Friendship of Peoples

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Friendship of Peoples


the comprehensive fraternal cooperation and mutual aid of the peoples and nations (natsii, nations in the historical sense) that have embarked on the socialist path of development. In multinational states the friendship of peoples is one of the moving forces in the development of socialist society, and in the international relations of socialist countries it is the basis of unity in the struggle for peace, for the preservation and increase of socialist gains, and for the triumph of communism.

The relations between peoples depend primarily on the socioeconomic and political systems under which they live. Capitalism implants the dominant bourgeois ideology, with its ideas of national exclusiveness and national discord. However, under capitalism the international solidarity of the working classes of different nations also comes into being because of the class struggle.

For the first time in history, the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia put an end to national oppression and proclaimed the principles of friendship of peoples. Socialist construction created the preconditions for the full implementation of these principles. “By organizing production without class oppression,” V. I. Lenin wrote, “and by ensuring the welfare of all the members of the state, socialism gives full scope to the mutually ’sympathetic’ attitude among the population and thereby facilitates and greatly accelerates the rapprochement and fusion of nations” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 30, p. 21). The voluntary unification of peoples into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a brilliant embodiment of the friendship of peoples. Socialist construction eliminated the exploiting classes (the chief bearers and organizers of national discord) and the radical differences in the economic, political, and cultural development of peoples, thereby destroying the roots of animosity among nations (natsii). The Soviet political system—socialist democracy— became the political basis of the friendship of peoples, and social ownership of the means of production and the socialist system of economic management became its economic base.

The victory of socialism created a homogeneous class structure of all the peoples of the USSR and overcame ageold national and ethnic prejudices, alienation, and hostility between nations (natsii). The Marxist-Leninist international ideology, which is the ideological and theoretical basis of the friendship of peoples, was engrained as the ideology of all peoples. The powerful force of socialist patriotism and internationalism unites the peoples of the USSR. The friendship of peoples, which is internationalism in action, is a true solution to the nationalities problem.

The friendship of peoples has been one of the decisive sources of success in socialist and communist construction and a moving force in the development of a new society. It makes it possible to use material and human resources in the most rational ways in the interests of all the peoples, to meet rapidly the goals of raising the material welfare and cultural standards of the working people, to increase the defensive power of the socialist fatherland, and to protect the security and sovereignty of each people.

The friendship of the peoples of the USSR has been rein-forced in the struggle against domestic and foreign counter-revolution, chauvinism and nationalism, and reactionary traditions and prejudices. It has successfully passed the test of history in all phases of building socialism and brilliantly withstood the tribulations of the Great Patriotic War (1941-45). All the Soviet nations (natsii) and peoples fought together against fascist Germany and defended the Soviet homeland and the socialist gains of all its peoples. The ideology of the friendship of peoples proved stronger than the antihuman ideology of racism and chauvinism.

The friendship of peoples revealed its power in the restoration and further development of the national economy after the end of the war. It enabled the USSR to overcome in a very short historic period the economic and cultural backwardness of many peoples of the country. Between 1913 and 1970 the industrial output of the USSR as a whole increased 91 times, the industrial output of the Kazakh SSR increased 145 times, that of the Armenian SSR, 184 times, and that of the Kirghiz SSR, 187 times. The aid of the Russian people to backward peoples was especially important in this development. The peoples of Middle Asia and Transcaucasia participated in the restoration of the national economy in the RSFSR, the Ukrainian SSR, the Byelorussian SSR, the Moldavian SSR, and the Soviet Baltic republics. A vivid example of the friendship of peoples is the help of all the republics of the USSR in the rapid restoration work after the earthquakes in Ashkhabad (1948), Tashkent (1966), and some areas of the Dagestan ASSR (1970).

The great power of the friendship of peoples is embodied in present-day conditions in all Soviet nations (natsii) and nationalities and in their dynamic economic and cultural growth. The historic achievements of the peoples of the USSR are a result of their joint labor and the consistent implementation of the nationality policy of the CPSU. The process of socialist construction gave rise to a new historic community of people—the Soviet people. The building of communism was the joint effort of all Soviet nations and nationalities, and the strengthening of their economic, political, and cultural relations has led to a still closer union among them.

The establishment of the world socialist system has broadened and deepened the historic process of the rapprochement of peoples. The friendship of peoples, which corresponds to the vital interests of all socialist countries, organically combines socialist patriotism and internationalism. In the ideological struggle against socialism the imperialists try to undermine the friendship of peoples and encourage nationalism. The friendship of peoples, which is the chief force promoting the solidarity of the socialist peoples, is a barrier in the path of the forces that try to weaken the socialist commonwealth, and it creates a basis for overcoming nationalistic prejudices. The basic interests of the socialist countries demand that the union between them be strengthened in every possible way.

The friendship of peoples does not arise or develop spontaneously. Vestiges of nationalism may revive without a steady struggle against localism and national egotism and without prompt settlement of nonantagonistic contradictions that may arise between the national and international interests of peoples. Marxist-Leninist parties devote a great deal of attention to bringing up the working people in the spirit of the friendship of peoples and making its principles the universal norm of socialist society. The friendship of peoples is a necessary condition for the internationalist upbringing of the working people and for instilling in them lofty ideological and political virtues and the norms of communist morality. In the USSR and the other socialist countries the communist world view and morality include the friendship and brotherhood of peoples and a relentless struggle against any manifestations of localism, nationalism, or chauvinism.


Lenin, V. I. “Tretii Vserossiiskii s“ezd Sovetov rabochikh, soldatskikh i krestïanskikh deputatov: Zakliuchitel’noe slovo pered zakrytiem s“ezda 18 (31) ianvaria.” Poln sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 35.
Lenin, V. I. “Tovarishcham kommunistam Turkestana.” Ibid., vol. 39.
Lenin, V. I. “Pis’mo k rabochim i krestïanam Ukrainy po povodu pobed nadDenikinym.” Ibid., vol. 40.
Lenin, V. I. “Tezisy ko II kongressu Kommunisticheskogo Internationala: Pervonachal’nyi nabrosok tezisov po natsional’nomu i kolonial’nomu voprosam.” Ibid., vol. 41.
Programma KPSS (Priniata XXII s”ezdom KPSS). Moscow, 1971.
Materialy XXIV s”ezda KPSS. Moscow, 1971.
O podgotovke k 50-letiiu obrazovaniia Soiuza Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik: Postanovlenie TsK KPSS. Moscow, 1972.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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