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This newly concentrated mass of people could help sway the future of Russia in a Bolshevik way. The question, though, was how to convince the people that the Bolsheviks' interpretation of History, events, and plans for the future was best. Recent emphasis on education helped to foster a dialogue between the force for change, the people, and the leaders of change, the intellectuals. For example, the number of primary schools boomed from a measly 25,000 in 1878 to 100,000 in 1911, causing a tremendous growth in literacy; in 1897 only 21 percent of the Russian Empire's population could read, whereas by World War I 40 percent could.1 Although these numbers are no where close to today's standards, the change was significant.

The combination of concentrated populations and increased literacy meant that disseminating and explaining any ideology, and in our case the Bolsheviks', became much easier and effective.2 Because of the ideological complexity of the Bolsheviks, simple slogans, such as "All Power to the Soviets" or "Peace, Land, and Bread," were used; nor were the rank-and-file members well versed in the incredibly abstract thoughts of Hegel and Marx. As Leonid asks Menni in Red Star, "Do you really find it advisable to start children off with these exceedingly general and abstract ideas, these pallid pictures of the world so far removed from their concrete everyday life? Is that not filling their little brains with empty, almost exclusively verbal images?"3 Techniques such as simple slogans or overly complex discussions of Marx would do just this, fill the lower party members' minds with empty verbal images. This is how Bogdanov's book make


1 Orlando Figes, A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891-1924 (New York: Penguin Books, 1996) 93.
2 Figes, 93. Here Figes notes the "link between literacy and revolutions." The situation that the Russians found themselves just after the turn of the century, as literacy rates go, is similar to that of England and France during their revolutionary times.
3 Alexander Bogdanov, Red Star: The First Bolshevik Utopia (Bloomington: Indiana University Press) 51.
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