, new socialist persons, socialist realism

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