A reader (and generous contributor) asks:
I want to move my family [details redacted] to an Eastern European country to escape the poz. We will start learning the language. Do you think Russia is the best option or is there a better one?
Real life example of a trend I reported on a few months ago.
I’ll offer some of my own thoughts, but since there are plenty of East Europeans here, I am also opening it up for wider discussion.
First, I assume this is obvious and that you have considered it, but I would strongly advise anybody considering such a major life change to thoroughly explore all of the countries they are considering before committing. Better spend a few thousand dollars on that now instead of investing tens of thousands of dollars and years of your life on a project that you may potentially come to regret. For instance, if I were a prospective Western expat, even though Romania wouldn’t have been anywhere near my first choice, my visit there confirmed my feeling that it’s only good for shortish tourism.
Second, while Eastern Europe is indeed more “based” than the West, it is not some kind of 1950s America Shangri-La. I would strongly recommend you read this classic neoreactionary essay by Arpad Virag: Eastern Europe and the Swine Right. One of the main points it makes is that Eastern Europe is “already far more ruled by progressives than most are willing to admit.” I might not going to make the case in depth here, but I broadly agree. For instance, even in Russia, the young undergraduates at elite universities are very much familiar with intersectionality and the pursuit of social justice. These are marginal cults, for now, but as Arpad points out:
These are all individual, anecdotal evidence, dealing with only one small country – you may take them seriously or not, but don’t forget the good ol’ Moldbuggian wisdom – trends among the tiny elite is what shapes the future, not the bleating of millions of sheep. Tea Party movement is nonexistent today, while the editors of NYT aren’t exactly dealing with plummeting readership.
Or here is what an alt righter once wrote to me about Romania:
The nice thing about Romania’s “backwardness” is that there is no degeneracy. Apolitical people talk about race/gay/Jews like normal, non-brainwashed people do. Very refreshing. All of their celebrated intellectuals – Eminescu, Iorga, Eliade, Cioran, Tutea . . . – were reactionary and/or fascist. The youth are also very Americanized – good and bad, the average educated one thinks it is very cool to watch John Oliver.
Yep… they are rather Americanized.
What I call the “Soviet Freezer” preserved old social attitudes in Eastern Europe for much longer than in the West, but it has since broken down. Now resistance to the Poz basically consists of an inchoate array of populist reactions, with no coherent ideology underlying them. Will this reaction succeed? Or is this tradition’s last gasp before it is swept away? (Akin to conservative dominance in the US during the 2000s, which depressed liberals at the time but which in the end turned out to be a complete phantasmagoria).
I really don’t know, but I’m pretty pessimistic.
I am not trying to discourage anyone. But do know that Eastern Europe isn’t some impenetrable bastion of traditional values. It will be fighting its own culture wars, and it’s far from clear that conservatism will retain the upper hand indefinitely.
Finally, one advantage that the US has, no matter how pozzed it gets, is that it does have uniquely strong traditions of personal liberty and free speech. Washington D.C. or state governments are not
going to follow Germany’s recent moves in criminalizing homeschooling anytime soon. You not going to go to jail for criticizing Islam or immigration, as is routine in the UK. You may be fired, of course, or even banned from Uber, but so long as you have “fuck you money,” you’re safe and sound regardless. (At least until the SJWs start rewriting the Constitution… but we’re not at that point yet). This might be less true of countries with weaker traditions of speech, i.e. the rest of the world.
There is a considerable bureaucratic problem specific to Russia. While you’ll need to do the usual typical things to get citizenship – get permanent residency (so that means getting a job in most cases); waiting a number of years without committing crimes (5 years in Russia); learning the language – you will also have to give up your original citizenship on assuming the Russian one. This is something that the vast majority of expats here understandably do not want to commit to.
In fairness, there is a chance that this restriction will be lifted in the coming years:
In addition to the proposed law, there is also a new “concept” for reforming Russian immigration policy by 2025, which mostly centers around simplifying naturalization for certain categories of foreign professionals. One concrete suggestion that’s known to be included is dropping the requirement to disavow existing citizenships upon getting a Russian citizenship. Hungary, Romania, and Poland are cited as examples to emulate.
The Visegrad nations don’t have issues in this regard. A quick perusal of Wikipedia shows that one typically becomes eligible citizenship after 8-10 years of residency.
Where To Go?
As per above, you should really go to the countries you’re interested in it personally and immerse yourself in everyday life for at least a few months before making a life-changing definition.
However, here are some brief thoughts on each potential country/region.
I have comprehensively surveyed its pluses and minuses in my series of national comparisons (see here: https://akarlin.com/tag/national-comparisons/ ) and 10 Ways Life in Russia is Better than in America (10 ways it is not).
