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December 22, 2003

The Communist Years

One thing that I've always noted, Communism was anti-racist and anti-religious. Today Russia is rather irreligious ("control-f" Russia), despite the modest religious revival during the post-Communist era. But articles about Russian racism abound (some of the stuff is reminiscent of pre-Civil Rights United States). I know this might be journalistic hyperbole, but I also recall that one reason the Afghans hated the Russians so much was because of rather unconcealed racism that many of the soldiers evinced[1]. The same pattern of low religious belief and racialist feeling seems to be found in many regions of Eastern Europe.

Addendum: Peter's comments have made to revaluate how I presented the above point, I should have emphasized nationalism rather than racialism, the latter being an extreme subset of the former.

fn1. In college the manifestations of racism from European international students that I encountered, though rare, did have a strong relationship to longitude.

Posted by razib at 04:05 PM