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 Russian Reaction BlogTeasers

Another Uraza Bayram.

Countless photos showing zillions of Muslims filling up Moskvabad’s streets. More gleeful shitposts from /pol/ to svidomy forums about imminent Russabia.

moscow-uraza-bayram-2017

But you don’t have to be a particularly big fan of open borders with Central Asia to be able to look at statistics.

In a series of recent posts, Russian blogger Ivan Vladimirov tallied the percentage of newborn ethnic Russians relative to the percentage of Russians as a whole per region.

This is a solid approach, because while counting immigrants is hard – estimates of illegal migrants in Russia vary all over the place – doing so for newborns is far easier. Ultimately the vast majority of births happen in hospitals, and it is difficult to imagine a vast Uzbek/Tajik underground baby boom taking place, not least because of the banal fact that the vast majority of Gastarbeiters are males.

Anyhow, bearing in mind that newborns today reflect society in 30-50 years’ time, the figures are actually quite encouraging (from an assimilationist perspective).

acer120-map-russia-minorities-change

The percentage of ethnic Russians is increasing across almost the entirety of core Russia.

Here is another set of maps from blogger n_avdeev.

The first one shows the percentage of ethnic Russians by region:

avdeev-map-russia-minorities

The second shows the percentage of ethnic Russians younger than 5 years by region (note that green numbers represent an increase, and red numbers a decrease, relative to the total percentage of ethnic Russians):

avdeev-map-russia-young-minorities

You can actually see the majority Russian areas getting even more Russian. This even includes Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, despite them being Gastarbeiter magnets.

The Chuvash, Udmurts, Karels, Komi, Mari, and Mordva are steadily becoming Russians. The Republic of Karelia, once a separate Soviet Socialist republic from 1940-1956, has gone from being 57% Russian in 1926 to 82% by 2010 (and 94% amongst infants), while the comically named Jewish autonomous oblast has seen its Jews decline from 16% of the population in 1939 to 1% by 2010, and becoming 93% Russian overall (98% amongst infants).

Unsurprisingly, the Ukrainians and Belorussians are becoming Russians at an even faster pace, as are as the few remaining Jews and Germans.

Only the Tatars and Bashkirs are holding their own in their ethnic republics, though outside them, they too are dissolving into Russiandom.

However, in regions already mostly populated by highly fertile, underdeveloped, and lower IQ ethnic minorities, such as the North Caucasus (esp. “DICh”, i.e. Dagestan, Ingushetia, Chechnya) and some Siberian regions such as Tyva and the Sakha Republic, the share of ethnic Russians is falling, often at a precipitous rate.

If Russia has an equivalent to US states like Arizona and Texas, where the original White American stock is steadily being outpaced by demographic expansionism from more virile southern ethnicities, it is Stavropol krai (81% total vs. 77% infants), Astrakhan oblast (67% vs. 64%), and the Altai republic (57% vs. 51%).

yuray-map-european-census However, these are literally the only major exceptions to a pattern where ethnic Russians are stable or increasing in the parts of the country where they already constitute a solid majority. In this sense, Russia is far better off not just relative to the US, where non-Hispanic Whites now total 62% of the population and account for less than 50% of new births since 2011, but also many West European countries that have gone from being ~99% to 85%-90% White in the space of just a couple of generations (see Mark Yuray’s map to the right).

Since ethnic Russians don’t have particularly high fertility rates (though they are not significantly lower than those of non-DICh and Mongoloid Siberian minorities), the primary vehicle through which Russianizationization occurs must happen on account of differential rates of intermarriage with Russians (in such marriages, children typically adopt the dominant Russian culture).

Another blogger, Oleg Lisovsky, has compiled figures on intermarriage for both men and women.

Around 70% of Ukrainians and Belorussians marry Russians, so assimilation there is particularly fast, considering also the barely indistinguishable nature of those cultures.

These figures are considerably lower amongst the Christian Caucasian (Armenians, Georgians) and Finno-Ugric (20%-50%) nationalities, and extremely low amongst the Tyvans and DICh peoples (<5%).

On the basis of this data, Vladimirov also compiled a map of the intermarriage coefficient for Russia’s regions. Unfortunately, the scale is not specified, but one can make out the general pattern:

  • High levels of intermarriage in the regions where there are substantial ethnic minorities amongst large Russian majorities;
  • Moderate levels of intermarriage in regions with near homogenous Russian populations and predominant ethnic minorities;
  • Extremely low levels of intermarriage in DICh (who barely even intermarry amongst themselves).

acer120-map-russia-intermarriage-coefficient

One notes that this applies even to small population groups within DICh, such as the Laks, of whom there are 161,000 in Dagestan and 179,000 in Russia according to the 2010 census. Male Laks marry female Laks 85% of the time and ethnic Russians 5% of the time (my grandfather is a very rare case); female Laks marry male Laks 88% of the time and ethnic Russians a mere 1.2% of the time.

Three are three main lessons to take away from this:

(1) Russia is simply not undergoing population replacement/displacement on the American or West European model. There is, to be sure, considerable… métissage, but it is primarily happening between genetically and psychometrically similar peoples – and in many cases, this is something that has been happening for centuries anyway (e.g. north Russians are basically admixed Slavs and Finno-Ugrics anyway).

(2) The DICh regions are a lost cause in terms of assimilation, but in all fairness, they probably always were. They are very distinct from the rest of Russia, and understandably so, since like Central Asia, they were only annexed in the middle of the 19th century. They are also absurdly ethnocentric in terms of marriage and reproduction.

During the course of the next century, it seems inevitable that Russians will fade away from the other ethnic minority Caucasian republics, such as Karachaevo-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, and North Ossetia, as well as Kalmykia and Tyva.

The only places in the North Caucasus where a demographic “struggle” of sorts is occuring with respect to traditional Russian majority regions are Stavropol krai and Astrakhan oblast, but even there, the scale of the problem is decidedly smaller than in America’s borderlands with Mexico’s or Western Europe’s inner cities.

(3) The system of ethno-republics, apart from feeding corrupt regional oligarchies, also seems to act as a break on assimilation. The prime historical example is of course the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which foistered a Ukrainian identity upon Malorussians within its territories – including Novorossiya, where they were essentially just settlers – whereas the Malorussians of the Russian Kuban have almost all became Russians since the 1920s by dint of being in the RSFSR. However, as the demographic statistics above make it clear, the same trends are playing out, to some extent, even within the Russian Federation proper.

This is why most Russian nationalists have tended to dislike federalism and ethnic minority republics, and urge a return to the imperial system of guberniyas.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Demographics, Minorities, Russia 

Who is really the greatest Russian?

Okay, formally, the Levada survey that put Stalin in the lead asked about the “of all times and places.” However, in practice – and this isn’t just limited to Russia – most people interpret it as “who is your greatest countryman.”

In my opinion, to be considered “great,” you must be both eminent (i.e. frequently mentioned in encyclopedias and reference works) and to have positively impacted the world, or at least your own country. Few would call Hitler great, though he was almost surely the most influential/eminent Austrian (and one of the most influential Germans).

So perhaps the least controversial approach is to just tally the Great People (scientists, artists, inventors, etc).

Charles Murray’s Human Accomplishment database is not the worst place to start.

To qualify, the persons below either had to have been born in Russia, and at least either worked in Russia, or had Slavic ethnicity. (Otherwise the most influential Russian would have been Georg Cantor, whose connections to Russia were fleeting at best; his Jewish parents left Saint-Petersburg with him for Germany when he was 11 years old).

It’s morbidly funny to note that Lenin and Stalin, respectively ranked #4 and #1 by Russians, were instrumental in getting a noticeable percentage of the people on this list – e.g. Zworykin, Sikorsky, Gamow – to permanently leave Russia, and convincing Dobzhansky to stay there (a good thing for him considering the Lysenkoism of the 1930s).