Of relevance to expats: I should note that there’s a big difference between Moscow [First World]; SPB and the millioniki [Visegrad development levels]; and the small town provinces [Balkan development levels] in terms of civility, crime, functionality, development, infrastructure and social services, etc. Modern Moscow is unique in that it is a modern SWPL paradise that is still conservative by Western standards (though liberal by all-Russian ones); as I understand, you don’t really get that anywhere else outside East Asia. The “last White metropolis“, I have called it. If I had to recommend an alternative in “La Russie Profonde”, it would be Sochi – very good infrastructure thanks to the Winter Olympics, one of the best climates in Russia in close proximity to skiing resorts (though buffed by cold winds from the Pontic steppe during winter), close to the heart of Russia’s agricultural breadbasket (inc. cheap steak that’s now competitive with the best of what the US has to offer), and informally Russia’s second capital.
My sample size is modest, but while almost all the expats I know in Moscow and Sochi are happy where they are, the two guys in Saint-Petersburg are not, and want to move to Moscow.
Society might be “based” but respect for personal liberties is minimal. There are hate speech laws comparable in content to those of Western Europe, and if anything, they are enforced more viciously. Make sure to familiarize yourself with Article 282 here, here. Familiarize yourself with Russia’s chain of racial privilege: While in the West you can’t criticize Jews, in Russia you can’t criticize Caucasians or Islam. In this sense, Russia is very much inferior to the Visegrad nations. That said, there have been recent moves to substantially decriminalize Article 282. (HEIL PUTLER!)
Apart from the citizenship issues mentioned above, there’s also banal geopolitics. I won’t go on about it since I assume that people who follow me are familiar with this. But yes, there’s a real chance that sanctions may be stepped up. Even assuming no further “international community”-disapproved foreign policy adventures like in 2014, the Dems are going to have it out for Russia after Trump, and I am skeptical that the EU countries will be able to challenge the Americans on that. Financial transfers may become very tricky. American online services like Steam may extend Crimea restrictions to the entirety of Russia (no worries… you’re not going to jail for pirating here). There is a very small but not altogether negligible chance of war with the US in the next few decades.
I am hoping that our Visegrad residents can say more, but in general, this is a solid choice – and surely a safer bet than Russia.
Poland: Pluses – socially conservative, vigorous economic development. Contradictory trends amongst youth: The commenter Polish Perspective will cite polls showing youth are very based on race and immigration. OTOH, they are certainly not social conservatives (see my graph of Polish support for gay marriage above). They are highly Americanophile, which should be great for American expats. Minuses – overly slavish Americanophilia may lead it down dead ends.
Czechia: Pluses – extremely based on race/immigration. Most developed/modern of the Visegrad nations, though Poland and Slovakia are gaining on it. But they also have a much stronger libertarian streak than anywhere else in Visegrad. They respect gun rights (neither Russia not any other Visegrad country does that). Just ask the blogger/physicist Luboš Motl about that. While I have not been to Visegrad myself, if I had to move on from Russia, I’d probably try to settle in Czechia (based on what I know about it). However, Czechia is not a socially conservative country like Poland, and it is extremely irreligious. This doesn’t concern me, since I am not super socially conservative or religious myself. But it might be an issue if your dream is to live in a genuinely conservative society, as well as a homogenous white one. Then Poland might be better.
Hungary: Pluses – extremely based on race/immigration. Le Orban. Minuses – unlike Poland, and (for the most part) Czechia, there is a huge population of Gypsies. The language is extremely difficult, more so even that Slavic languages, and it is specific to Hungary. The level of English language knowledge in Hungary is the lowest in the EU, so even communicating outside Budapest might be tricky (or so I would guess). That said, there’s a substantial Alt Right expat scene in Budapest – it includes Matt Forney, Michael Polignano, and even (partly) our own RamzPaul – and they seem to be pretty happy there.
Slovakia: I don’t really know much about it – hopefully Beckow can chime in. Unlike Czechia, they are socially conservative.
Too many Gypsies, too much dysfunction. I wouldn’t even bother.
As a young downshifter who wants to live like a king on pennies in a Western currency and run game in Kiev, Odessa, Kharkov? Sure, go for it. As a stable destination for family emigration, at least as of this time – nope.
Furthermore, the Ukraine bans double citizenship, period (unless you’re an oligarch like Kolomoysky).
I wouldn’t go there either, and not on account of them being the world’s most dedicated Russophobes. (An irrelevant consideration for an American, anyway).
First off, their own people are deserting those countries. It’s slowing down, and Estonia in particular has pretty much stabilized. But from many accounts the streets feel empty.
Second, horrible climate. Same reason I’m not a fan of SPB.
Third, all the Russian expats I know or have heard of have had bad experiences there – and these are not vatniks, but Baltic-loving, Russia-hating liberal cargo cultists we’re talking about. This guy’s attempt to open a bar failed (no young people with money to frequent them). Green activist and darling of the Western press Chirikova emigrated to Estonia and is now whining about it. A person I know (liberal but racialist pro-European) was very unhappy with his purchase of an apartment in Lithuania… with the area half-deserted, there’s no amenities within walking distance and it has lost value since the purchase.
Fourth, they are socially liberal, irreligious, and far more open to poz than Visegrad or Russia. This is furthest advanced in Estonia, which also happens to be the most desirable country in the Baltics. Lithuania is the most conservative country there, but it’s also the more depressive. Highest suicide rate in the world.