IN international law, the term "persons" includes natural and juristic persons. Since the problems involving the latter are largely within the province of private international law, only natural persons will be dealt with in the present study. The problems connected with natural persons in international law may be divided into two main groups. One relates to nationality and citizenship, the other to the status and legal capacity of foreigners.
To avoid the confusion which the term "nationality" may engender, the distinction between its two meanings must be made clear. On the one hand "nationality" often refers to an ethnographic phenomenon, while on the other it implies a social-political relation between a state and an individual.
Although there is no direct statement to this effect, it is apparent that the social-political aspect of the problem of nationality is much more important for the Soviets than its ethnographic. Indeed in communist political philosophy, the struggle of oppressed nationalities for emancipation is linked up with the larger issue of the promotion of socialism. In Marxian literature ethnic groups are considered primarily as essential factors in the economic, social, and political reconstruction of human society. Lenin translated the whole Marxian theory of the problem of nationality into the doctrine of self-determination, a cardinal article of Lenin's faith. The political characteristics of this doctrine are clearly seen in the statement which he made advocating self-determination as an extreme gesture of opposition to national oppression:
"Just as mankind can realize the abolition of classes only through the transitional period of the dictatorship of the oppressed class, so mankind can realize the inevitable fusion of nations only through the