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 Russian Reaction BlogTeasers

amazon-censorship-in-action

I have finally had it with Amazon.

No, I am not talking of Bezos deleting 1 star reviews of Hillary Clinton’s new book on how the Russians are to blame for her losing to Trump. Though that’s also a factor. It is firmly part of the globalist empire and the day when they start censoring more than just book reviews can’t be too far off.

I’m talking of their “reform” to the highlights system.

Here’s how things work. When you buy books from Amazon you aren’t really paying for the actual product but for “access” to it, the terms of which can be changed at will. The most famous and ironic case was the removal of copies of Orwell’s 1984 from users’ libraries back in 2009, though that was more of a kerfuffle than anything sinister.

More recently, though, they started enforcing publisher limits on the amount of notes and highlights you can export from your Highlights page. What’s even worse is that each publisher has different policies on the amount and length of highlights they allow you to export. These limits tend to be more stringent for academic works – that is, the ones were you can actually be expected to make a lot of highlights. So imagine plowing through some massive opus, making copious notes and highlights on the way, and then discovering that you only have access to the first ten of them.

Judging from my forum thread at Amazon, many people have similar complaints.

Just spent over an hour talking with six different Amazon customer service reps. Most did not even know what the Your Notes and Highlights Page was. They kept passing me higher up until I got to someone who understood the issue. I explained to him that I have thousands of dollars and hours invested in reading and highlighting Kindle books for research and teaching (I have over 1300 Kindle books), and that I can no longer access all my highlights. He said he was sorry, but this is the new system and that nothing can be done. It’s very frustrating because it always worked before, and I no longer trust the Amazon ecosystem.

Customer Support confirmed that the new system is here to stay:

I am sorry about the trouble with exporting your book highlights. Each title in the Kindle Store has limits as to how much of the content can be highlighted or exported, this is set by the author of the book. These limits may vary by title, and cannot be changed.
We don’t have a way to roll back the current reading app version for you.

Fortunately, I transfer my notes/highlights to Evernote as a matter of course whenever I finish a book, so I haven’t truly “lost” all that many notes, except in the case of a few books which I hadn’t finished reading when the new system came online.

Still, in a world where many other content access industries have either adapted (e.g. Netflix for movies, Steam for video games) or been superceded by altogether more “open” solutions (e.g. Sci Hub for scientific articles), Amazon’s boorish decision to rush headlong back into the Triassic of e-book publishing can’t be tolerated.

What makes Amazon’s new policy all the more ridiculous is that not only can many books be downloaded/pirated from sites such as Library Genesis, without any restrictive DRM attached to boot, but there are even software tools to strip the DRM off Kindle books (e.g. certain plugins for Calibre), which you can then read from open source book readers.

But this is where we – or at least, I – hit a snag. The problem is that Kindle for Android – the software that I use to read more of my ebooks on my cell phone – is genuinely good. I have yet to find an e-reader with anything close to its functionality and capabilities.

  • Integrated with the web, mobile, and Kindle e-book reader versions.
  • Books can be organized into collections.
  • Highlights and notes can be easily accessed, including from the web, and exported.
  • Very powerful navigations, with instant access to Table of Contents and a “summary view” with quick scrolling.
  • Nice aesthetic/functional with many different fonts, backgrounds (white, night, aged paper, etc.).
  • Access to popular highlights.

Though it has some very big, and now critical, negatives as well:

  • Uses the proprietory .mobi format.
  • The newly enforced restrictions on numbers and length of highlights.

If anybody has suggestions for book readers that contain most of Kindle for Android’s pluses with none of its minuses, that would be highly appreciated.

The other aspect of DeAmazoning is of course the tedious work of downloading all your Kindle books, renaming them, integrating them into your non-Kindle book library, and stripping the DRM of all of them. Not particularly looking forwards to this part, which will probably take at least a couple of evenings, but I suppose it has to be done sooner rather than later.

Again, any tips will be appreciated, and if/when I’m successfully finished with transitioning to another system, I’ll be sure to write up a guide.

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: Books, Open Access, Productivity 

East-Central Europe – the Visegrad nations and the Balts – are commonly considered to have had far better post-Communist transitions than Russia. They started earlier, and from a more privileged position; in contrast, the Soviet economy was more distorted in the first place, and there were no living memories of prewar capitalism. They got more economic and institutional support from the West. There was no haphazard rush to privatize state assets, preempting the development of a powerful oligarch class that in Russia’s case has become a byword for sleaze and boorishness.

One positive result of this was a generally much lower degree of income inequality than in Russia.

europe-gini-index

This conventional view is mostly true.

However, as Leonid Bershidsky has just pointed out, citing a recent research paper by Thomas Piketty et al., there is a small catch.

Finally, the large negative foreign asset positions of Eastern European countries should obviously be put in relation to the fact that these countries have adopted a development strategy based upon economic and political integration within the European Union. Eastern European countries are largely foreign-owned, but the owners tend to come from EU countries (in particular from Germany). So in some sense it is not entirely different from the situation of peripheral regions that are being owned by more prosperous central regions in a large federal country.

It is also worth noting that these patterns of foreign ownership also have consequences for the study of domestic inequality. In particular, as demonstrated by Novokmet (2017), the fact the holders of top capital incomes tend to be foreigners rather than domestic residents contributes to lower top income shares in countries like the Czech Republic or Poland or Hungary (as compared to countries like Russia or Germany). I.e. foreign owned countries tend to have less domestic inequality (other things equal).

In other words, a lower net international investment position – all other things equal – should result a country having lower inequality by dint of their 1% being foreigners.

niip-eastern-europe

The two major exceptions in the ex-Communist world are Russia and China.

Finally, it is interesting to compare ex-communist countries with respect to the importance of foreign assets (see Figure 7d). It is particularly striking to contrast the case of Russia and China, which both have positive net foreign assets (i.e. these two countries own more assets in the rest of the world than what foreigners own in Russia and China), and Eastern European countries, which all have hugely negative net foreign assets (i.e. these are largely foreign-owned countries). These differences are partly due to differences in economic and natural endowments. In particular, it makes sense for countries with large (but not permanent) natural resources such as Russia to accumulate trade surpluses and foreign reserves for the future.

Certainly Russia’s resource endowments helped and perhaps made it possible, but there was also a political element to it. Even under Yeltsin, the Kremlin had always been loathe to privatize state corporations to foreigners, even though they managed them better than either the state or domestic oligarchs.

One explanation is that privatization was unpopular enough, and selling off assets to foreigners would have made it even more politically untenable. A more cynical interpretation is that foreigners were harder to influence or to provide the kickbacks and favors their benefactors in the state expected for their largesse.

Be that as it may, Russia (and China) developed national oligarchies, whereas Visegrad and the Baltics ceded theirs to the established oligarchies of Mitteleuropa.

Finally, the large negative foreign asset positions of Eastern European countries should obviously be put in relation to the fact that these countries have adopted a development strategy based upon economic and political integration within the European Union. Eastern European countries are largely foreign-owned, but the owners tend to come from EU countries (in particular from Germany). So in some sense it is not entirely different from the situation of peripheral regions that are being owned by more prosperous central regions in a large federal country.

Ergo for Belarus and the Ukraine (!) with respect to Russia. (Despite everything that’s happened since 2014, Russia remains the biggest foreign investor in Ukraine).

Now as Bershisky goes on to point out, while foreign ownership has its benefits – institutional integration, better management, etc. – there is also a price to pay: A loss of sovereignty.

It’s not really a choice; Eastern Europe will eventually need to champion integration, just as it once championed membership. My own view is that eventually, it will no longer matter where a European company is headquartered because a united Europe will have a common budget, and economic cohesion will become inevitable. Nationalism may be having a moment, but it’s too late: The Eastern European countries have been open to investors for too long, and they’ve lost too much control over their economic future to hold on to political control.

Of course opinions on the desirability of this will differ.

As an immigration optimist who had a hysteric fit on Twitter over Brexit, we can be pretty sure that Bershidsky will see this as a good thing.

That said, Bershidsky might be jumping the shark here. As the Ukraine has shown, if there is sufficient political will, an economic “colony” can well defy its foreign owners, despite the economic cost of it (a 15% collapse in GDP). On the other hand, could Muslim immigration really be the hill on which Eastern Europe’s populists and Brussels skeptics make their last stand? After all, multicultural enrichment is a process that takes years if not decades to get noticed and to start having a marked effect on natives’ lives, whereas the loss of Crimea and the Donbass – and the ensuing threat to Ukraine’s continued statehood – was a much more sudden jolt.

In the lack of any such highly visible state of emergency, it is easy to imagine the East Europeans taking their hush money and piping down.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Eastern Europe, Inequality 

According to the latest estimates, Russia might harvest as much as 133 million tons of grain this year.

russia-grain-production

This would make 2017 a record harvest not just by post-Soviet standards, which were pretty dismal until the past decade, but relative to the RSFSR’s peak of 127.4mn tons in 1978.

(This is the case even after adjusting for Crimea’s absence from the RSFSR after 1954, since the parched peninsula only produces about a million tons of grain per year).

The US Department of Agriculture predicts that Russia will overtake the US and the EU to become the world’s largest single wheat exporter in 2017, accounting for a sixth of the world’s total and recovering its old Tsarist status as one of the world’s great breadbaskets.

world-grain-exports

Incidentally, if it were to also recover its Tsarist era borders, especially the Ukraine and Kazakhstan, it would account for about a third of world wheat exports.

One of the big proximate reasons for this are recent economic developments. Few sectors of the Russian economy have gained as much from the ruble devaluation and the sanctions as agriculture.

However, there are strong secular trends that Russia’s new breadbasket status is here to stay.

The world population is growing, and the climate is warming. This will raise global demand for calories, channeling investment into Russian agriculture, even as crop yields go up thanks to longer growing seasons and more atmospheric CO2, and previously inhospitable lands are opened up for agricultural exploitation.

burke-temperature-economy Russia is predicted to economically benefit more than any other country from global warming, and relatively speaking, agriculture can be expected to benefit more than any other sector. Meanwhile, conviently, major competitors such as Australia and the US will be wracked by droughts.

Russia is no longer the Soviet Union, where grain imports were running at 30 million tons by the 1980s – that is, about as much as just Russia by itself now exports – and draining the country of foreign currency. There are now many agricultural conglomerates competing in a free global market, responsive to price signals and intolerant of waste (about a quarter of the Soviet potato harvest rotted away in transportation). This is an opportunity that Russia will continue to exploit.

Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev has suggested that in the future, Russian export earnings from grain exports may come to equal or even eclipse those from hydrocarbons, in effect fully returning Russia to its foreign trade position during late Tsarism.

This is unlikely any time soon. Even as late as 2015, Russia exported a total of $7.4 billion of crops, which is not only an order of magnitude lower than its $189 billion worth of hydrocarbons and minerals exports, but is not even sufficient to cover its $9.3 billion worth of crop imports (primarily vegetables and tropical crops like coffee and citrus fruits).

Nonetheless, both the global prices for and Russian production of grains is likely to continue soaring in the decades ahead. Meanwhile, the outlook for oil is far less certain. While the supergiants continue depleting rapidly, new extraction technologies have postponed the oil peak for an indeterminate number of future decades, and electric cars will increasingly bite away on the demand side. So Tkachev’s vision is not altogether fantastical.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Agriculture, Russia 

The other day the Chechen social media page vk.com/karfagen was banned.

This is not surprising, considering that it was genuinely extremist from head to toe, though it is perhaps telling of the Russian state’s priorities that it took longer for Roskomnadzor to catch onto them than it did for it to illegally block the moderate Russian nationalist website Sputnik i Pogrom.

The ban came a few hours after a Meduza article by Daniil Turovsky on the webside, which was translated into English by Kevin Rothrock. The website, allegedly run by a 19 year old Chechen student, was devoted to harassing young women who shared “immoral” photos on social media, including posting their addresses and relatives’ contact details. If that resulted in honor killings, that’s just too bad, one of the Carthage activists shouted in all caps: “IF I FIND OUT THAT SOME VAINAKH FAMILY HAS KILLED THEIR OWN DAUGHTER FOR SOME SERIOUS OFFENSE, THEN I WILL STAND UP AND APPLAUD, BECAUSE IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO.” Women were forbidden from commenting.

Apart from doing their bit to make White Sharia real in Chechnya, the Carthage activists also embraced a sort of horseshoe theory Islamism (“You’re trying to distort our religion, publicly promoting the slogan ‘Islam is a religion of peace and good’”), as well as ultranationalist rhetoric. As with women, this extended to website administration; a tenth of the user base identified as Russians were kicked out in September. This is connected with Carthage billing itself as a “youth movement for the purification of the Vainakh people.” They did not mince words about their opinions of the Russian kuffar, who “pair off with anyone they want like animals” and “conceive children in the nightclub toilets.” Although they don’t promote Chechen independence, that is clearly driven by pragmatic reasons: “Chechnya is currently a subject of the Russian Federation, and it would be foolish of me to promote separatism among the masses.”

Now one might perhaps rejoinder that these are just some isolated nutjobs. One can mention the usual canard that there are Christian and non-Chechen extremists too.

But here’s the key difference: The 55,000 membership of Carthage on Vkontakte at the time of its closure represents 3.5% of all the Chechens in Russia.

For an online community where joining is entirely voluntary – i.e., the opposite of Kadyrov’s rallies – and not even entirely riskless, given the propensity of the most outspoken Islamists to be “disappeared” within Chechnya, these are astounding figures.

For comparison, the far right Ukrainian organization Right Sector on vk.com also has around 50,000 people while drawing from 30 times the population. Sputnik i Pogrom itself, perhaps the most popular Russian “extremist” resource, has around 110,000 supporters on that platform.

