Odds and Ends
4 9, 9:38am
I guess you could put it that way.
Well the Soviet Union was a dictatorship led by a string of leaders only interested in securing their own power and privilege and ordinary people didn't really have a choice as to what they could think - that was all decided by the regime.
Disagreeing meant either a quick death by a bullet to the back of the head or a slow one in a labor camp.
And dictators always use nationalism as a tool to fool their people into supporting them - just to strengthen their own hold on power.
Dictators portray themselves as being not only one with the state but also the nation so supporting the nation means you must support the leader.
Stalin set the example in the Soviet Union with a cult of personality and in the case of him it's highly questionable if he had any ideological convictions at all - it was all about strengthening his own power.
For instance he perverted the socialist principle of internationalism with the argument that since the Soviet Union according to his perspective was the most important socialist state in the world it should be all socialists mission to support the Soviet Union and thereby him personally - no matter what he decided to do.
But that's not in accordance with actual socialism of course. That was just him creating a twisted argument to demand support from all other socialists to strengthen his own power.
Many socialists at the time saw right through that and never supported Stalin - others unfortunately did.
So looking at Stalin for instance, it's correct to say that he used the rhetoric of nationalism to further his own goals - but he also did a terrible lot of damage to his nation just to strengthen his own power.
So he was neither following a socialist ideology, nor was he actually a nationalist - he just used any ideological argument that suited him at the moment to further his own objectives.
Just like all dictators always do.
People are still people and no matter what ideology they claim to embrace you will always find individuals who will try to twist them to fit their own motives and present rationalizations to defend their actions.
Just as you'll have no problem in finding people calling themselves Christian who at the same time do any number of terrible things.
But being a nationalist is still not actually compatible with the socialist ideology, which is based on the concept of class instead of nation.
To Marx nationalism was just another thing the upper classes used to distract ordinary people from demanding their rights.
That's how all dictators have always used nationalism and that how it's still being used today.
Look at Kim Jong-Un in North Korea for instance.
He can barely feed his own people but keeps them in check with terror, the threat of the hated foreigners and the demand that they must support their nation.
But the ordinary North Korean people of course have much more in common with their South Korean relatives then they ever have with Kim. They have nothing to gain by starving so their dictatorial regime can build nuclear weapons - they only want what all ordinary people want - to live in peace.
Kim is just using nationalism - the claim that all North Koreans must support the state - to further his own personal interest, which is to remain in power.
But ordinary North Koreans would of course be much better of if the state that enslaves them just came crashing down.
The concept of nationalism is just being used by Kim to fool his people into supporting him personally - just like all dictators have always done.