The communist movement of the last century was remarkably successful worldwide in establishing the party-state and carrying out projects aimed at a total social transformation. But behind the ideological, political, and social changes was a more ambitious and comprehensive goal: to remold the mind, psychology, and even character of individuals by means of various party and state policies designed for a “New Man” and, through this “New Man,” to make history and perpetuate the revolution. The “Mao’s good soldiers,” and “Let them all become Che”, “Soviet Man,” are only a few examples of the regimes’ aspirations for the creation of such a new person (Cheng, 2009).
The ideological cliché “The New Soviet Man” emerged in approximately 1920. Undoubtedly, the model of “the new man“ underwent changes in the course of time. In the beginning, a revolutionist – a destroyer of the old world: an iron commissioner or Stalinian chekist served as a prototype of the model in question. Later it was replaced by a creator of the New World, a builder of Utopia, who was required to demonstrate moral substance, energy and initiative. According to M. Heller (1988), Stalin announced the final ideal – the cog. The New Man had to feel like a cog in the giant machine- state.
Acording Filip Bardziński (2013), the concept of a new man stressed not only the need for new civic and social virtues, but also demanded certain bettering in the biological dimension of the human nature, as well as expanding control over ones surrounding until it would match the exact degree of control one would have over her - or himself. During the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1961, it has been stated that the new Soviet man should be characterised by “a harmonic combination of rich spirituality, moral purity, and physical perfection.”. The Moral Code of the Builder of Communism was adopted at the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, as part of the new Party Programme.
The code’s issuance represented the culmination of a process: over the course of the previous decade, Soviet party and government officials, scholars, and experts had developed, elaborated, and publicized the principles of Communist morality (Feldman, 1989). The specialists in the soviet propaganda also developed several prototypes of “The New Man” (e.g. Aleksey Stakhanov, Pavlik Morozov, Yurii Gagarin).
All the clichés of soviet propaganda were successfully exploited by the soviet school. Emphasising that “education is a weapon in the hands of the Soviet state for communism, the most important requirements was imposed on the school – to actively involve in creation of “a new individual”. The soviet school had “to raise builders of socialist society, who are loyal to the Lenin-Stalin party and lead our people to communism” (Trimakienė, 2007).
The New Soviet manwas an archetype of a person with certain qualities that were said to be emerging as dominant among all citizens of the Soviet Union, irrespective of the country's cultural, ethnic, and linguistic diversity, creating a single Soviet people, Soviet nation. However, the creation of the New Man started at different time in different republics of the Soviet Union.
The aim of the presentation is to discuss how the concept of the new soviet man was presented in the pedagogical press of the Lithuanian SSR and implemented at school.
Bardziński, F. (2013). The Concept of the ‘New Soviet Man’ as a Eugenic Project: Eugenics in Soviet Russia after World War II. In: Ethics in Progress, Vol. 4(1) p. 57-81 Cheng, Y. (2009). Creating the "new man": from enlightenment ideals to socialist realities. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press Feldman, J. (1989). New Thinking about the 'New Man': Developments in Soviet Moral Theory, In:Studies in Soviet Thought. Vol. 38 (2) p. 147-163 Геллер, М. (1994)."Машина и винтики. История формирования советского человека" [Heller, M. The Machine and the Screws. The History of Soviet Man’s Shaping], Москва: Издательство "МИК" McCulloch, G. (2005). Documentary Research in Education, History and the Social Sciences. Taylor & Francis e-Library. Trimakienė, A. (2007): „Naujojo žmogaus“ kūrimas: sovietinės pedagogikos atvejis. [The Creation of the “New Man”: the Case of Soviet Pedagogy] Naujasis Židinys-Aidai, No. 1–2, p. 43-45.
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