Three roads of the Bolshevik press (1921-1940) (Part 2)

Three roads of the Bolshevik press (1921-1940) (Part 2)
Three roads of the Bolshevik press (1921-1940) (Part 2)

"Road number 2" or other simplicity is worse than theft!

The publication of "Roads No. 1" caused an ambiguous reaction from VO readers. But it is very significant that 11 votes "FOR", 5 "AGAINST", but there were 90 "comments" to it! That is, the factual side of the matter was unknown to the majority (and it would be strange if our people, for no reason, no reason, began to read Pravda from 1921 to 1940), but people actively expressed their opinion. But a non-knowledge based opinion is worth little. It is not without reason that it is said that in war every general believes that the main blow falls on him. It is the same in civilian life: one’s experience shows one thing, but documents and newspaper articles are often quite another. Therefore, it is worth reading the sequel to get even more information, and, accordingly, food for thought. And it is possible that someone will even get out into the library and open the greasy and yellowed pages of old newspapers himself …


The tradition of scolding liberals is as old as … "Pravda"!

As for the "road number 2", along which the Soviet press moved from 1921 to 1940, it is also associated with publications about life in capitalist countries (although it is clear that the main topic was life in the USSR). But their tone was sharply different from articles of a political nature, and it was from them that readers could get at least some real information about life abroad. The content of these materials concerned, first of all, the achievements of Western science and technology. And here we will see in exactly the same way obvious contradictions in informing Soviet citizens from the "most truthful press" in the world.

The fact is that since 1923 in the central and regional print media there have been headings under the title "Science and Technology", telling about the new developments of not only Soviet, but also foreign scientists. The tone of the articles was purely neutral. They did not contain absolutely no attacks on the realities of life abroad.

On the pages of the central and regional press, one could see publications about the achievements of Western science in the field of technical acoustics, organ transplantation, wireless telegraphy, discoveries and the latest technical developments, etc. Newspapers wrote that at factories in America it became possible to "replace people with machines", each of which "performed the work of at least a dozen people: to produce addition and subtraction, to calculate profit, to compile an invoice and a monthly report." Surprisingly, in a country engulfed in an economic crisis, which was written on the front page, the last page reported that “literally every month more and more new devices are thrown onto the market, replacing the labor of 5-10 people with one machine, which the most ignorant can easily handle. employee".

From the content of articles on the latest developments in Western science, including reprints from the Popular Mechanics magazine, Soviet citizens learned that foreign scientists were showing interest in the USSR and were creating scientific societies to study the Soviet state. In Switzerland, for example, "the Society for the Study of Russia" was constructed. Moreover, it should be emphasized that often all these events took place just at a time when the "threat of war" with the capitalist countries, judging by other publications, was catastrophically growing.

For example, in 1930, when our newspapers wrote on the front pages that "the pre-crisis position of American workers is lost forever, the movement can only go through colossal deterioration," according to their own reports, "ultra-long-range photography" was carried out in the United States. Farmers used a disc plow-harrow, which "greatly increases labor productivity", grew "sweet lemons", and ordinary people could buy "a cheap and convenient apparatus for shooting a movie (as in the text - approx. Authors) and demonstrating them at home." But in Germany at that time they established the production of "glass wool", made progress in the field of radio aviation and used the latest street cars, "performing work not only for simple garbage collection, but even for washing pavements." That is, on the one hand, everyone there literally fell from hunger, and on the other, they created machines to wash the pavements, and for some reason the Soviet press did not notice these inconsistencies at all. Moreover, the topic of washing streets in the West, as it was popular in Russian pre-revolutionary newspapers, so smoothly spilled over into the Soviet press!

That is, a man in the street who read Soviet newspapers could well conclude that not everything is so bad there if science has achieved such success. And again, in comparison with the materials about the life of the common people, the tone of the articles on the latest technology remained neutral. This can be noticed even in publications about new developments in the field of science and technology in Germany, where the “Foke Wulf” aircraft plant (as in the text - authors' note) in Bremen released a new model of the FV-200 Condor aircraft. The aircraft is of an all-metal construction and is adapted to fly at high speeds over long distances. It is equipped with four motors, but if necessary, it can fly on two motors. The aircraft crew consists of two pilots, a radiotelegraph operator and a navigator. In addition to the crew, the plane can carry 26 passengers. The average speed of the aircraft is 345 km per hour. Maximum - 420 km. Fuel consumption - 9 liters per hour. With two motors, the plane can reach a speed of 200 km per hour at an altitude of 1,000 meters. The range of the aircraft is 3,000 kilometers, the ceiling is 4,000 meters. " As can be seen from the above example, no comments were given regarding the goals of creating a new model of the aircraft, its technical characteristics and parameters were simply reported.

