Totalitarianism and the Intelligentsia Cover Image

Totalitarianism and the Intelligentsia

Author(s): Bronislovas Kuzmickas
Subject(s): Cultural Essay, Political Essay, Societal Essay
Published by: Visuomeninė organizacija »LOGOS«
Keywords: Totalitarianism; intellectuals; adaptation; constraint; ambiguity

Summary/Abstract: Though in the fifteenth year of independent Lithuania, the society of our country becomes more and more remote from the experience of the past. It is quite evident that the years of the occupation exercised a significant imprint on the mentality of people. In order to understand better such a situation, we shall reflect adequately on the main characteristics of Soviet totalitarianism and its heritage. During this period a number of Lithuanian intellectuals suffered significantly from the repression of the regime; nevertheless, there were intellectuals who supported Soviet power. In the article the common situation of the intelligentsia is described. All fields of cultural activity fell under strict ideological control, which gradually got easier in the late Soviet period. The control practically meant that certain themes and styles in literature and the arts were banned. At the same time the authorities did patronize those artists who manifested loyalty to the official ideology, providing them with favourable conditions. Luckily certain small areas remained in cultural life where the ideological pressure was relatively weak and free creative work was possible. Nevertheless, culture under ideological pressure is marked by characteristic features such as ambiguities, hidden senses and dissembled thoughts, texts with underlying implications, hypocricy and dishonesty.

  • Issue Year: 2005
  • Issue No: 41
  • Page Range: 6-18
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: Lithuanian