Soviet People

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Soviet People


a new historical, social, and international community of people possessing a common territory and economic system, a socialist culture, a state based on a union of the entire population, and a common goal—the building of communism. Such a community appeared in the USSR as a result of socialist transformations and the growing together of working classes and other social strata, of all nations and nationalities. A theoretical statement on the Soviet people as a new historical community was formulated at the Twenty-fourth Congress of the CPSU (Materialy XXIV s”ezda KPSS, 1971, p. 76).

In 1914, V. I. Lenin predicted that socialism would create “new and superior forms of human society, in which the legitimate needs and progressive aspirations of the working masses of each nationality will, for the first time, be met through international unity, provided existing national partitions are removed” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 26, p. 40). The Soviet people constitute a multinational collective entity of urban and rural workers united by a common socialist system, Marxist-Leninist ideology, the communist ideals of the working class, and the principles of internationalism. The higher legislative and administrative bodies of the USSR serve all Soviet people, all of whom enjoy the same citizenship in the Union. The common language of the nationalities in the Soviet Union is Russian.

The CPSU played a leading role in the emergence of the Soviet people. Stressing the multinational composition and basically international character of the party of the working class, Lenin wrote: “To dispel any idea of its being national in character, the party named itself of Russia’ and not ‘Russian’” (Ibid., vol. 10, p. 267). The CPSU, which unites within its ranks that part of the friendly classes, groups, nations, and nationalities whose level of consciousness is highest, expresses the vital interests of the entire Soviet people and cements the community of Soviet individuals in all areas of life.

The economic and cultural community of Soviet people has developed comprehensively under conditions of mature socialism. The increasing social homogeneity and sociopolitical unity of Soviet society, as well as the transformation of the dictatorship of the proletariat into a popular state, led to an even greater union and friendship between all classes, social groups, nations, and nationalities of the USSR, whose representatives have gradually acquired more pan-Soviet, international traits. Under mature socialism and the building of communism, the international economic community is expanding, and a higher level has been achieved by the Union’s economy—an economic entity including the economies of all the Union republics and developing according to a single state economic plan serving the interests of the country as a whole and of each republic separately.

The economic and sociopolitical community of socialist nations and nationalities serves as a foundation for the development of a cultural community and the growing together of national cultures. The increased international traits in the national culture and character does not mean that national traits are being sacrificed but that the very meaning of the term “national” is changing and becoming more inclusive. The most important result of the revolutionary transformation of society has been the birth of a new intellectual and psychological makeup of the Soviet people, who exhibit internationalist traits yet maintain their national distinctiveness. The national community forms an organic whole with a higher, international community, and the representatives of any given nation and nationality of the USSR consider themselves Soviet people first and foremost. This sentiment is reflected by the emergence of the Soviet people’s sense of common national pride. The Soviet people as a new social and international community have become the determining factor of further progress of mature socialism in the USSR and the prototype of larger international communities of the future. (SeeNATION and NATIONAL QUESTION.)


Marx, K., and F. Engels. Nemetskaia ideologiia. Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 3.
Marx, K., and F. Engels. “O Pol’she.” Ibid., vol. 4.
Lenin, V. I. “K evreiskim rabochim.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 10.
Lenin, V. I. “Polozhenie i zadachi sotsialisticheskogo Internatsionala.” Ibid., vol. 26.
Lenin, V. I. “Tezisy ko II kongressu Kommunisticheskogo Internatsionala.” lbid., vol. 41.
Materialy XXIV s” ezda KPSS. Moscow, 1971.
Brezhnev, L. I. O piatidesialilelii Soiuza Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik. Moscow, 1972.
Dorogami druzhby. Moscow, 1972.
Kaltakhchian, S. T. Leninizm o sushchnosti natsii iputi obrazovaniia internatsional’ noi obshchnosti liudei. Moscow, 1969.
Kim, M. P. Sovetskii narod—novaia istoricheskaia obshchnost’. Moscow, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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