The economic and political restructuring of Russia by the Bolshevik’s was their main first step in creating a socialist society. To create this socialist society they also needed to create a new person. One ultimate goal of the Bolshevik’s was to create a new person, or as the Bolshevik’s called it A New Soviet Man. The ideals of this new person were to be shaped by socialistic characteristics. According to Geldern, ” This new person would be enlightened, unburdened by psychological complexes, unblinded by distinctions of nationality and gender. They would live simply but cleanly, and their work lives and home lives would be stitched together seamlessly.” (Geldern) Another characteristic of the New Person is that they would be recognized by having healthy bodies.
The Bolshevik’s realized that they would not just be able to get the Russian people to change the way they lived their lives by just telling them to do so. The Bolshevik’s decided that one way to get them to change their ideals would be to educate them. The Bolsheviks knew that they could educate the next generation of children easily through teaching Communist ways in the Soviet’s school curriculum. The Bolsheviks went as far as encouraging the children to monitor their friends and teachers for having ‘anti-Soviet’ views. I found this part to be very interesting that the Bolsheviks were essentially using the kids as spies basically to see if the Soviet society was catching on to the socialistic ideals that they wanted to be implemented. Literacy programs were a big deal during this time and they were used by many people, specifically women and the non-Slavic nationalities. The literacy programs were used to teach them how to become good socialist citizens and to get them to be devoted to the Bolshevik party and all the ideals the Bolsheviks liked.
In the 1930’s the government also promoted the ideas of a New Soviet Woman. The New Soviet Women was to be seen as equal to a man in the workplace but not at home. The New Soviet Woman would be required to find a paying job outside of the home that she would work at for 41 hours a week. She would also still have to cater to the needs of her husband and children and would have to work at home for 40 hours a week and this would be when she did her domestic house work as well. When watching a few videos on how women felt during this time I was surprised to see that they actually really enjoyed being able to do what they wanted in the work field even though they still had to do just as much domestic work. One women was able to enter the work force and she became an electrical engineer. She wanted to build an electric power station, and achieved her goal in doing so. Women really started taking on a whole new role in this socialist state and were now equals in this new society.
The making of a New Soviet Person in Soviet Russia took quite a number of years to implement. These were just a few of the moments that I found very interesting and were some of the first ideas implemented by the Bolsheviks in creating a socialistic society.
This post was on Comrade’s Corner this week awarded by the editorial team!
- Von Geldern, James. “New Way of Life.” Seventeen Moments in Soviet History.
- Freeze, Gregory L. Russia: A History. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1997. Print.
- https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cc/SovietWoman1920.jpg (image)