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 Russian Reaction Blog / FranceTeasers

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 

vapor-macron-le-pen My latest podcast with Robert Stark, co-host and proponent of Asian-Aryanism pilleater, and Alt Right legend Guillaume Durocher, who has written for Counter-Currents, Radix, and Occidental Observer.

We mostly talked about the French elections and French demographics. Here’s a link: http://www.starktruthradio.com/?p=4467

Topics

The final election round between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron
The French Elections 2017 (Round One)
The original candidates; Left Wing Populist Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Globalist Centrist Emmanuel Macron, Mainstream Conservative François Fillon, and Nationalist Populist Marine Le Pen
The demographic and regional support for the candidates
Whether Le Pen will appeal to the Conservative Fillon and Socialist Mélenchon supporters
How Macron epitomizes the worst of the establishment while Fillon and Mélenchon hold some anti-establishment positions
Macron’s work for a Rothschild Bank, Bilderberg attendance, and Neoliberal agenda
Mélenchon, his refusal to back Macron, how he is better on immigration then Macron, and his support for a basic income
Fillon, his endorsement of Macron while adopting some of Le Pen’s immigration stances
In contrast with Macron, Mélenchon and Fillon like Le Pen were more pro-Russia and non-interventionist
The ideology and agenda of Le Pen’s Front National
Comparisons to Donald Trump and how unlike Trump Le Pen has a consistent ideology
The misnomer that Le Pen is far right and her adoption of left leaning stances on issues such economics, gay rights, and the environment
Mainstream conservative Nicolas Dupont-Aignan backing Le Pen
Alain Soral and his advocacy of a left-right alliance
Éric Zemmour
The French Blackpill, Quantified
Michel Houellebecq’s Submission
Demographic Trends and future scenarios for France and Europe

 

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 

An absolute majority – 51.5% – of French policemen and soldiers planned to vote for the Front National in the recent regional elections, according to a poll by CEVIPOF. This is far more impressive than the oft quoted 20% of Greek policemen who support Golden Dawn (though to be sure Golden Dawn is far more hardcore than FN).

french-siloviks-support-front-national

At the opposite end of the spectrum, less than 10% of schoolteachers and postdocs – a proxy for the Cathedral, one might say – supported the Front National.

As I pointed out in my post on the recent regional election s, though, the priests aren’t that successful at converting their flock; FN support is highest amongst the youngest age groups.

Reminder that the last of the three major Estates, the merchants/bourgeoisie – agriculturalists, artisans, business owners – are exactly in between at 35%.

fn-support-by-social-group-france

This brings to mind Westerosi KGB head Varys’ riddle to Tyrion in ASoIaF:

“In a room sit three great men, a king, a priest, and a rich man with his gold. Between them stands a sellsword, a little man of common birth and no great mind. Each of the great ones bids him slay the other two. ‘Do it,’ says the king, ‘for I am your lawful ruler.’ ‘Do it,’ says the priest, ‘for I command you in the names of the gods.’ ‘Do it,’ says the rich man, ‘and all this gold shall be yours.’ So tell me – who lives and who dies?”

It will be fascinating to see who the French commonfolk choose to follow in the years ahead.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Elections, France, Nationalism 

It is very easy to be pessimistic about the results of the just concluded regional French elections, in which the Front National failed to win a single region.

Thanks to the Socialists throwing multiple regions in Houellebecqian manner, the obvious big victor were The Republicans of Nicolas “Le Métissage Obligatoire” Sarkozy. Surely in the wake of the Paris Attacks they should have done at least a bit better.

But things are not so one-sided as they might first appear. Compared to its past performance, the Front National continues to break new ground on a surge that has continued non-stop since Marine Le Pen ascended to power in 2011.

front-national-performance-in-french-elections-historical

As you can see from the graph above, compiled on the basis of data from France’s Interior Ministry, the approximately 6.5 million votes the Front National got in the second round of voting in the regional elections represents a doubling of the sorts of figures they had been getting in the prior three decades.

