AN INTELLECTUAL BASE
During filming The Frozen Theater, Sergey Kudryashov describes the economic role of propaganda following the establishment of the USSR in 1921.
Kudryashov— The country had just come out of the civil war. Russia and the Soviet Union had colossal natural resources, material resources. In that situation it was impossible to use these resources to achieve maximum results, because there were no respective technologies, there were not enough plants, factories, the country had just come out of the civil war. It needed money, loans, but no one lent money to the Soviet country.
Therefore, there was a need in accumulation of capital. And this capital was accumulated, first of all, at the expense of the people. People lived in very severe conditions. This means very low salaries. Sometimes people didn’t receive any salary. Peasants paid very high taxes and didn’t have an opportunity to sell even their own products to earn money. It was called accumulation of capital for industrialization.
When Stalin got this startup capital, they were interested in getting respective western technologies. They were helped, by the way, by many western people, including engineers with left views who deliberately came to Russia… to start a new life. It created an intellectual base for development.
Undoubtedly, it was the Soviet propaganda which made people believe. People believed in themselves. They wanted something good and bright, but propaganda made them believe that it was possible. It was a real desire to break through, to advance somewhere quickly at incredible rates, unprecedented in history.
Stalin established maximum centralization of power in the hands of one man. And it is related to all spheres. It didn’t start in the economy. I would say, it started from humanitarian disciplines. Stalin established control over the media. Press. There was a purge against historians, economists, philosophers. They gradually, but very thoroughly convinced people that there was only one authority. Now we know that he did it synchronously in different areas, and gradually it encompassed the whole life of the country, including economy.