Thursday, March 21, 2013

The very poor record of socialists on racial equality

It has occurred to me that despite their claims to have eliminated racism that socialist regimes were historically every bit as bad if not worse than the worst capitalist states such as apartheid South Africa in this matter. Cuba seems to be the only socialist state in which racial discrimination actually decreased rather than increased after the revolution. In the USSR there were the bloody national operations that fell heavily upon diaspora groups like the Germans, Poles, Finns, Greeks, Latvians, and Estonians during 1937-38. Then there was the wholesale internal deportation and deprivation of civil rights imposed upon the Koreans, Germans, Finns, Karachais, Kalmyks, Chechens, Ingush, Balkars, Crimean Tatars, Meskhetian Turks, and other stigmatized groups in the 1940s. In China there was the wholesale persecution and annihilation of the cultural institutions of the Tibetans, Mongols, and Uyghers, particularly during the Cultural Revolution. In Vietnam there was the systematic mistreatment of ethnic Chinese in 1978-79. In Cambodia the Khmer Rouge exterminated the majority of the country's ethnic Vietnamese, Chinese, Thais, and Cham. So it is not surprising that people who continue to spring from the same ideological base as Stalin, Mao, Le Duan, and Pol Pot continue to support policies that treat different groups of people differently and unequally on the basis of their ancestry and lineage.

On this topic I am interested in learning more about the Vietnamese government's persecution of its Chinese population during the late 1970s. It appears that the exodus of ethnic Chinese from Vietnam was in response to a campaign of racist persecution by the Vietnamese government, but that they were not actually forcibly expelled from the country. Rather after being plundered and subjected to significant harassment they were given the option of settling in New Economic Zones or leaving Vietnam, and the vast majority chose to leave. If anybody has any suggestions for reading on the subject please put them in the comments.

4 comments:

Walt Richmond said...

I would venture to say that the only reason Cuba's racism decreased was because all the Native Cubans were already dead.

J. Otto Pohl said...

Walt: I was not thinking of the indigenous population wiped out by the Spanish. Rather I was thinking of the rather large Afro-Cuban population whose position in society did appear to become more equal after 1959 than before that year. I am not going to defend Cuba under Castro as a paradise, but compared to the rest of the socialist world it was considerably better on this measure.

Withywindle said...

One million largely white Cubans fled the country.

Tanja Nyberg said...

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