Bolshevistic experiment of public modernization - Ukrainization policy of urban and rural communities

Nataliya Gorishna


InUkraine, that has for centuries been deprived of its own statehood, the problem of social change vector has always been relevant and painful. That very fact they have been being administered in foreign capitals, is incredibly difficult for modernization and urbanization processes, not mentioning the problems of national identity. Only now, when Ukraine got its independence, the opportunity of social and transformational unbiased analysis of processes at different stages of the country's history with their inherent contradictions, achievements and losses, the struggle of the new with the old has become possible.

Ethno-national changes in the Soviet era are highlited in the studies of S. Bilokin, N. Borysenko, V. Danylenko, G. Kasianov, S. Kulchytskyi, O. Malyarchuk, A. Rublov, D. Chornyi and others.

The purpose of the article is to analyze the contradictions in the social consciousness of the urban and rural population in the process of "Ukrainianization" policy, to distinguish positive and negative effects of party influence in the political, economic and spiritual areas.

Town and village oppose each other, first of all, not as two types of settlements, but as two principles of social life, and the transition from rural to urban society forms one of the main vectors of movement of society to a qualitatively new state. Analyzing the cultural relationship between city and countryside, it is worth noting a number of factors that determine the nature of this interaction. Features of the historical development of Ukraine led to the existence of the culture of the city and culture of the village as two separate parts in Ukrainian cultural process during the period studied in the article. Moreover, in contrast to the rural culture that, with its own social structure, was a coherent category, the culture of the Ukrainian city of 1920s was represented, so to say, by a conglomerate of different cultural types that differed not only in the social and but in ethnic aspects as well. These features of urban culture led to duality and ambivalence that took place in its impact on rural culture.

Culture of the farmer, whose whole life was closely linked with nature, is based on harmony and interdependence of man and the environment, was of cosmocentric character. For its bearer emotional and sensory perception of the world is inherent, their mental structure is defined by its "cordocentrism", i.e the concentration around the "heart". In contrast to the rural culture, the culture of the city, with its predominantly industrial character of production, based on purely rational, logical principles, where there is no unity of man and nature, was based mainly on tecnocentrical perception of the world.

On the other hand, the city transported its negative effects to the village through the interaction of cultures along with the achievements of civilization. Industrial nature of urban production, imposing a specific mark on a culture of the city, led to a negative impact of urban civilization in its extreme, technological, cultural manifestation on the situation in the country. Although in 1920s the negative effects of this influence manifestated still in the bud, during the industrialization of agricultural production a tendency towards separation of man and nature in the culture of the village appears together with the contrast between them, which led to the substitution of emotional principle by bare rationalism. This led to the emasculation from the rural culture of such important components as humanism, spirituality and emotion, which ultimately have a negative effect on the cultural and political life of the republic.

For the active implementation of Ukrainianization higher authorities in the city faced a severe blow and considerably weakened their assimilatory effect on the village. It was weakened, but not eliminated. Russification trends of urban culture are being transformed into the so-called latent forms (supply of rural libraries mainly with Russian literature, appointment to administration of cultural institutions especially those individuals who had not spoken Ukrainian, maintaining the position of the Russian language in communication between the center and local authorities, etc.). But these effects weakened Russification affects of the town obstructed the cultural situation in the village. But the new government was characterized not so much by a national feature (although, despite the often declared internationalism, it clearly discerned great power trend), but social: the priority of the class over national.

It is the interaction of rural and urban cultures, which (in the schematic manifestation) represented "ethnomaterial" and "intelligence" in culture genesis of Ukrainian people and determined the significant shift in the culture-forming process in Ukraine in the 1920s.

But in general, the historical experience of cultural transformations of the 1920s shows that establishing of mature national culture is possible only through cooperation, mutual enrichment of rural and urban cultures.


selianstvo; working class; intellectuals; Culture; national idea


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