Even “normie” Ukrainian mass movements that dominated the headlines for months on end in 2013-2014 such as Euromaidan and Antimaidan still have 600,000 and 500,000 supporters, respectively, constituting about 1% of Ukraine’s population each, despite both movements also having a substantial international component.

Nor is this confined to Chechnya; earlier this year, Meduza had also reported on Chechen thot patrols harassing and threatening Chechen women who got too friendly with the kuffar, a story that got picked up in the Western alternate media. Carthage also had plans to expand to Ingushetia and Dagestan, at least before it was shut down. (There is also a Tatar “analogue” to Carthage called TTM, which remains accessible to date, though it only has 1,200 followers and my cursory examination of it suggests it’s more in the vein of /pol/-style trolling than hardcore Islamist nationalism).

All of this indicates that Carthage is the genuine voice of the Chechen people, as grassroots as the 1.8% interethnic marriage rates of Chechen women in Russia.

Once the Putin-Kadyrov “special relationship” breaks down due to political or actuarial factors, a new generation of skinny jeans wearing, organic food court-frequenting Russians will have to reenter political negotiations with a new generation of young, Internet-savvy Chechens who are more into stonings for adultery in the Caucasus Emirate.

 

Liberal electoral victories in Moscow compared to the prevalence of those ultimate SWPL status symbols, bike sharing stations…

moscow-elections-2017-and-bicycles

… the upscale organic food store Azbuka Vkusa…

moscow-elections-2017-and-azbuka-vkusa

… and concentrations of nomenklatura housing as of 1989.

moscow-elections-2017-and-nomenklatura

At first glance, one of these is not like the others.

But that’s not all that surprising.

Dig into the family histories of the Russian liberals, as they are disparagingly called, and all sorts of Communist and chekist skeletons tumble out of the closet.

  • Evgenia Albats (liberal enforcer, sort of like a one-woman SPLC) – Grandfather a candidate member of the Communist Party, arrested and shot in 1937.
  • Konstantin Borovoy (simply a clinical Russophobe on Novodvorskaya’s level) – Mother was secretary of the “Association of Proletarian Writers,” cooperated with the KGB.
  • Alexey Venediktov (head of Echo of Moscow) – Grandfather was a military prosecutor. From the award handed out to him: “He carried out a ruthless struggle with turncoats, spies, and traitors against the Motherland; dozens of traitors were judged by him and sentenced to their deserved punishment.”
  • Maria Gaidar (went to Ukraine after Euromaidan) – Her father was an editor of political economy in the Communist Party journal, “Communist.” Grandfather was head of the military section of Pravda.
  • Vasily Gatov (gained fame for an unsolicited apology for the Crimean deportations on behalf of Russia) – Grandfather was the fourth in the chain of command of the NKVD; head of the Senior Officer School of the NKVD – and headed the operation to resettle the Crimean Tatars.
  • Masha Gessen (lesbian Jewish feminist who hates Putin for the lack of European cheese in Moscow) – Grandmother worked for the MGB (predecessor to the KGB) as a telegram censor in Moscow.
  • Dmitry Gudkov (anti-Crimean socialist) – Father worked in the KGB in the 1980s.
  • Irena Lesnevskaya (pro-Ukraine activist) – Grandfather was a Bolshevik revolutionary and friend of Dzerzhinsky; shot in the 1930s.
  • Andrey Piontkovsky (anti-Putin activist who called on NATO to include a nuclear strike against the Russian leadership as part of its military doctrine_ – Grandfather was a judge in the Supreme Court of the USSR during the late Stalin period from 1946-51.
  • Ilya Ponomarev (anti-Crimea activist, emigre deputy wanted for fraud over absurdly renumerated lectures at Skolkovo) – Nephew of a candidate to the Politburo, who also occupied some other prestigious positions.
  • Vyacheslav Rabinovich (failed investor who has predicted a dozen of the Russian economy’s past zero economic collapses) – Grandfather was one of the first Komsomol members, served in the Cheka, engaged in accusations and counter-accusations of “Menshevism” and other thoughtcrimes in the 1930s; spent the 1948-55 period in prison as a result.
  • Mark Feygin (Pussy Riot’s lawyer who fails his cases and attacks his clients when they question his team’s competence) – Granduncle one of the founders of the Komsomol; died during the crushing of the Kronstadt mutiny in 1921.

In other words, just the sort of fine, upstanding people you’d want to replace Putin and rule Russia (if you hate it).

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Communism, Moscow, Society 

moscow-elections-2017

On September 10 there was a round of gubernatorial elections in Russia, as well as elections to local councils in Moscow.

There’s a lot of confusion on account of whether it was a victory for United Russia.

On the one hand, the low turnout – which traditionally favors more motivated liberals – allowed them to outright win most of the prestigious areas of Moscow.

moscow-elections-2017-and-bicycles

Amazing correlation between liberal victories (green) and bike sharing stations, that ultimate SWPL symbol.

On the other hand, United Russia did score 76% even in Moscow, gaining 1,150 deputies out 1,500. In contrast, liberal opposition, with 180 deputies, didn’t even manage to gather enough mandates to pass the municipal filter for participation in the Mayoral elections in September 2018. Since municipal councils in Moscow are toothless, having no access to the city budget and answering for little more than park benches, this would seem to be irrelevant.

That said, one thing that most people agree on is that this was a defeat for Navalny. He had distanced himself from the Moscow elections, not out of ideological reasons but personal ones; his deputy Leonid Volkov had fallen out with Maxim Kats, a liberal hipster figurehead who went on to unite with Dmitry Gudkov to form the United Democrats, the anti-Putin opposition bloc that went on to sweep SWPLy Moscow in close cooperation with Yavlinsky’s Yabloko. Incidentally, their positions are radically anti-Russian, more so even than Navalny’s; according to insider accounts, disavowal of Crimea – to say nothing of the Donbass – was a hard condition of entry into their coalition. Although this performance might not be that impressive in the large picture, it still probably counts for more than the number of Navalny’s YouTube views.

How important is this development? Probably, not very.

First, turnout was only 15%, and this naturally favored the liberals, who are more motivated than average.

Second, this pattern of voting is in any case a long-established pattern going back to the 1990s, in which the better educated, higher social status (higher IQ, in short) districts vote more strongly for liberal candidates. As I have long pointed out, the problem of very hostile elites is a problem common to both Russia and America.

See the data analysis by Emil Kirkegaard here:

moscow-elections-putin-phd

In the less prestigious, lower IQ, more prole areas, United Russia came out well ahead. My own district is pretty representative in this respect.

zhulebino-2017-elections

In terms of the average share of the vote of each political faction (you could vote for up to five people), United Russia got ~1,500, the liberals ~700, the commies ~700, and the nationalists ~300.

Personally I voted for two LDPR candidates, one from Rodina, and some green/ecological chick (she was not in United Russia, a commie, or a liberal traitor, so that was fine by me).

On the one hand, these results are still pretty encouraging; Moscow’s peripheries still reject the Westernist cargo cult, unlike the coddled hipsters of Central Moscow, who hate Russia despite everything that Mayor Sobyanin has done for them in transforming their living spaces into the gentrified SWPL urbanist paradise that they have always yearned for. But is United Russia actually a political force in its own right, or is it just a facade for normies who don’t want to “rock the boat,” and which will fold as quickly as did the Party of Regions in the Ukraine when the pedal is put to the metal? If it’s the latter, with liberals and commies running neck and neck, and nationalists basically out of the picture, the prospects for Russia will be grim in the event of a color revolution.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Moscow, Politics, Russia 

The conventional view of nationalism is that it was a product of mass literacy and the modern state, underpinned by schoolbooks and Tombs of the Unknown Soldier. Recent years have seen challenges to this historiographic consensus at both a general level (e.g. Azar Gat’s Nations), and with respect to specific peoples (Robert Tomb’s recent The English and Their History comes to mind).

Our latest translation of Russian conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov is more than just a Russian contribution to this debate. It makes the much more radical argument that not only was Russia not a laggard in the process of nation-building, as European historiography has long claimed, but was at the very forefront of this process for longer than a millennium, from Novgorod’s implicit devotion to the Russian commonweal in the 13th century to Russia’s defense of a “Europe of Fatherlands” against the globalist tide of national annihilation today.


russian-mammoths

Mammoths and Patriots on the Russian Plain

A Brief History of Russian National Sentiment

by Egor Kholmogorov

Translated by Fluctuarius Argenteus

Original: https://um.plus/2016/04/09/rossiya-rodina-mamontov-i-patriotov/

Sometimes I hear that saying “patriotism as a national idea” is akin to saying that water is wet. However, this argument comes from people with a very superficial understanding of how difficult it is to be patriot given that, unlike a comfortable cosmopolitanism, patriotism is the path of struggle. Also, they fail to realize how important the contribution of Russia and Russian culture is to shaping the very phenomenon of a patriotic consciousness in the modern world. The Russians developed patriotism as a national idea far earlier than most European nations. And it is Russia that keeps its faith in a “Europe of Fatherlands” or a “World of Fatherlands” in today’s age of identity erasure.

“Russia is the Motherland of elephants.” This zinger, coined as a mockery of Russian patriotism[1], is, however, entirely true, with a slight correction: Russia is the Motherland of mammoths. It is thanks to the hunt of those majestic beasts that the first humans on the Russian Plain, then half-concealed by the Great Glacier, created a culture highly developed for its time. Nowadays, archaeologists even speak of a “mammoth hunter civilization.”

Indeed, even nowadays the remains of long-term housing built out of mammoth ivory, exhibited at the museum of Kostenki village, Voronezh Oblast, are no less amazing than some stone ruins from Oriental or European antiquity. Overall, it seems that the mammoth joke is on the jokers.

With the same minor correction, one can claim that Russia is the Motherland of patriotism. Of course, patriotism is a word of Latin roots, also hearkening back to Greek. Of course, the cult of pride for one’s country, its history and its heroes, was developed in Greece and Rome, and new European nations learned this art from the ancients (for example, Old Rus’ via Byzantium).

But there are different kinds of patriotism. “The thrust of the Greek notion of freedom was directed at their closest neighbors: being free meant not being dependent on them”, as noted by Robert Wipper (1859 – 1954), one of our foremost Classical scholars. Only two or three times out of the entirety of Hellenic history the Greeks showed a capacity for working together and for a Pan-Hellenic patriotism, but even 300 Spartans, defending a bottleneck that led to the heart of Greece, believed they were fighting for “Laconic law.” The Greeks saw Hellas not as a common home country but as a common space for competing hometowns, peaceful if possible (at the Olympic Games).

Roman patriotism was more similar to ours. It was a not solely urban but also imperial patriotism, that of a city turned superpower. The history of a city that defended its freedom from foreign invaders and domestic tyrants, vanquished all of its neighbors, and transformed into a worldwide Empire formed the archetype of a patriotic myth for future generations.

The Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg houses a sculpture by Vasily Demut-Malinovsky (1776 – 1846) named The Russian Scaevola. A very Classical-looking Russian peasant with an axe is chopping off his arm bearing a brand of the letter N, meaning “Napoleon.” This patriotic legend was born as an imitation of a celebrated Roman historical myth. A young Roman patrician named Gaius Mucius, nicknamed Scaevola (“Left-Handed”), attempted to assassinate Porsenna, the Etruscan king. When he was caught and subjected to torture, he placed his right hand on a brazier and endured the pain until it became completely charred. Porcenna, terrified by the Roman’s defiant fortitude, sued for peace with his city.

However, it was the city that formed the nucleus of Roman patriotism. If Russia truly were “Muscovy”, if Moscow had been seen as a creator of a new world and not as a unifier of Russian lands, then we could have developed a Roman-styled urban patriotism.

But Russian patriotism existed long before the rise of Moscow, and had at its forefront not the City, but the Land. Russian patriotic consciousness is the oldest national consciousness among European peoples. There is no France yet, only a “Western Frankia.” There is no Germany yet, just the Holy Roman Empire, which would only have the “of the Germanic nation” appended to its name in 1512. England, only recently under the rule of Danish kings and separated into territories of Danelaw and Saxon Law, has fallen under the sway of new conquerors, the haughty Normans marked by both Frankish arrogance and Norse ruthlessness. Meanwhile, a Russian chronicler is already penning the title of his work containing the question: “From whence came the Russian Land?”[2]

150 years before that, Russian envoys already come to Constantinople bearing the words, “We are of Russian kindred”, and they come, as the chronicle puts it, “from the great Russian prince, and all other princes, and all people of the Russian land.” The oldest historical document mentioning the Russians, the Annales Bertiniani from the year 838, already contains this “Russian kindred” formula (id est gentem suam, Rhos vocari dicebant). The chronicler still remembers the differences between Polans, Drevlians, and Vyatichi[3], he knows that Russian princes united Varangians and Slavs, but the unity of this society named “Rus’” seems to him indisputable and beyond all doubt. The first Russian chronicler deliberately constructs the image of Russian history as that of a unified people creating a unified country and subject to a unified authority. The same is discussed by Hilarion of Kiev (11th century) in his Sermon on Law and Grace with regards to Prince Vladimir: “For he was the sole ruler of his land, bringing all neighboring countries under his sway, some of them by peace, and the unruly ones by the sword.

Those three elements – Land, People, Empire – are, in their unity, the true formula of Russian patriotism, inherited by Russia from the times when Western European peoples had no patriotic consciousness to speak of. Only in 1214, when French king Philip II Augustus crushed the joint forces of the Holy Roman Empire and England near Bouvines, can we discover a semblance of French national pride. Only three decades later, an anonymous Russian scribes writes the Lay of the Ruin of the Russian Land, a haunting patriotic manifesto lamenting the destruction of Rus’ in the flames of the Mongol invasion.

