Perhaps the spirit of Soviet politics is most visible where it has to deal with the mind—in cultural policy. The treatment of culture will also continue to be a reliable indicator in the Gorbachev era that is just dawning. A retrospective of the past twenty to thirty years of Soviet cultural policy indicates that there have been and continue to be many parallels developing between the treatment of culture and the treatment of the opposition in the post-Stalin period: Some cultural areas are treated like opposition. Overall, there is an emerging trend towards firmer, more effective, more discerning control and restrictions. On the other hand, though, this is matched by a trend towards freer cultural activity and political forms of opposition: It is fair to speak of a reciprocal escalation of emerging trends (in culture and opposition) and control. There is no end in sight to this process, even though the end of non-conformism and of opposition and the ultimate triumph of repression have been prophesied repeatedly.