I don't take a jaded approach to the idea that there is an intersection between my childhood innocence and state propaganda. Plenty of North American traditions I see my wife and friends feeling nostalgia for are also based on church or state "ideals" that become beloved traditions over time.
You only call the Soviet ones "propaganda" because the USSR was the enemy.
And also this is not "Santa" - it is Дед Мороз (father frost).
Really? It's not like any of us don't know of the existence of Coca-Cola; I think that the vast majority of advertising we encounter on a daily basis is for products we know about already (even though this is probably less true now than it was towards the beginning of my life.)
> Using propaganda in advertisement is usually illegal too.
By a similar token, Brezhnev's "memoirs" (Малая Земля etc.) were published in millions, but I have never heard of anyone who wanted to buy, let alone read them.
1. For good time call ....
10. War bonds: https://library.ucsd.edu/dc/object/bb25605696/_2.jpg
Do you have any other examples matching such an aesthetic?
I quite like it too.
I am for example Lieutenant-reserve of USSR's Strategic Rocket Forces ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_Missile_Troops )
I don't remember them ever being even positioned as specifically Mother's/Father's day; I am sure that you have also given gifts to your female classmates even in elementary school on March 8th, and received some on Feb. 23rd, even though becoming a parent while in school was an extremely rare occurrence.
 For the benefit of those who did not have to deal with it, something similar to ROTC in the US, but available only in some colleges/universities, and mandatory in those where it were available. Instead of being drafted for 2/3 years upon hitting the draft age, you'd receive training there, spend some reasonably short time in the armed forces, and get a reserve officer's rank.
Is celebrating your achievements propaganda?
How does this follow? Are US Army ads propaganda? How about NASA posters? Agricultural statistics leaflets?
What do you call media that uses manipulative language to stir popular feeling through appeals to emotion that was privately funded?
Nowhere in the dictionary does it say it's propaganda iff it's state-sanctioned: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/propaganda
1 capitalized : a congregation of the Roman curia having jurisdiction over missionary territories and related institutions
2 : the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person
3 : ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause also : a public action having such an effect
so.. quite a few things are propaganda.
it's not really so scary a term, and so being not so scary, we can see it more clearly and not be afraid of labeling it.
the question is more "is this good propaganda or bad propganda?"
So if a cultural piece is produced by, under the direction of, or with the sanction of a government entity, does that make it propaganda? If so, this would make it impossible for any centrally controlled populace to create anything not propaganda.
Same is China now.
In fact as larger US company as more of those stuff from USSR in it. That was my biggest surprise when I moved to North America from USSR in 1999.
Imagine establishment of one big "USA, Inc" and you will get an idea how it could work. You will get planned economy on its next day, exactly what any corporation do these days - planning to minimize operational expenses.
In this case I argue that, when the same standards are applied to Western media of this type, the same (invalid) conclusion must be reached. Therefore, the evidence presented is insufficient for the charge of propaganda.
A similar example in the West today is those ads for the US Army they sometimes show before movies.
It's not that "everything Russian is propaganda" it's that under the Soviet Union at the time these were produced there was a specific agenda and ideology intended to be propagated by the state and funded by it. And under that regime, if you made a holiday postcard showing a drunk Lenin and Stalin arm in arm staggering down a snowy street and tried to distribute it as "art" you would have likely ended up in a re-education facility. Context is relevant to the terminology here.
This isn't an instance of tu quoque.
E.g. this card is Saint Nicholas from sometime before the 1917 revolution: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ded_Moroz_Snegurochk...
while this is an interpretation of the old Moroz character in traditional garb, by Victor Vasnetsov: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%D0%94%D0%B5%D0%B4_%...
White coat seems to be more in line with the tradition, but frankly I dunno if Ded got much of graphic development before Nick swooped in, as he seems to be more of a figure of fairy tales and some literature.
It's left to dig up why the card above depicts a Nicholas of Nast's design.
St. Nicholas is a hugely popular patron saint in the orthodox church,
he was not imported from the west. The average person there probably knows more about actual Nicholas from history than many elsewhere.
One of the things Nicholas is famous for is punching a heretic and by this and associated actions resolving the huge theological controversy of Arianism and resulting in the nicene creed used directly or as a basis for most other creeds in other forms of christianity (see also great schism & filioque). Incidentally Arianism has a resurgence in some strands of protestantism, which of course, speaking of propaganda, is more prevalent in countries favoring the historically devoid Macy's Red Reindeer 'Santa Claus'..
