"Stalin, this is Lenin today" (deictic approach to the cult of leadership) Cover Image

"Stalin - see on Lenin täna". Juhikultuse deiktiline analüüs
"Stalin, this is Lenin today" (deictic approach to the cult of leadership)

Author(s): Andreas Ventsel
Subject(s): Semiotics / Semiology
Published by: Eesti Semiootika Selts
Keywords: cult of the leader; Soviet political discourse; deixis; Stalin juhikultus; nõukogude poliitiline diskursus; deiksis; Stalin

Summary/Abstract: The cult of the leader was one of the main characteristics of Soviet culture — it marked its strict hierarchical structure, and more importantly, the head of that structure. In this article the author hopes to elucidate the mechanisms of the cult of leadership from the point of view of language theory. In the first chapter the author focuses on the development of cultural origins of the cult of leadership in Russia. The second chapter, based on the theory of deictics of Émile Benveniste, concentrates on the notion which characterized the cult of leadership of Stalin era — “Stalin, this is Lenin today”. The author claims that the notion “Stalin, this is Lenin today” was in Stalin era equivalent to the notion “Lenin, this is Stalin today” for only Stalin’s act of utterance created the time of the utterance. And the time of Stalin’s utterance determined the conditions of the situation of the utterance — the canonized way that prescribed to “Soviet people” how to view and interpret Lenin. But the totality of Stalin’s “I” makes it very plausible to suggest that in fact there was only one cult of leadership at hand — that of Stalin’s. Accordingly, Stalin’s “I” made it possible to maintain the ideological view of the society as a coherent system of meaning.

  • Issue Year: 2006
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 104-112
  • Page Count: 1
  • Language: Estonian