# Name Index Inventory Birth Death Birth Work Ethnos
1 Stravinsky, Igor 45.42 Music.West 1882 1971 Russia Russia Slavic
2 Tolstoy, Leo 40.53 Lit.West 1828 1910 Russia Russia Slavic
3 Dostoevsky, Fyodor 40.20 Lit.West 1821 1881 Russia Russia Slavic
4 Kandinsky, Vasily 30.62 Art.West 1866 1944 Russia Germany Slavic
5 Pushkin, Alexander 30.05 Lit.West 1799 1837 Russia Russia Slavic
6 Gogol, Nikolay 26.03 Lit.West 1809 1852 Russia Russia Slavic
7 Mendeleyev, Dmitry 25.03 Chem 1834 1907 Russia Russia Slavic
8 Turgenev, Ivan 24.30 Lit.West 1818 1853 Russia Russia Slavic
9 Chekhov, Anton 24.01 Lit.West 1860 1904 Russia Russia Slavic
10 Zworykin, Vladimir 21.79 Tech 1889 1982 Russia USA Slavic
11 Tchaikovsky, Piotr 20.48 Music.West 1840 1893 Russia Russia Slavic
12 Lobachevsky, Nikolay 19.41 Math 1792 1856 Russia Russia Slavic
13 Popov, Aleksandr 18.86 Tech 1859 1906 Russia Russia Slavic
14 Gorky, Maxim 18.82 Lit.West 1868 1936 Russia Russia Slavic
15 Ostwald, Wilhelm 18.31 Chem 1853 1932 Russia Germany Slavic
16 Sikorsky, Igor 16.89 Tech 1889 1972 Russia USA Slavic
17 Mayakovsky, Vladimir 16.29 Lit.West 1894 1930 Russia Russia Slavic
18 Mussorgsky , Modest 15.61 Music.West 1839 1881 Russia Russia Slavic
19 Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolay 15.33 Music.West 1844 1908 Russia Russia Slavic
20 Malevich, Kasimir 14.63 Art.West 1878 1935 Russia Russia Slavic
21 Lenz, Emil 14.39 Eart 1804 1865 Russia Russia Slavic
22 Tsvet, Mikhail 14.27 Biol 1872 1919 Russia Russia Slavic
23 Dobzhansky, Theodosius 13.99 Biol 1900 1975 Russia USA Slavic
24 Lomonosov, Mikhail 12.82 Astr 1711 1765 Russia Russia Slavic
25 Lermontov, Mikhail 12.48 Lit.West 1814 1841 Russia Russia Scots
26 Tatlin, Vladimir 11.94 Art.West 1885 1953 Russia Russia Slavic
27 Ivanovsky, Dmitri 11.80 Biol 1864 1920 Russia Russia Slavic
28 Pasternak, Boris 11.76 Lit.West 1890 1960 Russia Russia Jewish
29 Shostakovich, Dmitri 11.55 Music.West 1906 1975 Russia Russia Slavic
30 Prokofiev, Sergei 11.52 Music.West 1891 1953 Russia Russia Slavic
31 Blok, Aleksandr 11.31 Lit.West 1880 1921 Russia Russia Slavic
32 Korolev, Sergei 10.54 Tech 1907 1966 Russia Russia Slavic
33 Claus, Carl 10.06 Medi 1796 1864 Russia Russia Germanic
34 Tamm, Igor 9.44 Phys 1895 1971 Russia Russia Jewish
35 Tsiolkovsky, Konstantin 8.51 Tech 1857 1935 Russia Russia Slavic
36 Kovalevskaya, Sonya 8.34 Math 1850 1891 Russia Sweden Slavic
37 Borodin, Alexander 8.18 Music.West 1833 1887 Russia Russia Slavic
38 Scriabin, Alexander 8.15 Music.West 1872 1915 Russia Russia Slavic
39 Oparin, Alexander 8.05 Biol 1894 1980 Russia Russia Slavic
40 Veksler, Vladimir 7.99 Phys 1907 1966 Russia Russia Slavic
41 Glinka, Mikhail 7.96 Music.West 1804 1857 Russia Russia Slavic
42 Goncharov, Ivan 7.95 Lit.West 1812 1891 Russia Russia Slavic
43 Bely, Andrei (Bugayev) 7.70 Lit.West 1880 1934 Russia Russia Slavic
44 Frank, Ilya 7.60 Phys 1908 1990 Russia Russia Jewish
45 Friedmann, Alexander 7.54 Phys 1888 1925 Russia Russia Slavic
46 Markov, Andrei 7.33 Math 1856 1922 Russia Russia Slavic
47 Tolstoy, Alexey N. 7.30 Lit.West 1882 1945 Russia Russia Slavic
48 Leskov, Nikolay 7.30 Lit.West 1831 1895 Russia Russia Slavic
49 Cherenkov, Pavel 7.27 Phys 1904 1990 Russia Russia Slavic
50 Rachmaninov, Sergei 7.13 Music.West 1873 1943 Russia Russia Slavic
51 Gelfond, Aleksander 6.82 Math 1906 1968 Russia Russia Jewish
52 Lebedev, Pyotr 6.62 Phys 1866 1912 Russia Russia Slavic
53 Karamzin, Nikolai 6.52 Lit.West 1766 1826 Russia Russia Slavic
54 Merezhkovski, Dmitri 6.15 Lit.West 1865 1941 Russia Russia Slavic
55 Saltykov, Mikhail (N. Shchedrin) 6.12 Lit.West 1826 1892 Russia Russia Slavic
56 Nekrasov, Nikolay 5.84 Lit.West 1821 1877 Russia Russia Slavic
57 Balakirev, Mily 5.80 Music.West 1837 1910 Russia Russia Slavic
58 Herzen, Aleksandr 5.46 Lit.West 1812 1870 Russia Russia Slavic
59 Andreyev, Leonid 5.42 Lit.West 1871 1919 Russia Russia Slavic
60 Ostrovsky, Aleksandr 5.34 Lit.West 1823 1885 Russia Russia Slavic
61 Ambartsumian, Viktor 5.34 Astr 1908 1996 Russia Russia Slavic
62 Bunin, Ivan 5.01 Lit.West 1870 1953 Russia Russia Slavic
63 Ehrenberg, Ilya 5.00 Lit.West 1891 1967 Russia Russia Jewish
64 Gamow, George 4.96 Phys 1904 1968 Russia USA Slavic
65 Bryussov, Valery 4.93 Lit.West 1873 1924 Russia Russia Slavic
66 Rodchenko, Alexander 4.87 Art.West 1891 1956 Russia Russia Slavic
67 Gabo, Naum 4.82 Art.West 1890 1977 Russia Russia Slavic
68 Griboyedov, Alexander 4.82 Lit.West 1795 1829 Russia Russia Slavic
69 Kapitsa, Pyotr 4.77 Phys 1894 1984 Russia Russia Jewish
70 Akhmatova, Anna 4.73 Lit.West 1889 1966 Russia Russia Slavic
71 Goncharova, Natalia 4.72 Art.West 1881 1962 Russia Russia Slavic
72 Lenin, Vladimir 4.65 Phil.West 1870 1924 Russia Russia Slavic
73 Chernyshevsky, Nikolay 4.43 Lit.West 1828 1889 Russia Russia Slavic
74 Babel, Isaak 4.33 Lit.West 1894 1941 Russia Russia Jewish
75 Derzhavin, Gavril 4.25 Lit.West 1743 1816 Russia Russia Slavic
76 Lomonosov, Mikhail 4.19 Lit.West 1711 1765 Russia Russia Slavic
77 Szymanowski, Karol 4.14 Music.West 1882 1937 Russia Poland Slavic
78 Archipenko, Alexander 4.14 Art.West 1887 1964 Russia France Slavic
79 Zoshchenko, Mikhail 4.11 Lit.West 1895 1958 Russia Russia Slavic
80 Kolmogorov, Andrey 4.09 Math 1903 1987 Russia Russia Slavic
81 Lenz, Jakob 4.07 Lit.West 1751 1792 Russia Germany Slavic
82 Sholokhov, Mikhail 4.04 Lit.West 1905 1984 Russia Russia Slavic
83 Tchebycheff, Pafnuty 3.94 Math 1821 1894 Russia Russia Slavic
84 Krylov, Ivan 3.94 Lit.West 1768 1844 Russia Russia Slavic
85 Fedin, Konstantine 3.77 Lit.West 1892 1977 Russia Russia Slavic
86 Pfitzner, Hans 3.70 Music.West 1869 1949 Russia Germany Slavic
87 Zamyatin, Yevgeny 3.51 Lit.West 1884 1937 Russia Russia Slavic
88 Glazunov, Alexander 3.51 Music.West 1865 1936 Russia Russia Slavic
89 Larionoff, Mikhail 3.39 Art.West 1881 1964 Russia Russia Slavic
90 Tyutchev, Fedor 3.38 Lit.West 1803 1873 Russia Russia Slavic
91 Dargomïzhsky, Alexander 3.31 Music.West 1813 1869 Russia Russia Slavic
92 Markovnikov, Vladimir 3.20 Chem 1838 1904 Russia Russia Slavic
93 Sologub, Fedor 3.15 Lit.West 1863 1927 Russia Russia Slavic
94 Korolenko, Vladimir 3.15 Lit.West 1853 1921 Russia Russia Slavic
95 Fonvizin, Denis 3.09 Lit.West 1745 1792 Russia Russia Slavic
96 Butlerov, Aleksandr 3.07 Chem 1828 1886 Russia Russia Slavic
97 Cui, César 2.94 Music.West 1835 1918 Russia Russia Slavic
98 Aksakov, Sergey 2.91 Lit.West 1791 1859 Russia Russia Slavic
99 Repin, Ilya 2.88 Art.West 1844 1930 Russia Russia Slavic
100 Fet, Afanasy 2.71 Lit.West 1820 1892 Russia Russia Slavic
101 Nabokov, Vladimir 2.68 Lit.West 1899 1977 Russia USA Slavic
102 Koltsov, Alexey 2.49 Lit.West 1809 1842 Russia Russia Slavic
103 Balmont, Konstantin 2.48 Lit.West 1867 1943 Russia Russia Slavic
104 Radishchev, Alexander 2.42 Lit.West 1749 1802 Russia Russia Slavic
105 Tolstoy, Alexey K. 2.38 Lit.West 1817 1875 Russia Russia Slavic
106 Katayev, Valentin 2.31 Lit.West 1897 1986 Russia Russia Slavic
107 Mandelstam, Osip 2.29 Lit.West 1892 1938 Russia Russia Jewish
108 Pisemsky, Alexey 2.28 Lit.West 1820 1881 Russia Russia Slavic
109 Kabalevsky, Dmitry 2.27 Music.West 1904 1987 Russia Russia Slavic
110 Garshin, Vsevolod 2.01 Lit.West 1855 1888 Russia Russia Slavic
111 Baratynsky, Evgeny 1.93 Lit.West 1800 1844 Russia Russia Slavic
112 Myaskovsky, Nikolay 1.68 Music.West 1881 1950 Russia Russia Slavic
113 Olesha, Yuri 1.52 Lit.West 1899 1960 Russia Russia Slavic
114 Vogel, Wladimir 1.24 Music.West 1896 1984 Russia Germany Slavic
115 Taneyev, Sergei 1.16 Music.West 1856 1915 Russia Russia Slavic
116 Glier, Reinhold 1.06 Music.West 1875 1956 Russia Russia Jewish
117 Arensky, Anton 1.00 Music.West 1861 1906 Russia Russia Slavic
118 Bortniansky, Dmitry 1.00 Music.West 1751 1825 Russia Russia Slavic

.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Human Achievement, Russia 

Latest poll on the “greatest people of all times and places”:

1989 1994 1999 2003 2008 2012 2017
Stalin 12 20 35 40 36 42 38
Putin 21 32 22 34
Pushkin 25 23 42 39 47 29 34
Lenin 72 34 42 43 34 37 32
Peter the Great 38 41 45 43 37 37 29
Gagarin 15 8 26 33 25 20 20
Tolstoy 13 8 12 12 14 24 12
Zhukov 19 14 20 22 23 15 12
Catherine II 10 10 11 8 11 11
Lermontov 5 5 9 10 9 8 11
Lomonosov 20 13 18 17 17 15 10
Suvorov 17 18 18 16 16 12 10
Mendeleev 13 6 12 13 13 12 10
Napoleon 6 19 19 13 9 13 9
Brezhnev 6 8 12 9 12 8
Einstein 9 5 6 7 7 7 7
Esenin 2 3 5 6 5 7
Kutuzov 10 11 11 10 11 12 7
Newton 6 3 4 6 6 6 7
Gorbachev 10 4 8 6 6 6

Putin’s #2 position is absurd, even if you have a positive opinion of his record, while places #1 and #4 are just depressing.

I explained the causes of modern Russian Stalinophilia in an earlier post:

One would think that given Stalin’s actual record, which was sordid enough, you would not need to “blackwash” him any further, but ideologues will be ideologues, so what happened happened, and next thing you know many people started suspecting that given the false facts and figures being pushed about Stalin – demonstrated so by the newly accessible archival evidence itself – then maybe they were lying about everything else as well, and well maybe Stalin was actually the good guy after all, maligned by his bitter and limp-wristed successors who “sold out” the Glorious Leader.

And thus a huge strand of the Russian “patriotic” opposition to the liberal neocon hegemony of the 1990s, which had decidedly triumphed by the end of Putin’s first term, had in the process also become infested with Stalinophilia – even though it is not really compatible with Russian patriotism, let alone Russian nationalism (which the Communists, including Stalin, ruthlessly persecuted). The tendency of Stalin’s popularity to wax and wane in sync with the state of Russia’s relations with the West – lower when they are good, and higher when they are bad – strongly suggests that the debate over Stalin in Russia has nothing to do with real history. Instead, it is merely one of several tribal identifiers in politics, much like denial of global warming is a tenet of the Red Tribe and blank slatism is a tenet of the Blue Tribe, both of which have everything to do with American-specific politics and nothing to do with science. In Russia’s case, this Stalinist identifier – like the broader patriotic Great Patriotic War ideology onto which it has affixed itself – gets deflated and boosted whenever Russia veers between globalist integrationism and siege mentality, respectively.

Stalinophilia is a joint creation of sovoks and liberals.

The sovoks because many of them are the equivalent of America’s 95 IQ patriotards, and the ethnoliberals because they want to demonize and further dismantle Russia.

On the plus side, at least Lenin is slowly fading from the scene, the traitor and outright Russophobe made into the secular equivalent of a founding prophet in the USSR.

This suggests something encouraging – that it is not sovoks, but vatniks, who are beginning to worship Stalin.

But they are doing so not out of any love for scientific communism and similar crap, but because of their misdirected nationalist instincts.

With the correct changes in propaganda, vatniks will be demanding the toppling of Lenin statues and the restoration of the Russian Empire in no time at all.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Iosef Stalin, Opinion Poll, Russia 

The figures for Russia are from Levada, those for Ukraine are from KMIS.

poll-ukraine-russia-relations-positive-negative

poll-ukraine-russia-relations-ideal

The basic story is that there was a (mutual) collapse in Ukraine-Russia views of the other country around 2014, which has remained steady since.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Opinion Poll, Russia, Ukraine, War in Donbass 

The population of the world’s major regions according to the UN’s World Population Prospects 2017 report.

World Population Prospects (2017) 2015 2050 2100
WORLD 7,383,008,820 9,771,822,753 11,184,367,721
Sub-Saharan Africa 969,234,251 2,167,651,879 4,001,755,801
East Asia 1,635,150,365 1,586,491,284 1,198,264,520
South Asia 1,823,308,471 2,381,796,561 2,230,668,781
South-East Asia 634,609,846 797,648,622 771,527,666
MENA & C. Asia 551,964,576 850,895,914 1,045,856,658
Europe 740,813,959 715,721,014 653,261,252
Latin America 632,380,831 779,841,201 712,012,636
North America 356,003,541 434,654,823 499,197,606
Oceania 39,542,980 57,121,455 71,822,801

Assume the usual S.D.=15, and that their average IQs as of 2017 are as follows: Sub-Saharan Africa 70, East Asia 100, South Asia 80, South-East Asia 85, MENA & C. Asia 85, Europe 100, Latin America 85, North America 100, Oceania 90.

This should look plausible to people who’ve looked at the data. East Asian (Japanese, Korean, Chinese) IQ tends to be higher than 100, usually around 103-105, but I am giving it as 100 because in practice, for unclear reasons, East Asian IQs also tend to be “worth” 5 points less than Euro-American ones so far as economic performance and human accomplishment go.

Anyhow, if we also assume that regional IQs will remain “fixed” for the rest of the century, then the world average IQ will drop from 87 today to 82 by 2100, primarily on account of the massive demographic expansion of Sub-Saharan Africa.

However, fortunately, the number of people belonging to smart fractions” – which I will denote as people with an IQ above 160 (the approximate level that you have to be at to be capable of contributing to elite scientific progress today) – will remain similar to today, though it will be negatively impacted by demographic decline in Europe and East Asia.

Smart Fractions (No Flynn) 2015 2050 2100
WORLD 87,196 87,580 75,397
Sub-Saharan Africa 1 2 4
East Asia 51,787 50,246 37,951
South Asia 88 115 108
South-East Asia 182 229 221
MENA & C. Asia 158 244 300
Europe 23,462 22,668 20,690
Latin America 181 224 204
North America 11,275 13,766 15,810
Oceania 61 87 110

But what happens when we adjust for the FLynn effect? In his 2016 survey of psychometrists, Heiner Rindermann and co. compiled the following expert assessments.

future-FLynn-effect-to-2100

This leads to a massive increase in the number of smart fractions, almost entirely on account of East Asia.

China as a now fully developed country drives global scientific progress pretty much single-handedly, like Europe did in the 19th century.

IQ Flynn (Rindermann) 2015 2100
WORLD 87,196 294,485
Sub-Saharan Africa 1 63
East Asia 51,787 245,857
South Asia 88 1,266
South-East Asia 182 1,181
MENA & C. Asia 158 1,155
Europe 23,462 27,364
Latin America 181 1,504
North America 11,275 15,810
Oceania 61 285

That said, I don’t think those FLynn projects are realistic, in part because East Asia is projected to increase in IQ so incredibly fast even though it is already a reasonably well developed place.

China itself can still probably eke out 3-5 IQ points, but Chinese fertility has been dysgenic since the 1960s, so this won’t last. I suspect East Asia – which in demographic terms is pretty much just China – will remain at a consistent level, with FLynn and dysgenics canceling each other out over the course of the century.

What if we use the following estimates for IQ changes during the 21st century (broadly justified here):

  • +10: Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia
  • +5: South-East Asia
  • 0: East Asia, MENA & Central Asia, Latin America
  • -5: Europe, North America

Resulting table of smart fractions in 2100:

IQ Flynn (AK) 2015 2100
WORLD 87,196 51,726
Sub-Saharan Africa 1 193
East Asia 51,787 37,951
South Asia 88 3,414
South-East Asia 182 1,181
MENA & C. Asia 158 300
Europe 23,462 4,797
Latin America 181 204
North America 11,275 3,666
Oceania 61 21

So what has basically happened is that smart fractions plummet in the high-IQ world due to a combination of demographic decline, dysgenic fertility, and low-IQ mass immigration.

Meanwhile, the quantity of smart fractions from the Global South will rise, due to some FLynn catchup, but absolute numbers will remain modest.

Overall, this is a pretty catastrophic outcome.

Not only do we see a halving of 160+ IQ smart fractions, but it is also very likely that the threshold for new scientific discoveries will have risen in the meantime, since problems tend to get harder, not easier as you climb up the technological tree.

For instance, if by 2100 the new “discovery threshold” is at an IQ of 175, the people still capable of driving global science forwards might number in the mere hundreds, in a world of more than ten billion.

The likely end result of this would be an end to scientific progress, and eventually, the Age of Malthusian Industrialism once a technologically stagnant and progressively more fecund world bumps up against the limits of the industrial economy.

 

So we correctly make fun of people like Neil Turok and Deirdre McCloskey who expect to discover the next generation of Einsteins amongst 70-75 IQ Africans. Even if we could run the full FLynn program on Africa and raise it up to its genotypic IQ potential of 85-90, it’s not like countries with those sorts of figures today are brimming with geniuses (though they are not necessarily unpleasant places to live in, as Fred Reed constantly reminds us).

But there’s some who think this implies that Africa will inevitably collapse due to overpopulation and their absolute inability to run any kind of industrial civilization without help from Europeans or the Chinese, because apparently Sub-Saharan Africa can barely support one billion people let alone the four billion that the UN projects for the end of the century. Here’s one example of such an argument:

This reply could also cover Piltdown man too: You are making an assumption that these people can work in an organized fashion, use and take care of mechanical equipment, and have an infrastructure that will let all of the population have access to this productive farmland. I know you’ve heard of Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia – the breadbasket of Africa.

Obviously I am not going to go down the “racism” card like some bottom-tier SJW, but I would like to play the “reality” card.

(1) First off, why the implicit assumption that trade and technological links with the outside world must vanish? I suppose that if a gamma ray burst were to fry the northern hemisphere tomorrow and wipe the high IQ peoples from the planet then SSA will also experience an economic and demographic collapse. Advanced manufacturing will vanish, there will be zero further technological/scientific progress and an outright regression in the stock of knowledge by a century or so.

But short of these sci-fi scenarios, how can this happen? Individual African countries might decide to drive foreign investors and any lingering whitey/Indian minorities out, but there are more than fifty of them. The likelihood that the continent adopts such self-destructive policies as a whole are diminshingly small. The Chinese in particular are interested in acquiring tracts of African lands to increase their food security. Their motives are of course self-interested, but it results in technology transfer and helps Africans too.

(2) Sub Saharan Africa is almost eight times as big as India in land area, and India now supports 1.3 billion people. It has twice as much arable land, but this can be expanded. I don’t think think there’s any equivalent of the Ganges valley in SSA (or really anywhere on Earth) in terms of agricultural productivity, but still, there’s no shortage of land.

Africa pessimists like citing Zimbabwe, where crop yields are lower than they were half a century ago. But it’s not representative of the continent. Crop yields in SSA have increased by almost 50% since 1990. In Ethiopia, a country once synonymous with photos of starving children, they have more than doubled.

crop-yields-africa

SSA is now on average where India was in the 1980s, and the world in general was in the 1960s. And it’s not like agriculture is a particularly g loaded occupation. Certainly I don’t see them introducing automated hydroponics farms that super-densely populated advanced countries like Japan and the Netherlands are experimenting with, but they don’t have to do that even to feed a quadrupled population; just getting to Brazil’s level (which is slightly above the world average) by 2100 would do.

world-irrigation They have plenty of time and plenty of low-hanging fruit to be picked up. For instance, irrigation, which can basically double yields, is almost entirely absent from SSA.

(3) Paradoxically, (moderate) global warming can actually help Africa.

Historically, it was during colder periods that Africa’s dry zones became even drier, leading to famines. The reverse might be true: Conditions may well become wetter in the West African Sahel, “in what would be a rare example of a positive tipping point” in response to global warming (Copenhagen Diagnosis 2009).

There is paleoclimatic evidence for this. In the warming at the end of the last Ice Age, the modern day Sahara turned into a lush savannah, with crocodiles, hippos and elephants roaming the plains. Progressive cooling turned the area into the dessicated desert it is today, pushing populations south and towards the Nile valley.

Severe warming (5C+) is one thing that would be very bad for SSA and will push all the above considerations into the margins (though the sort of commenters who envisage Africans as Piltdown men also tend to think climate change is a liberal elite conspiracy).

(4) All societies have undergone the demographic transition, so why exactly should Africa be the exception anyway?

(I mean, assuming that the Neo-Nazis are wrong about them being like rabbits with no ability to control their fertility, and that real world examples of Blacks undergoing the demographic transition when they reach a sufficient level of development like in Jamaica or Trinidad and Tobago are correct).

There’s no evidence that it is going to be an exception. It is just lagging, as it is most other indicators, but it’s still happening.

africa-fertility-rates

The TFR for the continent as a whole has declined from close to 7 children per woman inaround 1980 to about 5 children today. The Africa pessimist crowd loves to single out Niger, probably the single most illiterate and backwards country in the world. But if you want to nitpick, why not instead pick Rwanda, run by Paul Kagame (an authoritarian technocrat who has been called Africa’s Lee Kuan Yew), which has gone from having 8 children per woman in 1980 to just 4 today?

Demographers tend to project fertility trends as gentle declines, but they can also take the form of sudden collapses. Famously, Iran’s TFR plummeted from more than 6 children per woman to below replacement level rate within less than a decade. The decline in China during the 1970s was almost as steep (and took place before the One Child Policy was implemented).

Below is a screenshot from Paul Kennedy’s 1993 book Preparing for the 21st Century, citing contemporary UN Population Prospects forecasts for the year 2025.

demographic-forecast-1980s

These were actually more pessimistic than the 2017 update that Sailer is citing.

Outside Africa: Pakistan now projected at 227 million, not 267 million; Brazil at 219 million, not 245 million; Indonesia at 285 million, not 263 million, but as the only upwards exception massively canceled out by Iran, which is projected to have 87 million by 2025, and not 122 million.

Even within Africa, which has by and large yet to undergo the demographic transition, those forecasts tended to be pessimistic: Nigeria now projected to be at 234 million, not 301 million; Kenya at 60 million, not 77 million; Tanzania at 73 million, not 84 million; and Zaire (now DRC) the only upwards outlier, at 104 million instead of 99 million. africa-infant-mortality

Anyhow, it’s not like SSA is in standstill. Literacy is improving, school enrollment is rising, infant mortality is falling, peasants are leaving for the cities, women are going into education and having careers. All the factors that have historically collapsed fertility rates around the world are now acting on SSA.

It would not be surprising if Africa’s demographic transition happens faster than expected, as in the Low variant of the current UN forecast, and ends up merely tripling instead of quadrupling as in the Medium scenario.

(5) As I pointed out in A Short History of the Third Millennium, modern societies strongly select for lower IQ and higher fertility. The FLynn effect has gone into reverse, and if technological progress was to stagnate – as it might well do so due to the depletion of “smart fractions” – it is also likely that the cultural innovations that have hitherto suppressed fertility will also fall by the wayside. Even leaving aside low-IQ Third World immigration, Europe and White America will likely be duller and more fecund.

Africa still has some potential to increase its IQ via better nutrition, etc., though whether it will ever manage to create institutions capable of maximizing them out as in the developed world today is questionable. However, at least it does not yet appear to be subject to the dysgenic pressures that are ravaging the developed world. And if its future demographic expansion was to constantly bump up against the Malthusian limits, these dysgenic trends may even be averted altogether.

After three or four centuries of scraping against the Malthusian grindstone, it’s not inconceivable that African IQ will fully converge with that of Europeans and East Asians.

And then Turok’s successors will finally find their African Einsteins who will take us into space aboard the pyramids.

kangz

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Africa, Demographics 

This is a horse I’ve pretty much beaten to death, but still worth pointing out – not many Russians want to leave Russia. And not many Russians ever wanted to leave Russia.

Results of the latest Levada polls:

levada-leave-abroad

levada-how-prepared-to-leave

Incidentally, when I was in Saint-Petersburg, the hotel receptionist said that if anything, there has been a substantial increase in repatriates like myself.

Another account to that effect.

I am not going to claim that there is some great repatriation trend, because I am not a dishonest Western hack who constructs a “sixth wave of emigration” meme on the basis of purely anecdotal evidence.

Still, it’s something to think about it.

Incidentally, according to the OECD’s latest PPP benchmarks (2014), actual Russian household consumption is comparable to the rest of East-Central Europe and the Baltics, and is at 50%+ of the German/French/UK level and 42% of the US one.

gdp-ppp-consumption-russia

The OECD countries & partners, with Russia in red.

gdp-ppp-consumption-russia-progress

Russia has also continued gaining relative to the US through to 2014, despite the Great Recession. It must have fallen somewhat during the 2014-2016 recession and devaluation, but only modestly, since Russia produces most of its own consumer goods.

Rule of thumb for Russia: While wages might be 4x lower than in the developed Western countries, prices are likewise 2x lower, so the differential in living standards is far more modest.

So, no particular reason for Russians to want to leave, considering the administrative barriers they face as a non-Schengen European country.

I suppose that if Russia had freedom of movement with the EU (like Poland, Romania), or was truly destitute (like Ukraine, Moldova), then there would surely be more emigration.

But this is not the case. And, hypocritical though it might be on some level, that’s probably for the best. Russia has already lost enough of its cognitive elites during the 1910s-1930s and the 1990s.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Emigration, Russia 

I wasn’t asked, but I’ll answer it anyway.

winegard-top-books

Like Emil Kirkegaard, I would also like to preface this by noting that the order in which I read any particular book is also very important in terms of its “influence” by me. For instance, Arthur Jensen’s The g Factor and Steven Pinker’s Blank Slate are both brilliant, but I read both of them after exposure to the Bell Curve and the HBDsphere, respectively, so neither can make the top 5 in terms of influence.

