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Culture:FromIdeatoIdeology

2022 is the year of reasoning and questioning about general knowledge that we have taken for granted for a long time. It is an eye-opener year to the real goals of some political leaders or doubts about the greatness of some cultural representatives.

The world is giving us a clue that we must learn to read between the lines of what we are used to considering right, intellectual, or simply classical.

We invite you to take a journey through the quiz and additional materials to see how culture can interact closely with authoritarian regimes and the damage it can do to our reality.

Step 1. Take a Quiz

Find out writers and philosophers of which cultures have nurtured a thirst for freedom, humanism, and equality in their society over the centuries and which writers have served imperialism and justified chauvinism.


Regardless of how you scored on the quiz, it’s important to understand one thing.

Suppose you don’t ask questions or take a critical attitude to familiar things and personalities you grew up with or studied at school. In that case, you can overlook how inhumane and authoritarian regimes weaponize culture and literature.

Step 2. Go deep

If you want to explore the topic of the close relationship between literature and ideology in more depth, we invite you to read these expert articles.

1. Career of propaganda: the interplay between literature and authoritarian regimes

As history has shown, once linked to an authoritarian regime, literature is yet another propaganda instrument to fight for people’s minds.

Read a historical retrospective on the literature of authoritarian regimes and what dangerous ideological concepts the authors hid between the lines of their recognized masterpieces.

Book burning in Berlin, 1933. Photo: picture-alliance / AP Photo

2. Origins of Rashism: great threats of great Russian literature

Russian novelists, having moral authority among Western readers, left strong justifications for Putin’s rashism regime and the current invasion of Ukraine.

Explore several vivid examples of how thoughts and ideas, now condemned by the world as terrorist and fascist, lurked among the great works of Russian literature.

Mikhail Nesterov, The Thinker (Portrait of Ivan Ilyin), 1921.

Step 3. Share with others

Please share this page and invite your colleagues, friends and followers to take the quiz.

We want to encourage people to take a more meaningful approach to the classical literature or publicism, and stay resilient to the harmful ideas, imposed by soft power in the wrong hands.

Be critical and remember: You are what you read.


Special thanks to Open Minds Institute for project partnership.

more about culture in wartime