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 Russian Reaction Blog / IdeologyTeasers

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

winegard-top-books

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

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

So without further ado…

murray-herrnstein-bell-curve

1. Charles Murray & Richard Herrnstein – Bell Curve

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

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

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

kurzweil-singularity-is-near

2. Ray Kurzweil – The Singularity is Near

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

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

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

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

kennedy-rise-fall-great-powers

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

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

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

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

korotayev-intro-cliodynamics

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

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

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

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

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

rushton-race-evolution-and-behavior

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Books, Reading 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

gallup-poll-us-russia

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

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

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

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

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Russia, Vladimir Putin 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quick recap:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The former event was officially sanctioned by the city authorities.

The new one is *not*.

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

This is his version of the story.

There is however an alternate theory.

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

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

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

preobrazhensky-polk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

limonovka

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*crickets*

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

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

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

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

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

***

limonovka-1

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

 

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

There have been three significant political protests in Moscow in the past few months, and each in their own way – and in their relation to each other – say a lot about the state of Russia today.

It’s not that great for the Kremlin.

But not for the reasons the Western media would have you believe.

moscow-protest-tverskaya-4

“He Is Not Dimon” / Navalny, March 26

This unsanctioned protest in response to Navalny’s video about Medvedev’s corruption gathered about 8,000 people, mostly young people and university students, with some seasoned color revolution veterans sprinkled in.

It also got by far the most Western coverage, even though 8,000 people is less than 0.1% of Moscow’s population.

This is reflected in Navalny’s poll numbers, which remain very low – firmly in the single digits, though in an election – on the off chance he is allowed to run – I suspect he might eke out as much as 10%, if he overperforms expectations as he did in the 2013 Moscow elections.

I am not going to write much more about Navalny and his protests, since I already have several blog posts about that. My goal here is to look at the alternatives on offer.

enough-protest

“Enough” / Khodorkovsky, April 29

That Navalny is head and shoulders above any other Westernist liberal figure is proved by the embarassingly low turnout at the “Enough” protests called for by Khodorkovsky’s “Open Russia” NGO.

There were perhaps 200 people there. As RT’s Bryan MacDonald noted, “I have honestly seen bigger crowds at bus stops in Russia than what has assembled for Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s march today.” Their guerilla advertising strategy – the graffiti in the photo above appeared on the sidewalk close to my apartment – evidently didn’t work out.

Khodorkovsky himself was quite sad about this, whining on May 1 that it is dangerous to “have a monopoly on opposition” in a transparent dig against Navalny. My advice to him would be just stick to what he does best, such as inserting anti-Putin op-eds into English language papers and single-handedly providing a living for about half the world’s Russia-specialized neocons.

Anyhow, the bottom line is that if Navalny’s anti-corruption populism at least enjoys some degree of mass appeal, Khodorkovsky doesn’t even have that. There just aren’t that many Russians outside a 100 meter radius of Echo of Moscow HQ willing to rise up on hearing the clarion call for more sanctions against their own country on the pages of Politico and The World Affairs Journal.

There wasn’t that much coverage of this protest in the West. I suppose it was just too humiliatingly small for it to be worth giving any further exposure.

khrushchevki-protests

Credit: George Malets, martin_camera

Anti-Khrushchevki Demolition Protest / Evgenia Vinokurova, May 14

In 1955, Khrushchev began a massive program of urban housing construction – an urgent priority at the time, what with the massive influx of peasants into the cities. On the plus side, the program succeeded, and the USSR consequently avoided the slums typical of the urbanizing Third World. On the negative side, these “khrushchevki” were cramped and poorly constructed, both by the standards of Stalinist housing (which mostly catered to the elites) and even of the later Soviet apartment blocks of the 1970s-80s.

Moscow’s mayoralty has recently announced that renovating this housing stock is unfeasible, and it will instead be demolished over the course of the next ten years at a cost of 3.5 trillion rubles ($60 billion), or twice the city’s annual budget income. The current residents will be compensated with more modern housing, of which there is a surplus in the wake of the last construction bust. On paper, everyone will benefit: People will get apartments with working plumbing and internal wiring; the politically connected real estate lobby won’t lose money; and many officials will doubtless be enriched.

But not everyone is happy with this deal. Some have invested considerable amounts of money into renovating their apartments. Others have grown attached to their neighborhoods. Although khrushchevki are bottom tier housing stock, the districts that contain them do tend to have a certain verdant vibrancy to them. They are walkable, they have plenty of greenery, and ecosystems of shops, schools, and other services have long evolved around them. In contrast, the new blocks tend to be massive, gray concrete monoliths on flat, gray plains criss-crossed with asphalt and more concrete.

What’s more, they tend to be farther from the nearest metro station, and at the outskirts of Moscow, if not entirely outside it. Moscow property prices depend far more on location than on building quality, and since the exchanges are square meter for square meter, not ruble for ruble, it is easy to imagine cases where people would stand to actually lose asset value in absolute terms.

And some of those people reacted. Around 20,000 people protested on Sakharov Avenue on May 14 against the khrushchevki plans – more than twice as much as at Navalny’s protest, and a couple of orders of magnitude more than at Khodorkovsky’s.

Moreover, these protesters weren’t kreakl hipsters, or professional revolutionaries, or Ukrainian nationalists, or the assorted other weirdos that tend to fill out Moscow protests against the regime. They were pensioners, housewives, and office plankton, many of them with children, who made their voice heard about a matter of real world concern to them. In other words, they and people like them are the closest thing there currently is to a genuine Russian civil society – and though the situation is currently fluid, it currently appears that officials are seriously engaging with their demands.

And of course the Western media pretty much ignored them.

Incidentally, as Maxim Kononenko points out, Navalny’s response to this protest is also very telling as to his agenda.

Initially, Navalny and his staff largely ignored the anti-demolition campaign, unable to believe that political nobodies campaigning on some boring socio-economic issue could be more successful than the undisputed leader of the “real” Russian opposition with its cult following, massive online presence, and lack of any serious competitors in the professional color revolution industry. But once it emerged that this protest was going to be a big hit after all, Navalny hurriedly dressed up as a very concerned khrushchevka resident and set off for the protest meeting. (As one online wit commented, “Whom hasn’t Navalny roleplayed as?: An owner of a mortgage in foreign currency; a Moscow stall owner; a Dagestani truck driver; a Chechen gay. Now he is a khrushchevka resident”).

Navalny proceeded to request a speaking slot at the meeting. The organizers refused, for the understandable reason that Navalny had no part in organizing them. Shocked by their impudence, Navalny and his acolytes decided to blame this epic zrada on Evgenia Vinokurova, one of the dozen largely female organizers of the protest. She made for an easy target: She has ties with both Putinist patriot-conservatives (she is friends with Kris Potupchik, a former spokeswoman for the youth movement Nashi) and more hardcore nationalists (she is an open Sputnik and Pogrom reader, Russia’s premier nationalist publication), all of which makes her completely “unhandshakeworthy” in the respectable Westernist circles to whom Navalny owes his ultimate loyalty.

So Navalny got an excuse for his failure there – he was sabotaged by a Putler agent. Still, the old problem of said respectable circles remains as acute as ever: Their inability to get any significant number of Russians out into the streets.

 

I don’t really have much to add beyond what I said on RT Crosstalk, and what Alexander Mercouris wrote here and here.

The month long reprieve Trump had gained with his Syrian human sacrifice is over, and the Swamp creatures are back, baying for his blood with renewed zeal.

expanding-brain-of-louise-menschWhat is most remarkable, and cannot be stressed enough, is that there is still no evidence of Trump having colluded with Russia.

But no matter. So far as the MSM is concerned the Russian Occupation Government already rules the White House through its intermediates, Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and TASS photojournalists. Trump spilled all of “our greatest ally’s” secrets to them personally and now that means America’s European allies are no longer going to share intelligence with them (according to one anonymous “European official,” anyway). Because the details of Islamic State plans for laptops on international flights is the sort of arcane knowledge that can overturn the global geopolitical chessboard. /s

The firing of Comey was obviously an act of petty revenge against him for taking down Flynn and getting too deep into the secrets of ROG. No matter that Flynn’s connections with Russian state structures remain entirely speculative, while it is openly known that he acted a paid up lobbyist for Turkey. And it obviously can’t have a more mundane explanation, such as Comey’s lack of interest in shoring up the incessant leaking that is incapicitating the Trump administration.

