Communism as a Religion - Cultural Capitalism
Laurie Taylor discusses what is being called the re-Stalinisation of Russia on today's Thinking Allowed. According to exiled Russian academic Michail Ryklin, Putin's Russia is turning the clock back and rehabilitating the most famous demon of the Soviet Union.
In a new book, he claims that although the Soviet Union proclaimed itself an aethist state, communism functioned as its religion, and when faith faded it was replaced by mass terror. But now memories of the terror and bloodshed have receded and Stalin is being reclaimed.
Tony Bennett, professor of sociology at the Open University and director of the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change, and Dr Elizabeth Silva, senior lecturer of the Faculty of sociology at the Open University, are the authors of Culture, Class and Distinction, a book described as the most sophisticated mapping of British cultural practices and preferences ever undertaken. They talk about art and the social origins of artistic taste.