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Journal Article

Soviet Marxism-Leninism as Mythology

Carol Barner-Barry and Cynthia Hody
Political Psychology
Vol. 15, No. 4 (Dec., 1994), pp. 609-630
DOI: 10.2307/3791623
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3791623
Page Count: 22
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Soviet Marxism-Leninism as Mythology
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Abstract

Marxism-Leninism is usually regarded as an ideology, an intellectual construct. For the overwhelming majority of the Soviet people, however, it was presented in a form that was more mythological than ideological. This article analyzes the mythological use of the main ideas of Marxism-Leninism during the Soviet period. This mythology was used as one of the major bases for building a common Soviet national identity among the myriad ethnic groups living on Soviet soil. The rise of nationalism during the Gorbachev period and the rapid disintegration of the Soviet Union highlight the failure of the Soviet leadership to build a common Soviet identity that might have formed the basis for a more stable Soviet nation-state.

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