Moreover, this list is one of non fiction books. While there are several creative works that left a lasting impression on me – Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Camus’ The Stranger, and Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz come to mind – I find that I am more prone to be influenced by books densely populated with arguments and numbers.

So without further ado…

murray-herrnstein-bell-curve

1. Charles Murray & Richard Herrnstein – Bell Curve

This blockbuster of a book establishes the validity of g, its sociological relevance, the B/W gap in the US and its apparent intractability, and social consequences thereof.

As Steve Sailer and Charles Murray himself point out, twenty years on, the predictions made in Bell Curve have all panned out and the trends identified in it I don’t think it’s possible to conscientiously read this text and come away with the impression that IQ is an invalid or irrelevant concept, which is what the book is ultimately mainly about (even though the race/IQ chapter is what it has become infamous for, regardless of Murray & Herrnstein’s dozens of pages of disclaimers about it).

Quite apart from the IQ/sociology nexus, it is also my opinion that this is one of the key books you need to understand American society, along with David Hackett Fischer’s Albion’s Seed.

kurzweil-singularity-is-near

2. Ray Kurzweil – The Singularity is Near

The necessary disclaimers: Yes, I think Kurzweil’s method of willy-nilly exponential extrapolations are weak. Actually my criticisms go even deeper, since I view technological progress as being driven primarily by literate “smart fractions,” whereas Kurzweil models it as a function of existing technology.

Moreover, the reality test: As of 2017, it is clear that he was overoptimistic on timelines.

Still, when I read this in 2006 (straight out of high school), this was all extremely new and interesting to me.

And ultimately I remain a “singularitarian,” in the sense that I view the concept of a “technological singularity” and “transhumanism’ as both feasible and something that it worth striving towards (not least because the alternates are grim).

kennedy-rise-fall-great-powers

3. Paul Kennedy – The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers

Covering 500 years of history in 500 pages, the historian Paul Kennedy exhaustively argues that the root of military and geopolitical power is heavily dependent on economic power, which supports the munitioning potential to equip gunpowder armies. From the Third Years War to the Cold War, it has been deeper pockets, not military elan or morale, that have won.

This seems pretty obvious and self-explanatory, but many people don’t seem to get it. Although there are now many things I would quibble with it – I read it sometime around 2004 – its basic framework is still one I use when thinking about Great Power geopolitics.

I can also say that this book formed the wellspring of my interest in economic history. Statistics about pig iron production in 1910 seem pretty boring until you start imagining it going into Dreadnoughts and Krupp guns.

korotayev-intro-cliodynamics

4. Andrey Korotayev, Artemy Malkov, and Daria Khaltourina – Introduction to Social Macrodynamics

Most people think of history as a narrative of names and dates interlinked with “happenings” that historians try to explain and contextualize. But there has been very little progress on the methods of history since Thucydides.

The cliodynamicists are to history what Alfred Marshall was to economics – they want to start modeling history.

Although the best known name in this field is Peter Turchin’s, I was more influenced by Korotayev et al’s Introduction to Social Macrodynamics, a very short but formula heavy book that laid the framework for how I have thought about pre-industrial Malthusian societies ever since. Here is my review of it.

One of my very long-term ambitions is to try to integrate psychometrics with cliodynamics models.

rushton-race-evolution-and-behavior

5. J. Philippe Rushton – Race, Evolution, and Behavior

This is still, perhaps, the book about the validity of HBD theory.

In this book, a huge mass of data (the endnotes comprise a substantial percentage of the overall text) is marshalled in support of r/K selection theory applied to the three great races of mankind.

When I read it sometime around I was already somewhat “redpilled” on this issue, but this book raised my confidence in the HBD view of reality from “likely” to “almost certain.”

There are several other good essentially “HBD” books – The 10,000 Year Explosion by Cochran and Harpending, or Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance for those hesitating about… wading into this subject, but this is the book I read first so as it’s the most influential so far as I’m concerned.

Here are some books that were close but missed out on the Top 5:

  • Charles Murray – Human Accomplishment
  • Samuel Huntington – The Clash of Civilizations
  • Kenneth Pomeranz – The Great Divergence
  • Yuri Slezkine – The Jewish Century
  • Nick Bostrom – Superintelligence, and his articles in general
  • Gregory Clark – A Farewell to Alms
  • Jared Diamond – Guns, Germs, and Steel
  • Donella Meadows et al. – Limits to Growth: The 30 Year Update
  • Jonathan Adair Turner – Just Capital

You might be asking why there are no Russia books, considering my repertoire ever since I started blogging.

The reason there are none is part of why I started blogging about Russia.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Books, Reading 

As some of you are aware, last week I was traveling in Saint-Petersburg.

I went upon the invitation of a local politics club, but decided I stay several days to explore the city. I haven’t been to SPB since 2002, so this doubled as an opportunity to see how the northern capital has changed in the past 15 years.

spb-foggy-canal

City Observations

As with the rest of Russia, the city itself has certainly changed for the better in all the usual respects. More cars, and far newer ones. Roofs appeared much cleaner and shinier from the top of St. Isaac’s Cathedral than in 2002. As in the rest of Russia, virtually everyone who wants Internet access has it (SPB actually has slightly higher Internet penetration than Moscow, for some reason).

That said, whereas I distinctly remember liking Saint-Petersburg more than in the early 2000s, this is no longer the case.

spb-metro-station(1) Moscow is and technologically advanced, e.g. it has free WiFi in the metro for several years now, which SPB and other backwards cities like London and San Francisco have yet to adopt.

(2) I greatly prefer acontinental climate to a cold maritime one.

(3) There is a reason Slavophiles have traditionally viewed Moscow as Russia’s “true” capital. The architecture is more authentically Russian. It also tends to be more human-scale. Central Saint-Petersburg is a place of wide imperial avenues, and the grand pomposity of the buildings and palaces, though initially impressive, gets monotonous after a while (in this respect it is actually reminescent of Washington DC).

This is of course a simplification – there are plenty of oppressive open spaces in Moscow too, and SPB has its fair share of quaint courtyards and interesting corners – but as an architectural ensemble Moscow definitely wins out.

(4) The Moscow metro is far more developed, so distances between stations are shorter. This makes Moscow more walkable, especially since SPB is also intersected by a massive river. Finally, although SPB’s bridges are a nice tourist magnet, they can be a pain in the ass for locals who can be cut off from their homes if they don’t leave the bar in time (not helped by the SPB metro closing one hour earlier than the Moscow metro).

(5) Whereas in 2002 Saint-Petersburgers – at least in my limited, one-week tourist experience – were more civil than Muscovites, Muscovites have improved greatly since then, and there is now no longer any difference.

spb-bookshop One easy way to test civility is how frequently drivers make way for pedestrians on zebra crossings. 15 years ago in Moscow, it was perhaps 10%, and 25% in SPB. Nowadays I’d estimate it’s about 75% in Moscow, about the same as in the US. In SPB, however, it might be closer to 50%. Still, these are all extremely approximate figures, especially for SPB where I only spent 6 days.

I noticed that many Saint-Petersburgers seem to have a sort of inferiority complex, a lingering resentment towards Moscow at being deprived of their capital. Unfortunately, they have a point. I don’t like it and I think the hyper-centralization that accounts for this is very bad for the country, but the fact of the matter is that least 50% of everything interesting and significant taking place in Russia happens in Moscow.

Moscow is the undisputed political (executive, legislative), economic, and scientific center of Russia.

SPB has some modest share of influence in the political-legislative and cultural sphere (though probably not near as much as Moscow), but otherwise, it is ultimately just the largest gorod-millionnik.

That said, as one person I talked to optimistically pointed out, SPB does have a “marginalistic charm” to it, and she continued, “all the most interesting and disruptive phenomena come from the margins.” If there’s one thing that SPB suffers no shortage of relative to Moscow, it is hipsters.

spb-lecture-on-hbd

Politics

I was invited to Saint-Petersburg was to give a lecture to a local right-wing politics club about “HBD and its Role in the Alt Right.”

There is a loosely affiliated network of such clubs through Russia in Moscow, SPB, and the bigger cities. (Vincent Law, whom I had the pleasure of meeting, wrote about the SPB chapter here).

This invitation was perfectly congruent with my wider meta-goal of redpilling Russian nationalists on HBD/IQ-realism, so of course I accepted.

My talk itself covered the basics of HBD/IQ:

  • The largely separate evolution of the world’s three great races since they split ~50,000 years ago.
  • The validity of psychometrics
  • The importance of psychometrics, esp. wrt life outcomes and national differences in GDP per capita and other development metrics
  • The direction of causality – exceptions (Communist legacy; oil windfalls) prove the rule!
  • Why should this be the case?
  • FLynn effect: Will immigrant performance converge?
  • Would HBD-informed prescriptions apply to Russia? (e.g. immigration policy, positive eugenics, genetic augmentation of IQ)

I was very impressed by the quality of the responses and questions. Many people were familiar with the material, and asked pointed and relevant questions, such as the technical details of how national IQs are calculated, the extent to which emotional intelligence is important, and why US Jews cleverer than Israelis.

Clearly young Russian nationalists are informed, intelligent, and intellectually curious, having avoided the ideological skeletons of the boomer nationalist mindset in Russia (e.g. Eurasianism, “geopolitics,” Heidegger, extreme Orthodoxy, and various other obscurantisms). This is incredibly encouraging for the future.

Many interesting and spirited discussions about the Alt Right, Milo, Karelian nationalism, censorship, and many other weird and esoteric topics followed.

The politics club is only one element in SPB’s nationalist ecosystem, which even extends to having their “own” bars with discounts for nationalists. I would shill them but I don’t know if they’d appreciate the publicity.

code-russian-officer The city also hosts the Black Hundreds publishing group, which specializes in republishing Tsarist-era classics as well as modern nationalists authors. I bought two books from each category.

The first was a 1916 edition of Valentin Kulchitsky’s The Code of Honor of the Russian Officer (widely distributed to Russian officers during WW1 because the accelerated wartime training schedule meant that many of them didn’t have time to fully absorb the culture of the General Staff).

The second was Vitaly Fedorov’s (“Africa”) Notes of a Terrorist (in the good sense of the word) – possibly the best war novel from the Donbass to date (an English translation is available on Amazon).

A third major nationalist organization in SPB is the Russian Imperial Movement.

Its nationalism is explicitly based on religion, not ethnicity – you don’t have to be an ethnic Russian to join, but you do have to be an Orthodox Christian. However, they are also considerably more hardcore than the others, having been directly involved in the events in Donbass through their Imperial Legion batallion.

spb-night

Tourism

When not delving deeper into extremism and padding my files at Langley and Lubyanka I did the usual touristy stuff.

Transport/Hotels

spb-sapsan I traveled to SPB via the Sapsan high speed train, which at 250kph takes about 3.5 hours to get there from Moscow.

$75 normal ticket, $100 business class. The latter has far better conditions, and includes a meal, so it’s worth considering.

Alternatively, you can take the overnight train for $25 or $40 (platskart and kupe, respectively), depending on your desired privacy level.

spb-katyusha I stayed at the Katyusha hotel. It’s right next to the Neva River – right past the arch in the photo to the right – and about 200m from the Hermitage. One night there costs a mere $50.

This really brings home the point why PPP-adjustments to GDP per capita are absolutely relevant when gauging living standards. Russian wages might be far lower than in Western Europe, but so are the prices.

Food

spb-brynza In addition to the standard Western fast food chains, such as McDonald’s/KFC, Russia now has many of its own indigenous equivalents. Being a tourist in SPB, unlike in Moscow, I took the opportunity to explore some of them. Teremok is a national chain that features very traditional Russian fare such as common soups (borscht, obroshka, ukha, solyanka, etc.), pelmeni, pancakes, cutlets with buckwheat for prices similar to a MacDonald’s. Even better, though, was the SPB-specific Brynza chain, though it is marginally pricier (right: Cod Leningrad style).

spb-tandoori I last had Indian food half a year ago and really wanted to try my favorite national cuisine again. Fortunately, Saint-Petersburg has an excellent Indian restaurant right in the city center called Tandoor. It compares well even with Indian restaurants in London and the Bay Area. A business lunch of yellow daal, spicy vegetables, and butter chicken costs $10. So do most curries (e.g. the vindaloo on the right). The masala chai is also very good. It is run by Russians, though the cooks are Indians.