This is all so transparently obvious. But we are living in an era when a woman who by her own admission has her mind destroyed by hard drugs and believes Putin murdered Andrew Breitbart and funds BlackLivesMatter gets op-eds in The New York Times.

This is the fake reality that fake news has created, but with enough time and “manufactured consent,” fake reality has a way of becoming “actual existing” reality.

predictit-impeach-trump-odds-2017Here are a few facets of this reality. As of this week, for the first time, a near majority of Americans – 48% to 41% – want to see Trump impeached according to the latest poll from Public Policy Polling.

PredictIt is now giving 25% odds that Trump will be impeached in 2017. This is highest than at any other time this year, even thoug there is now just a bit more than six months to go.

As of the time of writing, it is giving implied odds of about 30% for Trump not being President by the end of the year, and 45% odds of not being President by the end of 2018.

I suspect these figures are plausible. While removing Trump from office via impeachment is probably unrealistic – for that, 2/3 of the Senate will also have to vote to convict him (for what?) – Trump Derangement Syndrome has become so endemic that it theatenss to make the country essentially ungovernable. This could give establishment Republicans the excuse to pressure Trump to resign (perhaps with the threat of a 25th Amendment coup, as Ross Douthat has recently suggested).

Obviously I wish Trump the best of luck against the Swamp golems but things really aren’t looking good for him.

 

In my coverage of the French elections, I’ve been vaccilating between optimism and pessimism. Obviously, Le Pen’s result – 34% of the vote – was unprecedentedly good, and her popularity seemed to be especially strong amongst French youth. On the other hand, it was perhaps not as good a result as could have been expected, considering she was facing off against the embodiment of an empty suit politician and representative of a political system that has worked hard to delegitimize itself in the past decade. In particular, her failures to make any inroads amongst the French intellectual and professional class, who control 90%+ of the media and universities, is particularly concerning.

Since then, I’ve taken the time to look through French post-elections opinion polls, and I am now leaning much more towards the pessimist side of things. I will mostly refrain from editorializing and just lay out the data, and maybe some of you could come up with a more positive interpretation.

1. IFOP: Comprehensive profile of French voters in the second tour.

france-elections-abstention-historical(a) The commenter AP has suggested that the reason MLP performed reasonably well amongst younger French is because more of them stayed home. Indeed, at 25% of the electorate, the rate of abstention in this election has been the highest since 1969.

Moreover, just as AP posited, abstentionism was concentrated Melenchon supporters (36%) and 18-24 year olds (33%) and 25-34 year olds (34%).

According to this poll, 81% of Melenchon voters in the first round ended up voting for Macron anyway (of those who voted at all, obviously). Any talk of “Red-Brown” alliances remains as chimeric as always.

(b) In the OpinionWay poll released soon after the French elections, it appeared that French women – unusually for nationalist parties – were relatively more supportive of MLP than the men (37% to 33%). This would have been pretty encouraging, since women tend to be more conformist, and a better result for MLP amongst them would imply nationalist ideas are infiltrating the mainstream and becoming less tabboo.

ipros-poll-le-pen-womenTwo consequent polls put paid to that, though. In this poll, men were more supportive of MLP than women (36% to 33%), and another IPSOS poll confirmed that picture (38% to 32%).

Still nowhere close to the 10% point or more gap in male/female voting in the recent US elections, but not a curious exception either.

(c) The biggest #blackpill, though, is the indication that support for MLP ebbs amongst the youngest age group, despite their high abstentionism.

Opinion polls in France have been conflicted on this question:

In particular, a voter poll released just now by OpinionWay is extremely encouraging – an amazing 44% of 18-24 year olds said they had voted for Marine Le Pen, compared to just 20% of over 65 year olds… This standards in positive contrast to a poll from the first round, which suggested that Le Pen’s support peaked at 29% in the 35-49 year old bracket, before declining to 21% amongst the youngest voters. It would also be a confirmation of polls from 2015 which indicated that support for the Front National increased monotonically as voters became younger.

OpinionWay, which has a sample of almost 8,000, shouldn’t be dismissed. On the other hand, though, the IFOP survey supports the interpretation that support for MLP peaks amongst the middle-aged, then begins to fall again amongst the youngest voters.

ifop-poll-france-elections-2017-age-groups

2. Some more observations:

(a) The majority of Macron voters in the second round (57%) were not voting for Macron per se, but against Le Pen.

(b) There were… debates, about who had won the debates. This poll suggests it was Macron – more voters thought more favorably of him afterwards (10%) than of MLP (6%).

financial-times-france-elections-2017-education(c) The Coming Apart thesis: Of Macron’s voters, 80% said they had benefited from globalization, or at least not lost from it; in constrast, of Le Pen’s voters, some 74% said they were losers from globalization.

Also, a striking graphic from (see right) from The Financial Times in support: Macron won 84% of the vote in the 10th decile of France’s most educated communes, versus 53% in the least educated decile.

(d) As per usual, MLP remains the candidate of the French siloviks:

…In Versailles, it is shown by the two voting stations in the Satory plateau (No. 10 and No. 11). Marine Le Pen got 64.61% and 53.34% there respectively, against 35.39% and 46.66% for Emmanuel Macron. These are the only voting stations in Versailles that don’t put Macron far ahead. In the town, Macron got 76.15% and Le Pen 23.85%. Abstention was slightly higher on the Satory plateau than in the rest of Versailles. The only people living on the Satory plateau are gendarmes, military personnel and civilians working in the defence industry who benefit from social housing.
The same observation in Nanterre, with voting station 14 which corresponds to the Republic Guard barracks. Marine Le Pen was in front with 54.04% against 45.96% for Macron. The contrast with the rest of the city is also striking here: Macron 83.15% and Le Pen 16.85%.

3. IFOP: Confessional voting:

(i) Abstentionism at about 25% for all religious denominations, except Muslims, of whom 38% abstained.

(ii) Macron actually got a higher result (71%) amongst practicing Catholics than irregular (54%) and non-practising ones(61%). I assume on account of the age difference. The irreligious voted 70% for Macron. Muslims – a near monolithic 92%.

ifop-poll-france-2017-by-religion

They also asked whom they had voted for in the first round. Fillon is the President of the Catholics. And Muslims vote highly Leftist: 37% for Melenchon, almost twice the national average, and 17% for the Socialist candidate Hamon, almost three times as high as the national average.

ifop-poll-france-2017-by-religion-first-round

4. The only foreign country where Le Pen won? Syria, LOL. (h/t Mohsen)

france-elections-2016-le-pen-macron-abroad

5. But speaking of Syria, even in the event of an MLP win, their celebration might be premature. While browsing through IFOP’s database of polls, I discovered one more #blackpill for your delectation.

The Front National portrays itself as an anti-immigration, non-interventionist party, and the former at least is definitely true – only 4% of MLP voters support immigration, versus 30% of conservative (Sarkozy) and 60% of leftist (Melenchon/Hollande) voters.

Unfortunately, it seems to be much weaker on the anti-intervention side of the equation.

In the wake of Trump’s strike on Syria, IFOP polled the French on whether they agreed with it or not, and the results are as astounding as they are depressing.

ifop-poll-2017-support-for-syria-strikes

62% of Front National voters and MLP supporters supported the strikes – that is virtually the same as those evil “globalist” En Marche!/Macron supporters.

Ergo for Fillon/conservative voters. Hamon supporters were 50/50, while Melenchon voters were actually opposed, at 45% to 55%.

This raises a disquieting scenario. Assume Marine Le Pen was to get into power by some miracle, and were to find herself hobbled by the universal hostility towards her populist-nationalist program from within and without.

What could she then do to break the deadlock?

Well, if the Trump experience is anything to go by, why not bomb some brown people in the Third World in the wake of the next round of dubious atrocity propaganda, with the quiet approval of her own electorate and the jingoistic cheers of the “moderate” centrists, who will go on to reward her “Presidential” actions with a few weeks of support before digging in their talons again.

 

france-elections-2017-macron-wins

So the new President of the Fifth Republic is a cocaine-snorting, Bilderberg-attending, Rothschild bank-employed “outsider” and bisexual gigolo with offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands who believes there is no such as French culture (but let’s import infinity Moslems just to make sure).

