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Branco Milanovic – When autarky becomes the only solution

Despite all the talk about the waning power of the state and the rising power of ”foot-loose” large corporations what the sanctions do show is that the state is still the most powerful actor in contemporary global capitalism. Apple or Amazon could not impose sanctions and destroy Rusal. Actually, no company in the world —even those who are Rusal’s major customers—could not destroy it. But a state can. Putin showed the power of the Russian state, at the time when it seemed weak and insignificant, when he overnight imprisoned Khodorkovsky, the richest man in Russia, and despoiled him of Yukos. Trump, or rather US treasury, shows the power of US state in destroying overnight the largest aluminum producer in the world.

This post-Cold War idea that corporations are taking over the world always seemed ridiculous to me.

Consider the following:

  • Wealthiest individual ~$100 billion (Bezos)
  • Wealthiest corporation ~$1 trillion (Apple)
  • Wealthiest country ~ $100 trillion (USA), of which states typically own 20%-70%. Plus, they have 95%+ of the guns.

In fact, I suspect relative corporate/state power reached its peak in the 18th century, during the heyday of the East India Company.

What current sanctions, and those that may yet come (as for example on Gazprom), show is that Russia is now at the same crossroads at which it was in the early 1920s. Its access to Western markets, technology and capital is all but cut off. It is true that there are nowadays other sources for all three, including in China. But the breadth of sanctions is such that Chinese actors, if they themselves plan to do business or raise money in the United States, will too avoid doing business with Russian entities. So Russian industry will be left to grow, if it can, using only domestic resources, which compared to global resources, are small and inadequate (given how Russia’s relative economic and population role in the world has declined). Autarky is thus preordained.

This is what I pointed out in my post on US sanctions: “The US market is an order of magnitude larger than Russia’s, so it is not only US corporations that will defer to Uncle Sam. This will also hold true for European corporations (most of Russia’s trade is still with Europe), for Chinese corporations (unless the CPC expressly orders them to flout US restrictions), and even for other Russian corporations (e.g. Russian state banking giant Sberbank still doesn’t have any branches in Crimea in what is probably a futile effort to avoid US sanctions).

It would be wrong however to believe that the current impasse in which Russia finds itself can be overcome through different policies. It could have been done several years ago, but no longer. The reasons listed in the imposition of sanctions that cover everything from the annexation of Crimea to fake news are so comprehensive that no new post-Putin government of any conceivable kind can accept them all. They can be accepted only by a totally defeated country. In addition, US sanctions are notoriously difficult to overturn. The US sanctions against the Soviet Union started in 1948 and were practically never discontinued. The Jackson-Vanik amendment that linked trade to the freedom of Jewish emigration was on the books from 1974 until 2012, i.e. lasted more than a quarter century after the ostensible reason for its imposition ended. And it was repealed only to be replaced by another set of sanctions contained in the Magnitsky Act. The sanctions against Iran have been on, and despite the recent talk of their loosening, for almost 40 years. The sanctions on Cuba have lasted, and many still do, for more than half-century.

Putin has thus, through a series of tactical successes, brought to Russia a comprehensive strategic defeat from which neither him, nor the governments that succeed him, will be able to extricate the country. There is moreover no ideology, short of extreme nationalism, on which the autarkic system can be built. Bolsheviks in the 1920s had an ideology which led them ultimately to accept autarky and to work within it. Such an ideology does not exist in today’s capitalist Russia. Yet the industrialization debate of the 1920 may again become indispensable literature for economic policy-making.

Pretty grim conclusions, but not obviously incorrect ones.

In particular, it certainly seems that sanctions are here to stay and are going to be incessantly ramped up. More “serious” sanctions have been introduced under the “pro-Russian” (or even “Putin’s puppet”) than under Obama, and one can only imagine how things will go once the Dems seize control of the House (and maybe Senate) in 2018, and when Trump is likely ousted after 2020. To a large extent, further sanctions are built into America’s political trajectory. For instance, there has been a trend of ascribing criticism of the West’s course (on immigration, on bombing Syria, etc.) to this universal scapegoat called “Russian bots.” Consequently, short of Russia completely cutting itself off from the global Internet, Russian “elections meddling” in Europe and the US is all but assured for the indefinite future, each such case constituting grounds for further sanctions.

And so long as the US remains the world’s largest market and lynchpin of the global financial system, the effects of its decisions are going to reverberate throughout the Russian economy.

Consequently, with integration into the West definitively closed of, Russia has several options:

1. Capitulation. This is unrealistic, short of either a military defeat (hard to imagine in the context of Russia’s vast tactical nuke stockpile) or total ideological subversion (as happened to the USSR).

2. Autarky. The USSR was a military-industrial empire of around 400 million souls (including its East European satellites). Russia is a country of 150 million ruled by a comprador elite, that has much less influence over Kazakhstan or Belarus than the USSR had over Czechoslovakia.

Conversely, many modern technologies need more and more scope to be developed. Even during the Cold War, a high quality population of just around 10 million was enough to develop a first class righter (Sweden). That’s no longer the case – the only countries seriously competitive in these sphere are the US, to a lesser extent China and Russia, and perhaps eventually India. Another example: The negative inverse of Moore’s Law is Rock’s Law, in which the price of a semiconductor chip fabrication plant doubles every four years. Information technologies more than anything else benefit from economies of scale. It’s not a coincidence that the world’s top VC powerhouses are now the US, China, and increasingly India.

Bearing this in mind, Russia’s strategy needs to be more sophisticated than what it had in the 1930s-80s (a model that failed, incidentally).

a) Free markets and internal competition should be a sine qua non. Central planning is incredibly inefficient, and as technological complexity increases, it becomes even more relatively inefficient. Within a continental market, technological solutions can be close to optimal.

b) Piracy. Especially if restrictions on copyright/IP are lifted. If the US wishes to isolate Russia, it has no rational incentives to pay it tribute. It should become a pirate state de jure, as well as de facto. Russia may indeed be moving in that direction already.

sputnik-i-pogrom-big-russia

c) Extreme nationalism. Well, as Milanovic himself says, it’s the only ideology which can combine autarky with free markets. Fortuitously, extreme nationalism would also inevitably lead to what the ecologists call “scope expansion,” raising Russia’s population from 150 million to around 200 million within years of its institution (reincorporation of East Ukraine, North Kazakhstan, Belarus).

d) Centrality of China. While Russia can survive without the West, it can’t do so entirely alone. China has an order of magnitude more people, and will soon become big enough to set up a parallel global financial system. Relations with China will have to be further cultivated, and Russia should increase its current low levels of China expertise. In particular, big Chinese companies don’t exactly operate in the context of a free market, but have to answer to the CPC via the red telephone. Because their overall market sizes are comparable, the US should be very hesitant about getting involved in a full-fledged trade war with China. Russia should indeed work and if necessary offer concessions to make Zhongnanhai pressure its largest companies and banks to ignore US restrictions on dealing with sanctioned Russian companies.

Although some might criticize some aspects of this program, the only realistic alternative is Capitulation. If they want Capitulation, they might as well do it now, crawl to the US for forgiveness, give Crimea back to the Ukraine, and save Russia a few decades of missed opportunities.

Otherwise, the “Autarky” recommendations will have to be in the form of a package. Or at the very least, any viable model will have to include most of the recommendations.

For instance, trying to return to the Soviet model will depress living standards, and lead to demoralization and eventual collapse.

moscow-mcdonalds-1990

Proof: Moscow 1990, sovok bugmen queue at McDonalds. USSR falls a year later.

Alienating China would also be a very bad idea. With no alternate sources of capital, Russian billionaires would have more incentives to engage in pro-Western subversion. This would lead to either a coup and Capitulation, or more state control and consequently inefficiency, etc.

3. Wait & See. Another strategy is to just wait it out, in the hope that nationalist movements in Europe opposed to the US gain power. This is indeed the kremlins’ current approach.

Least immediately risky variant – but also highly questionable that it will actually happen, or that nationalists once in power will actually be any more pro-Russian than neoliberalism.txt. Maybe even the converse.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Economic Sanctions, Russia 
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  1. inertial says:

    Anyone remembers American sanctions on China post Tiananmen? Or on India after they exploded a nuke? I’m just saying that wait and see is the best strategy for now.

    Incidentally, those people standing in line to McDonald’s? They are doing it because they are curious. They want to see for themselves what this thing is like.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    And curiosity from the 'hype', because Mcdonald's company took so many years, and obstacles, to start their first restaurant, and only one at first in the whole Soviet Union (which was the 52nd country). (The agreement was signed in 1988, and the restaurant in Pushkin Square, opened in 1990. But there were talks to build it between Soviet representatives since 1976.)

    When they advertised for staff at the restaurant a few weeks before opening, 25,000 people submitted job applications.

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  2. Dmitry says:

    I’m not sure trade-sanctions with the West have – after some initial shock – much impact or importance.

    The main exports (natural resources commodities), are sold at the world market prices with no problem, or non-substitute possible for European customers (gas) .

    Overall, the economy is much more correlated to oil prices, than any other variable.

    If oil prices go high, so does the economy. And if low, so does the economy.

    The main challenge is how to transition to the time (2030s), when oil prices will likely be falling. But after such a future economy scenario, it could become an economy more vulnerable to sanctions (transition itself could be exchanging current vulnerability to oil prices, for future vulnerability to trade conditions).

    As for the last paragraph about nationalists.

    There’s something to be careful with in the fake news – for example, the claim that the Kremlin helped to elect Donald Trump. This is just domestic American politics – where one side tries to attack the other by claiming this.

    But the idea this is such an important aim for Russia also relates to the fake news that Western sanctions have so much impact on economic situation, which is currently much more connected to world commodity prices than specific relations to the West.

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  3. Dmitry says:
    @inertial
    Anyone remembers American sanctions on China post Tiananmen? Or on India after they exploded a nuke? I'm just saying that wait and see is the best strategy for now.

    Incidentally, those people standing in line to McDonald's? They are doing it because they are curious. They want to see for themselves what this thing is like.

    And curiosity from the ‘hype’, because Mcdonald’s company took so many years, and obstacles, to start their first restaurant, and only one at first in the whole Soviet Union (which was the 52nd country). (The agreement was signed in 1988, and the restaurant in Pushkin Square, opened in 1990. But there were talks to build it between Soviet representatives since 1976.)

    When they advertised for staff at the restaurant a few weeks before opening, 25,000 people submitted job applications.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    As noted by commentators, in the first frame of the video - the Mcdonald's logo (perhaps a sinister symbol of American capitalism) like ominous spider stands above the small flag of the USSR, whose death was less than two years later.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYM-NYj053A
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  4. Beckow says:

    The choices are not that clear-cut. In extremis, one can talk about a partial autarky combined with wait-and-see. Few points:

    - Europe has a very substantial trade with Russia and gets 30% of its energy from Russia. The alternative is to pay more for energy and lose markets in Russia. Is that really going to happen, e.g. in Italy or Germany?

    - World is a dynamic place, an isolated Russia could be very destabilising. With nothing to lose, they could arm anyone, block lots of logistic routes, ignore IP rights (the ‘piracy’ model), act as a shelter.

    - The surrounding European areas – from Finland to Bulgaria would suffer most economically. Both in terms of being insecure (who would want to invest there?) to losing their current profitable trade with Russia.

    There is also a fourth option: Russia could line up its nukes and threaten to go for it. After all, why not? Autarky is not much fun and they do have the means to destroy at the minimum most of Europe and Middle East. Russians traditionally don’t have a good sense of boundaries as one can see reading Dostoevsky. Post Putin one could see an apocalyptic anger erupting and the obvious blackmail weapon – ‘we will nuke you’ – rolled out. I think we would all be better of not escalating this any more and starting to think more rationally. Before it gets out of hand.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    There is also a fourth option: Russia could line up its nukes and threaten to go for it. After all, why not? Autarky is not much fun and they do have the means to destroy at the minimum most of Europe and Middle East. Russians traditionally don’t have a good sense of boundaries as one can see reading Dostoevsky. Post Putin one could see an apocalyptic anger erupting and the obvious blackmail weapon – ‘we will nuke you’ – rolled out.
     
    Wouldn't work. (Strategic) nuclear weapons are defensive weapons.
    The nuclear weapons of the DPRK did not make them rich either.
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  5. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry
    And curiosity from the 'hype', because Mcdonald's company took so many years, and obstacles, to start their first restaurant, and only one at first in the whole Soviet Union (which was the 52nd country). (The agreement was signed in 1988, and the restaurant in Pushkin Square, opened in 1990. But there were talks to build it between Soviet representatives since 1976.)

    When they advertised for staff at the restaurant a few weeks before opening, 25,000 people submitted job applications.

    As noted by commentators, in the first frame of the video – the Mcdonald’s logo (perhaps a sinister symbol of American capitalism) like ominous spider stands above the small flag of the USSR, whose death was less than two years later.

    Read More
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  6. Mitleser says:
    @Beckow
    The choices are not that clear-cut. In extremis, one can talk about a partial autarky combined with wait-and-see. Few points:

    - Europe has a very substantial trade with Russia and gets 30% of its energy from Russia. The alternative is to pay more for energy and lose markets in Russia. Is that really going to happen, e.g. in Italy or Germany?

    - World is a dynamic place, an isolated Russia could be very destabilising. With nothing to lose, they could arm anyone, block lots of logistic routes, ignore IP rights (the 'piracy' model), act as a shelter.

    - The surrounding European areas - from Finland to Bulgaria would suffer most economically. Both in terms of being insecure (who would want to invest there?) to losing their current profitable trade with Russia.

    There is also a fourth option: Russia could line up its nukes and threaten to go for it. After all, why not? Autarky is not much fun and they do have the means to destroy at the minimum most of Europe and Middle East. Russians traditionally don't have a good sense of boundaries as one can see reading Dostoevsky. Post Putin one could see an apocalyptic anger erupting and the obvious blackmail weapon - 'we will nuke you' - rolled out. I think we would all be better of not escalating this any more and starting to think more rationally. Before it gets out of hand.

    There is also a fourth option: Russia could line up its nukes and threaten to go for it. After all, why not? Autarky is not much fun and they do have the means to destroy at the minimum most of Europe and Middle East. Russians traditionally don’t have a good sense of boundaries as one can see reading Dostoevsky. Post Putin one could see an apocalyptic anger erupting and the obvious blackmail weapon – ‘we will nuke you’ – rolled out.

    Wouldn’t work. (Strategic) nuclear weapons are defensive weapons.
    The nuclear weapons of the DPRK did not make them rich either.

    Read More
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  7. Yes, it seems to me that Sanctions are not because of Syria and Ukraine, rather that Syria and Ukraine are there to justify more Russian sanctions.

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  8. Moscow has been playing defence ever since it got back on its feet partially and the neocons launched the Georgian War.

    I’ve never seen a move by Russia that seized the initiative. Moscow is forever on the back foot.

    Maybe its time for the ‘dark ruler’ that I think you wrote about once at Da Russaphile

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    I’ve never seen a move by Russia that seized the initiative. Moscow is forever on the back foot.
     
    Crimea

    They did not wait for the arrival of the Maidanists on Crimea.

    http://abload.de/img/rusm7bkbq.png
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  9. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    Capitulation now makes sense, provided Russia gets some face-saving concessions (which they’re more likely to get now under Trump than later under someone else). Can always try autarky later.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    Capitulation now makes sense
     
    Makes sense for who?

    Can always try autarky later.
     
    There was never a point in history when Russia wasn't and autarky.
    , @reiner Tor

    provided Russia gets some face-saving concessions
     
    Highly unlikely.

    which they’re more likely to get now under Trump than later under someone else
     
    No, Trump would be impeached. Trump has to be tougher lest he gets branded a Russian agent. It’d probably be easier for a well established liberal president to start a detente with Russia. Someone who is not attacked for his domestic agenda and so has more room to defy lobbies in foreign policy.
    , @Felix Keverich
    How do you imagine this happening? Putin personally begs USA for forgiveness and then surrenders himself to the Hague tribunal? lol

    One can talk about 'Capitulation' as an abstract idea, but in the current Russian political climate any leader seriously entertaining this idea will be committing (political) suicide.
    , @Aedib
    No. Simply because Neocons are hatred-driven and will ask always for more and more. They are nor agreement capable. Look at Trump. He is constantly trying to appease them but they are grilling him. Trump will, likely, end destroyed (by impeachment or by other means). Some fate for Russia, but just on a geopolitical level. In face of Neocons, appeasement means dead.
    Anyway, Persians already showed to be more than capable to sustain Western pressure. So, Russians can.
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  10. peterAUS says:

    Sobering, but, IMHO, a bit simplistic article.

    Wait & See. Another strategy is to just wait it out, in the hope that nationalist movements in Europe opposed to the US gain power. This is indeed the kremlins’ current approach.

    Not really.
    Wait for The Empire to implode.

    On practical level, a war in either/or/both Iran and North Korea could make The Empire overstretch, get exhausted, weak and then simply break unto itself.
    Could, not necessarily will, of course. Nobody can really know.

    I really believe this is the core of Kremlin strategy.

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  11. g2k says:

    Options 2 and 3 aren’t mutually exclusive.

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  12. Anonymous[392] • Disclaimer says:

    I think you left out some major points.

    1) One Belt One Road is a huge game changer, not just for Russia and China but for the entire world. The potential for this project to link Europe with Asia and bypass Western controls is a major advancement.

    Once it is complete, the center of the economic universe will be Eurasia, not the west.

    2) The reason China and Russia have been working so closely together is they have mutual interests. Neither country wants to be under the thumb of uncle Sam. So I see both countries working to create parallel markets and systems.

    So why so glum? Being shut out of the declining western system going forward has less of an impact every day.

    3) Europe needs Russian resources. So it’s not like the West has the power to completely shut out Russia from global trade.

    4) As I see things evolving, the West has limited options going forward. Russia just has to sit tight and keep cooperating with Iran and China to create a strong alternative block.

    Once this group attracts Germany, game over for the west.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    The world's economic center of gravity is already in the Eurasia.

    http://static2.businessinsider.com/image/5293de3d69bedde417e01e2d/how-the-economic-center-of-gravity-moved-around-the-world-from-ad-1-to-ad-2010-map.jpg

    But I'm not sure how big a deal China's One Belt One Road initiative will be with respect to that. All else equal (i.e., assuming it doesn't magically transform central Asian countries into economic dynamos), its effect will mostly be to to shift some China-West trade from sea to land. China already launched a freight train route to the UK last year.
    , @LondonBob
    A friend of mine is Austrian and he and his company do a lot of business in Russia. Sanctions or not business with Russia goes on for most of Europe and will come in time to do more. Look at the EU reaction to US attempts to impose new sanctions on Iran, in reality a mere trifle in trade terms. Sanctioning Europe in retaliation for US sanctions was a mistake, the US should be squeezed in favour of European and Asian business.
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  13. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Anonymous
    I think you left out some major points.

    1) One Belt One Road is a huge game changer, not just for Russia and China but for the entire world. The potential for this project to link Europe with Asia and bypass Western controls is a major advancement.

    Once it is complete, the center of the economic universe will be Eurasia, not the west.

    2) The reason China and Russia have been working so closely together is they have mutual interests. Neither country wants to be under the thumb of uncle Sam. So I see both countries working to create parallel markets and systems.

    So why so glum? Being shut out of the declining western system going forward has less of an impact every day.

    3) Europe needs Russian resources. So it's not like the West has the power to completely shut out Russia from global trade.

    4) As I see things evolving, the West has limited options going forward. Russia just has to sit tight and keep cooperating with Iran and China to create a strong alternative block.

    Once this group attracts Germany, game over for the west.

    The world’s economic center of gravity is already in the Eurasia.

    But I’m not sure how big a deal China’s One Belt One Road initiative will be with respect to that. All else equal (i.e., assuming it doesn’t magically transform central Asian countries into economic dynamos), its effect will mostly be to to shift some China-West trade from sea to land. China already launched a freight train route to the UK last year.

    Read More
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  14. @Dave Pinsen
    Capitulation now makes sense, provided Russia gets some face-saving concessions (which they're more likely to get now under Trump than later under someone else). Can always try autarky later.

    Capitulation now makes sense

    Makes sense for who?

    Can always try autarky later.

    There was never a point in history when Russia wasn’t and autarky.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen

    Makes sense for who?
     
    Why not for everyone, if there's a grand bargain? How about something like this:

    Russia:
    - concedes on Ukraine and other territorial flash points.
    - agrees to cooperate with some sort of multinational, but not-completely-biased-against-them investigation into the recent assassinations, etc. it's been accused of.
    - pulls out of Syria.
    - agrees to not interfere in foreign elections anymore (however bogus this charge was).

    The West:
    - drops all sanctions on Russia.
    - invites Russia to join NATO.
    - agrees to not interfere in foreign elections anymore.

    The West gets:
    - a historic diplomatic win.
    - maybe another half century or more of great power peace in Europe.
    - a strategic bulwark against the rise of China
    - lower gas prices at the pump as Russian oil resources are developed.
    - an economic windfall in exports of goods and services to Russia.

    Russia gets:
    - a security guarantee in the west.
    - a huge economic windfall as trade and investment flows into Russia.
    - a strategic bulwark against the rise of China.

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  15. Anonymous[405] • Disclaimer says:

    Capitulation isn’t terrible. Japan surrendered and life is fine for the Japanese. There is one big difference in that Russians are closer to Europeans and Western ideals have more of an appeal with Russian elites, and also the language barrier is not as high for those ideas to make it across. So capitulation would mean eventually a humans rights regime that leads to a black minority of 1-10% in Russia and highly visible number of interracial couples in the center of Moscow.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    The black minority in the UK is set to become a majority within less than a century. It’s not a one-off event to increase their number from zero to 1-10% and then it stops. It never stops.
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  16. @Dave Pinsen
    Capitulation now makes sense, provided Russia gets some face-saving concessions (which they're more likely to get now under Trump than later under someone else). Can always try autarky later.

    provided Russia gets some face-saving concessions

    Highly unlikely.

    which they’re more likely to get now under Trump than later under someone else

    No, Trump would be impeached. Trump has to be tougher lest he gets branded a Russian agent. It’d probably be easier for a well established liberal president to start a detente with Russia. Someone who is not attacked for his domestic agenda and so has more room to defy lobbies in foreign policy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen

    No, Trump would be impeached. Trump has to be tougher lest he gets branded a Russian agent. It’d probably be easier for a well established liberal president to start a detente with Russia. Someone who is not attacked for his domestic agenda and so has more room to defy lobbies in foreign policy.
     
    I'm not sure how reconciliation with Russia at this point would increase Trump's chance of impeachment. He's already proven his not-a-Putin-puppet bona fides to rational people by nearly destroying one of Russia's largest industrial companies, defying it in Syria, etc. And it's clear at this point (again, to normies) that the collusion narrative was bogus. If anything, a grand bargain with Russia now would likely decrease Trump's chance of getting impeached by making him appear to be a strong, effective leader on foreign policy, and one who is making a future disastrous war less likely.

    In contrast, it may be too hard for a future liberal president to do a deal with Russia because their major donors will still be off their rockers about Russia, still linking it with the original sin of preventing the election of the first woman president and most qualified candidate ever.
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  17. @Anonymous
    Capitulation isn't terrible. Japan surrendered and life is fine for the Japanese. There is one big difference in that Russians are closer to Europeans and Western ideals have more of an appeal with Russian elites, and also the language barrier is not as high for those ideas to make it across. So capitulation would mean eventually a humans rights regime that leads to a black minority of 1-10% in Russia and highly visible number of interracial couples in the center of Moscow.

    The black minority in the UK is set to become a majority within less than a century. It’s not a one-off event to increase their number from zero to 1-10% and then it stops. It never stops.

    Read More
    • Replies: @neutral

    The black minority in the UK is set to become a majority within less than a century
     
    This fact is why Russia should not capitulate, a non white UK and USA will not be able to rule the world, even if it had the will to do so. The dangerous time is right now when there are just enough whites to provide enough latent power to still try to rule the world under the ideologies of diversity and multiculturalism. Once whites in the USA (or UK, France, Germany, etc) are less than somewhere around 20%/30% the state will not have the abilities any more to dictate terms.
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  18. LondonBob says:
    @Anonymous
    I think you left out some major points.

    1) One Belt One Road is a huge game changer, not just for Russia and China but for the entire world. The potential for this project to link Europe with Asia and bypass Western controls is a major advancement.

    Once it is complete, the center of the economic universe will be Eurasia, not the west.

    2) The reason China and Russia have been working so closely together is they have mutual interests. Neither country wants to be under the thumb of uncle Sam. So I see both countries working to create parallel markets and systems.

    So why so glum? Being shut out of the declining western system going forward has less of an impact every day.

    3) Europe needs Russian resources. So it's not like the West has the power to completely shut out Russia from global trade.

    4) As I see things evolving, the West has limited options going forward. Russia just has to sit tight and keep cooperating with Iran and China to create a strong alternative block.

    Once this group attracts Germany, game over for the west.

    A friend of mine is Austrian and he and his company do a lot of business in Russia. Sanctions or not business with Russia goes on for most of Europe and will come in time to do more. Look at the EU reaction to US attempts to impose new sanctions on Iran, in reality a mere trifle in trade terms. Sanctioning Europe in retaliation for US sanctions was a mistake, the US should be squeezed in favour of European and Asian business.

    Read More
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  19. Mitleser says:
    @Lemurmaniac
    Moscow has been playing defence ever since it got back on its feet partially and the neocons launched the Georgian War.

    I've never seen a move by Russia that seized the initiative. Moscow is forever on the back foot.

    Maybe its time for the 'dark ruler' that I think you wrote about once at Da Russaphile

    I’ve never seen a move by Russia that seized the initiative. Moscow is forever on the back foot.

    Crimea

    They did not wait for the arrival of the Maidanists on Crimea.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Spisarevski
    Crimea itself was a reaction to the coup in Kiev, though.
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  20. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @anonymous coward

    Capitulation now makes sense
     
    Makes sense for who?

    Can always try autarky later.
     
    There was never a point in history when Russia wasn't and autarky.

    Makes sense for who?

    Why not for everyone, if there’s a grand bargain? How about something like this:

    Russia:
    – concedes on Ukraine and other territorial flash points.
    – agrees to cooperate with some sort of multinational, but not-completely-biased-against-them investigation into the recent assassinations, etc. it’s been accused of.
    – pulls out of Syria.
    – agrees to not interfere in foreign elections anymore (however bogus this charge was).

    The West:
    – drops all sanctions on Russia.
    – invites Russia to join NATO.
    – agrees to not interfere in foreign elections anymore.

    The West gets:
    – a historic diplomatic win.
    – maybe another half century or more of great power peace in Europe.
    – a strategic bulwark against the rise of China
    – lower gas prices at the pump as Russian oil resources are developed.
    – an economic windfall in exports of goods and services to Russia.

    Russia gets:
    – a security guarantee in the west.
    – a huge economic windfall as trade and investment flows into Russia.
    – a strategic bulwark against the rise of China.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Could have worked in the early 2000s, but not now.

    http://abload.de/img/russiaselite2016surve3osao.png

    Vladislav Surkov, long considered an important ideological figure within the ‘Putin regime’, has previously been described as a ‘relative Westernizer’ among Vladimir Putin’s advisors. But even he is apparently now fed up with the West. In an article published yesterday in Russia in Global Affairs, Surkov declares that Russia is neither of the West nor of the East. Instead it stands alone.
     
    https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2018/04/10/the-loneliness-of-the-half-breed/

    At this point, just preventing more escalation would be an achievement.
    , @reiner Tor
    Russian NATO membership is impossible. Putin asked about it back in the early noughties, but it came to nothing even when relations with the West were much better and there was yet very little bad blood between the West and Russia.

    In general I don’t think it’s realistic to expect territorial concessions in Ukraine, when it’s pretty clear that 1) they won’t be able to regain those (should relations go south once more), and 2) the only result of the much larger territorial concessions in 1988-91 was that the West took advantage of it.

