2 Responses to “NATIONAL LIBERATION AND BOLSHEVISM RECONSIDERED – A VIEW FROM THE BORDERLANDS”

  1. John Tummon says:

    This is a very important piece of research and perspective, but have you read Terry Martin’s “The Affirmative Action Empire”, which argues that ‘Martin demonstrates how the diverse societal circumstances of nations and nationalities in the more sophisticated West and the less developed East (later to be dubbed the ‘Soviet Raj’) meant that ‘affirmative action’ by All-Soviet authority bifurcated, settling for divergent objectives and disparate results across an ’empire’ which encompassed extravagant ethnic variety. Recognising that the Soviet Union was far from being ethnically homogeneous, official national strategy could not be as administratively monolithic or as politically totalitarian as portrayed in Western historiography.’

    He goes on ”Korenizatsiia’ was intended to ‘indigenise’ Soviet power through mass recruitment of local non-Russians as cadres within the Communist Party, extending and deepening Soviet authority within a state-sponsored political climate of respect for non-Russian national identity and culture’.

    According to Martin, this strategy went into reverse under Stalin: ‘By the early 1930s, however, both the internal and external rationales for ‘positive discrimination’ had been irremediably undermined…The affirmative action of the 1920s was consequently replaced by a security-conscious repression of all ‘diaspora nationalities’, that is to say ethnic groups within the Soviet Union which could be accused of being ‘fifth columns’ or ‘Trojan horses’ for expansionist ‘kin-states’ across the Soviet border. The ‘Great Terror’ undeniably targeted ‘diaspora nationalities’ (notably Poles, Finns, Belorussians and Ukrainians) in operations which would now be termed ‘ethnic cleansing’.’

    However, Martin shows that ”silent ‘korenizatsiia’ was being effectively “scaled back, although not abandoned”

    The question, really, seems to be, where did this ‘affirmative action’ come from and to what extent was it the Bolshevik leadership, after taking power and finding the country in such a parlous state after the ‘Civil War’, deciding to take the practical response towards the multi-national nature of the USSR, rather than one consistent with their pre-revolution approach, towards ensuring the new regime’s longevity. This happened at the same time as Lenin adopted the NEC, another key break with the pre-revolutionary party programme.

  2. Emancipation & Liberation » THE OCTOBER REVOLUTION AND THE FIRST ATTEMPT TO SET UP A POST-NATIONAL WORLD ORDER says:

    […] the second article on this blog addressing the hundredth anniversary of the October Revolution (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2017/10/21/national-liberation-and-bolshevism-reconsidered-a-vie…). It suggests that a wider focus should be taken, situating this event in the 1916-21 International […]

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