tv Soviet Internal Propaganda CSPAN October 1, 2017 7:42pm-8:01pm EDT
next on "reel america," we continue to look at 1980's briefings on the soviet union. soviet internal propaganda is a 15 minute film detailing what the cia argues is a vast sys of indoctrination which discourages individualism and encourages passive acceptance from cradle to grave. in 2011, the cia information management service declassified over 200 documents according intelligence on the soviet union that the cia provided at reagan administration. included in the release were video briefings traded by the directorate of intelligence for policymakers. >> the soviet communist party has not faced a serious internal threat to its political rule since the 1920's. yet after years of forced sacrifices by the population, shortages of food and clothing process. housing remains inadequate. intellectual and artistic expression are stifled. and growing corruption reaches all levels of society.
the soviet people respond with the public displays of cynicism, but they almost never openly challenge the authority of the leadership. the soviet regime does not hesitate to enforce its role through the violent suppression of individual liberty, but it prefers to use less onerous methods of control like various propaganda techniques. the use of propaganda from the cradle to the grave helps except -- helps ensure the passive acceptance of its people. the soviet regime the sum in its propaganda through a vast network, operating under the supervision of the parties central committee. this propaganda network encompasses over 4000 newspapers, a large book publishing empire, a nationwide radio and television system, and an incessant stream of public lectures.
for example, about 15 million lectures are given each year by the knowledge society, a major component of the propaganda network. the regime also works through mass public organizations such as the communist youth league and trade organizations. -- trade unions. the education of propaganda component of the armed forces. and the national education system, to indoctrinate various elements of the population. moreover, already propaganda professionals are dispatched continuously to enforce ideological conformity within the vast network, and to provide the appropriate party lines. socialist indoctrination soviet style is introduced early in a child's education. each classroom contains its own lenin corner, set up to deify him as a great leader of the
socialist revolutionary in the world. in class, children learn to express their love for lenin on holidays. soviet elementary education is characterized by a suffocating paternalism. assurance of personal security is offered by the state in return for strict conformity and suppression of individual expression. in our classes, for example, all children are required to draw the same object in exactly the same way and using the same colors. also, there is no ambiguity for soviet schoolchildren. there are only right and wrong answers. the repetition of the so-called right answer is the basis of soviet learning. in this manner, the natural spontaneity of soviet children is sternly but but generally -- gently controlled by the teacher. guided along the path of socialist behavior considered
proper by the state. individuality has always been discouraged in russia. the head or patriarch of the family sets the rules of behavior, and dissent has not -- the by other members was not tolerated. this pattern has been continued by the state. soviets are continuing the tradition and are encouraged to suppress individual aspirations in favor of collective or state interest. as a result, they often appear to be fearful of individual expression, and many have grown dependent on a paternalistic government which is more than willing to make decisions for them. but the leadership's dream of a socialist society where everyone works in unison to build communism and where discipline and order are self-imposed seems more distant than ever. because of this, the regime is compelled to issue an endless stream of rules and regulations in an effort to direct the lives of the soviet people.
as one summed it up, what is not forbidden is compulsory. the people have become adept at getting around regulations and knowing which rules to break and which to obey. in recent years, soviet leaders have become increasingly concerned over a growing popular rejection of collective social responsibility, and a trend toward the private pursuit of individual activities such as jazz, religion, underground art and the second economy. the regime has responded by stepping up efforts to reduce contacts with the west and has launched a propaganda campaign to persuade the population that such contacts are antisocial. and it goes out of its way to praise those workers who allegedly devote their work to the aim of soviet society at the expense of my big goals. soviet television regularly offers generous portions of good
news regarding the achievements of ordinary citizens, often depicting them as heroes. the leadership is well aware that the welfare oriented features of the system are those that have brought the most positive response from the people. consequently, the regime gets -- gives heavy publicity to improvements in the standard of living and plays down public suspicions that the soviet economy has stagnated in recent years. while admitting that the soviet union lags behind the west in providing consumer goods, it's propaganda machine explains this by saying that russia had been a backward country at the time of the revolution and progress toward the socialist idea had been halted by world war ii. in no way does the regime blamed its problems on deficiencies in the system. at the same time, propaganda plays on the high-priority most soviet citizens place on a
personal security, by claiming that the distribution of income, education and health benefits are more equitable than in capitalist countries. to underscore this claim, the regime points to the lack of job security and the existence of unemployment in western market economies. the propaganda machine also exploits crime statistics from western countries and makes it appear that the u.s. in particular is a lawless society where the individual's personal -- physical security is constantly at risk. the soviet media go to great lengths to portray leadership as thoroughly committed to the welfare of the common man. shortcomings in the supply of consumer goods are attributed to individual cases of managerial and efficiency and corruption on the part of lower-level functionaries. the leadership provides excuses and scapegoats for its economic problems in an effort to deflect criticism from higher officials
and the communist system. the identification of russian nationalism with soviet communism is an important aspect of soviet propaganda. perhaps the achievements of the soviet union since the revolution have been purchased at such great personal and national sacrifice, the soviet union's status as world power allows the regime to draw from a deep well of the brush and a -- well in the russian personality, love of country. they have played on this impulse with a considerable degree of success, and by cleverly tying russian nationalism to soviet communism, has produced soviet patriotism. the result is an important social bond, even among members of non-russian national minority groups. the party fully utilizes propaganda, portraying soviet -- propaganda to exaggerate the achievements of the soviet union, while portraying soviet
involvement in the third world as benevolent aid to countries -- to developing country's who are trying to escape from so-called western imperialism. the most powerful expression of arise from thesm defeat of not to germany in world war ii. that provides an inexhaustible source of pride in the average citizen. the party identifies itself with that great achievement by portraying the war is a struggle on behalf of the sacred mother the soviet people under the guidance of the communist party. this theme will receive greater emphasis on the 40th anniversary celebration of germany's defeat in may, 1985. the regime also has received considerable propaganda benefit from the soviet union's exploits in space and in international sports competitions, and it often attributes these achievements to the superiority of socialism.
sports, moreover, is seen as an outlet for popular energies and a distraction from the hardships of daily life. the soviet union has often been referred to in the west as a closed society. the regime's ability to insulate the population from exposure to foreign information and ideas not only confirms this notion, but provides it with a major prop for the soviet system. xenophobic nationalism was not discovered by the bolsheviks, however. it has its roots in old russia. throughout russian history, contact with foreigners were discouraged, and it was practically impossible for a foreigner to live or operate a business in the country. until 1703, all domestic and foreign news was deemed a state secret, and foreign news has secret, and foreign news has been regarded with deep suspicion ever since. in recent years, however, expanded contacts with the west and technological improvements
in modern communications have weakened the regime control of information. soviet citizens today have greater access of information from abroad, particularly through radio broadcast and from unofficial sources within their own country. this has enabled them to compare their standard of living to other standards, and therefore to become more aware of alternatives to the soviet system. for this reason, the soviet regime in recent years has increasingly sought to make it's propaganda more credible in order to counter the influence of western ideas. since brezhnev's death, moscow has decided to release more information, on a select basis, about the procedures of professional soviet organs, and to hold periodic western-style news conferences. by releasing more information about foreign and domestic
events, the regime and put its own interpretation on these events, thereby combating what the population hears from western sources. the regime made a particularly vigorous effort in this regard following the downing of flight double seven in 1983. -- 007 in 1983. while this appeared to backfire in the west, soviet citizens, to judge by reporting from western embassy officials, accepted the soviet version as correct. the party leader has called for an increased propaganda campaign -- counter propaganda campaign regime to resist what he calls the full-scale information and propaganda invasion launched by the united states against the soviet union. this campaign features greater vigilance against the alleged efforts of western propaganda to undermine the ussr internally. in addition, soviet counter propaganda denigrates all dimensions of life in the west,
charges the united states was -- states with acting to increase the danger of nuclear war and accuses washington of engaging in a wide variety of transgressions in the international arena. these allegations included fomenting terrorism in the third world and establishing hegemony over latin america. at the same time, the regime has acted more vigorously to suppress unofficial sources of information within the country, such as underground publications and to reduce the population's susceptibility to foreign news by jamming foreign radio broadcasts and limiting contacts between soviet citizens and foreigners. in this regard, the regime has increased its efforts to reinforce a psychology of distrust of a foreigners and to acquaint any criticism of the soviet system with disloyalty to the motherland. moscow has recently broadened
the definition of treason in a way that makes virtually any association with foreign residents suspect. the most ruthless propaganda, however, is reserved for the soviet dissidents, those who openly and brazenly dare to challenge the regime's authority. no effort is spared to isolate, ridicule and publicly humiliate such individuals. given the reaction to this treatment by the average soviet citizen, which is manifested i -- manifested by either silence or outright support for the government, the regime has largely succeeded in portraying the dissidents as this loyal and -- as disloyal and fully deserving imprisonment and exile. furthermore, the regime often compels any defector who returns to the soviet union to publicly denounce his or hers decision to leave and to denigrate the west as an undesirable place to live. the return of stalin's daughter is a good case in point.
the television interview with a man who defected and returned is another vivid example. the regime also glorifies the kgb and border guard, picturing them as heroes to protect the country from foreign subversion. such propaganda is intended not only as indoctrination but as intimidation, to remind the people that the state is fully capable of repressing those who step out of line. in sum, soviet citizens to not buy all the official media tells them. their daily experiences demonstrate to them the falsity of much soviet propaganda. even when it is not believed, however, propaganda is a popular instrument of the regime. it defines the limits of permissible discussion and sets parameters on what is considered legitimate and what will not be tolerated. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.
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>> up next on the presidency, a great grandnephew of george washington talks about his book writing with george. describes the first presidents prowess exports ranging from horseback riding to bow hunting. residentsvernon posted this event. >> we are lucky to have a wonderful author and a journalist and historian and friend of the burning speaking to us. he is a writer who has spent the last 20 years in afghanistan and iraq and other nations. he is a washington ancestor. a descendent. you are not that old. fifth gre