chapter  2
14 Pages

Two Components of Soviet Ideology

Socialism and Russian Nationalism
WithVladimir Shlapentokh

The two components of Soviet ideology were utilized in the public domain in different forms. Soviet leaders, from Vladimir Lenin to Mikhail Gorbachev, almost always advanced the socialist component in the mass ideology over the nationalist one. This chapter deconstructs the Soviet period to explain how these two ideological components functioned in society. The concept of socialism remained important to intellectuals and politicians in many different countries following world war I (WWI), the October Revolution and the emergence of Soviet society. The character of Soviet socialism has been the subject of hot debate inside and outside Russia since the early days of the regime. The "foreign factor" in the ideology gave the leaders a strong argument for modernizing the country. The ideology called for the almost total militarization of society and the mobilization of most state resources for foreign policy. Socialism and Russian nationalism were the two major forces behind Soviet ideology throughout the history of the regime.