Zhdanov Doctrine
The Zhdanov Doctrine was a Soviet cultural doctrine developed by the Central Committee
Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union , abbreviated in Russian as ЦК, "Tse-ka", earlier was also called as the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party ...

 secretary Andrei Zhdanov
Andrei Zhdanov
Andrei Alexandrovich Zhdanov was a Soviet politician.-Life:Zhdanov enlisted with the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1915 and was promoted through the party ranks, becoming the All-Union Communist Party manager in Leningrad after the assassination of Sergei Kirov in 1934...

 in 1946. It proposed that the world was divided into two camps: the imperialistic, headed by the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

; and democratic, headed by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. The main principle of the Zhdanov doctrine was often summarized by the phrase "The only conflict that is possible in Soviet culture is the conflict between good and best". Zhdanovism soon became a Soviet cultural policy, meaning that Soviet artists, writers and intelligentsia
The intelligentsia is a social class of people engaged in complex, mental and creative labor directed to the development and dissemination of culture, encompassing intellectuals and social groups close to them...

 in general had to conform to the party line in their creative works. Under this policy, artists who failed to comply with the government's wishes risked persecution. The policy remained in effect until 1952, when it was declared that it had a negative effect on Soviet culture.

The 1946 resolution of the Central Committee was directed against two literary magazines, Zvezda
Zvezda (magazine)
Zvezda is a Russian literary magazine published in Saint Petersburg since 1924. It began as a bimonthly, but has been monthly since 1927.- History :The first issue of Zvezda appeared in January 1924, with Ivan Maisky as editor-in-chief...

and Leningrad, which had published supposedly apolitical, "bourgeois", individualistic works of the satirist Mikhail Zoshchenko
Mikhail Zoshchenko
-Biography:Zoshchenko was born in 1895, in Poltava, but spent most of his life in St. Petersburg / Leningrad. His Ukrainian father was a mosaicist responsible for the exterior decoration of the Suvorov Museum in Saint Petersburg. The future writer attended the Faculty of Law at the Saint Petersburg...

 and the poet Anna Akhmatova
Anna Akhmatova
Anna Andreyevna Gorenko , better known by the pen name Anna Akhmatova , was a Russian and Soviet modernist poet, one of the most acclaimed writers in the Russian canon.Harrington p11...

. Earlier some critics and literary historians were denounced for suggesting that Russian classics had been influenced by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century Romanticism. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought.His novel Émile: or, On Education is a treatise...

, Molière
Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known by his stage name Molière, was a French playwright and actor who is considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature...

, Lord Byron or Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...


A further decree was issued on 10 February 1948 and marked the beginning of the so-called anti-formalism campaign. Although formally aimed at Vano Muradeli
Vano Muradeli
Vano Muradeli was a Soviet Georgian composer.Born in Gori, Georgia, then part of Imperial Russia, he graduated from Tbilisi State Conservatory in 1931. From 1934 to 1938, he worked at the Moscow Conservatory. From 1942 to 1944, he served as a principal and artistic director of the Central Ensemble...

's opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

 The Great Friendship, it signalled a sustained campaign of criticism and persecution against many of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

's foremost composers, notably Dmitri Shostakovich
Dmitri Shostakovich
Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich was a Soviet Russian composer and one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century....

, Sergei Prokofiev
Sergei Prokofiev
Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century...

 and Aram Khachaturian
Aram Khachaturian
Aram Ilyich Khachaturian was a prominent Soviet composer. Khachaturian's works were often influenced by classical Russian music and Armenian folk music...

 for alleged "formalism" in their music. The decree was followed in April by a special congress of the Composers' Union, where many of those attacked were forced publicly to repent. The campaign was satirized in the Anti-Formalist Rayok by Shostakovich. The composers condemned were formally rehabilitated by a further decree issued on 28 May 1958.

Zhdanovism in China

During the Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

 in China, Zhdanovism was carried to an even further extreme than the one it reached in its Russian archetype. Yang Hansheng, former vice-chairman of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles
China Federation of Literary and Art Circles
China Federation of Literary and Art Circles , established in July 1949, is a non-governmental organization composed of nationwide associations of writers and artists...

, was denounced for extolling such "bourgeois" writers as William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

, Molière and Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. He is often referred to as "the father of prose drama" and is one of the founders of Modernism in the theatre...

. Zhou Yang, who translated Nikolai Chernyshevsky
Nikolai Chernyshevsky
Nikolay Gavrilovich Chernyshevsky was a Russian revolutionary democrat, materialist philosopher, critic, and socialist...

 and Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy
Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist...

 into Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

, was accused in Red Flag of the crime of praising the "foreigners" (used in the pejorative sense) Vissarion Belinsky
Vissarion Belinsky
Vissarion Grigoryevich Belinsky was a Russian literary critic of Westernizing tendency. He was an associate of Alexander Herzen, Mikhail Bakunin , and other critical intellectuals...

, Chernyshevsky and Nikolay Dobrolyubov. Zhou "stubbornly announced" that "in aesthetics he was a faithful follower of Chernyshevsky". The accusations were all the more ironic as, in the Soviet Union, Belinsky, Chernyshevsky and Dobrolyubov were considered key radical figures who
paved the way for the 1917 Revolution.
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