… I do not agree that the two big revolutionary parties in tsarist Russia, the Socialist Revolutionaries and the Social Democrats were under Jewish ideological influence. I do not know what “Jewish ideology” is. Anyway the Socialist Revolutionaries had their origins in the far left Russian terrorist groups and movements of the 1860s and 1870s such as the People’s Will which were emphatically Russian and not Jewish (a disproportionate number of their members were the children of Orthodox priests). As for the Social Democrats the influence here was German not Jewish and the first important Russian Marxist and the founder of the Russian Social Democrats, Georgy Plekhanov, was emphatically a Russian not a Jew.
There was a disproportionately large number of Jews amongst the senior leaders of the Russian Social Democrats (less so amongst the Socialist Revolutionaries), a fact by the way that strongly refutes the view of widespread anti semitism amongst the Russian lower classes, but the Social Democrats were never a Jewish dominated party and as is well know the Jewish socialist party in tsarist Russia known as the Jewish Bund was refused admission into the Social Democrats when it insisted on maintaining its independent organisation and identity.
As we covered in the previous instalment, Demographics I: The Russian Cross Reversed?, fertility rates are not abnormally low by European standards and are likely to rise further in the future. The same cannot be said of mortality rates – a ‘quiet crisis‘ that has been a ‘catastrophe of historic proportions’.
Take life expectancy. As of 2007, the average age of death in Russia was 65.9 years. This is way below First World levels (United States – 78.0; EU – 78.7; Japan – 82.0) and even many developing country standards (Mexico – 75.6; China – 72.9; Egypt – 71.6; India – 68.6). Note: this figure was actually 67.7 years in 2007 (the CIA relies on its own projections to estimate demographic data), but the general point stands.
Even compared to other post-Soviet countries, Russia’s mortality stats are far from impressive – as you can see from the graphs in that link, total life expectancy, male life expectancy and death rates for both sexes all hovered near the worst levels. Nor is so-called healthy life expectancy anything to write home about (in 2002, it stood at 53 years and 64 years for men and women respectively, compared with 55/64 for Ukraine, 63/68 in Poland and 67/71 in the US).