Nationalism from the Left: The Bulgarian Communist Party by Yannis Sygkelos

By Yannis Sygkelos

'Nationalism from the Left' analyses the case of the BCP as a Marxist establishment which more and more followed and tailored nationalism; it contributes to the exam of the fairly underresearched box of communist nationwide propaganda, as basically within the final decade, have researchers turn into drawn to this subject. It explains the explanations for this and offers proof of the Party's nationalism throughout a couple of spheres of political lifestyles: household and overseas coverage, institution textual content books, historiography, festivities and emblems. therefore, the Marxist nationalist discourse of the BCP used to be all-encompassing. unlike many works on nationwide communist events, 'Nationalism from the Left' identifies many foreign parallels and offers an ancient advent to the reconciliation of Marxism and nationalism.

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32 chapter one of the national(ist) discourse of the BCP during and after the Second World War can be detected in his plea before the Leipzig Court, which actually combined elements of both internationalist and nationalist discourses. 29 Responding to charges that he was a ‘suspicious character from the Balkans’ and a ‘savage Bulgarian’, Dimitrov, declared his complete indifference to the personal abuse he suffered from the press, insisting that it was the Bulgarian narod which had been offended through him, thus implying that the honour of the Bulgarian narod was more important than he was.

With regard to the BCP, in 1934, during the conference of the Balkan Secretariat of the ECCI, Bulgarian communists recognised Macedonians as a separate nation, though Kolarov insisted on 34 Dimitrov (1971): 14 ff. Sharlanov (1966): 69. 36 Dragoicheva (1979): 560; Dellin (1979): 52; Bell (1986): 49. 37 Both Dragoicheva and Kostov, the two most significant local communists, appreciated and welcomed directives and aid from Dimitrov and the Foreign Bureau, in Dragoicheva (1979): passim and Isusov (2000): 161 and 165 respectively.

As Martin demonstrates,40 ‘korenizatsiya’ originally aimed to disarm nationalism by satisfying nationalist demands and ideals of nationalities and ethnicities of the USSR and to strike a heavy blow against ‘Great-Russian chauvinism’. 42 At that time, the Soviet leadership turned to ‘Russification’, sanctioning Russian self-expression and nationalism. In this way, the Bolsheviks transferred the epicentre of nationalism from the Republics to the centre. 43 Apparently, Stalin’s paradox constituted his attempt to disarm one kind of nationalism with another; either way, nationalism was always present.

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