The "Soft" Line on Culture and Its Enemies: Soviet Cultural Policy, 1922- 1927 Author(s): Sheila Fitzpatrick

Source: Slavic Review, Vol. 33, No. 2 (Jun., 1974), pp. 267-287 Published by: Stable URL: . Accessed: 28/04/2013 08:09
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .

JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact


Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Slavic Review.

This content downloaded from on Sun, 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions



The "Soft"Line on Cultureand Its Enemies: Soviet CulturalPolicy, 1922-1927
The year 1928 was a turning pointnot onlyfor Soviet culturalpolicybut for policyin all fields. It was thebeginning of a new revolution whichoverturned everything but the Stalinistleadership, an upheaval so violentthat it seemed thatthe rulingpartyhad revoltedsimultaneously againstthe societyit governed and its own governing institutions. Among these institutions was the and responsible Commissariat ofEnlightenment, headedbyA. V. Lunacharsky forimplementing policyin the sphereof educationand the arts. In 1928 the in its dealingswiththe intelligentsia, Commissariat was accused of "softness" lack of "Communist vigilance,"and failureto understand the significance of ''class war on the culturalfront."This "softness"was not peculiar to the in the party, it was said, had Commissariat, exceptin degree.Rightdeviation led a bureaucratized government apparat in retreat fromtrue communism to of the bourgeois liberalism;and the essence of this retreatwas conciliation and intelligentsia. peasantry The "soft" line, in otherwords,was the official government and party line before1928. I will argue in this articlethat the line was neitherliberal as its opponents nor non-Communist, believed,but the productof a policyof on non-negotiable withtheintelligentsia, expedient termslaid accommodation institutional and wzithout downbythepartyleadership guarantees. Culturalpolicyin the 1920s restedon the premisethat the Soviet state of "bourgeoisspecialists" and would have to pay forthem. neededtheservices the cooperation of the intelligentsia was in securing The state'sinterest rather it. The value of inherited culture and inherited thanfurther techantagonizing nical skills must be recognized.Those who possessed such skills must be fordoingso. Specialists to workforthe Soviet stateand rewarded encouraged must be supervisedbut not harassed. Komchvanstvo(Communistconceit) were repudiated. It was assumedthat in and spetseedstvo (specialist-baiting) the courseof timethe Soviet state would develop its own intelligentsia, and this process some degree of preferential access to education thatto facilitate Educationcould not be ideologically mustbe givento "proletarians."' neutral,
of educational theterm was often 1. In discussion problems "proletarian" looselyused but Communist children and workers' Partymembers, Komto covernot onlyworkers and poor peasantsand theirchildren. of social somols, However,statistical breakdowns

composition (sotsial'nayisostav) in the 1920s usually distinguishedbetween "proletarian"

This content downloaded from on Sun, 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

This content downloaded from 192. association. The autonomouslabel pened in the cases of Proletkult and the universities.21 on Sun.and agitpropdepartments with party largelyconcerned of party membersfor highereducation. No association was autonomous or protest of a Communist fracexcludeCommunists againstthe organization tion within. and restriction ofprivate publishing. of the government. tionmeantat least threatened suspension If thisseemsparadoxical. According to theconventions of the 1920s. forparty listing andgavea separate children ofpoorpeasants.The "soft" line mightpermitnon-Communist leadershipof an but it did not guaranteeit.It operatedwithina framework of ideologicalcontrol through censorship. in the sense thatit could nota legal category. since it was the object of control. In the 1920s official cultural policieswere carriedout as a rule by governof partyagitprop mentagencies. The same appliedto art.227.The culturalresponsibilities and press departments were narrowlyinterpreted-pressdepartments being withthe partypress. but in bothcases the speed of ideologicaltransformation would be withinthe limitsimposedby a workingrelationship with the old intelligentsia.43. government was. and theirconduct could be criticized by Communists.but thiswas an act of favorwhichmight be revoked. But thislicensewas not extendedto the non-Communist intelligentsia.notby theparty. was in facta warningagainst harassment directedat hardlineCommunists.and that partyintervenof the "soft"line. not of right.formulator it was protector of thepolicieswhichthe government executed.statemonopoly of thepress. It was possible-though politiof the special partyor "proletarian" in whichthepartyleadto imaginea situation callytactless-forLunacharsky ershipwould be obligedto dissociateitselffrompolicieswhichLunacharsky.members of the intelligentsia might petition for the redressof individualgrievances. on the one hand. to form the "soft" line made it possible for the intelligentsia Similarly. associations-butas a matter of privilege. The "soft"line was not was partof the generalparadox of partyand The partyleadership relations. and the convention could limited convention the activity the university be broken. But it was assumedthata "soft"line on culturewas moreappropriate to the than the Communist Communist government Party. security police. a partymember forchildren of proletarians and sometimes withseparatecategories and "poorpeasants. interest. as it was in 1924 when agitpropssupervised purge.Only schools and recommendation ofthesedepartments.the old imas happerialtheaters). The 1924 would continueto implement." and Komsomol members.Some culturalinstitutionswere describedas autonomous(the Academyof Sciences. but in doing so they were appealingforfavorand not invoking rights.On the other. There was roomfordifference of opinion amongCommunists on the properscope of activity of these institutions. 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .268 Slavic Review therefore its ideological content mustbe Communist.

andthat this be dictated byconstituency separation would separate fora "hard"line. and in thecase ofa hardline party decent critics to comeoutin andparty journals andnewspapers be natural for party critiofother viewsto severe to subject persons owntrends.43. broadly interagainst and repressive policies meant militant intelligentsia.227. referred to in themid-twenties RAPP) and wereoften Na postu."2 power tosupport expect thestate itcould not for a moment and that was formulated leadership bytheparty Given government policy himself was boundbyparty he couldonlyhave that discipline. rank andfile pressure from theparty It internal enemies. Lunacharsky party discussion was The government infavor lineon culture. as a kindof civilian inwiththeidea of powerand political quarrelsome. comrades. letarian" a "hard"line advocated No member oftheparty leadership consistently 1928. Its support on culture before the lower appearsto have comefrom groups suchas and Communist vigilante ranks oftheparty. that them toward forget "Surely.21 on Sun. jealous. (Leningrad). massofthepeasantry and nonparty thegreat preted to include of theparty to protect the"proand in culture activeintervention it meant interest.andnotto discrimia policy ofthe"utmost bound tofollow interest. might on literature." politikasovetskogo "Khudozhestvennaia 2.Mar." protested withtheruralintellishould tionthatthelocalparty cooperate organization handin handwith went thekulak never thatthey "We must forget gentsia: Zhiznl' gosudarstva. and its culture behind[thisline].no. 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . central directives fortheirown authority and fearful whenever population. Lunacharsky. They were organizedin the Associationof Proletarian their journal from as napostovtsy. deviation. theKomsomol.. lineof radical youth in military ofpolitics the"soft" line theCivilWar and talked seeing terms. V.. conciliation. iskusstva Writers (VAPP. later 3. andthemilitant atheists Godless)..butof course putitsauthority. its talent.1924. in the capitals The hardliners wererestless."Soft" Line on Culture 269 turn up an "overthought. Lunacharsky theparty wouldconsciously leadership beenassuming thatin thissituation itstworoles. or proletarian theCommunist representing natein favor of groups forthe statemaybe moreor less "completely inappropriate But a position majority "it would for theparty". 1. as such it.The party and in short to conduct cism. 4. This content downloaded from 192. youshouldn't pushed werehandin glovewiththe thewholeoftheCivilWar theteachers during a delegate to theThirteenth at thesuggesParty Congress kulaks. 10. The "hard"linewas thelineof"classwar" against thebourgeoisie.and infatuated of thelocal In theprovinces werehard-pressed by thehostility they trigue. A. ofa "hard" whelming majority" neutrality" in art.It wasthe (MIilitant writers3 the proletarian Its supporters lookedbackto and provincial isolation. defense oftheir would a quitespecific cultural line. p.

