Constitution of the Soviet Union. Declaration. January 13, 1924
Original Source: Vestnik TsIK, SNK i STO Soiuza SSR, No. 2 (1924), Art. 24.
Since the foundation of the Soviet Republics, the States of the world have been divided into two camps; the camp of Capitalism and the camp of Socialism.
There, in the camp of Capitalism: national hate and inequality, colonial slavery and chauvinism, national oppression and massacres, brutalities and imperialistic wars.
Here, in the camp of Socialism: reciprocal confidence and peace, national liberty and equality, the pacific coexistence and fraternal collaboration of peoples.
The attempts made by the capitalistic world during the past ten years to decide the question of nationalities by bringing together the principle of the free development of peoples with a system of exploitation of man by man have been fruitless. In addition, the number of national conflicts becomes more and more confusing, even menacing the capitalistic regime. The bourgeoisie has proven itself incapable of realizing a harmonious collaboration of the peoples.
It is only in the camp of the Soviets; it is only under the conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat that has grouped around itself the majority of the people, that it has been possible to eliminate the oppression of nationalities, to create an atmosphere of mutual confidence and to establish the basis of a fraternal collaboration of peoples.
It is only thanks to these circumstances that the Soviet Republics have succeeded in repulsing the imperialistic attacks both internally and externally; it is only thanks to them that the Soviet Republics have succeeded in satisfactorily ending a civil war, in assuring their existence and in dedicating themselves to pacific economic reconstruction.
But the years of the war have not passed without leaving their trace. The devastated fields, the closed factories, the forces of production destroyed and the economic resources exhausted, this heritage of the war renders insufficient the isolated economic efforts of the several Republics. National economic reestablishment is impossible as long as the Republics remain separated.
On the other hand, the instability of the international situation and the danger of new attacks make inevitable the creation of a united front of the Soviet Republics in the presence of capitalistic surroundings.
Finally, the very structure of Soviet power, international by nature of class, pushes the masses of workers of the Soviet Republics to unite in one socialist family.
All these considerations insistently demand the union of the Soviet Republics into one federated State capable of guaranteeing security against the exterior, economic prosperity internally, and the free national development of peoples.
The will of the peoples of the Soviet Republics recently assembled in Congress, where they decide unanimously to form the “Union of Socialist Soviet Republics,” is a sure guarantee that this Union is a free federation of peoples equal in rights, that the right to freely withdraw from the Union is assured to each Republic, that access to the Union is open to all Republics already existing, as well as those that may be born in the future,
that the new federal state will be the worthy crowning of the principles laid down as early as October 1917, of the pacific coexistence and fraternal collaboration of peoples, that it will serve as a bulwark against the capitalistic world and mark a new decisive step towards the union of workers of all countries in one World Wide Socialist Soviet Republic.
Source: Milton H. Andrew, Twelve Leading Constitutions (Compton, California: American University series, 1931), p. 327.