Creating the “New Man”: From Enlightenment Ideals to Socialist Realities on JSTOR

Introduction (pp. 1-7)The communist movement of the last century was remarkably successful worldwide in establishing the party-state and carrying out projects aimed at a total social transformation. But behind the ideological, political, and social changes was a more ambitious and comprehensive goal: to remold the mind, psychology, and even character of individuals by means of various party and state policies designed for a “new man” and, through this “new man,” to make history and perpetuate the revolution.¹ The “Soviet Man,” “Mao’s good soldiers,” and “Let them all become Che” are only a few examples of the regimes’ aspirations for the creation of…SaveCite

One From the Enlightenment to the Soviet New ManOne From the Enlightenment to the Soviet New Man (pp. 8-47)The idea of remaking people sprang directly from the Enlightenment. The main emphasis of the Enlightenment was the science of man—that is, finding what human nature is, how it is formed, and the mutual influences between it and society. Most Enlightenment thinkers held a materialistic world outlook and viewed the human mind as a mechanism determined by and responding to the environment. Beginning with epistemological theory, which relates human physical sensation to the generation of knowledge and ideas, such Enlightenment thinkers as Helvétius, d’Alembert, Condorcet, and Hume tended to view all mental activities as initiated by external stimuli. As…

Source: Creating the “New Man”: From Enlightenment Ideals to Socialist Realities on JSTOR

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