Atrium Catalogue

Architecture of Totalitarian Regimes

of the XXth Century in Urban Management

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Home Glossary Cult of personality

Cult of personality

Leader cults prospered under both fascism and communism. However, while they formed a core component of fascist ideology, with Mussolini providing the prototype, they were a practical rather than a necessary feature of communist rule. Indeed, the critique of Stalin’s cult of personality by Khrushchev in 1956 largely eliminated this aspect of communist rule in the Soviet bloc. Cults provide means whereby the authority of a dominant figure was entrenched and a regime to some degree personalised. They were tools in eliminating dissent within regimes, in providing a focus of popular identification and deflecting criticism of policies or conditions. Often they were expressed in ritual manifestations of devotion, hagiography, the visual arts and the media
Last updated on 20 May 2013 10:57