    It’s an asymmetric position where Russia needs to make permanent upfront concessions in return for easy to reverse later to implement policy changes in the West. It’s a bit like immigration policy reform, amnesty in exchange for tougher enforcement. The amnesty is permanent and upfront, while enforcement can be easily reversed.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    Pointless. The West is not agreement capable - no deal is possible.
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  21. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @reiner Tor

    provided Russia gets some face-saving concessions
     
    Highly unlikely.

    which they’re more likely to get now under Trump than later under someone else
     
    No, Trump would be impeached. Trump has to be tougher lest he gets branded a Russian agent. It’d probably be easier for a well established liberal president to start a detente with Russia. Someone who is not attacked for his domestic agenda and so has more room to defy lobbies in foreign policy.

    No, Trump would be impeached. Trump has to be tougher lest he gets branded a Russian agent. It’d probably be easier for a well established liberal president to start a detente with Russia. Someone who is not attacked for his domestic agenda and so has more room to defy lobbies in foreign policy.

    I’m not sure how reconciliation with Russia at this point would increase Trump’s chance of impeachment. He’s already proven his not-a-Putin-puppet bona fides to rational people by nearly destroying one of Russia’s largest industrial companies, defying it in Syria, etc. And it’s clear at this point (again, to normies) that the collusion narrative was bogus. If anything, a grand bargain with Russia now would likely decrease Trump’s chance of getting impeached by making him appear to be a strong, effective leader on foreign policy, and one who is making a future disastrous war less likely.

    In contrast, it may be too hard for a future liberal president to do a deal with Russia because their major donors will still be off their rockers about Russia, still linking it with the original sin of preventing the election of the first woman president and most qualified candidate ever.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    The Russian election meddling is still unironically used in all MSM articles I've ever seen about the maliciousness of Russia. And I'm still seeing lots of those articles.

    Trump might've proved right now he's not a Russian stooge. But the moment he offers Russia a grand bargain, he'll be accused of it again. In at least an indirect way (by talking about Russian "interference") he's still accused of it every day.
    , @reiner Tor
    Just look at these recent articles. They unironically refer to Russian election meddling as if it did happen. The February article is interesting in that it makes it totally undisputed because even Trump's then top national security adviser stated it in no uncertain terms. The new sanctions announced on April 7 had the election meddling as a reason.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/383205-comey-says-trump-reacted-to-news-of-russian-meddling-by-asking-if-it

    https://www.rferl.org/a/zuckerbook-says-facebook-should-have-spotted-russian-election-meddling-earlier-testimony-congress/29155692.html

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-07/us-imposes-new-sanctions-against-russian-elite/9629568

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/17/donald-trump-hr-mcmaster-russia-election-meddling-investigation

    So normies unironically believe there was election meddling by the Russians, and I'd think the vast majority of them believe that it was to help Trump. Collusion is just one step away from this. Should Trump behave in any way which is possible to be interpreted as pro-Russia, he'd immediately be accused of it. Or at least it's difficult to see otherwise.
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  22. @Mitleser

    I’ve never seen a move by Russia that seized the initiative. Moscow is forever on the back foot.
     
    Crimea

    They did not wait for the arrival of the Maidanists on Crimea.

    http://abload.de/img/rusm7bkbq.png

    Crimea itself was a reaction to the coup in Kiev, though.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Yes, but at that point the Maidanists in Kiev were not really doing anything about Crimea.
    They intended to, but the Russians on Crimea and the Kremlin showed initiative and did not wait till Kiev could respond.
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  23. Mitleser says:
    @Spisarevski
    Crimea itself was a reaction to the coup in Kiev, though.

    Yes, but at that point the Maidanists in Kiev were not really doing anything about Crimea.
    They intended to, but the Russians on Crimea and the Kremlin showed initiative and did not wait till Kiev could respond.

    Read More
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  24. neutral says:
    @reiner Tor
    The black minority in the UK is set to become a majority within less than a century. It’s not a one-off event to increase their number from zero to 1-10% and then it stops. It never stops.

    The black minority in the UK is set to become a majority within less than a century

    This fact is why Russia should not capitulate, a non white UK and USA will not be able to rule the world, even if it had the will to do so. The dangerous time is right now when there are just enough whites to provide enough latent power to still try to rule the world under the ideologies of diversity and multiculturalism. Once whites in the USA (or UK, France, Germany, etc) are less than somewhere around 20%/30% the state will not have the abilities any more to dictate terms.

    Read More
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  25. Mitleser says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Makes sense for who?
     
    Why not for everyone, if there's a grand bargain? How about something like this:

    Russia:
    - concedes on Ukraine and other territorial flash points.
    - agrees to cooperate with some sort of multinational, but not-completely-biased-against-them investigation into the recent assassinations, etc. it's been accused of.
    - pulls out of Syria.
    - agrees to not interfere in foreign elections anymore (however bogus this charge was).

    The West:
    - drops all sanctions on Russia.
    - invites Russia to join NATO.
    - agrees to not interfere in foreign elections anymore.

    The West gets:
    - a historic diplomatic win.
    - maybe another half century or more of great power peace in Europe.
    - a strategic bulwark against the rise of China
    - lower gas prices at the pump as Russian oil resources are developed.
    - an economic windfall in exports of goods and services to Russia.

    Russia gets:
    - a security guarantee in the west.
    - a huge economic windfall as trade and investment flows into Russia.
    - a strategic bulwark against the rise of China.

    Could have worked in the early 2000s, but not now.

    Vladislav Surkov, long considered an important ideological figure within the ‘Putin regime’, has previously been described as a ‘relative Westernizer’ among Vladimir Putin’s advisors. But even he is apparently now fed up with the West. In an article published yesterday in Russia in Global Affairs, Surkov declares that Russia is neither of the West nor of the East. Instead it stands alone.

    https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2018/04/10/the-loneliness-of-the-half-breed/

    At this point, just preventing more escalation would be an achievement.

    Read More
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  26. Russia can actually pull of a full autarky even under present conditions if it really wants to. The current elites are too cautious and corrupt to enact radical plans and the majority of the population will not like drastic changes to their lifestyle. Still, it is possible.

    As Anatoly mentioned in an article not long ago, increasing your population is basically a hack to increase your national power.

    So if the 150 million Russians are not enough for the scale that is needed for an internal high tech sector to thrive and be competitive, then you can simply triple your population in 20-30 years time and with something like 500 million people Russia will have all the talent and economy of scale it needs to compete by itself with the best.
    If the likes of Saudi Arabia and Iran could grow their populations like that, then it is certainly possible with Russia’s natural resources. Institute white sharia and manage the country’s resources in a way which will make sure that having many children is affordable to everyone, and natality should be promoted and incentivized even more than it is now.

    Unlike North Korea, Russia has enough arable land and resources of all kinds to be self-sufficient. It will not starve like NK, or even stagnate, it will just develop slower if it’s isolated. Even now it is mostly self-sufficient in terms of culture and technology, and it can be fully self-sufficient if need be. It will lag behind for a time but the weapons it has right now will ensure that it will not be conquered in the next few decades, and then the population boom kicks in.
    Meanwhile Russia’s enemies in the West can actually collapse or at the very least become more and more dysfunctional, and with a much bigger population, Russia will be prepared to face the challenges of the future, whatever they may be.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Increasing the population as a result of a change in policy has actually never been achieved by anyone. Increasing it threefold is probably impossible.
    , @Randal

    So if the 150 million Russians are not enough for the scale that is needed for an internal high tech sector to thrive and be competitive, then you can simply triple your population in 20-30 years time and with something like 500 million people Russia will have all the talent and economy of scale it needs to compete by itself with the best.
     
    The tricky bit about rapidly raising your population is maintaining levels of wealth per capita at the same time, so you don't end up with a revolution.

    That said, state measures to remedy the disastrous reproductive rates of indigenous populations across all the white countries is clearly urgently needed. It's more about halting decline than any aspiration to achieve massive increases though, which look pretty out of reach at the moment. The only current way to reliably increase your population rapidly is to open the immigration floodgates, and that "cure" is definitely worse than the disease it's supposedly aimed at.
    , @JiriS
    Russia can't revert to "socialism in one country". It just won't work in the second and third decades of the 21.century. The pull of global economy is just too strong. So it's "capitulation" or......at this juncture, Russia would be well advised to re-think Ukraine and respond to the next attempt by the Kiev dumbasses to annex Donbass (which has been practically announced for May) by an undeclared overwhelming blitzkrieg and changing the government in Kiev to a pro-Russian one. (Putin has to show he does not give a f*ck about the World Cup!) This should be sold politically in the West as a matter of urgent national security, given the West uncalled-for hostility toward Russia which forces her to re-establish its minimum security perimeter within the former Soviet "near abroad". (This should have been done in 2014 but what the heck.) No babbling, no useless arguments, no begging, no laments, no calls for international law, which has been shamelessly broken over three decades every time it suits the U.S. and its minions. Should the West respond by maxing the sanctions, threaten the Baltics and re-take them if the West does not relent. Promise to return them if NATO is ditched. Russia absolutely needs a new international posture, and to show an absolute uncompromising determination, taking it to the brink, if need be. That is the only alternative to accepting the U.S. yarlik. Autarky is not an option.
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  27. @Dave Pinsen

    Makes sense for who?
     
    Why not for everyone, if there's a grand bargain? How about something like this:

    Russia:
    - concedes on Ukraine and other territorial flash points.
    - agrees to cooperate with some sort of multinational, but not-completely-biased-against-them investigation into the recent assassinations, etc. it's been accused of.
    - pulls out of Syria.
    - agrees to not interfere in foreign elections anymore (however bogus this charge was).

    The West:
    - drops all sanctions on Russia.
    - invites Russia to join NATO.
    - agrees to not interfere in foreign elections anymore.

    The West gets:
    - a historic diplomatic win.
    - maybe another half century or more of great power peace in Europe.
    - a strategic bulwark against the rise of China
    - lower gas prices at the pump as Russian oil resources are developed.
    - an economic windfall in exports of goods and services to Russia.

    Russia gets:
    - a security guarantee in the west.
    - a huge economic windfall as trade and investment flows into Russia.
    - a strategic bulwark against the rise of China.

    Russian NATO membership is impossible. Putin asked about it back in the early noughties, but it came to nothing even when relations with the West were much better and there was yet very little bad blood between the West and Russia.

    In general I don’t think it’s realistic to expect territorial concessions in Ukraine, when it’s pretty clear that 1) they won’t be able to regain those (should relations go south once more), and 2) the only result of the much larger territorial concessions in 1988-91 was that the West took advantage of it.

    It’s an asymmetric position where Russia needs to make permanent upfront concessions in return for easy to reverse later to implement policy changes in the West. It’s a bit like immigration policy reform, amnesty in exchange for tougher enforcement. The amnesty is permanent and upfront, while enforcement can be easily reversed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Is NATO membership that easy to reverse? If it were, I'd think Turkey would have been kicked out by now.
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  28. @Spisarevski
    Russia can actually pull of a full autarky even under present conditions if it really wants to. The current elites are too cautious and corrupt to enact radical plans and the majority of the population will not like drastic changes to their lifestyle. Still, it is possible.

    As Anatoly mentioned in an article not long ago, increasing your population is basically a hack to increase your national power.

    So if the 150 million Russians are not enough for the scale that is needed for an internal high tech sector to thrive and be competitive, then you can simply triple your population in 20-30 years time and with something like 500 million people Russia will have all the talent and economy of scale it needs to compete by itself with the best.
    If the likes of Saudi Arabia and Iran could grow their populations like that, then it is certainly possible with Russia's natural resources. Institute white sharia and manage the country's resources in a way which will make sure that having many children is affordable to everyone, and natality should be promoted and incentivized even more than it is now.

    Unlike North Korea, Russia has enough arable land and resources of all kinds to be self-sufficient. It will not starve like NK, or even stagnate, it will just develop slower if it's isolated. Even now it is mostly self-sufficient in terms of culture and technology, and it can be fully self-sufficient if need be. It will lag behind for a time but the weapons it has right now will ensure that it will not be conquered in the next few decades, and then the population boom kicks in.
    Meanwhile Russia's enemies in the West can actually collapse or at the very least become more and more dysfunctional, and with a much bigger population, Russia will be prepared to face the challenges of the future, whatever they may be.

    Increasing the population as a result of a change in policy has actually never been achieved by anyone. Increasing it threefold is probably impossible.

    Read More
    • Replies: @A22
    Probably that is because the the countries that suffer the low fertility rate problem are mostly democratic. Democratic nations by definition cannot engage in any meaningful policy to increase its fertility since it will be rejected by a large portion of the population. Also, most of these leaders only care about reelection after 4 years, these kind of policies need long term commitment. Hence, any meaningful policy can only be passed by a strong nationalist totalitarian regime.
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  29. @Dave Pinsen

    No, Trump would be impeached. Trump has to be tougher lest he gets branded a Russian agent. It’d probably be easier for a well established liberal president to start a detente with Russia. Someone who is not attacked for his domestic agenda and so has more room to defy lobbies in foreign policy.
     
    I'm not sure how reconciliation with Russia at this point would increase Trump's chance of impeachment. He's already proven his not-a-Putin-puppet bona fides to rational people by nearly destroying one of Russia's largest industrial companies, defying it in Syria, etc. And it's clear at this point (again, to normies) that the collusion narrative was bogus. If anything, a grand bargain with Russia now would likely decrease Trump's chance of getting impeached by making him appear to be a strong, effective leader on foreign policy, and one who is making a future disastrous war less likely.

    In contrast, it may be too hard for a future liberal president to do a deal with Russia because their major donors will still be off their rockers about Russia, still linking it with the original sin of preventing the election of the first woman president and most qualified candidate ever.

    The Russian election meddling is still unironically used in all MSM articles I’ve ever seen about the maliciousness of Russia. And I’m still seeing lots of those articles.

    Trump might’ve proved right now he’s not a Russian stooge. But the moment he offers Russia a grand bargain, he’ll be accused of it again. In at least an indirect way (by talking about Russian “interference”) he’s still accused of it every day.

    Read More
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  30. @Dave Pinsen

    No, Trump would be impeached. Trump has to be tougher lest he gets branded a Russian agent. It’d probably be easier for a well established liberal president to start a detente with Russia. Someone who is not attacked for his domestic agenda and so has more room to defy lobbies in foreign policy.
     