As such, the boast of the rising star of the FN (and exceedingly photogenic) Marion Le Pen that “tomorrow we will be a majority” was not necessarily as unhinged at it might first appear.

The ideas of the FN are enjoying record support in French society, and will have only risen since the Paris Attacks.

france-support-for-fn-ideas

Perhaps even more importantly, the FN is increasingly the party of the ethnic French youth. Support for the FN rises from 20% amongst the over 60 year olds to 35% amongst the 18-24 olds. (Unfortunately, though, it is also the party of the least well educated: 36% support from high school drops, declining to just 14% amongst those with a full university education. This is bad for French identitarians since in “democracies” policy is almost invariably determined by the elites).

france-support-fn-by-age-group

But is there enough momentum to take Marine Le Pen to the Élysée Palace in the 2017 elections or a bit later before all hope is lost? The moderate right, the cuckservatives, regardless of their cyclical success this round, would appear to be doomed to longterm decline due to pure demographics. As mass Third World immigration proceeds apace and politics go ethnic as they inevitably do in such situations, it would not be unreasonable to expect the Socialists and FN to become the two major “poles” in this brave new Levantine landscape.

One suspects that the ultimate trajectory of France this century – that is, whether it remains France or becomes Firanja – will mainly be decided by a race between the Socialists to import new voters and by the Front National to “awaken” the Charlemagnes and Jeanne d’Arcs who no doubt still slumber deep within.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: France, Politics, Polls 
france-attacks-fever

Summary of the Russian nationalist response to #ParisAttacks.

A Cruel French Lesson, by Egor Kholmogorov appeared in the November 14 issue of Komsomolskaya Pravda, one of the leading Russian dailies. It outlines what is pretty much the standard right-wing conservative Russian position on the #ParisAttacks.

Some context: After the terrorist strikes, many outspoken Russian liberals rushed to wrap their digital selves in the French flag; a status signalling action made easy by Facebook’s provision of a French flag avatar coloration app (one could cynically add: To mark the most significant event in the world since the US legalization of gay marrage). This is in stark contrast to the relative silence over the Russian victims of the terrorist downing of the aircraft over the Sinai – and for that matter, the silence in regards to Lebanon, and for that matter, for Syria pretty much nonstop since 2011. (The Egyptians at least were commendably consistent, bathring the Pyramids in the flags of all four of the aforementioned nations).

To be sure, many Russians who adopted the French flag did so on the fly, with no intentions of making any overtly political point. However, some of the more ideologically pro-Western Russians were more to the point in justifying increased attention for French versus Russian victims of jihadi terrorism. For instance, the Russian liberal “hipster” publication GQ was very explicit in defending its decision to feature the Paris Attacks over KGL9268 on the grounds that they idenfied with the City of Lights as a “permanent festival,” whereas for them their own homeland was a permanent “territory of woe” and thus unworthy of any particular attention (this binary characterization might seem rather optimistic to anyone actually familiar with the Parisian banlieues). An English language illustration of this phenomenon is this Foreign Policy piece by Julia Ioffe, which bizarrely justifies the discrepancy in terms of the better performance of French special forces at Bataclan relative to Nord-Ost (no mention being made of the fact that the Chechen terrorists in 2002 were ten times as numerous and far better equipped).

Bearing this in mind, the patriotic and conservative types – seeing such widespread attitudes in the Russian media as an implicit endorsement of the theme that Westerners are first-rate peoples and the center of civilization, as opposed to disposable Russians in peripheral Eurasia – have not been overly concerned with sensitivity right now, which is clearly expressed in Kholmogorov’s article. He is not writing for Westerners, but for Russians on his side of the domestic culture war.

