The October Revolution: A Collection of Articles and Speeches

The October Revolution: A Collection of Articles and Speeches

The October Revolution: A Collection of Articles and Speeches

The October Revolution: A Collection of Articles and Speeches

Excerpt

The national question is not something that is self-sufficient, fixed once for all time. Being only part of the general question of the transformation of the existing order of society, the national question is wholly determined by the conditions of the social environment, the character of the government of the country and, generally, by the whole course of social development. This is particularly noticeable during revolutionary epochs, when the national question and the national movement rapidly change their content in full view of everyone, according to the course and outcome of the revolution.

I. THE FEBRUARY REVOLUTION AND THE NATIONAL QUESTION

In the epoch of the bourgeois revolution in Russia (dating from February 1917) the national movement in the borderlands bore the character of a bourgeois emancipatory movement. The nationalities of Russia, for ages oppressed and exploited by the "old regime," now for the first time felt that they possessed strength and hurled themselves into the combat with their oppressors. "Liquidate national oppression" was the slogan of the movement. The borderlands of Russia were instantly covered with "all-national" institutions. The movement was headed by the national bourgeois-democratic intelligentsia. "National Councils" in Latvia, in the Esthonian region, in Lithuania, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, in the cities of the Caucasus, in Kirghizstan and the Middle Volga region; the "Rada" in the Ukraime and in White Russia; "Sfatul Tarei" in Bessarabia; "Kurultai" in the Crimea and in Bashkiria; the "Autonomous Government" in Tur-

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