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By Dina Zisserman-Brodsky

Dissident ethnic networks have been a very important self reliant establishment within the Soviet Union. Voicing the discontent and resentment of the outer edge on the rules of the heart or metropole, the dissident writings, often called samizdat highlighted anger at deprivations imposed within the political, cultural, social, and monetary spheres. Ethnic dissident writings drew on values either inner to the Soviet process and overseas as assets of legitimation; they met a divided response between Russians, with a few privileging the solidarity of the Soviet Union and others sympathetic to the rhetoric of nationwide rights. This specialize in nationwide, instead of person rights, besides the appropriation of ethnonationalism through political elites, is helping clarify advancements because the fall of the Soviet Union, together with the superiority of authoritarian governments in newly self reliant states of the previous Soviet Union.

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Additional info for Constructing Ethnopolitics in the Soviet Union: Samizdat, Deprivation and the Rise of Ethnic Nationalism

Sample text

According to Goble, the ratification of the First Constitution of the USSR by the Second Congress of Soviets of the USSR (31 January 1924) marked the demise of ethnic politics and the emergence of the nationality question. From this point onward, neither the anti-Communist rebellion in Georgia (1924), the peasant resistance movement in Central Asia, nor the individual rebellions of several local Communist leaders could bring about any significant changes in the existing situation. In the 1930s, republican leaders who expressed opposition to Moscow’s policies were labeled as counterrevolutionaries and exterminated.

21 In the late 1930s, a drive for cultural-linguistic russification was launched in the USSR: The Russian language was introduced as a compulsory subject in national schools (1938); languages that had previously used the Arabic script and, in the 1920s, had adopted the Latin script (in the wake of Ataturk’s linguistic reform in Turkey), were forced to employ the Cyrillic script; Russian loan words were imposed on ethnic minority languages (often in place of native expressions), and so on. At the same time, “MarxistLeninist theoretical concepts” were brought into line with current political needs.

13 Meanwhile, a footnote found in the Archives of Samizdat, referring to an account of the event described in The Chronicle of Current Events, reported that Rips had demonstrated at the monument of freedom in Riga, holding a placard denouncing the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia. The Chronicle’s version proved to be correct. ”14 Ironically, after serving a two-year sentence in a psychiatric prison, Rips immigrated to Israel, where he became an observant Jew. Westernization, Democracy, and Patterns of Political Orientation Subordinated Groups The previous chapter demonstrated that demands for democratic change comprised a substantial part of the programs adopted by ethnic minority movements.

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