. youknowwhatthatmeans. ifwe beginto draw themin. at illiberal on The "soft"line was its nlost the issue of university enrollmentin theearly 1920s. comrades. 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . accurately reflected belligerent temper of Moscow University withthe uncomproBogolepovtook up the rectorship XIII s"ezd RKP (b): Mai 1924 g.. I wantto illustrate thesegeneralstatements withthreeexamplesof policy in specificareas-university enrollment. and by James C. Its tacticsrangedfronm local administrative bullying. by Narkompros. as a whole.Its watchword was "vigilancein the face of the class enemy.The 5.. enthusiastic for"proletarian culture"and especially the dominanceofproletarian cultural institutions. And. Our rural partyforces. 469-70."whichto some supporters meantsimplybei intelligentov.43. 4 (December1971): 818-31. ."4 The "hard" line on culture-the line of komnchvanstvo and spetseedstvo -was discriminatory and coercive.227. . alongwithNarkompros and refused to cooperate. and appointees was not.At the end of 1920 theywere formally deprivedof rectors were appointed The intenand Communist autonomy.. 4.and literature-wherewe can observe a shifting and evolvingbalance between policiesof accommodation withthe intelligentsia ("soft" line) and pressures of the proletarian towardcoercionand protection interest("hard" line).1963).and probably but the behaviorof some of its officials thegenerally of thepartyin 1921. The teacher will get moreauthority in the village than our Communists. P. in the Civil War periodis discussedin my book. D. Lunacharsky. and relatively indifferent to thestate's needforthe servicesof technical experts.. through polenmical journalism." Approaches McClellandin "Bolshevik 30.270 Slavic Review forthe whole revolution and thatabout 50 percentof our rural teachersare of the Commissariat (Narkompros) had origto retainthe autonomy inallyallowed the universities theyhad receivedfrom the ProvisionalGovernment.. This content downloaded from 192. S. policy toward rural teachers.whentheteacherhas greater authority and greater trustthanour ruralCommunists. Policytowarduniversities Soviet Organization of Educationand the Arts Un1der Comnmissariat of Enlightenment: October1917-1921 (London and New York. and the Bolshevikgovernment therabfaks. (Moscow. or contemptuous of inherited culignorant turaltradition. but at the same time it had declareduniversity entrance faculties"(rabfaks) foradultworkopento all and created"workers' ers without educational The universities the necessary resented qualifications. will be threatened offspring if we invite theteachers intotheparty. to backstairsintrigue in the leaderagainst vulnerablesoftliners ship. pp. Slavic Review. thelimitsofthissituation. Bergavinov(Kiev partyorganization). to Higher Education. 1917-1921. conciliatory. 1970). This was in part a reaction to the eventsof the Civil of Enlightenment War period.21 on Sun. within tionsof Narkompros were still.

" p.43. 6. depending of koniandirovanie was supposedto fillthe universities The system with and Commmunist students without the upheavaland provoreliableproletarian cationof a major university purge.Soviet. p. was anotherhardliner."7 But Bogolepov was quickly dismissed."6 E. Bogolepov. autonomy and freedom and not to give the professoriateany greater rights thanotherSovietemployees. since "only Communist spetsy can puttheeconomy ofthecountry on otherrails and buildlifeanew. ignoredthe resolution. with some supportfromLenin. he foundno supporters his administrative in theleadership." he wrote in 1921. 8. It had the considerable disadvantageof the raison d'etre of the general loweringacademic standardsand removing school.8The policy of the Soviet at all costs except thatof government at thistimewas to avoid open conflict The old professors loss ofpolitical control. the appointed rectors were mild.21 on Sun. obrazovanii. Odinntadtsatyi 142. 85-86. A. (Moscow.a ratherarbitrarily partymeetingon education to this effect at the beginning of 1921. Lenin criticized naiveteand thekornchvanstvo of the rabfakstudentswho supportedhim. appointedto Narkomprosas head of the technical education administration. 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . s"ezd RKP(b): Mart-aprel'1922 g. secondary of it as an irredeemably Many Communists thought bourgeoisschool which schoolwithout as a technical access to unineededto be radically reorganized constituted versity:in fact. A. and a share in university was Preobrazhensky after a from the Central wave of university strikesand conciliatory intervention had Committee. This content downloaded from 192. 27. kepttheirjobs." and to fillthe universitieswithworker-Communists through the rabfaks. "Vysshaiashkolai kommunizm. Sept. 1961). 1921. Pravda. Pravda." "O professional'no-tekhnicheskom 7. pp.The proletarian people. to university."thereis a genuine class war at the doorsof thehigherschoolbetween the worker-peasant majorityof the country which wants to have specialists from amongits own kindin its own stateand the [ex-]governing classes and stateopenlytakesthe side of its own stratalinkedwiththem. and trade union organizationswho enteredeither directlyor throughthe on educational standard.10. But the status of the secondaryschool was controversial.and only the Komsomolprotested. Preobrazhensky."Soft" Line on Culture 271 misingstatement thatit was time "to put a most definite end to everykind of university of teaching. Preobrazhensky. 1921. a fairpart of their freedom of teaching. E. But Narkomhad passed a resolution pros.Feb. When Preobrazhensky protested thatthe CentralComnmittee retreated too far and injured the proletarian cause. "At the moment. 1: D.The Communist thrust of policywas in recruitment of the student body: fromthe early 1920s therewas a verysmall "freeenrollment" and the majorityof places went to nomineesof party. 2. rabfak.227.

op. Academic standardsdropped sharply. I. 4. being ill-coordinated sociopolitical point of view. mittee agitprop department. This content downloaded from 192. As a resultof the purge about 18. 4: the Trotskyite feverfromwhich the university cells especially "Everyoneremembers in 1923-24. konferentsii i plenuf1mov TsK. and their graduates of such poor quality that employers complained-particularly Vesenkha. Moscow. and the local secure of later right re-entry expelledby agitprop departments12 a denialthat"alien" students forthoseexpelled. fond2306. had made clear.academicrequirements of Narkompros But as I. havingno supportforthis in the party but it did its best to defuseit. Resolution on work anmong youth. as statedby Bukharinat the 1924 Party Congress. protest gubkom WKP 518. 1924. forexample. Not only did it reinstate students leadership.excessively out thatthe system of komiandirovanie was an unsatisfactory vision.p.272 Slavic Review The party'saim. p.Narkompros position to resistthe purgingimpulse. Khodorovsky varied to thesocial originof the student according (Praczda. See. forthe timebeing. 71). The last straw came with the leadership struggleof partycells came 1923-24. 14. elements.Krasnoe studenchestvo. 1970).May 17.21 on Sun. Sept. On Trotskyism. discussed thegeneral of Narkompros 10.The partialpurgeof the partyat that timeaffected suffered primarily the werepurged as decadent morethan25 percent of whosemembers university organizations. 1925. vol. Akimov.when the futuregoverning class in the university out almost solidlyfor Trotsky. 1928-29. Zinoviev university purgewiththecollegium of March 26. the Supreme Council of the National p.10 The general university in the summerof 1924 by Narkomprosand the agitpropdepartconducted mentsof the party." of policywas incompatible with the "soft" The purge as an instrument and revitalization of the conline.forit meantbothdirectpartyintervention was not in a ceptof "class war" in culturaland intellectual life. 1924 (SmolenskArchives. and agitprop fromSmolensk to CentralCom12. 2945).227.p.The universitieswere"and at the same time to conducta separatepurge to purge was rid the university cells of Trotskyites.43.27. 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .the comment i 9. 6). 1924 (Tsentral'nyigosudarstvennyi at its meeting arkhiv Oktiabr'skoi i sotsialisticheskogo revoliutsii stroitel'stva [TsGAOR]. p.000students(13-14 percent forcompletely wereremoved "ofwhich three-fourths academic failure actuallypublished expelled on the part of fortheirsocial originwere reallyalien: "Owing to oversights somecommissions forthe reviewof the student 'alien elebody. Thirteenth Congress. d. 3 ( the old "bourgeois"prosoft) Narkompros superfessors under"soft"(in Bukharin's view.under the supervisionof Zinoviev for the Politburo. KPSS v re2oliutsiiakh resheniiakh s"egdov.was and Comto turnthe universities intotraining schoolsfor a new proletarian as students. see N.9 munistgoverning class by enrolling workersand Communists But theywere to be trained.It turned in its selectioneven fromthe and indiscriminate one. 118). 1.The party leadershipdecided to purge the and those unsuccessful students student body (not thefaculty)of academically of "alien social origin. 109." and ideologically hostile of total) were 11. unjustified and the restforvariousotherreasons" (Narodnoeprosveshchenie.