Note that traditionally Russia traditionally hasn’t had anything spicier than, I dunno… paprika? So you have to order your Indian food very/extremely spicy to get it moderately spicy by British/American standards.

Museums

Finally visited the Kunstkamera. It is by and large a standard ethnographic museum, the most interesting part of the exhibit being the original Petrine collection.

spb-naval-museum I was very impressed with the Central Naval Museum. It hosts a series of huge halls with thousands of naval paintings, ship models, figureheads, guns, munitions, uniforms, and other naval objects, all exhaustively documented and woven into a comprehensive history of the rise and fall of Russian naval power. Unfortunately, there are few English translations.

Visited the Yusupov Palace. TIL they were Christianized Tatars, descended from one 15th century Khan Yusuf.

spb-petropavlovsk-fortressPetropavlovsk Fortress includes the cathedral where the Russian Tsars since Peter the Great are buried, including Nicholas II and his family, who were interred there in the 1990s. The Russian Orthodox Church objected to burying a person who abdicated the throne inside the main cathedral, so they repose in an adjoining room to the main hall which can be considered a separate chapel.

There are several other separate museums.

spb-petropavlovsk-prison One is the prison with its 69 rooms that held revolutionaries. The tour group leader made a point of how horrific conditions were, though in my experience, that’s part and parcel for historical prison tours everywhere. But to the casual eye the rooms sure look spacious even by the standards of modern US prisons, to say nothing of typical jail conditions a century ago. And the sentences tended to be remarkably lenient considering prisoners were often involved in assassination plots, terrorism, etc., which in many other states would have warranted the death penalty. It was surely much more humane than Guantanamo.

There was a museum of the history of SPB from the early native inhabitants who lived there in their log cabins. One room was famous for having been the scene of the sentencing of the Decembrists, of whom five were put to death. This was cited as an example of Tsarist cruelty and caprice in Soviet history textbooks, but come on… this was ultimately a violent mutiny against the sovereign. The vast majority of the plotters were exiled to Siberia for some period of time, or even pardoned. Even many West European countries at the time would have been far less lenient.

One building that used to host a secret rocketry R&D facility in the early USSR is now a space museum. One thing I was struck by was how many people both interested in and technically capable of developing modern rocket technologies there were in the late Russian Empire (starting with Tsiolkovsky, the concept’s father). It seems inevitable to me that there would have been a strong Russian missile and space program regardless of whether the USSR had appeared or not.

spb-winter-palace-library I visited the Hermitage. I have been there before, but it is so vast you need to spend a few days to properly see all of it anyway. My favorite room there in the original palace section was Nicholas II’s library. Most of the Winter Palace was for all intents and purposes a “museum,” even when it was still the living quarters of the imperial family (the status signalling problem really reached absurd proportions in the Russian Empire, as in ancien regime France). The library looks like a place where you could actually sit down and get some work or reading done over a glass of red wine.

spb-popovPopov’s Central Museum of Communications is one of the oldest science and technology museums in the world. Amongst other exhibits, it hosts Alexander Popov’s original radio set. He actually made his revolutionary discoveries slightly earlier than Guglielmo Marconi, but the Italian became known as the inventor of radio in the West because of his greater interest in and success at commercializing it.

spb-museum-of-democracy I also passed by the Chubais Museum of the Implementation of Democracy in Modern Russia (what a mouthful, even in Russian). As Lazy Glossophiliac commented, “Should have been housed in a 90s-style kiosk store with lots of gaudy advertising all over it.” You had to make an appointment to enter the museum, which I suppose says something about its popularity.

I couldn’t be bothered, having better things to do with my time, such as drinking with the people who will one day kick those squatters out of such a fine building and open a Museum of Autocracy in its stead.

 

Western journalists have this weird habit of making fun of Putin for his yearly marathon phone-ins with the Russian public. It’s populism. It’s all staged.

Well, sure, it’s all that. I can see how a class that writes articles with titles such as “It’s Time for the Elites to Rise Up Against the Ignorant Masses” might be uncomfortable with that. To be fair I find the usual fair – personalistic appeals to the sovereign to fix some road or reign in some tyrannical local bureaucrat to be pretty boring as well.

But still, it’s a nice gesture, and partly explains why he retains such popularity.

putin-brezhnev My impression is that Putin has started to decline as a leader, starting with how he speaks. Though he started his Presidency as a very poor speaker, he evidently got tuition, and became much better at it by the end of his first term. In the past couple of years, however, this has started to reverse. I thought that last year’s disappointing Q&A might have been an exception, but this year’s confirms that it is a trend.

But far more worrying was the content, which failed to articulate any coherent vision for the next few years and revealed an alarming complacency with respect to foreign policy and the other burning social issues of the day.

This was reflected in Putin’s comments on Ukraine, where he has tried to opt for another “mnogokhodovochka” (4D chess). In response to a Russophile from Kiev, asking him why he doesn’t do more to support Russia sympathizers in Ukraine, Putin told him, “We don’t want to give any public support, because we don’t want to harm you and we try not to get involved in internal Ukrainian political affairs.” Meanwhile, hundreds of Russia sympathizers continue rotting in the Maidanist regime’s jails. With friends like these…

Several minutes later, however, he casually mentioned that Viktor Medvedchuk, the godfather of Putin’s daughters and one of the most energetic champions of integration with Russia before Euromaidan, was actually a Ukrainian nationalist. But, he continued, Ukrainian nationalism, according to its 19th century sources such as Grushevsky, Franko, Dragomanov, Chernovol, stood for a federated state, for democratic, and for individual rights; some of them didn’t even consider Crimea to be part of Ukraine (no shit they didn’t – it never was until Khrushchev handed it to the UkSSR in 1954). Maybe so, but does anyone care? Medvedevchuk’s supposed “colleagues” in the OUN promptly clarified he has nothing to do with them. Perhaps having finally realized his “dear partner” Poroshenko wasn’t coming round, Putin has started thinking of allying with the Banderists. The whole episode is just bizarre.

question-ukraine Meanwhile, the one legitimate question about Ukraine – “When you shake Poroshenko’s hand, are you not afraid to dirty yourself with Donbass blood?” – was removed from the screen within seconds.

The one “gotcha” moment he got in was his riposte to Poroshenko’s comments bidding “farewell to unwashed Russia” on getting visa-free travel with the EU, quoting a line from the well-known Russian poet Lermontov. Putin quite skilfully counter-cited Ukrainian national poet Taras Shevchenko, quoting a line on how after winning the liberal struggle, her children are crucifying her worse than the erstwhile Polish oppressors. “I hope that at some point this period of Ukrainian history will come to an end.”

But he then followed it up with a suggestion to Poroshenko that if he truly wanted to be European he should part with his offshore accounts. Not bad, but it would have been more convincing if Putin’s own elites weren’t wrapped up in analogous schemes – indeed, the Panama Papers, which revealed Poroshenko’s offshore accounts, also revealed some $100 million+ in assets connected with Roldugin, an old celloist friend of Putin’s who was his other daughter’s godfather. In last year’s Q&A, Putin had clumsily explained those accounts as having been used to buy rare historical instruments for talented young Russian musicians.

Speaking of anti-corruption investigations: “We all know that unfortunately, the mass media in general and the Internet are also used to spread fake news, in service of the political struggle. What to do, this is life, there is nothing unusual here. But I must always double check it through the opportunities I have, and I have many such opportunities.” Meanwhile, the utterly compromised Medvedev remains PM, Russophile emigres from Ukraine continue getting deported back into the loving embrace of the Maidanists to make more space for Tajiks, and new laws are under consideration by the Duma to ban VPN services and to greatly limit people’s ability to make FOI requests about bureaucrats’ properties to the land registry.

No bold new ideas about social, economic, or foreign policy. There was a vague statement to the effect that a transition to a “new technological order” was needed, but no further details.

gallup-poll-us-russia

Parallel reality so far as relations with the US are concerned (Putin commented that Russia has “many supporters” in the US, no matter that approval of Russia in the US is at near record lows, and that on this very same day that there was a 97/100 bipartisan vote in the Senate to further sanctions against Russia).

The repetition of old tropes. “We need to strengthen the Syrian Armed Forces.” Meanwhile, more than a year after the start of the Russian intervention, the great bulk of the SAA remains militarily useless, with the hard fighting done by Hezbollah, the Iranians, about 20,000 just about competent SAA fomrations, and increasingly, Russian mercenaries in the Wagner Company.

Though the Presidential elections are less than a year away, it is now clear that Putin does not appear to have any any new ideas, plans, or visions for the long-term future apart from hunkering down and perhaps hoping that the state apparatuses in the US and Western Europe continue degrading even faster than in Russia. He is sitting on his 80% approval laurels, his status as the “inevitable” candidate assured.

Although I have to date avoided the comparison, because I had considered it inapplicable, the Brezhnevite critique is now becoming ever more germane.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Russia, Vladimir Putin 

PAPER REVIEW


I don’t know how, but Lynn, Cheng, and Russian psychometricist Grigoriev have managed to find Russian regional results for PISA 2015.

lynn-grigoriev-russia-pisa-2015

Moscow has plummeted in the rankings and is now fourth, whereas Saint-Petersburg is now first.

I have calculated the correlations with the PISA 2009 results, for regions that participated in both surveys, to be a pretty weak r=0.52. As you can see, the samples for each region are pretty small, typically around 100, though relatively more schoolchildren were tested in the capitals: 245 in Saint-Petersburg, and 373 in Moscow.

The Yakut-majority Sakha Republic has improved drastically, by half an S.D., so it is no longer last, but modestly below average (this ties in with Vladimir Shibaev’s recent work in 2017 which shows that Yakut IQ might be similar to Russian, and not drastically lower, as an earlier study from 2015 had indicated). That “honor” now belongs to Dagestan, which remains stuck at a PISA-equivalent IQ in the high 80s.

lynn-grigoriev-correlations

Lynn et al. also did their standard correlation exercises.

Other tests of academic achievement (average Unified State Exam results of those admitted to universities from 2014) and historical literacy (1897 census):

Note in particular that the province of Dagestan has the lowest PISA score (424.1) and the second lowest EQ (84); and also that the city of St. Petersburg has the highest PISA score (524.4), the highest EQ (111) and the highest literacy rate in 1897 (61.6%). The city of Moscow has the fourth highest PISA score (516.4), the second highest EQ (110) and the second highest literacy rate in 1897 (53.1%).

GDP per capita:

Second, the PISA scores were correlated at r = .31 with GDP per capita. The correlation falls just short of statistical significance at p<.05 (r = .32 would be statistically significant).

wealth-iq-russia This is because some Russian regions have resource windfalls amidst low populations, e.g. Khanty-Mansyisk AO, which accounts for half of Russia’s oil output and enjoys a Swiss-like standard of living.

If you only consider “normal” Russian regions, the correlation becomes a much more typical r=0.73 (the graph to the right is based on results from PISA 2009 and PPP-adjusted Gross Regional Products from 2008.

Russian ethnicity:

Third, the PISA scores were significantly correlated at r = .45 (p<.01) with the percentage of the population with Russian ethnicity. This result is confirmed by the multiple regression analysis showing that the percentage of Russian ethnicity was a significant predictor of the PISA scores (β = .36, t = 2.68, p<.01).

Cold winters:

Fourth, the PISA scores were significantly correlated at r = .35 (p<.05) with latitude showing that IQs are higher in the more northerly provinces.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: IQ, Paper Review, Psychometrics, Russia 

The American Interest’s Karina Orlova writes:

A group of young independent filmmakers (Sota Vision) captured a moment that perfectly sums up not just what it was like yesterday in Moscow, but also what it’s like living in Russia these days. This is the reward you get for going out of your way to praise a dictator.

(Original).

His protestations of his “innocence” in the police van went unheeded.

Predictably, this video evokes a gushing flood of Schadenfreude amongst anti-Putinists, while pro-Putinists experience a jittery “there but for the grace of God go I” feeling.

But from a neutral perspective, how exactly does this reflect badly on “teh regime.”

What we see in it is unsanctioned protesters getting treated the same under the law, regardless of their fealty or lack thereof to the national leader.

This is the marker of civilization.

Let’s compare and contrast to Ukraine, the country where Navalnyites won – and what the Western elites want for Russia.

There, anti-war protesters are not only arrested, but jailed, whereas on the rare occasions that much more aggressive Maidanist “activists” are arrested they are let off with apologies soon after.

