Soviet nationalism | Wikipedia audio article

Soviet nationalism | Wikipedia audio article


Soviet socialist patriotism is the socialist
patriotism involving emotional and cultural attachment of the Soviet people to the Soviet
Union as their homeland. It has been referred to as “Soviet nationalism”. However, the concept of “Soviet nationalism”
is claimed to be a misnomer and inaccurate because Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks
were officially opposed to nationalism as being reactionary, a bourgeois creation, and
contrary to the interests of proletarian class struggle and communist revolution. Under the outlook of international communism
that was especially strong at the time, Lenin separated patriotism into what he defined
as proletarian, socialist patriotism from bourgeois nationalism. Lenin promoted the right of all nations to
self-determination and the right to unity of all workers within nations, but he also
condemned chauvinism and claimed there were both justified and unjustified feelings of
national pride. Lenin explicitly denounced conventional Russian
nationalism as “Great Russian Chauvinism”, and his government sought to accommodate the
country’s multiple ethnic groups by creating republics and sub-republic units to provide
non-Russian ethnic groups with autonomy and protection from Russian domination. Lenin also sought to balance the ethnic representation
of leadership of the country by promoting non-Russian officials in the Communist Party
to counter the large presence of Russians in the Party. However, even at this early period the Soviet
government appealed at times to Russian nationalism when it needed support – especially on the
Soviet borderlands in the Soviet Union’s early years.The National Question was never as well
resolved in the Soviet era as idealism wished or propaganda claimed. Joseph Stalin, even having been the first
People’s Commissar for Nationalities and the author of Marxism and the National Question,
found that balanced supranational union in the Soviet Union remained a falsehood. The failure of the world revolution and true
proletarian internationalism in the early 1920s was a severe test of Marxist theory
that in fact shattered some aspects of it. This crisis drove Bukharin, Stalin, and associates
to the new theory of Socialism in One Country, which was anathema to many internationalist
communists. Stalin emphasized a centralist Soviet socialist
patriotism that spoke of a “Soviet people” and identified Russians as being the “elder
brothers of the Soviet people”. During World War II, Soviet socialist patriotism
and Russian nationalism merged, portraying the war not just as a struggle of communists
versus fascists, but more as a struggle for national survival. During the war, the interests of the Soviet
Union and the Russian nation were presented as the same, and as a result Stalin’s government
embraced Russia’s historical heroes and symbols, and established a de facto alliance with the
Russian Orthodox Church. The war was described by the Soviet government
as the Great Patriotic War. After the war, however, the use of Russian
nationalism dramatically decreased and emphasis returned again to Marxist–Leninist ideology. But Stalin was forced to accept a degree of
national communism in Yugoslavia and in Albania. Nikita Khrushchev moved the Soviet government’s
policies away from Stalin’s reliance on Russian nationalism. Khrushchev promoted the notion of the people
of the Soviet Union as being a supranational “Soviet People” that became state policy after
1961. This did not mean that individual ethnic groups
lost their separate identities or were to be assimilated but instead promoted a “brotherly
alliance” of nations that intended to make ethnic differences irrelevant. At the same time, Soviet education emphasized
an “internationalist” orientation. Many non-Russian Soviet people suspected this
“Sovietization” to be a cover for a new episode of “Russification”, in particular because
learning the Russian language was made a mandatory part of Soviet education, and because the
Soviet government encouraged ethnic Russians to move outside of Russia.Efforts to achieve
a united Soviet people were severely damaged by the severe economic problems in the Soviet
Union in the 1970s and 1980s resulting in a wave of anti-Soviet sentiment among non-Russians
and Russians alike. Mikhail Gorbachev presented himself as a Soviet
patriot dedicated to resolving the country’s economic and political problems, but he was
unable to restrain the rising regional and sectarian ethnic nationalism, with the USSR
breaking up in 1991. Pushed to the breaking point by poor economics,
low standard of living, and repressed liberty, Soviet socialist patriotism was outmatched
by what Gorbachev referred to as the “parade of sovereignties”, in which ethnic nationality
proved more powerful and lasting. The union as a supranational one, which had
always been a false pretense to smaller or larger degrees over the decades, finally fell
apart. Many Russians today hold that the failure
to adequately resolve the National Question at the founding of the union figuratively
placed a powderkeg beneath it which would eventually and inevitably explode (as Vladimir
Putin has expressed it).==See also==
Neo-Sovietism Russian nationalism
Ukrainian nationalism Belarusian nationalism
Socialist patriotism

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *