AHC - A more equal union : No SSRs along national lines within the USSR.

What it says on the title. Apparently the SSRs were created as a measure to alleviate nationalistic pressures within the early USSR which somewhat gave way to the narrative that it was an "unbreakable union of freeborn republics" ( just with one considerably bigger and more poweful than all others put together, of course).

Of course that didn't work out, as the USSR broke apart on nationalistic lines. Your challenge would be to avoid that nationalistic structure altogether, bonus points if the capital is outside of Russia, in a separate DC equivalent.
 

RousseauX

Donor
What it says on the title. Apparently the SSRs were created as a measure to alleviate nationalistic pressures within the early USSR which somewhat gave way to the narrative that it was an "unbreakable union of freeborn republics" ( just with one considerably bigger and more poweful than all others put together, of course).

Of course that didn't work out, as the USSR broke apart on nationalistic lines. Your challenge would be to avoid that nationalistic structure altogether, bonus points if the capital is outside of Russia, in a separate DC equivalent.
So basically what stalin wanted in the 1920s, stalin wanted a unitary state and Lenin s federation.

Have Kaplan Fannie aim slightly better in 1918 and Lenin is disabled much earlier or die outright. The Bolshevik still win the civil war but without Lenin Stalin wins the nationalities debate: the USSR never happen and you have a single Soviet republic.
 
Maybe they would deliberately form provinces that cross ethnic lines, on the basis that "Nationalism is reactionary, comrade. You're not a reactionary, are you, comrade?"
 

CaliGuy

Banned
So basically what stalin wanted in the 1920s, stalin wanted a unitary state and Lenin s federation.

Have Kaplan Fannie aim slightly better in 1918 and Lenin is disabled much earlier or die outright. The Bolshevik still win the civil war but without Lenin Stalin wins the nationalities debate: the USSR never happen and you have a single Soviet republic.
This looks like the best way for this to work.

Of course, what were the other prominent Soviet Communists' position on this issue?
 
This looks like the best way for this to work.

Of course, what were the other prominent Soviet Communists' position on this issue?

Some of the notable Bolsheviks who were against Lenin's 'self-determination'/national autonomy stance were Bukharin, Zinoviev, Pyatakov, Bosh and Radek - along with Stalin himself. (Rosa Luxemburg, not a Bolshevik herself, was one of the most fervent opponents of national self-determination within socialism as well.) It is not inconceivable that this group could achieve a majority regarding the national question and throw out the federal structure.
 
It doesn't have to ditch the federal structure, it could be a federation just with federal subjects not based on national or ethnic subdivisions, maybe using geography instead.
 
It doesn't have to ditch the federal structure, it could be a federation just with federal subjects not based on national or ethnic subdivisions, maybe using geography instead.

So, de facto Russian majorities across the board? It is very easy to see it go that way, after some appropriate Bolshevik gerrymandering "rationally-planned Soviet Socialist states" turning out needing more Russians than anyone else. After all, if you leave another nationality as a majority in one of the federal subjects, you definitely risk "nationalist deviationism" in that area.

In other words, the result would be a Prison House of Nations v2.0, to reappropriate a line from Lenin, even moreso than the OTL Soviet Union.
 

CaliGuy

Banned
Some of the notable Bolsheviks who were against Lenin's 'self-determination'/national autonomy stance were Bukharin, Zinoviev, Pyatakov, Bosh and Radek - along with Stalin himself. (Rosa Luxemburg, not a Bolshevik herself, was one of the most fervent opponents of national self-determination within socialism as well.) It is not inconceivable that this group could achieve a majority regarding the national question and throw out the federal structure.
Very interesting!

Also, other than Lenin, who exactly among the Bolsheviks supported an ethnic-based federation?
 
How would the USSR become more equal by abolishing the SSRs? If anything, they would be dominated even more by the great Russian majority. What needs to happen is a federalization of the party, since the party was organized centrally and thus the federal organization of the state was ineffective. Yugoslavia proves that communist federalism can work as long as the party too is federalized.
 
Since Stalin has been listed as an opponent of national autonomy, I think I should point out that this is an oversimplification. Stalin originally wanted the RSFSR to annex all the (nominally independent in the early 1920's) Soviet Republics (Ukrainian, Belorussian, and Transcaucasian) and make them Autonomous Republics of the RSFSR, with the same status as, say, the Bashkir or Yakut ASSR's. Lenin however feared that making all the other peoples part of an explicitly "Russian" state would exacerbate national discontent, and insisted on the creation of a new entity, the USSR, which would embrace all the Soviet republics, including the RSFSR. (One reason he favored this is that he still dreamed of other European nations joining the USSR after a revolution.) Stalin had never been much impressed by Lenin's distinction between "soviet" and "autonomous" republics. "In your theses," he wrote Lenin in 1920, "you draw a distinction between Bashkir and Ukrainian types of federal union, but in fact there is no such difference, or it is so small as to equal zero." https://books.google.com/books?id=smDy35onbtAC&pg=PA270 But ultimately he went along with Lenin, and the USSR was created, though the status of the RSFSR within it always remained something of a problem. (Almost to the end of the USSR, the RSFSR lacked some of the institutions the other Union Republics had, like its own Communist Party, own Academy of Sciences, etc.)

Nevertheless, Stalin did not oppose a federation along national lines--he just wanted to make it clear that the federation was *Russia.* (Of course whether under Lenin's proposal or Stalin's, the nominal autonomy of each nation would be undermined by the fact that the Communist Party, which governed them all, was strictly centralized.)
 
I wonder, would a Communist victory in the Soviet-Polish War - (with the important caveat that results in the carving up and annexation of eastern Poland by the USSR and western Poland by Weimar Germany, with further westward Communist expansions/uprisings (e.g. Bavarian and Hungarian Soviets, Bienno Rosso, etc, failing as IOTL) - result in a looser confederal USSR or tighter central control due to the inevitable Polish resistance?
 
How would the USSR become more equal by abolishing the SSRs? If anything, they would be dominated even more by the great Russian majority. What needs to happen is a federalization of the party, since the party was organized centrally and thus the federal organization of the state was ineffective. Yugoslavia proves that communist federalism can work as long as the party too is federalized.

I guess if somehow the Bolsheviks agree to split Russia itself enough that it's not as dominant (or dominant at all).

The concept of the New Soviet Man should be mentioned. The USSR did try to construct a new Soviet identity and downplay ethnic identities, even Russian.
 
I guess if somehow the Bolsheviks agree to split Russia itself enough that it's not as dominant (or dominant at all).

The concept of the New Soviet Man should be mentioned. The USSR did try to construct a new Soviet identity and downplay ethnic identities, even Russian.

That does sound like a good way to achieve further dilution of Great Russian nationalism. It could even lead to less nationalistic tension from minorities if they feel less dominated by Russians in the Union.

And of course it won't reduce the power of the central Soviet government and Communist Party, which is all-important.

What's a feasible way to break down the RSFSR into further SSRs??
 
The Bolsheviks were initially against the Federation. On the question of a federal republic in connection with the national composition of the population, Engels wrote:

"What should be in place of the present Germany?" (with its reactionary monarchical constitution and equally reactionary division into small states, dividing, perpetuating the peculiarities of "Prussia" instead of dissolving them in Germany, as a whole). "In my opinion, the proletariat can use the form of a single and indivisible republic.The federal republic is still, on the whole, a necessity in the gigantic territory of the United States, although in the east it is already becoming a hindrance.It would be a step forward in England , where four nations live on the two islands and, despite the unity of the parliament, there are three systems of legislation next to each other: it has long been a hindrance in a small Switzerland, and if there is still enough to tolerate a federal republic, Switzerland is satisfied with the role of a purely passive member of the European state system.For Germany, a Swiss-type federation would be a huge step backward.The two points distinguish the union state from a completely unified state, namely: that each individual state that is part of the union has its own particular civil and criminal legislation, its own special judicial system, and then the fact that next to the People's Chamber there is a House of Representatives from States, and in it every canton votes as such, regardless of whether He is either small or small. " In Germany, the union state is a transition to a completely unified state, and the "revolution from above" in 1866 and 1870 must not be reversed, but complemented by a "movement from below."

This is what Comrade Lenin wrote in his fundamental work "The State and the Revolution" -Engels not only does not show indifference to the question of the forms of the state, but, on the contrary, with extreme thoroughness tries to analyze the transitional forms, in order to take into account, depending on the specific -historical features of each individual case, the transition from what to which this transition form is.

Engels, like Marx, defends, from the point of view of the proletariat and the proletarian revolution, democratic centralism, a single and indivisible republic. He regards the Federal Republic either as an exception and a hindrance to development, or as a transition from a monarchy to a centralistic republic, as a "step forward" under certain special conditions. And among these special conditions a national question is put forward.

Engels, like Marx, despite the ruthless criticism of the reactionary character of small states and the covering up of this reaction by the national question in certain specific cases, nowhere is there a shadow of the desire to brush aside the national question-the aspirations often made by Dutch and Polish Marxists coming from the most legitimate struggle against petty-bourgeois narrow nationalism of "our" small states.

Even in England, where geographical conditions and the common language, and the history of many hundreds of years, seemingly "finished" with the national question of England's individual small divisions, even here Engels takes into account the clear fact that the national question has not yet subsided, and therefore recognizes federal republic "step forward". Of course, there is no shadow of refusal to criticize the shortcomings of the federal republic and the most determined propaganda and struggle for a single, centralist-democratic republic.

But Engels understands centralism by no means in the bureaucratic sense in which bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ideologists use this concept, the anarchists are among the latter. Centralism for Engels in no way excludes such a broad local government, which, with the voluntary upholding of "communes" and areas of state unity, eliminates all bureaucracy and any "command" from above unconditionally.

... "So, a single republic," Engels writes, developing the program views of Marxism on the state, "but not in the sense of the present French republic, which is no more than an empire founded in 1798 without an emperor." From 1792 to 1798 year, every French department, every community (Gemeinde) enjoyed full self-government on the American model, and that should be ours too. "How should self-government be organized and how to manage without bureaucracy, this was shown and proved to us by America and the first French republic, Canada, Australia, and other English colonies still show that such provincial (regional) and communal self-government are much freer institutions than, for example, Swiss federalism, where, however, the canton is very independent of the Bund "(ie to the federal state as a whole), "but is also independent with respect to the district (bezirk) and in relation to the community." The cantonal governments appoint district police officers and workers of the prefects, which is completely absent in the countries of the English language and that we in our country future also decide should be eliminated, like the Prussian Landrats and Regrungsrats "(commissars, police officers, governors, generally officials appointed from above). Engels proposes accordingly to formulate the paragraph on self-government as follows: "Full self-government in the province" (province or province), "the county and the community through officials elected by universal suffrage, the abolition of all local and provincial authorities appointed by the state."

In the closed government of Kerensky and other "socialist" ministers Pravda (╧ 68, dated May 28, 1917), I have already happened to point out that at this point - of course, not in it alone - our allegedly socialist representatives of the supposedly revolutionary allegedly democratic blatant deviations from democracy. It is clear that people who linked themselves with a "coalition" with the imperialist bourgeoisie remained deaf to these instructions.

It is extremely important to note that Engels, with the facts in his hands, on the most accurate example, refutes the extremely widespread - especially among petty-bourgeois democracy - prejudice that a federal republic necessarily means more freedom than a centralist one. This is not true. The facts cited by Engels concerning the centralistic French republic of 1792 - 1798. and the federalist Swiss, refute this. Freedom was given more truly by a truly democratic centralistic republic than by a federalist republic. Or else: the largest local, regional, etc., freedom, known in history, was given a centralistic, and not a federal republic. "

But why did Lenin insist on the Union Federation? Very simply - in October there were de facto independent national governments, and in 1918 the Russian state actually disappeared from the face of the earth. The empire collapsed. The only way to preserve unity on such a vast territory was the Union of National States.
 

CaliGuy

Banned
Since Stalin has been listed as an opponent of national autonomy, I think I should point out that this is an oversimplification. Stalin originally wanted the RSFSR to annex all the (nominally independent in the early 1920's) Soviet Republics (Ukrainian, Belorussian, and Transcaucasian) and make them Autonomous Republics of the RSFSR, with the same status as, say, the Bashkir or Yakut ASSR's. Lenin however feared that making all the other peoples part of an explicitly "Russian" state would exacerbate national discontent, and insisted on the creation of a new entity, the USSR, which would embrace all the Soviet republics, including the RSFSR. (One reason he favored this is that he still dreamed of other European nations joining the USSR after a revolution.) Stalin had never been much impressed by Lenin's distinction between "soviet" and "autonomous" republics. "In your theses," he wrote Lenin in 1920, "you draw a distinction between Bashkir and Ukrainian types of federal union, but in fact there is no such difference, or it is so small as to equal zero." https://books.google.com/books?id=smDy35onbtAC&pg=PA270 But ultimately he went along with Lenin, and the USSR was created, though the status of the RSFSR within it always remained something of a problem. (Almost to the end of the USSR, the RSFSR lacked some of the institutions the other Union Republics had, like its own Communist Party, own Academy of Sciences, etc.)

Nevertheless, Stalin did not oppose a federation along national lines--he just wanted to make it clear that the federation was *Russia.* (Of course whether under Lenin's proposal or Stalin's, the nominal autonomy of each nation would be undermined by the fact that the Communist Party, which governed them all, was strictly centralized.)
Had Stalin's view somehow won out, the Soviet Union would have avoided ever breaking up, correct?
 
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