October 26, 1954: Building Ideology on Both Sides of the Iron Curtain
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October 26, 1954 was a day for constructing ideology. This thesis explores the building – successful and not – of ideology on that day in both the United States and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in the form of music and news. In 1954, the GDR government and composers allied with the socialist cause began a new cultural campaign using musical events and the socialist-realist aesthetic to establish authority over the East German population. By promoting their own socialist aesthetic and combining it with German cultural traditions, they created a hybrid culture that co-opted patriotic prestige from German cultural icons while also promoting a revolutionary, anti-capitalist consciousness. Simultaneously, Eisenhower’s administration used newspaper articles to disseminate ideological rhetoric. These articles placed the American individual in an economic war where their loyalty to capitalism was necessary for their very survival. Ultimately, this thesis suggests that an audience’s pre-established ideology and its associated level of receptivity to new ideological considerations are critical to the success or failure of state ideological construction.