In fact, in Ukraine, so long as you belong to the appropriate faction, you can even shoot taxi drivers with pneumatic pistols for refusing to chant “Glory to Ukraine” along with you and get off with just house arrest.

This is the marker of barbarism.

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: Color Revolution, Law, Russia 

The Russia wide protests organized by Navalny on June 12 were a flop.

This was not unexpected, given the lack of enthusiasm on social networks – in Moscow, there were 20% fewer people expressing interest in going to this event relative to the March 26th protest on Facebook. The earlier event had translated into 8,000 people, which is pretty much a “fail” so far as a 13 million population metropolis is concerned.

In the smaller Russian cities, where the June 12 protests went ahead as agreed with the local authorities, turnout was unimpressive, typically numbering in the low 100′s.

Pavel Gladkov has collected some photos (h/t melanf):

The protest in Novosibirsk, the third biggest Russian city (1.5 million) and unofficial capital of Siberia, gathered 2,000 people, which is about the same as in March.

Turnout has in general been similar to the March 26 rallies. This implies Navalny’s support on the streets – as in the polls – hasn’t improved since then.

Which, I suppose, explains why Navalny decided to sabotage his own protests in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg.

Quick recap:

The Moscow city authorities gave Navalny permission to stage a meeting at prospekt Sakharova, a relatively central and spacious location. In Saint-Petersburg, they offered a location at Udelnaya, which is less central, but still spacious and easily accessible by metro.

In the last few hours before the protests, Navalny made a location change, to Tverskaya in Moscow and The Field of Mars in Saint-Petersburg, both of which are at the very centers of those cities. Moreover, Tverskaya in particular was already hosting a massive historical reconstruction festival.

sakahrov-speakers Before the protests, many observers, including myself, had expressed skepticism about Navalny’s claims that stage and sound suppliers had been pressured not to service his event. Navalny used this “insult” as the formal explanation for why he was moving the location of the protest.

However, the only evidence he provided was a phone conversation between two anonymous people. Moreover, as the liberal blogger Ilya Varlamov pointed out, why couldn’t he have bought speakers at a store and then returned/resold them?

Then on the day of the event itself it emerged that a sound and speaker system did emerge on prospekt Sakharova anyway, which should blow up anyone’s suspicion meter through the roof.

The weight of the evidence thus indicates that the sound and speaker blockade reason was bogus.

The likeliest alternative explanation is that Team Navalny, aware that attendance numbers were going to be unimpressive – in the event, an accurate assessment – decided that the only way to get into the news cycle would be to create an interesting spectacle for make benefit of Western cameras.

Unfortunately, due to the very low quality – or malicious competence – of the Western media, he largely succeeded in this, as RT’s Bryan MacDonald points out:

macdonald-crap-russia-journalism Then there were the blatant misrepresentations. Such as when New York Times’ bureau chief Neil MacFarquhar and Financial Times’ Eastern Europe Editor Neil Buckley both attempted to depict barriers clearly erected as props for the military history show as “traps” to impede protesters. Tweets they later deleted, in fairness. Nevertheless, this particular “fake news” tweet by the anti-Russia activist Alex Kokcharov has been shared hundreds of times, enjoying retweets from the likes of Economist magazine editor Edward Lucas and Anders Aslund of NATO’s Atlantic Council adjunct.

Almost every correspondent refused to tell followers how the event was “unsanctioned” and “illegal,” instead preferring to act as cheerleaders. Some examples included hacks from Foreign Policy, the Guardian, BBC and the Moscow Times. Meanwhile, Associated Press, the Washington Post, ABC and Fox all managed to omit any mention of the history festival in their reaction to the change of location.

And then there was CNN, always good for a laugh on this beat, breathlessly telling its viewers that hundreds of thousands of demonstrators could be mobilized. When in reality it was around 5,000 in Moscow.

Unfortunately for Navalny, the Russian electorate are not Western audiences, and these stunts are unlikely to work out well for him.

The March 26 meeting was an essentially harmless affair, perhaps a minor inconvenience to some Muscovites, but one that was adequately compensated by the entirely voluntary personal risk the protesters took by participating in an unauthorized gathering.

It was the protesters’ choice to come there and effect non-violent resistance (for the most part) in service of a cause they believed in. It was OMON’s choice to uphold the letter of the law and clear out an unsanctioned protest; they are well-compensated for their trouble. It was my own choice to risk arrest by covering it as a “citizen journalist” of sorts; as with Vincent Law, my greater fear is not getting arrested per se, nor the fines, nor a day or two in detention; it’s the fact of getting arrested *at a Navalny protest*.

The important thing is that the risk of innocent passersby getting caught up was minimal.

This time round, Navalny and his crew purposefully crashed a separate event where people wanted to cosplay historical battles, not participate in an actual one against the police. This would have been irresponsible and unethical course of action for anyone with pretenses to serious politics. That this was very likely based on a lie makes it outright disgraceful. These are the actions of a two bit rabblerouser.

For instance, here is one account of how Navalny supporters ruined the day of one reconstructor who wanted to show Muscovites how medieval Russians made decorative beads (h/t E for partial translation):

They [the liberals] yelled into the faces of myself, the musicians and historical reconstructionists that we were “traitors”, that what we’re doing is useless sh*t, that we should instead be having meetings, that we are paid-off varmints who were placed there in order to disrupt their meetings. To our protests that we’re teaching people crafts and history, we received the reply: “Nobody needs any of that sh*t! We need to have meetings and create a revolution!”. I really wanted to bash these people’s faces in, but people were yelling at us that we shouldn’t give in to provocation, because EVERYTHING was CONSTANTLY being filmed by dozens of cameras.

In the end, the programme continued after a several-hour interruption. Of course, I didn’t make any more beads, because I needed to heat up my oven again and there wasn’t much time left.
In one of the camps, they took down and broke a pavilion, and broke the tent in another. But the reconstructionists, having armed themselves with shields, saved the most important places from total destruction. I understand how difficult it must have been not to grab the spears and axes, as well.

By all rights, this should finally finish off Navalny’s portrayal of himself as a champion of honesty and transparency in politics.

As his recent interview with Ksenia Sobchak confirmed, this is a non too bright man who does not know elementary facts and figures about the state of the Russian economy or public health. He is a one-trick pony who is only any good on corruption, or at least coming up with catchy slogans about it. However, even on corruption, it just so often happens that Navalny’s demonstrated behavior is at odds with his purported principles and beliefs, with this latest episode being just the latest example.

That said, Navalny is undoubtedly extremely talented at playing the democratic martyr for the Western cameras.

Therefore, the main part of his constituency – Western consumers of CNN and Buzzfeed – will have to keep on wondering why the collapse of the Putin regime keeps failing to pan out for the nth time.

 

Navalny has just moved the planned June 12 protest from Prospekt Sakharova, a fairly central and very spacious location, to Tverskaya, which is minutes away from the Kremlin, at the last minute.

The former event was officially sanctioned by the city authorities.

The new one is *not*.

Navalny claims that this was done because the Moscow city administration pressured sound and stage suppliers not to participate in his event. This makes it impossible for him to give a speech to a large crowd. As evidence, he attached a recording between one of the suppliers and what is presumably one of his staff members, in which the supplier sheepishly explains that he has received instructions from on high not to service the event.

This is his version of the story.

There is however an alternate theory.

The Tverskaya protests on March 26 were unsanctioned, meaning that the more timid and “respectable” avoided showing up. Attendance at a sanctioned meeting, all other things equal, should be considerably higher (the middle-aged office plankton who form a considerable percentage of Navalny’s support base aren’t keen on risking arrest by participating in illegal gatherings). But with less than 12 hours to go, the the number of people saying they are “going” on Facebook stands at a modest 4,000. In contrast, 5,200 say they “went” to the Tverskaya protest in March, which translated to an actual turnout of about 8,000. Assuming the correlation holds, we are looking at similar figures this June. This is decidedly embarassing, especially in light of the anti-khrushchevki demolition protests this May, which gathered 20,000 people – and at the very place where Navalny was supposed to hold his meeting, to add to the humiliation.

Ordinary Muscovites evidently care more about their khrushchevki – and for that matter their summer sojourns to their dachas – than staying behind in Moscow to hear more about Navalny’s latest beef with Uzbek oligarchs. Not good!

So this is where the alternate explanation comes in. Since the original protest looked like it was going to be a flop anyway, why not make a last minute change to “illegalize” it, inviting a potentially heavy police response for the delectation of Navalny’s YouTube fans and Western videocameras?

preobrazhensky-polk

There is an additional fact that makes this version of events both more plausible, and more potentially dangerous. June 12 is a national holiday (Russia Day), and there is already another event planned for the Tverskaya location – the last day of a 12 day historical reconstruction festival that has been advertised for weeks, and is expected to draw up to 150,000 visitors.

The last day of the reconstruction festival will be dedicated to the defense of Sevastopol in the Crimean War.

So imagine the spectacle of Preobrazhensky Regiment riflemen coming from all over Russia and abroad to support Navalny – and having to pit their “reconstruction skills” against the truncheons of the OMON.

headlines-ready As noted by one Twitter user: “Cameras and headlines are ready.

Not a lot more to add. Now we wait and see.

Hopefully, the Russian police exercise appropriate restraint, so that we don’t actually have to find out whether the bayonet is a fine lad. They are well funded and quite professional these days, so I don’t think it’s likely things will get out of hand.

It is also worth underlining that it is grossly irresponsible and unethical for someone who pretends to be a serious politician to push his agenda on people who didn’t ask for it, and who only want to watch pretend battles, not risk being caught up in a real one. This applies tenfold if Navalny misrepresented the situation with the stage and sound suppliers to justify his planned hijacking of the reconstruction festival (if so this would not be the first time that he has bent the truth to serve his own narrative).

Though who cares about any of that when there is clickbait to be written about the latest crimes of the Putler regime.

EDIT June 12, 1330 Moscow time: On Reddit (1, 2) a couple of people have criticized me for not using VK.com attendance data. I copy my response:

What matters is not absolute numbers who say they are going to attend, but relative numbers from event to event.

Assuming that a similar multiple of Facebook “goings” translate into visitors from event to event, then comparing the previous event to the later event on just one social media platform is legitimate.

Anyhow, there is a banal reason I didn’t include VK – while this current protest does indeed have 15K, I was simply unable to locate the VK event page for the March 26 protest.

Moreover. List of event pages for the March 26 protest. But Moscow links takes us here, which now advertises today’s event. This is not an event page, but as I understand a group page.

Was the counter actually reset to zero after the last event? This is a critical question that I don’t know the answer to (I don’t use VK much and am not very familiar with its fine workings), so using VK data would have been doubly unrealistic.

Anyhow, if anybody can’t answer the two questions above – whether or not the counter reset to zero after the March event, and if it did, what was the peak “going” figure for it – that would be much appreciated.

EDIT 2: It now emerges that a sound & stage system *was* installed at prospekt Sakharova after all (1, 2), which would appear to invalidate Navalny’s claim that suppliers were forced to pull out.

 

Currently traveling, posting this from my cell phone so discuss the UK general elections, the ROG inspired spat between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, or whatever.

So Jeremy Corbyn has soared to a point where he’s neck and neck with Theresa May after being 20 points behind. Reminder the Conservatives called this election to expand their dominance in Parliament. Instead, they’ve put themselves in a position where they can lose power outright. Same story with Brexit. Talk of hubris.

I do like Corbyn as a person, more so than May who evokes only the most dreary sensations. To be sure Corbyn is a sandal-wearing open borders socialist who will drive the economy into the ground, but his foreign policy stances at least are solid, and as a perennial sandal wearer myself, I can only approve of his sartorial choices (minus his heresy of pairing them with socks). Anyhow, it’s clear May’s ideas about dealing with Islamic terrorism revolve around the same old of cracking down on Internet “extremism” (read: porn, islamophobia, etc). Whereas at least with Corbyn we have some chance of him unleashing his inner tankie against the jihadists.

Saudi Arabia has presented a list of ten basically unfulfillable demands to Qatar or else a full blockade commences. Well that escalated quickly, LOL. If it goes ahead, Qatar’s only lifeline in the region will become… Iran. At a stroke, the Saudis sideline a rival geopolitical competitor in Syria, and consolidate a new Arab Authoritarian International with themselves at its head. They played Trump well.

