Sunday, December 18, 2022

Plans to Revive System of State Orders for Art Recall Ideological Control of Stalin’s Times, ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’ Warns

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 16 – Plans are afoot for the Russian government to restore the system of state-ordered financing of the arts, a system that will allow the powers that be to control what is produced and shown and put Russian artistic life in a straightjacket much like in Stalin’s time, the editors of Nezavisimaya gazeta say.

            The Ministry of Culture has already come up with a plan to do this in the case of films (, but now, the editors say in a lead article, the government is working on arrangements to extend this approach to other fields of artistic activity (

            If this happens – and the state is clearly moving in that direction, the editors say – then “Russia’s cultural agenda will be deformed and unipolar. The value, role and rights of the taxpayer and the consumer will be nullified. Everyone will continue to pay taxes, but they will no longer have a choice in culture.”

            “Everyone, even those who don’t want it,” the editors say, “will be offered only ideologically consistent art.”

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