NKP. p. ofclass war tendedin theseyearsto drop out of official re-establishment of the "soft" line. was stillclassified school smeny(Moscow. This content downloaded from 192.43. and techtionof two special quotas: one of 2. at experience may have been soberingforthe partyleadership. .In the summerof 1925 and softline initiatives to allow some thousandsof engineerVesenkhaasked the CentralCommittee of ing students to studyabroad because the low standardsof Soviet univerbut provoked a re-examination of the situation sities.. 1924).and Narkompros basis and formally to acknowledge thatthe ondaryschoolson a semitechnical schoolas a channelto the university. 108. and 73. See Bukharin's i revoliutsiia (Moscow. 13. A. The versities. V."Soft" Line on Culture 273 of some of those expelled. 21(41). schools.. 8. in Partiia i vospitanie comments 15. 2. Prosveshchenie 16. pp. encouraging There were otherfactors forbetter commissariats from the economic qualitygraduates notably pressure fromRykov and years of NEP.000 by trade unions among the "toilingintelligentsia" (otherwiseknown as "bourgeois specialists"). of specialists led by Rykov. in Ezhenedel'nik published school 1924. of 1925 by the addiin the autumnenrollment but it was modified enrollment.1926). p. It is ment'was written on the documents 'alien element'meantpersonswho obviousthatin thesecases the description circumstances of highereducationalinstitutions underthe presentstraitened university. access to university at a timeof extremely ernment whichdeniedtheirchildren of Narkompros. 23.repeatedduringthe remaining use. Lunacharsky. Narodnoeprosveshchenie. The personsexpelledfrom are theleast suitable to go through does not university are not disgraced.14 rabfak had replacedthe secondary In the provinces the purgegenerateda momentum whichnot only Narfounddifficult to control:it was as if local kompros but the partyleadership had been onlywaitingforthe moment to settleaccountswithuniauthorities and the whole alien bodyof the intelligentsia.500 forgraduatesof secondary for distribution nical schools.The requestwas refused. teachers. The secondary 14.and their expulsion fromuniversity carryany limitations of theirrights.16 of komandirovanie A revisedsystem was stillin forcein university standards. and the vocabulary any rate."'13 A side effect in otherareas.president in universities and the training of SovAs a resulta numberof measureswere taken to raise academic narkom. 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .pp. It was not. of collegium Sept. The of the purge was hardlineresurgence to press its chargesagainstthe "bourgeois" Komsomoltook the opportunity Party secondary school in discussionof Bukharin'spaper at the Thirteenth was subsequently obligedto reorganizethe secCongress. This as well as to raise academic the intelligentsia was surelya move to conciliate for a govwere unlikely to work withenthusiasm since specialists standards. 1924. 51. to university-entrance level.. 1924 (TsGAOR 2306/1/3328). . bias" (profuklon) to the two seniorclasses.but the addeda "professional reorganization nottechnical. Resolution no.anotherof 1. as general-educational.21 on Sun. 5.

they were school. 20.while the numbersof secondaryschool gradrose sharply. prosveshchenie. p. fromNarkompros control to its own. Izvestiia. 9.while suggesting avoided directcriticism "soft" interpretation.4.and university enrollment but it disment.227. Milkh.2' It was always permissible givingit an unnecessarily so in this context: to attack Narkomprosfor "softness. 14.Each yearthe government workof the toilingintelligentsia and white-collar thepathsby whichchildren that its social base ers can enterthe school.not narrower."'9 and eyesores[bel'nmo in the percentage of workersand partymembers As had been expected. 3.p. no. 17. no. . But the issue of removed of universities no. '-evoliitsiia. 7-8. in state employment were declared "equal" in social status to childrenof But the main emphasiswas on the establishment of academiccriworkers. in universities are a retreatfromthe policy of proletarianizaof enrollment in the CentralCommittee comments But his published agitprop journal tion. 1925. teria in university entrance.43.of the Central Hardlinecriticism Communist students in 1927 that"tlhe new conditions told Committee apparat. The numberof workers' typeof secondary evolvinginto a subsidiary in the worker in the 1927 enrollchildren showedan improvement percentage ment. Narodnoe 1927. The effect uatesgoingdirectly to university ofthenew enrollment fromsecondary a normalprogression schoolto unipolicywas to re-establish back enrollment.1926. 5.In 1926 the system enrollwas thrown open to freecompetitive doned. trainingadolescentsratherthan adult workers. . p. colnference p. as Lunacharskycheerfully itwas no good admitting unqualified workers and peasantsto be made "martyrs na glazai] in the university.274 Slavic Review "The policyand aims of the Soviet governhighadolescentunemploymeint. 21. 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 1927. 102-3. andJuly May 26. of the new policywas muted. p. Narodnoe 30. as oftenhappens. "are not at all directed will further widen all exceptworkers and peasants. TsGAOR 5574/5/2." explainedLunacharsky's towardclosingaccess to higherschool to announced."'17 was abanof komandirovanie This promise was kept."20 that Narkompros was of the policy.which providedpowerful a campaign to have thetechnical faculties was at thesametimenmounting ment. versity were increasingly to supplybetweena quarterand a thirdof the enrollment. the 1926 enrollment dropped.In other words.21 on Sun.pp. prosveshchenite.L.Afterall. of specialists criminated since children againstonlya partof the intelligentsia.18 remarked. Even the which and to cut continued adult rabfaks. 18. 46. 19. 1927."and particularly backingfor academic criteriain enrollVesenkha. January of Proletstud. deputyin 1925 when the nlewquotas were nment.8. Soviet power is concerned shouldbecomewider. .A secondary process of social selectionwas still operative. Komnmzunistichzeskaia This content downloaded from 192.

