RCH: Religion in the USSR

That’s the topic of my weekend column at RealClearHistory. An excerpt:

4. Buddhism was also outlawed and persecuted to the fullest extent of the Soviet law. Buddhism was practiced by a few different non-Russian ethnic groups in central Asia, and these small ethnic groups were given more leniency than most, but Buddhism came to be viewed by the Soviet intelligentsia as extremely dangerous, due to the fact that many left-leaning scholars abandoned socialism for Buddhist principles. The work of Andrei Znamenski, a historian of religion and ideology at the University of Memphis, is particularly useful for finding out why this happened.

Please, read the rest. Dr Znamenski, of course, blogs here on occasion, but I do wish he’d do so more often…

Lunchtime Links

  1. oil and Kurdistan
  2. after Raqqa, Iraq’s army turns on Kurdistan
  3. “There has been a common and unfortunate tendency among many analysts and policy makers to underestimate the strength of Iraqi nationalism”
  4. separatist movements in Europe don’t actually want independence
  5. GREAT topic, but poor methodology, poor theory, poor use of data, and bad faith
  6. meh (try this book review instead)
  7. Law without the State [pdf]

Lunchtime Links

  1. My country, your colony | why the Holocaust in Europe?
  2. compliance and defiance to national integration in Africa [pdf] | on doing economic history
  3. ethnonationalism and nation-building in Siberia [pdf] | cosmopolitanism and nationalism
  4. political centralization and government accountability [pdf] | decentralization in military command
  5. unified China and divided Europe [pdf] | unilateralism is not isolationism

Around the Web: The Failure of Detroit and the Demagogue of Vienna

  1. Ilya Somin argues that Detroit’s aggressive use of eminent domain needs to be incorporated into any discussion of Detroit’s failure (be sure to read through the ‘comments’ section, too).
  2. Richard Wolff blames “capitalism” for Detroit’s failure. No seriously.
  3. Historian Andrei Znamenski has a great piece in the Independent Review on the political life of Karl Lueger, a socialist who became mayor of Vienna in the late 19th century.

Ultimately, I think that Detroit’s failure can be chalked up to bad fiscal policy, cronyism (at the local, regional and federal levels) and freer trade (which lets me drive a high-quality Toyota rather than some clunker from Detroit).

Lueger was an advocate of social justice and consequently of national socialism. Znamenski found that he had a profound influence on the thinking of an impressionable young artist living in Vienna at the time.