Due to the vagaries of history, the tale of the destruction per se is not extant[4], yet we can still read the preamble, a veritable hymn to old pre-Mongol Rus’ demonstrating the height of its patriotic sentiment. The Lay is a love-letter to the Russian Land, a paean to its beauty and wealth. In my opinion, the text should be learned by heart as a part of school curriculum.

“Oh Russian Land, bright with brightness and adorned with adornments! Many are thy beauties: thou art adorned by many lakes, rivers and wells famed in thy lands, mountains, steep hills, tall oak woods, clean fields, marvellous beasts, diverse birds, countless great cities, marvellous villages, vineries of monasteries, houses of the Lord and redoubtable princes, honest boyars, noblemen aplenty. The Russian Land is filled with everything, oh true Christian faith!”

But it is not just the beauty of nature of Rus’ that he relishes; it is also its might, its dominion over other nations and the prestige of its rulers:

“From here to Hungarians and Poles and Czechs, from Czechs to Yotvingians[5], from Yotvingians to Lithuanians to Germans, from Germans to Karelians, from Karelians to Ustyug[6], where live the pagan Toymichi[7], and beyond the Breathing Sea[8], from the sea to Bulgars, from Bulgars to Burtasians[9], from Burtasians to Cheremis[10], from Cheremis to Mordva[11] – everything did the Lord bring under the sway of Christian people. The pagan lands submitted to the Grand Prince Vsevolod[12], and his father Yuri, prince of Kiev[13], and his grandfather Vladimir Monomakh[14], with whose name the Polovtsy[15] scared their children in their cradles. And Lithuanians dared not crawl out of their swamps, and Hungarians fortified their stone cities with iron gates so that the great Vladimir would not strike at them, and the Germans rejoiced, living far away beyond the Blue Sea[16]”

This common national memory, the idea of the Russian Land as a unity was the force that kept Russia from disintegration and destruction during the years of the Mongol yoke. Serapion, Bishop of Vladimir (? – 1275), lamented that “our majesty is brought to the ground, our beauty is dead, our wealth profits others, our works inherited by pagans, our land is the legacy of outlanders.” This, by the way, is the best answer of a contemporary of the Mongol invasion to those that today would present this incursion from the East as a time of friendship and cooperation.

“We cannot relish our own bread.” This formula of Serapion’s is a precise description of centuries-long Russian woes that intensified in the years of the Horde: we cannot have the joy of relishing our bread, it is either won with blood and tears, or stolen by foreign invaders, or the harvest fails. A simple Russian dream: to relish our own bread.

Nevertheless, that dream required fighting for. The Russians afforded particular reverence to those that would fight for Rus’, like Saint Alexander Nevsky. For Novgorod, he was both protector and hangman when he forced a rich mercantile city untouched by the Mongol invasion to pay the tribute imposed by the Horde. This was done to relieve the burden of other Russian lands, pillaged and impoverished. He chopped heads off, drowned peolpe, gouged eyes out; he should have been remembered as a tyrant. Yet here are the words of a Novgorod chronicler in the First Novgorod Chronicle (oldest recension) regarding the prince’s passing: “Merciful Lord, reveal Thy Countenance to him in the ages to come, for he labored much for the sake of Novgorod and the whole of Russian Land.”

“For the whole of Russian Land”, words written in Novgorod, a city oftentimes presented today as something of an independent state forcefully subjugated by Muscovy. However, in spite of all trade ties to the West, Novgorodians gave priority to a Pan-Russian patriotic sentiment, even judging the prince that had harshly mistreated them from the viewpoint of an integral Russian cause, and not just that of their city.

That is the ideological foundation of the unified Russian state, the great Russia, which appeared not with a delay compared to Western Europe, but with a lead. Dmitry Likhachov (1906 – 1999) noted in his book Russian Culture of the Period of Russian Nation-State Formation (1946): “The origins of national elements of specific cultures are more or less simultaneous everywhere in Europe, but only in Russia do they receive support in the form of a proper Russian nation-state. That is why the national character of 14-15th century culture of Rus’ is more pronounced than in that of England, France, or Germany of the same period. The unity of the Russian language is much stronger than that of French, English, German, Italian national languages. Russian literature is much more subordinate to the theme of state-building than that of other nations…”

I cannot agree with Lev Gumilyov’s (1912 – 1992) statement claiming that “they came to the Kulikovo Field[17] as men of Moscow, Serpukhov, Rostov, Beloozero, Smolensk, Murom, etc., but returned as Russians.” The desire to frame the great battle as a turning point is understandable, but the warriors came to fight, came as Russians already, not only those from from the Vladimir Principality and its vassals, but also from Lithuanian-held Rus’. They realized quite well that the true Pan-Russian cause was that of Moscow and not Lithuania. Simeon the Proud, the uncle of Dmitry Donskoy, the victor of Kulikovo, already claimed the title “of all Russias”[18], and the Byzantine emperor referred to him in his epistles as riks pasis Rossias, “the king of all Russia.” Therefore, the warriors of Kulikovo were already fighting for Russia and just Moscow.

Thanks to Joan of Arc, the French got the idea that Englishmen have no right to claim La Belle France for themselves. The Hundred Years’ War in general played an enormous part in developing national awareness in European peoples. It would suffice to compare two versions of the same chronicle written by the famous Jean Froissart with a difference of several decades and describing the same events. The first version is steeped in chivalric ideas, the second one is inspired by the concept of nationality. Froissart interprets the same act first as conforming to the concept of honor, then as typical of English or French character.

In spite of this dichotomy, it is hard to imagine a 15th or early 16th-century French or English king justifying his claims to a certain territory with a national principle, not defending his own domain but demanding to cede a different one “because Frenchmen live there.” At the same time, barely freed from the yoke of the Horde, Russia begins an irredentist struggle for Russian lands. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Livonia are seen as thieves of “ancestral lands” inherited by Russian princes from their forefather, Prince Vladimir.

The Papal envoys, while attempting to cajole Vasily III into a war with distant Turkey, got the following reply from the boyars: “The Grand Prince wants his ancestral domain, the Russian Land” (at that particular moment this claim also included Kiev). Those demands were invariably followed by lengthy historical justifications of the rights Russian state that would shock European diplomats.“Russian diplomats skilfully used their historical learning and created a complex theory of Muscovite princely power that elevated the prestige of the Russian monarchy… It was a creative political ideology that directed the politics of the Russian state towards the defence of national interests and culture in the complex milieu of European civilisation”, writes Dmitry Likhachov in National Consciousness of Old Rus’.

At that time Europe was engulfed in wars of religion. The battle of Catholics and Protestants almost succeeded in stamping out the sprouts of nascent national consciousness. Only horror and revulsion at the atrocities inflicted by kin and kith speaking the same language keeps national consciousness alive in spite of religious boundaries. European nations mostly grew out of a rejection of religious schism, and this was a positive and unifying side of European nationalism. But it was also marred by a certain Hellenic particularism, all too often national bigotry was directed at closest neighbors and formed a nation based on this hostility. What are the French without hating Englishmen, Germans, or Spaniards?

Russian national awareness evolved in a different way. It was not directed against a neighbor. Even the attitude towards Poland-Lithuania, in spite of incessant hostilities, never developed into an ethnophobia. If Russophobia is an unfortunate fixture of Polish national awareness, the Russian side of the conflict limited itself to “I’ll have my revenge and then forget.” Russian self-awareness was based on a positive patriotism, on love for one’s own land, people, culture, and ruler. The rejection of others expressed itself not in hatred but in a good-natured gibe similar to the manner in which The Lay of the Ruin describes the neighbors of Rus’.

The “foreign” becomes a threat only if it is injurious and harmful to Russian identity. It is menacing not as an external but as an internal threat, as demonstrated by the Time of Troubles. Russia has no difficulty in repelling invaders but wasted much effort on surpassing internal conflict that almost wrecked the state itself. Ivan Timofeev (ca. 1555 – 1631), one of the most acute observers of the Time of Troubles, saw the root of all evil in an obsession with all things foreign that had engulfed Ivan the Terrible and Boris Godunov. He chastises the first Russian czar for straying from national identity:

“He slew many nobles of his czardom that were loyal to him, others he exiled into lands of heathen faiths, and instead of them he favored those who had come from foreign lands… That is why we are surprised: even people of moderate reason would have understood that one cannot trust one’s enemies forever. And he, a man of such great wisdom, was laid low by his own weak conscience, willingly putting his head into serpent’s jaws. All enemies that came from other lands would have never defeated him if he hadn’t surrendered himself into their hands. Alas! All of his secrets were in the hands of barbarians, and they did what they pleased with him. I will say nothing more – he was a traitor to himself.”

Timofeev reproaches the common folk as well. “Their tongues grew mute and their mouths were shut with bribery; all of our feelings were weakened by fear” is his description of Boris Godunov’s rise to power, the ascendancy of a man who was seen by many as a criminal and a child-murderer. The same complacence in the face of wickedness at the beginning of the Time of Trouble is lambasted by Avraamy Palitsyn (? – ca. 1625), who speaks of “a mad silence of the entire people.”

The restoration of the country begins with a loud patriotic proclamations: the epistles of Patriarch Hermogenes (ca. 1530 – 1612), calling Russia to resist brigands and invaders; the letters of the Nizhny Novgorod volunteer army[19] calling to “stand united against common enemies and Russian brigands that spill our own blood in the country.” Patriotic rhetoric and patriotic awareness were the remedy that nursed Russia back to health in the moment where its statehood was in tatters. The Chronograph (1617)[20] describes the Council of the Land that elected a new dynasty[21] by painting a picture of national unity: “From the borders to the hinterlands of the Russian land the Orthodox people, men both meek and powerful, rich and poor, old and young, were granted the generous gift of life-giving wisdom and illuminated with the light of virtuously minded concord. Even though they came from different lands, they spoke with one voice, even though they were dissimilar as they lived far apart, they were gathered in one council as equals.”

The Time of Troubles and the heroism of Minin and Pozharsky’s resistance army are a damning argument against the popular myth that denies the existence of the Russian nation in that period. On the contrary, Russia, in the depth of its national and patriotic consciousness, was a step or two ahead of even the most progressive of neighbouring countries, where even a century later collusion with foreigners against one’s own nation was not considered dishonorable and considered a legitimate political instrument.

In Russia this was already unthinkable. There, patriotic consciousness was a hallmark of identity, which enabled the reunification of Ukraine, the patriotic heroism of the Great Northern War that required a mighty collective effort of the entire nation to carve out a space among great European powers, the brilliant achievements of Catherine the Great, the majestic victory over Napoleon in 1812. The last war is particularly remarkable: not only ex post facto, but even during the campaign itself it was seen as, and called, a Patriotic War. All gestures and words of the actors in this patriotic drama were made for the cause of the Fatherland.

The Russian propaganda machine left Napoleon no chance to subjugate the Russian people or entrench his dominance. The narcissistic conqueror was opposed not only by soldiers but by artists of rhetoric, from patriotic admiral Alexander Shishkov (1754 – 1841) who wrote the czar’s manifestos to populist propaganda virtuoso Count Fyodor Rostopchin (1763 – 1826) and his broadsides[22]. Without understanding the cultural and symbolic background we can never understand the most important of historical events, from the Battle of Borodino, fought mainly for political reasons, where every Russian officer saw death or injury as the highest honor, to the epic and terrifying fire of Moscow. Russia opposed Napoleon not only with a superior fighting spirit but also with a superior, elaborate patriotic ideology.

Even in Europe, German nationalism was not a predecessor but perhaps a byproduct of Russian patriotic resistance to Napoleon. Russia created a vast network of resistance, inspiring many European minds. Alexander Svechin (1878 – 1938), a prominent military theorist, gives the following description of the German front of Russian propaganda wars:

Russia organized a German Committee under the de facto leadership of Baron Heinrich von und zu Stein, the political head of the German national movement, who consented to leading the Russian propaganda effort. With a brilliant cadre of German patriotic officers that had resigned Prussian service when Prussia had been strongarmed into an alliance with Napoleon, Stein decided to create a German Legion staffed with German deserters and prisoners of war from La Grande Armée. The Legion was intended as a revolutionary challenge to a Germany enslaved by the French and then the core of an armed insurrection within Germany itself.

A fine example of propaganda tracts published in Saint Petersburg in October 1812 at the printers of the Senate, financed by an absolute monarch, is the “Brief Catechism of the German Soldier” written by Ernst Moritz Arndt by special commission. It claimed that German soldiers used to have their own emperor, but then they made a pact with Satan and Hell in the guise of Napoleon. People who were once free became slaves and are being sent to far-flung countries to turn free and happy peoples into slaves just as themselves. A German emperor sends a German soldier to war; must he fight? No, says Arndt; the idea of monarchy is subordinate to that of the nation and Fatherland. If the sovereign forces his soldiers to oppress the innocent and violate their rights, if he conspires against the happiness and freedom of his own subjects, if he colludes with the enemies of his own nation, if he allows his population to be robbed, dishonored, and raped, then following the orders of such a sovereign would be an affront to divine law. German honor commands the German soldier to break the sword that German despots force him to raise for the cause of his nation’s enemies, the French. The soldier must remember that the Fatherland and nation are timeless and deathless, while monarchs and all kinds of superiors will stay in the past with their petty ambitions and disgraceful misdeeds…

The success of propaganda among German regiments that defended Napoleon’s operation lines in 1812 was largely instrumental for the Berezina battle plan, an encirclement of the La Grande Armée core that had delved too deep into Moscow.

This fact seems like a veritable mockery of the popular Western “time zones of nationalism” theory formulated by Ernest Gellner. Allegedly, national consciousness in Europe develops from West to East. The further to the West, the more developed the national sentiment, the stronger its civic nature. Conversely, the further you look to the East, the more tardy and ethnocentric the national sentiment there.