To be sure, translation ≠ endorsement, and there are several points one can take issue with him on. There is too much butthurt over Charlie Hebdo, which – contrary to its high media profile – is in reality a very low circulation publication in France itself. Furthermore, the French state obviously has no obligation to apologize for it. Tying the emergence of ISIS to France’s Levantine policies between the wars is far too radical a causal stretch and besides the point in relations to current French policies anyway. Perhaps most critically of all, the Russian obsession with the West – most prominent amongst the Westernists, of course, but still making itself felt, if in an inverted form, amongst nationalists like Kholmogorov – is perhaps unseemly and even maladaptive, since ironically one could say that this merely reflects and confirms Russia’s status as a peripheral country.

Nonetheless, I believe the vast majority of the points Kholmogorov makes are fair and to the point, and moreover the fact that something so “politically incorrect” can be published in a major Russian daily – can one imagine anything similar in The New York Times? Or even The Daily Mail? – testifies to the fact that Putin’s Russia, ethnically blank slatist as it might formally be, is nonetheless as good ally as any to those Europeans who still support European civilization and self-determination.

***

A Cruel French Lesson

by Egor Kholmogorov

http://www.kp.ru/daily/26458.7/3328330/

The hideous acts of terrorism in France strongly resemble a fast-forward video of the decades long terrorist war that has been waged against Russia. The massacre at the Bataclan theater is basically a French version of Nord-Ost…

So we in Russia understand what is now happening with the French like few others.

But this tragedy occured at a rather inconvenient time in relations between the two countries. It came on the heels of a French magazine’s vulgar lampooning of the victims of the terrorist attack on our aircraft over the Sinai. I have not seen a single public apology from the French. Our officials are the only people who have tried reassuring us that real French people are ashamed about this… Thus, all expressions of sympathy, alas, have to begin with a caveat: “Regardless of your mockery of the terrorist attack against us, we do really feel for you.”

We feel for you because we ourselves have felt such tragedies on our shoulders. We sympathize, and we sympathize sincerely.

But approaching this with a cool head, one can’t deny that this case is also a matter of France paying the bills, and for multiple accounts at once.

The terrorists shouted, “This is for Syria!” And this is, at some level, “For Syria” – not in the sense that French aviation is bombing ISIS, but in that when France after the First World War received a mandate to govern Syria, it first divided that territory into five states along confessional lines: Christian, Alawite, Sunni, Druze, and Armenian. Then it took them and used them to glue together two states – Syria and Lebanon, thus laying the foundations for civil war in both countries. Had they either kept Syria unified, or properly divided, there would have been no ISIS.

Two years ago, President Hollande rattled his sabre harder than anyone else in pushing for an American intervention in Syria [against Assad], and was only narrowly stopped at the last moment by Vladimir Putin.

It was Hollande and his predecessor Sarkozy who supported the overthrow of Gaddafi, who welcomed the Islamic Revolution in Egypt, who seeded the flames of war in Syria and in so doing became directly responsible for the creation of ISIS, Al-Nusra, and similar demons, for the spread of their activities to France and all Europe, and for the overwhelming waves of refugees.

When in January murderers took care of the editorial staff of Charlie Hebdo, instead of a sane adjustment to security and migration policy, Hollande was only interested in preventing Marine Le Pen from getting any political kudos and kickstarted the hysterical tolerance campaign “Je suis Charlie.”

Moreover, the objects of sympathy should not have been a bunch of talentless hacks, but those French citizens who were in danger of becoming victims of terrorism in the future!

Migration policy should have been tightened, and border controls strengthened. A campaign should have begun to fight against terrorist organizations globally and against the Islamist underground in France itself.

Instead of this, the orgy of “tolerance” continued, as Hollande occupied himself with weightier matters, such as saving the Kievan junta and clamping down on Mistral sales. France became a best friend of Qatar – one of the main sponsors of radical terrorism, including ISIS.

And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you…

The most horrifying fact of this strategy is that the killers in the Bataclan spoke good French with no accent. This means that they are not recent immigrants, recently arrived from the Middle East. These are French high school graduates, perhaps – French citizens, to whom they tried to teach the lessons of tolerance.

