By Neil Davidson
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These were areas where the economy was largely pre-capitalist and the majority of the population were illiterate. The first five-year plan provided for more intensive industrialisation of regions like Central Asia than in the USSR more generally. ’55 Both regions were therefore experiencing what Luria later called ‘a radical restructuring of their socioeconomic system and culture’ as a result of Stalinist collectivisation and the industrialisation process. The economy was based on cotton, with some transhument cattle-rearers who spent part of the year in the mountains.
Four developments lay behind it. FROM NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS TO NATION STATES 39 First, once the initial shock of industrialisation passed, workers came to accept that capitalism was not a passing aberration, but a new form of society which might have many years of vitality ahead of it. The apparent permanence of the system forced accommodation and adaptation, however grudgingly, from the new exploited class, whose horizons were anyway limited by the ‘dull compulsion’ to work, raise families and recover from the savage exertions demanded by the factory system.
Social Diffusion Before discussing the nature of national consciousness among the working class, it will be necessary to return to the concept of class consciousness, or more precisely, that of reformist class consciousness, since 38 THE ORIGINS OF SCOTTISH NATIONHOOD this provides the context within which national consciousness and nationalism develop. 45 Miliband rightly says that the degree to which classes become conscious of their position varies according to what kind of class they are. Exploiting classes have always displayed a far greater awareness of their position than the majority of those whom they exploit – indeed, this is a precondition of their continuing to exploit them.