    I'm not sure how reconciliation with Russia at this point would increase Trump's chance of impeachment. He's already proven his not-a-Putin-puppet bona fides to rational people by nearly destroying one of Russia's largest industrial companies, defying it in Syria, etc. And it's clear at this point (again, to normies) that the collusion narrative was bogus. If anything, a grand bargain with Russia now would likely decrease Trump's chance of getting impeached by making him appear to be a strong, effective leader on foreign policy, and one who is making a future disastrous war less likely.

    In contrast, it may be too hard for a future liberal president to do a deal with Russia because their major donors will still be off their rockers about Russia, still linking it with the original sin of preventing the election of the first woman president and most qualified candidate ever.

    Just look at these recent articles. They unironically refer to Russian election meddling as if it did happen. The February article is interesting in that it makes it totally undisputed because even Trump’s then top national security adviser stated it in no uncertain terms. The new sanctions announced on April 7 had the election meddling as a reason.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/383205-comey-says-trump-reacted-to-news-of-russian-meddling-by-asking-if-it

    https://www.rferl.org/a/zuckerbook-says-facebook-should-have-spotted-russian-election-meddling-earlier-testimony-congress/29155692.html

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-07/us-imposes-new-sanctions-against-russian-elite/9629568

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/17/donald-trump-hr-mcmaster-russia-election-meddling-investigation

    So normies unironically believe there was election meddling by the Russians, and I’d think the vast majority of them believe that it was to help Trump. Collusion is just one step away from this. Should Trump behave in any way which is possible to be interpreted as pro-Russia, he’d immediately be accused of it. Or at least it’s difficult to see otherwise.

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  31. Singh says:

    Tl;dr Karlin realizes Russia is fucked immediately turns pro-India।। :D

    Listen man, this was always how it was gonna be.
    We will smash them, together.

    Also:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Da4v2VoXkAESRhC?format=jpg

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Cringe!

    India is just a lapdog to the West. Why would Russia want to ally itself with India of all countries. India would just backstab Russia because America told it to.

    Picking a side is what the West is forcing other countries in its sphere to do. Why would Russia want to take part in that?

    Russia needs to focus on diversifying its trading partners throughout the world so it isn't forced into being isolated.
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  32. Aslangeo says:

    Russian Autarky would be tough due to the spread of new ideas – Russians love to travel and a return to an isolated state similar to the Soviet Union would not be welcomed by the public. What most ordinary Russians want is to be normal country, unfortunately the West does not look willing to let that happen. Russia therefore needs to enable a disengagement for survival – this would look something like this.

    1. Ensure non western, i.e domestic, Chinese, India, Korean etc. substitutes for all western imports – for example HTC or Samsung rather than Apple – domestic market incentives will work to grow domestic industries – look at agriculture (although this could be done smarter)

    2. Energy exports will continue for at least a generation – hydrocarbon demand is not slowing despite the greens – the renewable technologies are niche as yet – might grow in the distant future but will not make a dent anytime soon despite the green propaganda – this ensures that Russia has a positive trade balance and is actually a net creditor nation. Capital export should be discouraged

    3. Develop knowledge industries, universities and human capital, unfortunately Russian politicians like grand projects for traditional cultural prestige reasons and graft opportunities rather than small incremental steps like Israel

    4. Diaspora Politics – Israel, Ireland, China , India and Armenia are very effective at this Russia is crap at this. For example if Russian origin Jews in Israel formed a positive voting block. Diasporas can act as a political influence bank in western nations

    5 Ensure the China alliance is maintained – work really hard at this – without a friendly China Russia has problems – China also benefits hugely from an alliance – secure western border, access to energy , materials and food, diplomatic support and partnership in technology

    Read More
    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
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  33. @Dave Pinsen

    Makes sense for who?
     
    Why not for everyone, if there's a grand bargain? How about something like this:

    Russia:
    - concedes on Ukraine and other territorial flash points.
    - agrees to cooperate with some sort of multinational, but not-completely-biased-against-them investigation into the recent assassinations, etc. it's been accused of.
    - pulls out of Syria.
    - agrees to not interfere in foreign elections anymore (however bogus this charge was).

    The West:
    - drops all sanctions on Russia.
    - invites Russia to join NATO.
    - agrees to not interfere in foreign elections anymore.

    The West gets:
    - a historic diplomatic win.
    - maybe another half century or more of great power peace in Europe.
    - a strategic bulwark against the rise of China
    - lower gas prices at the pump as Russian oil resources are developed.
    - an economic windfall in exports of goods and services to Russia.

    Russia gets:
    - a security guarantee in the west.
    - a huge economic windfall as trade and investment flows into Russia.
    - a strategic bulwark against the rise of China.

    Pointless. The West is not agreement capable – no deal is possible.

    Read More
    • Agree: Randal, dfordoom
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  34. Anon[445] • Disclaimer says:

    Americans will try, and will likely succeed in splitting apart Chinese from Russians. Chinese do not prize their collectivity as much as IYIs think. Look at the millions of dickheads in Taiwan, and even HK, who think Americans and Ukies occupying forces are their best friends. It’s so easy to trick the Chinese to turn their backs on their nation. It must be trivial to do it to split them from the Russians. A bit of “good American, bad American”, a bit of “but mah Zhenbao”, a bit of “free trade makes everyone better off” rhetoric will make the Chinese forget Taiwan, and will sway them, more than actual benefits.

    Chinese are some of the most gullible, splittable idiots (try creating a Taiwan in France, see how that works), and Americans are the greatest masters of the splitting strategy. Russians should not assume Chinese are on their side.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Not while Xi is there. Taiwan won't make it to 2030, I think.
    , @neutral

    and Americans are the greatest masters of the splitting strategy
     
    That title belongs to the jew.
    , @Aedib

    and Americans are the greatest masters of the splitting strategy.
     
    A gone era. Current American political cadres are quite degraded. They keep buying the own propaganda. You can’t find a new Nixon or a new Kissinger in the Neocon set.
    They are still very powerful but they incurred in lots of self-inflicted defeats.

    Chinese are on their side.
     
    They are not. They are on the Chinese side and they are smart enough to not buy Western smoke and mirrors anymore. China will keep maneuvering to position itself as the center of the world.
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  35. Putin has thus, through a series of tactical successes, brought to Russia a comprehensive strategic defeat from which neither him, nor the governments that succeed him, will be able to extricate the country.

    As is often the case in international politics, singular events do not really provide the motivating reasons for geopolitical/strategic action. Singular events provide only opportunities for action on geopolitical goals. As the sole superpower it is in the interest of the US to prevent the rise of other powers to regional or supra-regional hegemony not to speak of global hegemony. They would have found other occassions to throw sticks into Russias wheels, even if Russia had the best intentions. Intentions can change easily with leadership and then it comes down to a nations ability. The US pursues a military and economic containment policy against Russia and China for just that reason.

    The recent sanctions are also partly in line with the current protectionist policy of the US. I dont think that they will pose a big problem, since Russia is largerly self-sufficient (exports make only around 10% of its GDP) and trade with the US is low anyway. The macroeconomic situation is relatively stable and they can still trade with China and Europe. The Europeans will be reluctant to escalate their sanction policy with their huge dependence on Russian oil and esp. gas. The conflicts between Russia and the US in Syria, Georgia (Nabucco), Ukraine/Nord-Stream (all potential or actual transit countries) are mainly about the control of European energy supplies and Russias score card is not too bad on this. As it looks, the Europeans will stay reluctant to antagonize Russia too much.

    Russia has enough opportunities, ressources and human potential to develop their country. It is now up to Russian leaders to realize that potential. Putin recently announced a lot of investments. It will be interesting to see what comes of them.

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  36. Jason Liu says:

    If capitulation means adopting western “values”, it would be the last thing you ever did. Fortunately, I think western liberal democracy has peaked, and is only going to decline from now on. Look at all the anti-Russia people. It’s predominantly infertile white liberals. Minorities don’t give a shit. At this rate it’s likely that the America will care less and less about Russia over time.

    For now, it’s better to encourage a global culture of anti-western societies, of which there are many besides China. More Dutertes, more Orbans, more Erdogans, etc. The destruction of liberal democratic values on a global scale will ensure the progress and prosperity of non-western countries.

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    • Agree: Greasy William
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  37. @Anon
    Americans will try, and will likely succeed in splitting apart Chinese from Russians. Chinese do not prize their collectivity as much as IYIs think. Look at the millions of dickheads in Taiwan, and even HK, who think Americans and Ukies occupying forces are their best friends. It's so easy to trick the Chinese to turn their backs on their nation. It must be trivial to do it to split them from the Russians. A bit of "good American, bad American", a bit of "but mah Zhenbao", a bit of "free trade makes everyone better off" rhetoric will make the Chinese forget Taiwan, and will sway them, more than actual benefits.

    Chinese are some of the most gullible, splittable idiots (try creating a Taiwan in France, see how that works), and Americans are the greatest masters of the splitting strategy. Russians should not assume Chinese are on their side.

    Not while Xi is there. Taiwan won’t make it to 2030, I think.

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  38. A22 says:

    Since the Americans are imposing sanctions at an accelerating rate, probably reaching a pace of a new package of sanctions every week, let alone the amount of blackmailing the eu engages abusing their leverage of being the largest customer of Russian gas, autarcky seems the only way ahead. This this should not be that bad, capital outflow will be restricted finally! And since the society is now basically mobilized against an enemy, super hardcore fertility encouraging policies should be easier to implement. Tie pensions to a minimum number of children, control the price of property, preferably build new blocks to give away at subsidized rates to people with 4 children. If this does not work impose full white sharia. Even at their current per capita level, a Russia with twice the size will have a larger economy than France and germany combined! With 250mil+ people, you are not desperate for external markets to live, quite the opposite, everyone will beg you to open your market.
    Honestly, a Russia with only 146 mil will always be bullied by the giants neighbouring her. The EU has 500 mil, India and China at 1.5 bil. Russia simply cannot compete without more people. With 500 billion dollar of useless fx reserves, I bet you could pay for the most hardcore fertility encouraging program ever. These 500 billions should be put to a good use. And this is without even counting the amount of offshore money that can be repatriated in such a situation, let alone taxing the super-rich. I think it is very doable if the state really wanted to throw hard money on it and engage in a long term program.

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Thoroughly agree.
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  39. A22 says:
    @reiner Tor
    Increasing the population as a result of a change in policy has actually never been achieved by anyone. Increasing it threefold is probably impossible.

    Probably that is because the the countries that suffer the low fertility rate problem are mostly democratic. Democratic nations by definition cannot engage in any meaningful policy to increase its fertility since it will be rejected by a large portion of the population. Also, most of these leaders only care about reelection after 4 years, these kind of policies need long term commitment. Hence, any meaningful policy can only be passed by a strong nationalist totalitarian regime.

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    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Have you got historical examples.

    It seems fertility rate can fall as much in non-democratic societies - see the fertility rates in Iran or China.

    The counter example I can think of is two-sided one. Fertility rate in Russia fell under the replacement rate for first time under Brezhnev, in 1976. And then in the Soviet Union they put a lot of effort, and could raise fertility to around replacement rate in the late 1980s.

    (And as for the rest - for the last 27 democratic years in Russia, it has been below replacement rate every year, although less extremely far below the replacement rate nowadays than 15 years ago.)

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  40. neutral says:
    @Anon
    Americans will try, and will likely succeed in splitting apart Chinese from Russians. Chinese do not prize their collectivity as much as IYIs think. Look at the millions of dickheads in Taiwan, and even HK, who think Americans and Ukies occupying forces are their best friends. It's so easy to trick the Chinese to turn their backs on their nation. It must be trivial to do it to split them from the Russians. A bit of "good American, bad American", a bit of "but mah Zhenbao", a bit of "free trade makes everyone better off" rhetoric will make the Chinese forget Taiwan, and will sway them, more than actual benefits.

    Chinese are some of the most gullible, splittable idiots (try creating a Taiwan in France, see how that works), and Americans are the greatest masters of the splitting strategy. Russians should not assume Chinese are on their side.

    and Americans are the greatest masters of the splitting strategy

    That title belongs to the jew.

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  41. Dmitry says:
    @A22
    Probably that is because the the countries that suffer the low fertility rate problem are mostly democratic. Democratic nations by definition cannot engage in any meaningful policy to increase its fertility since it will be rejected by a large portion of the population. Also, most of these leaders only care about reelection after 4 years, these kind of policies need long term commitment. Hence, any meaningful policy can only be passed by a strong nationalist totalitarian regime.

    Have you got historical examples.

    It seems fertility rate can fall as much in non-democratic societies – see the fertility rates in Iran or China.

    The counter example I can think of is two-sided one. Fertility rate in Russia fell under the replacement rate for first time under Brezhnev, in 1976. And then in the Soviet Union they put a lot of effort, and could raise fertility to around replacement rate in the late 1980s.

    (And as for the rest – for the last 27 democratic years in Russia, it has been below replacement rate every year, although less extremely far below the replacement rate nowadays than 15 years ago.)

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    • Replies: @A22
    I am sorry, I did not mean that the fertility problem is strictly a democratic society phenomenon, however, what I meant is that in our times, most of the societies that are interested in reversing the population decline are democratic societies. Democratic societies, aka countries in the western camp,are wealthy, and can afford to grow in population since their public infrastructure is mature. In fact, the only way for a developed country to significantly grow its economy is by population growth, as know to most people. However, these countries cannot adopt hardcore fertility promoting policies for obvious reasons. As for Iran and China, in countries like these, flat population for now is favourable since public infrastructure is still developing and population growth will put strain on it, slowing the growth in quality terms ( most spending will go to building new schools to accommodate the growth rather than buying advanced new equipment for existing schools which will increase the quality, for example).
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  42. A22 says:
    @Dmitry
    Have you got historical examples.

    It seems fertility rate can fall as much in non-democratic societies - see the fertility rates in Iran or China.

    The counter example I can think of is two-sided one. Fertility rate in Russia fell under the replacement rate for first time under Brezhnev, in 1976. And then in the Soviet Union they put a lot of effort, and could raise fertility to around replacement rate in the late 1980s.

    (And as for the rest - for the last 27 democratic years in Russia, it has been below replacement rate every year, although less extremely far below the replacement rate nowadays than 15 years ago.)