There is a hard-hitting film from 2008 starring Isabelle Adjani called La Journée de la Jupe. A female teacher in an immigrant quadrant of Paris, despairing of the thuggery and unwillingness to learn of her students, and tired of their barbaric morals, finds a gun in the possession of one of them. She grabs the gun and proceeds to take the class hostage, and force the impudent rascals to study the biography of Molière and respect women at gunpoint. The police and bureaucrats dance about in the background, convinced that the “intolerant” teacher is the main threat. Special forces prepare to storm the classroom. But in the end, the gun ends up in the hands of one of the pupils, and there begins a bloody massacre. This is a very enlightenening film that everyone should watch today.

So it is impossible to say that the French themselves are unaware of what is happening with them. And it is no accident that the Front National of Marine Le Pen is France’s leading party. But the political system there has been specially arranged in such a way that even with a plurality of the votes, the National Front still get the smallest amount of seats in Parliament. This means that the situation will only change when the Front National starts getting more than 50% of the total votes.

Dictatorships can always be excused away by the fact that the incompetence of the man in power is paid for by the sufferings of people who never elected him. But France is a democratic country. It has political leaders who were ready to rearrange politics in a way that could avert tragedy. They could have voted for Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2002 and 2007, and for Marine Le Pen in 2012. They not only could have, but should have, voted for Marine in 2012. But instead, the French elected Hollande and his party of tolerant hypocrites.

Today has revealed the frightful cost of that decision. The streets of Paris have been stained with blood, as mobs of fightened and bewildered people rampaged through the city.

But will even this shock change anything? If, regardless of the newly introduced State of Emergency, the regional elections of December 6th go ahead – will the French finally be ready to put a stop to all this, or will they continue to vote for freedom for terrorists, and equality and brotherhood with bandits?

I am afraid that the answer to this horror will be a continuation of the same old, same old. Western propaganda has already adapted an essentially totalitarian tenor: “We will rally all the more closely around the values of multiculturalism, we will not allow any expressions of extremism, this is all Assad’s fault, if only he had stepped down – none of this would have happened…”

Unfortunately, it has become clear that what we are seeing is a live translation of the fall of the Roman Empire under the onslaught of the barbarians. The same stubborn refusal to understand what is going on, the same unpreparedness to take serious decisions, the same vacillation and buffoonery in the moment of mortal danger. It would be great if wonderful France were to finally find its Jeanne D’Arc.

But that is hard to believe.

Therefore, Russia’s main task is to learn its lesson – and to defend itself. To defend its territory. Its people. Its aircraft.

To support its allies. To remove the contagion of terrorism from the Middle East and everywhere else. To be prepared to settle accounts not just with its perpetrators, but also its sponsors.

And to avoid hoping that either the French state or Europe will learn any lessons from this. That they will change their politics, join us in fighting our common enemy, or stop behaving like an elephant in a china shop in the East. To plan our moves on such hopes would be nothing more than self-deceit.

But with the French, we sympathize. Stay strong!

 

Charlie Hebdo had a hearty response to the terrorist downing of KGL9268: “The dangers of low-cost Russian airlines,” “I should have taken Air Cocaine,” “Daesh: Russian aviation intensifies the bombing.” So drôle!

When challenged on Russian condemnations of their humor:

The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Gerard Biard, criticised the Kremlin for “using Charlie Hebdo to create a controversy where none exists, which is the usual manipulation you get from totalitarian regimes”. “This magazine is supposed to be irreverent, and we respect the values of democracy and freedom of expression which the Russian powers that be … do not,” he added.

charlie-hebdo-on-islam-and-its-parody

The French state arrested and charged the creator of the teenaged creator of the parody comic to the right with supporting terrorism. Not a peep about that from Charlie Hebdo.