As we can see, this is patently untrue. Russian national sentiment is not younger but older than German, or even the French and English. It is the oldest among the modern peoples of Europe, based on an identity of the Russian Land already pronounced in 10-11th centuries. There is no reason for assigning the Russians a more recent birth date. At the same time, the Russian self-awareness is perhaps not the most but the least ethnocentric, sometimes overly so, causing certain inconveniences for the Russians themselves.

The object of this sentiment is not the place of a particular ethnic group among others but the Fatherland, the Russian Land, its beauty and grandeur among other lands.

The Russians were indeed late in realising the ethnic aspect of nationalism, not due to an alleged backwardness, but because they were late in encountering ethnic nationalism directed against them, mostly in the western borderlands of the Russian Empire. A certain part was played by the German nationalism in the Baltic region; having clashed with it, Yuri Samarin (1819 – 1876) formulated his idea of Russians as a nation that needs equal rights within its own empire in his Letters from Riga (1849)[23].

In spite of the “time zone” theory, German nationalism – in the form of a Pan-German, unifying, state-driven national sentiment – was not a predecessor but a product of Russian patriotism that manifested in the anti-Napoleonic struggle. Russia stimulated German nationalism as an opposition to a Pan-European empire, not imitated it. Russia became a protector of identity and national diversity in Europe in spite of all attempts to forge it into some faceless union.

Nowadays, Russian patriotism preserves the same importance. As justly reminded by Vladimir Putin: “For Russia, for a Russian person […] the patriotic sentiment is very important, the sense of national belonging that is now, to their chagrin, being eroded in certain European countries.” In today’s Europe, the eyes of those who seek to preserve their national identity, those who are patriots and nationalists in the best sense of the word, are fixed upon Moscow. Conversely, those who yell the loudest about a “Russian menace” and a “European unity in the face of Russian aggression” are mostly partisans of a complete erasure of European faces and borders, oriented towards the EU Quarter of Brussels and the White House.

As I have attempted to demonstrate, this is really old news. Russia is still the Motherland of patriotism in Europe, and now, in defiance of an artificial denationalisation imposed by Communism, we are returning to our old mission – keeping the flame of nationality in Europe, preserving it as a Europe of Fatherlands and not a public thoroughfare.


Notes

[1] The origins of this memetic phrase are in the so-called Anti-Cosmopolitan campaign enacted in the final years of Stalinism (1948-53); one of its prominent traits was the “discovery” Russian “firsts” in science, invention, the arts, etc.; many of such “discoveries” were based on dubious or outright falsified data. The “Motherland of elephants” joke was born as a parody of this propaganda blitz.

[2] An allusion to the Primary Chronicle, a.k.a. The Tale of Past Years (ca. 1110), Russia’s oldest surviving historical chronicle traditionally attributed to Nestor (ca. 1056 – 1114), a monk of the Kiev Monastery of the Caves. Its first words, often interpreted as the work’s title, are “These are the tales of past years, of where the Russian Land comes from, of who reigned the first in Kiev, and of how the Russian Land came to be.”

[3] Early East Slavic tribal groups.

[4] The anonymous 13th-century work only survives in fragments and quotations, most of them limited to its poetic preamble.

[5] Baltic tribal group.

[6] Modern-day Velikiy Ustyug, a city in the far Russian North.

[7] An obscure Finno-Ugric tribe.

[8] The White Sea or the Arctic Ocean.

[9] A defunct Volga ethnic group of unknown origin.

[10] An ancient name for the Mari ethnic group, in the modern-day Mariy El Republic of Russia.

[11] A Finno-Ugric ethnic group, in the modern-day Mordovia Republic of Russia.

[12] Vsevolod the Big Nest (1154 – 1212), Grand Prince of Vladimir.

[13] Yuri Dolgorukiy (ca. 1099 – 1157), Grand Prince of Suzdal and Kiev, founder of Moscow.

[14] Vladimir Monomakh (1053 – 1125), Grand Prince of Kiev. Famous, among other things, for organizing successful collective Russians expeditions against steppe nomads.

[15] Russian name for Cumans, nomads of Turkic origin.

[16] The Baltic.

[17] The battle of Kulikovo (1380) was fought by a Muscovy-led coalition of Russian principalities and was the first major Russian victory over Mongols in decades.

[18] This traditional English translation of title is something of a misnomer, a more precise one would be “of the whole of Rus’” or “of the united Rus’.”

[19] A popular resistance force organized in 1611 in the Volga city of Nizhny Novgorod by the merchant Kuzma Minin and the nobleman Dmitry Pozharsky with the goal of suppressing roving bands of brigands, expelling Polish invaders, and preventing the complete collapse of the Russian state. It was instrumental in defeating the Polish garrison in Moscow in 1612 and restoring an independent Russian monarchy in 1613.

[20] Compendium of Russian and world history from Biblical events to recent times, including the events of the Time of Troubles.

[21] An irregularly convened assembly of delegates from all estates of Russian feudal society (sometimes including peasantry) that discussed and voted on the affairs of the state, active ca. 1549 – ca. 1683. The Council of 1613 was particularly important for electing a new dynasty (the Romanovs) to take the vacant Russian throne.

[22] As governor of Moscow during the Napoleonic invasion, Rostopchin became famous for the mass printing and distribution of colorful broadsides with grotesque caricatures and easy-to-grasp text, written in a deliberately folksy style, that satirized the enemy and called for a mass popular resistance.

[23] In 1846, as a government inspector, Samarin travelled through what now is Latvia, documenting many facts of abusive and arrogant attitude towards Russia and the Russians by privileged Baltic German nobility amid the tacit or open support of Russian government officials. Drawing from those experiences, he published a pamphlet titled Letters from Riga (1849), considered one of the first Slavophile manifestos and a seminal document of modern Russian nationalism. The publication caused a scandal that led to Samarin’s brief imprisonment and exile for “fomenting anti-government dissent.”


Translator’s Notes

  1. Several abridgements were made in accordance with the author’s wishes.
  2. The translator took the liberty of making the text more accesible to readers not possessing an in-depth knowledge of Russian history. All names were rendered in their full form, and mentions of most Russian historical figures come with birth and death years for easier reference.
  3. Only names, events, etc. that cannot be identified with a quick Google or Wikipedia search were annotated. So were several allusions to historical events known to every educated Russian but obscure in the West.
 

grozny-protest-myanmar

Anti-Myanmar protest in a nominally Russian region. Source: Елена Афонина / ТАСС / Scanpix / LETA

Photogenic female face of resistance to the junta and Nobel Peace Prize winner comes to power as de facto leader of Myanmar.

Some of Aung San Suu Kyi’s comments about a certain Muslim minority in her country up to that point had been disconcerting for NYT readers, but still, that wasn’t a big deal. It’s not like a Myanmar is a European country and the Rohingya are Chechens in the 1990s (though in that situation, it was the Chechens doing all the ethnic cleansing).

Anyhow, her government proceeds to step up statutory discrimination against said Muslim minority ramps up to what now appears to be large-scale ethnic cleansing.

Now China is friends with Myanmar, good location for a port and an outlet into the Indian Ocean not dependent on the Malacca Straits, and regularly vetoes all UN resolutions against Myanmar. Russia is friends with China, and supports it on these vetoes, just as China does likewise for Russia in Europe. Some bellicose Muslim minority isn’t going to bother them, especially considering that both of them have their own Rohingyas in the form of the Uyghurs and the Chechens.

There’s more WEIRD os who care about such sentimental stuff in the West, of course, but what with Trump’s latest adventures and Best Korea throwing about missiles every other day, there’s plenty of far more interesting stuff to occupy their attention. Besides, there’s no oil in Myanmar, and coming out too stridently against a female resistance leader they had patronized for decades would be a bit awkward.

Fortunately, there was someone to take up the slack, /ourguy/ Ramzan “White Sharia” Kadyrov.

He was very triggered and cried on Intagram all about it.

Soon after, a thousand strong crowd of Muslims gathered around the Myanmar Embassy in Moscow with their usual Allah Snackbars and the less usual “Buddhists are terrorists.” While someone more cynically disposed might sarcastically remark about how the mob must have collectively worked up a few hundreds years’ worth of jailtime under Article 282, Russia’s hate speech statue, we as civilized multicultural Europeans must take a more generous and enlightened view of our Muslim countrymen. Surely they were just discussing this 2013 TIME magazine cover.

time-buddhist-terror

Apart from inciting an unsanctioned extremist protest in the capital, Ramzan Kadyrov also herded in hundreds of thousands of Chechens to the center of Grozny in solidarity with the people of Rohingya. One idly wonders how many of them could point to Myanmar on a world map. A hundred? A dozen?

And here is based Chechen man Ramzan Kadyrov himself, governor of a region where more than 80% of the local budget is financed from Moscow:

Why is the Russian media silent? … You think, I am happy with this. Not at all!

And if even Russia was to support these shaitans, who are carrying out these crimes, I will oppose Russia’s position!

“Russia’s” position, along with China’s, is to block UN resolution after UN resolution against what it considers Myanmar’s Anti-Terrorist Operation.

I have my own vision, my own position.

The spread of Islamic identity politics beyond Kadyrov’s fiefdom to Russia at large and even the outside world, all courtesy of the Russian taxpayer.

And why shouldn’t Kadyrov play around? Judging by the muted reaction of the Kremlin, he has nothing to risk.

The cautious and elderly men who rule Russia are constitutionally incapable of fitting Muslims chanting “Buddhists are terrorists” into the Soviet-Putinist worldview of a “friendship of peoples” united against Wahhabis and fascists. The Moscow mayoralty saw nothing untowards in the unsanctioned protests against the Embassy of a sovereign power, there being no arrests, even though an analogous action by any other political group would have been unceremoniously dispersed by the OMON.

The reaction of the Russian MSM has been as schizophrenic as it has been demented, probably the result of no common position having come down from an equally confused Kremlin. Vladimir Solovyev, Russia’s most famous political talkshow host and fawning, has developed a rather strange interest in the welfare of the Rohingya in the past couple of days. State news agency RIA published “Muslim Non-Brothers” criticizing the Moscow protests, and was deleted almost immediately (cached version); on the other hand, the conservative-patriotic tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda article by Alexander Kots that was clearly substantially “inspired” by the former is still up: “Why, Ramzan, Mix Politics and Islam“? RT triangulated, making the case for why it was Soros’ fault.

Meanwhile, Putin has joined Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in condemning “all violence” in Myanmar.

The logical conclusion is that political Islam works in Russia. It gets results. Minority nationalist and sectarian activists have observed it to work, and will draw the required lessons.

The only silver lining is that is about Myanmar and as per above nobody really cares about Myanmar apart from Myanmar and Ramzan Kadyrov. And I suppose Bangladesh, who are having to take in the refugees. Poor Bangladesh, when not flooded by water, flooded by people, as if it still has any room to spare.

Still, there’s no reason this experiment couldn’t be repeated in the future. A whole vista of fascinating scenarios open up.

How wonderful would it be if “Putin’s political son” (according to The Saker) and “Putin’s soldier” (according to Kadyrov himself) were to one day discover the plight of the Uyghurs and force Putin to condemn violence on all sides there? Maybe even send some fighters to help out in the struggle against the Chicom shaitans. At least Kadyrov acknowledged that sending troops to Myanmar is “unrealistic” on account of “the geography,” though he added that if it was up to him, he’d “drop a nuclear bomb there to destroy those people killing women, children, and the elderly.” Happily, no such problems with Xinjiang, which borders Russia.

Or why even bother with Xinjiang. Lots of other potential Islamic states within Russia’s borders. Any one or all of them might conceivable come to be oppressed in Kadyrov’s “vision” and “position.”

Ridiculous to imagine today, of course. But stranger things have happened before. The one sure thing is that the West will still figure out how to blame Russians for everything.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Chechnya, Islamism, Myanmar, Russia 

The magazine Profile.ru in 2015 compiled a list of Russia’s most subsidized regions.

It went exactly as you’d expect.

# Russian Region %dep. Majority Group
1 Ingushetia 85.0% Caucasian
2 Chechnya 81.4% Caucasian
3 Crimea 80.0% Russian
4 Tyva 77.1% Other Minority
5 Sevastopol 75.0% Russian
6 Altay 73.5% Russian
7 Dagestan 70.0% Caucasian
8 Karachaevo-Cherkessia 68.5% Caucasian
9 Kamchatka 64.7% Russian
10 Jewish Autonomous oblast 60.3% Russian
11 North Ossetia 56.3% Caucasian
12 Kabardino-Balkaria 56.2% Caucasian
13 Kalmykia 54.0% Other Minority
14 Amur 52.9% Russian
15 Buryatia 51.8% Russian

Of the top 15 regions, where federal subsidies make up more than 50% of the local budget, six were ethnic minority republics of the Caucasus. The top two were Ingushetia and Chechnya, which also have Russia’s highest unemployment rates by far.

Only seven of the most subsidized regions were majority Russian. However, Crimea and Sevastopol have a high level of subsidies for the very understandable reason that they are under Ukrainian blockade and international sanctions, and currently undergoing economic integration with Russia; while the Altay Republic and Buryatia both have sizable non-Russian minorities. Kamchatka krai, the Jewish Autonomous oblast, and Amur oblast are the only strong majority Russian regions that source a majority of their incomes from federal subsidies.

So statistically, Russian nationalists are not wrong when they say that Russians are “feeding the Caucasus.”

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Caucasus, Finance, Russia 

Dog days of summer, not much going on.

Apart from Julian Assange RT’ing my Society 282 article.

assange-rts-me

As luck would have it, that particular week was the one time this year I was at our dacha, where my mobile Internet doesn’t work, so I missed out on all the fun.