According to Stalin. 22.21 on Sun. Russland vomEnde des Zarenreiches 25. The trade choice of the "political"word "socialist"in the title.227. "Union of workersin educationand socialist culture" (Rabpros). ers' unionhad gone on strike and local branches had cooperated with the White Armies. especiallythe ruralteacher. ColumbiaUniversity." Stalin. This briefly provokeda hardlinetendencyat the center. diss.pp. 1 ff. Relationsbetweenteachersand the Soviet government "The ThirdFront: The Politicsof Soviet described in detailin RonaldHideo Hayashida. BukharincongratulatedMolotov on his new understanding of the need for educational expansion. Narodnoe 23.D. in the early years are 24."hundreds and thousandsof the toilingintelligentsia" and the industrial specialistsin particularwere eager and willing to cooperate in achieving withthe Soviet government the Five-Year Plan.forthefirst and onlytime. Mass Education. 34-43.. and policynota matter of controversy The policywas "soft.Nobodymentioned class war in the universities or took the opporto criticize tunity Narkonipros(a sure sign that the "hard" line was under constraint). 1.. in the capitals. pp. in 1973). 26. unionsobjectedto Narkompros' outof use in theearly1920s. Geschichte der Schule und Pddagogikin Sovietschoolsin the 1920sis Oskar Anweiler.p. union25 withno restrictions on entry and nonmilitant was a mass professional 1928.been appropriated by the Party Opposition.concluding his remarkson changingattitudes oftheintelligentsia at the Fifteenth PartyCongress. To all appearancesthe "soft" line not only was in the ascendantat the Fifteenth PartyCongressof December1927 but was likelyto remainso. 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . no. and it dropped This content downloaded from 192. But neither nor the CentralCouncil of Trade Unions would recognizethe Narkompros and the new union which was establishedin 1919 teacher-internationalists.22 The status of rural teacherswas a question on which Soviet attitudes werestraightforward in the leadership."Soft" Line on Culture 275 proletarianization and class war had. It is thiscentral/ local dichotomy whichI wantto examine. Fitzpatrick. The local "hard" line on teacherswas rootedin Civil War memories24 In 1918 the anti-Bolshevik and Communist teachisolationin the countryside. bis zum Beginnder Stalin-Ara(Berlin. represented by the Communist splinter groupof "teacher-internationalists" which claimed rightof successionto the teachers'union. Ibid. published therelevant debatesof a partycongressverbatim. The major Westernwork on Commissariat of 1927.said: "I don'teven speak of the rurallaboringintelligentsia. and briefly 1917-1918"(Ph."23 education Rural teachersprovidedno potential political as far as the centerwas concerned. prosveshchenie.1964). and theNarkompros journal. threat so the "soft" line encountered no obstacle-exceptthatlocal authorities persistently ignoredit. who has long turnedtoward Soviet power and cannot but welcome the development of in the countryside.

revoliutsiia munists see Zinov'ev. 43.276 Slavic Review Communist leadership-a typical softlineconception.A summary teachers officials treated thatparty using"command methods. 2-4." Pravda. It was given maximumpublicity and was attended all endorsing a policy byno fewer thansix Politburo members and candidates. pp. The teachers werepromised improvement in material to join the considerate treatment from local officials. The buoyantmood which had been oband Komsomolswere even worse. especiallyrural teachers. 1926. 24. VKP (b) Po voprosam prosveshcheniia 26. 2." taxingthemlike Nepmen. 1931). (discussionof comradeKalinin's "O sel'skoi intelligentsii" 28. Apr. higher wages. Arbitrary put it) "mockery"of teacherscontinuedto be reportedin 1926 and 1927. p. from dismissaland transfer. May 20.29 CentralConmmittee dismissalsand transfers and (as Narkompros They did not. 180.21 on Sun. At the Thirteenth Party Congressin May 1924 Zinoan official viev sponsored welcometo teachersas ruralallies of Soviet power. of conciliationand deploringharassmentof teachers by local authorities. 85-86. p.p. 39 (Rykov) and 72-73 (Zinoviev).no.Pravda.27But the leadershipwas also bearingin mind were few and needed supthe practicalconsideration that rural Communists portin thecountryside. statement 27."rejectedthe idea since "the majorityof teachers of class war against the rural intelligentsia.43. 30. 1924.227.Some partymembers saw thisas capitulation In January1925 an All-UnionTeachers' Congress-genuinely represendefensively claimed tativeof the nonparty teacher. 29.Krupskaia. no." officials on his claimthatlocal party wouldcooperate. Kolokolkin. 6. 1. See p. 1926. 1925. This content downloaded from 192. and Krupskaia gave a movingaccount of theirmiserableconditionsof life. This was conthe Soviet government and deservedsympathetic firmed bya Central Committee directive in 1921 that"local partyorganizations held thateducational mustgiveup theattitude thattheyhave so farconmmonly workers are saboteurs.30 (Moscow. 4. treatment.The attitudeof Narwere potentialallies of kompros was thatteachers. fortheyhave long ceased to be so iftheyever were."withoutsinningagainstthe tenetsof Marxism. For an emotional and that of the Comof theircause of popularenlightenment people.Zinoviev. teachersof the vote as "alien Cases were cited of local authorities depriving of letters from the provinces elements.28 party. 1924. be accepted and nmust are part of the toilingmasses led by the proletariat. conditions. staked and the authority of the intoour milieuas toilershavingequal rights. theses). as Narkomprossomewhat -was held in Moscow.1927. arbitrary Rykovpromised theteachers protection Zinoviev."26 Old Bolsheviks and Kalininhad an emolike Lenin." concluded badly. pp. Narodnoeprosveshchenie. 9. Ibid. 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .and the identity i uchitel' tional attachment to the rural teacheras a humbleand underpaidbearer of enlightenment to the people. 34."Proletarskaia pp. Direktivy theirservicesto the on the situation of teachers. and even the opportunity to the class enemy.

and hopelessness" apathy.31 for this. and no.againstbourgeois were eitherunheardor taken as theirteachers?Party calls for moderationi had become"degenerate" and incapableof evidencethatthe partyleadership militant leadership. pp. 18(39). 21(41). This content downloaded from 192. speaking.227. 103 (of theperiod 31. Ibid. 1924. (Moscow. 18-31dek. p. receivedfromTonmsk of the the begin-ning one before [in the schools].43. Smolensk presidium 2306/1/3328.and accordingly campaign againsttheintelligentsia generalhardline children. 824. feeling of burden." XIV s"ezd remarks 35. RepeatedNarkonmpros a reply by comradeAndreev. p."34 and the Pioneers. of Sychevsky collegium agitprop 1924. How could theyfight mostprimitive against intelligentshchina. 1924. in the years fears."were ignoredor perhapseven misunderstood: "A purge has not been conducted statedreassuringly.but it is proposedto conlduct A year later the impactof the purge was still being felt in school year. their own understanding.and that "the chiefdutyof a Pioneer is to be an exemplary It was simplybecause the teachers. undertook to purgethe schoolsof sociallyalien elements-expelling schoolsaltogether as "bourgeois. Ukom.1929.Aug. Ezhenedel'nik WKP 11.. 8.despitethe Centralpartypolicywas not withoutresponsibility "soft" line. 29. 8-9. tions. often closingsecondary disnlissing siglned backedup by a "partyinstruction prohibitionis. following. 1924.Zinoviev'swelcometo teachershad coincidedexactlywith to prevent purge (and mayhave been intended preparations fortheuniversity thata tookthepurgeas an indication a backlashin theschools). Narodnoe 12. 9. This was not because the party and theirKomnsomol theCentral to attacktheteachers:on thecontrary.1926). no. Neitherthe Koomsoniol the did school children who so with and those purest and joined twenties.35 were often being ambiguous. VKP(b) po voprosam prosveshcheniia. TsGAOR 32. shoulddefer avoid "culsaid thatteachers in leadership and acknowledge Komsomolpre-eminenlce turalsuperciliousness.p. 194. First. 33.apprehension. forrevolutioni enthusiasm and class war. 34.21 on Sun. theclass war exceptin theschool.were not Communists in the nor the Pioneers were mass mllovements were. addressedto both sides. Buklharin. p.theteaclhers in leaders the sclhools. It is also truethatpartycalls formoderation at the 1925 teachers'congress." 1926-28). 12. Archives of NKP collegium. directed youngConnmunists in 1925 decreedthatthe Komsomolmust draw the teachersinto Coimmittee Pioneer work. to Komsomolson Direktivy on Komsomol and Pioneer"avaiitgardisnm. Local officials had begun. witl veryfew exceppupil in school. NKP."233 the provinces. 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Sept. were in constant conflict withPioneer organizations Second."32 teachers.Culture "'Soft' Line otn 277 a servedanmong teachersafterthe 1925 congressgave way to "dissatisfaction. 8-9. See Btukharin's VKP(b).

