This leaflet – October : 5 years – accompanied the 252nd edition of Pravda (Truth). Unlike the Pravda issue, which contains heavily detailed and text-led articles on current affairs (all with an emphasis on the rise and progress of Socialism), the pamphlet features images and simple phrases that relate to the life of the proletariat. Such simplicity would appeal to a broad readership, reflecting the Party’s focus on the everyday worker.
The leaflet boldly conveys the strength of socialism and the power of the proletariat. The realities of 1922 were not so optimistically straightforward. The economic system of War Communism, implemented by Lenin during the сivil цar, had depleted the country’s economy. In 1921, with uprisings, famine and rebellions threatening the Party’s hold on power, Lenin introduced a New Economic Policy, a system of measures that represented a temporary retreat from socialist policies. Produced at a time of such ideological confusion and uncertainty, this leaflet seeks to reaffirm Soviet ideology and remind readers of the central tenets of a workers’ Party.
The front cover reflects the simplicity of the leaflet’s contents, with our focus drawn to the image of Lenin’s identity card alongside the words ‘Leader of the world proletariat’. The leaflet begins and ends with Lenin, with the final page declaring that the word ‘Lenin’ can be found all over the world. Lenin functions as the central symbol of the leaflet: he is a leader, and yet he, too, is a worker with humble beginnings. Due to poor health, by 1922 Lenin was playing less of a major role in governmental matters, however he remained a pivotal symbol of the party until his death in 1924. His death would provoke a series of questions regarding succession: who would lead the Party and (perhaps just as importantly) what would happen to the Party without its main ideological symbol?
Oktiabr’ : piat’ let (1922) CCA.54.1053(24)
caption by Michaela Hine