All education in Russia is based on the principle that the mind of the
individual should be fashioned at will to suit the needs of the government.
The masters of the Soviet State, by definition, are the exclusive possessors
of the truth. The only truth and the course to be followed in applying it
are decided by the directing elite. The population must be adapted to this
truth. Man is clay to be kneaded in accordance with the masters' desire. On
one hand, we have the initiate, and on the other, the general population,
docile in the hands of the initiate. Thus from the kindergarten to the university, nobody learns to think for himself. The injunction is not "Think!"
but "Think this and only this!" The same themes are repeated in the wall
pictures of the nurseries, in the books of the elementary schools, in the
courses of higher schools. There is one catechism, the catechism of "Leninism-Stalinism." To get to the highest schools, to arrive at desirable positions, and to hold on to the post already won, it is best to know well the
catechism. In university entrance examinations, the most important questions deal with "Leninist-Stalinist" policy. It is good to have a fundamental acquaintance with the orthodoxy of the moment. For every deviation from, this theory is heresy, and any person showing himself guilty of
heresy, even in private conversation, loses his position.
Provident, "go-getter" parents therefore put their children, at the age
of 5, in the "Octobrist Children's" corps. At the age of 8, good children
enter the "Pioneers," later the Communist Youth and finally the Party. The
Party card is the indispensable talisman for any person who wants to
make his way in the world. The Communist Party is therefore the object
of a constant rush. The government trade-unions, membership in which is
practically obligatory, fulfill one of the lower functions in the regime.
Their purpose is merely to educate the workers in the spirit of the dictatorship, to organize them for greater production and to extract from them
money in the form of "loans" and "voluntary" unpaid hours of work.
Originally the trade-unions were organs of opposition. They constitute now
an important lever for the State power. Who better than trade-union functionaries can confuse and keep in line the working population?
A multitude of newspapers circulate in the USSR. The Pravda, the
central organ of the Party, has numerous brothers all over the country.
Every factory issues its special sheet. But of all these publications—local,
district, central, factory, sport, Party, trade-unions, Communist Youth, Red
Army—of all the 10,000 publications, not one prints a line that is not in
total conformity with the official opinion of the moment. The same tone,
the same style, the same political line, the same words. Every day an unsigned leading article reproduces under 10,000 different titles what one
must think and say on that day to be "in line."
Professional orators are a mighty host in the USSR. They study the
technique of their trade in special schools. Their function is to spread
orally the same "only truth" found in the papers. They are furnished with
special periodicals and pamphlets which keep them informed on the last