We are reaching levels of globalism that shouldn’t even be possible!

***

Okay, first things first.

It is encouraging that Marine Le Pen increased the nationalist share of the vote up to ~35-36%.

If we are to interpret French electoral realities as a race between native French “uncuckening” and Afro-Islamic demographic growth, then Marine Le Pen’s doubling of the vote relative to her father’s 18% in 2002 represents a positive and encouraging trend.

In particular, a voter poll released just now by OpinionWay is extremely encouraging – an amazing 44% of 18-24 year olds said they had voted for Marine Le Pen, compared to just 20% of over 65 year olds.

france-election-2017-final-age-group-le-pen-macron

This standards in positive contrast to a poll from the first round, which suggested that Le Pen’s support peaked at 29% in the 35-49 year old bracket, before declining to 21% amongst the youngest voters. It would also be a confirmation of polls from 2015 which indicated that support for the Front National increased monotonically as voters became younger.

This likely means that a majority of young native French voters are now nationalists – or at least open to it.

And amongst young French siloviks (policemen, soldiers, etc), of whom fully one half supported the FN even in 2015, nationalists must now be a dominant majority.

That said, there are several aspects in which this is a disappointing performance. Maybe they do not quite qualify as a #blackpill, but certainly there is good reason to break open the champagne. Unless you really like champagne just for its taste, I suppose.

(1) The FN has undergone great pains over the past decade to soften its image. This was a good step, and probably a necessary one, but what it also means that its approval should have increased anyway, all else equal.

(2) It comes against the background of the legitimacy crisis of the outgoing Hollande administration – the Socialist President took the unprecedented step of not even bothering to run for re-election – and of mounting crises with immigration and terrorism.

(3) She was running against a candidate whom one might view as the very embodiment of pozzed neoliberal globalism, whereas Chirac for all his faults was the last French President to retain some vestige of Gaullist sovereignism.

It’s also worth noting that despite his status as the consummate insider, Macron is as much of an “extremist” as Le Pen on some vectors of the political spectrum. For instance, while her economic program is remarkably statist by Economist-reading standards, it is actually pretty centrist in the context of a country where only about 30% of voters like the free market, while Macron is well to the right of most Frenchmen. Even on the question of immigration, while Le Pen might be at the “nationalist” end of the spectrum, Macron occupies its open borders opposite; in other words, he is every bit as much an extremist as Le Pen.

(4) Most critically, Le Pen has made no inroads whatsoever amongst the French elites – as I pointed out earlier, she got 4% of the vote in the first round in the 11th arrondissement of Paris that contains the Bataclan Theater, scene of the worst terrorist attack in Western Europe in the past decade. This was 1% point worse than her result there in 2012!

In the second round, the arrondissement of Bataclan gave Macron 92.7%. It would appear that the fine citizens of arrondissement 11 have accepted Macron’s matter-of-fact observation that terrorism will be part of their daily lives for the years to come – and have asked for moar.

Overall, as per the OpinionWay poll above, Macron had his highest result amongst the “intellectual professions,” amongst whom he got 83%, whereas Le Pen did best, at 63%, with workers. Of those French who voted from abroad, a stunning 89% supported Macron – they are, of course, some of the wealthiest and most educated French citizens.

As Christopher Caldwell points out in his article The French, Coming Apart, the native French have divided into their own versions of upper middle-class Belmont and lumpenprole Fishtown – the old money rentiers and “bourgeois bohemians” occupying the prestigious real estate in central Paris, while their immigrant allies of convenience drive French proles from the banlieues into “La France périphérique.”

And here we come to three big problems.

First, it is the first group – the “beneficiaries of globalization” – that have “100 percent” control of French culture – “from its universities to its television studios to its comedy clubs to (this being France) its government.” (Well, maybe not 100% – there are dissidents like Houellebecq and Zemmour and so forth, after all – but they pay the price of becoming unhandshakeworthy, and for the most uppity champions of La France périphérique, there are the hate speech laws).

Second problem: “Never have conditions been more favorable for deluding a class of fortunate people into thinking that they owe their privilege to being nicer, or smarter, or more honest, than everyone else.”

Third, and biggest, problem – which the article itself demonstrates in a splendidly meta way by omission (presumably, Caldwell wants to remain handshakeworthy) – is that said elites are correct to think themselves smarter than everyone else. They have, indeed, “come apart.” This can be confirmed by what we know about the tendency of high IQ people to form “cognitive clusters,” by what we can deduce from commonsense observation, and for that matter what we can extend from Charles Murray’s eponymous book.

Despite the massive structural violence that globalism inflicts upon La France périphérique, it is at the same time underpinned by cognitive meritocracy, the ultimate and logical endpoint of the Enlightenment.

Too bad that that the terminal stage of this march of progress is… Greater Lebanon.

 

france-elections-2017-whos-who-update

I don’t have much to add to my previous posts on this matter:

ipsos-poll-france-elections-2017

An n=8,200 Ipsos poll from May 5 gave Emmanual Macron 63% to Le Pen’s 37%. She needs a miracle.

The betting markets are likewise gloomy. Macron is 87% favorites on PredictIt, which is bad but not hopeless for Le Pen.

However, the picture becomes much worse for the French nationalists when you look at betting markets with a wider breakdown of options. For instance, the probability distribution for the question asking what percentage of the popular vote MLP will get displays a bell curve with a peak around 37%-38%, declining to 1% for the segment 45-46%, and staying at 1% for each consecutive one percentage point segment until we get to 11% predicting 50%+, i.e. a Le Pen victory.

These Le Pen optimists are clearly banking on some kind of miracle – systemic polling problems that massively understate MLP’s support (seemingly disproved in the first round); the spirit of kek; perhaps a few timely leaks.

And it just so happens that kek has delivered through the hacker 4chan.

On May 3, a /pol/ack posted two PDFs with evidence of an offshore bank account owned by Macron in the Cayman Islands.

The first doc is the incorporation of a shell company in Nevis, a country that doesn’t keep ownership records of corporations. The second is proof of a banking relationship with a bank involved in tax evasion in the Cayman Islands.

People have known for a while that Macron underreported his income and assets to the government, but nobody knew where it was stored. Here’s where his money is stored. See what you can do with this, anon. Let’s get grinding. If we can get #MacronCacheCash trending in France for the debates tonight, it might discourage French voters from voting Macron.

Document 1: https://my.mixtape.moe/onviuq.pdf

Document 2: https://my.mixtape.moe/bspenp.pdf

palmer-banking-spy Curiously, in the final debate, Le Pen had implied Macron might be in possession of an offshore account in the Bahamas, in response to which Macron had threatened a defamation lawsuit.

The lawyer who the documents indicate set up Macron’s Cayman LLC appears to have had a career as a top CIA banking spy.

One day later, about 9GB of email, photos, and attachments up to April 24, 2017 were posted on the /pol/ boards.

Are you ready /pol/?

https://pastebin.com/bUJKFpH1

http://archive.is/eQtrm

In this pastebin are links to torrents of emails between Macron, his team and other officials, politicians as well as original documents and photos

The emails were quickly established as credible, though the Macron campaign has taken a cue from the HRC campaign and hinted that there are fakes interspersed amongst the real emails.

Though nobody has comprehensively looked through the entire thing, and of course doing so before the actual elections is unrealistic, some interesting tidbits are cropping up that may involve insider trading, unauthorized access to classified state information, and the purchase of recreational drugs and perhaps harder stuff.

Needless to say, this has created quite the stir on cyberspace. Wikileaks and Jack Posobiec spread the message on Twitter; as I write this, #MacronLeaks is the number one trending hashtag on French Twitter. The French police have taken a formal interest in ascertaining the identity of the leaker.

Problem: The French media has entered its election silence period, so there will be no substantive discussions of the MacronLeaks in the MSM. (I checked the front pages of the major French newspapers and Le Monde is the only one to have prominent coverage of MacronLeaks).

Which begs the question of whodunnit.

The MSM has, of course, rushed to blame the Russian hacker Ivan. However, as more level-headed people have pointed out, what would be the point of doing this at the last moment? Macron is the least Russia friendly of the four major candidates – his campaign has scandalously barred the Russian media outlets RT and Sputnik from his events – and, the logic goes, would now be even less well disposed towards Putin.

On the other hand, a more cynical view might be that the Kremlin views the prospects for cooperation with a Macron-led France as being so dismal anyway that it might as well begin destabilizing him straight away.

Two other possibilities:

(1) Bryan MacDonald: “My bet is other state actors trying to ruin any chance of a future Macron-Putin arrangement or freelance Russians acting the maggot.”

(2) Technically competent, disgruntled Leftist/Communist supporter who wants to undermine Macron, but who doesn’t want Le Pen to benefit from it.

 

I haven’t been able to locate any international surveys on Macron vs. Le pen like there were for Trump, unsurprisingly so, since France is after all less important than the US.

Still, I have been able to find polls from Germany, Russia, and the UK.

***

zdf-poll-germany-le-pen

According to a ZDF poll of who would be better for Germany (April 28), some 90% of Germans supported Macron (adjusting for “don’t knows”).

Even AfD voters only favor Le Pen by the thinnest of margins.

***

. Total Moscow & SPB cities with ~1M people cities with 500k-1000k cities with 100k-500k cities with <100k Rural
Macron 8 9 8 11 5 11 6
Le Pen 61 69 61 63 63 57 58
Neither/don’t care 26 18 27 24 24 30 28
No answer 5 4 4 2 8 2 8

According to a VCIOM poll of whom Russians sympathize with (May 2), Marine Le Pen would beat Macron 86%-14%.

That is almost the exact inverse of her results in Germany.

***

yougov-poll-uk-le-pen

Curiously, even though they disliked Trump almost as much as the average German, the Brits have a much more positive outlook on Le Pen according to a YouGov poll (April 24).

Only 53% of Brits thought Macron would be better for Britain.

The results, predictably, followed party lines. Labour, the LibDems, and the SNP were strongly for Macron; the Conservatives leaned towards Le Pen; and UKIP was overwhelmingly for Le Pen.

This is basically an extension of attitudes towards Brexit.

yougov-poll-uk-le-pen-brexit

This makes sense. At a minimum, a Le Pen in power in France would make the UK’s own process of exiting the EU much easier.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Brexit, Elections, France, Opinion Poll 

The other day a Levada poll was released showing an apparently lackluster performance by Navalny in a hypothetical Presidential race against Putin and the other candidates.

If there were elections on the coming Sunday, who would you vote for? (The figures below exclude those said they don’t know, or don’t intend to vote).

Apr13 Apr14 Apr15 Jan16 Apr17
Putin 64 81 82 83 83
Zhirinovsky 7 6 5 4 5
Zyuganov 13 7 9 6 4
Shoigu 3 2 <1 3 2
Navalny <1 <1 1 1 2
Medvedev 3 <1 <1 <1 1
Mironov 1 1 1 1 1
Prokhorov 4 1 1 1 <1
Other 4 2 1 2 2

This seems very bad for “Alexey 2 Percent,” as he was just styled by the great Paul Robinson.

On the one hand, he is certainly correct in his main point that one shouldn’t be rushing to buy the hype around Navalny generated by the Western media.

OTOH, I don’t think it’s quite as catastrophic for Navalny as the professor makes it out to be. For instance, in February 2012, (adjusted for non-voter’s/don’t knows) about 6% of Russians intended to vote for Prokhorov. In the event, he got 8%, which would have been closer to 9% without electoral fraud.

Of perhaps greater relevance, Levada and VCIOM opinion polls were giving the Kremlin-backed candidate Sobyanin about 70% versus 9-13% for Navalny in the Moscow mayoral election of 2013. In the event, Sobyanin only narrowly avoided a second round with 51% to Navalny’s 27%.

navalny-voting-intentions Even more worrying for the Kremlin though is that the percentage of Russians saying they were “probably” or “definitely” going to vote for Navalny increased from the 5% level he enjoyed from March 2012 to February 2017 (i.e. encompassing the period of the Moscow elections) to 10% in March 2017 following the release of the Medvedev corruption video.

Now just to make it clear I am not implying that Navalny is any sort of serious electoral threat to Putin – at least for now. In particular, the President’s ratings are at a consistent ~80% since Crimea, whereas during the 2012-13 period they were hovering at a nadir of ~60%.

Putin’s relatively greater popularily will, presumably, mostly or even wholly cancel out Navalny’s momentum.

And, of course, the question of whether Navalny will even be allowed to run is still an open one. Just a few hours ago a Russian court upheld the five year suspended sentence given to Navalny for the Kirovles Affair, which might be grounds for formally barring him from the Presidential race – though as in 2013, it is possible that it will not be enforced. Still, I’m not going to bet on that. Navalny is far more charismatic than Prokhorov, he is the only liberal candidate with a reasonable chance of making inroads into the (considerably bigger) nationalist electorate, and the recent attack on him by kremlin-affiliated thugs – which threatens to make him blind in one eye, if his own assertions are true – might create a martyr effect for him (as the murky dioxin poisoning of Viktor Yushchenko in 2004, which helped drive Ukrainians to stage the Orange Revolution). It would not be wise for the kremlins to risk a Navalny run.

One other very interesting, and even more interesting development, is the complete collapse of Zyuganov’s (Communist) support – he has gone from 13% in April 2013, to just 5% today; practically level pegging with the nationalist Zhirinovsky, who has also declined, but by a far more modest degree, despite losing part of his nationalist base to Putin after Crimea.

russia-elections-2016-party-support-age-group As I have long pointed out, the Red base of pensioners is dying out – there are three times fewer Communist voters in the youngest age group versus the oldest, whereas the LDPR’s share, conversely, doubles – and the demographics are now fast translating into electoral politics.

What this means in practice is that in the unlikely scenario that Navalny does run, I strongly suspect that he and Putin will between them compress the two fossils of Russian politics – that is, Zyuganov and Zhirinovsky – into the single digits, and will manage to come a distant second, perhaps 15% to Putin’s 70%.

 

One of the reasons that I consider the results of these elections to have been strongly disappointing for the Front National is that it represents not just a stunting but a reversal of their upwards trend since the late 2000s.

For instance, back in December 2015, the Front National almost doubled their share of the vote in the regional elections relative to 2012 (and a tripling relative to 2010). Even though they failed to win a single region, it represented a strong surge that seemed to augur very well for the future.

But whereas their results at the local and regional party level surged upwards up until 2015, Le Pen’s result this time represents at best a stagnation or possibly an outright regress in the light of the halcyon days of 2014-2015. This becomes especially clear when you extend the graph I compiled in 2015 to the current day:

france-elections-2017-historical-context

What happened?

france-support-fn-by-age-group One encouraging thing from 2015 was that support for the FN was highest amongst the young age groups: 35% amongst the 18-24 years olds, versus ~30% amongst the 25-60′s and 20% amongst the over 60s.

This seemed to represent a general trend across many European nations where “conservatism” amongst the older generations (which is “Communism” in Russia’s case) transmutated into nationalism amongst the younger generations.

Now, this trend has come to an end in France, and has even begun to reverse.

france-elections-2017-age-group-vote

In 2017, the most avid supporters of Le Pen are the 35-49 year olds, falling to 24% amongst the 25-34′s and to 21% amongst the 18-24′s.

Now yes, to be sure, there is a Muslim/immigrant demographic effect here, which does somewhat dampen the nationalist vote amongst the younger generations (though this makes it no less electorally real). This is because of the well known fact that Muslims are much younger on average than France as a whole.

france-elections-2017-vote-by-religion According to a recent IFOP poll (see right), the far left Melenchon enjoys almost twice as much support from Muslims as he does from the country as a whole; another 17% of them support the socialist Hamon, three times as much as his all-country average. Conversely, only 5% of them vote for Le Pen, versus 21.3% overall.

And indeed, it is perhaps a telling coincidence that whereas Le Pen’s support falls by 8% points from the 35-49 age group to the 18-24 age group, conversely, Melenchon’s support increases by the same amount.

Still, even the youngest voting generations outside the Île-de-France are still solidly majority French, so the Muslim factor can only account for a minor part of the difference. The logical conclusion, then, is that Le Pen has simply stopped growing on the youngest generations of ethnic Frenchmen, if not gone into outright reverse.

For any French or European nationalist, this is doubleplusungood no matter how you spin it.

What makes this even worse is that I don’t think this is explainable on account of Marine Le Pen’s antipathy towards the EU or her statist economic program (as argued by the Russian liberal nationalist Egor Prosvirnin, who has mocking called her Marine Ivanovna Kurginyana).

Again, as with Russia, the trick is to look at the opinion polls.

france-support-for-eu-by-age-group According to this IFOP poll from April 2017 (see right), there is hardly any significant difference in support for the EU (specifically, agreement that France is stronger by dint of its membership of the EU) across different age groups: 69% for the 18-24′s, ~60% for the 24-65′s, and 68% for the 65+s. However, there is a clear separation across party lines: Whereas 80% of the mainstream political forces support the EU, and 60% of Melenchon’s leftists, for the FN/Le Pen this figure is just above 20%. She is not going to get trainloads of Parisian hipsters hopping aboard by reversing her policies on the EU.

economist-support-for-free-markets-france As regards economic policy, consider the basic fact of the election itself: The “neoliberal” candidates, Macron and Fillon, got 67% amongst the oldest age group, versus 27% amongst the young; in contrast, the basic income supporter Hamon and the commie Melenchon got 40%.

In tandem with the observation that the French have always been one of the most anti-capitalist nations, more so than even Russians, and considering who forms the core of the Front National’s support – blue-collar workers in the depressed post-industrial towns of the North-East rustbelt – it is absolutely clear that any significant shift towards a more neoliberal economic platform would be a disaster.

Note that all this is quite independent from any discussion about the purely economic merits of this or that economic platform. I would only make one last point that Le Pen’s economic platform is actually quite moderate in comparison with both that of Melenchon and Hamon.

Ultimately, I think Le Pen is just playing a bad hand just about as well as she could. Its just not enough to win this year, and I am now skeptical about 2022 as well.

Because in the end, a 2-7 offsuit will lose against any other hand.

That losing hand is the mentality of the French themselves, who have decided that one dead immigrant child washed up on their beaches through the neglect of his own parents is worse than having dozens of their own children blown up in the theaters of Paris or mowed down on the streets of Nice.

There are only one or two more decades left in which the French could continue indulging their ethnomasochism. After that, the preservation of the traditional French way of life – at least through democratic and constitutional means – will become permanently untenable.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Elections, European Right, France, Opinion Poll 

Marine Le Pen got just 4.0% of the vote in the 11th arrondissement of Paris in the first round of the French Presidential elections.

Emmanuel Macron, who said that terrorism will be part of our daily lives for years to come (echoing London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s sentiment that this is just “part and parcel of” life in a major city), got a stunning 34.8%.

It is an elite central district, where the average house costs about 10,000 Euros per square meter, and hosts relatively few Arab-African immigrants.

It also hosts the Bataclan theater, the site of the worst terrorist attack in Western Europe in the past decade.

And Le Pen here got 1% point lower than the 5.0% she got in Paris as a whole, and the 4.9% she got in the previous Presidential election in 2012.

It’s time to take the #blackpill on France. Le Pen isn’t going to win, or even come close.

Not unless there’s a dirty nuke attack in the center of Paris, and as per above, I’m not even sure that would do the trick!

There was a hope, one which I subscribed to, that the polls were understating her support, due to the Front National’s lack of respectability and the hostile media climate. We saw it with Brexit. We saw it with Trump. But France refused to complete the trifecta.

The French pollsters, apparently, were better than their Anglo-Saxon counterparts (or luckier), and if anything, somewhat overestimated Le Pen’s popularity.

Overall first round election results:

Liste des candidats Voix % Inscrits % Exprimés
M. Emmanuel MACRON 8 657 326 18,19 24,01
Mme Marine LE PEN 7 679 493 16,14 21,30
M. François FILLON 7 213 797 15,16 20,01
M. Jean-Luc MÉLENCHON 7 060 885 14,84 19,58
M. Benoît HAMON 2 291 565 4,82 6,36
M. Nicolas DUPONT-AIGNAN 1 695 186 3,56 4,70
M. Jean LASSALLE 435 365 0,91 1,21
M. Philippe POUTOU 394 582 0,83 1,09
M. François ASSELINEAU 332 588 0,70 0,92
Mme Nathalie ARTHAUD 232 428 0,49 0,64
M. Jacques CHEMINADE 65 598 0,14 0,18

Her final result of 21.3% was considerably below the ~24% average of the nearly one hundred polls one month prior to the election.

As such, we cannot hope for the polls to be cardinally wrong, and there are looking very, very bad for /ourgal/.

Direct polls of her performanc e against Macron show a consistent lead for him of 20% points.

france-elections-2017-2-opinion-poll

Likewise, simple arithmetic models of second-choice preferences applied to the electorates of the knocked out candidates also suggest that she will lose by at least 20% points.

france-election-2017-2-voting-intentions-2Even most of Fillon’s voters will go with Macron, especially after his endorsemenet of the Establishment candidate. Melenchon refused to endorse either, but the polls suggest his voters will overwhelmingly go with Macron as well.

There’s no much hope from other quarters, either. Dupont-Aignan is a solid Gaullist, but even his base are split on Le Pen. Most of the rest are Communists and anarchists of various hues who are going to vote for Macron the Outsider.

Turnout was already high, at 78%, and cannot be increased much further.

france-election-2017-2-voting-intentions-1

My back of the envelope – well, jotted down on Excel – calculations suggest that if the electorate voters as in the first chart above and the rest splits 50/50 between Macron and Le Pen – the latter, an assumption highly favorable to Le Pen – Macron will still win by 63% to 37%.

This ENEF poll (via Philippe Lemoine, see chart right) confirms the dismal outlook for Le Pen.

This is due to the fundamental differences between the French and American political systems.

If the US was a multiparty democracy, then somebody like Trump representing the nationalist part of the political spectrum would also have gotten 25% of the vote, with the constitunet elements of the Republican party splintering between religious conservatives like Cruz (Fillon) and financiers (Jeb!/Rubio), and with Hillary Clinton proceeding to wreck him in the runoffs. It was ironically by dint of its electoral system, long considered by observers as being very much resistant to populists from one extreme of the political spectrum or another, that someone like Trump could come to power by dint of Republican party loyalty. (Of course, Trump’s subsequent moderation/neoconization – cross out as per your own ideological preferences – might yet prove that said observers were right after all).

macdonald-german-political-interference In France, it is basically Gallic Jeb! – successfully portrayed by the “free and impartial Western press” as an outsider, despite him having served as a Minister in Hollande’s government, worked at a Rothschild bank, and attended Bilderberger conferences – with the support of both Hillary Clinton, Cruz, many of Bernie’s voters (if not the man himself), and the entirety of the international globalist cabal against the true political outsider, Le Pen.

As regardless the future of nationalism in France, and indeed of the French nation, I suppose the only realistic way forwards is to focus on widening the Front National’s reach so as to prepare the way for a more effective challenge in 2022. For the first time, nationalist forces are now outright winning many regions, and ironically, the Bilderbergers’ anointment of Macron as their representative in France has redefined the political struggle to be more in line with Marine Le Pen’s own formulation: “There is no left or right, only nationalists and globalists.

Though in net terms, this is still a disaster. Especially jarring is the apparent obliviousness of both the affluent, well-educated French elites in places like Paris, and the as yet non-enriched majority French areas in places like Britanny, that overwhelmingly vote against Le Pen and their own demographic dispossession.

As always, the race is between uncuckening and demographics; between White-World Supremacy Conservation…

marion-le-pen

… and the Rising Tide of Color.

vibrant-diversity-paris

France might only have a couple more electoral cycles to start reversing things before its submersion into Sub-Saharan Africa becomes irreversible.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: European Right, France, Nationalism 

François Hollande, widely considered to be a failure with single digit approval ratings, has – unusually for French politics – decided not to run for a second term.

The polls are now split almost evenly between four canditates: The neoliberal Emmanuel Macron; the hard left Jean-Luc Mélenchon; the conservative François Fillon; and the nationalist Marine Le Pen.

The Socialist candidate, Benoît Hamon, a representative of the Globalist Left who advocates for greater social spending, a universal basic income, and is on record complaining about there being “too many white people” in his hometown of Brest, is trailing badly in the polls.

The two frontrunners will face off in a second round on May 7.

***

french-election-2017-candidate-positions

Source: Data Debunk.

Who’s Who?

One of the very best summaries I’ve seen on this is from this podcast between Amren’s Jared Taylor and the French identitarian thinker Guillaume Durocher.

The power summary below is mostly based on that conversation.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon

  • Ideology: Populist Left.
  • Wikipedia: “Domestic policies proposed by Mélenchon include a 100 per cent income tax on all French nationals earning over 360,000 Euros a year, full state reimbursement for healthcare costs, a reduction in presidential powers in favour of the legislature, and the easing of immigration laws.
  • That said, the Guardian’s neoliberal warmonger Natalie Nougayrède really dislikes him for his populism and relatively Russophile positions, so he can’t be all that bad.

Emmanuel Macron

  • Ideology: Globalist Center.
  • Former banker for Rothschild & Cie Banque; Minister of Economy under Hollande, but refrained from becoming a member of the Socialist Party, and has disassociated himself from Hollande’s government; pushed for reforms to make the labor market more flexible; used that as springboard to market himself as independent candidate.
  • No such thing as French culture, there is only culture in France and it is diverse.
  • Obama at least waited until he became President to start his apology tour. Called French colonialism a crime against humanity while in Algiers.
  • Russophobe – promises he will force Putin to “respect” France.
  • According to Durocher, “a very strange dude.” Married his HS teacher at the age of 18, even though she was 24 years his senior and had three children from a previous marriage. Unusually for a French politician, he has refrained from having affairs with younger women.
  • Is seen as the favorite of the Establishment liberal elites, and usually leads in the polls.
  • Durocher: Is getting the HRC treatment – journalists love him, oligarchs love him, he is on all the trendy magazine covers! But as with HRC, this implies that there might also be an artificial character to his poll numbers.

François Fillon

  • Ideology: Globalist Right.
  • Catholic; married to Englishwoman, has 4 children; PM under Sarkozy; not radical, but went off the reservation when he said France should help Putin against ISIS – in French politics, you have to be anti-Assad (and de facto pro-Islamist).
  • Moderately Russophile: Has acknowledged Crimea is Russian in “terms of history, culture and language,” and stresses the right of national self-determination, recalling Kosovo. But is this a genuine position, or a marketing ploy to gain the support of French farmers hoping for a repeal of Russian food sanctions?
  • Started off strong, but has since become embroiled in corruption scandals – usually this happens to politicians after their Presidency, not before. He has lost the support of the UDI party, and his spokesman has resigned. Durocher notes that he has never seen this amount of pressure against a mainstream candidate. This is suspicious, because many French politicians practice petty nepotism.

Marine Le Pen

  • Ideology: Populist/Nationalist Right.
  • Not as hardcore as her father, but still the best from an HBD/IQ-realistic perspective: Wants to shut down immigration, make naturalization virtually impossible, no birthright citizenship. If she can fulfill her promises, she will at least put a tourniquet on the demographic replacement.
  • Durocher: While the National Assembly may be uncooperative, she can put some items of her program to the referendum, such as #Frexit.
  • Strongly Russophile: Has stated that Crimea is Russian, that Russia is as European a country as any, has personally met with Putin (if she is going to be accused of being a Russian shill, one supposes she might as well reap the benefits of it by posing for a photo opp with a major world leader).

Who Will Win?

france-elections-2017-media-coverage As Durocher said, the media absolutely loves Macron; according to a study by Harris Interactive, he gets more than twice as much positive as negative coverage (46% to 19%).

The numbers are almost inverse for Melenchon (20% to 35%), and unrelentingly negative for both Fillon (11% to 57%) and Le Pen (15% to 55%).

(Free Western media, folks! Not biased Kremlin TV.)

Le Pen suffers from the classic problem of all nationalists in multiparty systems – there is a hard ceiling to their support, beyond which all other forces – liberals, socialists, conservatives, maybe Islamists at some point in the future – set aside their differences to shove Hitler back into the closet.

For instance, in a Macron vs. Le Pen second round, /ourgal/ is pretty much bounded at 40%.

A vast improvement over her father, to be sure – his ceiling was around 20% – but still apparently hopeless.

In line with this, the Depuis 1958 Monte Carlo simulations model predicts the following chances of ultimate victory: Macron 91%; Melenchon 5%; Fillon 4%; Le Pen 0%.

On the other hand, if Brexit and Trump have demonstrated anything, it’s that opinion polls can be wrong – especially regarding unrespectable, or as we Russians ironically say, “unhandshakeworthy,” questions.

As Durocher points out, there is this dominant ideology in France – the only respectable and “handshakeworthy” one – that stands for globalism, for open borders, for devolution of sovereignty to the EU, for dependence on financial markets, for demographic replacement with an “endless tide of Africans and Muslims.” If you are don’t like it, then too bad, you are a fascist. Just as a Silicon Valley office drone would be well advised to keep his pro-Trump opinions to himself, so as a Le Pen supporter you will be ostracized from many French social circles.

france-elections-2002-opinion-poll And there is good evidence that there is a “Shy Tory” effect in France. In the famous 2002 elections, for instance, opinion polls had Jean-Marie Le Pen at 8%, hopelessly behind favorites Jacques Chirac and Lionel Jospin.

In the event, Le Pen stormed in to a second place finish with 16.9%, just above Jospin with 16.2%, though the forces of the Republic rallied in the second round to deny the fascist victory.

france-elections-2017-predictit More importantly, the gamblers – the people with #skininthegame, the people who put their money where their mouths are – consider that Marine Le Pen has a ~30% chance of eventual victory (Oddschecker, PredictIt).

The gamblers were more correct than the pollsters and experts on Brexit. The gamblers were more correct than the pollsters and experts on Trump. Now we are are about to see if we can complete the trifecta.

Betting against the gamblers is… a gamble.

Feel free to place your predictions in the comments.

EDIT: Rather belated, but here’s a Vote Compass for this election: https://votecompass.france24.com/president/home

france-elections-2017-preferences

 

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Elections, European Right, France, Nationalism 

Probably unintentionally, but still.

The video, subtly titled “Hitler 1945/Navalny 2018,” basically argues that if you oppose Medvedev’s corruption and the importation of infinity Moslems into Russia then you are Hitler.

Its current Dislikes to Likes ratio is at around 10.

According to Navalny himself, the man behind the video is Sergey Kiriyenko, the First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration.

The kremlin connection is probably true.

First, it obviously has a high production value, and has many of the stylistic features of the My Duck’s Vision studio, known for its goofy hyperbolic rhetoric and CGI overkill, which nobody really uses nowadays apart from the kremlins.

Second, the video has been shown to [edit 4/20: as has just been brought to my attention by Alexey Kovalev, they were actually shown another video, about Navalny's involvement in the Kirovles affair (an alleged corruption scandal for which Navalny had been convicted), not the one about how he is Hitler; in his post on the matter, Navalny had implied otherwise, which serves as a good reminder that what Navalny says should be fact checked as well] students of Vladimir State University, some of whom had allegedly been forced to go there as punishment for participating in the protests against corruption on March 26.

After the video, the head of the regional law school’s department for counter extremism outreach amongst youth, one vibrantly named Alla Byba lectures the disgruntled students for their temerity in asking her that she also show some of Navalny’s videos – for example, on how Dmitry Peskov wears watches worth three times his annual salary – in the interests of academic neutrality.

“You all know there that is an information war against the Russian Federation,” she informs the students, “No wonder that terrorist organizations are intensively recruiting across the Internet.”

So the basic takeaway is that as we well know actual terrorists have no religion or nationality, discussing Medvedev’s corruption and opposing infinity Moslems in Moscow makes you an extremist, a supporter of Adolf Hitler, and a member of the sixth-column ala Dugin.

You can hardly find a better way to inflate Navalny’s otherwise very modest approval ratings and smother away his real failings, such as a lack of knowledge about policy.

Indeed, as Egor Prosvirnin argues, calling Navalny a Russian fascist is perhaps the one thing that can save him – because it is evidently false to just about everyone who is not in the over 50, no Internet connection, sub-90 IQ demographic. But by attacking him on the basis of his supposed nationalism, the kremlins may well actually end up forcing Navalny to (re)adopt Russian nationalism. In the current climate, that could well increase Navalny’s popularity by a factor of of two or three, making him a real political threat to the kremlins.

All of which begs Milyukov’s classic question: Is this treason, or stupidity?

Well, judge for yourselves.

Some biographic data on Kiriyenko from the English Wikipedia (no mention of this in the Russian version, incidentally):

Sergei Kiriyenko’s grandfather, Yakov Israitel, made his name as a devoted communist and member of the Cheka, and Vladimir Lenin awarded him with an inscribed pistol for his good service to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Sergei Kiriyenko, son of a Jewish father, was born in Sukhumi, the capital of the Abkhazian ASSR, and grew up in Sochi, in southern Russia. He adopted Ukrainian surname of his mother.

He was also one of the Gaidar’s “young reformers” responsible for the theft-ridden privatizations of the 1990s, and was Prime Minister during the 1998 default. After that, he spent the next seven years in inconsequential posts, until Putin plucked him out of obscurity to head Rosatom, the state nuclear power behemoth.

There have also been rumors in the press (which he denied) that he attended Scientology seminars in his hometown of Nizhny Novgorod.

Speaking of weird quasi-Masonic associations… Kirienko’s direct boss now is Anton Vaino, a descendant of Estonian communists. On becoming head of the Presidential Administration, the Internet quickly discovered his dissertation about the “nooscope,” a theoretical device that tracks “the collective conscience of mankind” thought a system of “spatial scanners” that monitor “changes in the biosphere.”

Many Russians expressed the hope that Vaino had paid someone to write it, because having an academic fraud in a position of power is par for the course in Russia, and far preferable to him being the deranged madman who wrote many dozens of pages about this pseudoscientific nonsense.

Apart from “treason” and “stupidity,” I suppose there is also a 666D chess explanation, a “mnogokhodovka” so to speak. If the kremlins could get nationalists to hop back aboard the Navalny bandwagon – meme Navalny into becoming a Russian Richard Spencer, as one Twitter user just suggested to me – then perhaps the kremlins could use the opportunity to shut down Russian nationalists along with Navalny himself in a future crackdown (for instance, if it coincides with the surrender of Donbass).

However, I don’t think that’s true, because I don’t think the kremlins are any smarter than Trump.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Alexei Navalny, Politics, Russia 

There is a huge amount of misinformation and disinformation about what is and what is not Russian nationalism.

As a ROG agent and evil Russian oppressor, it’s incumbent on me to set the record straight.

sputnik-i-pogrom-big-russia

Sputnik and Pogrom’s vision of “Russia for Russians.”

***

Platform: The 3 Principles

Western commentators love to designate every single frothing at the mouth bearded Russian maniac into the ranks of “Russian nationalists.” Even many Russians whose only sin is to oppose replacing ICBM parades with LGBT parades in Moscow qualify.

In their world of the ROG conspiracy, Putler is the “godfather of extreme nationalism.”

In the world of reality, however, the term “Russian nationalist” has much more precise boundaries and connotations, at least within Russia itself. It can be narrowed down to loyalty to a set of common principles, of which perhaps the three most critical ones are:

  1. The cessation of political prosecutions for “hate speech” under Article 282.
  2. An end to mass immigration from Central Asia.
  3. The regathering of the Russian lands, including Belorussia, North Kazakhstan, Novorossiya, and Malorossiya.

To be sure, just like the Alt Right in the West, we do have our own internal debates and disagreements on all sorts of issues – on Putin, on Navalny, on the Syria adventure, on whether Orthodoxy is part of implicit Russian identity, on whether Pussy Riot should be locked up, on the optimal levels of gun freedoms, even on whether or not some aspects of SJW culture should be accomodated for. It is a wide tent that is open to people from a wide variety of ideological and religious backgrounds, and you do not have to be an ethnic Russian to join in.

But we do not waver on those three big principles. Those who do, such as Anatoly Nesmiyan (El Murid), who in recent months started writing positively of a united Ukraine, get excommunicated.

What Russian nationalism is not about is dismembering Russia, transforming it into “Little Russia” around its old Novgorod heartlands, etc. This misconception centers around the frequently repeated propaganda trope that Russia is a multi-ethnic empire, which Russian ethnic nationalism will break apart. Only political prosecutions of nationalists and infinity Moslems from Central Asia can avert that.

Reality: 81% of the Russian population are ethnic Great Russians, and 83% are Slavs. This is far higher than the percentage of White Americans in the US, but for some reason the US survives just fine without any ethnic minority republics with special privileges. It is also hard to square with the very hardline positions of Russian nationalists on the Ukraine question, which match word for word the publicly stated positions of traditional Russian conservatives such as the anti-Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn and the political philosopher Ivan Ilyin.

Incidentally, the reincorporation of the lost territories of the triune Russian nation will raise the percentage of Slavs in Russia to close to 90%, making problems with Muslims even less of a consideration.

***

People: Who’s In? Who’s Out?

Russian nationalists do include the following:

  • The “Committee of January 25″ (K25) movement under Igor Strelkov and many of the people who were or are at associated with it, such as Konstantin Krylov and Eduard Limonov. Its US equivalent might be something like Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute.
  • The flagship magazine of Russian nationalism, Egor Prosvirnin’s Sputnik and Pogrom. Its Western equivalents would be higher tier Alt Right publications such as Radix Journal, Counter Currents, and Occidental Observer
  • Possibly Konstantin Malofeev’s Tsargrad TV, especially after Dugin’s recent ouster and replacement with Egor Kholmogorov. That said, it is more conservative than nationalist, with more than a passing resemblance to Breitbart.

Russian nationalists do not include the following:

  • Eurasianists, such as Alexander Dugin, a Warhammer 40k cosplayer who wants to replace Russia with Greater Turkestan.
  • Soviet nationalists, such as Alexander Prokhanov and Sergey Kurginyan, who want to resurrect the Soviet Union and its suppression of Russian identity.
  • Liberal nationalists, such as Alexey Navalny, who want to make Russia into a ZOG colony.
  • Ukrainian nationalists, which is what most liberal nationalists and Neo-Nazis functionally are.
  • Putin personality cultists, such as Nikolay Starikov and the (now defunct) Nashi youth movement.
  • Orthodox fundamentalist nutjobs such as Vsevolod Chaplin, who wants to legalize FGM and to replace Russia with Central Africa.

***

Putin: Putler or Putlet?

Attitudes towards Putin amongst Russian nationalists range from moderate support to outright hatred.

The more conservative and Orthodox elements of Russian nationalism tend to support him, while the more socially liberal, atheist, and/or racialist ones tend to oppose him. The most fervent Putin fans tend to be “patriots” (“putzriots“), they are not Russian nationalists, except in the loosest sense of the word. Their foreign equivalents would be the personality cults that have formed around “strong” charismatic leaders such as Trump and Erdogan.

Realistically speaking, Putin deserves neither the uncritical adulation nor the frothing condemnation of Russian nationalism. As I pointed out in my earlier article on whether or not Putin is “the godfather of extreme nationalism,” Putin is neither /ourguy/ nor (((theirguy))); he is a politician who needs to carry out a complex balancing act between various political-economic blocs and ideological strands in Russian society.

Let’s just briefly consider how Putin stacks up against Navalny and some Western politicians on the Three Principles:

(1) Russian nationalists do get imprisoned for hate speech, sometimes on remarkably spurious and illegitimate grounds. On the other hand, 282 is also wielded against Russophobes and Islamic extremists, which has made the Council of Europe very sad, so the situation here is perhaps not quite as bad as in the more “cucked” European countries. Still, its worth noting that Richard Spencer himself managed to get deported from Orban’s Hungary of all places, so there are few true nirvanas in this respect. Navalny would probably be an improvement on Putin here, assuming he does move to repeal Article 282; many of the Echo of Moscow liberals, who form part of his constituency, are big fans of it, and were instrumental in legislating it in the first place. On the plus side, there is far less political correctness in Russia than in Europe or the US, though this has little-to-nothing to do with Putin per se.

(2) Putin is very weak on immigration, though at least there are considerably fewer Third World immigrants per capita than in the UK, Germany, or Sweden; not exactly a high bar to clear, of course, but it’s still worth keeping in perspective. Navalny would almost certainly be an improvement, at least if he follows through on his platform. Putin is somewhat like American Republicans theorizing that socially conservative Latinos would be a solid support base for conservative politics, except that in Russia, this theory actually “works” – ethnic minority republics and Central Asians vote 90% for United Russia. Putin is also no match for Trump (2016 edition) on this question, though as we have recently seen, the Current Year has brought many unwelcome surprises on the God-Emperor’s true agenda.