Of course, as traditional with Western propaganda organs posing as dissident heroes and “pushing the boundaries” types, the concern for free speech is rather strangely limited to just Russia and other bugbears of Western hegemony:

Equal… but some groups were nonetheless plus égaux que d’autres, at least so far as Charlie Hebdo were concerned. In 2009, the cartoonist Siné, a longtime contributor to Charlie Hebdo, joked that Sarkozy’s son, Jean, would “go a long way, that little lad” on rumors that he was planning to convert to Judaism. For any basically normal, non-SJW inclined person, this would be nothing more than a harmless observation on the Jewish talent for economic success (something that is discussed at length by our own Steve Sailer, not to mention by Jews themselves). But for Charlie and the French Establishment, including the “philosopher” Bernard-Henry Lévy, the appropriate response was to fire him and then prosecute him for anti-Semitism (he was acquitted). On another occasion, Charlie started a signature collection campaign to get the Front National banned. Clearly, their own regard for free speech was very far from absolute.

Of course this merely reflects the priorities of the French Republic itself, which proceeded to open dozens of cases on pro-terrorism “hate speech,” including against the comedian Dieudonné for sardonically remarking “Je me sens Charlie Coulibaly” on his Facebook (Coulibaly was one of the CH attackers). All of which Charlie Hebdo evidently did not regard as the “usual manipulation you get from totalitarian regimes.”

Fortunately, Russians don’t take their cues from Charlie Coulibaly, and responded with hilarious cartoons of their own: “Laughter extends life!” “Not in your case Gerard.”

russian-reaction-to-charlie-hebdo

And soon after – and so prophetically – this happened.

Here’s another really amusing cartoon!

hollande-after-paris-attacks

This time, Charlie Hebdo’s reaction was decidedly… disappointingly… lackluster.

charlie-hebdo-on-paris

Terrorism is not the enemy. Terrorism is a mode of operation. Repeating ‘we are at war’ without finding the courage to name our enemies leads nowhere. Our enemies are those that love death. In various guises, they have always existed. History forgets quickly. And Paris tells them to fuck themselves.

That is like so deep man. So courageous. They Who Must Not Be Named are “are those that love death.” It even puts that great Bushism, “they hate us for our freedom” to shame!

 

 

charlie-hebdo-on-paris-2

And thus I finally started to really understand Dieudonné.

 

I am too tired right now to compile all this into something more elegant than a point-by-point rant, so here goes: Some preliminary thoughts on the latest terrorist attacks that have claimed 128+ lives in Paris.

(1) The usual cucks have wasted no time in making political hay of this tragedy

So don’t be shamed by traditional social conventions about avoiding making political points out of respect for the dead. Like it or not but the information age and the 24 hour news cycle have made this genteel habit obsolete and indeed, maladaptive.

Spread the anti-”Invite the World” propaganda far and wide (Liveleak version in case YouTube shuts it down).

Note as Whyvert points out that Marine Le Pen, leading the opinion polls and the one politician who might have materially reduced the chances of this happening, is currently on trial for Islamophobia. The globalist elites don’t play fair and neither should you.

(2) It’s probably not even gonna cost you much, if anything.

For instance, here is what Wikileaks – an impressively redpilled organization – Tweeted soon after the attacks.

Contrary to their numerous detractors in the comments, this is an entirely brave and entirely appropriate Tweet. It’s the exact time and place because nobody would pay any attention otherwise.

Moreover, I took note of their follower count when they made this Tweet. It was at 2.81 million. A few hours later, it was still at 2.81 million.

Note that this in spite of the SJWs having attacked Wikileaks for politicizing these terrorist attacks but not the the likes of establishment journalists like Ezra Klein. But apart from confirming SJWs as the mercenary attack dogs of the neocons that they are, this didn’t even have any substantial effect on Wikileaks’ follower numbers, which goes once more to show that the SJWs are more bark than bite.

(3) The globalist elites are pure unadultered evil so do not take anything they say at face value.

assad-on-western-hypocrisy

And now we come to the “Invade Whe world” part.

The Syrian Civil War was a primarily US sponsored project to weaponize their Islamist lackeys to break up Syria for make benefit of Israel. And ever since Sarkozy it should be borne in mind that France has become even more “American” than the Americans, as seen in Libya, and in the ferocity of their demands to oust Assad.

