Appearance of the Notes “On the Question of Nationalities or About “Autonomisation”

Valentin Sakharov


The matter of the Georgian question has repeatedly been discussed in this journal. Stalin has been widely criticised for his views with reference to the national question on the basis of Lenin’s “The Question of Nationalities or ‘Autonomisation.” Paresh Chattopadyay construed Lenin’s criticism of the Polish communist Dzerzhinsky as being directed at Stalin. Similarly, Lenin’s criticism of the Georgian, G.K. Orjonikidze, who had manhandled a member of the Mdivani group was misdirected to Stalin. (RD, Vol. I, No. 2, September 1995). Similarly, Istvan Meszaros had criticised Stalin extensively without basis. For example he argued that Stalin had denied the right of nations to secession despite the fact that this right was enshrined in the Soviet Constitution of 1936. (RD Vol. XII, No 1, April 2006). The anti-socialist article of Meszaros was widely circulated in India by CPIML Liberation. The critique of Meszaros was later translated and placed on the Portuguese blog Revolução e Democracia by Joaquim P. Marques de Sa. The author further pointed out mistranslations of the Russian text on the Georgian question when referring to Stalin on the site of (which turned out on later investigation to be incorrect and tendentious translations performed by Andrew Rothstein of the CPGB). Moreover, the anti-Stalin interpolations of in the Lenin text were also established. These have as they were intended to do to blacken the name of Stalin. (The Subversion and Disruption of a Writing of Lenin, RD Vol XXII, No. 2, April 2020).

The radical evaluation of the late writings of Lenin by Valentin A. Sakharov which examined the archival evidence suggested that many of these writings, which were published under Khrushchev and Brezhnev, were not authored by Lenin. Based on these writings, Prof. Kotkin of Princeton University, who is hostile to communism, declared the late texts of Lenin to be ‘forgeries’. More recently Grover Furr in his book ‘The Fraud of the “Testament of Lenin” has drawn on the book of Sakharov to present to Anglophone audiences the findings of the Russian author. In addition he has looked at the writings of Leon Trotsky and Moshe Lewin in connection with the late writings of the Soviet leader.

In this discussion on the text attributed to Lenin “On the question of nationalities or about “autonomisation”. Sakharov gives a detailed discussion on the intrigues surrounding the formation of this text in the Bolshevik Party.

Vijay Singh

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