9. and victimized "oftenact with the administrative organs . 140. Maguire'sRed VirginSoil: notably and Sovietresearch.the "soft" line offered his own: the teachers'union. I. and theirelectionwas a formality whispersand themselves to indignant to object openly. 1928-1932 (New York. Sheshukov's Neistovyc in Rutssiani is bor'by20-khgodov (Moscow. literary The proletarian and Komsomol ofpostwardemobilization in thefirst yearsofNEP as a product no.confining accustomed or dison the appointment The union had no influence ironicalsmiles. Brown's ProletarianlEpisode Literature.whilethe Komsomiiol Afterthe conas leadersin the school. and the teacheris afraid to sclhool fromn isolate thenmselves 'Bukharin did not order it at the teachers' because in their affairs meddle congress"' (though therewere also teachers"who were not afraid of Buschool to attackthe Pioneer leaders for disorganizing kharin"and continued life). 1968).. Edward J. p.6.40 in pure politicsthat it deservesattention oftlhe "lhard" line.43.1926. Ibid.emerged protagonist movement. 108-9. 1925. . and S.227.278 Slavtc Review to the teachers behave tactfully slhould of the Pioneers. 37.37 the teachergood will but no weapons of Finally. . them.21 on Sun. prosveshchenie.. 77. 9. real concernsof literature in this article. Since literature Iz istoriiliteraturnoi revniteli: of "hard"and "soft"lines in whichI discusstheopposition contexts onlyone of thethree I have assumedthat the treatment: a thorough in this article. Ibid. at both centraland local levels. by bothWestern Soviet Literature itnthe 1920's (Princeton. Literary in RobertA. teachersrarelyappealedto the unionfor support. 40.39 defended sometimes correspondents) (rural newspaper is remarkable both of "soft" and "hlard"lines in literature The conflict bothto the relation and its apparenttriviality-itsperiplheral forits intensity It is as an exercise and to those of government."38 of the whichwas conducted by the educationdepartnlent missal of teachers.1926. no. 1953).I have not attempted herethanin theearlier allows me to be moreselective of thematerial relative familiarity on whichthereis littlepublished problems of thearticledealingwitheducationial sections work.1926. This content downloaded from 192. unlike policy.36 theirpre-eminence and acknowledge had not gress therewere reportsfromthe provincesthat this formulation position:"The Pioneersalndtheir[Komsomol] leaders theteachers' improved life as a whole.2. 39. Ibid."In cases ofarbitrary of defending instead teachers and onlythe sel'kory indifferent. documented has beenadmiirably its educationial counterpart. The branch strongnor professional were oftennot teachers recommendleed by local partyorganizations secretaries of thepartyor experienced admninistrabut"candidatemembers byprofession to which "ordinaryvotersare not tors". pp. was neither enough to figlt the teachers' battles. 36. local soviet. no. p. 82. against the since its officials dismissalor transfer. Narodntoe no. 1970)." "the tradeulnion organsremaincompletely the teachers.. 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . p. 38.

briefly from) gymnasium. factsof VAPP's politicalcareer is that at no most of the One striking of any member of thepartyleadertimedid it enjoythewholehearted support most admired ("loved. RKP (b). This content downloaded from 192.and feltinstinctive editorofthe Communist journal munists field-Voronsky. activein theliterary at Narkompros. 1920.42 been sharply rejectedby thepartyintoactiveintervention was to force The aim of theproletarians to replacetheexisting oftheCommunist softline in support literary movement. an thanthe actual production VAPP. variablyconciliatory and. statepublishing had chosen to play an active interventionist Neitherpartynor government or proletarian groups: the only claims which role on behalfof Communist and the Futurists-had had been made for special privileges-by Proletkult Committee at the the Central end of 1920. Meshcheriakov at the State PubKrasnaia nov'. Gosizdat.21 on Sun. tionof literary of NEP was "soft.self-consciously in the sense thatit was hostileto the old literary intelligentsia.It was young. 1.Their consuming of literature. Neistovye 41.Its originalmembers. "O Proletkul'takh. Narkomproswas the and its policies were inwith in closest contact institution Soviet writers. 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .then -was the editorialoffice almostall undertwentyeditedby Leopold Averbakh. on behalfof witha "lhard"line implemented by theirorganization leadership in literature the party. 114andpassim." to use whom the youngproletarians ship. "proletarian" of Na postut of VAPP and the founding Its first center-before theformation of the Komsomol journal Molodaia gvardiia. activism. 1. See Sheshukov. conservationist. had typically joinedtheparty held withthe Red Armyin the Civil War. Letterof the CentralCommittee p.The youngproletarians a military affected werewellconnected to the "civilian"Comantipathy styleof dressand speech.ccSofte Line on Culture 279 and Communist. was originally bershipof aspiringworking-class foritself the funcjournalists proposing vigilante groupof youngCommunist arm of the PartyCentralComnlittee. Apart frompublishersand censorship.43. it existedon a fairlysmall scale."insofaras it Official literary policyat the beginning existed at all. p. fought and thendrifted intopoliticaljournalposition.41Almost in party circles. was permitted.Lunacharsky interest was literary politicsrather lishing House. ism. nominally associationof acquiringin the courseof timea mass memproletarian writers(and actually and essentially a writers). as adolescents away just out of (or running five. in regardto the culturalheritage.aggressive. all camefrom some." 42.227. Averbakh. revniteli. a juniorpartyadministrative families oftheintelligentsia. Privatepublishing although to the publication of Communist was not restricted authors. Pravda.brash. Trotsky. and to enforcea "proletarian by strict dictatorship" controland access to exerciseof the censorshipand exclusive Communist and the literary publishing press.