Therefore do not rush to celebrate, like the otherwise astute hbdchick:

Treat everything these reptiles say with the utmost suspicion.

When Hollande declares that this is a “war,” bear in mind that he might just as easily be talking about, say, French nationalists. Indeed, given the trends towards defining Islamic terrorism as “anti-Islamic activity,” terrorist attacks like these could for the elites be a convenient way of getting rid of two birds with one stone i.e. the Islamist problem that they themselves created, plus the Front National and other pro-French and pro-European forces.

Bear in mind also that in Western rhetoric Assad is responsible for the immigrant crisis and for terrorism and everything else that their own perverse policies have created, so do not be overly surprised if in a few days or weeks there arises a renewed clamor for removing Assad – the rock that holds the last bastion of civilization in place in the region.

Note that the “intellectual” foundations for any such developments are already being laid by the neocons:

See also:

At the extreme end of the spectrum of the possible fallout from all this we could see a resuscitation of the Western plans for a no fly zone over Syria which were in place before Russia intervened (Translation: Bombing the legitimate Syrian government, helping exterminate civilized Alawites, Islamic State apemen spreading their reach to the Mediterranean Sea).

This is an idea with plenty of neocon support and Lindsey Graham has been the latest Western politician to endorse it.

As I said before I do not think the Western elites are that crazy – at least the guys in the Pentagon should be realistic and well-informed enough to put the damper on any such adventurist nonsense should it gain further traction in what passes for “debate” in American foreign policy – but then again when it comes to these people nothing can be definitively ruled out…

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Conspiracy Theories, France, Syria, Terrorism 

alligators Egypt rubs in the salt in Hollande’s wounds by ordering 50 Alligator helicopters from Russia to outfit the Mistrals, which France is now going to sell to Egypt.

So to sum up this whole sorry affair:

(1) Russia originally ordered French Mistrals under Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. His foreign aquisitions were ostensibly aimed to pressure Russian producers to lower costs, but more cynical observers suspected it may have had more to do with foreign arms manufacturers providing kickbacks to him and his female posse which had effectively seized the Defense Ministry under the Medvedev Presidency.

(2) Rumors which gained credence when he was dismissed for corruption on a scale that raised eyebrows even in a country as corrupt as Russia.

(3) After about a year of delays following those little triffling incidents in Crimea and the Donbass, France made a definitive decision, under US pressure, to avoid selling the Mistrals to Russia, making it liable for about $1 billion worth of fines. (To his credit, Hollande’s government accepted the legitimacy of these penalties, so as to avoid completely discrediting France’s commercial reputation in the international arms market). As an added bonus, Russia got most of the technical blueprints on the Mistral anyway (saving $$$ in R&D costs).

(4) Now Russia, or at least Kamov, is receiving a further $1 billion in orders.

Ironically enough, what began as a very expensive and questionable way of pressuring Russian arms manufacturers at best, and yet another of Serdyukov’s corruption schemes at worst, actually ended up working out quite nicely for Russia. France got cucked by hamburger, Russia got out ahead.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Egypt, France, Mistral, RealWorld 

Title got your attention? No, it’s not going to be… that. Read on.

While the rest of the world (or a few Europeans, anyway) is obsessed with yet another “Polish death camps” episode, this time on CNN, a somewhat more significant historical scandal brewed between Poland and Russia.

Explaining away Poroshenko’s status as a guest of honor alongside the refusal to invite Putin to mark the 70-year anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, which takes places today on January 27th, the Polish FM Grzegorz Schetyna said:

The 1st Ukrainian front and Ukrainians liberated [the concentration camp], as on that January day there were Ukrainian soldiers, so they opened the gates of the camp.

Sure, there were Ukrainian soldiers there. But the majority were Russian. And dozens of other nationalities, including Poles. The “Ukrainian Front” was a mere geographical/military marker that had precisely zilch to do with ethnicity.

