[OPE-L:2078] Non-Russians lot in USSR was not a happy one [digression]

glevy@acnet.pratt.edu (glevy@acnet.pratt.edu)
Sat, 4 May 1996 13:12:42 -0700

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Michael P wrote in [OPE-L:2077]:

> A final question: could we say that in some ways, Stalin was an advanced
> thinker in the preservation of cultural diversity?

Michael, goodness gracious, NO! An integral component of Stalin's policy was
the suppression of "cultural diversity." The "Russification campaign"
oppressed non-Russian nationalities within the USSR by repressing
languages and cultures that were non-Russian (even though, ironically,
Stalin was non-Russian himself). There are many books on this topic. One
such book is Ivan Dzuba's _Internationalism or Russification?_ (NY,
Monad Press, 1974).

It should be stressed that Stalin's policies toward non-Russian
nationalities within the USSR represented a radical departure from the
policies initiated after the revolution by Lenin and the Bolsheviks.

This question, IMHO, is *essential* for understanding the dissolution of
the USSR. I believe that, in the last instance, it was not the question
of bureaucratic inefficiencies in the planning structure, lack of
consumption goods or even the lack of workers' democracy that led to the
ending of the USSR. Rather, it was the *national question*.

In OPE-L Solidarity,