    I am sorry, I did not mean that the fertility problem is strictly a democratic society phenomenon, however, what I meant is that in our times, most of the societies that are interested in reversing the population decline are democratic societies. Democratic societies, aka countries in the western camp,are wealthy, and can afford to grow in population since their public infrastructure is mature. In fact, the only way for a developed country to significantly grow its economy is by population growth, as know to most people. However, these countries cannot adopt hardcore fertility promoting policies for obvious reasons. As for Iran and China, in countries like these, flat population for now is favourable since public infrastructure is still developing and population growth will put strain on it, slowing the growth in quality terms ( most spending will go to building new schools to accommodate the growth rather than buying advanced new equipment for existing schools which will increase the quality, for example).

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  43. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @reiner Tor
    Russian NATO membership is impossible. Putin asked about it back in the early noughties, but it came to nothing even when relations with the West were much better and there was yet very little bad blood between the West and Russia.

    In general I don’t think it’s realistic to expect territorial concessions in Ukraine, when it’s pretty clear that 1) they won’t be able to regain those (should relations go south once more), and 2) the only result of the much larger territorial concessions in 1988-91 was that the West took advantage of it.

    It’s an asymmetric position where Russia needs to make permanent upfront concessions in return for easy to reverse later to implement policy changes in the West. It’s a bit like immigration policy reform, amnesty in exchange for tougher enforcement. The amnesty is permanent and upfront, while enforcement can be easily reversed.

    Is NATO membership that easy to reverse? If it were, I’d think Turkey would have been kicked out by now.

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    • Replies: @Greasy William
    Kicked out? Erdogan has NATO by the balls.
    , @reiner Tor
    No, but there’s no way Russia will be offered. All the rest will be easy to reverse.

    And actually, it’d be far into the future. It’s not possible to grant Russia immediate membership (and could later easily be vetoed by other countries like Estonia), while the Russian concessions would be upfront.
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  44. @Dave Pinsen
    Is NATO membership that easy to reverse? If it were, I'd think Turkey would have been kicked out by now.

    Kicked out? Erdogan has NATO by the balls.

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  45. @Dave Pinsen
    Is NATO membership that easy to reverse? If it were, I'd think Turkey would have been kicked out by now.

    No, but there’s no way Russia will be offered. All the rest will be easy to reverse.

    And actually, it’d be far into the future. It’s not possible to grant Russia immediate membership (and could later easily be vetoed by other countries like Estonia), while the Russian concessions would be upfront.

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  46. Sad to say, but- with all caveats- Russia has in past 400-500 years been an uneasy extension of Europe. Culture- and identity-wise, it still is.

    And much as I admire China & believe a big chunk of future belongs to it, frankly, China is basically an alien world. Even if we, for a moment, put aside possible territorial aspirations- Russia belongs to the West, and not to the technicized far East.

    But, whites have, in past 100 years shown remarkable propensity for self-destruction & idiocy.

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    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    Russia has in past 400-500 years been an uneasy extension of Europe.
    ...
    Russia belongs to the West, and not to the technicized far East.
     
    "Europe" and "the West" are countries that were created and shaped by the Roman Empire. (Either as direct parts of it, as a continuation of the Empire in the shape of a Roman Church, or as a reaction to said Church.)

    Russia is none of that, and not in any way 'Europe' or 'Western'. Despite being racially white, Russia's political history is completely alien to any Western nation.

    This means that while Russia and China have no common culture, they will always be able to cut an amiable political deal. No political deal is possible with a Western nation.

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  47. @Bardon Kaldian
    Sad to say, but- with all caveats- Russia has in past 400-500 years been an uneasy extension of Europe. Culture- and identity-wise, it still is.

    And much as I admire China & believe a big chunk of future belongs to it, frankly, China is basically an alien world. Even if we, for a moment, put aside possible territorial aspirations- Russia belongs to the West, and not to the technicized far East.

    But, whites have, in past 100 years shown remarkable propensity for self-destruction & idiocy.

    Russia has in past 400-500 years been an uneasy extension of Europe.

    Russia belongs to the West, and not to the technicized far East.

    “Europe” and “the West” are countries that were created and shaped by the Roman Empire. (Either as direct parts of it, as a continuation of the Empire in the shape of a Roman Church, or as a reaction to said Church.)

    Russia is none of that, and not in any way ‘Europe’ or ‘Western’. Despite being racially white, Russia’s political history is completely alien to any Western nation.

    This means that while Russia and China have no common culture, they will always be able to cut an amiable political deal. No political deal is possible with a Western nation.

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    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    Russia is part of the historical West. She does not have any identity apart from those which define West:

    * Greco-Roman heritage
    * Christianity (any version)
    * rational & scientific spirit of inquiry, prevailing from the 18th C Enlightenment

    There is no Russian form of culture (arts, thought, any science,..) that is Asian (east, south,..). No Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Mongol, Pakistani,... cultural & historical heritage that is, generally speaking, Western.
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  48. @Dave Pinsen
    Capitulation now makes sense, provided Russia gets some face-saving concessions (which they're more likely to get now under Trump than later under someone else). Can always try autarky later.

    How do you imagine this happening? Putin personally begs USA for forgiveness and then surrenders himself to the Hague tribunal? lol

    One can talk about ‘Capitulation’ as an abstract idea, but in the current Russian political climate any leader seriously entertaining this idea will be committing (political) suicide.

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  49. @anonymous coward

    Russia has in past 400-500 years been an uneasy extension of Europe.
    ...
    Russia belongs to the West, and not to the technicized far East.
     
    "Europe" and "the West" are countries that were created and shaped by the Roman Empire. (Either as direct parts of it, as a continuation of the Empire in the shape of a Roman Church, or as a reaction to said Church.)

    Russia is none of that, and not in any way 'Europe' or 'Western'. Despite being racially white, Russia's political history is completely alien to any Western nation.

    This means that while Russia and China have no common culture, they will always be able to cut an amiable political deal. No political deal is possible with a Western nation.

    Russia is part of the historical West. She does not have any identity apart from those which define West:

    * Greco-Roman heritage
    * Christianity (any version)
    * rational & scientific spirit of inquiry, prevailing from the 18th C Enlightenment

    There is no Russian form of culture (arts, thought, any science,..) that is Asian (east, south,..). No Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Mongol, Pakistani,… cultural & historical heritage that is, generally speaking, Western.

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    • Replies: @AP
    I think that feudalism and the Renaissance are also fundamental parts of Western cultural heritage. Russia was pretty much on its own during that time, skipped them, and did not join the West until the period of Enlightenment. But once it joined, it did so very zealously and with impact - Russian high culture of the 19th-20th century is the equal of any European country. OTOH Russia has retained a generally Asian/despotic, rather than Western, political system.

    Russia has Greek, but not Roman heritage.

    Russia does, of course, have Christianity, but in a form that is generally considered to be not quite Western.

    Overall, generally Western but with asterisks. Perhaps comparable to Spain if Spain had rejoined the West a couple centuries later than it did.
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  50. Aedib says:
    @Dave Pinsen
    Capitulation now makes sense, provided Russia gets some face-saving concessions (which they're more likely to get now under Trump than later under someone else). Can always try autarky later.

    No. Simply because Neocons are hatred-driven and will ask always for more and more. They are nor agreement capable. Look at Trump. He is constantly trying to appease them but they are grilling him. Trump will, likely, end destroyed (by impeachment or by other means). Some fate for Russia, but just on a geopolitical level. In face of Neocons, appeasement means dead.
    Anyway, Persians already showed to be more than capable to sustain Western pressure. So, Russians can.

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  51. Aedib says:
    @Anon
    Americans will try, and will likely succeed in splitting apart Chinese from Russians. Chinese do not prize their collectivity as much as IYIs think. Look at the millions of dickheads in Taiwan, and even HK, who think Americans and Ukies occupying forces are their best friends. It's so easy to trick the Chinese to turn their backs on their nation. It must be trivial to do it to split them from the Russians. A bit of "good American, bad American", a bit of "but mah Zhenbao", a bit of "free trade makes everyone better off" rhetoric will make the Chinese forget Taiwan, and will sway them, more than actual benefits.

    Chinese are some of the most gullible, splittable idiots (try creating a Taiwan in France, see how that works), and Americans are the greatest masters of the splitting strategy. Russians should not assume Chinese are on their side.

    and Americans are the greatest masters of the splitting strategy.

    A gone era. Current American political cadres are quite degraded. They keep buying the own propaganda. You can’t find a new Nixon or a new Kissinger in the Neocon set.
    They are still very powerful but they incurred in lots of self-inflicted defeats.

    Chinese are on their side.

    They are not. They are on the Chinese side and they are smart enough to not buy Western smoke and mirrors anymore. China will keep maneuvering to position itself as the center of the world.

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  52. @A22
    Since the Americans are imposing sanctions at an accelerating rate, probably reaching a pace of a new package of sanctions every week, let alone the amount of blackmailing the eu engages abusing their leverage of being the largest customer of Russian gas, autarcky seems the only way ahead. This this should not be that bad, capital outflow will be restricted finally! And since the society is now basically mobilized against an enemy, super hardcore fertility encouraging policies should be easier to implement. Tie pensions to a minimum number of children, control the price of property, preferably build new blocks to give away at subsidized rates to people with 4 children. If this does not work impose full white sharia. Even at their current per capita level, a Russia with twice the size will have a larger economy than France and germany combined! With 250mil+ people, you are not desperate for external markets to live, quite the opposite, everyone will beg you to open your market.
    Honestly, a Russia with only 146 mil will always be bullied by the giants neighbouring her. The EU has 500 mil, India and China at 1.5 bil. Russia simply cannot compete without more people. With 500 billion dollar of useless fx reserves, I bet you could pay for the most hardcore fertility encouraging program ever. These 500 billions should be put to a good use. And this is without even counting the amount of offshore money that can be repatriated in such a situation, let alone taxing the super-rich. I think it is very doable if the state really wanted to throw hard money on it and engage in a long term program.

    Thoroughly agree.

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  53. Anonymous[150] • Disclaimer says:
    @Singh
    https://twitter.com/jatt_sangha47/status/985843188261830656?s=20

    Tl;dr Karlin realizes Russia is fucked immediately turns pro-India।। :D

    Listen man, this was always how it was gonna be.
    We will smash them, together.

    https://twitter.com/jatt_sangha47/status/985740294216761344?s=20

    Also:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Da4v2VoXkAESRhC?format=jpg

    Cringe!

    India is just a lapdog to the West. Why would Russia want to ally itself with India of all countries. India would just backstab Russia because America told it to.

    Picking a side is what the West is forcing other countries in its sphere to do. Why would Russia want to take part in that?

    Russia needs to focus on diversifying its trading partners throughout the world so it isn’t forced into being isolated.

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  54. Randal says:

    The “f it let’s just grasp the nettle now” response to hard grind is a natural human one, and it sometimes works and is the best option, but in this case the present policy of wait and see is better imo. It just needs a clear eyed perception of the situation wrt the US – that the US is unappeasable and unceasing in its aggression (because it is built into its cultural nature), and any and every dealing with it must take this into account. No naïve attempts to seek a reasonable grand compromise settlement based on trust.

    The central issue and the real grounds for hope is the rise of China versus the US. Not because China is a shining white knight of altruism, but because world power is zero sum, and Russia desperately needs the world to complete the long term shift back to a world with two real power centres, rather than the one described by Karlin, in which the US economy is so dominant. The strategic logic for China must surely be clear to its leadership – that it needs Russia on its side at least until it outmatches the US and Russia together.

    Indeed, this rather emphasises the delusional incompetence of the US sphere elite, in systematically driving Russia into this situation during the 1990s and early 2000s with a foolish and doomed attempt to grab for a maximalist win (regime change of Russia so that it could be Europeanised as balkanised US sphere satrapies). It was always obvious that Russia’s leadership desperately wanted to align itself with the US side, and it took some effort to drive it away irrevocably, as has now been achieved.

    The flip side is that it depends on China’s leadership recognising the need to actively undermine and subvert US sanctions, whether they are on Russia or Iran (or even on NK, where China is clearly unhappy about the nuclear developments). Russia is no more a threat to China than it was to the US, and there is nothing to lose by supporting it wholeheartedly, in terms of promoting a rival, at least as long as China can be reasonably confident Russia won’t switch sides anytime soon. Sanctions (economic warfare), backed by military power, are a key tool of power projection for the US (as Japan found out) and the more China can undermine their effectiveness, the better for China.

    The creation of alternative financial structures unreachable by the US and its European poodles, is the heart of what is needed here. China’s economic sphere is hopefully big enough and diversified enough now to achieve this, especially with Russian involvement.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Good post. Not that I agree with the crux of it.

    Two points of contention:
    Why is the bipolar/multipolar world better than the unipolar when those entities are effectively the same?
    Now, I do know why Rusophiles/Sinophiles want that world. That's just normal.
    But, why the rest, in West, would want it is .......interesting.

    An analogy (used it before):
    The (known) world is ruled by Rome. Now, we have to want that world split into three parts and rules by Rome, Carthage and Parthia.
    Of course that Carthagians and Parthians would love that. But, why Romans?

    It's shit state in any case; I just believe it's more shitty in multipolar.
    In unipolar, at least, we don't have a chance of a major war between those entities. And the rest is probably even worse in mulitpolar (police state etc...we are in conflict with "them" so must do that).

    I don't know but shouldn't smart people start working on making this world (West in particular) better instead of wanting the same just in three parts?
    Or, there are still people that believe the Russia and/or China are the role models?
    If that's the case, well....we'll just stop there.

    As for this:


    The creation of alternative financial structures unreachable by the US and its European poodles, is the heart of what is needed here.
     
    will, most definitely, push for a war no matter what. I am positive.
    At the other hand, shouldn't people in West actually try to create some alternative financial system as we speak?
    In fact, some alternative economic model. Automation, abundance (instead of that "scarcity") etc. as basic blocks.
    True, too hard.
    Better to stick to what we have. Just need to win and get it.
    All good.
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  55. Randal says:
    @Spisarevski
    Russia can actually pull of a full autarky even under present conditions if it really wants to. The current elites are too cautious and corrupt to enact radical plans and the majority of the population will not like drastic changes to their lifestyle. Still, it is possible.