Here is an article with many russian faithful including Putin venerating a rib bone of st nicholas:
But yes, this does have little to do with the red 'miracle on 34th street' shopping and reindeer st nicholas, and that is probably an import, true
more about actual nicholas from a russian-ish source:
It is true to some extent. I'm not sure, but it seems to me that before communist revolution Ded Moroz was not an essential part of christmas. It was mostly fiction and lore character representing winter and cold, and was not connected with christian holidays. It is communist's work to make a strong connection, and it seems as an imitation of Europe and US traditions.
> he doesn't necessarily has a red dress, although I suspect (maybe some Russian can clarify) that the red dress is the influence of the West.
He have no strong preference for a dress color. Though red and blue are the most frequent. Maybe just because soviet industry made only red and blue dresses for actors playing Ded Moroz. A lack of variety is a known Soviet industy trait.
Anybody knows even older?
The same happened with religion and socialism: bolsheviks didn't hold back on killing priests, but the religion went strong (though it's said that the opposition to religion was abandoned in the light of unifying rhetoric of '41–45).
Basically, people don't seem to care about ideological purity as long as the rhetoric is attractive.
But this is not exclusive to Slavic faith - absorption of cults happened in the history many times when those on a stronger position were conquering those who were weaker. Slavs had to abandon their faith in the face of growing Christianity and baptize, turn themselves into Christians in order to avoid being raided by neighbors and treated as infidels.
The other guess is a family, which is important in Russia and to maintain tradition is like to honor ancestors. One of the traditions is to drink vodka at the graveyard with dead relatives. Come with your family to show to dead grandparents their grandchildren. Drink vodka and leave a glass of vodka and a piece of bread to the dead to show that your life is good and you can afford to buy food and entertainment.
contrary and conveniently omitted parts from your own wikipedia article, which itself is condensed from the source documents (http://community.dur.ac.uk/a.k.harrington/christin.html):
"Vladimir the Great sent envoys to study the religions of the various neighboring nations ... Of the Muslim Bulgarians of the Volga the envoys reported there is no gladness among them, only sorrow and a great stench ... In the churches of the Germans his emissaries saw no beauty; but at Constantinople, where the full festival ritual of the Byzantine Church was set in motion to impress them, they found their ideal: "We no longer knew whether we were in heaven or on earth", they reported, describing a majestic Divine Liturgy in Hagia Sophia, "nor such beauty, and we know not how to tell of it." Vladimir was impressed by this account of his envoys."
but yes, lets highlight the drinking quote and the authority, and ignore the rest.
And concerning the Bolsheviks, you state:
"Bolsheviks killed priests and then ressurected religion: they were unable to trust to Ortodox Church"
This was not a "trust" matter.
Marxist ideology holds destruction of religion as a core tenet.
nevermind further that bolsheviks were also financed by hostile outside groups, both geographically and theologically..
Quote about drinking is funny. Sorry about it, couldn't hold myself from quoting.
But I'm not sure what do you not like with authority. IIRC in Novgorod there was a riot, which was supressed. It was Vladimir's decision that Rus needs new religion, it is not like people came to Vladimir and ask him to find new god instead of their old and mossy ones.
> This was not a "trust" matter.
> Marxist ideology holds destruction of religion as a core tenet.
Maybe. You know, I do not believe in ideologies. At least I do not believe that government is moved by ideology. Ideology is used as an excuse sometimes. But if something that ideology suggests is not wise to do now, then it wouldn't be done.
> nevermind further that bolsheviks were also financed by hostile outside groups, both geographically and theologically..
Yeah, I do not mind it, really. It is a complete BS: if those groups were hostile, why did they bother to finance bolsheviks? They probably were not friends, but at least partners they were.
Heroes with a thousand faces
I assume that pagan traditions were prompted by the state in the same reason how Hitler promoted pagan traditions to unify all Germans.
Considering that Christmas was not officially celebrated in the Soviet Union and private celebration was repressed to a various degree then they were left with a single option.
Communism was a response to the incomplete transformation from feudalism to democracy, for history buffs its easy to understand its context and its incredible that something so radical and egalitarian in its objectives was actually put into practice, that this was even possible in a time filled with feudal instincts, interests and attitudes itself is astonishing. The rest is history.
Future generations can learn from the multi dimensional failure in practice and learn to recognize how the significant gaps between ideals and reality came into being and use the same understanding to also recognize the significant gaps between our ideals and reality of current power structures and how the world works and is. That is our propaganda.