Concerning “the ability of socialist rhetoric to structure a new social reality”

Concerning “the ability of socialist rhetoric to structure a new social reality”

Feldman M.A.,

RANEPA – National School of Public and Business Administration, Ekaterinburg, Russia,

elibrary_id: 460956 | ORCID: 0000-0001-9825-6650 | RESEARCHER_ID: AAE-3287-2020

Article received: 2021.08.17. Accepted: 2022.01.24

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2023.01.14

For citation:

Feldman M.A. Concerning “the ability of socialist rhetoric to structure a new social reality”. – Polis. Political Studies. 2023. No. 1. P. 183-191. (In Russ.). EDN: CVNMOM


This reflecting Olga Velikanova’s book “The Constitution of 1936 and the Mass political culture of Stalinism” (Moscow: New Literary Review), published in 2021. The monograph was conceived as a breakthrough in the study of the limits of the possibilities of totalitarian regimes to strengthen the cohesion of society and analyses the example of a propaganda campaign‒ the so-called nationwide discussion of the project The Constitution of 1936. It took place under the strict control of the party and punitive bodies, was unprecedented in scale, forms and intensity of action and subject to external and internal information manipulation. The author’s main conclusion that “the electoral reform and channeling of popular discontent to the bureaucracy were attempts to purify and revitalize the local state apparatus” is based on an uncritical use of sources, which prevents the study from being considered as systemic and having achieved its goal.

Constitution, USSR, political regime, mobilization goals, communication system, society, government, propaganda campaign, social group, manipulation.


Buzgalin, A.V. (2021). Social forces of victories and defeats in the XX century. Sociological Studies, 12, 56-66. (In Russ.)

Chernyavsky, G.I. (2014). Zhiznennyj put’ Hristiana Rakovskogo. Evropeizm i bol’shevizm: Neokonchennaya duel’ [The life path of Christian Rakovsky. Europeanism and Bolshevism: an Unfinished duel]. Moscow: Tsentrpoligraf. (In Russ.)

Damie, V.V., Degtyarev, A.Ya., Inozemtzev, V.L., Kononov, I.F, Lapin, N.I., Levashov, V.K., Makarenko, V.P., Oleinik, A.N., Тrofimova, I.N., Chernysh, M.F., Demidenko, S.Yu., & Latov, Yu.V. (2021). The end of the Soviet era: estimates from a 30-year distance (round table). Sociological Studies, 12, 3-26. (In Russ.)

Feldman, M.A. (2015). Bolshevism: difficult way to the solution of the phenomenon. Social Sciences and Contemporary World, 1, 100-107. (In Russ.)

Feldman, M.A. (2021). Understanding the results of the first five-year plan: the path to insight is not easy. Humanities in Siberia, 28(3), 76-84. (In Russ.)

Khlevniuk, O.V. (2017). The Stalinist period of Soviet history. Historical trends and unsolved problems. Ural Historical Journal, 17(3), 71-80. (In Russ.)

Krasilnikov, S.A. (2020). “General Purge” of the state apparatus of 1929-1932 as manifestation of a party state legitimacy crisis. ECO, 8, 164-192. (In Russ.)

Krasin, Yu.A. (2017). Majesty and tragedy of the Soviet “experiment”. Polis. Political Studies, 1, 10-23. (In Russ.)

Medushevsky, A.N. (2016). How Stalin deceived the West: the adoption of 1936 Soviet constitution as political PR-action. Social Sciences and Contemporary World, 3, 122-138. (In Russ.)

Menkovsky, V.I., Ul, K., & Shabasova, M.A. (2013). Sovetskii Soyuz 1930-kh gg. v angloyazychnoi istoriografii [The Soviet Union of the 1930s in English-language historiography]. Syktyvkar: Institute of Language, Literature and History of Komi NC UrO RAS. (In Russ.)

Osokina, E.A. (1999). Za fasadom “stalinskogo izobiliya”: raspredelenie i rynok v snabzhenii naseleniya v gody industrializacii: 1927-1941 [Behind the facade of “Stalin’s abundance”: distribution and market in the supply of the population during the years of industrialization: 1927-1941]. Moscow: ROSSPEN. (In Russ.)

Pantsev, A.V. (2012). Mao Czedun [Mao Zedong]. Moscow: Young Guard. (In Russ.)

Pantsev, A.V. (2013). Den Syaopin [Deng Xiaoping]. Moscow: Young Guard. (In Russ.)

Velikanova, O.V. (2017). Razocharovannye mechtateli: sovetskoe obshchestvo 1920-h godov [Disappointed dreamers: Soviet society of the 1920s]. Moscow: ROSSPEN. (In Russ.)

Velikanova, O.V. (2021). Konstituciya 1936 i massovaya politicheskaya kul’tura stalinizma [The constitution of 1936 and the mass political culture of Stalinism]. Moscow: New Literary Observer. (In Russ.)

Content No. 1, 2023

See also:

Round Table Of The Political Science Faculty, Moscow State University,
Russian society and power on the eve of the elections. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No1

Ilyin M.V.,
Conceptual Homonymy: Constitutions and Regimes. Generations of Constitutions. – Polis. Political Studies. 2007. No5

Gavrilova M.V.,
Explication of politician’s ideological representations: linguistico-cognitive approach. – Polis. Political Studies. 2010. No3

Ilyin M.V.,
Words and Meaningds: Polity. Republic. Constitution. Fatherland (Ended from the Previous Issue). – Polis. Political Studies. 1994. No5

Tzymbursky V.L.,
Open Society, or New Goals for Europe. – Polis. Political Studies. 1992. No6

Screen version