    As Anatoly mentioned in an article not long ago, increasing your population is basically a hack to increase your national power.

    So if the 150 million Russians are not enough for the scale that is needed for an internal high tech sector to thrive and be competitive, then you can simply triple your population in 20-30 years time and with something like 500 million people Russia will have all the talent and economy of scale it needs to compete by itself with the best.
    If the likes of Saudi Arabia and Iran could grow their populations like that, then it is certainly possible with Russia's natural resources. Institute white sharia and manage the country's resources in a way which will make sure that having many children is affordable to everyone, and natality should be promoted and incentivized even more than it is now.

    Unlike North Korea, Russia has enough arable land and resources of all kinds to be self-sufficient. It will not starve like NK, or even stagnate, it will just develop slower if it's isolated. Even now it is mostly self-sufficient in terms of culture and technology, and it can be fully self-sufficient if need be. It will lag behind for a time but the weapons it has right now will ensure that it will not be conquered in the next few decades, and then the population boom kicks in.
    Meanwhile Russia's enemies in the West can actually collapse or at the very least become more and more dysfunctional, and with a much bigger population, Russia will be prepared to face the challenges of the future, whatever they may be.

    So if the 150 million Russians are not enough for the scale that is needed for an internal high tech sector to thrive and be competitive, then you can simply triple your population in 20-30 years time and with something like 500 million people Russia will have all the talent and economy of scale it needs to compete by itself with the best.

    The tricky bit about rapidly raising your population is maintaining levels of wealth per capita at the same time, so you don’t end up with a revolution.

    That said, state measures to remedy the disastrous reproductive rates of indigenous populations across all the white countries is clearly urgently needed. It’s more about halting decline than any aspiration to achieve massive increases though, which look pretty out of reach at the moment. The only current way to reliably increase your population rapidly is to open the immigration floodgates, and that “cure” is definitely worse than the disease it’s supposedly aimed at.

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  56. peterAUS says:
    @Randal
    The "f it let's just grasp the nettle now" response to hard grind is a natural human one, and it sometimes works and is the best option, but in this case the present policy of wait and see is better imo. It just needs a clear eyed perception of the situation wrt the US - that the US is unappeasable and unceasing in its aggression (because it is built into its cultural nature), and any and every dealing with it must take this into account. No naïve attempts to seek a reasonable grand compromise settlement based on trust.

    The central issue and the real grounds for hope is the rise of China versus the US. Not because China is a shining white knight of altruism, but because world power is zero sum, and Russia desperately needs the world to complete the long term shift back to a world with two real power centres, rather than the one described by Karlin, in which the US economy is so dominant. The strategic logic for China must surely be clear to its leadership - that it needs Russia on its side at least until it outmatches the US and Russia together.

    Indeed, this rather emphasises the delusional incompetence of the US sphere elite, in systematically driving Russia into this situation during the 1990s and early 2000s with a foolish and doomed attempt to grab for a maximalist win (regime change of Russia so that it could be Europeanised as balkanised US sphere satrapies). It was always obvious that Russia's leadership desperately wanted to align itself with the US side, and it took some effort to drive it away irrevocably, as has now been achieved.

    The flip side is that it depends on China's leadership recognising the need to actively undermine and subvert US sanctions, whether they are on Russia or Iran (or even on NK, where China is clearly unhappy about the nuclear developments). Russia is no more a threat to China than it was to the US, and there is nothing to lose by supporting it wholeheartedly, in terms of promoting a rival, at least as long as China can be reasonably confident Russia won't switch sides anytime soon. Sanctions (economic warfare), backed by military power, are a key tool of power projection for the US (as Japan found out) and the more China can undermine their effectiveness, the better for China.

    The creation of alternative financial structures unreachable by the US and its European poodles, is the heart of what is needed here. China's economic sphere is hopefully big enough and diversified enough now to achieve this, especially with Russian involvement.

    Good post. Not that I agree with the crux of it.

    Two points of contention:
    Why is the bipolar/multipolar world better than the unipolar when those entities are effectively the same?
    Now, I do know why Rusophiles/Sinophiles want that world. That’s just normal.
    But, why the rest, in West, would want it is …….interesting.

    An analogy (used it before):
    The (known) world is ruled by Rome. Now, we have to want that world split into three parts and rules by Rome, Carthage and Parthia.
    Of course that Carthagians and Parthians would love that. But, why Romans?

    It’s shit state in any case; I just believe it’s more shitty in multipolar.
    In unipolar, at least, we don’t have a chance of a major war between those entities. And the rest is probably even worse in mulitpolar (police state etc…we are in conflict with “them” so must do that).

    I don’t know but shouldn’t smart people start working on making this world (West in particular) better instead of wanting the same just in three parts?
    Or, there are still people that believe the Russia and/or China are the role models?
    If that’s the case, well….we’ll just stop there.

    As for this:

    The creation of alternative financial structures unreachable by the US and its European poodles, is the heart of what is needed here.

    will, most definitely, push for a war no matter what. I am positive.
    At the other hand, shouldn’t people in West actually try to create some alternative financial system as we speak?
    In fact, some alternative economic model. Automation, abundance (instead of that “scarcity”) etc. as basic blocks.
    True, too hard.
    Better to stick to what we have. Just need to win and get it.
    All good.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    Why is the bipolar/multipolar world better than the unipolar when those entities are effectively the same?
     
    They aren't. China is not remotely the same as the US. Similar in some particulars, sure, but that's probably inevitable - all are human. I don't say either Russia or China is a better model. If either were on the verge of global domination I would oppose it.

    In unipolar, at least, we don’t have a chance of a major war between those entities. And the rest is probably even worse in mulitpolar (police state etc…we are in conflict with “them” so must do that).
     
    These are not static states, but points on a dynamic progression. The "unipolar world" was not a world of peace and unity, but rather one in which the power centre was actively pushing for increased predominance by forcing other cultures to conform to its dogmas and by using war to suppress those who resisted incorporation.

    You might argue that if we can only achieve unity then a truly unified unipolar world would be a world of peace and plenty - I don't see it that way. The only ends to a unipolar world are either collapse of the drive towards world government and return to multipolarity, or success of that drive. World government is the end of human liberty, possibly forever.


    I don’t know but shouldn’t smart people start working on making this world (West in particular) better instead of wanting the same just in three parts?
     
    Multipolarity, and even bipolarity, gives space for national sovereignty and at the least the possibility of liberty. There is no place for either in a unipolar world.

    will, most definitely, push for a war no matter what. I am positive.
     
    Doubtless, but war is not a solution for them. Let them confront that reality (as I believe they did in the White House just the other day) however often they want, in the end they will draw back as they did this time, or all will lose. And all losing is better than them winning. But most likely they will draw back.
    , @dfordoom

    I don’t know but shouldn’t smart people start working on making this world (West in particular) better instead of wanting the same just in three parts?
     
    That's fine if you assume that the West is salvageable, or is even worth saving. If the West isn't salvageable then it's desirable that the West's power should be diminished as much as possible.
    , @reiner Tor

    there are still people that believe the Russia and/or China are the role models?
     
    They are assholes, but at least you can reason with them. They will take if they need something (South China Sea, Crimea, whatever), but they won't demand that you adopt a crazy ideology just for its own sake. That said, I can understand why Vietnamese or Ukrainians hate them.
    , @Aslangeo
    Russia does not wish to be a role model. It was tried for 70 years during Soviet times and fat lot of good it did for ordinary Russians. Too many lives and too many roubles and resources wasted on Eastern Europe and the revolutionaries in the third world.

    Today’s Russia just wishes to be a normal country with its own values, treated with respect. The Russians had a go at ruling other people it was not a good experience.

    I do not know enough about China, but from what I have heard they wish for the same

    Crusade, Imposing values by force, is a Western European, catholic and Protestant concept. It is not part of orthodox culture or Chinese culture. The only other similar concept is Jihad
    , @Mitleser

    Why is the bipolar/multipolar world better than the unipolar when those entities are effectively the same?
     
    Same reason separation of powers is a (good) thing.
    The USA/West is not a good, benevolent overlord. It is more neutral, at best.
    It needs to be kept in-check.
    Otherwise, you get abuse of power.

    Of course that Carthagians and Parthians would love that. But, why Romans?
     
    It could have saved the Roman Republic.
    Rome's rise did undermine it till it broke and turned into the original Empire.

    In case of America, it means a lot of foreign and MIC influence on American policy.
    Of course, these foreigners have to do that because of America's immense influence on their fate.
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  57. AP says:
    @Bardon Kaldian
    Russia is part of the historical West. She does not have any identity apart from those which define West:

    * Greco-Roman heritage
    * Christianity (any version)
    * rational & scientific spirit of inquiry, prevailing from the 18th C Enlightenment

    There is no Russian form of culture (arts, thought, any science,..) that is Asian (east, south,..). No Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Mongol, Pakistani,... cultural & historical heritage that is, generally speaking, Western.

    I think that feudalism and the Renaissance are also fundamental parts of Western cultural heritage. Russia was pretty much on its own during that time, skipped them, and did not join the West until the period of Enlightenment. But once it joined, it did so very zealously and with impact – Russian high culture of the 19th-20th century is the equal of any European country. OTOH Russia has retained a generally Asian/despotic, rather than Western, political system.

    Russia has Greek, but not Roman heritage.

    Russia does, of course, have Christianity, but in a form that is generally considered to be not quite Western.

    Overall, generally Western but with asterisks. Perhaps comparable to Spain if Spain had rejoined the West a couple centuries later than it did.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    By Western though, do you mean 'Western Europe'?

    Because America is Western, but it culturally also feels very different (even more different) from Western Europe - in its exotic way, which you feel a moment you walk off the airplane in America (that you are in a different enter a different world again than Western European countries).

    , @Bardon Kaldian

    Overall, generally Western but with asterisks. Perhaps comparable to Spain if Spain had rejoined the West a couple centuries later than it did.
     
    Perspicacious. Billington has made similar observation, showing parallels between Russia & Spain.

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51KCLBxSruL._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
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  58. Randal says:
    @peterAUS
    Good post. Not that I agree with the crux of it.

    Two points of contention:
    Why is the bipolar/multipolar world better than the unipolar when those entities are effectively the same?
    Now, I do know why Rusophiles/Sinophiles want that world. That's just normal.
    But, why the rest, in West, would want it is .......interesting.

    An analogy (used it before):
    The (known) world is ruled by Rome. Now, we have to want that world split into three parts and rules by Rome, Carthage and Parthia.
    Of course that Carthagians and Parthians would love that. But, why Romans?

    It's shit state in any case; I just believe it's more shitty in multipolar.
    In unipolar, at least, we don't have a chance of a major war between those entities. And the rest is probably even worse in mulitpolar (police state etc...we are in conflict with "them" so must do that).

    I don't know but shouldn't smart people start working on making this world (West in particular) better instead of wanting the same just in three parts?
    Or, there are still people that believe the Russia and/or China are the role models?
    If that's the case, well....we'll just stop there.

    As for this:


    The creation of alternative financial structures unreachable by the US and its European poodles, is the heart of what is needed here.
     
    will, most definitely, push for a war no matter what. I am positive.
    At the other hand, shouldn't people in West actually try to create some alternative financial system as we speak?
    In fact, some alternative economic model. Automation, abundance (instead of that "scarcity") etc. as basic blocks.
    True, too hard.
    Better to stick to what we have. Just need to win and get it.
    All good.

    Why is the bipolar/multipolar world better than the unipolar when those entities are effectively the same?

    They aren’t. China is not remotely the same as the US. Similar in some particulars, sure, but that’s probably inevitable – all are human. I don’t say either Russia or China is a better model. If either were on the verge of global domination I would oppose it.

    In unipolar, at least, we don’t have a chance of a major war between those entities. And the rest is probably even worse in mulitpolar (police state etc…we are in conflict with “them” so must do that).

    These are not static states, but points on a dynamic progression. The “unipolar world” was not a world of peace and unity, but rather one in which the power centre was actively pushing for increased predominance by forcing other cultures to conform to its dogmas and by using war to suppress those who resisted incorporation.

    You might argue that if we can only achieve unity then a truly unified unipolar world would be a world of peace and plenty – I don’t see it that way. The only ends to a unipolar world are either collapse of the drive towards world government and return to multipolarity, or success of that drive. World government is the end of human liberty, possibly forever.

    I don’t know but shouldn’t smart people start working on making this world (West in particular) better instead of wanting the same just in three parts?

    Multipolarity, and even bipolarity, gives space for national sovereignty and at the least the possibility of liberty. There is no place for either in a unipolar world.

    will, most definitely, push for a war no matter what. I am positive.

    Doubtless, but war is not a solution for them. Let them confront that reality (as I believe they did in the White House just the other day) however often they want, in the end they will draw back as they did this time, or all will lose. And all losing is better than them winning. But most likely they will draw back.

    Read More
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  59. dfordoom says: • Website
    @peterAUS
    Good post. Not that I agree with the crux of it.

    Two points of contention:
    Why is the bipolar/multipolar world better than the unipolar when those entities are effectively the same?
    Now, I do know why Rusophiles/Sinophiles want that world. That's just normal.
    But, why the rest, in West, would want it is .......interesting.

    An analogy (used it before):
    The (known) world is ruled by Rome. Now, we have to want that world split into three parts and rules by Rome, Carthage and Parthia.
    Of course that Carthagians and Parthians would love that. But, why Romans?

    It's shit state in any case; I just believe it's more shitty in multipolar.
    In unipolar, at least, we don't have a chance of a major war between those entities. And the rest is probably even worse in mulitpolar (police state etc...we are in conflict with "them" so must do that).

    I don't know but shouldn't smart people start working on making this world (West in particular) better instead of wanting the same just in three parts?
    Or, there are still people that believe the Russia and/or China are the role models?
    If that's the case, well....we'll just stop there.

    As for this:


    The creation of alternative financial structures unreachable by the US and its European poodles, is the heart of what is needed here.
     
    will, most definitely, push for a war no matter what. I am positive.
    At the other hand, shouldn't people in West actually try to create some alternative financial system as we speak?
    In fact, some alternative economic model. Automation, abundance (instead of that "scarcity") etc. as basic blocks.
    True, too hard.
    Better to stick to what we have. Just need to win and get it.
    All good.