***

Featured

* James Thompson: The 99 steps of intelligence hunters

* Alexander Mercouris: Goodbye ‘President’ Trump; hail ‘President’ Mattis

Russia

* Putin: Whoever leads in AI will rule the world. With virtually no presence in AI/machine learning, that probably isn’t going to be Russia.

* US shutters three Russian diplomatic officers, including the Consulate in San Francisco. I am assuming not all of their staff will be transferred to remaining diplomatic compounds, so the number of Russian diplomats in the US will fall below 455, necessitating a further round of diplomatic expulsions from Russia to maintain the reciprocity principle.

* Big new IRI Ukraine poll: Public Opinion Survey of Residents of Ukraine

World

* Matthew Sheffield: Donald Trump is right (about something): There really is an “alt-left,” but it’s even weirder than he thinks

Finally, someone in the media – from Salon, of all places – noticed that the Alt Left isn’t what Trump says it is.

* Audacious Epigone: Only blacks want Confederate statues removed. A shock to people outside the /r/politics and neoliberal Twitter to be sure.

Curiously, more men (38%) support this than women (27%). AE: “I suppose destroying things appeals more to men than it does to women.”

confederate-statue-remove-race

* iSteve commenter roadrunner noticed the USS John McCain was apparently piloted by diversity hires. The symbolism just keeps piling on..

Check out the bios of the CO and XO. The CO is Commander Alfredo Sanchez, native of Puerto Rico. He appears to be a washout from flight school, reassigned to duty as a surface officer.

The XO is named… Commander Jessie Sanchez, also a native of Puerto Rico. He started out as an enlisted sailor, then got a diploma from a diploma mill and was commissioned as a limited duty officer. This is not a typical bio of a XO of a destroyer, at least in my day.

http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/ddg56/Pages/Bio1.aspx

* Steve Sailer’s series of Tweets with quotes illustrating elite hostility to White Americans.

* Glenn Greenwald: In Europe, Hate Speech Laws are Often Used to Suppress and Punish Left-Wing Viewpoints

* Syrian Civil War update: Bridge to Deir ez-Zor almost complete. These are most likely the last months of Islamic State.

syrian-civil-war-september

Science

* Douglas Fox: What the ctenophore says about the evolution of intelligence

All of this pointed to a stunning conclusion: despite being more complex than sponges and placozoans – which lacked nerve cells and muscles and virtually every other specialised cell type – ctenophores were actually the earliest, oldest branch on the animal tree of life. Somehow over the subsequent 550 to 750 million years, the ctenophore had managed to evolve a nervous system and muscles similar in complexity to those of jellyfish, anemones, sea stars and many types of worms and shellfish, cobbled together from an alternative set of genes.

* Dahghan, Mahshid et al. – 2017 – Associations of fats and carbohydrate intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality in 18 countries

Intake of total fat and each type of fat was associated with lower risk of total mortality (quintile 5 vs quintile 1, total fat: HR 0·77 [95% CI 0·67–0·87], ptrend<0·0001; saturated fat, HR 0·86 [0·76–0·99], ptrend=0·0088; monounsaturated fat: HR 0·81 [0·71–0·92], ptrend<0·0001; and polyunsaturated fat: HR 0·80 [0·71–0·89], ptrend<0·0001). Higher saturated fat intake was associated with lower risk of stroke (quintile 5 vs quintile 1, HR 0·79 [95% CI 0·64–0·98], ptrend=0·0498). Total fat and saturated and unsaturated fats were not significantly associated with risk of myocardial infarction or cardiovascular disease mortality.

* Chopan, Mustafa & Littenberg – 2017 – The Association of Hot Red Chili Pepper Consumption and Mortality

Total mortality for participants who consumed hot red chili peppers was 21.6% compared to 33.6% for those who did not (absolute risk reduction of 12%; relative risk of 0.64).

* Emil Kirkegaard: Battle of the sexes: island survival edition. (Relevant in light of the announcement of a female-only Lord of the Flies remake).

* Heartiste was right again. Tinder Experiments II: Guys, unless you are really hot you are probably better off not wasting your time on Tinder — a quantitative socio-economic study

Misc

* Steve Sailer: YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, Having Gotten James Damore Fired, Now Soft-Censoring Social Science Videos

* Chinese joke about baizuo (SJWs) making the rounds on their social networks.

chinese-sjw-joke

* The Guardian view on censoring the internet: necessary, but not easy

* TIL via Wrath of Gnon: Syphilis had 8% prevalence amongst British men a century ago; in France, 15% of deaths attributed to it. “One of the reasons the Victorians were so severe on morals.”

* Frame Game Radio: Princeton’s admissions committee shows a push by #DiversityIndustry to only count minorities if they signal as SJWs.

.

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: Open Thread 

Surviving political repressions in Communist regimes is one of those rare problems that don’t seem to be at all g loaded.

When someone like spandrell talks of “IQ shredders” he refers to the role of modern cities as fertility vortices for society’s best and brightest. But in the 20th century those shredders could be all too literal. One can’t help but shudder reading through the lists of scientists and intellectuals judicially murdered under Stalin in the 1930-40s. (The Old Bolsheviks at least usually had the minimal decency to allow them to emigrate).

This “aristocide” was replicated on higher IQ groups further down the social ladder, including the liquidation (to varying extents) of the kulaks, the priesthood, and the national intelligentsias of the countries that fell under Red dominion.

To what extent did this unravel the gains of centuries spent under the Malthusian grindstone? What was the cost in terms of national IQ?

The only people who ask such questions tend to be, almost by definition, anti-Communists (self-explanatory) and far right (by dint of their indulgence of the hereditary theory of IQ).

Therefore, unsurprisingly, their answers tend to be extremely pessimistic.

Fortunately, James Flynn has Done The Math on Cambodia, the country where Communist bloodlust far surpassed that of any other by about an order of magnitude.

Rulers can cause mass exterminations that have dysgenic effects no matter what their intent. Between 1973 and 1976, Pol Pot killed millions of Cambodians (Kampucheans). His criteria were purely political but discriminated to some degree against those with superior genes for IQ. He tried to eliminate urban dwellers (mildly superior because people abandon impoverished rural areas when they find they can be viable elsewhere) and anyone with “elite” qualifications (superior because access to education is to some degree competitive favoring those with greater talent). Those who wore spectacles were used as a criterion: they needed spectacles for a literate occupation and they had the money to afford them. He also destroyed all bicycles.

How much did Pol Pot do to lower the mean IQ of the Cambodian people? Sunic (2009) puts Croatians at a mean IQ of 90. He asks whether the communist massacre of hundreds of thousands of the Croat middle classes in 1945 was the answer. He accuses communists in general of “aristocide” in the sense that much killing, whatever the rationale, was motivated by hatred for those more successful and intelligent than oneself. He generalizes (p. 3/5) that communist aristicides have crippled the whole of Eastern Europe: “A large number of intelligent people were simply wiped out and could not pass their genes on to their offspring.” None of these nations suffered massacres anything like the scale of Cambodia. It is hardly surprising that there has been public speculation about how much Cambodia’s average IQ was reduced (Learning Diary, 2009).

This question can be settled by a few calculations. Pol Pot killed somewhere between 1.7 and 2.5 million people. I will put this at 2.1 million or 26% of Cambodia’s 8 million people (Kiernan, 2002). If he had done it using IQ tests, eliminating the top 26% would have lowered the IQ of the remaining parents by 6.4 IQ points and a good portion of this deficit would have been handed down to their children. However, as we have seen, he in fact used occupation as his criterion.

We do not know the correlation between the occupational status of the parent and the IQ of their (no longer to be born) children, but in a semirural society it would be below that of the United States. At that time in the United States, it was 0.300 (Flynn, 2000b). If you eliminated the top 26% of the US population by occupation, the mean IQ of their children would drop by only 1.92 points. Moreover, Pol Pot did not really use a pure criterion of occupational status. For example, a lot of his henchmen doing the killing were intellectuals (Pol Pot attended the Sorbonne, although he did flunk all of his courses). When he tried to eliminate everyone who lived in the capital city of Phnom Penh, this included many in humble occupations. The genetic capital of the Cambodian people was lowered by not much more than an IQ point. The people were hardly stripped of intellectual talent. …

Pol Pot provides not only an estimate of the quality of Cambodia’s genes but also something more. He sets a probable limit on the dysgenic consequences of even the most horrific events of world history. …

Sunic (2009, p. 2/5) speculates about negative selection of genes for other behavioral traits: “Did communism … give birth to a unique
subspecies of people predisposed to communism?” For example, did it produce people who felt comfortable only with little personal freedom? I may be excused for not addressing that question.

One can rejoinder that the impact must have been heavier on individuals who were more effective at converting their intelligence to scientific/artistic eminence (“The nail that sticks out gets hammered down” is perhaps nowhere truer than under totalitarian Communist regimes).

And it seems likely that this was further amplified by the “family responsibility” and guilt-by-association principles that many Communist regimes operated under, meaning that the consequences of repressions would reverberate most strongly against the clusters of interest groups and blood relations that surrounded its prime targets; that is, against those people who most helped society cultivate eminence, and who had the highest chances of becoming eminent themselves.

Nonetheless, even those caveats aside, since even the Khmer Rouge couldn’t have cardinally dented Cambodia’s national IQ, it certainly couldn’t have done anything substantial to Russia, where the scale of Stalinist aristocide didn’t exceed 1% of the Soviet population. (The Soviet famines, with far higher numbers of victims, would if anything have been marginally eugenic; one wonders if some bold Communist will ever try to tout this argument?).

In the Communist world as elsewhere, the main eugenic/dysgenic driver must have been fertility patterns.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Cambodia, Communism, Dysgenic, IQ, Soviet Union 

Results of the Pakistan Census are out and show that the population has reached 207,774,520 people as of 2017.

pakistan-census-2017

After hurtling past Russia around 2000, Pakistan has now just about converged with Brazil, which has approximately 207,932,000 people as of this year.

Considering that Pakistan increases by 4 million every year to less than 2 million in Brazil, it is very likely that it has already overtakenthe South American giant to become the world’s fifth most populous country.

population-russia-pakistan

Note that the UN Population Division estimated Pakistan’s population to be 197 million in 2017, or 10 million lower than the just released census figures.

Low-lying and impoverished Bangladesh is more commonly cited as the big country facing the greatest threat from global warming, but it has gotten its population growth under control to a far greater extent than Pakistan, and the effects of Greenland/Antractic melt on sea levels will take centuries or millennia to fully percolate.

But Pakistan might be in more of a immediate pickle (as in, within the next few decades). Unlike the other rivers of the Indian subcontinent, which are mainly powered by monsoon precipitation, the Indus is reliant on glacial runoff for the great bulk of its water flow. Will Pakistan be able to feed itself as those glaciers shrink over the coming decades?

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Demographics, Pakistan 

Gallup: New Index Shows Least-, Most-Accepting Countries for Migrants

The least acceptive countries are in Eastern Europe, constituting nine of the top ten – the sole exception is Israel.

The most positive country is Iceland, with Sweden in 7th place.

Japan isn’t really the center of “basedness” that that dissident right paints it as; it is still in the immigration-welcoming First World cluster, though towards the more skeptical end of the spectrum.

The full list is attached below.

It is based on positive/negative responses to the following three questions:

  1. Immigrants living in this country
  2. An immigrant becoming your neighbor
  3. An immigrant marrying one of your close relatives

Immigration acceptance is positive correlated with education, youth, and higher incomes.

Curiously, the Russian sphere is the major exception that:

The CIS region is a notable exception to each of these global patterns — acceptance is low regardless of education, generation, income level, or whether residents live in urban or rural areas. However, in the CIS, those with less education tend to be slightly more accepting.

Also:

But in some places, who these migrants are may factor more heavily into whether they are accepted. For example, in Russia, where the index score is among the lowest in the world, more than 40% of residents say “it depends” to each of the questions.

This makes a lot of sense. It is strange that West European countries make fewer such distinctions.

***

Migrant Acceptance Index
Iceland 8.26
New Zealand 8.25
Rwanda 8.16
Sierra Leone 8.05
Mali 8.03
Australia 7.98
Sweden 7.92
Nigeria 7.76
Burkina Faso 7.74
Ireland 7.74
Norway 7.73
Ivory Coast 7.71
Benin 7.67
Luxembourg 7.54
Netherlands 7.46
Bangladesh 7.45
Spain 7.44
United States 7.27
Chad 7.26
Albania 7.22
Switzerland 7.21
Senegal 7.17
Germany 7.09
Denmark 7.09
Congo (Kinshasa) 7.05
Guinea 7.01
Togo 6.96
Ghana 6.91
Venezuela 6.82
Congo (Brazzaville) 6.81
Taiwan 6.8
Philippines 6.77
Uruguay 6.77
Zimbabwe 6.7
Lesotho 6.65
Portugal 6.65
Niger 6.64
United Kingdom 6.61
Finland 6.58
Kenya 6.51
Argentina 6.51
Paraguay 6.5
Italy 6.49
South Korea 6.49
Tunisia 6.47
France 6.46
Japan 6.42
Morocco 6.39
Saudi Arabia 6.39
Brazil 6.38
Cameroon 6.36
Central African Republic 6.36
Peru 6.33
Nepal 6.28
Belgium 6.16
Liberia 6.14
Colombia 6.13
Ecuador 6.13
Gabon 6.12
Malawi 6.1
Vietnam 6.08
Austria 6.06
Dominican Republic 6.03
Nicaragua 6
Hong Kong 5.89
Libya 5.79
United Arab Emirates 5.79
Armenia 5.78
El Salvador 5.73
South Sudan 5.63
Mauritius 5.58
Uganda 5.45
Costa Rica 5.44
Bolivia 5.42
Cyprus 5.41
Turkmenistan 5.36
Haiti 5.31
Mauritania 5.29
Madagascar 5.24
Singapore 5.21
Ethiopia 5.19
Chile 5.17
Zambia 5.15
Honduras 5.15
China 5.11
Botswana 5.1
Somalia 4.99
South Africa 4.98
Malta 4.95
India 4.9
Uzbekistan 4.9
Kuwait 4.85
Tanzania 4.82
Mexico 4.75
Northern Cyprus 4.66
Kyrgyzstan 4.59
Guatemala 4.59
Slovenia 4.42
Tajikistan 4.39
Panama 4.36
Azerbaijan 4.34
Kazakhstan 4.28
Kosovo 4.17
Iran 3.95
Indonesia 3.93
Yemen 3.93
Palestinian Territories 3.9
Lebanon 3.89
Moldova 3.8
Cambodia 3.65
Egypt 3.5
Iraq 3.42
Belarus 3.38
Greece 3.34
Poland 3.31
Turkey 3.27
Ukraine 3.15
Georgia 3.05
Jordan 2.99
Mongolia 2.99
Myanmar 2.96
Romania 2.93
Lithuania 2.72
Bosnia and Herzegovina 2.71
Thailand 2.69
Russia 2.6
Afghanistan 2.51
Pakistan 2.47
Bulgaria 2.42
Croatia 2.39
Estonia 2.37
Czech Republic 2.26
Latvia 2.04
Israel 1.87
Slovakia 1.83
Serbia 1.8
Hungary 1.69
Montenegro 1.63
Macedonia 1.47

.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Immigration, Opinion Poll 

So the other day ACLU Tweeted its intention to secure the existence of civil liberties and a future for free speech.

aclu-future-for-free-speech

Ironic joking and SJW meltdowns over photos of White children with American miniature flags aside, the politically correct peeps at ACLU (who apologized for their social justice faux pas immediately afterwards) were actually far more to the point than they could have possibly imagined.

