Lecture 4: The Totalitarian Model of Media Freedom

Totalitarian Model of Media Freedom video

Totalitarianism = media freedom of the vanguard party.

1789 French Revolution: constitutional monarchy of active citizens-> democratic republic of male citizens.
1792-4: overthrow of liberals -> execution of Louis XVI -> foreign invasion and monarchist rebellions -> Maximilien Robespierre and Committee of Public Safety = revolutionary dictatorship v. external and internal enemies of people.
Levée en masse: mass mobilisation of artisans and peasantry for national defence.
French Republic = General Will of Nation-People v. Catholic kingship = selfish interests of property-owners.
‘No liberty for the enemies of liberty’ – Louis Antoine de Saint-Just.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract.
Norman Hampson, The Life and Opinions of Maximilien Robespierre.
Albert Soboul, The Sans-Culottes.

Article 11 of 1789 Declaration of Rights of Man & Citizen = media freedom under law -> Article 7 of 1793 Declaration of Rights of Man & Citizen = unrestricted media freedom.
Aristocrats and priests controlled peasantry through ignorance and superstition.
Republican censorship of Royalist and Catholic propaganda.
State subsidies of Republican newspapers, prints, plays and celebrations.
Jacques-Louis David: Neo-Classical art -> Commune des Arts -> 20/9/1793 Paris festival = one-third of city population making collective artwork.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Letter to Monsieur D’Alembert on the Theatre.
Warren Roberts, Jacques-Louis David, Revolutionary Artist.
David Dowd, Pageant-Master of the Republic.

1792-94 Jacobin dictatorship -> 1794-99 Thermidorian oligarchy -> 1799 Bonaparte’s coup d’état -> 1804 Napoléon 1st, Emperor of the French.
Gracchus Babeuf and 1796 Conspiracy of Equals -> Auguste Blanqui and 1840 Society of Seasons = revolutionary dictatorship in short-term to create republican democracy in long-term.
Political rights of citizens must prevail over civil rights of bourgeoisie.
Nationalisation of media and culture = education of people in republican values.
1848 French Revolution: Louis Bonaparte elected president by universal male suffrage -> 1851 Napoléon 3rd, Emperor of the French.

Philippe Buonarroti, Babeuf’s Conspiracy for Equality.
Karl Marx, 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte.
Samuel Bernstein, Auguste Blanqui and the Art of Insurrection.

Revolutionary conspiracies: Assassins -> Freemasonry -> Carbonari -> Fenians -> Blanquists -> Anarchists.
Mikhail Bakunin = ‘invisible dictatorship’ of intellectuals over spontaneous uprising of students, artisans, peasants and bandits.
Russian revolutionary conspiracies: 1825 Decembrists -> 1860s/70s Narodniks -> 1900s/1910s Bolsheviks.
Left intellectuals in peasant countries dominated by Western imperialism.
Competing political parties within modernising elite = ideology in command.
Vladimir Lenin and Bolsheviks v. Julius Martov and Mensheviks at 1903 London RSDLP conference = practice of revolutionary conspiracy not theory of mass party.
20th century bourgeois revolutions with red flags: Russia -> China -> Vietnam -> Cuba -> Angola/Mozambique.

Sergei Nechayev and Mikhail Bakunin, Catechism of a Revolutionary.
Franco Venturi, Roots of Revolution.
V.I. Lenin, What Is To Be Done?

Bolshevik party prefigured communist utopia in capitalist present: imaginary future = owning time as controlling space.
Bolshevik vanguard = newspaper-party -> revolutionary dictatorship.
Tsarist political power = ideological domination by aristocracy and priests.
Liberal media freedom = bourgeois monopoly of ideas.
Bolshevik propaganda = ‘transmission belt’ of revolutionary ideas to people.
Political correctness will displace bigoted ignorance.
Marxism: proletarian critique of capitalist exploitation -> claim to power by bourgeois elite.

Hypodermic Media Theory diagram

V.I. Lenin, Party Organisation and Party Literature.
György Lukács, History and Class Consciousness.

February 1917 Russian Revolution: fall of Tsarism -> collapse of censorship -> newspaper war between competing revolutionary factions.
October 1917 Russian Revolution: Bolshevik Petrograd coup d’état -> reimposition of censorship -> 1918 dissolution of Constituent Assembly -> 1918-21 Russian Civil War: Cheka Terror and Leon Trotsky’s armoured propaganda trains -> 1921 crushing of Kronstadt Soviet and ban on Bolshevik factions -> 1922 founding of USSR = new Russian empire.
Mass mobilisation of workers and peasantry to defeat internal and external enemies: newspapers, posters, films, radio, exhibitions and festivals.
Vladimir Tatlin and Constructivism -> Anatoly Lunacharsky and Prolekult: avant-garde art in service of the Bolshevik dictatorship.
October 1917 myth: commemoratory re-enactments -> Sergei Eisenstein’s 1927 October movie.
Totalitarian media freedom = Bolshevik indoctrination of Russian masses.

Peter Kenez, The Birth of the Propaganda State.
Leon Trotsky, Art and Revolution.
John Bowlt, Russian Art of the Avant-Garde.
Article 125 of the 1936 USSR Fundamental Rights & Duties of Citizens.

Totalitarian Media Freedom diagram

1934 Kharkov Congress: Maxim Gorky and Andrei Zhdanov at Union of Soviet Writers = Socialist Realism as bureaucratic romanticism.
‘The production of souls is more important than the production of tanks…. And therefore I raise my glass to you, writers, the engineers of the human soul’ – Josef Stalin 1934.
Totalitarianism: Benito Mussolini’s 1920s praise for Fascist Italy -> Socialist 1930s criticism of Bolshevik Russia -> American 1950s Cold War propaganda.
Stalinism = Nazism: ‘Lenin was the first fascist’ – Lev Landau.
1933 Nazi dictatorship’s coordination of German culture = ideological censorship and popular mobilisation.
Josef Goebbels’ Ministry of Propaganda: rallies, newspapers, radio, movies and art.
Leni Reifenstahl’s 1935 Triumph of Will film and 1937 Degenerate Art exhibition.
1950s and 1960s Third World revolutions: one-party state as modernising dictatorships -> literacy campaigns and nationalised media.
Maximum leaders as ‘cult of personality: Josef Stalin -> Mao Zedong -> Gamal Nasser -> Kwame Nkrumah -> Fidel Castro -> Saddam Hussein -> Robert Mugabe -> Vladimir Putin.
1990s and 2000s ideological monopolists of extreme Right: Zionists, neo-conservatives and Salafists.

Mao Zedong, On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People.
Susan Buck-Morss, Dreamworld and Catastrophe.
Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism.
Igor Golomstock, Totalitarian Art in the Soviet Union, the Third Reich, Fascist Italy and the People’s Republic of China.

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