They felt. his clash Sobranite leaders(Lunacharsky. 1961). old opponent of the bien-pensant Lunacharsky on artisticquestions. the late Kanatchikov)beyondhope.1964]. are (except for people in the Central Committee. 'in the interests continually the youngproletarians-likethe KonmsomolAs forpoliticalreliability. 1919. Stalin and Zinovievwere simplynot interested. unfailing sUspicion in Pravda articles call to "smashthe old theater" 43. because he went colleaguesin VAPP were saying.vol. 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .21 on Sun. Kamenev. [MoscowandLeningrad. 4 (Moscow. Its early relationship the CentralCoinmittee on the proletarian press departmelent was intense. DmitriiFurmanov. was politicallyLeninist.43. pp.pp.Bukharin's to party protestcirculated of October16 and December16. raznoglasiia (Leningrad.p. becameVAPP's mostenergetic opponent Nor could it be said thatVAPP won favorby toadyingto the Central or by unswerving with Committee.and talkedto himabout our affairs.See LeopoldAverbakh.43 patron of the Komsomol.Averbakhexplained. 127and 141). sinceas a vigilante werenotoriously susceptible on guard against signs of party"degeneration. whosenamewas listedanmong sotruidniki of Na postit in its first issues. Trotsky's culture" in the transitional of true"proletarian of the possibility developing on principle i revoliultsia."Furnmanov to the alien (as far as literature to the goes) and hostileCentralCommnittee. at thebeginning pressdepartment of proletarian of the achievement writers low assessment and rejection 45. vol.' "44 .and not onlyshouldone not maintain or withthembut one shouldattackand irritate establish any sortof contact tllem of literature. "a tradition has been established that the in the press department.Furmanovcommented.In April 1925 Furrnanov reported is a traitor.suffering a change of heart afterLenin's in theleadership. he VAPP leadership fromn Shatskin's did notbecomea devotedStalinist:we findhimin 1929 supporting sheer its Komsomnol VAPP's deviation. side. The one nlemberof the leadership who seemedto be in symnpathy with the proletarians was Bukharin:culturaliconoclast and Proletkult supporter of the Civil War period. to outbreaks of oppositionism. Sobraniesochinenii.280 Slavic Review Averbakh's word). of proletarialn literature enemy Vareikis.thatthe CentralCommittee was following a "degenerate"line while Trotsky. See. 100-105). 352-53.227. Vareikiswas its head in 1924-26.pp. forexample. loyaltyto Stalin.S.melted away. utltil of 1924. I. . M. death. in Pravda toward Nashi as articles published 1927). Kanatchikov (who was in fact still alive in 1925) had headed the CentralCommittee of thetwenties. in his diarythat his but intensely hostile.and Lunacharsky's sochineii. political arrogance. rejectedthewholenotioliof proletarian culture. . in 1923and in his Literatura written weremadeknown periodto socialism theendof thatyear." group theywere constantly theautumn Averbakh and LelevichwereTrotskyites Of theearlyleaders." In general.45Even when Averbakh inherited the now Zinovievite Lelevichand Vardin in 1926. 44. 3 [Moscow. I. 34.althoughalso "degenerate"on literarypolicy. s"evd RKSM at the 1922 Komsonmol Congress (V Vserossiiskii with Lunacharsky 1927].But Bukharin. literaturnye This content downloaded from 192.

356-62. pp. Dementlev Voronsky's Sovietrehabilitators-A." Ocherkiistoriirtssleoisovetskoizhurnalistiki. line. 1917-1932 (Moscow. But withan opponent VAPP hardlyneededfriends. p. and this could explainthe hinteddoubtsto whichMaguire refers.417 ff. Sheshukov. p.21 on Sun. 49. M. thatunfounded accusations of actualopposition remembered membership are characteristic of the late thirties and not of any periodof RAPP's activity. of pre-1923 Central in literary 47. 1 (Moscow.)concludes thatVoronsky's actualparticipain theTrotskyite tioni remains opposition out thatthe label of "Trotunproved. vol. What other organization would lhave"demanded" that the Central forbidPravda and Bol'shevikto criticizeit. Lunacharsky. 1927-33): "In 1926-28 to the Trotskyite Voronsky belonged Opposition and conducted activefracin connection hard of Voronsky's activemnembership in the post-1923 evidence but it shouldbe opposition. thepress departmenlt.pp. pt.and to its great good fortuneVoronsky was both politicallyassociated with the and a supporterof Trotsky's literaryviews. in Obogashchenie Ermakov mletoda realiz'nai problemta sotsialistichlesleogo nnogoobraziia sovetskogo isklesstva (Moscow.The same suggestion has on Voronsky. Kuznetsov "Krasnaia nov'. some sympathy.Line on Culture "'Soft" 281 of the partyleadership. But. as Averbakhdid in Committee 1927?46 And that was at a time wheniVAPP's position was dangerously closeto theOpposition's. Neistovye rev'niteli. The most scholarly of in Kratkaialiteratutrnaia G.48 like Trotsky."We must assume their campaignprovoked described in the Central Committee or at least attention. Maguire(Red Virgint Soil. 229-agree thatVoronsky to the 1926-28opposition belonged and was expelled in 1928forthatreason. 5 vols. entsiklopediia. (Moscow. 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .he deniedproletarianl access to themainComlmunist insteadthe work literary journaland published of "bourgeoisspecialists"-the loyal non-Communist writerswhom Trotsky as "fellowtravelers.43.2. a former and thepoet Demian Bedny supported the proletarian Proletkultist. pointing skyism" and vindictively was oftenindiscriminately applied. p. specialmeeting was wholly negative: among the speakers against But the public responise VAPP were Trotsky. in Neistovye revniteli. of the motivesand intentions astonishedcontemporaries.227. 1030). laterhe brokewiththeOpposition and was reinstated as a member of theparty.p. A stenogram literature khudozhestvennoi (Moscow. been made by some post-1956 Soviet writers There is.p. if we take it that This content downloaded from 192. representing Only the BolshevikKerzhentsev. 1046. For evidence Committee interest politics see A.49Because of his Trotskyites 46.Sheshukov. 5. and Iakovlev.Real opposition membership was clearlyembarrassing to Voronsky's post-1956 Soviet rehabilitators.Their common(unidentified) from theparty sourceis probably in Deiateli revoliutsionnogo dvizheniia the entry v Rossii. Bukharin.1924). apparat. My own impression is that this entryis probably accurate. 207. F.1967). withwhichhe was expelledfrom the ranksof the VKP(b). in fact. in Moscowas a senior He nowworks editor of Russianand foreign classics" (vol. Meshcheriakov. because.47 case against Voronskyat a since Vardin was allowed to put the proletarian in thepressdepartment oftheCentralCommittee in May 1924. of the debatewas published in K voprosuo politikeRKP(b) v 48.1962). Among the theirview. Voronskyof Krasnaia nov' was the main target oftheproletarians' writers attack. 43. however. M. 1966).

andtherapprochement was primarily tactical.asledstvo. when he was finally ousted. moresympathetic thembecomes theresolution ofthepress consistently through in May 1924.p." Why such extendeddeliberation is notclear. Lunacharsky. This content downloaded from 192. Britling DrinkstheCup to theDregs. 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .as no disagreement of the commiswas necessary members anmong sion is recorded. who rightly believedthat the softliners hiimup as a sacrifice:"Anatolii were offering !" he addressedLunacharsky..etoda.but we do knowthatTrotskysubmitted a written memoranout his views. no.1925.202-3. of proletarian culture and reallydid objectto Trotsky's views on it. 53. Voronsky. See." the reported statements PartyCongress'sresolution of memand the eventualCentralCommittee bersof the Politburocommission. "Mr.1926. "You have entered Vasilevich intothe Na postu thatyou are quiteat hoome abode. Voronsky'sposition on Krasnaia nov' was under constant threatfrom1924 to 1927. his articlein Na postu.282 Slavic Review oppositionconnections. VAPP-in spiteofformer Trotskyite ofitsown-did notneglect associations thisweapon. is thereexceptthe obviousone-that he had beloniged whatplausible explanation to the 1926-28 opposition? Literaturnoe He therefore movedtowardquasi-alliance withVAPP.. 5.53 It is worthnoting thatwhileno influential dumsetting person the official attitude toward appearsto be arguingthe case of the proletarians. 1(6). the in literature.43. Ermakov.64. to "hegemony" "historicright"of the proletariat but proposed in 1928and readmitted from was expelled theparty as a Trotskyite Voronsky about1930.276-77. forexample. resoluin directopposition tion of June 1925-which acknowledged."Krasntaia nov'.. pp. But he disliked VAPP's modusoperandi. of Raskolnikov(an Old Bolshevikand VAPP synmpawiththe appointment thizer) as coeditor."52 who had lost control of Krasnaia nov! in the autumnof 1924 Voronsky. to Voronsky. thenlet it not be fromthe hand of Averbakh. was in thathe had alwaysbeen an advocateon principle not insincere. It made a strong bid "to equate Trotsky'spoliticalpositionwith Voronsky's line [on literature] and evenwiththelineofall thepartycomrades who do not supportVAPP's point of view. But ifit is fated thatI mustacceptthe end. regainedit earlyin 1925. 35. and it was probably because of himthatthe issue ofproletarian thecontroversy cultureremained surrounding on theCentralCommittee agenda. June."50What worried Lunacharskywas that VAPP's smeartacticsmightfinally discredit the "soft" line on culturealtogether. 52.227. to Trotsky. Obogashtheenie lm. published vol.A Politburocommission headedby Vareikis Bukharin and Lunacharsky and including workedthrough amongits nmenmbers the springof 1925 on the resolution finally passed in June: "On the Policy of thePartyin the Field of Artistic Literature.and it wouldseemn there. n.Lunacharsky 51. declaring hinmselfa literary "proletarian"51 prepared to concedeto the VAPPists everything butorganizational This caused greatoffense control. early1925. pp.21 on Sun.its adoptionin slightly editedform in the Thirteentl department "On the Press.