I am currently in Saint Petersburg. I was last here in 2002. Back then I liked it more than Moscow. No longer the case. Whatever advantages it might have had back then in terms of civility have now been matched or superseded, since Muscovites themselves have come much more polite and considerate in the past decade, while the technological and infrastructural gap between the two capitals has widened significantly since then in favor of Moscow (e.g. I have been sufficiently spoiled to expect WiFi in the metro). Finally, I now realize that I definitely prefer a continental climate over a maritime one.

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: Open Thread 

limonovka

The National Bolshevik (NatsBol) meeting was at the Monument to the Heroes of the Revolution of 1905-1907, festooned with the black-red flags of movement, though the chiliastic chic of Limonov’s monthly rant was somewhat checked by the Mickey D. golden arch and the skyscrapers of the Moscow financial district in the background.

daughterland-calls Eduard Limonov is a most idiosyncratic figure. A dissident Jew (or maybe not; it’s unclear) who emigrated to New York and spent the 1970-80s doing drugs and having trysts with powerful Negro studs, Eddie returned to Russia in the 1990s where he took up the banner of the red brown alliance – with far more punk, homosex, and an unusually good female-to-male ratio by 1488 standards.

He published the book Another Russia in 2001, calling on youth to dig into the bunkers and wage a total war against the bureaucrats, businessmen, and assorted bugmen of the modern world. Unlike other nihilist philosophers, who are a dime a dozen, he actually proceeded to follow up his words with actions, attempting to foment a Russian insurrection in north Kazakhstan, for which he did a stint in jail.

After spending the 2000s in rabid opposition to Putin, after the reunification with Crimea and the war in the Donbass he finally learned to love the Leader.

Clearly a most “passionary” fellow, so I thought it worthwhile to come check out what he had to say.

The introductory slogans were simple: “Stalin, Beria, gulag.” “Confiscate and divide.”

Unlike your typical kremlinoid bugman, who speaks of rossiyane citizens or even “inhabitants of Russia,” Limonov is unafraid to speak to and about ethnic russkie. (In general, the russkie/rossiyane ratio is a good proxy for how based a Russian politician is).

natsbol-industry Re-Ukraine. He seems to identify the Russian World with the geographic areas where the Russian language is predominant – that is, the eight oblasts of prospective Novorossiya. The rest of the Ukraine he proposed to divide with Romania, Poland, and Hungary – in a process also detaching them from the EU, which is “sending them nothing but migrants.” The latter reflects a rather serious detachment from reality. Romanians were unenthusiastic even about their lost Wallachian provinces, i.e. Moldova, to say nothing of territorial ambitions in the Ukraine. As for the EU, it sends all of those countries the yearly equivalent of more than a thousand Euros’ worth of welfare payments per capita; in return, all they ask of them is to take in some token number of refugees, who all proceed to go on to the richer gibsmedats pastures of Germany and Sweden anyway. Seriously, I doubt even a dozen of the recent Syrian immigrants ended up permanently settling in any of those countries. In the meantime, they get to entertain themselves by sticking a middle finger to the Eurocrats.

More geopolitical comments. Trump and his $110 arms deal with the Saudis – Russia can’t compete with that kind of money, because its not rich enough, because of its cold climate (past instances of “confiscate and divide” obviously not mentioned as contributory factors).

He is a big fan of Kurdistan, thinks Russia should support it more actively. Wants a bigger military contingent in Syria, including ground forces. Very boomer mindset.

Macron is fat, but “fancies himself a D’Artagnan” – original line of attack, if a somewhat strange one (is Macron actually fat? Never noticed). Claims that he was owned by Putin. My impression was that it was rather the other way round – Macron received Putin at the Palace of Versailles. The last foreign dignitary to be given a reception there was Gaddafi in 2007 under President Sarkozy, who in a few more years met a sticky end thanks in large part to Sarkozy himself. The impression that this was a deliberate slight was reinforced by the post-reception press conference, where Macron called RT and Sputnik journalists propagandists to Putin’s face and said that France would bomb Syria if it were to use chemical weapons again. But no matter – according to Limonov, Putin subdued Macron, and made him “respect” him, laying the foundations for improved relations with France. So much so that perhaps in the near future Russians “will be able to go France to help beat up immigrants.”

natsbol-girl-with-gun Now I am personally not a fan of beating up immigrants. Document checks and deportations seem to be the more civilized and effective policy. Still, if you are a nationalist of some sort, and want to beat up immigrants, shouldn’t you prioritize the ones in your own country? E.g., the up to 10 million illegals in Russia?

*crickets*

I mean, I don’t want to be too tough on Limonov, who at least is red-pilled on race (in another part of his speech, he said the US has a lot of Negroes, “half of whom are on welfare”). This alone places him far closer to the American Alt Right than Greater Turkestan proponent Dugin. Even so, this tendency to notice “problems” in Western countries while studiously not extending the same analytical framework to their own country seems to be a defining feature of the Russian nationalist boomer mindset. Is this due to a generational cognitive blind-spot, a concern about alienating their audiences, or fear of possible legal repercussions?

This is something I’m trying to figure out myself.

Re-Navalny. If he were to die today, and the oligarch Usmanov (with whom Navalny is currently feuding) were to die tomorrow, Limonov would “not be sad.” Skeptical about whether the Americans are financing him, but that said, he does ask where does the money for Navalny’s extensive network of regional election HQs come from? Complains about state persecution of nationalists, citing one “Yura” who got three years for non-violently defending a female journalist from the police, while Navalny is walking free despite having two suspended sentences. The unspoken implication is that Limonov thinks the Kremlin is in cahoots with Navalny.

At this point Limonov wraps up the lecture, everyone claps, and a few people go up to him to have books signed and to discuss things further (including the American fan of Limonov and Unz Review reader who brought me out there).

The next speaker was some NatsBol activist with a boring jeremiad about “economic justice” and the “social lifts of Soviet society.” Limonov, inane as he often is, is at least entertaining. Those activist ideologue types never are, so we left.

***

limonovka-1

limonovka-2 limonovka-3 limonovka-4 limonovka-5 limonovka-6 limonovka-7 limonovka-8.

 

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Moscow, Open Thread, Russian Nationalism 

PAPER REVIEW

Grigoriev, Andrey & Lynn 2009
Studies of Socioeconomic and Ethnic Differences in Intelligence in the Former Soviet Union in the Early Twentieth Century


Abstract:

This paper reviews the studies of socioeconomic and ethnic and racial differences in intelligence carried out in Russia/USSR during the late 1920s and early 1930s. In these studies the IQs of social classes and of ethnic minorities were tested. These included Tatars (a Caucasoid people), Chuvash and Altai (mixed Caucasoid-Mongoloid peoples), Evenk (a mixed Caucasoid-Arctic people), and Uzbeks (a Central-South Asian people). The results of these studies showed socioeconomic differences of 12 IQ points between the children of white collar and blue collar workers, and that with the exception of the Tartars the ethnic minorities obtained lower IQs than European Russians.

This is essentially a short history of psychometrics in the USSR/Russia.

(1) The first measurement of Russian IQ was performed in 1909 by A.M. Schubert, who used the French Binet test with n=229 children: “She concluded that the Binet test appeared to be too difficult for Russian children and the scale should be moved on 1 to 2 ages to be appropriate for them.” Since Mental age ÷ Physical age × 100 = IQ, this implies their average IQ was perhaps one S.D. lower than that of the French, though later researchers pointed out those children were drawn from lower socio-economic strata.

In 1930, now in the USSR, another study found the following:

They tested 414 children aged between 8½ and 11½ with the American Stanford– Binet (administered in Russian translation). The sample consisted of 200 children of peasants,141 children of blue collar workers, and 73 children of white-collar workers. All children were from Moscow or the Moscow region. The results were that the children of peasants obtained a mean IQ of 87 (the standard deviation=10), the children of blue-collar workers a mean IQ of 91 (SD=8.6) and the children of white-collar workers a mean IQ 98 (SD=8.4). The mean IQ (unweighted) for three groups was 92… Thus, the total weighted mean for Russian children in this study was 90.3 (these IQs are in relation to American Stanford–Binet norms).

Capture This brings to mind a 1920s study quoted by Anne Anastasi in her book Differential Psychology (pp.524), in which Russian immigrant children to the US got 90.

This 10 point difference was presumably there because Russia was a more economically backwards country, with a more repressed average IQ due to gaps in schooling, malnutrition, parasitic load, etc.

(2) As in the West, consistent differences were found in the IQs of people from different socio-economic strata.

Another study of relation of IQ to social class was carried out by M. Syrkin (М.Сыркин)(Сыркин,1929) who compared the intelligence of fourth grade children (N=338, age approximately 10 years) belonging to six socio-economic groups. The lowest group was described as “ blue collar workers and at least one of parents illiterate”and the highest group was described as “white-collar workers and at least one parent educated in an institute of higher education”. Intelligence was assessed with five verbal tests measuring comprehension and verbal reasoning. There was a difference of 1.42d(equivalent to 21.3 IQ points) between the lowest and highest socioeconomic groups.

The USSR really did expel, kill off, or otherwise limit the reproductive fitness of its best and brightest.

In 1928, E.I. Zverev (Е.И. Зверев)(Зверев, 1931) tested the IQ of 114 children just admitted to school and aged about 7½– 8 years, in and around the city of Kursk, about 500 km south of Moscow. The children were tested with the Binet– Bert test (a Russian adaptation of the Binet). The mean IQ of these children was 80.8. This is much lower than the IQ of children obtained by Gurjanov, Smirnov, Sokolov, & Shevarev (Гурьянов, Смирнов, Соколов,&Шеварев, 1930) for Moscow and the Moscow region. Probably this difference was due to methodological and sample differences, but there is a possibility that the regional factor was also involved.

The latter hypothesis is likely the correct one.

In the 2009 PISA test, there was a 12 IQ point difference between Kursk and Moscow, which is an incredibly concentrated cognitive cluster.

(3) Now we go on to the most “controversial” part – ethnic differences in IQ.

Central Russia

There were also some studies of the IQs of non-Slavonic but predominantly Caucasoid peoples.I. Bektchentay (И .Бикчентай) and Z. Carimowa (З.Каримова )(Бикчентай &Каримова, 1930) tested the IQs of 380 Tartar children aged 8– 18 in fi ve Tartar schools in Moscow with the Boltunow–Binettest(aRussian adaptation of the Binet). The Tartars are indigenous to the Caucasus in the far south of Russia and the former Soviet Union, but a number of them live in central Russian towns and cities. The mean IQ of the Tartar children in this study was approximately the same as that of Russian children. The correlation between the Boltunow– Binet test and school achievements (assessed by teachers’ estimates) in their study was 0.84.

Yes, this is a pretty major distinction.

The Volga Tatars – the Muslim and Christianized Tatars of central Russia – have an average IQ of around 100 (about equal to modern Russia/Europe). Population genetics studies have found them to be basically acculturated Slavs.

The first of these was reported by F.P. Petrov (Е.П. Петров) (Петров, 1928) who tested the IQs of 1398 Chuvash children aged 3–13 in 1926–1927 with the French Binet–Simon test… The figures inTable 2 show a median IQ of 87 for boys and 84 for girls, and means (unweighted) of 89 for boys and 86 for girls. These are in relation to 100 for French norms, but no normative data are reported for Russian children. The IQs of the Chuvash children show a decline with age, with the lowest IQs among the 12 and 13 year olds.

Chuvashia is currently about average for the Russian regions.

Tundra

Also tests carried out on indigenous tundric peoples, such as the Evenks (Bulanov 1930):

The results are presented as typical for Evenk children, but because of the small samples, their IQs may not be regarded as reliable. The results are as follows. For the Binet test the mean IQ was 70.16 (for 5 children, and in relation to French norms). The results obtained with the Rossolimo test showed lower average IQs of the Evenk (Tungus) compared with a Moscow sample on some abilities, namely, memory for pictures and words, ability to comprehend combined pictures, ability to comprehend visual incongruities, and, according to Bulanow’s interpreta- tion, ability to retain a high level of attention. As regards memory for pictures, the results contradicted the sometimes described capacity of Evenk (Tungus) to remember exactly long routes on wild territory (Encyclopedic Dictionary by Brockhaus & Efron (Энциклопедический словарь Ф .А . Брок – гауза и И.А .Ефрона ), 1902, vol. 67, p. 66)….

