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Pan-Soviet Identity

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Soviet cogitations: 216
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 27 Jul 2013, 05:04
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 02 Jun 2014, 00:13
How successful were Soviet efforts to create a pan-Soviet identity that would be paramount to ethnic identities? This article in Forbes contends that the effort was a failure except among Russians in other Slavic republics, for example, the Russian-speakers in eastern Ukraine. Apparently a large number of eastern Ukrainians still define themselves as “Soviets.”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/20 ... iet-union/

As it is a Forbes article it is not pro-Soviet in its orientation, but it does make some interesting arguments about Soviet efforts to create a new identify among the citizenry and how these efforts are important to understanding the current crisis in Ukraine.

I want to ask comrades here what they think of Soviet efforts to create a pan-Soviet identity. To what extent did they succeed? Why did these efforts fail among certain people? Is Soviet identity still strong in the former Soviet republics?
Loz
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Soviet cogitations: 11879
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 02 Jun 2014, 00:52
Well in this case with Donbass it's pretty much clear why people wold be nostalgic for the USSR giving how they all live from industry and mining there which has mostly gone to shit since the Soviet Union collapsed. It's the most proletarian part of Ukraine that suffered a lot since 1991.

Though some places like Moldova for example where the people are mostly non-Russian or non-Slavic are also quite nostalgic for the USSR ( Moldova was the first post-communist country to elect a communist government in 2004 i think ) because the whole country pretty much lived solely from making wine that was drunk from Vilnius to Vladivostok and nowadays that market is mostly gone.

Otherwise that construct known as the Soviet people didn't really take roots.

According to Wikipedia only 27,000 Russians identified themselves as the Soviet people in the last census, so much for that. In ex-Yugoslavia for example you still have hundreds of thousands even of people who still declare themselves as Yugoslavs.
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Soviet cogitations: 3799
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 Jun 2006, 02:14
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Politburo
Post 02 Jun 2014, 01:27
Here, in Argentina, the immigrant community from former soviet republic still stick together as one.
Ukrainians, Russians, belarussians, Kazakhs, etc, they all celebrate holidays together and have shops and businesses for themselves.
So, the soviet identity might have a moderate success.


"Where Argentina goes, Latin America will go".
Leonid Brezhnev

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Loz
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Soviet cogitations: 11879
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 02 Jun 2014, 02:20
Quote:
Ukrainians, Russians, belarussians, Kazakhs, etc, they all celebrate holidays together and have shops and businesses for themselves.

I think it's different in the US and Canada or W. Europe regarding Russians and Ukrainians and Jews there.
Soviet cogitations: 216
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 27 Jul 2013, 05:04
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 02 Jun 2014, 06:41
Thank you all for the interesting responses.

Loz wrote:
I think it's different in the US and Canada or W. Europe regarding Russians and Ukrainians and Jews there.


I live in the U.S. and my own personal experience is somewhat like this:

Baltics: Very negative opinion of the USSR; reject Soviet identity.

Ukrainians: Most of the Ukrainians I know are from the western Ukraine and do not consider themselves to be Soviets and are generally anti-communist.

Russians: Most of the Russians I know are Russian Jews and their opinions of the Soviet Union usually depend on their economic standing. The Jewish businessmen or professionals usually reject Soviet identity and communism while the working-class Russian Jews have very positive opinions of the USSR and see themselves as Soviets. The few non-Jewish Russians I know are very positive about the Soviet experience and identified as former Soviet citizens.

Central Asians: Very positive about the USSR. I was surprised that they were often more pro-Soviet and identified as Soviets more often than the Slavic people I know (besides non-Jewish Russians).

Armenians: The issue of the USSR never came up as their families usually came from Armenian communities outside of the USSR/Russia.

Those are just my anecdotal observations so they are probably not worth much, although a little research seems to indicate that the Soviet Union is still popular in Central Asia. See article linked below:

http://www.thewashingtonreview.org/arti ... eriod.html

I thought this quote from Almaz from Kazakhstan was interesting:

Quote:
In the army, we were all united as brothers; communism gathered us apart from our nationality. There were all nationalities from USSR: Russians, Caucasians, Central Asian, Baltic, Koreans, etc.We were all Soviets (cоветские - in Russian).[Emphasis mine] It was truly an international atmosphere. We were proud of belonging to the top world scientific power, inventor of the first space rocket, the armed forces, etc. It was the same case at work, in whatever republics where you worked, near or far, you could have as colleagues, people of different nationalities (национальность - in Russian), all speaking the Russian language in our language of unity
Soviet cogitations: 12389
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
Ideology: None
Philosophized
Post 03 Jun 2014, 08:07
Growing up in America, most of the Russians I knew were either more or less Americanized (as in the case of my own family), or were violently anti-Soviet and anti-Western as well, due to extreme Orthodox Church allegiance. The very few Jews I came across in the neighborhood were the first to drop their links to the old country, and were keen to represent themselves simply as "European Jews". I wouldn't be surprised if a few of them were Holocaust survivors. All, without exception, were anti-Soviet.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Soviet cogitations: 260
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Dec 2011, 00:54
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 04 Jun 2014, 02:57
The failure to implement an International Pan Soviet Language was a big missed opportunity.
Illiteracy was very high after te Revolution and whilee efforts quickly fixed this problem, pursuing Esperanto or another similar Language could have brought greater Unity.

The USSR was a little too tolerant of Cultural Identities in my opinion really.
Nationalism got far too much leeway to grow.
"A shiny bauble from Capitalism is worthless when the cost is Children & the Elderly going hungry, The Infirm & Sick dying because of Greed & Education reduced to a token few to placate the masses with Illusions of freedom."
Loz
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Soviet cogitations: 11879
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 04 Jun 2014, 08:34
Actually the Bolsheviks were thinking of switching Russian to the Latin script which would have been a universal language ( how are you going to teach Esperanto to a population that was mostly illiterate anyway? ) but that was scrapped after the civil war started and no one had the time or the means to bother with that.
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Soviet cogitations: 260
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Dec 2011, 00:54
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 04 Jun 2014, 19:51
The same way you Teach an Illiterate People any Language.

Time and Effort.
"A shiny bauble from Capitalism is worthless when the cost is Children & the Elderly going hungry, The Infirm & Sick dying because of Greed & Education reduced to a token few to placate the masses with Illusions of freedom."
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Soviet cogitations: 3799
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 Jun 2006, 02:14
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Politburo
Post 04 Jun 2014, 19:58
But Russian was a Pan Soviet language.
Why would they change the alphabet or adopt Esperanto? They already had a common language for all the region.


"Where Argentina goes, Latin America will go".
Leonid Brezhnev

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Soviet cogitations: 12389
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
Ideology: None
Philosophized
Post 04 Jun 2014, 20:56
Che Burashka wrote:
But Russian was a Pan Soviet language.
Why would they change the alphabet or adopt Esperanto? They already had a common language for all the region.

While switching to Esperanto would probably have failed (unless eased in over a period of several decades), the switch to the Latin script could have been introduced pretty quickly and relatively painlessly.

It would have been in their interest to do either one, for the same reason that later Christian theologians such as Augustine lamented that they hadn't adopted a new language for the religion. Simply put, too many of the old pagan ideals still had a voice. It was the same with Russian --too much of the old religion, as well as Tsarist and bourgeois ideals, had a chance to live on.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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