Describe the significance of Stalin's uses of propaganda in manipulating the people of the Soviet Union.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Stalin's use of propaganda was significant on two levels.  The first was that it raised him to a level of an almost divine figure, guaranteeing that the public knew of no other leader than him.  On the other hand, it worked to suppress any voice of dissent or any other potential for leadership.  In this use of propaganda on both levels, it becomes evident that Stalin was skilled at using propaganda to consolidate his own control and power over the people of the Soviet Union.  In using propaganda to ensure that his position was raised to a near divine level, Stalin had cities renamed after him, streets renamed after him, statues of his own likeness erected nearly everywhere, and was written into national anthems and other songs of patriotism. The notion of "socialist art" became re-conceived to become state sanctioned art that lauded Stalin to a level whereby the public only knew of him and his public image. At the same time, Stalin's use of the purges and executions, along with the branding of "enemy of the state" were used to ensure that the public could not hear or conceive of any other potential alternative to Stalin's leadership.  It is here where Stalin's use of propaganda was employed to concentrate his leadership over the people of the Soviet Union.