Ivan Sablin deposited The State Conference in Moscow, 1917: class, nationality, and the building of a post-imperial community in the group Soviet and Russian history and culture on Humanities Commons 1 year, 8 months ago
The State Conference in Moscow, a one-time quasi-parliamentary assembly of over 2,500 delegates, was intended to help the Provisional Government resolve the military, political, and economic crises of the First World War and the Russian Revolution by building a broad public consensus. Due to the inadequate representation at the conference, its duration and procedure, and the radically divergent platforms of major political forces, the assembly functioned as a political rally rather than a parliament. The attempt to resolve the crises by (re)constituting a Russian political community failed due to the conflicts formulated in terms of class and nationality and the contradictions between coercive discipline and self-organization as the principles of state- and nation-building. Even though the idea of the Russian nation prevailed at the conference, its participants did not agree if a post-imperial political community was to be homogeneous or composite, inclusive or exclusive, and if it was to be organized in a top-down or bottom-up manner.