chapter  29
6 Pages

Slawoj Szynkiewicz Mythologized Representations in Soviet Thinking on the Nationalities Problem

The Soviet perception of the so-called nationality question was established by Stalin. Lenin’s ideas on the matter were vague and imprecise. They were not very different from those of preceding reformers like M. Speransky in the 19th century, though less precise; they were demonstrably more democratic, proclaimed selfdetermination and criticized the policies conducted by the czarist administration. He let his concepts be implemented by the Stalin administration with similar results. Stalin, however, had an ambition to develop a theory of nationality relations, which soon petrified into a set of mythologemes that is still alive in people’s minds.