" protestedVoronsky. groups.57 and old enemy of writers.but it was noticeable leftits mark." "OpenLetter 58. You have unleashedthem.July 54. suicide.the Stalinist/Bukharinist and social comment normisplaced..241-42."Were there influence predominant in such or weretherenot. . was opposition Voronsky:"The questionof Krasnaia nov' and the Trotskyite raised. 6. passed the organizational to take it on the of Vardin. of Trotsky from the armypoliticaladministration.54 intervention cratic" solution ofparty was already involvingitself deeply in In fact the party bureaucracy in tokenof approval. no."Soft" Line on Culture 283 withoutthe "bureauwritersshould earn it for themselves thatproletarian on their behalf.Lelevich.227. . See. organizingFOSP.comrade lost humility. Neistovye 55. on literature was the decisionto create a Federationof the 1925 discussionl Soviet Writers (FOSP). left and Voronsky shortly board. new press department comradeGusev. 1926. 197. no. Kuznetsov. 1927. and the The new VAPP was willing to organizethefederation "VAPP was anxious to supportit in thisundertaking. .in Smolensk conference.attempts to organizethe federation of the were in facthanded two-thirds a way thatVAPP and its supporters that you have unleashed the young VAPP votes? . 1.was headedby Gusev.comradeGusev.described in 1930 on the occasion of Mayakovsky's writing 57. surprising is neither byan oppositionist itscontrol This content downloaded from 192. Archives. Gusev. 1."p.withyourpermission-a is mechanically acquiring-evidently. 10.P.A. in Pravda. in the sphere of culturalrepression(Biulleten' mnan Gusev as Molotov'sright-hand 1930. . sense of proportion. .55 which. Sheshukov. no."59 Raskolnikovwas once again appointedto the editorial afterwards. includingboth proletarianand fellow-traveling for whichwas responsible press department.43. given themsuch rightsand such privilegesthat theyhave lost a . . "Krasnaianov'. VAPP emerged thedemons of Zinovievism withthe press departwitha new leader (Averbakh) and a new relationship of 1926. refused undertheleadership For in the federation. over anxiety as well as a literary journal."56 As a result. Oppozitsii.One outcomeof thoughnot altogether VAPP's affairs."58 of Krasnaia nov' was discussed On April Old Bolshevik from thespring ment-which. 1927.21 on Sun. WKP 257. to Comrade Krasnaianov'. Published revniteli. 11.Voronsky's editorship with reports by Gusev and in the Central Committeepress department. pp. to the VAPP the speechby Bliakhinof the pressdepartment 56.and Rodov. forexample. Apr.The CentralCommittee initiativeto VAPP. Since Krasnaianov' was a journalof political 59. in the federation. . 1925.It was said thatthejournalcouldnotbe called oppositionquitesharply in the oppositionhad that Voronsky'smembership ist. groundsthatVAPP was not guaranteed"hegemony" with wrestledtogether more than a year VAPP and the press department and "leftdeviation.P. 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .p. Gusev. Trotsky. I will say frankly comrades. 229. p. 40). Biulleten'V. Voronsky.

Gosizdat. p.61and the partyhad adopted a policy of "stabilization"in culture. 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . literary into day-to-day partment since FOSP "hegemony." oni thephenomenon speech is Preobrazhensky's classicus in the Communiist Academydebatein the springof 1927: of Bezymiiensky pp.with acknowledgmielnt implications 1927). it standsfaceto facewiththebourgeois ternally does not followthe line of fanning our policyin genieral the country sharper. 8. party tionclaimed to meet the bourgeoischallengein culture. Gorky's return. of Artistic Policy.and the former this and was reflected had the degeneration that degenerated.Narkompros.i (Moscow. revoliutsiia. VAPP was embarrassed The chief opposiand thatofthepolitical opposition. This content downloaded from 192. rooting bickerthe weightof internal uinder institution collapsedas a working simply and the thickjournals Pechat' i revoliitsiia and ing. Na literaturnonm revoliutsii.and in his contribution 1927).butVAPP did not control VAPP did wlhich subject to hardlineharassment thoughcontinlually affairs. goes somewATay classwarbut. 1928..represented of in 1927 by the virtualidentity But above all. pp. its "hard" lineon culture supportedby Sosnovsky..The censoring organs." sredimnolodezh.p. ed. See Bukharin." with Bukharin offeringa "classic image of cultural to cultural policyin its thesesto the Fifteenth madeno reference 60.1927."Krasnaianov'. forthe"soft"line. and even Krasncaianov' did not as a VAPP organ.which meant that it had given tip the it could to a pointwlhere to raise the culturallevel of the proletariat attempt to lhad succumllbed The old the party with intelligentsia. p. Novyi nir remainedunder "soft" control. 266: "Our society and therethe class war becomes world. The literary put'.0 Vaganian.Buklharin and consequent control expertise disclaimedthe conceptof culturalclass war.94ff." to dampen on thecontrary. after Voronsky'sdeparture function and always hardliners nmany included Glavrepertkom. The opposition postu. journalKomirnunisticheskii in theSaratovgubkom Preobrazhensky. reiniforcement a potentially powerful 1927.43. and Questions "The Proletariat 61." It had not aclhieved politicaloppositionisil. 3 ff. had. Exand external. The opposiVAPP leadersVardin and LelevichA. compete effectively "right deviation. as Upadochnoe nastrocnic Academy bytheCommunist published to are developedby Lelevich. the text is in the stenogram postut. and thetheatrical Glavlit kepthis gripon theatrical 1925.227. of at least fromthe autumnl rutmored not initiateor lead. 6.and in Averbakh. (Moscow.21 on Sun.1927. Thle locuts Na literaturnomn Party Congress(Averbakh. 37 if.. mentand decadence article in Komninunisticheskaia on this speech is to be foundin KEnorin's comment "Oppozitsiiai voprosykul'turnoi 1927. 4.The bourgeoisie in its inability of technical and thearts.and keptits monopoly in literature supreme remained had explicitly of highereducation.284 Slavic Review of "hard" and "soft" line strenigths With Voronskygone. 21)..VAPP had brought emerged purposeof upbut forthe specific politics. internal has two levels of conflict. 21(84). to the almanacUdar. 22-23. I. tion spokesmanon culture was Preobrazhensky. or disillusionof "Eseninshchliina.the respective press dethe CentralConmmittee more clearly. Iniside it down.pp...

Lunacharsky's pp. "we cannot agree with him. 63. The "hiard" line had considerable support at the meeting frommembers of the agitpropdepartments of the Centraland Moscow Comnmittees of the party.the "soft"line was repudiated May of debatein agitprop..whichin thiscontext meantrepudiation of a belligerent policy of "proletarianization" against the traditional diirected theaters. 62. closing speech. and Lunacharsky.63 Averbakhtriedthe snmear tactic of associatingsome minor softliners withTrotsky and Voronsky. 202 (Sapozhnikov). speech. Ibid. turnogostroitel'stva put'.. Lelevich. 64. tlhe at the end of May.220-21. N. 40." He also confirmed of anotherspeakerthatthe policies the assertion of thepresent VAPP leadership were identical withthose of its oppositionist predecessor. S. and the prevalentmnood of decadenlce and disillusionment among Comnmunist youth.227 ff. Ibid. Zadachi agitatsii. ed. Kommnunisticheskii This content downloaded from 192. In May theagitprop department helda meeting on tlheatrical affairs at whichthe main speakerswere Knorin.245 ff. 66. Glavrepertkom. pp. Krylov. at a meeting Conclusions were drawnby Krinitsky. in all areas.21 on Sun.[Ml 1927.."Soft" Line on Culture 285 Hence the contemporary "crisis in culture" (Preobrazhensky's Stritvismp."62 phrase). closing 65. A new In the course of 1928.. when the trial of NEP in cultureended abruptly the Shakhtyengineersput the loyaltyof the whole intelligentsia in doubt. struggle against"dangerfrom and government cultural policy.the Moscow education department.pp.43.227. new head of agitprop. Ibid."66 in the springof 1928. Olkhovy.But.ed. and delicately raisedthe questionof whyKnorin and Lunacharsky shouldbothperceivethe mainenemyto the leftand not the right.65 Knorin in hiisconicluding speech statedfirmly that so long as Averbakhput himselfwith the ultra-left. 1927).as one speakernoted. 1927.64 To that Lunacharskyreplied (against interjections fromAverbakh and thehead of Glavrepertkom) thatone hitshardin the direction from which trouble is coming:"We have to strike a blow at you so thatyou don'tinterfere withus. thehardliners were intimidated by Knorin's Lunacharpaperand did notfeelfreeto attackhimI as theyhabitually attacked sky..Knorin's i kZit'in B. p. 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . A change of tone can be observedvery shortlyafterVoronsky'scondemnation by the CentralCommittee press department in April 1927. Stenogram published propagandy 1928). Knorin (who had joined in the attack on Voronsky) now put his weight stronglybehind Lunacharsky and the "soft"line. 21(84). and other bodies. (Moscow andLeningrad. 67.head of Puti razvitiiateatra (stenogramn p.67The new line was the "hard" line of class war against the right"in party thebourgeois intelligentsia.

2. Komsomol activistsharriedthe teachers.286 Slavic Review policyof massiveproletarian and partyenrollment to the university came into force withtheautumn enrollment of 1928.From 1932. There is no evidenceto suggestthat Stalin had any fixed in culturalor and his interventions on cultural opinions policyin thetwenties. 140. Rykovprotested unavailingly in the CentralCommnittee that the class issue was irrelevant to the main task of expanding technicaleducation to meet industrialneeds.43. 33.. Lutchenko. theythrew out ofthe school-this was morethanshe could bear. istorii Voprosy 68. Bukharinand Lunacharskyresignedfromthe Commissariat as leaders of a "Right Opposition"in tlle party. 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .and even Narkompros was forcedto withdraw the tolerance it had previously extendedto individualfaith."My teacherin junior class.weptand toldme tllatshe is even meeting afraidto live and workat the present time.227. 1966.68The secondary schools were exposed in the party press as bourgeoiscentersof potential juvenilecounterrevolution.p. p. in 1929. the militantatheistsattackedthem for their religious beliefs.and and thegovernment continued Narkompros to condemn thepurges). of the "hard" line of culturalclass war over the "soft" line The victory in timewithStalin'svictory ofconciliation over his opponents in the coincided partyleadership. Stalin revertedto policies which in outward formclosely resemblethose of the re-establishment ofacademiccriteria in university twenties: revival enrollnment. mounted successful campaignagainst"rightism" arts administration and had Raskolnikov(again!) appointed to its head. prosveshchenie. me sixteenyearsafterI leftschool. and a competing a fiercestruggle begani witlh fromthe Comgroup of hardliners munist oftheliterary Academy forcontrol press. Local authorities. KPSS. 69.. "soft"line on culturewas described and the government institutions whichhad carriedit out wereextensively purged. reacting as theyhad done in the university purgein 1924. 1928. no. 10.tookthisas a directive to conduct"social purges"of bothpupilsand teachers(althoughno explicitdirective was ever issued. Quotedin Narodnoe This content downloaded from 192. few. and practicalneglect of the general secondaryschool.."wrotea Voronezhreaderto the forthetsar-he droveher fiance teachers' into "She has no regrets newspaper.21 on Sun.The Rykovwere identified as rightdeviationist. thatthe policyof class war was Stalin's Should we conclulde own? I thinknot.verbal encouragement no."69 VAPP receivedeffective powers to scourgeand chastisein the name of a in Narkompros' theparty. thegraveand so she is stillunmarried But theiconswlhich at forty. The story (repeated to me in educationaldebates were remarkably withan offer of support Moscow) thatin 1928 Stalinapproaclhed Lunacharsky forthe "soft" line in exchangefor Lunacharsky'slater denunciation of the Bukharin/Rykov "Right Opposition" appears to lhaveat least apocryphal truthas far as Stalin's political tactics are concerned.

dissolutionand condemnation of the proletarian writers' and formation of a new Union of Soviet Writersunder association.But it was strong enoughnot to be overlooked. The proletarian "hard" line was as the politicalalternative: it was understood alreadyidentified by the party in within it.43.227.whydid he let the hardliners win? The answer. giventhe evidencewe have on local partyopinionand its interpretation incomplete by theleadership). If Stalinhad no interest in class war policiesas such. Gorky's leadership. Of coursethesepolicieswere in effect vastlydifferent fromthoseof the twenties -not only because.Wl'en he did. as Stalin said.and coherent enoughto make any selectiveuse-such as the deal which Stalin is reported to carrythrough.Line on Culture '"Soft" 287 of the ruralteacher. His choicewas. Probablyits strength thepartywas not so and had knownsupport greatas to forceStalin. But this fornitlation control) to intimidate may suggesta widerarea of choicethan Stalin in facthad.includingboth Communistand nonpartywriters. "cadres decide everything" and the old softline Bolslhevik administrators had disappeared.Stalin accepted a predefined opposition platform and supportwhenhe movedagainsthis colleaguesin the leadership to Stalin in (say) 1934 would have in 1928.must be that they were a in partyand government convenient weaponto use againsthis opponents and (if we assume that Stalin had a generalconcernfor the extensionof party the intelligentsia. automatically This content downloaded from 192. giventhe platform supporters. difficult to have offered Lunacharsky-extrenmely As I understand the situation.or any partyleader in 1928.just as a hypothetical challenger and its presumptive had to do.21 on Sun. but because tlhe proletarian attack had fragmented the intelligentsia and destroyedits old patternsof association. reinstatement of "bourgeois" (now "Soviet") specialists purged as class enemies.the "soft"line on culttire whether was canceled. in politicalterms. 28 Apr 2013 08:09:50 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .to acceptit (thoughthis notionof overwhelming constituency pressurecannotbe discounted. or notto makethe move.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful