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Big surprise. /s

Lots of boring and repetitive takes out there, so I’ll write about something different; maybe this too will be boring, but at least it’s probably unique.

Here is how three of the leading lights of the Russian nationalist movement, the Two Egors and Igor Strelkov, reacted to this news.

putin-regal

Egor Kholmogorov approves, as one might guess from the very title of his Tsargrad article: “Twenty years of peace.” This is, of course, a reference to Stolypin’s comments in 1909 on the state of the Russian Empire; ultimately, of course, it only got five. He notes that Putin came to power in a country that had been practically destroyed by two massive “social defaults,” the first one being the Bolshevik Revolution, and the second one the liberal reforms that undid its legacy. Each provoked a wave of Russophobic nihilism that denied Russians the right to their own existence.

Instead of a new utopian project, Putin gave Russia breathing room to recuperate itself economically, politically, and spiritually; today, “we see a Russia that is not only richer, better fed, stronger and more confident,” but also one “that is truer to its real self,” having rejected both “liberal globalism” and sidelined “the post-traumatic syndrome of neo-Bolshevism and neo-Stalinism.” Putin has proved an attentive pupil of Solzhenitsyn, who insisted that the best choice for Russia would be “calm authoritarianism, dedication to Russia’s Christian foundations, and putting the interests of the Russian people above that of any utopia.”

If there’s one thing to be regretful about, it is that Russians are still talking about “Presidential terms,” and in so doing paying their dues to a political system that is alien to their nature. But perhaps it is a positive testament to Putin’s gradualist spirit that he hasn’t done away with it.

putin-forever

Egor Prosvirnin has a rather dimmer opinion: “Another 6 years under the thumb of a pensioner who doesn’t use computers or the Internet. Another 6 years of new restrictions and idiotic criminal cases for posting images to Vkontakte. Another 6 years of paranoia and searching for spies and enemies… of trash-patriotism… of “clever plans” and 666D chess… of helping Syria, Sudan, and whoever else they find… of anti-intellectualism… of devouring the private economy and raising the state’s share of GDP in tandem with a lowering of social welfare… of neo-Soviet revanche… of war against russki fascism and our replacement with rossiyane… of multi-nationality and unrestricted immigration from Central Asia… of Latin Americanization and cultural degradation… of lies and offshore firms… of ever richer judo partners… of selling oil and importing hi-tech products… of blathering about moral values, while their real values are a London mansion… of this schizophrenic state where we are “fighting the West” but “sending our families to the West,” where the regime has “popular support” but “there exists the risk of a Maidan,” where there is “stability” but “no money, but you hold tight“… Another 6 years of Kadyrov… of Serdyukov… of Bobokulova… the Rotenbergs… the Minsk Accords… Mutkos… Medvedevs… SORM… FSB…”

Well, you get the point. Prosvirnin doesn’t like Putin or the Russian regime very much at all. And one can sympathize, I’d probably dislike him a lot more as well if I was to have my apartment searched and my computer seized, and my website blocked for “justifying the Islamic State” amongst other ludicrous accusations.

He comes to a pessimistic but grim conclusion: There is no chance of stopping Putin, nor of converting a fundamentally hostile elite to their side. As he clarifies in the comments in response to a question, even politics as such is useless, since the Kremlin simply refuses to register nationalist parties. Furthermore, he believes authoritarianism is only going to get worse: “In the past 20 years, the people in charge have decided on a strategy: Families and capital to the West, building a Venezuela here; or an Iran, if the population is sufficiently stupid to allow it; and North Korea in the worst case.” As such, with conventional politics out of the question, the nationalist strategy should be to intensify their informational work.

putin-emperor

Igor Strelkov doesn’t have anything good to say of Putin either, though his antipathy is one of fatalism rather than anger: “For a person who has managed to screw up everything that remained working in Russia (after the traitor Gorby and the alcoholic Borya), plus get on the wrong side of his “dear Western partners,” remaining in power is a matter of “life or death.” But the Nanogenius wants to live long and happy… and not just himself, but his entire “Ozero Coop” mafia.”

He compares the Russian Federation that Putin has “raised from its knees” to the “oligarchic monarchy” that was the Roman Principate, in which Emperors were made consuls in meaningless elections. After the Principate there came the Dominate, where you would have to bow before the statues of the “godlike” Emperors… and then came the barbarians, “masses of whom Vladimir Vladimirovich has already invited into the country.” And Russia will also have “coups and civil wars” to look forwards to, as the “inevitable accompaniment to life in a great decaying empire.” None of which concerns Putin, because “after Him, the deluge.”

 
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poll-fom-russia-elections-2018

Yesterday there was another poll on the Russian Presidential elections in 2018, this time from FOM (although state-owned, my impression is that they aren’t any less accurate than the independent – and somewhat oppositionist – Levada).

Adjusting for undecideds/no shows, the results if elections were to be held tomorrow are as follows: Putin – 84%, Zhirinovsky – 9%, Zyuganov – 5%, Sobchak – 3%.

First, I am pretty pleased with these results, since they tally with my 80/7/7/7 prediction (Putin will lose a few percentage points due to lower turnout, but make it up with a little padding of the results; relative to Zyuganov, Zhirinovsky traditionally does better in polls than in real life; and Sobchak will eke out quite a lot more thanks to (a) liberals usually being underweighed by polls, and (b) many of the Yavlinsky (1%) and “other candidate” (1%; I assume these are mostly hardcore Navalny fans) supporters voting for her.

But the second, and more interesting, point is how Zhirinovsky, permanent Fuhrer of the nationalist LDPR, has suddenly become the primary recipient of Russia’s protest vote, a role that was previously the preserve of the Communists. Whereas Zhirinovsky gets 13% to Zyuganov’s 11% and the liberals’ (Sobchak, Yavlinsky, other candidate = Navalny) combined ~9% amongst people with a mixed view of Putin, and 17% to Zyuganov’s 10% and the liberals’ ~8% amongst people who are apathetic towards Putin, Zhirinovsky now commands the support of 40% of Russian voters with a negative view of Putin, versus Zyuganov’s 7%, the liberals’ 18%, and 35% who would not vote or would spoil their ballots (many of these are probably liberals).

Several years ago, it was popular to talk of Hungary’s “Putinization” in neoliberal circles. But I submit that we might now get to see Russia’s “Orbanization,” as the great mass of the opposition to a dominant conservative regime shifts from tired old Communists, and liberals whose popularity is confined to yuppies and the intelligentsia in the big cities, to more overt and hardline nationalists.

zhirinovsky-rifle

Bearing this in mind, it is worthwhile to take a closer look at Zhirinovsky’s 2018 program:

The first thing one notices is that it is something of a mess; an idiosyncratic collection of populist, authoritarian, populist, statist, democratic, and even genuinely liberal proposals. It’s like they locked a cryptoanarchist, an Alt Rightist, and a /pol/tard in a room and forced them to come up with something without bothering to even edit the final product. Said room being Zhirinovsky’s beautiful brain. As such, there is something to be found for almost every exotic species of Russian nationalist – though fully satisfying far fewer of them.

The famous Russian far right blogger/troll Vladimir Frolov (“yarowrath“) once argued that the “basedness” level of a Russian politician could be accurately proxied by the ratio of “russkie” (ethnic Russians) vs. “rossiyane” (anodyne PC term for denizens of Russia) in his vocabulary. Perhaps one of the most distinguishing features of Russian nationalists is that they are unafraid to speak of the interests of russkie, whereas kremlins and liberals alike opt for the term rossiyane (PM Dmitry Medvedev prefers the even less offensive “inhabitants of Russia”).

Consequently, the second thing one notices is that Zhirinovsky’s 1,200 word program is full of “russkie” – twelve instances, to be precise. In contrast, the similarly short program of Alexey Navalny, whom some believe to be a nationalist, mentions the word a grand total of once – in the context of the “russkie” (Russian) language.

Here is what Zhirinovsky is promising to do for russkie, in the sense of ethnic Russians:

  • Give passports to all Russians. Defend Russians abroad, do not allow foreigners to take children from Russian families.
  • Russia, its environment and its democracy – for everyone: For Russians, and the other peoples of the country.
  • 23. Add the following preamble to the Constitution: “We, Russians and the other peoples of Russia…”
  • 24. Create an Institute of the Russian Holocaust of the 20th Century
  • 66. Rely on Russians, not foreigners, in the Academy of Sciences and the universities.
  • We will not allow [foreigners] to shoot down russkie planes, or to laugh at, criticize, lie about, and smear Russia.

The mention of an institute dedicated to the persecution of Russians in the 20th century is particularly fascinating, since this is one of the ideas that we (Kirill Nesterov, @pigdog, myself) have been promoting at our ROGPR podcast for the past year. There are few better ways to generate national solidarity than to promote the idea of some great shared tragedy, and it’s not like Russians would even have to invent anything. Meanwhile, it will accelerate the further discreditation of Communism, liberalism, and the cult of West Worship.

In Russian Nationalism 101, I mentioned three things that virtually all Russian nationalists agree on: An end to mass immigration from Central Asia; no more prosecutions for “hate speech”; and the liquidation of regional autonomies. Zhirinovsky’s program is a “tick, tick, tick” so far as all of these are concerned.

  • 8. Do not allow people from the south to commit crimes in central Russia.
  • 22. Remove the political Article 282 from the criminal code.
  • 26. The country should be divided into 30-40 guberniyas.
  • 27. Cancel the Federation Council.
  • 34. Limit immigration to Russia.
  • 57. Teach local languages only if locals want to.

Note that the “nationalist” Navalny only ever mentions the cancelation of Article 282 when he is specifically asked about it. It is not in his program, and while he doesn’t shy away from using his social media reach to promote various petitions and causes, including some rather inconsequential ones, for some reason he has never tried to collect signatures for the cancelation of Article 282.

Ideologically, Zhirinovsky’s program can perhaps best be described as populist-reactionary:

  • 12. Reconcile Tsarist, Soviet, and modern Russia.
  • 13. All revolutions are evil.
  • 15. Return Imperial symbols: The black-gold-white flag, “God Save the Tsar” as the national anthem, replace the Kremlin’s red stars with the original imperial eagles.
  • 20. Return the old names of Russia’s cities and streets.
  • 82. Redominate the ruble: Remove two zeros, one dollar is worth 60 kopeks.

Almost all non-Leftist Russian nationalists support some form of de-Communization program. It is, of course, rather strange that Russia has a 700,000 population city named after an Italian Communist leader who didn’t even succeed in taking power, a 250,000 population city named after a Polish red terrorist, and a 200,000 population city named after a German Russophobe.

The program has a strong patriarchic slant, and is strongly targeted towards siloviks:

  • 6. Further strengthen the Army and security services.
  • 7. Hit criminality. Create a system of military field trials.
  • 9. Cancel the moratorium on the death penalty.
  • 21. Do not allow more than 10% negative information on TV and radio.
  • 65. Encourage men to go into the education sector.

This would meet support with mainstream conservative nationalists, though many of its points would not go over well with the more liberal Sputnik i Pogrom. While they support an increase in the size of the military, especially of the Ground Forces – the Ukraine and Belorussia aren’t going to regather back into Russia by themselves – they want to do it at the expense of the National Guard and other bloated police and paramilitary agencies.

However, there are otherwise few specifics on foreign policy, apart from the general policy of defending Russians abroad:

  • We need to finish things up in the Middle East. Reorient foreign policy to the South. Alliance with Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Syria. This is 400 million people, technologies, resources, armies.

This is probably Zhirinovsky’s background as a Turcologist speaking, but the general point or for that matter even the feasibility of this proposal is a very open question.

There is a strong pro-natality element.

  • 50. Pay women to avoid abortion, the child will be raised by the state.
  • 51. Create a Ministry of Demographics and offer free fertility treatments.
  • 53. Promote a cult of the family.
  • 54. Pay 20,000 rubles per month to people who adopt orphans.
  • 55. Stimulate fertility in regions where deaths exceed births.

It’s worth noting that #55 is basically codeword for ethnic Russian regions.

That said, this is far from a grim document propounding unremitting authoritarianism, militarism, xenophobia, and ultranationalism.

In some respects, it would also increase the civil liberties of ordinary people.

  • 1. Build a country without Communism, Nazism, racism, or authoritarianism.
  • 12. A one party regime doomed the Empire, and the USSR.
  • 17. Name the mistakes of the Soviet leadership, publish the archives, condemn perestroika.
  • 22. Remove the political Article 282 from the criminal code.
  • 29. Replace all the judges.
  • 30. Conduct free and fair elections.
  • 31. Develop local self-government.
  • 42. Political and criminal amnesty. Humanize the Criminal Code.
  • 73. Easen the processs of getting European visas, remove all sanctions.
  • 74. Make life easier for disabled people: Accessible accomodations, more ramps, freedom from having to pay utilities fees.
  • 91. In Russia, the economy, and democracy, was always offered “from above.” Everything was decided by bureaucrats. The people weren’t allowed to decide anything.

Admittedly, there’s a substantial element of schizophrenia here. For instance, given the rest of the program, it’s rather hard to see the Europeans agreeing to expedite #73.

As regards basic governance and economic policy, the proposals fall into two big, somewhat contradictory categories.

On the one hand, there are the “developmental” policies, e.g. high infrastructure spending, the repatriation of offshore capital, and a reduction of regulations on business along lines that one can imagine even institutions like the IMF approving of.

  • 4. Intense development of road networks, trains with speeds of 400km/h.
  • 10. Attention to the fight against corruption. Bribe-taking bureaucrats should be fired and have their assets confiscated. A businessman should compensate anything stolen by a multiple of three.
  • 19. State commission to investigate the looting of the country after 1991.
  • 28. Reduce the numbers of Duma deputies to 200.
  • 35. Forbid banks from offering credit with property as collateral.
  • 42. Political and criminal amnesty. Humanize the Criminal Code.
  • 48. Develop tourism in Russia.
  • 78. Review the results of privatization, without violence and persecution, through persuasion.
  • 81. Organize a mass free distribution of shares in the state companies to Russian citizens.
  • 83. Large-scale economic amnesty, introduce secret accounts in at least one Russian state bank, and return to Russia all capital illegally taken offshore.
  • 87. Companies working in Russia should have their accounts in Russian banks.
  • 92. Motivate rich citizens to return their money to Russia, only here can they be safe, because abroad they are under the threat of sanctions, freezes, and confiscations.
  • 93. No inspections of businesses, apart from restaurants/catering and medicine. Don’t bother hard-working people!
  • 94. Small businesses involved in science and production – freedom from taxes.
  • 96. Reduce amount of compulsory contributions from entrepreneurs.

Orban pushed through the equivalent of #28 in Hungary. A definite answer to the 1990s privatization question needs to be furnished sooner or later to secure property rights in Russia (for comparison, Navalny proposes a windfall tax, as in Britain). #81 is perhaps a good idea to make ordinary Russians feel more invested in any future privatizations, which are otherwise bound to be unpopular. Economic amnesty is an idea often promoted by liberal economists. Since business inspections are too often just a source of rent for bureaucrats in Russia, cutting them down even further is also often proposed.

However, many of Zhirinovsky’s policies are to various extents statist, populist, or just plainly badly thought out; are of dubious efficacy; and would have the general effect of raising spending on social welfare, restricting individual autonomy, increasing state control of the economy, and increasing general inefficiency.

  • 2. Not a single person unemployed, homeless, or hungry.
  • 33. Import substitution, sell finished products, not raw materials, abroad.
  • 37. Cancel the principle of equity construction. The state must build and sell housing.
  • 38. Cancel mortgages. Only building cooperatives and social housing.
  • 39. Forbid debt collectors.
  • 41. Remove all debt-related restrictions on travel abroad.
  • 43. War against unhealthy additives to food. Forbid imports of GMO food.
  • 44. There is an obesity problem. Time to restrict advertising of unhealthy food.
  • 45. No to black market vodka. Create state stores selling cheap but high quality vodka; elsewhere, at market prices.
  • 46. Forbid sects, trainings, centers, etc. whose activities are harmful to citizens.
  • 49. Return completely free healthcare.
  • 59. Cancel the Unified State Exam. Accept students to universities without exams and return 5 year education.
  • 68. Minimum wage of no less than 20,000 rubles.
  • 85. A tax on superincomes.
  • 86. Remove Russia’s foreign currency reserves from US Treasuries.
  • 88. Nationalize trading centers, free up space for domestic producers.
  • 89. Debt forgiveness of at least 50% for all agrobusinesses and farmers.
  • 100. Special attention has to be given to Siberia and the Far East: No tax economy, salary bonuses, housing subsidies, road construction.

Unfortunately the good or at least perspective ideas are more than counterbalanced by alternatingly questionable and outright catastrophic ones which will, in all likelihood, make Russia into Venezuela.

In particular, the assumptions in #45 are simply wrong, and will collapse Russian life expectancy back down by 5 years or so.

As for ending university exams, that’s not just a return to the USSR, but to the 1920s USSR; without even the Unified State Exam to go on, how are universities supposed to select for talent?

However, in all fairness, many of these proposals will play well to the LDPR’s low-information voters.

This hints at the biggest and most irreconcilable problem of nationalism not just in Russia but throughout Europe and the US generally – the human capital is very low.

Nonetheless, there is precisely zero chance of Zhirinovsky winning and consequently trying to push through his more maladaptive ideas (even assuming that they are earnestly meant). As such, a case can be made that Russian nationalists would be well-advised to vote for him to move those issues which the LDPR really is good on – immigration policy, free speech, a vision of a future where ethnic Russians can advocate for their own ethnic interests without being accused of insulting minorities – further within the Overton Window.

 
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Assuming that it will be just between these four, I think it’s going to go something like this:

russia-elections-2018-twitter-prediction

Note that Sobchak and any [liberal candidate] can be substituted for Navalny. (Also TBH, I think Navalny has a chance of getting 10% – see below).

If other candidates (but not Navalny) run, for instance, Grigory Yavlinsky (Yabloko) and Boris Titov (recently nominated by the Party of Growth), then they will split that 7% between each other.

Here’s my logic.

Putin’s result in Presidential elections is usually the same as his approval rating in the Levada polls, which are currently at 80%.

Incidentally, in the very unlikely but not impossible event that Putin doesn’t run after all, but appoints someone like Alexey Dyumin, the successor will get around 60%-70% (Explanation: Medvedev’s result in 2008 was Putin’s approval rating minus 10% points, but he had been built up by Kremlin propaganda beforehand for several years; Putin’s own result in 2000 was approval rating minus 30% points, in the context of only a few months’ worth of “prep,” adversarial TV journalism, and no largescale electoral fraud. Logically, someone like Dyumin should perform somewhere in the middle of those two scenarios).

Zyuganov traditionally polls much better than Zhirinovsky. But that era has now come to an end.

russia-elections-2016-party-support-age-group

Support for the Communists is in long-term secular decline, while the nationalists are on the ascent. Whereas 60+ year old Communist voters hugely outnumbered 18-24 year old LDPR voters in the 2016 Duma elections, by 22% to 10%, amongst LDPR voters the relationship is the complete inverse, with 60+ year old LDPR voters being outnumbered by 18-24 year old LDPR voters by 19% to 8%. Overall results for the two parties were within a hairsbreadth of each other.

russia-elections-2018-voting-intentions

One problem is that Zhirinovsky has a high anti-rating, and tends to underperform his party’s results relative to the Communists (this was especially notable in 2012, when he got almost thrice less than Zyuganov). On the other hand, back in September 2012, the percentage of voters willing to vote for Zhironovsky was 3% versus 6% for Zyuganov, whereas today it is the same 3% to Zyuganov’s much diminished 2%.

I am not going to belabor this point or do any deep analysis at the current stage. There’s still some months left to go and things can still change drastically.

Finally, the liberal candidate.

I have argued that Navalny could get as much as 10%, to the chagrin of hardcore Putinists.

Now Sobchak has a much higher antirating than Navalny, but as a household name, also more name recognizability, so I do not subscribe to the idea that she is totally hopeless and will get something like 1% or 2%. She has said some things that are very unpopular with ordinary people (Crimea is Ukrainian under international law; Russia is a nation of genetic refuse). But this is par for the course for Russian liberals, who do constitute a distinct voting bloc – after all, around 10% of Russians genuinely didn’t support the Crimean takeover – so this is hardly going to dent her numbers. There is even a small chance that making Sobchak say such stereotypically self-hating kreakl things was part of the Kremlin’s condition for allowing her to run (I don’t buy this conspiracy theory; I think she is just an idiot who is being incompetently advised by a britbong PR firm; but it doesn’t really matter).

Now according to the Levada poll (see above), only around 1% are willing to vote for Sobchak (subtracting unknowns/undecideds/etc). A FOM poll suggests that 5% might vote for her, but 87% will not.

The problem is that liberals are less likely to respond to polls, so pollsters tend to systemically underweigh them.

Example.

In the Moscow elections, the Levada poll was giving Navalny 8% to Sobyanin’s 78% amongst those who had “made their choice.”

The median prediction at my blog for Navalny was in the low 10%’s, with some of the most enthusiastic Putinists giving him just 5%-8%.

I predicted 20%.

End result: Navalny – 27%.

However, this was very much in line with immediate pre-election secret polls that showed Navalny was at 23%.

moscow-elections-2013-insider-polling-navalny

Much the same logic should be applied to the [liberal candidate] (with downwards adjustment for Sobchak based on her lack of popularity!; so, instead of ~10% for Navalny, perhaps 5%-7%).

I acknowledge that these arguments will be controversial.

But here is a recent Telegram post by chief editor of Echo of Moscow Alexey Venediktov:

aavst-secret-polling-sobchak

Translation:

Yes, Boris Titov is seriously being considered by the Presidential Administration as a “liberal candidate for President.” Especially considering that their polls show that she has already caught up with Zhirinovsky (7.5% are ready to vote for her, of those who already made up their minds). …

And wouldn’t you guess it, the next day Boris Titov indeed announced that he was running.

Boris Titov is an economically right-wing politician, businessman (he owns the famous Abrau-Durso champagne brand), and activist for entrepreneur rights. He is also not really an oppositionist, being on good terms with Putin and having once even served as a high functionary in United Russia. This would basically be a rerun of 2012, when Mikhail Prokhorov opposed Putin, except that Titov has even fewer oppositionist credentials.

Anyhow, the final decision is up to Putin. Having Titov run would make the election even more of a formality/farce (cross out as per your political sympathies) than it already is, though perhaps marginally safer than having Sobchak run – though the fact that some kremlins actually fear Sobchak of all people makes the whole affair even more surreal.

I think we can pretty much exclude Navalny being allowed to with at least 95% confidence.

