Eastern Orthodox Christianity has done more to shape certain ex-Communist countries than communism. It also, some say, made their people relatively unhappy and anti-capitalist. This theory got a lot of play in 1990s Russia but has now resurfaced in a fresh World Bank working paper.
Its authors, former Bulgarian finance minister Simeon Djankov and Elena Nikolova of University College London, analyzed data from the World Values Survey and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s Life in Transition Survey to study the correlation between religious background and attitudes. They concluded that Orthodoxy made certain countries fertile ground for communism and generally shaped their path as distinct from those taken by countries steeped in Western Christian traditions.
Yeah, this makes a lot of sense. This explains why famously Orthodox Latvians voted more than anybody else for the Bolsheviks in 1917 and why ultra-Orthodox Red Latvian Riflemen played an instrumental role in establishing Soviet power early in the Civil War, why devout Protestant areas such as southern Russia and Siberia constituted the centers of White resistance, why Orthodox Hungary and Germany all had organic Communist uprisings in the immediate wake of WW1, why greater percentages of the Orthodox French and the Orthodox Italians voted for Communists from the 1950s to the 1970s than Russians voted for the Bolsheviks in 1917, etc.
Oh wait… this is actually unmitigated BS.
Now here’s the thing… there actually is one deep cultural factor that correlates very well with the ultimate borders of twentieth-century Communism: The exagamous communitarian family system (Emmanuel Todd from Explanation of Ideology).
However, there is a good reason that Bershidsky et al. are not going to discuss it in these not entirely politically correct terms, especially not when they can get to smear Orthodox Christianity for free. It is related to the reasons that he studiously ignores the evidence for racial differences in IQ in debates about immigration. It is because he is a good example of a Western Communist.