(3) While Putin did not realize Russian nationalist aspirations to the extent that many hoped he would in the spring of 2014, it is difficult to imagine any other (viable) politician going as far as he did by bringing back Crimea and helping the LDNR survive. With Navalny, the Donbass will be left to the tender mercies of a vengeful and very Russophobic regime in Kiev, and even the long-term status of the Crimea will be put under question. On the other hand, Putin’s growing fondness for adventures in the Arab world – first Syria; soon, perhaps, Libya – is also a source of concern in some quarters of the Russian nationalist movement, who view it as a way of deflecting attention from the plight of Russia’s co-ethnics in the Donbass.

***

What is to be Done?

The only major political force in Russia that, at least on paper, satisfies all Three Principles is Zhirinovsky’s LDPR. It is against Article 282, against Central Asian immigration, and has a very strong line on Ukraine. However, there are many questions over both its competence and its independence from the Kremlin, so most Russian nationalists vote for it not so much out of ideological considerations as to move the Overton window in the right direction.

Russian nationalism as a political force is in a somewhat ironic situation. Theoretically, a good 80% or so of Russians are “vatniks” (whereas only perhaps 40% of Americans are “deplorables”), and more than half agree to some extent with the implicitly ethnonationalist slogan “Russia for Russians” (which makes half the Russian population either idiots or provocateurs, according to Putin himself). On the other hand, the main demands of Russian nationalism are either accomodated for or subverted by the Kremlin just enough to prevent a strong independent nationalist movement from emerging. For instance, Igor Strelkov, a potential figurehead for such a movement, was blacklisted by the MSM soon after his return from Ukraine.

There is currently no unity on strategy. The bulk of K25 advocates cautious cooperation with the Kremlin. Sputnik and Pogrom is more overtly oppositional. Tsargrad TV are basically regime loyalists who want it to take a harder line on the pursuit of Russian national interests, like America’s Breitbart or China’s Global Times.

My own modest aims are twofold. First, I want to help introduce the Alt Right to Russian nationalists, and vice versa. Second, I am trying to place Russian nationalism on a firmer, more scientific ideological footing, by importing useful concepts developed primarily in the West and applying them to Russian realities, such as IQ/HBD-realism.

Russian nationalism is extremely underdeveloped on these issues, thanks in part to the Soviet “blank slate” legacy, as well as to Eurasianism’s destructive promotion of “traditionalist” obscurantism (Dugin in particular denies the concept of race, period, which perhaps explains why he is so open to Central Asian population replacement). Moreover, to the extent that race is discussed at all amongst Russian nationalists, most of it happens amongst Neo-Nazis who unironically subscribe to Nazi era pseudoscience on the matter. (That said, it’s worth pointing out that European nationalisms aren’t much better. This is not surprising, since something like 80% of psychometrics and evopsych research takes place in the US, while European nationalists obssess over the intellectual miasma that is continental philosophy/Heideggerism).

This is a very sad and very stupid state of affairs – but it also represents some very low-hanging fruit. To this end, I and a couple of my friends here, Kirill Nesterov and @pigdog, have recently started up a podcast to discuss Russian politics from an Alt Right and HBD/IQ-realistic perspective in /pol/’s irreverent and semi-ironic style.

If you understand Russian, or are learning the language, you can check it out at ROGPR.com.

 

Latest from Aftonbladet:

sweden-terrorist-uzbek

There were a grand total of 1,890 men of Uzbek nationality in Sweden in 2016.

This past week hasn’t been a good one for the Central Asians don’t do terrorism stereotype, what with the Saint-Petersburg bomber being Uzbek, and the Kazakh Islamist cell in Astrakhan.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Central Asia, Immigration, Sweden, Terrorism 

Almost two weeks since the street protests against corruption, the first poll results have started to trickle in, and the provide a mixed picture.

(1) Politician Approval Ratings

Putin’s approval rating remains at 82% as of this March, almost unbudged from February’s 84%. On the other hand, the approval rating of Prime Minister Medvedev, the main target of Navalny’s anti-corruption video, have plummeted from 52% to 42%.

(2) Navalny’s Video

7% of Russians claim to have seen Navalny’s video, which tallies well with the 17.7 million views it has received on YouTube as of the time of writing. Another 11% haven’t seen it but claim to be familiar with its contents, and another 20% have heard of it but without many details. 60% haven’t heard of it.

Of this 38% of Russians who are somewhat familiar with the video, some 27% are confident that it is entirely true, and another 45% believe that it is likely to be true, although accept that the accusations might not be entirely reliable. 16% think it is entirely false, and 13% don’t have an opinion.

However, 75% of respondents aware of the video think that it is a typical phenomenon amongst the Russian elites, whereas only 12% think it is an unusual case.

Questioning all Russians, some 17% believe that neither Putin nor Medvedev are involved with corruption; 30% think that the accusations against Medvedev are true, but that Putin is clean; while 38% think that all the country’s leaders are involved in corruption. 14% are unsure.

(3) Navalny’s Ratings

Awareness of Navalny has been increasing through the period fo the 2011-12 protests and peaking at around the time of the 2013 Moscow elections. It waned a bit during 2014-16, but in the past month, he has fully regained all the lost ground.

navalny-awareness-rating

Moreover, the share of Russians who had both heard of Navalny, and who said they were “certainly” or “possibly” going to vote for Navalny, doubled from a stable 5% during the period from from 2012 to February 2017, to 10% in March 2017, after the release of his video on Medvedev.

navalny-voting-intentions

That said, Navalny retains a significant “antirating” – that is, Russians who say they are “probably” or “definitely” not going to vote of him – of 40%. This high antirating, which is probably linked to his outspoken opposition to the Crimean referendum and the Novorossiya project – which alienated most of his nationalist base – will be difficult for Navalny to overcome. Ultimately, while Russians are cynical about the moral qualities of their elites, this same cynicism limits the extent to which you can run a political campaign in Russia based just on anti-corruption.

Nonetheless, the kremlinites have no good reason to be particularly complacent either. For instance, a 5% voting intention in March 2013 still translated into a 27% share of the vote in the Moscow mayoral elections against United Russia functionary Sergey Sobyanin, who has the reputation of a competent and reasonably clean bureaucrat (by Russian standards). Now one certainly shouldn’t generalize to Russia, because Moscow is by far Russia’s most “liberal” region; for every Muscovite hipster, there are ten Uralvagonzavod vatniks. Nonetheless, the discrepancy does imply that a lot of the undecideds and those who haven’t heard of Navalny are partial to his message.

 

In the past few weeks, Hungary has been getting heat for moving to enact legislation that could close down the Central European University, a Budapest education institution founded by Soros.

Ostensibly, this is because the CEU has unique ability to issue both Hungarian and American degrees, by dint of having accreditation in both countries. This puts it at a competitive advantage relative to Hungarian institutions. Critics however say that Fidesz is picking on it as a bogeyman to pump up his party’s ratings in time for the parliamentary elections next spring (though opinion polls seem to indicate he doesn’t have any real need for such a boost).

However, on looking deeper into the CEU’s operations, one starts to realize why the globalists are really unhappy with this:

(1) The list of classes it offers:

Gendered Memories of the Holocaust
Queer Theory
Gender and Migration
Communism and Gender
Introduction to Feminist Literary Studies
Preserving and Interpreting Knowledges of the Past and Promoting Social Justice
Islamic Feminism in Historical Perspective
Transnational Migration
Immigrant Integration Policy and Practice in North America and Europe
Minority Rights, Migrants and the Cosmopolitan Challenge

(2) All of Hungary has only one Women’s Studies department. Guess where.

(3) Not only was it founded by George Soros, but as Matt Forney points out, it is also run by Michael Ignatieff, one of those second tier “liberal interventionist” IYIs who hasn’t seen a war where he doesn’t want the US to intervene and will tell you all about it in the Washington Post.

So the CEU appears to be a nest of neocon-in-all-but-name propaganda pushing cultural dissolution on the Hungarians, and apparently without even any academic merit to balance it off (it does not appear in ARWU’s top 500 list of world universities, though in fairness, neither does any Hungarian university).

Good on the Hungarians, I guess.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: George Soros, Hungary 
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.