Opinion polls have shown that in the US, it is the representatives of the demographic group on ACLU’s photo that tend to have the greatest respect for freedom of speech.

We can check this by throwing up a few graphs from the GSS.

gss-racist-speech

Only amongst Whites and Jews does a clear majority support allowing free speech for racists.

But maybe this is just White privilege at work here.

Maybe the 50% of Blacks who also support free speech for racists are victims of false consciousness foisted on them by structural White supremacy.

Unfortunately for Leftists, non-Whites don’t really much care for their pet causes either.

gss-antireligious-speech

Whites support freedom of speech for anti-religionists more than anyone else.

Okay, maybe this is just the neckbeard Dawkins fan club venting their Islamophobia?

gss-homo-speech

Oh no, this isn’t looking at all good now.

gss-commie-speech

Communist speech is the only category in which a non-White minority (Blacks) has a marginally higher respect for free speech than Whites.

And one supposes Nixon might have had a point about Jewish spies. :)

gss-radical-islamist-speech

When I was in Washington D.C. in 2013 there was some crazed Islamist ranting in front of the White House.

muslim-preacher-white-house

Though Whites are not exactly thrilled with this behavior, they seem to more or less tolerate it.

But just like the possibility of small government, this will probably cease to be the case in the increasingly vibrant and diverse America of the future.

And wheresoever goes the US so goes the world.

That is because the US remains a genuinely exceptional country when it comes to free speech.

The very fact that it is Internet lynch mobs and tech corporations – the collective Society 282 – that enforces social tabooes reminds one that this task is accomplished through laws and prisons in virtually every other country on the planet.

map-pew-free-speech-poll

Once the First Amendment is annulled in the US, or riddled with multifarious exceptions to the point where it is but an empty formality, the Enlightenment ideal of absolute free speech vanishes everywhere else in the world.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Free Speech, United States 

Will be going off to my dacha this week so probably not much poasting.

bannon-purged

Bannonade

This week’s events have been dominated by the Charlotteville clashes, and the resulting cyberpurge of the Alt Right and mass felling of Confederate monuments.

Now comes news of the resignation of Steve Bannon.

It will certainly be fun to see the 666D chess theorizing on this one. T he man himself, at any rate, isn’t bothering: “The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over.”

This just leaves Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka as representatives of the populist wave that brought Trump to power. All the others have been purged.

Meanwhile, power has drifted towards Wall Street/Goldman Sachs globalists, the Kushner-Trumps, and a triumvirate of warhawk generals (Chief of Staff Gen. Kelly; NatSec Advisor Gen. McMaster; Secretary of Defence Gen. Mattis).

In foreign policy terms, I suppose the main saving grace of this administration – as opposed to an alternate history Hillary Clinton’s – is that Trump has alienated much of the rest of the world. Acording to a recent PEW poll, most countries trust Trump even less than Putin, who needless to say has some major PR problems of his own.

pew-poll-trump-putin

This was, perhaps, unfortunate back when America First was the order of the day, but now that the US is ruled by a nepotistic junta guided by Kushner’s vision, the world’s skepticism towards Trump might become a blessing in disguise, limiting the damage that the people around him can do in the next three years.

Main

ea_qualia

* Scott Alexander covers Effective Altruism Global 2017:

I got to talk to people from the Qualia Research Institute, who point out that everyone else is missing something big: the hedonic treadmill. People have a certain baseline amount of happiness. Fix their problems, and they’ll be happy for a while, then go back to baseline. The only solution is to hack consciousness directly, to figure out what exactly happiness is – unpack what we’re looking for when we describe some mental states as having higher positive valence than others – and then add that on to every other mental state directly. This isn’t quite the dreaded wireheading, the widely-feared technology that will make everyone so doped up on techno-super-heroin (or direct electrical stimulation of the brain’s pleasure centers) that they never do anything else. It’s a rewiring of the brain that creates a “perpetual but varied bliss” that “reengineers the network of transition probabilities between emotions” while retaining the capability to do economically useful work. Partly this last criteria is to prevent society from collapsing, but the ultimate goal is:

…the possibility of a full-fledged qualia economy: when people have spare resources and are interested in new states of consciousness, anyone good at mining the state-space for precious gems will have an economic advantage. In principle the whole economy may eventually be entirely based on exploring the state-space of consciousness and trading information about the most valuable contents discovered doing so.

If you’re wondering whether these people’s research involves taking huge amounts of drugs – well, read their blog. My particular favorites are this essay on psychedelic cryptography ie creating messages that only people on certain drugs can read, and this essay on hyperbolic geometry in DMT experiences.

* Wired: Biohackers Encoded Malware in a Strand of DNA.

So this is how Tyranids beat Necrons.

wongupparaj-memory-tests

* Wongupparaj, Peera – 2017 – The Flynn effect for verbal and visuospatial short-term and working memory: A cross-temporal meta-analysis

Based on the findings from a cross-temporal meta-analysis using 1754 independent samples (n = 139,677), the Flynn effect was observed across a 43-year period, with changes here expressed in terms of correlations (coefficients) between year of publication and mean memory test scores. Specifically, the Flynn effect was found for forward digit span (r = 0.12, p < 0.01) and forward Corsi block span (r = 0.10, p < 0.01). Moreover, an anti-Flynn effect was found for backward digit span (r = − 0.06, p < 0.01) and for backward Corsi block span (r = − 0.17, p < 0.01). Overall, the results support co-occurrence theories that predict simultaneous secular gains in specialized abilities and declines in g.

James Thompson review: Working memory bombshell

* Davies, Gill – 2017 – Ninety-nine independent genetic loci influencing general cognitive function include genes associated with brain health and structure (N = 280,360)

We found 9,714 genome-wide significant SNPs (P<5 x 10-8) in 99 independent loci… Genetic association results predicted up to 4% of general cognitive function variance in independent samples. There was significant genetic overlap between general cognitive function and information processing speed, as well as many health variables including longevity.

The pace of progress in this sphere is blistering, with major papers published nigh near every month.

* Rabbit reacts to Trump’s Alt Left smear.

(The traditional Alt Left considers itself to be a subset of the Alt Right that but with less thot hate and more rocket ships and radical life extension).

* Noah Carl – 2017 – Cognitive ability and socio-political beliefs and attitudes.

This thesis looks like a very solid, comprehensive overview of the subject.

Russia

* New York Times: The engines in North Korea’s newest ICBM’s have been pinpointed to the Yuzhmash missile factory in the Ukraine.

/r/worldnews comment:

After doing some of my own investigation (thank you Google), I am of the opinion that this story is well-supported by multiple sources of evidence. The engine that NK has been using since Sept 2016 is definitely related to the Soviet engine that this factory built until the 1990′s. This factory still has these engines, and officially continued maintaining them until mid-2015. North Korean spies/officials were detained by Russia in 2011-2012 when they attempted to enter Ukraine to head to this factory. Ukraine fell apart economically and politically in the 2013-2016 period, and this factory announced it would go bankrupt in early 2015, but then somehow managed to survive. Ukraine has a long history of substantial black market arms trading, some of their rockets have ended up in Iran, Syria, and Pakistan. The best Soviet engineers were stationed in Eastern Ukraine during the Cold War for mainly political reasons (most Soviet leaders were ethnically Ukrainian). As for the engine/missile itself, the trajectory of the launches are similar to tests in the Soviet Union during the 70′s-80′s. The design is very similar in the photos that NK has shown. The dimension of the rocket body and the stages are almost a mirror image of the 1980′s examples. US intelligence officials, and the former CIA head, hinted that the US intelligence community was “caught offguard” by the “unlikely pace of the NK missile program” because of “certain factors”. That seems to indicate that the CIA believed (as of late 2016) that NK had somehow received foreign help that substantially boosted the program. Finally, NK has utilized similar tactics to gain a hold of short and medium range missile technology in the 1990′s. They worked closely with Central Asia, Pakistan, and Ukraine to boost their Ulan missile program. Let’s not forget that NK is well-known for its very savvy black market program and unofficial spy network. There were even NK officials found in Syria back in 2015, most likely eyeing the S-300 missiles that Russia brought there.

piketty-russia-inequality

* Thomas Piketty et al. – 2017 – From Soviets to Oligarchs: Inequality and Property in Russia, 1905-2016

Uses his methods from Capital in the 21st Century to calculate historical inequality in Russia, one of his conclusions is that the welfare of the median Russia hasn’t budged relative to 1989.

There is a point to Bershidsky’s critique that inequality in the USSR was primarily expressed in terms of access, not income differentials, so making direct comparisons with capitalist countries are questionable.

* Latest Navalny investigation: The son of Putin’s spokesman Peskov, Nikolay Chole, lived as hoodlum chav in the UK, with convictions and prison time for stealing cell phones with his Black and Pakistani gangmates; gets luxury car collection, horses on returning to Russia.

* Apart from all his other faults, Alexey Navalny is also a console peasant. Sad!

* Kirill Nesterov, my partner on the ROGPR podcast, has produced two (Russian-language) videos:

Misc

* Steve Sailer: Is India the world’s most reactionary civilization?

* Nicholas Nassim Taleb: The insidious racism of Mary Beard and the “diversity” operators

* Some baizuo: Beyond the pale: China’s cheerful racists

To many Chinese, ideas about racial hierarchies are not outdated anathema but unquestioned belief.

In Britain, a politician who uses a defunct idiom like ‘nigger in the woodpile’ loses the whip. In China, racism is a standard undercurrent of public debate. A few months ago, Pan Qinglin, a Tianjin politician, announced to reporters that he had found out how to ‘solve the problem of the black population in Guangdong’ — a province with a small amount of African migration. Warning that the new arrivals brought drugs, sexual assault and infectious diseases, he urged local policy-makers to tighten controls to prevent China turning ‘from a yellow country to a black-and-yellow country’. …

If China wants to realise its aspiration of replacing America as the country the world looks up to, it will need to sort out its race problem. It is an issue which fuels unrest at home, and damages the country’s reputation abroad. Xi Jinping has talked about a ‘Chinese dream’ — let’s hope it exports tolerance, not racism.

map-europe-trust

* % Europeans that say that generally most people can be trusted. Belorussia can into Hajnal Line!

* Nature: China’s embrace of embryo selection raises thorny questions. (Can anyone spell them out to me?).

* James Thompson: Google Culture Wars (if anyone is still interested in the James Damore affair)

USA

This is really just about the continuing fallout from Charlottesville.

faceberg-future

* NYT: Amateur Sleuths Aim to Identify Charlottesville Marchers, but Sometimes Misfire.

The intensity of the meltdowns is something to behold. I have seen people disowning their children/parents/siblings just for supporting the racist/fascist Trump. Really hard to understand this mindset.

sjws-never-relent For instance, the father of Peter Tefft, a participant in the Unite the Right rally, went so far as to write a public letter denouncing and disowning his son. Not that this saved him from the SJW horde, which began to ask questions about the family’s responsibility for the son’s racism.

His sister, BTW, is a pot-smoking lesbian anarchist. One can perhaps imagine why he radicalized.

sjws-report-pharmacist It’s hard to be surprised after this, but perhaps the most striking case of Charlottesville Derangement Sundrome I found is a man with self-evident mental problems thinking about reporting his pharmacist for Nazism at /r/politics.

The patient’s reasons for suspicion? Because his pharmacist has a “1776 tattoo and I think maybe an 88 one too, he’s pale and blue eyed and has shaved his head.”

This was apparently an open and shut case according to the denizens of /r/politics: “Get his ass fired!”

The irony that they were singling out someone for persecution on the basis of his skin color flew right over their heads.

No wonder more and more people are writing about the potential of US Civil War II.

But keep things in perspective – the US doesn’t have the ethno-religious fragmentation of Syria or sharp ideological gradient of the Ukraine, and casualties to date have been far lower even than in the 1970/80s terror campaigns of fringe Communist groups in Europe and Japan.