Bulanow also reported some observations on Evenk (Tungus) children and adults concerning their great difficulty in understanding the concepts of measurement and number. He reported that when Evenk children were questioned about devices for measurement, they did not have the concept of an absolute unit of measurement. They thought that the unit changed with the material measured. Bulanow reported further that when he asked Evenk adults how many children they had “ It was difficult, almost impossible, to get from parents precise information as to how many of their children were alive, how many of their children had died, what was the age of their children, and so on.” (p. 198).

… and on the Altai (Zaporochets 1930):

The results for the Binet test were as follows: mean IQ for total group was 66.9 (sd. 8.5), mean IQ for children aged 8– 12 was 69.15, and the mean IQ for children aged 13–16 years was 64.8. As noted by Zaporojets, this test was tedious for the Altai children. Some tasks were especially difficult for them. These were tasks involving calculation, logical operations, and the fluency task to name as many as words as possible during 3 min. As for the Rossolimo test, the most diffi cult tests for Altai children were those requiring the ability to retain a high level of attention and to comprehend visual incongruities. Their mean IQ for the Pintner–Peterson test was 75.

Zaporojets noted that the Altai children did not have a clear understanding of units of measurement. He observed that when they were questioned about the length of a meter, the Altai would often ask: “Which meter?”They thought that the meter in one shop could be longer than in another. An adult Altai said about distance: “It is 100 big versts (approximately 100 kilometers)” (he apparently thought that the number of small versts must be more).

Zaporojets’ paper contains some interesting observations on adult Altai. Although adult Altai performed calculations poorly at the time of study, they showed a remarkable ability for visual estimation of large quantities. A herdsman, who could count only to 20–30, noticed very well the absence of one horse, cow or sheep in a herd of many hundreds. He looked at a huge herd and noted that a particular cow was absent. Another example of the great visualization ability of the Altai was that they could remember and showed the way through wild territory, where they had been only once many years previously.

Common theme: No numeracy (they’d have a very bad Whipple’s index), very premodern and non-abstract ways of thinking, but quite well suited for their environment.

In PISA 2009, Yakutia had the lowest score of any tested Russian region, including Dagestan (though Chechnya and Ingushetia were not included). Ethnic Yakuts, who probably have similar IQs to the Altai and Evenks, constitute 50% of its population, though probably more like 2/3 amongst the children taking PISA due to their higher fertility rates. This might imply that the average Yakut IQ is in the low-to-mid 80s.

Central Asia

First test was carried out in 1926 by A. Schtelerman: He did not give IQs but reported that the scores of the Uzbek children were lower than those of children in Moscow.

A series of studies by V.K. Soloviev on Russian and Uzbek army cadets and professionals found that “the test scores and the educational level of the Uzbeks were lower than those of the Europeans.”

The third study of the intelligence of the Uzbeks was carried out in 1931 by A.R. Luria (А.Р . Лурия ), at that time at the Institute of Psychology in Moscow. Luria did not use intelligence tests but gave a descriptive analysis of the Uzbeks’ cognitive abilities. He distinguished two modes of thought designated graphic recall (memories of how objects in the individual’s personal experience are related) and ca- tegorical relationships (categorisation by abstract concepts). He found that the thought processes of illiterate Uzbek peasants were confined to graphic recall and that they were not able to form abstract concepts. For example, they were shown a hammer, an axe, a log and a saw, and asked which of these did not belong. The typical Uzbek answer was that they all belonged together because they are all needed to make firewood. People who are able to think in terms of categorical relationships identify the log as the answer because the other three are tools (an abstract concept). Illiterate Uzbeks peasants were unable to form concepts of this kind. They were also unable to solve syllogisms. For instance, given the syllogism “There are no camels in Germany; the city of B is in Germany; are there camels there?” Luria gave as a typical Uzbeks answer “I don’t know, I have never seen German cities. If B is a large city, there should be camels there.” Similarly, Luria asked “In the far north, where there is snow, all bears are white; Novia Zemlya is in the far north; what color are the bears in Novia Zemlya?”. A typical Uzbek answer was “I’ve never been to the far north and never seen bears”(Luria,1979, p. 77–8). Thus, Luria concluded that these peoples were not capable of abstract thought: “ the processes of abstraction and generalization are not invariant at all stages of socioeconomic and cultural development. Rather, such processes are pro- ducts of the cultural environment” (Luria, 1979, p. 74). Luria proposed that the ability to think in terms of categorical relationships is acquired through education. He did not suggest that the Uzbeks have any genetic cognitive deficiency.

I wrote about Luria back in the late 2000s when I still agnostic about genetic racial differences in IQ.

Today those factors no longer really hold, but Central Asians do very poorly on international standardized tests.

Kyrgyzstan came at the very bottom of PISA 2009, with a PISA-equivalent IQ of around 75.

Table below is from David Becker’s database of national IQs:

National Ethnic Age N Test IQ Study
Kazakhstan 8 to 16 617 SPM+ 87.30 Grigoriev & Lynn (2014)
Kyrgyz 85.60 Lynn & Cheng (2014)
Tajikistan 13 to 15 674 SPM+ 88.00 Khosimov & Lynn (2017)
Uzbekistan 10 to 15 51 SPM+ 86.00 Grigoriev & Lynn (2014 )
Uzbekistan 11 to 13 614 SPM+ 85.00 Salahodjaev et al. (2017)

Still, Luria has some of the best arguments against that position, so its a bit surprising that the blank slatists don’t cite him more.

stalin-the-tajik(4) Or maybe not, because it still didn’t save him him from the SJWs’ ideological predecessors, Sovok Justice Warriors:

These early studies carried out in the years 1926– 1931 found that there were substantial socioeconomic and ethnic/ racial differences in intelligence in the Soviet Union. These conclusions were not consistent with Marxist orthodoxy which held that these differences would disappear under communism. Accordingly, these studies, particularly that of Luria, attracted a great deal of criticism in the Soviet Union in the early 1930s. This has been described by Kozulin (1984): “Critics accused Luria of insulting the national minorities of Soviet Asia whom he had ostensibly depicted as an inferior race. The results of the expedition were refused publication and the very theme of cultural development was forbidden” . In 1936 intelligence testing was banned in the Soviet Union. It was not until the 1960s and early 1970s that this prohibition was progressively relaxed (Grigorenko & Kornilova, 1997). Luria’s work was not published in Russian until 1974 and English translations were published in 1976 and 1979 (Luria, 1976, 1979).

As Lynn and Grigoriev point out, this was closely correlated to the suppression of genetics research, though at least Luria and Co. weren’t outright murdered like Vavilov.

The history of work on intelligence in the former Soviet Union parallels that of genetics, where mainstream Mendelian theory represented by Nikolai Vavilov in the 1920s was likewise suppressed in the 1930s and replaced by the environmentalist pseudo-genetics of Trofi m Lysenko. The domination of science by political theory was relaxed in the 1960s and 1970s, and in recent decades both intelligence research and Mendelian genetics have been rehabilitated in Russia.

Scientifically, there is real work being done on psychometrics in Russia, though in comparison to the US it is very meager and basically inconsequential.

Since it is not politicized in the US, it is neither promoted nor prosecuted.

If psychometric considerations were to move closer to politics, e.g. by tying them to the hot potato that is Central Asian immigration, things can go any which way. Although Russians have a more commonsense take on these matters – if 25% of Americans seriously think intelligence is a “social construct,” it’s probably more like 5% in Russia. On the other hand, the Leftists, Stalinists, and even many Eurasianists are aggressively opposed to the idea that intelligence is heritable and differs significantly between races, and in the event that the authorities side with them, Russian scientists don’t have the First Amendment or an fair and impartial court system to hide behind.

 

ukraine-popular-sites-2017 A couple of weeks ago, Ukraine passed an edict banning access to a host of Russian web services including VKontakte and Odnoklassniki (Russia’s Facebook, and most popular social network in Ukraine, with 13 million users; Odnoklassniki is 4th, with 9 million users; for comparison, Facebook is 8th with 5.6 million users, though tellingly it is where the country’s political elites tussle), Yandex (Google, and 5th and 11th most popular website in Ukraine for the .ua and .ru domain, respectively), Kaspersky (Europe’s foremost anti-virus software), mail.ru (an email service that is the 7th most popular site in Ukraine), and 1c accounting software (the foremost accounting software in Eurasia due to its competitive pricing and regular updates to comply with the latest labyrinth regulations of post-Soviet bureacracies).

As pretty much everyone except Ukrainian nationalists agreed, this was a stupid and self-defeating move anyway you look at it. It will create headaches for normal people and for the small businesses who rely on 1c accounting software (as if they don’t have enough problems already, what with the collapse of the Ukrainian economy and the Maidan regime’s total failure to make headway against corruption).

It doesn’t look any good from a “democratist” perspective. The only halfway comparable block in Russia is with respect to LinkedIn for its refusal to store its data in Russia. That said, sitting here in Moscow, I can open it just fine even without using VPN or other roundabout methods, which brings up another problem: Implementing such censorship is harder than it looks. It requires money that Ukraine doesn’t have. So any attempt to implement this ban seriously will have to be borne by Internet providers, which in turn will pass it onto the consumer. Not good for the country with Europe’s lowest Internet penetration rate (including Moldova).

In any case, segregating the Ukrainian Internet from Runet is doomed to failure anyway, considering that it is mostly to overwhelmingly Russophone outside the far west.

ukraine-vkontakte-language

Map of Russian/Ukrainian language usage on Vkontakte in 2013.

It might work after half a century of aggressive Ukrainization, but not today, when at least 80% of intellectual culture in Ukraine is carried on in the Russian language, despite the best efforts of Soviet Ukrainianizationists.

Finally, even bad optics aside and impracticality aside, Russia remains by far Ukraine’s biggest investor – some 38% of the total as of 2016 – so scaring off the Russian companies that remain there with armed secret police raids and “treason” charges, as recently done on Yandex’s Kiev office, seems pretty stupid.

And really, if these sites are all such a big threat to Ukraine, why didn’t it ban them back in 2014?

Two possible reasons. Maybe Poroshenko was really butthurt about the Russian tax authorities finally shutting down his chocolate factory in Lipetsk. Alternatively, and more plausibly, this was done to appease svidomy Ukrainian nationalists for a few more weeks. They have a good track record of forcing the weak Ukrainian state into acceding to and formalizing actions that it doesn’t really want to do, such as the Donbass blockade. Of course as I pointed out earlier the nationalists themselves are mostly tools of oligarchic groups who are themselves opposed to Poroshenko. Online as in real life, it is ordinary people who have the pay as the high lords play their game of thrones.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Social Media, Svidomy, Ukraine 

trump-tropical-hyperborea

Trump fights the good fight for Tropical Hyperborea… erm, I mean for Pittsburgh, not Paris.

Meanwhile, the kremlins see it fit to backstab him on this of all issues.

“President (Vladimir) Putin signed this convention in Paris. Russia attaches great significance to it.

“At the same time, it goes without saying that the effectiveness of this convention is likely to be reduced without its key participants.”

Note that this is a couple of days after Macron publicly humiliated Putin in Paris, telling him that RT.com and Sputnik are propagandists to his face.

Global warming will be great for Russia, a warming of several degrees will put an end to its endless struggle against permafrost and allow it to feed billions of people.

Instead, the kremlins are sucking up to people who won’t even thank them for it. For that matter, many Westerners think the Kremlin is behind a lot of global warming denialism anyway.

There is only one explanation for this: The kremlins are cucks. Sovok cucks. Sovcucks!

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Cuckoldry, Global Warming 

So the other day Mark Zuckerberg, who is all but officially campaining for the Presidency in 2020, came out in favor of basic income:

Every generation expands its definition of equality. Now it’s time for our generation to define a new social contract. We should have a society that measures progress not by economic metrics like GDP but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.

I do support basic income.

Though who cares what I support. Two to three decades down the line, basic income will become all but inevitable if the oligarchs want mass consumer capitalism to survive under mass automation.

The only problem is that Mark “I Don’t Know Why They Trust Me, Dumb Fucks” Zuckerberg is just about the last person you’d trust to implement a basic income.

Don’t like his sister’s ideas on “whitewashing ancient statues”? That’s a 10% cut in your soypack purchasing power.

zuckerberg-basic-income

Mainstream Republicans and Democrats are corrupt retards who care naught beyond more tax cuts for the oligarchs and gibsmedats for the ghettoes, respectively. So its likely that it will be some political outsider President who ends up instituting basic income. In practice, given their wealth and high IQ, this in turn probably means some Silicon Valley plutocrat.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Facebook, Universal Basic Income 
Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.

One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.

Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.