A few months before the start of the Great Patriotic War, Soviet newspapers published laudatory articles about the significant successes of the German army in rearmament, and in particular, that in the German army "favorable results were achieved with the use of silent engines on airplanes." These motors were so technically advanced that even at the maximum speed of the propeller they produced "no more noise than an electric car." In addition, "the German radio company Telefunken has patented a new communication system", the properties of which "make it possible to use infrared rays for the secret transmission of telephone and telegraph signals between ships at sea, between aircraft and land, etc."

In general, this was typical for all materials of the Soviet press concerning new inventions and achievements of foreign science in the field of technical progress. Here, for some reason, the Soviet press clearly reduced its agitational fervor in criticizing everything Western, which immediately arose an obvious contradiction in the perception of information about life in foreign countries: on the one hand, practically all strata of the population, except for the ruling elite, vegetated there in inhuman conditions, on the other - science and technology has been constantly evolving. And it would be fine only to develop … Consumed!

This trend of covering foreign events continued right up to the very beginning of the war. For example, from the publication of 1940, on the practical application of such a "miracle" of modern science as "Synthetic fiber" Nylon ", one could be convinced of a significant difference in the standard of living in our country and in the United States. There, "stockings and other knitwear made from a new fiber called nylon, whose raw materials are coal, air, and water, went on the mass market." It went on to say that more than one Americans were so lucky because "the production of nylon under the Dupont patents begins this year also in England and Italy." In addition, "in the United States, another chemical trust has launched the production of a synthetic fiber called vignon, from vinyl resins derived from acetylene." “A similar fiber is produced on a large scale in Germany under the name pe-tse fiber (from the initial letters of its German chemical name polyvinyl chloride) and that it is highly resistant to chemicals, decay, and has high insulating properties. So far, these fibers are used mainly for the manufacture of technical fabrics. According to the American press, they are also widely used in Germany for the production of parachute fabrics. " Well, and to make sure that this was not an invention, Soviet citizens could already a year later, when parachutes from this very fabric opened over our country, and all the distortions in information turned against us!

It should be noted that a similar trend was typical for the publications of the regional press, analyzing which, one can find the same inconsistency. For example, in 1940, the Penza newspaper Stalinskoye Znamya, following the central newspaper Pravda, reported on the plight of workers and peasants in Western countries *, but its pages still featured materials objectively describing the technical innovations of the Western world. If you carefully study its materials, you get an interesting and controversial picture. On the one hand, the newspaper wrote that, for example, in the United States, "Terror at the Ford plant" was deployed, that at this plant "workers … were beaten and terrorized," "the plant developed a whole system of espionage and provocations directed against trade union ". On the other hand, on the fourth page of the newspaper in the "Science and Technology" section, readers could learn that in the same USA in 1939, "the world's first plant without windows" was built, in which "all workshops …, as well as a design bureau and the factory office is located in the same building without partitions. An air-conditioned unit ensures the same temperature, humidity … regardless of the weather or the season. In an hour, the volume of air in the building is changed about 5 times. Fluorescent lights flood the workplace with an even light, almost without shadows. The walls of the building, made of a special material, and the ceiling, insulated with cork, soften the noise so much that it does not interfere with employees and even laboratory workers."

And there is only one conclusion, which the reader himself could draw, that the working conditions of workers in this country of "brutal capitalism" are not at all so bad. Moreover, our workers at this time could not even dream of anything like that! And even a plane-car is the last novelty of 2013, and it first appeared in the United States, moreover, back in 1937, as our newspapers immediately reported! As if it was impossible to keep silent about it? And you cannot write about the plight of workers in the same USA and at the same time about the automotive industry developed in this country and achievements in agricultural technology. It is impossible, well, if only because even the most "simple" people from this inevitably had to ask the question: "And who then uses all this, if the workers and farmers there are without exception starving ?!" Well, they would give this information to technicians, at work, in particle board collections. Otherwise, on the one hand, “we, the besieged fortress,” and “the world revolution is knocking at the door of the West,” and on the other, there are obvious contradictions between the content of the first and last pages of the newspaper. Meanwhile, any "fortress", good or bad, must skillfully defend itself. That is, the flow of information existing in it, at least, should not contain contradictions!

* Speech by A. A. Bogomolets at the Extraordinary Fifth Session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. “After all, an invention was made in Western Ukraine - to split a match into four parts in order to save money!”

Reproduced from: Reunification of the Ukrainian people in a single Ukrainian state (1939 - 1949). Collection of documents and materials. Kiev. 1949 year.

(Authors comment: try to cut a match into four parts yourself. Two - yes, four will not work. Someone will say that matches were thicker then. No, the standard of the "Swedish match" was always the same! Many, by the way, having read about this, we tried to do so at that time. It did not work!)

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