    I don’t know but shouldn’t smart people start working on making this world (West in particular) better instead of wanting the same just in three parts?

    That’s fine if you assume that the West is salvageable, or is even worth saving. If the West isn’t salvageable then it’s desirable that the West’s power should be diminished as much as possible.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    An interesting point.

    A lot of "chatty" people believe it's not salvageable.

    I just have a feeling that a lot of "not chatty" people will try their best to salvage it, no matter what..... unless they see a viable alternative.

    Just a feeling.
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  60. peterAUS says:
    @dfordoom

    I don’t know but shouldn’t smart people start working on making this world (West in particular) better instead of wanting the same just in three parts?
     
    That's fine if you assume that the West is salvageable, or is even worth saving. If the West isn't salvageable then it's desirable that the West's power should be diminished as much as possible.

    An interesting point.

    A lot of “chatty” people believe it’s not salvageable.

    I just have a feeling that a lot of “not chatty” people will try their best to salvage it, no matter what….. unless they see a viable alternative.

    Just a feeling.

    Read More
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  61. Dmitry says:
    @AP
    I think that feudalism and the Renaissance are also fundamental parts of Western cultural heritage. Russia was pretty much on its own during that time, skipped them, and did not join the West until the period of Enlightenment. But once it joined, it did so very zealously and with impact - Russian high culture of the 19th-20th century is the equal of any European country. OTOH Russia has retained a generally Asian/despotic, rather than Western, political system.

    Russia has Greek, but not Roman heritage.

    Russia does, of course, have Christianity, but in a form that is generally considered to be not quite Western.

    Overall, generally Western but with asterisks. Perhaps comparable to Spain if Spain had rejoined the West a couple centuries later than it did.

    By Western though, do you mean ‘Western Europe’?

    Because America is Western, but it culturally also feels very different (even more different) from Western Europe – in its exotic way, which you feel a moment you walk off the airplane in America (that you are in a different enter a different world again than Western European countries).

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    By Western though, do you mean ‘Western Europe’?
     
    I would include Central and Western Europe (Poland, Czechia, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, western and central Ukraine), Baltics, etc.

    Because America is Western, but it culturally also feels very different (even more different) from Western Europe – in its exotic way, which you feel a moment you walk off the airplane in America
     
    Interesting. Carl Jung had a similar impression, attributing it to some influence of natives upon the original settlers, and this was transmitted across centuries and generations even to new settlers. He observed that Americans even walked differently than did Europeans. And add centuries of African influence (jazz, blues, into rock and roll). Canada OTOH seems to be more European-Western.

    But unlike Russia, America through its British ancestry went through Western feudalism, and Renaissance. Attitude to government and property is Western. Some of America's different-ness may be attributed to it being such an ideological project.
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  62. AP says:
    @Dmitry
    By Western though, do you mean 'Western Europe'?

    Because America is Western, but it culturally also feels very different (even more different) from Western Europe - in its exotic way, which you feel a moment you walk off the airplane in America (that you are in a different enter a different world again than Western European countries).

    By Western though, do you mean ‘Western Europe’?

    I would include Central and Western Europe (Poland, Czechia, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, western and central Ukraine), Baltics, etc.

    Because America is Western, but it culturally also feels very different (even more different) from Western Europe – in its exotic way, which you feel a moment you walk off the airplane in America

    Interesting. Carl Jung had a similar impression, attributing it to some influence of natives upon the original settlers, and this was transmitted across centuries and generations even to new settlers. He observed that Americans even walked differently than did Europeans. And add centuries of African influence (jazz, blues, into rock and roll). Canada OTOH seems to be more European-Western.

    But unlike Russia, America through its British ancestry went through Western feudalism, and Renaissance. Attitude to government and property is Western. Some of America’s different-ness may be attributed to it being such an ideological project.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    Interesting. Carl Jung had a similar impression, attributing it to some influence of natives upon the original settlers, and this was transmitted across centuries and generations even to new settlers. He observed that Americans even walked differently than did Europeans. And add centuries of African influence (jazz, blues, into rock and roll). Canada OTOH seems to be more European-Western.

    But unlike Russia, America through its British ancestry went through Western feudalism, and Renaissance. Attitude to government and property is Western. Some of America’s different-ness may be attributed to it being such an ideological project.
     
    The issue of getting on the boat, leaving your universe behind, sailing across the ocean to a new world, and then settling in it with completely new life and identity. It is more disruptive and changing for the average people/culture than all these other events of Western European history, 'Renaissance, Reformation', etc.

    It also continues not only for the immigrating generation, but for all their descendants whose place in the world is determined by their ancestors' decision to gamble everything. It is the continuing distinction from Western Europeans, remained in the same country or small area.

    In the new country itself, the society is all a result of immigrants' choices, unlike in the old world where it is inherited without choice or conscious decisions. As a result, there is the sense of freedom, but also responsibility, and of blaming people for the way a cultural situation has resulted, as in a society where nothing was inherited, except what immigrants could take in their suitcase and their imagination.

    Of course for the descendants of Africans who were kidnapped, and slaved, to be taken to the new world, this story of freedom and choice sounds something like a parody.
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  63. @peterAUS
    Good post. Not that I agree with the crux of it.

    Two points of contention:
    Why is the bipolar/multipolar world better than the unipolar when those entities are effectively the same?
    Now, I do know why Rusophiles/Sinophiles want that world. That's just normal.
    But, why the rest, in West, would want it is .......interesting.

    An analogy (used it before):
    The (known) world is ruled by Rome. Now, we have to want that world split into three parts and rules by Rome, Carthage and Parthia.
    Of course that Carthagians and Parthians would love that. But, why Romans?

    It's shit state in any case; I just believe it's more shitty in multipolar.
    In unipolar, at least, we don't have a chance of a major war between those entities. And the rest is probably even worse in mulitpolar (police state etc...we are in conflict with "them" so must do that).

    I don't know but shouldn't smart people start working on making this world (West in particular) better instead of wanting the same just in three parts?
    Or, there are still people that believe the Russia and/or China are the role models?
    If that's the case, well....we'll just stop there.

    As for this:


    The creation of alternative financial structures unreachable by the US and its European poodles, is the heart of what is needed here.
     
    will, most definitely, push for a war no matter what. I am positive.
    At the other hand, shouldn't people in West actually try to create some alternative financial system as we speak?
    In fact, some alternative economic model. Automation, abundance (instead of that "scarcity") etc. as basic blocks.
    True, too hard.
    Better to stick to what we have. Just need to win and get it.
    All good.

    there are still people that believe the Russia and/or China are the role models?

    They are assholes, but at least you can reason with them. They will take if they need something (South China Sea, Crimea, whatever), but they won’t demand that you adopt a crazy ideology just for its own sake. That said, I can understand why Vietnamese or Ukrainians hate them.

    Read More
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  64. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    By Western though, do you mean ‘Western Europe’?
     
    I would include Central and Western Europe (Poland, Czechia, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, western and central Ukraine), Baltics, etc.

    Because America is Western, but it culturally also feels very different (even more different) from Western Europe – in its exotic way, which you feel a moment you walk off the airplane in America
     
    Interesting. Carl Jung had a similar impression, attributing it to some influence of natives upon the original settlers, and this was transmitted across centuries and generations even to new settlers. He observed that Americans even walked differently than did Europeans. And add centuries of African influence (jazz, blues, into rock and roll). Canada OTOH seems to be more European-Western.

    But unlike Russia, America through its British ancestry went through Western feudalism, and Renaissance. Attitude to government and property is Western. Some of America's different-ness may be attributed to it being such an ideological project.

    Interesting. Carl Jung had a similar impression, attributing it to some influence of natives upon the original settlers, and this was transmitted across centuries and generations even to new settlers. He observed that Americans even walked differently than did Europeans. And add centuries of African influence (jazz, blues, into rock and roll). Canada OTOH seems to be more European-Western.

    But unlike Russia, America through its British ancestry went through Western feudalism, and Renaissance. Attitude to government and property is Western. Some of America’s different-ness may be attributed to it being such an ideological project.

    The issue of getting on the boat, leaving your universe behind, sailing across the ocean to a new world, and then settling in it with completely new life and identity. It is more disruptive and changing for the average people/culture than all these other events of Western European history, ‘Renaissance, Reformation’, etc.

    It also continues not only for the immigrating generation, but for all their descendants whose place in the world is determined by their ancestors’ decision to gamble everything. It is the continuing distinction from Western Europeans, remained in the same country or small area.

    In the new country itself, the society is all a result of immigrants’ choices, unlike in the old world where it is inherited without choice or conscious decisions. As a result, there is the sense of freedom, but also responsibility, and of blaming people for the way a cultural situation has resulted, as in a society where nothing was inherited, except what immigrants could take in their suitcase and their imagination.

    Of course for the descendants of Africans who were kidnapped, and slaved, to be taken to the new world, this story of freedom and choice sounds something like a parody.

    Read More
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  65. Aslangeo says:
    @peterAUS
    Good post. Not that I agree with the crux of it.

    Two points of contention:
    Why is the bipolar/multipolar world better than the unipolar when those entities are effectively the same?
    Now, I do know why Rusophiles/Sinophiles want that world. That's just normal.
    But, why the rest, in West, would want it is .......interesting.

    An analogy (used it before):
    The (known) world is ruled by Rome. Now, we have to want that world split into three parts and rules by Rome, Carthage and Parthia.
    Of course that Carthagians and Parthians would love that. But, why Romans?

    It's shit state in any case; I just believe it's more shitty in multipolar.
    In unipolar, at least, we don't have a chance of a major war between those entities. And the rest is probably even worse in mulitpolar (police state etc...we are in conflict with "them" so must do that).

    I don't know but shouldn't smart people start working on making this world (West in particular) better instead of wanting the same just in three parts?
    Or, there are still people that believe the Russia and/or China are the role models?
    If that's the case, well....we'll just stop there.

    As for this:


    The creation of alternative financial structures unreachable by the US and its European poodles, is the heart of what is needed here.
     
    will, most definitely, push for a war no matter what. I am positive.
    At the other hand, shouldn't people in West actually try to create some alternative financial system as we speak?
    In fact, some alternative economic model. Automation, abundance (instead of that "scarcity") etc. as basic blocks.
    True, too hard.
    Better to stick to what we have. Just need to win and get it.
    All good.

    Russia does not wish to be a role model. It was tried for 70 years during Soviet times and fat lot of good it did for ordinary Russians. Too many lives and too many roubles and resources wasted on Eastern Europe and the revolutionaries in the third world.

    Today’s Russia just wishes to be a normal country with its own values, treated with respect. The Russians had a go at ruling other people it was not a good experience.

    I do not know enough about China, but from what I have heard they wish for the same

    Crusade, Imposing values by force, is a Western European, catholic and Protestant concept. It is not part of orthodox culture or Chinese culture. The only other similar concept is Jihad

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS

    Russia does not wish to be a role model. It was tried for 70 years during Soviet times and fat lot of good it did for ordinary Russians. Too many lives and too many roubles and resources wasted on Eastern Europe and the revolutionaries in the third world.

    Today’s Russia just wishes to be a normal country with its own values, treated with respect. The Russians had a go at ruling other people it was not a good experience.
     
    Got into "debate" about that a couple of times so far here.
    Will pass this time. Time waste.

    I am sure there are plenty of people in Russia who feel that way. As there are plenty of people in West who feel the same.
    Doesn't matter.

    I am absolutely positive that, given a chance, the current elites in Russia and China will do the same, if not worse, than West.
    When I say worse I go with the history of regimes in both countries. Gulags, mass executions and such. And, no, I don't put that solely on the Communists.

    In any case what you and me spout here isn't important.
    It's important what peoples from Baltics to Bulgaria think and feel.
    Or from Taiwan to Vietnam.

    We made our positions here clear.
    Let's move on.
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  66. Mitleser says:
    @peterAUS
    Good post. Not that I agree with the crux of it.

    Two points of contention:
    Why is the bipolar/multipolar world better than the unipolar when those entities are effectively the same?
    Now, I do know why Rusophiles/Sinophiles want that world. That's just normal.
    But, why the rest, in West, would want it is .......interesting.

    An analogy (used it before):
    The (known) world is ruled by Rome. Now, we have to want that world split into three parts and rules by Rome, Carthage and Parthia.
    Of course that Carthagians and Parthians would love that. But, why Romans?

    It's shit state in any case; I just believe it's more shitty in multipolar.
    In unipolar, at least, we don't have a chance of a major war between those entities. And the rest is probably even worse in mulitpolar (police state etc...we are in conflict with "them" so must do that).

    I don't know but shouldn't smart people start working on making this world (West in particular) better instead of wanting the same just in three parts?
    Or, there are still people that believe the Russia and/or China are the role models?
    If that's the case, well....we'll just stop there.

    As for this:


    The creation of alternative financial structures unreachable by the US and its European poodles, is the heart of what is needed here.
     
    will, most definitely, push for a war no matter what. I am positive.
    At the other hand, shouldn't people in West actually try to create some alternative financial system as we speak?
    In fact, some alternative economic model. Automation, abundance (instead of that "scarcity") etc. as basic blocks.
    True, too hard.
    Better to stick to what we have. Just need to win and get it.
    All good.

    Why is the bipolar/multipolar world better than the unipolar when those entities are effectively the same?

    Same reason separation of powers is a (good) thing.
    The USA/West is not a good, benevolent overlord. It is more neutral, at best.
    It needs to be kept in-check.
    Otherwise, you get abuse of power.

    Of course that Carthagians and Parthians would love that. But, why Romans?

    It could have saved the Roman Republic.
    Rome’s rise did undermine it till it broke and turned into the original Empire.

    In case of America, it means a lot of foreign and MIC influence on American policy.
    Of course, these foreigners have to do that because of America’s immense influence on their fate.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Concise post and I disagree.

    Bottom line, three separate nuclear powers in conflict is worse than having one ruling the world, IMHO.
    Keyword "nuclear".
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  67. Aslangeo says:

    Anatoly can you comment please on why the Russian government is so crap at cultivating the diaspora?