On the other hand, with the reality of an 80% approval rating and total control of the administrative resource behind him, it’s not like allowing Sobchak, Titov, or both to run would make any substantive difference to Putin’s almost certainly overwhelming victory in the 2018 Presidential elections.

 
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I meant to write about this PEW poll when it came out this May. Better late than never, I guess.

They highlight what they consider “9 key findings” here.

Here is what I found to be the most interesting, significant, and/or surprising:

poll-east-europe-religious-demographics

This doubles as a rough demographic tally. Russia is around 10% Muslim – around the same as Georgia, and lower than Bulgaria (you rarely tend to hear about their Muslim minorities).

poll-east-europe-democracy-free-markets

View on democracy and free markets: Amusingly, the Ukraine is least pro-market, Lenin statue topplings regardless.

poll-east-europe-russia-counters-usa

Majorities in all the Orthodox countries, even including rather not exactly Russophile Georgia and Romania, look to Russia to balance the influence of the West.

Ukraine is the sole glaring but understandable exception.

Even more curiously, 50% of Croatians (Salo is doing yeoman’s work) and even 34% of Poles support this.

In contrast, Bulgaria is rather more Russia skeptical than its stereotype as a supposedly Russophile country would imply.

poll-east-europe-russia-protection

poll-russia-protec-russians

There is strong support in both Russia and amongst Russians in the Near Abroad for protecting coethnics outside its borders.

Surprisingly, there is also near universal majority support for Russia protecting Orthodox Christians and ethnic Russians outside its borders – a majority agrees even in Georgia and Romania.

There is a pronounced split between west and east Ukraine on this question. Overall support is at 38% there. (Crimea, Lugansk, and Donetsk were not polled).

poll-east-europe-whos-to-blame

Who’s to blame for the conflict in the Donbass?

poll-east-europe-superior-culture

More Orthodox believe their culture to be superior than Catholic or especially Protestant ones. Poland here is perhaps especially surprising.

poll-east-europe-atheism

Russia is considerably more atheist than Ukraine, Belarus, and Poland. (I suspect almost entirely on account of the more atheist, Finno-admixed north).

Women are also universally more religious than men.

poll-east-europe-science-evolution

Acceptance of evolution. However, most curiously, the most evolution-skeptical, Armenians, also believe the most strongly that “science will eventually explain everything.”

poll-east-europe-homosexualityCaucasus almost monolithically “based” on God and homosexuals. Poland is actually pretty progressive these days.

map-east-europe-support-for-gay-marriage

Support for gay marriage based on the poll results.

I have sometimes joked that Belorussia can into Hajnal Line.

poll-east-europe-social-attitudes

That said, in geneal, opinions on social attitudes are pretty similar across Russia/Ukraine/Belarus.

poll-east-europe-diversity

That said, there doesn’t seem to be any strong correlation between “based” attitudes on God and social policy, and on the desirability of diversity.

The most pro-homogeneity peoples are the very religious Armenians and the very atheist Czechs.

poll-east-europe-fertility

This is pretty interesting – and surprising. Did Hungary produce Orban, or did Orban do this to Hungary?

poll-east-europe-stalin

Stalin remains very popular in Georgia as well as in Russia, just like 4 years ago.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Eastern Europe, Opinion Poll, Religion 
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In my opinion, almost certainly yes (quantified: 90%. In line with PredictIt). Just to get that clear off the bat.

But neither is it an absolutely foregone conclusion.

For instance, see this recent “scoop” from The Independent’s Oliver Carroll:

Vladimir Putin is, sources say, tired. And he is reluctant to engage in a major national election – again. The campaign will be reduced to a bare minimum; there will be no repeat of the exhausting test of the 2011-2012 elections, when Mr Putin declared his candidacy six months early.

The reason “scoop” is in apostrophes is that Putin’s tiredness is hardly new to the Moscow rumor mill.

For instance, here is my Twitter conversation with RT’s Bryan MacDonald (posted with his permission) on this back in December 2016:

bryan-macdonald-putin-tired

And there’s still hints that Putin hasn’t yet fully made his mind up. For instance, MacDonald also noted that RBC recently reported that Putin is shifting his annual State of the Union address from December to early next year. While cautioning against reading too deeply into Kremlinological tea leaves, this does conceivably open the possibility of a sudden resignation and endorsement of a successor along the lines of what Yeltsin did with respect to Putin himself on December 31, 1999.

When I asked Bryan MacDonald to quantify his predictions a week ago, he replied: “5/1 he doesn’t run. 4/6 he’s not President in 2023.”

I should stress that MacDonald and Carroll are hardly the only people with such ideas. Another name I can cite is Artem Zagorodnov, who used to work for RBTH. Back in December 2016, he gave a speech on Russian politics for the Juneau World Affairs Council in Alaska, during the course of which he was asked a question about whether Putin would run in 2018. At the time, Zagorodnov gave this a 80% chance. More recently, I asked him again, and he has now upped it to 90%, but he thinks that there is only a 50% chance of Putin finishing his second term.

I should also note that MacDonald and Zagorodnov are (were) not familiar with each other and came to these very similar estimates independently.

Apart from his rumored fatigue, why might Putin not want to run in 2018?

1. By not running in 2018, Putin retains the option of running one more time at some later time in the future.

Originally, the Russian Constitution disallowed more than two Presidential terms, but only so long as they were consecutive; otherwise, you could serve as many terms as you wished, so long as they were broken up at least once every two terms/eight years. This enabled Putin’s controversial “castling” maneuver with Medvedev in 2011-12, which was within the letter if not the spirit of the law. But a Constitutional amendment in 2012, which also lengthened Presidential terms to six years, set an explicit maximum of two terms, consecutive or otherwise. Any further castlings have been ruled out.

Therefore, if Putin runs now, he will never be able to run for President again – even should he resign midway through his fourth term. Not unless he pushes through a Constitutional amendment. But that would mean reneging on a public commitment not to do that, which would be politically far riskier than even his old castling, which ended up in 100,o00 strong protests in Moscow during 2011-12.

2. Putin is currently at the peak of his approval.

At least so long as Putin’s personal ratings are concerned, the “Crimean Consensus” shows no signs of wearing out.

poll-putin-approval-1999-2017

Source: Levada.

But discontent is once again beginning to simmer in the margins. Overall satisfaction with domestic, social, economic, and even foreign policy has reached lows last seen in 2011, when mass protests over electoral fraud in the 2011 Duma elections flared up.

poll-russia-policy-approval

Source: VCIOM; FPRI Bear Market Brief‏.

And it is probably only a matter of time before this begins to overspill into Putin’s approval rates.

Putin assured his place in the history textbooks in 2014.

Now might be as good and stable a time to leave as any while his reserves of political capital are still maxed out.

In so doing, he also escapes the Brezhnevite “President for Life” trap, leaves on his own terms, and enjoys the rest of his life in luxury (the friends he enriched during his Presidency owe him at least that much).

3. The next six years are going to be… boring.

The next Presidential term is looking up to be one of technocratic optimization and further reforms, of privatizing an overly state-dominated economy, of trying to restore relations with the West.

Very boring. Bad for approval ratings. Not the ideal job for a “tired” populist.

Besides, any real rapprochement with the “Western partners” is inconceivable with Putin, who has become thoroughly unhandshakeworthy, still at the helm – at least formally.

Now unless a new round of military confrontations are being planned – a rather unlikely prospect, given sharply negative trends in projected military expenditure – there is a good chance that that Russia will have to confront the near total nature of its geopolitical defeat in the Ukraine, as that country economically recuperates, accelerates Ukrainization, and Russophile dreams of a “second Maidan” and Ukraine’s imminent breakup veer further and further into the realm of fantasy.

Also probably best to keep a low profile during that period.

4. It is still not too late to nominate a successor.

As it stands today, Putin will win approximately 80% of the vote (70% + 10% customary fraud), while the rest will be split about equally between Zyaganov, Zhirinovsky, and [liberal candidate].

In an experiment conducted by Levada this September, every fifth Russian said they were willing to vote for Andrey Semenov, a Presidential candidate endorsed by Putin – even though both Semenov and Putin’s endorsement were complete fictions.

This suggests that building up a successor from nothing will be a trivial task for the Kremlin. That worked with for Yeltsin’s “Family” and Putin himself in 1999-2000, and it will be even easier now, since the Kremlin now has uncontested dominance of all the major TV stations.

Finally, the specific steps that the Kremlin has been taking – for instance, changing the date of the Presidential elections to coincide with the anniversary of Crimea joining Russia, and getting Ksenia Sobchak, an airhead celebrity with a massive anti-rating, to play the role of the liberal candidate, instead of its natural leader Navalny – indicate that they were not totally sure that Putin would be running, and as such, wanted to make absolute sure that any anointed successor would get a convincing victory almost as easily as Putin.

This convincing victory is referred to as a 70/70 in Kremlin parlanace (70% turnout, 70% share of the vote).

politics-putin-dyumin

Putin going for a walk with potential successor Alexey Dyumin.

Final question: Who would be the successor?

By far the most commonly named “dark horse” candidate is Alexey Dyumin, the current governor of Tula and Putin’s former bodyguard. He personally participated in the events of 2014, and can thus be credibly portrayed as a hero of the “Crimean Spring” (its original name, the “Russian Spring,” has been airbrushed out of history, due to its nationalist connotations). As a loyal military man, basically competent but without being excessively intelligent – he graduated from a third-rate military academy – Dyumin would make a solid replacement for Putin, who would continue to wield extensive influence as some sort of “elder statesman” or “father of the nation” figure.

Meanwhile, in this scenario, Putin’s people would continue to occupy key power positions: Vyacheslav Volodin would continue looking after the Duma, Sergey Shoigu will stay on as Defense Minister, and another of Putin’s former bodyguards, Viktor Zolotov, will remain head of the 340,000 strong National Guard. This would be an additional guarantee against the successor getting too many ideas of his own.

As it happens, I suspect this basic scenario – the rudiments of which have been sketched out by politologists such as the liberal Valery Solovej and the Communist Nafik Famiev during the summer of 2017 – is ultimately likely to play out.

Probably not now, but quite possibly around 2021, or after the end of Putin’s fourth and last term.

 
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Recent Rasmussen poll:

… 52% of Likely U.S. Voters agree with the president’s statement last Sunday that “… having Russia in a friendly posture, as opposed to always fighting with them, is an asset to the world, and an asset to our country, not a liability.” Just 27% disagree, but another 21% are undecided.

Seventy-six percent (76%) of Republicans and 51% of voters not affiliated with either major party agree with the statement. Among Democrats, 29% agree; 41% disagree, and 29% are undecided. …

In a sharp turnaround from the Cold War years, 79% of conservatives agree that it’s better to be friends with Russia, but just 27% of liberals share that view.

I wrote about this as a return to pre-Soviet norms back in February:

For if you take the long historical view it is the Liberals/Left who have historically been far less enamored of Russia.

Who talked of the “gendarme of Europe” and “prison of peoples” in 19th century political discourse? Socialists, not conservatives. Marx had very little good to say about Russia and Eastern Europe in general, the idea being that the advanced Western nations were the only ones of interest from a Communist revolutionary perspective.

No, this doesn’t appear to be on account of Republican/conservative infatuation with Putler, as /r/politics and the Blue Checkmarks would have you believe.

Opinion towards him remains extremely negative across the American political spectrum.

gallup-usa-views-putin

This is perhaps the one somewhat unexpected element in this picture:

Men feel much more strongly than women that it’s better “having Russia in a friendly posture.” Those under 40 are only slightly less likely than their elders to agree.

In contrast, the February 2017 poll found Republican opinions on Russia uniformly increasing with younger age groups, going from 31% positive/69% negative amongst the 65+ year olds to 73% positive/25% negative amongst the 18-29 year olds.

This implies that opinion towards Russia decreases with age amongst the younger non-Republican population. But that doesn’t seem to tally with other polls I’ve seen. Or common sense. Older Democrats tend to be Clintonistas, and virulently Russophobic – they genuinely believe Putler stole the 2016 elections – while younger ones are lefty Bernie Bros, who don’t exactly admire Russia, but are realistic enough to acknowledge that the KGB wasn’t behind the KKK.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Politics, Republicans, Russia, Russophobes, USA 
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Westerners have semi-legitimate reasons to like Lenin. Hard-headed proponents of Realpolitik and plain old vanilla Russophobes might appreciate his role in crippling Russia relative to what it could have been in the 20th century (i.e. a full-spectrum challenger to the American order, instead of Upper Volta with missiles). The increasing popular strains of SJW leftism would logically subscribe to the belief that Lenin’s program of national deconstruction (decolonization), struggle against Great Russian chauvinism (white supremacy), and bourgeois parasitism (white privilege) were actually good things in and of themselves.

This shouldn’t be a problem in Russia. The first category of self-haters does exist – somebody like Garry Kasparov comes to mind – but it is electorally negligible. The second category is hardly any more relevant, at least for now. Marginal Trotskyist figures, such as Sergey Biets of the Revolutionary Workers’ Party, and various anarchist collectives, such as Pussy Riot, come to mind. There is an incipient SJW trend emerging amongst the students of the elite Moscow and SPB universities, but based on the American experience, it will be a couple of decades before it leaps into the general population. The KPRF is stronger on immigration than the ruling United Russia pattern, and the Russian Left has been no less firm in its support of the Donbass than mainstream nationalists.

And yet, Russians remain considerably more positive towards Lenin than most Westerners. An April 2017 Levada poll showed 56% positive towards Lenin, versus 22% negative. He incites positive emotions in 44% of Russians, and negative emotions in only 9% of them. Only 14% of Russians support removing Lenin statues, versus 79% opposed – even though 99% of those statues, being mass produced, have no inherent artistic or historical value. Most of the “powerful takes” against my (negative) article on Lenin came from Russians.

Egor Kholmogorov explains the apparent paradox brilliantly in his latest essay (currently in the process of being translates for this website). He points out that modern apologists for Bolshevism hardly ever cite their actual values, slogans, and programs (e.g. world communism, the unchaining of the working class, the triumph of atheism), but instead appeal to “patriotic, nationalist, conspirological, populist, and even Orthodox” frameworks, all of which were mostly or entirely antithetical to the Communist value system itself. He points out that this has a long history, stretching back to the National Bolsheviks of the 1920s, such as Ustryalov and Kluyev – who, incidentally, were both shot in the late 1930s. (I would point out that this is, of course, hardly the only example. Tens of thousands of Orthodox priests were murdered under both Lenin and Stalin. But that’s all fine, because Stalin allowed them to help crowdfund tanks in 1941. And yet this “reconciliation” between Stalinism and Christianity was the main academic focus of Russia’s current Minister of Education.)

No, there is a more basic reason why Russian patriots/vatniks are driven to engage in Red apologism.

As Kholmogorov points out, in the 1990s, it was a clique of thieves and their professional apologists – many of whom were themselves the literal descendants of nomenklatura bigwigs and NKVD executioners – who took the lead in claiming they had “freed” Russians from Lenin, Communists, and the revolutionary heritage. But since those very same people had also “freed” Russians from their economic and territorial birthrights through criminal privatizations and the Belavezha Accords, all cynically done under the banner of “anticommunism,” a redstalgic counter-reaction was inevitable.

This counter-reaction was merely most visible in the case of Stalin, the best about whom can be said is that he stopped the hysteria around Great Russian chauvinism, while stamping down hard on those non-Russian nationalisms that had gotten too carried with the leeway afforded them in the 1920s (while ironically also moving away from progressive economics: Wage inequality in the USSR peaked under the late Stalin, and fees for the last two years of school were reintroduced in 1940).

Consequently, Stalin was far more palatable as a figurehead of the “resistance” – the name of one of the biggest “patriotic” publishers of authors like Maxim Kalashnikov and Andrey Parshev is literally “The Russian Resistance” (Russkoe Soprotivlenie) – than the internationalist and overtly Russophobic Lenin. Consequently, while the share of Russians claiming Lenin was one of the “greatest persons of all times and places” plummeted from 72% in 1989 to a still cringeworthy 32% by 2017, Stalin’s rating rose from 12% in 1989 to 35% by 1999 – that is, before Putin even came to power – and has stayed at around that level ever since. This was also enabled by the liberal elites directing their most concentrated venom against Stalin, up to and including making up new crimes, as if Stalin’s real record wasn’t sordid enough.

Politically, the liberal-oligarchic faction (The Family/Putin) basically co-opted the redstalgic one (“patriots”/Primakov and the KPRF) in 1999-2000, and the two have been living in an uneasy but surprisingly stable union ever since.

Socially, this resulted in the coalescence of two tribes in Russia, which – borrowing from Scott Alexander – I will call the Blue Tribe and the Red Tribe.

(Reminder that Communism ≈ conservatism in Russia, so the analogy is even more relevant that it might appear at first glance).

The Blue Tribe are the 105 IQ residents of Moscow, the hipsters, the neoliberal reformers, the Echo of Moscow faction that ruled Russia in the 1990s.

The Red Tribe are the 95 IQ residents of Mukhosransk, the vatniks who work in Uralvagonzavod, the budzhetniki, the people who voted for the Communists in the 1990s and now vote for Putin.

Now here’s the thing. Russian liberals – the Blue Tribe – have succeeded in setting the terms of the debate and adoration of Lenin, Communism, the USSR, and especially Stalin is now for all intents and purposes a tribal identifier for the “patriotic” camp, the Red Tribe. In the same way that, say, subscribing to a spectrum of retarded positions (sexual hystrionics, conspicuous religiosity, flag worship, denial of global warming, Israel Firstism, and moar tax cuts for the 1%) has become a tribal identifier for the Red Tribe (or at least its boomer subfaction) in the United States.

The Blue Tribe essentially poisoned the well of the patriotic reaction. This is a very bad, very sad, state of affairs – and it’s not obvious how to get out of here.

Even though sovok worship might be good for triggering Blue Tribe snowflakes – the Russian equivalent of LIBERAL TEARS – it is bad for Russia’s image abroad (excepting, perhaps, in Venezuela and North Korea), it repels intelligent Russians and inducts them into the ranks of the Blue Tribe, so long as it is the only alternative on offer. As Kholmogorov points out, the “canonization of Bolshevism, Leninism, and Stalinism” is not a friend, but an enemy, of Russia’s own future.

The good thing is that the foundations of this narrative are creaky, and can only be sustained by yawning logical fallacies. Here are some typical ones:

russia-empire-stuck-in-time

If not for Lenin/Stalin, time would have literally frozen still and Russia would have remained a Third World cesspool for the rest of the century (variation: Stalin took us from the plow to the atomic bomb). An argument which only someone devoid of any knowledge of economic history or even elementary logic can take seriously. Or a rabid Russophobe who believes that the only way Russians can achieve anything is if they’re prodded to it by a mustachiod Georgian BDSM master.

The Western club only lets its own become wealthy. Japan, South Korea, The Republic of China, the People’s Republic of China (once it started taking the “people’s” part less seriously, that is), Singapore, must all be figments of our collective imagination.

Russia would not have won WW2 against Nazi Germany. Of course it wouldn’t have won (or lost) a war that would have no longer existed.

lenin-was-right

The Tsar/bourgeoisie/aristocracy was oppressing the peasants/serfs (though the serfs were reactionary scum who deserved it anyway). So… the Tsar was good, then? Or bad? I don’t even know.

Lenin offered the people land, bread, peace. I suppose he did, by the standards of the Ministry of Truth:

Civil War is Peace
Prodrazvyorstka is Bread
Collectivization is Land

Okay, here’s another one: “What he’s effectively saying is “for 70 years multiple generations of Soviet people have followed the legacy a traitor, parasite, failure”. All those generations of people were that stupid, apparently. And probably still are. Only A.Karlin is smart. Yeah, right.

Yes, that sort of does hit closer to the truth.

Which is why letting go is hard, and provokes anger…

… as the first stage on the road to acceptance.

In the long-run, the de-sovokization of Russia is inevitable, on the basis that in a free market of ideas, the good arguments eventually tend to win out over bad ones.

This is already happening; as in the United States, where the GOP is known as the stupid party, so in Russia “based” sovoks can’t cognitively compete with the brain fund at the Blue Tribe’s disposal. Once the latter win out, and there is no good reason to think they won’t, there’ll be no more Stalin, but he’ll just be replaced by Soros, and that’s hardly an improvement.

Opinion polls indicate that it is the younger, more educated, wealthier people who are much more skeptical about Lenin. For instance, according to a FOM poll from April 2014, 52% of Russians thought Lenin was a good person, versus only 10% who thought he was bad. However, the percentage thinking he was good falls from 68% amongst the over 60s to 39% amongst the 18-30 age group; from 59% amongst non-college education to 41% amongst the college-educated (36% amongst college-educated youth); 67% amongst the pool to 43% amongst the wealth; and from 64% amongst rural dwellers 39% amongst Muscovites.

But not all hope is lost. One can posit the existence of a third tribe in Russia – let’s call it the Black Tribe – that rejects the truthisms of both the sovok Reds and the pozzed Blues and offers an alternative vision of Russia’s future.

na-korable-polden

And it is up to us, the Black Tribe, to continue patiently, systemically, humorously dismantling the myths and narratives of sovok and liberalism.txt alike before the Poz swallows us all.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Lenin, Russia, Society 
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Richard Spencer and some other Alt Righters wanted to hold an NPI conference in Budapest on October 3-5, 2014 in honor of BASED Hungary.

It… didn’t quite work out as planned.

Richard Spencer and one other person was detained in uncomfortable conditions for a day, and summarily deported back to the US.

Three years later, thanks to a freedom of information request, we know why Hungary did this.

https://www.scribd.com/document/362633444/Hungary-Richard-Spencer-NPI-Records

The fun starts at around page 71. Apparently the BASED Hungarians viewed Richard Spencer and a non-affiliated journalist who was (apparently randomly) detained with him as a “national security threat.”

hungary-ethnically-cleanses-richard-spencer

Considering his own record, methinks Márton Gyöngyösi might just be a hypocrite.

reason-hungary-deports-spencer

Anyhow, in all fairness, the US State Department people – at least, based on the extracts presented here – seemed to be quite conscientious about working to get American citizens out of trouble. There’s nothing you can even complain about there.

Orban’s regime… well, that’s another matter. Here’s the basic gist of the matter:

Joint neoliberal/Alt Right fantasy: BASED Orban as the Horthy to Herr Putler.

Reality: These BASED regimes using the authoritarian power at their disposal to demonstratively crack down on racists, nationalists, and sundry enemies of ZOG to prove their “moderate” credentials to… ZOG.

Maybe ZOG is preferable after all? At least there tends to be more rule of law and due process there.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Alt Right, Freedom of Speech, Hungary 
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saipov-sayfullo

FOX:

The suspect in the New York attack has been identified as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, two law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation told CNN. Law enforcement sources earlier had described him as a 29-year-old Uzbek national who came to the United States in 2010.

Yes, the likes of Breitbart are going to (justifiably) ask what exactly Sayfullo Saipov was doing on a diversity visa in the United States.

But at least there’s some kind of visa involved, even though America is on the other side of the world from Central Asia.

Russia doesn’t even bother with a visa regime.

Central Asia used to have a reputation for moderate Islam, but this is becoming less true by the year. 2017 has been especially bad for it. First the ethnic Uzbek from Kyrgyzstan who blew up the Saint-Petersburg metro; then the band of Kazakh Islamist cop killers in Astrakhan; then the Uzbek terrorist in Sweden, out of an Uzbek diaspora of 1,890 people; and now the Uzbek spree killer in Manhattan.

What the hell is going on?

isis-terrorists-origin

Soufan Center: Beyond the Caliphate (October 2017).

The 70 million strong population of Central Asia now contributes around 5,000 fighters to Islamic State, about as much as the Muslims of Western Europe, which are known for their radicalization. It is also only modesly below the 7,000 contributed by the entire Middle East outside Iraq and Syria.

And Russia with its 10 million Muslims now has the dubious distinction of providing more troops for the Caliphate than runner up Saudi Arabia. Impressive export diversification.

Here’s the problem. I have often compared Communism to a freezer. Eastern European social values were essentially “frozen” for half a century, so when they thawed out after the collapse of the Iron Curtain, they ended up more retrogressive/”based” (cross out as per your ideological preferences) than the Eurovision-MTV West. But they are catching up. Now much the same process is happening with respect to the region’s Muslims. But in their case, what they are “converging” to is not always so much Shakira as sharia.

And this is going to get worse, not better, in the future as the last remnants of the Soviet carapace fall away.

But no worries. Just as in the West you have your Sadiq Khans to tell you that terrorism is part and parcel of life in a big city, so their multiculturalist colleagues in Russia, such as the “fascist” Alexander Dugin, will blame it on the liberal “sixth column” i.e. Navalny’s schoolchildren fans (no, seriously). And life will go on, just a bit more disruptively than before.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Islamism, Terrorism, United States, Uzbekistan 
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barcelona-protests

If reports that 700,000 came out in Barcelona are accurate, then Spain in its current borders is likely done for.

This is about as high a percentage of the Barcelona metropolitan area’s 5.4 million as the 500,000 Ukrainians who came out at the height of Euromaidan in the 3.3 million Kiev conglomerate area – and the latter drew from a country of 45 million versus less than 8 million Catalans.

For comparison, the largest of the protests that “shook the Kremlin” during the 2011-12 election season garnered about 100,000 people in a city of well more than 10 million.

I am not writing Spain off entirely. But Madrid’s challenges going ahead are huge.

Around 51% of the all Catalan voters expressed their desire for independence in the recent referendum. After the police violence, and the hardline response of Rajoy and now the King – in itself yet more evidence that Madrid has settled for a police response – this will have surely jumped by another 10% to 20% points.

Good luck trying to arrest the Catalan government under these conditions once they declare independence in a few days. It’s not going to be pretty.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Catalonia, Spain 
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catalonia-referendum-2017-results

Final results:
YES: 90.1%
NO: 7.9%
Turnout: ~42% of those counted (2,262,424), ~56% if including the confiscated ballot boxes (~770,000) out of 5,343,358 registered voters.

Assuming that the vote in “repressed” polling stations was similar, you can turnout * YES = ~51% support for independence, which tallies exactly with the last poll on the basis of which turnout was expected at 62% * expected 83% for YES = ~51%.

The police violence must have merely lowered turnout by around 7% points while raising the YES share of the vote by an analogous amount. That is, it accomplished precisely nothing, while generating horrific headlines and almost certainly hardening Catalan attitudes towards Madrid (which will be expressed soon enough).

Though the competition is certainly stiff, could Rajoy be the single most feckless Western leader?

I will defend Rajoy’s widely-panned “tone-deaf” speech. While the heavy-handed response to the referendum was a very bad idea, his speech, with its clear and unequivocal expression of support for the Guardia Civil, was not.

50% of all Catalan voters were already going to vote Yes, and after today’s events, they must have gained another 10% or 20% points. The local police refuse to obey central commands. They are for all intents and purposes now “lost” to Spain, at least for the time being.

Very soon the time will come when the Catalonian parliament declares independence. At that point, if Spain wishes to remain whole, there will have to be mass arrests of their government and replacement with a caretaker administration. The security forces tasked with carrying this out must be absolutely loyal for the operation to be successful. The sense that the political elites have their backs is a prerequisite of police loyalty. If they feel that they are going to be stabbed in the back by weak politicians concerned at the first signs of pressure, then they are not going to be able to fulfill their orders with the requisite degree of decisiveness and ruthlessness. They are instead going to fold once their encounter serious resistance and Madrid will have no choice but to make its peace with an independent Catalonia.

This is what happened with Yanukovych in the Ukraine in 2013-14, who stabbed the security men charged with keeping his regime in power in the back by refusing to provide them support once things got too hot. This totally demoralized them and ensured the triumph of the Euromaidan.

In opinion polls, Spaniards consistently tie with Swedes for the most liberal positions in areas like LGBT and immigration in Europe. But today it’s as if they’ve all gone hardcore Falangist on Catalan separatism, at least judging from the Spanish responses to the Catalonia discussion on /r/europe. Not really much to say here, just an observation. I assume there remain “triggers” such as seeing the prospect of rebellion that awaken primal reflexes in even the most derooted peoples.

So far as Western countries go, I suppose Spain deserves this far less than most. It was the only major Western country not to recognize Kosovo, even though in most other respects it toed the American line on bombing Serbia, the embargo, no-fly zone, etc. Still, credit where it’s due.

Eurocrats and Globalism Inc. are predictably unanimous in opposing Catalan separatism. This is perfectly understandable. Spain is part of NATO. The loss of Spain’s biggest donor region will hit its revenues and perhaps reignite its simmering debt crisis.

Curiously, the Alt Right (Spencer wing) is also skeptical about Catalonia. As with their opposition to Brexit, they decry the indulgence of petty nationalisms as obstacles to global white unity; besides, as they point out, Catalonia is liberal-leftist even by Spanish standards, so why should nationalists support them anyway? So that they can invite in refugees even faster? This is, of course, in their eyes buttressed by Catalonia’s historical role as the heartland of the Republican government during the Spanish Civil War.

Leaving aside the merits of their ideological slant, this begs a couple of counter-arguments. First, does this mean that only “based” nations should have a right to national self-determination? Because there are very few such European countries left, anyway. Second, as Alt Left points out, getting rid of political dead weight (e.g. California in the US) would actually raise the ability of the rest of the country to push forwards the sort of political change that the Alt Right advocates.

At a formal level, it need hardly be said that Russia needs to maintain the principle of absolute state sovereignty with respect to Madrid. However, it is also evidently in its interests for its soft power interests to approach the Catalan referendum with “understanding.” After all, if the Catalonia referendum does carry a certain legitimacy, then how are the repeated referendums for greater autonomy and/or independence any less so? Who are Westerners who shut down a peaceful vote with rubber bullets to lecture Russia about democracy anyway?

Besides, the one certitude in our age of Russian Hackers and Fake News is that Russia is going to be held responsible anyway. Putin is no longer just the God of the Ukraine, responsible for all its mishaps and zradas; he is now Lord and Master of the American Empire and its satellites, puppetting everything and everyone from Drumpf and the Alt Right to BLM and Take the Knee and Catalan separatists. Since it’s doing time anyway, Russia might as well start doing the crime.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Color Revolution, Spain 
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map-germany-elections-2017-afd

Yet more evidence for the theory that Communism “deep froze” social attitudes.

Now yes, you can rejoinder with a comparison to Nazi voting patterns.

But look…

1. The borders of the former DDR are very cleanly delineated. The AfD’s share of the vote there ranged from 19% in Mecklenburg-Vorprommern to 27% in Saxony. In contrast, they only got 12% in Bavaria, the most nationalist Wessie state.

State[8] results in % CDU/CSU SPD AfD FDP LINKE GRÜNE all others
Saxony 26.9 10.5 27.0 8.2 16.1 4.6 6.7
Thuringia 28.8 13.2 22.7 7.8 16.9 4.1 6.5
Brandenburg 26.7 17.6 20.2 7.1 17.2 5.0 6.3
Saxony-Anhalt 30.3 15.2 19.6 7.8 17.8 3.7 5.7
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 33.1 15.1 18.6 6.2 17.8 4.3 4.9
Bavaria 38.8 15.3 12.4 10.2 6.1 9.8 7.5
Baden-Württemberg 34.4 16.4 12.2 12.7 6.4 13.5 4.5
Berlin 22.7 17.9 12.0 8.9 18.8 12.6 7.0
Hesse 30.9 23.5 11.9 11.6 8.1 9.7 4.4
Rhineland-Palatinate 35.9 24.2 11.2 10.4 6.8 7.6 3.9
Saarland 32.4 27.2 10.1 7.6 12.9 6.0 3.9
Bremen 25.0 26.3 10.0 9.3 13.5 11.0 4.3
North Rhine-Westphalia 32.6 26.0 9.4 13.1 7.5 7.6 3.8
Lower Saxony 34.9 27.4 9.1 9.3 6.9 8.7 3.6
Schleswig-Holstein 34.0 23.3 8.2 12.6 7.3 12.0 2.7
Hamburg 27.2 23.5 7.8 10.8 12.2 13.9 4.5

2. While the share of the vote for the Nazis in March 1933 did indeed rise from the west and south to the north and east, it was a gradual incline, not a cliff.

map-germany-elections-1933-march

Share of the Nazi vote in March 1933.

And even this map is to a large extent an artifact of the bloc voting habits of German Catholics, most of them concentrated in the south and west, and of whom almost half traditionally voted for the Center Party.

And there was also the Bavarian People’s Party locking away 28% of the vote in Bavaria.

Meanwhile, Saxony – the most pro-AfD state in Germany today – was actually far more Leftist than average in 1933. Communists and Social Democrats got a combined 48% of the vote there, relative to the national average of 37%.

NSDAP DNPP Party Center SPD CNG The Bavarian People’s Party Other
Total 43.91% 7.97% 11.25% 18.25% 12.32% 2.73% 3.63%
Prussia 43.73% 9.05% 14.22% 17.01% 13.21% 2.78%
Bavaria 43.03% 4.11% 3.01% 15.53% 6.27% 24.21% 3.84%
Lower Saxony 44.96% 6.52% 1.25% 26.25% 16.49% 4.53%
Württemberg 42.00% 12.41% 16.94% 15.03% 9.33% 4.29%
Baden 45.36% 3.64% 25.35% 11.93% 9.75% 3.97%
Thuringia 47.60% 12.41% 1.19% 20.62% 15.28% 2.90%
Hessen 43.73% 2.85% 13.59% 21.70% 10.88% 7.25%
Hamburg 38.85% 7.99% 1.92% 26.90% 17.59% 6.75%
Mecklenburg-Schwerin 48.54% 16.79% 0.79% 24.51% 7.30% 2.07%
Oldenburg 46.50% 11.39% 14.76% 18.17% 6.40% 2.78%
Braunschweig 49.05% 7.61% 1.71% 30.45% 8.77% 2.41%
Anhalt 46.11% 8.39% 1.31% 30.78% 11.43% 1.98%
Bremen 32.65% 14.47% 2.29% 30.35% 13.17% 7.07%
Lippe-Detmold 47.09% 6.88% 2.41% 28.00% 8.24% 7.38%
Lübeck 42.79% 5.64% 1.06% 38.27% 8.17% 4.07%
Mecklenburg-Strelitz 51.61% 15.90% 0.73% 22.57% 7.12% 2.07%
Waldeck 70.85% 9.34% 2.16% 10.47% 3.27% 3.91%
Schaumburg-Lippe 43.36% 7.79% 0.48% 39.07% 5.66% 3.64%

So yes, I’m pretty skeptical of the Jaymannian notion that there are deep-grained HBD differences that massively predispose East Germans to far right politics.

Specific circumstances explain things far better.

In 1933: Poorer, non-Catholic, less industrialized, possibly less bright (Saxony seems to have a higher IQ than northern East Germany) regions voted for the Nazis.

In 2017: The territories of the former DDR that were not exposed to decades of Hollywood diversity propaganda voted for the AfD.

In other words, the Ossies are politically just like the Visegrad nations (Poland, Hungary, Czechia, etc.) on this particular question. Even though the social differences within this general region – e.g. atheist in the DDR and Czechia, with nudism and a penchant for porn thrown in, respectively; highly prudish and conservative in Poland – are otherwise quite considerable.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Elections, Germany 
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The other day the Chechen social media page vk.com/karfagen was banned.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

moscow-elections-2017-and-bicycles

… the upscale organic food store Azbuka Vkusa…

moscow-elections-2017-and-azbuka-vkusa

… and concentrations of nomenklatura housing as of 1989.

moscow-elections-2017-and-nomenklatura

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

But that’s not all that surprising.

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

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

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

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Communism, Moscow, Society 
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moscow-elections-2017

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

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

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

moscow-elections-2017-and-bicycles

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

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

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

How important is this development? Probably, not very.

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

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

See the data analysis by Emil Kirkegaard here:

moscow-elections-putin-phd

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

zhulebino-2017-elections

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

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

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

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Moscow, Politics, Russia 
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Gallup: New Index Shows Least-, Most-Accepting Countries for Migrants

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

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

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

The full list is attached below.

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

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

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

Curiously, the Russian sphere is the major exception that:

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

Also:

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

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

***

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

.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Immigration, Opinion Poll 
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So Bannon the Cannon has been… fired.

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

zuckerberg-vision

… you were actually voting for Kushner’s.

kushner-vision

Goy, bye!

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, United States 
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Russia has half the world’s Neo-Nazis

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

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

We know that because we have Neo-Nazi censuses.

Oh wait, we don’t.

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

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

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

I never really understood how this is even an argument.

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

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

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

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

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

Now considering that Russians:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Nazism, Russia 
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The Cville Cyberpurge

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

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

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

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

Too many people to name have been banned from Twitter.

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

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

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

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

VDARE

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Daily Stormer

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

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

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

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

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

weev-on-ukraine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The T-Journal has the story.

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

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

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

blue-checkmarks-on-daily-stormer

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

The Ascent of Society 282

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

Generational change

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

pew-millennials-anti-free-speech

E-mobs

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

Tech oligopolies

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

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

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

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

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

Global Impact

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

map-pew-free-speech-poll

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

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

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

Solutions

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

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

Exile to Lagos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

kremlins-sad

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

There is no escape from ZOG.

Alternative ecosystems

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

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

This, too, has many problems.

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

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

Into the Deep Web

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I mean, is Heartiste actually wrong?

heartiste-western

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

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

But let’s add in some context.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(5) Blue Checkmarks vs. Alt Right

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

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

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

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

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

ioffe-calls-for-repression

Because muh Russian pogroms. What else?

ioffe-no-pogrom

And yes, OF COURSE Putlor is responsible.

mckew-russia-cville-pogrom

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

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

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

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

turchin-cycle-of-discord

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Alt Right, Charlottesville, US Civil War II 
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Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

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

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

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