Lenin on the National Question

In Lenin’s speech to the All-Russian Navy conference, he answers the question of whether or not there was a plan to create one full Soviet State or have many smaller regions with their own cultures creating the Soviet State. Lenin suggests that this is not something to be feared, as the “tsarist regime” had banned uses of certain native tongue and caused a lot of hatred among people.

“We are told that Russia will be divided, will split into separate republics. We should not be afraid of this. No matter how many separate republics are created we shall not be frightened by it. It is not the state frontiers that count with us but a union of toilers of all nations ready to fight the bourgeoisie of any nation.”

Lenin goes on to describe how this technique would be used to “conquer Finland”, which he describes as letting the Finnish people exist as themselves but as a single piece of the whole Soviet Union. Do you think this example convinced Soviet citizens that they were all a part of one collective union?

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