    Many other nations such Ireland, Armenia, Israel, India and China have very strong efforts to turn their diasporas into an asset

    There up to 6 million russian origin or descent people living in the far abroad

    Imagine if the 3 million Russians in the USA moved to Florida and voted, US policy would change somewhat quickly

    The Indians for example have a person of Indian origin card, a sort of overseas citizenship, which enables visa free travel, residency and work rights. – you cannot vote however

    Ireland has an excellent diaspora and heritage, outreach programme and China works hard at building networks, he’ll even the ukrops work really hard at this

    Why are the Russian government some backward in not using a potentially very useful asset

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    • Replies: @Dmitry

    Why are the Russian government some backward in not using a potentially very useful asset
     
    It's an interesting question.

    The government do fund some things abroad, including some NGOs, cultural centers, and language competitions. And they make an effort with things like overseas voting - although with less than 10% voter turn-up.

    But in the far abroad, the few Russian speaking communities - will also contain some paranoia and hostility of anything related to the government. If you consider the 20th century and that these communities have a higher proportion of, and are partly even created as result of dissidents, - and of people that fall into trouble with the authorities.

    Whereas Irish have reached the far abroad, more as pure economic migration.

    By the way, with older people, I believe that paranoia may even have quite an influence on overall voting patterns.
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  68. Dmitry says:
    @Aslangeo
    Anatoly can you comment please on why the Russian government is so crap at cultivating the diaspora?

    Many other nations such Ireland, Armenia, Israel, India and China have very strong efforts to turn their diasporas into an asset

    There up to 6 million russian origin or descent people living in the far abroad

    Imagine if the 3 million Russians in the USA moved to Florida and voted, US policy would change somewhat quickly

    The Indians for example have a person of Indian origin card, a sort of overseas citizenship, which enables visa free travel, residency and work rights. - you cannot vote however

    Ireland has an excellent diaspora and heritage, outreach programme and China works hard at building networks, he’ll even the ukrops work really hard at this

    Why are the Russian government some backward in not using a potentially very useful asset

    Why are the Russian government some backward in not using a potentially very useful asset

    It’s an interesting question.

    The government do fund some things abroad, including some NGOs, cultural centers, and language competitions. And they make an effort with things like overseas voting – although with less than 10% voter turn-up.

    But in the far abroad, the few Russian speaking communities – will also contain some paranoia and hostility of anything related to the government. If you consider the 20th century and that these communities have a higher proportion of, and are partly even created as result of dissidents, – and of people that fall into trouble with the authorities.

    Whereas Irish have reached the far abroad, more as pure economic migration.

    By the way, with older people, I believe that paranoia may even have quite an influence on overall voting patterns.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    What Dmitry said, plus:

    Let's go down my list of The 5 Types of Russian American

    White Russians - Tend to be moderately Russophile, but in a plastic paddy sort of way - no real connection to Russia, rarely speak the language, some insist (not entirely without reason) that Russia remains sovok.

    Sovok Jews - Self-explanatory. Not ethnically Russian, rarely identify as Russians, moreover tend to harbor grievances towards Russia. Sergey Brin: "Russia is Nigeria with snow."

    Emigre Eggheads - Have a sense of betrayal over getting abandoned by their country after the fall of the USSR, and Putin hasn't exactly been great at assuaging that. Successful eggheads have already made their careers in the West and have no reason to go back or involve themselves with Russia.

    Russian Brides - Left Russia for rich(er) Western husbands. Self-explanatory. No use from them anyway.

    Putin's Expats - Most will go back, but they are not a diaspora as such.

    Another reason - Russia's soft power initiatives are incompetent, badly-funded, and probably corrupt (many positions in these organizations are basically sinecures for distant friends of Putin's friends). There is absolutely nothing like what China has with its Confucian Institutes. Consider that one of the main organizations in this area, Rossotrudnichestvo, is basically unpronounceable for foreigners.
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  69. peterAUS says:
    @Aslangeo
    Russia does not wish to be a role model. It was tried for 70 years during Soviet times and fat lot of good it did for ordinary Russians. Too many lives and too many roubles and resources wasted on Eastern Europe and the revolutionaries in the third world.

    Today’s Russia just wishes to be a normal country with its own values, treated with respect. The Russians had a go at ruling other people it was not a good experience.

    I do not know enough about China, but from what I have heard they wish for the same

    Crusade, Imposing values by force, is a Western European, catholic and Protestant concept. It is not part of orthodox culture or Chinese culture. The only other similar concept is Jihad

    Russia does not wish to be a role model. It was tried for 70 years during Soviet times and fat lot of good it did for ordinary Russians. Too many lives and too many roubles and resources wasted on Eastern Europe and the revolutionaries in the third world.

    Today’s Russia just wishes to be a normal country with its own values, treated with respect. The Russians had a go at ruling other people it was not a good experience.

    Got into “debate” about that a couple of times so far here.
    Will pass this time. Time waste.

    I am sure there are plenty of people in Russia who feel that way. As there are plenty of people in West who feel the same.
    Doesn’t matter.

    I am absolutely positive that, given a chance, the current elites in Russia and China will do the same, if not worse, than West.
    When I say worse I go with the history of regimes in both countries. Gulags, mass executions and such. And, no, I don’t put that solely on the Communists.

    In any case what you and me spout here isn’t important.
    It’s important what peoples from Baltics to Bulgaria think and feel.
    Or from Taiwan to Vietnam.

    We made our positions here clear.
    Let’s move on.

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  70. peterAUS says:
    @Mitleser

    Why is the bipolar/multipolar world better than the unipolar when those entities are effectively the same?
     
    Same reason separation of powers is a (good) thing.
    The USA/West is not a good, benevolent overlord. It is more neutral, at best.
    It needs to be kept in-check.
    Otherwise, you get abuse of power.

    Of course that Carthagians and Parthians would love that. But, why Romans?
     
    It could have saved the Roman Republic.
    Rome's rise did undermine it till it broke and turned into the original Empire.

    In case of America, it means a lot of foreign and MIC influence on American policy.
    Of course, these foreigners have to do that because of America's immense influence on their fate.

    Concise post and I disagree.

    Bottom line, three separate nuclear powers in conflict is worse than having one ruling the world, IMHO.
    Keyword “nuclear“.

    Read More
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  71. @AP
    I think that feudalism and the Renaissance are also fundamental parts of Western cultural heritage. Russia was pretty much on its own during that time, skipped them, and did not join the West until the period of Enlightenment. But once it joined, it did so very zealously and with impact - Russian high culture of the 19th-20th century is the equal of any European country. OTOH Russia has retained a generally Asian/despotic, rather than Western, political system.

    Russia has Greek, but not Roman heritage.

    Russia does, of course, have Christianity, but in a form that is generally considered to be not quite Western.

    Overall, generally Western but with asterisks. Perhaps comparable to Spain if Spain had rejoined the West a couple centuries later than it did.

    Overall, generally Western but with asterisks. Perhaps comparable to Spain if Spain had rejoined the West a couple centuries later than it did.

    Perspicacious. Billington has made similar observation, showing parallels between Russia & Spain.

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    • Replies: @AP
    Ukraine joined the West much sooner than did Russia and Ukrainians can feel this difference. It explains much of the friction between these seemingly very similar nations (Russian nationalists who insist on no differences resort to conspiracy theories to explain the friction, when the cause its actually cultural).
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  72. AP says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Overall, generally Western but with asterisks. Perhaps comparable to Spain if Spain had rejoined the West a couple centuries later than it did.
     
    Perspicacious. Billington has made similar observation, showing parallels between Russia & Spain.

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51KCLBxSruL._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

    Ukraine joined the West much sooner than did Russia and Ukrainians can feel this difference. It explains much of the friction between these seemingly very similar nations (Russian nationalists who insist on no differences resort to conspiracy theories to explain the friction, when the cause its actually cultural).

    Read More
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  73. @Dmitry

    Why are the Russian government some backward in not using a potentially very useful asset
     
    It's an interesting question.

    The government do fund some things abroad, including some NGOs, cultural centers, and language competitions. And they make an effort with things like overseas voting - although with less than 10% voter turn-up.

    But in the far abroad, the few Russian speaking communities - will also contain some paranoia and hostility of anything related to the government. If you consider the 20th century and that these communities have a higher proportion of, and are partly even created as result of dissidents, - and of people that fall into trouble with the authorities.

    Whereas Irish have reached the far abroad, more as pure economic migration.

    By the way, with older people, I believe that paranoia may even have quite an influence on overall voting patterns.

    What Dmitry said, plus:

    Let’s go down my list of The 5 Types of Russian American

    White Russians – Tend to be moderately Russophile, but in a plastic paddy sort of way – no real connection to Russia, rarely speak the language, some insist (not entirely without reason) that Russia remains sovok.

    Sovok Jews – Self-explanatory. Not ethnically Russian, rarely identify as Russians, moreover tend to harbor grievances towards Russia. Sergey Brin: “Russia is Nigeria with snow.”

    Emigre Eggheads – Have a sense of betrayal over getting abandoned by their country after the fall of the USSR, and Putin hasn’t exactly been great at assuaging that. Successful eggheads have already made their careers in the West and have no reason to go back or involve themselves with Russia.

    Russian Brides – Left Russia for rich(er) Western husbands. Self-explanatory. No use from them anyway.

    Putin’s Expats – Most will go back, but they are not a diaspora as such.

    Another reason – Russia’s soft power initiatives are incompetent, badly-funded, and probably corrupt (many positions in these organizations are basically sinecures for distant friends of Putin’s friends). There is absolutely nothing like what China has with its Confucian Institutes. Consider that one of the main organizations in this area, Rossotrudnichestvo, is basically unpronounceable for foreigners.

    Read More
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  74. Passer by says:

    You continue with the low quality analyses. There is a reason why Russia defied the US, you know. It did not come from nowhere. If you listen to russian FM sources, you will often hear that the world is becoming multipolar and that the last 500 years of western domination are coming to an end.

    Yet you never asked yourself why are they talking like that. Maybe because they have a reason for it?

    These sanctions will simply not matter. There is tectonic shift happening. Most of the worlds economy will be in Asia. Europe is becoming a backwater, it will have only 4 percent of the world’s population. The US is going to cripple itself with massive debt levels.

    Are you aware that most economic studies show that China will eventually have an economy 2 times bigger than that of the US, India will become a larger economy than the US as well, while for a first time in several hundred years the West will no longer be the center of the world economy?

    https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/issues/economy/the-world-in-2050.html

    Are you aware that debt levels in the US are projected to reach astronomical levels, and this under “optimistic” scenarios?

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-13/americas-future-no-longer-looks-sustainable-market-context-deutsche

    Are you aware that IQ in the West stopped increasing and is possibly even dropping, but IQ in the rest of the world continues to increase?

    The consensus among IQ experts has been that IQ will stay the same or drop in western countries and will increase by 6-7 IQ points in the rest of the world, probably due to further Flynn effect gains by better nutrition and medical care, as millions of non-westerners join the middle class. China alone is projected to gain 7 IQ points.

    https://notpoliticallycorrect.me/2016/11/14/a-reversal-of-the-flynn-effect/

    Moreover, if Chinese have equal IQ to Japanese, this would mean that they will eventually have similar per capita GDP to Japan, in other words China will eventually have an economy 3-4 times bigger than that of the US. And this isn’t even factoring the projected IQ increase in China and IQ decline in the US.

    Meanwhile, on the cultural front, Islam is projected to eventually become the world’s largest religion, becoming larger than Christianity. Africa is projected to reach 4 billion people, many of whom will come after Europe.

    That’s multipolarity for you.

    Taking all of this into account, it means that in 20 years the West will simply not matter. And the Russian Gov is aware of that.

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  75. JiriS says: • Website
    @Spisarevski
    Russia can actually pull of a full autarky even under present conditions if it really wants to. The current elites are too cautious and corrupt to enact radical plans and the majority of the population will not like drastic changes to their lifestyle. Still, it is possible.

    As Anatoly mentioned in an article not long ago, increasing your population is basically a hack to increase your national power.

    So if the 150 million Russians are not enough for the scale that is needed for an internal high tech sector to thrive and be competitive, then you can simply triple your population in 20-30 years time and with something like 500 million people Russia will have all the talent and economy of scale it needs to compete by itself with the best.
    If the likes of Saudi Arabia and Iran could grow their populations like that, then it is certainly possible with Russia's natural resources. Institute white sharia and manage the country's resources in a way which will make sure that having many children is affordable to everyone, and natality should be promoted and incentivized even more than it is now.

    Unlike North Korea, Russia has enough arable land and resources of all kinds to be self-sufficient. It will not starve like NK, or even stagnate, it will just develop slower if it's isolated. Even now it is mostly self-sufficient in terms of culture and technology, and it can be fully self-sufficient if need be. It will lag behind for a time but the weapons it has right now will ensure that it will not be conquered in the next few decades, and then the population boom kicks in.
    Meanwhile Russia's enemies in the West can actually collapse or at the very least become more and more dysfunctional, and with a much bigger population, Russia will be prepared to face the challenges of the future, whatever they may be.

    Russia can’t revert to “socialism in one country”. It just won’t work in the second and third decades of the 21.century. The pull of global economy is just too strong. So it’s “capitulation” or……at this juncture, Russia would be well advised to re-think Ukraine and respond to the next attempt by the Kiev dumbasses to annex Donbass (which has been practically announced for May) by an undeclared overwhelming blitzkrieg and changing the government in Kiev to a pro-Russian one. (Putin has to show he does not give a f*ck about the World Cup!) This should be sold politically in the West as a matter of urgent national security, given the West uncalled-for hostility toward Russia which forces her to re-establish its minimum security perimeter within the former Soviet “near abroad”. (This should have been done in 2014 but what the heck.) No babbling, no useless arguments, no begging, no laments, no calls for international law, which has been shamelessly broken over three decades every time it suits the U.S. and its minions. Should the West respond by maxing the sanctions, threaten the Baltics and re-take them if the West does not relent. Promise to return them if NATO is ditched. Russia absolutely needs a new international posture, and to show an absolute uncompromising determination, taking it to the brink, if need be. That is the only alternative to accepting the U.S. yarlik. Autarky is not an option.

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