Nationalism: A tool for the Bourgeoisie to hide behind a common cause

In “An Affirmative Action Empire: The Soviet Union as the Highest form of Imperialism” the author brings up the conflict that Lenin and Stalin saw with Nationalism. In that he felt that Nationalism was used by the Bourgeoisie to gain power by hiding behind a common culture or nation. As Nationalism does not account for the class differences of the nation following this ideology. Thus Nationalism can essentially be used like propaganda to gain support from the peasantry. Stalin states, “‘[i]f bourgeois circles attempt to give a national tint to [our] conflicts, then only because it is convenient to hide their battle for power behind a national costume.'”(Suny and Martin, 69). Which Lenin and Stalin sought to take advantage of to gain support for their own cause against the Bourgeoisie. Thus it makes me wonder, does Nationalism unearth class conflict eventually? Does Nationalism only disguise economic problems within a nation under a thin veil of common interests? Is Nationalism souly to blame, or are Lenin and Stalin missing apart of the problem?

Moreover, I think it is important to discuss who decides that a nation will follow in a certain Nationalism ideology? Furthermore, is Nationalism fluid- can you go most of your life believing you are Austrian- Hungarian, only to be told later in your life you are German? How does that change your allegiance to your nation and government?

One Reply to “Nationalism: A tool for the Bourgeoisie to hide behind a common cause”

  1. I feel like the Bourgeoisie used Nationalism to exploit the vulnerability of the peasantry. Martin mentioned how the Finnish bourgeoisie tricked the Muscovite peasantry into wanting to oppress the Finnish bourgeoisie and claimed it their right to national determination. It was basically a ploy used as a fear tactic to cause further national resistance. So, to answer one of your questions, I do believe Nationalism was used to unearth conflict between the classes because as long as the bourgeoisie was in control, they had the power to resist and manipulate the system to work in their favor.

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