Soviet Politics and the Ukraine, 1917-1957

By Robert S. Sullivant | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

Implicit in most discussions of state authority is a general accep­; tance of the state as an organism unique in the broad indepen­; dence it displays in the face of other communities. As noted by one observer, the state is distinguished by its overwhelming super­; iority over other groups in the territory it controls. "It issues orders to all men and all associations within that area; it receives orders from none of them. Its will is subject to no limitation of any kind. What it purposes is right by the mere announcement of intention."1 The essence of political society, it is suggested, is the authority or ultimate power wielded by some members of so­; ciety to control or direct other members.

To emphasize in this way the self-determining and self-interpret­; ing aspects of political authority is to affirm the importance of leadership roles in the formation and execution of public policy. Yet it is clear that state authority, even in the most docile and effectively organized societies, is not independent of other-group pressures. At times the state may appear as a separate force-- as an independent giant dispensing orders and resolutions to its citizens. But at other moments it is clear that state authority, even when the state appears to define its rules and regulations with precision and finality, "is not final or precise socially unless it is acceptable to the society."2 The wielder of political power may exercise authority only when the authority in some measure serves the common values of the community. Thus the essence of political society is not the superior-dependent structure which polit­; ical societies display so persistently and strikingly, but is the rather uncertain and fluid relationship which develops informally between the wielders of political power, on the one hand, and the commu­; nities, individuals, and groups comprising the state, on the other.

The importance of this concept of the social acceptability of au­; thority is most obvious in societies in which there are one or more

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Soviet Politics and the Ukraine, 1917-1957
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page III
  • Preface V
  • Note on Transliteration VII
  • Contents IX
  • Introduction 1
  • I. the Bolshevik Approach to Nationalism and the Ukraine 7
  • Ii. Bolsheviks and the Revolution, 1917-1920 20
  • Iii. Federalism and Ukrainian Cultural Nationalism, 1921-1927 65
  • Iv. Centralization and the Demand for Uniformity, 1927-1934 149
  • V. the New Loyalty and National Rights, 1934-1944 209
  • Vi. the Culmination of National Restrictions, 1944-1953 243
  • Vii. the New Leadership, 1953-1957 280
  • Viii. Conclusion 314
  • Notes 327
  • Bibliography 397
  • Index 422
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