The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939 (The Wilder House Series in Politics, History and Culture)
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The Soviet Union was the first of Europe's multiethnic states to confront the rising tide of nationalism by systematically promoting the national consciousness of its ethnic minorities and establishing for them many of the institutional forms characteristic of the modern nation-state. In the 1920s, the Bolshevik government, seeking to defuse nationalist sentiment, created tens of thousands of national territories. It trained new national leaders, established national languages, and financed the production of national-language cultural products.This was a massive and fascinating historical experiment in governing a multiethnic state. Terry Martin provides a comprehensive survey and interpretation, based on newly available archival sources, of the Soviet management of the nationalities question. He traces the conflicts and tensions created by the geographic definition of national territories, the establishment of dozens of official national languages, and the world's first mass "affirmative action" programs. Martin examines the contradictions inherent in the Soviet nationality policy, which sought simultaneously to foster the growth of national consciousness among its minority populations while dictating the exact content of their cultures; to sponsor national liberation movements in neighboring countries, while eliminating all foreign influence on the Soviet Union's many diaspora nationalities. Martin explores the political logic of Stalin's policies as he responded to a perceived threat to Soviet unity in the 1930s by re-establishing the Russians as the state's leading nationality and deporting numerous "enemy nations."
to undermine this program. The ultimate goal of both the campaign against great-power chauvinism and the bronia for higher education was to advance korenizatsiia in the eastern republics. I will now conclude this chapter with a discussion of the fate of korenizatsiia during the cultural revolution. 237 For statistics, see GARF (TsGA) 296/1/463 (1932): 14-15, 20. For the overall phenomenon, GARF 3316/24/854 (1932): Sob, 66. 238 GARF 3316/24/854 (1933): 62. 239 RTsKhiDNI17/II2/668 (05.06.25): 83/1;
attacks on such customs, see Gregory J. Massell, The Surrogate Proletariat: Moslem Women and Revolutionary Strategies in Soviet Central Asia, I9I9-"I929 (Princeton, N.J., 1974). Douglas Northrop, "Uzbek Women and the Veil: Gender and Power in Stalinist Central Asia" (Ph.D. diss., Stanford University, 1999). 53 Herbert Gans, "Symbolic Ethnicity: The Future of Ethnic Groups and Cultures in America," Ethnic and Racial Studies 2 (1979 ): 9-17. 54 "1z istorii obrazovaniia SSSR," Izvestiia TsK KPSS,
the most successful effort to Ukrainize a recalcitrant Russian urban island. This success was explained by two factors. First, unlike with the proletariat, coercion could be employed. Second, there was the tenacious leadership of Skrypnyk and his Narkompros colleagues. Because of all-union resistance, however, the fate of the industrial VUZy still remained undecided by 1933. Moreover, despite their exposure to the Ukrainian language and propaganda in favor of a Ukrainian cultural identities, the
the Politburo instructed me (on the evening of November 17) to inform you that your decree contradicts the party line in the nationalities 215 216 GARF 3316/16a/177 (1925): 14-. Ibid., s, 20-21. 217 GARF 3316/64-/4-3 (1925): 218 Ibid., 1-2. 1. Il4- Implementing the Mfirmative Action Empire policy. It should be reviewed by the presidium and changed in the following spirit so that, first, any papers may be sent to VTsiK by any nationality in any language without any restriction and,
technical VUZy. The vydvizhenie campaign lasted from 1928 to I93I, when the center intervened to rehabilitate the old specialists and to scale back the mass promotion ofworkers. Cultural revolution in the field of non-Russian education began later, just as the campaign against great-power chauvinism lagged behind the terror campaigns against the old Russian and national intelligentsias. The old national RTsKhiDNI 62/r/220 (24-27.01.27): 31. Calculated from a table reproduced in GARF (TsGA)