How the USSR cherished a viper in its bosom

Nationalism was born a long time ago, but still, this ideology moves to the forefront  every now and then, taking ugly forms at times. What political errors were made in history and by whom? What stands behind the desire of the West to profit from conflicts and civil wars in other countries? Does the West want to clash peoples? 

The collapse of the Soviet Union was preceded by conflicts between and within its former republics. However, it was not only ancient empires, but also young states that suffered shocks. Formed after World War II, Yugoslavia sought to attain national unity of all representatives of South Slavic nations, or Yugoslavs. However, the country broke up with the help of the U.S. and its European allies a lot quicker than the USSR did. The collapse of Yugoslavia brought up the idea of "the powder keg of Europe".

Nationalism is the fruit of European humanist thought of the last two hundred years. Nationalists use the past to change the present. Nationalist historiography changes traditional concepts, showing the nations asserting themselves in territorial sovereign states. Some may forget that not all sovereign states that emerged in modern times proved to be nations. The Danube Habsburg monarchy, Prussia or even the Venetian Republic - all these powerful public formations in Europe were not "nations." The same also applies to France.

Nationalism can be neither right nor left. According to the Marxist concept, professed by Bolshevik leaders, national movements can be progressive and reactionary, depending on their stage of economic development, as well as on whether they contribute to the development of the revolution, or, conversely, act as an obstacle for it. It is quite appropriate to draw comparison with West-inspired "color" revolutions of modern times. 

Lenin applied double standards by rejected the demands of the Jewish workers  party, the Bund, about the establishment of the Jewish autonomy in Eastern Europe, as those requirements weakened the management of the socialist movement. At the same time, Lenin criticized Rosa Luxemburg, a socialist, for underestimating Polish nationalism as a weapon against the tsarist autocracy.

Many of us remember from lessons of history that the creators of national policy in the USSR were proletarian chief - Lenin and Stalin. The seeds that they planted grew as bloody clashes of different ethnic groups on the decline of Soviet power. In the early 1980s, there were massive fights between the Chechens and the Ingush that led to victims. It is believed that with the exception of the age-old feuds, as between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, most ethnic clashes were the result of the national policy conducted in the USSR.

The current wars and conflicts that take place on the territory of the former Soviet Union - can they be considered a mistake of the national policy of Stalin, a retribution for the dismemberment of the empire?  

"It was not the dismemberment of the empire, but the collection of the empire into an unnatural conglomerate. Instead of recreating the empire in its normal form (Stalin suggested all republics enter into the RSFSR), the Trotskyite wing, supported by Lenin, who began to struggle against Stalin before his death, supported the idea of free unified republics with a right to separate, which subsequently led to the disintegration of the USSR, but not only that," leading expert of the Center for Military-Political Studies at MGIMO, Mikhail Alexandrov, told Pravda.Ru. 

"In the course of national policy pursued by Bolsheviks, unnatural division into so-called ethnic boundaries was taking place. If they decided to create autonomous republics, they should have created them in their natural ethnic borders. Instead, they started to add big pieces of the Russian territory to those republics. I suspect that this was based on the wish to weaken the Russian people - to dismember the Russian nation, so that it could not resist, like one organism, to the Bolshevik Another idea is that it was believed that the Russians would help those republics to develop economically and culturally. This policy has led to the fact that there were huge enclaves of the Russian population formed in the unified and autonomous republics. However, it concerned not only the Russians. Abkhazia and South Ossetia were given to Georgia, Nagorno-Karabakh was given to Azerbaijan. All this was done out of utilitarian, sometimes subjectivist considerations. Beria, for example, advocated elimination of Abkhazia."

"The creation of new states, new nations was an important idea for ​​the Bolsheviks. Specifically - the creation of the Azerbaijani nation on the territory that was never called Azerbaijan, but was a conglomerate of various khanates, inhabited by different peoples. During decades of Soviet construction, national elite was raised, which subsequently turned into an evil force, ready to crush and destroy any nations that disagreed with this assimilation. We have seen this in Georgia and Azerbaijan, and now we can see that happening in Ukraine.

In the Baltic region, it is the same, but it was developing there not in the Soviet period, but during the times of the Russian Empire in accordance with the concept of helping poor villagers to create their own nation. In general, they helped and created. This was largely determined by the wish to put pressure on German Baltic elites that were dominating there. Baltic national elites at first expelled the Germans, destroyed the Jews, and now they want to expel the Russians from their territory. In a nutshell, Bolsheviks made their mistakes, but there were earlier mistakes made, of the Romanovs."

Speaking about the mistakes of our former rulers, it should be noted that other states have either decayed on a national basis or are moving in this direction, including those that are traditionally referred to as "civilized nations." 

Demographer, sociologist, historian, economist, futurist, Islamic scholar Andrei Korotaev told Pravda.Ru: 

"The only exception is India, where there is also ethnic division, but the country does not break up. Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Yugoslavia fell apart, Spain may lose Catalonia, Scotland again goes to a referendum, Quebec separates. It was not only Stalin, but rather Lenin who advocated the rights of nations to self-determination. In the 1920s, it would come to absurdity, when national counties would be created. Stalin, in this regard, was a more rational administrator than Lenin. During Stalin's era, the level of autonomy of ethnic groups decreased. I repeat, there is the mysterious Indian exception, but in European space, if you divided a state on ethnic principles, then you can wait for the country to fall apart."

Don't you think that during the time of the creation of the USSR, its principle of administrative-territorial division was resting on a time bomb: with the collapse of the main state, the remains of the main state will disintegrate afterwards too. It was like a chain reaction: the Moldavian SSR, the Ukrainian SSR, the Georgian SSR, the Azerbaijani SSR, the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. 

"Indeed, there was a time bomb, the state was divided along ethnic lines, and even the Constitution said that each republic had the right to pull out from the union. Clearly, when they were writing that, no one hoped that it could actually happen ever. The Soviet Constitution was amazing - it does not have any analogy, where it would be said that any republic had a right to separate. This is a mystery - the right to separate was put down in the Constitution during Stalin's era and was retained during Brezhnev. There is no clear explanation for this," says Andrey Korotaev.

Mankind can not live without wars. Is it possible to say that wars of the past were were aggressive, religious, ideological, but today, they were replaced with wars on a national basis?  

"Presently, the primary war is being waged between the supporters and of global unification and the proponents of global multi-polarization, for the preservation of the diversity of human civilization. Those advocating diversity struggle with the West that tries to impose its standards to everyone, unfolding large-scale wars in different regions of the world, including the Middle East and the post-Soviet space," believes Mikhail Alexandrov.

"The West does not trigger national conflicts, but creates a puppet regimes, in which it subsequently implants Western values that come into conflict with the groups of population willing to preserve their national and cultural values. Sometimes they use one nation against another. They use the nation that they can manipulate with to suppress another nation, which they can not take under control." 

From the point of view of Mikhail Alexandrov, "no one is against capitalism now. Everyone agrees now that democracy is good, but this is not enough. They want to reformat people to their own image and likeness, that is, to the image of the decadent Western liberal civilization, where there are already no basic Christian values. This is the Trotskyist concept. Basically, it is no coincidence that in the West, there are publications saying that current Western leaders are the ideological heirs of Trotskyists." 

Igor Bukker


Read the original in Russian

Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov