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Insurgent UniversalityAn Alternative Legacy of Modernity$
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Massimiliano Tomba

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190883089

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190883089.001.0001

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1918: An Insurgent Constitution

1918: An Insurgent Constitution

(p.120) 4 1918: An Insurgent Constitution
Insurgent Universality

Massimiliano Tomba

Oxford University Press

The fourth chapter analyzes the alternative routes of modernization that were encapsulated in the Russian revolutionary streams of 1917–18. From the perspective of modern Western constitutionalism, the first Russian Constitution contained numerous anomalies that, strictly speaking, make it difficult to define the Russian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic as a state in the modern sense of the term. Among these anomalies was the dismantling of the national state through a universal distribution of power by the local soviets; the anticolonial and antinational pronouncement for a new conception of citizenship, which in the first Russian constitution could be conferred upon foreign workers by any local soviets; and an alternative practice of property relations, which was rooted in the traditional communal possession of land—different from both private and collective state property. This chapter analyzes these anomalies as innovative political institutions, which are part of the legacy of insurgent universality.

Keywords:   Russian Revolution, 1918 Russian Constitution, soviet, federalism, pluralism of power, collective rights, obshchina, mir, collective possession, citizenship, Baku

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