* Audacious Epigone suggests the Alt Right adopt the Maltese Cross of the Crusaders instead of the Nazi swastika.

american-soldiers-support-separation* In response to Jeffrey Goldberg’s strange claim that Saving Private Ryan was about “a group of very aggressive alt-left protesters invading a beach without a permit,” Timofey Pnin points out that American GI’s were hardcore Alt Right by today’s standards.

More on the Cyberpurge

* Matt Forney: Night Of The Digital Knives: Silicon Valley Launches Biggest Internet Censorship Purge In History

* Jason Reza Jorjani, one of the three main people behind AltRight.com (the other two are Richard Spencer and Daniel Friberg), is resigning from the Alt Right to focus on creating an Iranian nationalist party in exile:

What this also means is that from this moment onward my responsibilities to the cause of liberating Iran from the Islamic Republic have dramatically increased. As I see it, we have several years to form the nucleus of a new regime, before rootless globalists and their Islamist pawns succeed in steering the collapse of the Islamic Republic in a direction that further erodes Iran’s territorial integrity and aborts its cultural rebirth.

* Greg Johnson has compiled the most comprehensive list of shuttenings I have seen to date:

  • Counter-Currents has been booted by PayPal and our Facebook page has been deleted.
  • Both Red Ice servers were hacked, as were the site owners’ Twitter accounts, and still have not recovered.
  • VDare, AltRight.com, and AmRen were bounced from PayPal.
  • VDare’s conference next April has been shut down by the venue.
  • TRS was taken down by their webhosting company, but got a new host and were back online in 3 hours.
  • Mike Enoch was banned for the fourth time from Twitter.
  • KickStarter, GoFundMe, and IndieGoGo have all vowed to shut down campaigns related to White Nationalist concerns.
  • Pax Dickinson’s Twitter has been shut down.
  • Hatreon is offline.
  • PolNewsForever’s Twitter has been shut down.
  • The Daily Stormer has been targeted with massive DDOS attacks.
  • The Daily Stormer domain registration was dropped by GoDaddy, transferred to Google, and then seized by Google.
  • The Daily Stormer discord server has been shut down.
  • The Altright.com discord server has been shut down.
  • Vanguard America’s WordPress and Facebook accounts have been shut down.
  • Spotify has removed 27 “hate” bands as defined by the SPLC.
  • GoFundMe has taken down campaigns to help James Fields.
  • RootBocks has been taken down by its hosting company, but is back online.
  • Xurious has been removed from Bandcamp and Soundcloud.
  • Daniel Friberg and Christopher Dulny, both Swedes, have been barred from entering the United States because of their presence at Unite the Right.
  • Lauren Southern’s Patreon account has been taken down.
  • Lauren Southern’s Instagram has been taken down, but is now back up.
  • NPI’s Paypal account has been shut down.
  • Two upcoming speeches by Richard Spencer have been canceled.
  • Identity Europa’s PayPal has been shut down.
  • Christopher Cantwell’s Facebook, PayPal, and website are gone.
  • Weev’s LinkedIn account has been shut down.
  • The Paranormies and other podcasts have been kicked off of Soundcloud.
  • YouTube had demonitized controversial videos, making it impossible for dissident video bloggers to make a living from their work.
  • Airbnb combed through the social media of people with Charlottesville-area registrations on Unite the Right weekend, and canceled the reservations and accounts of Unite the Right attendees
  • Uber has cancelled Baked Alaska’s and James Allsup’s accounts.
  • Squarespace is dropping multiple Right-wing sites.
  • A Toronto free speech event with Faith Goldy, Jordan Peterson, and Gad Saad has been cancelled.
  • Christopher Cantwell’s OKCupid account has been closed.
  • Expedia cancelled flights of people they suspected were attending Unite the Right.
  • Google removes Gab app from Android store.
  • Alternative Right, ed. Andy Nowicki and Colon Liddell, removed by Blogger
  • Mailchimp drops accounts from American Renaissance and Identity Europa.

.

 

So Bannon the Cannon has been… fired.

All this time you were thinking you were voting against Zuckerberg’s vision…

zuckerberg-vision

… you were actually voting for Kushner’s.

kushner-vision

Goy, bye!

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, United States 

Russia has half the world’s Neo-Nazis

This claim appears to date to a 2007 ABC News report about far right violence in Russia:

In a country that lost more people defeating the Nazis than any other country, there are now an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 neo-Nazis, half of the world’s total. They even have supporters in parliament.

We know that because we have Neo-Nazi censuses.

Oh wait, we don’t.

No original sources are cited, there are no hints as to who qualifies to be a Neo-Nazi, and ABC News had a pronounced anti-Russian agenda even by Western media standards (they were banned from continuing to work in Russia after having an interview with the Chechen terrorist Shamil Basayev in 2005).

Russia does of course have quite a few Neo-Nazis, but they only constitute a small percentage of nationalists in general. This might be a hard concept for two-bit journalists who are convinced that all the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” protesters, or even Donald Trump voters, are Nazis, but in the real world definitions are important and Russian Neo-Nazism always has been, and remains, a numerically marginal movement.

Russians/(Poles, Slavs, etc.) have to be are stupid/insane/historically illiterate to be Nazis, don’t they realize the Nazis killed 27 million of them?

I never really understood how this is even an argument.

Presumably, to the extent they harbor any genocidal fantasies, Russian (Polish, etc.) Neo-Nazis would much sooner want to kill 27 million foreigners, not 27 million of their own. (They aren’t Communists, after all, whose democidal ambitions are primarily aimed at their own people).

The Holocaust regardless, the Jews constructed the most unapologetically ethnonationalist state in the First World; that very event is not infrequently cited as one of the reasons that the Jews need a Jewish state.

So clearly the mere fact of having suffered from German Nazis constitutes no logical impediment to adopting elements of Nazi policy for what they consider to be in service of their own people. Nazism is national socialism, after all; it’s not the NSDAP (which specifies German workers) that they subscribe to.

On this note, here is one additional argument that I encountered on the (now defunct) blog of a Russian Neo-Nazi. I don’t endorse it, but it’s interesting and relevant.

To loosely paraphrase yarowrath: Both Western leaders and the highly Jewish Kiev regime today are perfectly fine using openly Neo-Nazi batallions to prevent Russians from seceding from the Ukraine (a state that only exists thanks to the Bolsheviks). However, they label you a Russian troll just for noticing the symbology on Azov’s flag.

Now considering that Russians:

  • Don’t have any “white guilt” from colonialism, having done more than anyone to end it (to the extent that the Kalashnikov graces the flags of Mozambique and Hezbollah);
  • Suffered more than anyone except the Jews from Hitler;
  • Did not themselves participate in the Holocaust, but did more than anyone else to stop it;
  • The Jews themselves haven’t shown much hesitancy about borrowing from Nazism in service of their interests;

One can argue that Russians have more of a moral right to dispassionately assess Hitler, without shame or condemnation, and adopt those of his ideas that are good and useful than well nigh any other people.

Russian Neo-Nazis all (1) support Ukraine against Kremlin mongolo-katsaps OR (2) hate Ukraine and fight for Putler.

This is a rather strange myth since it takes the form of a binary. But both versions are equally wrong.

In reality, the War in the Donbass has split the Neo-Nazis.

The more explicitly Nordicist elements of the Russian Neo-Nazis supported Ukraine, and a number of them went off to fight with Azov.

The rest of the Neo-Nazis supported the insurrection in the Donbass, and even formed their own batallion, Rusich.

By far the most famous Nazi figure in Russia is Tesak (Maxim Martsinkevich), a skinhead of Polish-Russian ancestry who is perhaps most notable for having invented the concept of Nazi ironic trolling a decade ahead of /pol/ and The Daily Stormer. His fans, the most numerous of any Russian Neo-Nazi, specialized in street actions that ranged from funny slapstick affairs to highly violent, illegal, and disgusting. Following the crackdown on his group in July 2014 (which saw Tesak jailed for 10 years this year), this cluster has turned strongly anti-Kremlin and many of their members have jaunted off to the Ukraine.

However, if support for the Ukraine vs. Novorossiya was perhaps 70-30% amongst Russian Neo-Nazis in 2014, by now those ratios have reversed.

Reading their forums as early as 2015, the general sentiment amongst them was that they had been betrayed and used by ZOG.

Poroshenko and his clique obviously and understandably cared much more for the opinions of besuited businessmen and bureacrats than tatted up stormers, and many of the Russian Neo-Nazis who had gone into exile in Ukraine for the cause of the white race were even failing to get residency permits, let alone Ukrainian citizenship, putting them at risk of deportation back to a Russian jail.

That said, regardless of their current opinions on Novorossiya and Ukraine, which are indeed mixed, Russian Neo-Nazis do more or less uniformly detest Putin, as they always have.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Nazism, Russia 

The Cville Cyberpurge

Europe famously has hate speech laws, which run the gamut from banning Nazi propaganda to criticizing mass immigration.

Russia’s version of it is Article 282, which has been used on everyone from genuine Neo-Nazis and radical Islamists to the nationalist pundit Konstantin Krylov for stating that it’s “time to do away with this strange economic model [of federal subsidies to the Caucasus]“.

And yet if the United States has an exceptional degree of respect for absolute freedom of speech, encodified in the First Amendment, this is mitigated by its organic “Society 282,” as the Russian nationalist Egor Prosvirnin has poetically called it.

In the days the Unite the Rite march in Charlottesville, in which one antifa counter-protester was killed by a Neo-Nazi going postal with his car (the MSM version of events; reality might be rather different), Society 282 has gone on a veritable purge of Alt Right and Dissident Right content on cyberspace.

Too many people to name have been banned from Twitter.

Pax Dickinson is the most prominent one to come to mind. He was an easy target, since he has already been removed from the platform several times, though Twitter usually waits for new accounts to (re)gain popularity before kicking them back into purgatory. The trigger for the latest banning might have been his detailed, first-hand coverage of the Charlottesville rally, which features evidence that the Virginia State Policy pursued a strategy of corraling Alt Right protesters into antifa in a deliberate attempt to provoke violence.

The Alt Right blogger Christopher Cantwall has been banned from Facebook, Paypal, Mailchimp, and… OkCupid, just for good measure.

PayPal has banned American Renaissance, which had nothing to do with Unite the Right.

It is two particular cases, however, that are perhaps the most illustrative – and foreboding, at least for those who still value “freeze peach” (to use the derogatory antifa term).

VDARE

First off, Paypal has banned VDARE from using its services. Now VDARE is far more “dissident Right” than it is Alt Right. Two of the biggest names there are John Derbyshire and Steve Sailer.

John Derbyshire is an elderly English essayist, very milquetoast in manners, who campaigns againt mass immigration and enforced diversity in his columns; but heavens forbid those proles take their concerns to the streets (“what an unsavory bunch!“).

And Steve Sailer… well, does he even need an intro, here of all places? His ideology is “citizenism,” which is essentially civic nationalism informed by HBD realism.

And, as many of you know, both are core contributors to this very webzine, The Unz Review.

This is rather portentuous, since the Unz Review/VDARE cluster is, between Sailer, James Thompson, a bevy of other dissident right figures, and the ghost of Razib Khan, a central hub of HBD realistic commentary on the web. On the great map of the Dark Enlightement and the Alt Right, it is also surely the closest to political “normalcy” on the Great Chain of Respectability.

Any serious moves on the part of Society 282 and tech giants against this cluster will surely herald the onset of full-fledged Lysenkoism in the US.

The Daily Stormer

I suspect The Daily Stormer is to the Alt Right/Dissident Right what normie journalists are to Steve Sailer: A good percentage of them read it, but far fewer want to admit it.

Insane, over the top Nazi shtick; it’s not much of an exaggeration to say Andrew Anglin is more hardcore than Hitler. It’s repulsive, to be sure, but also morbidly enchanting. Because Anglin is one heck of a funny writer – you have to be somewhat inured to having your moral sensibilities offended to really appreciate it, but many of his people are /pol/ veterans, after all. It’s not hard to see why, at close to 3 million monthly visits, it has far eclipsed the weather-related forum to become by far the most popular website on the Neo-Nazi Right.

Curiously, unlike the older wehraboo generation of Nazis, Anglin is strongly pro-Russian and pro-Putin – and it’s not even on account of ignorance about what Putin actually represents:

Here’s the thing. Vladimir Putin isn’t even really a fascist. He’s a conservative populist leader who’s doing his best to improve Russia’s situation by whatever means are necessary. He promotes traditional values because that’s what will hold the nation together.
He’s not even an ethnic nationalist, in the full sense of the term; Russia isn’t a nation, it’s a medieval-type multi-ethnic empire, including Moslems, Jews and other non-Whites. And Putin has no intention of changing that fact.
But he’s running a multi-ethnic state the way it needs to be run: by violently suppressing all rebellion, encouraging national pride, keeping the different ethnic groups mostly separated geographically (outside of Moscow) and closely monitoring all dissident groups.

Though his second in command and technical manager, Andrew Auernheimer (the hacker troll known as “weev”) is… another matter.

weev-on-ukraine

Though this certainly hasn’t stopped the presstitutes from trying to put their own spin on things:

… [Andrew Auernheimer] currently lives in Ukraine and has called on its pro-western, anti-Putin president, Petro Poroshenko, to step down.

Anyhow, the stormers have had such a barrage of punishment unleashed upon them by the powers that be that they have been effectively “unpersoned” from the Internet in the past few days.

(1) DNS service provider GoDaddy gave The Daily Stormer a one day warning to take their business elsewhere.

(2) They took it to Google of all places, which promptly suspended service within a couple of hours.

(3) They then tried dailystormer.wang, but the “sneaky, bucktoothed Chinese” made sure that didn’t last long.

(4) The content delivery network Cloudflare ceased providing service, making the site vulnerable to DDoS attacks that promptly shut it down.

