Forwarded from Nestor

Dennis R Redmond dredmond at
Mon Feb 26 15:30:22 MST 2001

On Mon, 26 Feb 2001, Xxxx Xxxxxx wrote:

> belonged to Serbians. this is a false perception. The same perception
> had existed among the independent nations of former communist USSR that
> Soviets belonged to Russians only, and states were oppressed;
> underpriviliged etc.. This was not true in any technical sense, because
> every nation had an equal standing in relation to political authority,
> as it was written in the constitution.

Uh-huh. And what kind of judiciary guaranteed the rights of that
constitution? A ruthless, authoritarian one-party state -- staffed,
managed and led by ethnic Russians. There *was* a lot of racism in the
former USSR, and there's no question the Russians imposed their language
and social system on the other ethnic groups of the former Russian Empire.
That said, they also did a lot of good things, i.e. affirmative action,
education, raising the standard of living, etc. But we shouldn't get too
nostalgic for what was still an awfully repressive system. It had some
socialist features, but some noxiously capitalist ones, too. The
question is, what does the Left have to offer countries like Kazakhstan,
aside from bromides about how everything was wonderful thirty years ago?

-- Dennis

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