It is noteworthy that Cloudflare has long boasted of its absolute commitment to content neutrality, even being criticized for providing support to Islamic terrorist groups.

But a group of Neo-Nazis who don’t appear to have killed anybody to date – apart, perhaps, from Russians in Ukraine, if weev’s boasts are to be believed, but Hillary McCain and the Blue Checkmarks don’t consider them to be humans anyway – are 1,488 negative social justice karma points too much for them.

So much so that they are willing to invalidate their one truly unique selling point for the sake of virtue signalling.

(5) When Cloudflare service ended, The Daily Stormer’s hosting provider was revealed to have been Digital Ocean, which promptly ditched them as well.

daily-stormer-putler-trump(6) Finally, they went to the based Putlerreich… which promptly fobbed them off as well.

The T-Journal has the story.

The Stormers registered dailystormer.ru with Ru-Center on August 15. A day later, the Russian web censor Roskomnadzor sent them a letter requested them to stop delegating the domain in the .ru zone.

However, this had no legal force, since it was not backed up by a court judgment; it not realistic to procure it on such short notice. Therefore, it was something that the Russian registrar had done on its own initiative.

Not that it curried Russia favor with any of the Blue Checkmarks.

blue-checkmarks-on-daily-stormer

While the initial reports of The Daily Stormer joining back up with Putler got tens of thousands of RT’s, the response to the follow-up that it was kicked out within a day was… *crickets*.

The Ascent of Society 282

There are three big forces that are driving the end of the end of the classical liberal idea of freedom of speech as a foundational principle in the United States.

Generational change

Millennials are far less supportive of free speech (expressed as “support for censoring offensive statements about minorities” – as hazy and Orwellian a definition as you can get, considering that one can choose to be offended by anything) than any other generation. Maybe “Generation Z(yklon)” will reverse this trend 2-3 decades down the line, as Audacious Epigone hopes, but don’t count your chickens before the eggs are hatched.

pew-millennials-anti-free-speech

E-mobs

The braying Twitter mob can roar its condemnation of some individual on a scale never before seen in history. Historically, a poet or philosopher ostracized from his home city could wanter off to seek his fortune in a faraway land. Only a limited number of people could ever participate in a witch-hunt due to restrictions of physical space and information flow. The Internet and social media allows the instant participation of millions in Two Minute mobs, creating unimaginable and unprecedented pressure on tech companies, employers, student conduct boards, etc. to purge them.

Tech oligopolies

The products of tech companies are more and more intertwined with our everyday lives.

The most germane aspect of this influence for dissidents are media platforms: The complex of DNS registrars, web hosts, and CDN providers that you need to run a website; the social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) behemoths that account for an ever greater percentage of news delivery; the online payments systems that finance them.

But it doesn’t stop there. As Egor Kholmogorov succinctly remarked, “In this new world, if your politics aren’t approved of by the owners of Uber, or Airbnb, or food delivery services – you will have to walk by foot and remain hungry and stay at home.” Airbnb has been permanently deactivating the accounts of people it suspected of planning to march on the Alt Right side in Charlottesville. Uber has kicked off people who participated as well.

This trend is only going to intensify. Cars are going to get automated. Google Glass or something similar is a matter of time as well. Combining them with reputational apps will allow the global village to identify its pariahs on sight.

As the Marxists said, you can’t have an ideological superstructure without the economic base; by cutting off the latter, you can strangle the former.

Global Impact

For all the SJW retrogression, America is still the one place in the world that is most firmly committed to the ideal of free speech.

map-pew-free-speech-poll

Considering the global economic scope of America’s tech giants, and the hegemony of its culture, the creeping introduction of the “hate speech” exception towards the First Amendment will have global reverberations.

Proponents of liberty will no longer even be able to say, “But what about America?”

And there will be a rapid universalization of authoritarian Social Justice as a global values system.

Solutions

These fall into three bins, though each has their own very big problems.

menaquinone4-zucks-vision(There used to be a fourth one, namely, Moldbug/Curtis Yarvin’s ideas about neocameralism and Silicon Valley techno-monarchy. Congrats, you sort of got that. How’s it working out?).

Exile to Lagos

This is the oldest solution – just flee from the mob to somewhere a bit saner.

This is already happening. In the past, many people moved to the United States, for its more congenial intellectual (and legal!) atmosphere. Mark Steyn and The Derb immediately come to mind.

More recently, crimethinkers have started an exodus into Eastern Europe. Budapest already hosts a small Alt Right hub, Matt Forney having decamped there. AltRight.com’s Vincent Law is based in Saint-Petersburg.

Problem: The aborigines don’t necessary care all that much for your ideology or welfare, especially if you get in the way of favorable horse-trades.

Somewhat hilariously, Orban’s Hungary is the only European country that Richard Spencer has been deported from to date.

And as the recent experience of The Daily Stormer has shown, Russia isn’t any nicer to foreign nationalists than to its own, if and when the heat gets turned on.

As a matter of fact, some of the kremlins might have just decided to dump Trump overboard because they got very very sad hearing about the big bad Orange Nazi from CNN – a testament, if there ever was one, to the sheer power and influence of the American deep state and its propaganda organs.

kremlins-sad

The big, sad secret of ROG is that it’s about as real as Trump’s collusion with Russia. I.e., it doesn’t exist.

There is no escape from ZOG.

Alternative ecosystems

As the tech giants have grown more domineering, they have spawned a set of alternatives.

For instance, Gab.ai for Twitter (my profile there: https://gab.ai/akarlin, for whenever I finally get shoahed from Twitter), and Hatreon (https://hatreon.us/akarlin/), an alternative to Patreon that also hosts a variety of personalities considered to be too unreputable for the handshakeworthy version.

This, too, has many problems.

hatreon-ditched-by-digital-ocean First, the Internet’s infrastructure is highly complex and interconnected, and even these sites still need higher-level resources to run properly. A concerted effort from establishment players can squeeze out the upstarts. Even as I write this, Hatreon is down, because Digital Ocean pulled its web hosting support in the wake of the scandal around The Daily Stormer thanks to the public connection made by a Blue Checkmark journalist.

Second, the lure of money can be even more powerful than the threat of retribution. Twitter, too, had a reputation for free speech absolutism back during the Wikileaks-Cablegate era. That ended as soon as it started rivaling Facebook and attracting celebrities and other handshakeworthy people to its platform. The CEO of Gab.ai, Andrew Torba, has been blacklisted from the Silicon Valley social scene, including the Y Combinator start-up incubator, for Tweeting a “build the wall” meme, which apparently made some Y Combinator members feel “unsafe.” There are powerful material and reputational incentives for such people to get back in line.

Into the Deep Web

If we are fated to drift into a hardcore cyberpunk dystopia controlled by faceless tech oligopolies, then we might as well start living up to the genre’s aesthetics.

For instance, The Daily Stormer already has a deep web presence at http://dstormer6em3i4km.onion/ (can be accessed using the TOR Browser). The deep web hosts all kinds of underground markets for shady and illegal products, such as drugs, stolen information, casinos, weapons, CP, even hitman services (though it’s likely most of those are feds).

In the dankest timeline, where Zuckerberg lords over a mulatto underclass clicking sponsored content all day, soylent is the only legal food, and your basic income determined by social justice quotient of your social media posts and shares, it is feasible that all the cool blogs and websites and videos retreat into samizdat in the deep web, leaving Picus News – the collective CNN/FOX/Buzzfeed – on the surface.

There already exists a readymade solution for financing difficulties once Paypal and the half a dozen other players cut you off: Cryptocurrencies.

A more exotic variant that I have suggested in the past is to create a social media/communications platofrm on blockchain-based principles. This might be the only viable longterm solution as the Bilderbergers and Picus TV continue to extend their tentacles.

 

boston-paul-revere-statue

Time to pull this sucker down.

Rich, slave-owning white men with no popular mandate who took up arms against their legitimate government deserve no sympathy, and belong to the dustbin of history.

I am talking about the Founding Fathers, of course.

That was sarcasm. Probably… I mean, this is Leftist/SJW hystrionics taken to their logical conclusion, as Trump pointed out.

“So, this week it’s Robert E. Lee,” Trump said. “I notice that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”

(Don’t worry, they’re already working down the chronological ladder of white supremacy).

Apart from some superficial differences – for instance, the Nazis there enjoy the support of Hillary McCain and the Blue Checkmarks – the atmosphere is quite evocative of one particular cargo cult of a country that the State Department helped create.

Welcome to post-Maidan Ukraine, Americans. Enjoy! :)

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Alt Right, SJWs, United States 

james-alex-fields-did-nothing-wrong

Just some quick comments on the Charlottesville affair, where a clash between the Alt Right and Antifa has resulted in one death.

(1) No, I don’t think it’s a PR disaster by any stretch of the imagination.

The thing is, people who are already highly allergic to any displays of Nazi symbology aren’t exactly the sort of people who would think positively of let alone sign up for the Alt Right.

As for people within the Alt Right itself, well, they’d have to have lived under a rock to not know that the Alt Right has a significant Nazi and Neo-Nazi presence from the mostly ironic /pol/ to the larping Right Stuff to the utterly hardcore Andrew Anglin of The Daily Stormer.

There is a name for the “civic nationalist” subset of Trumpism Inc. that would have nothing to do with the Nazis: The “New Right,” or “Alt Lite.” But they are also not the sort of people who’d turn up to defend a Confederate monument.

nesterov-on-cvilleActually as noted by my partner on the ROGPOR podcast Kirill Nesterov, we already have a precedent for this sort of thing: Spencer’s Heilgate (Nov 18).

It generated many furious headlines, and even scared away some anti-imperialist leftists who might have had some smidgeon of sympathy for the Alt Right, but in the larger picture it neither helped nor harmed them.

I think Alt_Left gets it: The Alt Right is a youth movement, and the memory of WW2 is “ancient history” to them. It is no longer sacrosanct. Another way of putting it is that for them, Hitler is becoming just another Napoleon, or Alexander the Great. And you can’t get too emotional about those.

(2) No point in disavowing. It’s not like ZOG will thank you for it.

I mean, is Heartiste actually wrong?

heartiste-western

(3) What’s the big deal anyway? America has a long way to go even to reach “European” levels of political violence.

berkeley-riots-good-night-left-side To be sure, this is a significant escalation from the last confrontation between Antifa and the Alt Right at the Battle of Berkeley.

But let’s add in some context.

The Alt Right have one bodycount to their name. But just BLM by itself has six from one cop killing spree in 2016. If you want to declare the Alt Right a terrorist organization, as some blue checkmarks are demanding on Twitter, you would have to do likewise with BLM for consistency. An anti-Trumpist almost pulled off a massacre of Republicans at a baseball practice session; the bodycount was zero only thanks to his incompetence with firearms.

terrorism-deaths-in-western-europe In Europe, Greek anarchists murdered two members of Golden Dawn in a drive-by shooting in 2013. The UK politician Jo Cox was murdered by a far rightist in 2016, shortly before the Brexit referendum.

Going back further in history, during the late Cold War, leftists blew up dozens of people in Europe every single year. And yet that did not set off any civil wars, or even any significant slide into authoritarianism.

It was only with the collapse of the USSR that radical Leftism was discredited.

(4) Trump is doing all he reasonably can for the Alt Right. Stop whining.

He even avoided mentioning the Alt Right by name, which is the best he realistically could have done: “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!

“That is, unless Ivanka tells him she burst into tears after watching that antifa commit vehicular manslaughter against his own people. THEN you’re fucked,” jokes Matt Forney.

And he is surely correct that if Hillary Clinton were President, things would be very different now: “Not only would half of Unite the Right’s attendees be in jail, the feds would be unsealing RICO indictments against NPI, Identity Evropa, and TradWorker.”

(5) Blue Checkmarks vs. Alt Right

This brings us to another point: Here’s a key difference in relations between the elites and “insurgent” ideologies today (the Alt Right), and a generation ago (radical leftists).

The elites were mildly supportive of the agenda of the radical leftists. Top lawyers worked on their cases for free. Many of them were “rehabilitated” and went on to lead “fruitful” careers in academia, such as Bill Ayres and Donna Hylton. One can compare this with the attitudes of conservative judges towards far right radicals in Weimar Germany.

In contrast, today’s Blue Checkmarks really have it out for the Alt Right.

For instance, take the case of Julia Ioffe, an Israeli Firster activist at university who as a handshakeworthy journalist kvetches very loudly whenever unsanctioned liberal protests get broken up in Russia. (This is an apt comparison in more ways than one: The last minute revocation of Unite the Right’s permit and their shunting off to some out of the way location is familiar to observers of the Kremlin’s policy towards opposition protests in Russia).

But contra Navalny’s crowd, which also has its share of Neo-Nazi elements, Americans exercising their First Amendment rights to protect their Southern heritage has to be shut down.

ioffe-calls-for-repression

Because muh Russian pogroms. What else?

ioffe-no-pogrom

And yes, OF COURSE Putlor is responsible.

mckew-russia-cville-pogrom

I don’t want to counter-signal or anything, but the Blue Checkmarks have most of the elite human capital and control the institutions.

This will make it very hard for the Alt Right to make institutional headway.

That said, their power should still grow, especially as “Generation Zyklon” comes of age in the next decade. There will be more careers destroyed by witch-hunts, more James Damores, more #Shirtstorms. Political polarization will keep increasing as more and more young men realize that the system is stacked against them, and more and more whites adopt overt identity politics.

So Peter Turchin’s prediction of a peak in socio-political instability in the 2020s seems all the more plausible now.

turchin-cycle-of-discord

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Alt Right, Charlottesville, US Civil War II 
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.


PastClassics
A simple remedy for income stagnation
Confederate Flag Day, State Capitol, Raleigh, N.C. -- March 3, 2007
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
The evidence is clear — but often ignored