If one were really into beans-counting, the purely military contribution of Russians substantially outweighed that of Ukrainians – both in terms of their presence in the Red Army, and their military losses (this is, of course, after adjusting for relative population sizes). There is nothing political about this; it was just a logical consequence of Ukraine being occupied for the first half of the war, and being unable to contribute conscripts.

Mr. Schetyna could just have been honest about it. We don’t like you, Vlad, so why don’t you take a hike. Or simply answered without answering. Foreign Ministers are supposed to be good at that.

But no, he had to snub not only Putin, but the entire Russian people.

(Incidentally, what makes this all the more ironic is that Poroshenko, as the President of the Maidan, represents many of the ideological descendents of Ukraine’s collaborationist forces – the same ones who killed and ethnically cleansed the Poles and Jews who had previously constituted a majority in West Ukraine’s cities during the antebellum period. And who are even now, as they have been these past two decades, busy rewriting Ukrainian history textbooks to whitewash the role of the UPA. But today, that is of scant interest to Israel, and none at all to Poland. While that might not be “nice” or “fair” of them, it certainly isn’t illogical either. So far as they’re concerned, even a Ukraine led by zombie Hitler would be preferable to a Ukraine back in Russia’s orbit, even if Russia was to hold elect Khodorkovsky President and celebrate it with a massive gay parade in Moscow this very day. That is because an independent Ukraine can never be a geopolitical threat to Poland, whereas Russia mostly certainly can).

Does it matter?

While in the short-term it might be a faintly ridiculous spat, in the longterm it might well come to be seen as part of a process of alienation that has already been going on for decades.

For all the fuss made about them, nobody is going to start believing in the existence of “Polish death camps” – as in Polish Polish, not Nazi-occupied Polish – anytime soon; it’s not even an intentional mistake, for crying out loud. Nor is general Holocaust denial going to become a thing outside the danker corners of the Internet. That is because both Poles and Jews are now pretty much integral members of the Western community, so it’s hard to imagine their voices and historical memories ever getting drowned out.

This was not the case with the Soviet Union, and it is not the case with modern Russia.

Today’s popular Western conception of the Eastern Front is quite at odds with reality, heavily based as it is on the embellished reminiscences of Wehrmacht generals and ahistorical visual media fluffpieces, fueled by Cold War emotions, and with no popularly accessible Russian side of the story. So today most Westerners believe all manner of myths about the Soviet Union’s role in the war, from the discredited “two men per rifle” trope to it being the Americans who kicked Nazi ass anyway.

The cold statistics of the balance of Axis casualties between the Western and Eastern fronts – around 75%-80% of their manpower and aircraft losses accrued to the Soviets – fundamentally belie this idea of American preeminence. While you could argue legitimately argue that Lend-Lease provided the thin but critical margin in materiel that averted a Soviet collapse in 1942, as Mark Harrison does, or that a Germany that only had to fight on one front could have eked out a stalement in 1943-44, it is completely ludicrous to argue that the Western Allies could have conquered Germany had it been free to concentrate the bulk of its military assets to the west. Despite a successful deception operation and facing undermanned German divisions, D-Day was a closer call than is commonly appreciated. While history often doesn’t have clear answers, this is not one of those cases: The Soviet Union was the only unequivocally indispensable party in the defeat of Nazi Germany (and, incidentally, bringing an end to the Holocaust).

But most Westerners have no idea. To them, the Eastern Front is a place of zerg rushes and Russian rapine, while the real course of the war was decided in North Africa, the Atlantic, and the beaches of Normandy.

Think I’m exaggerating? If so, then it’s probably because unlike 95% of the population, you’ve just read too many actual history books (there are many very good serious English language historians in this area: Glantz, Overy, Bellamy. Not Antony Beevor, who probably sold ten times as many books as the first three combined. Should tell you something). Normal people don’t read those books, not even Beevor; they watch Enemy at the Gates and play Wolfenstein instead.

And this is what they have come to believe:

sondage-nation-contribue-defaite-nazis

This is a series of polls that took place in France in 1945, 1994, and 2004, respectively, asking which nation was most responsible for the defeat of Germany. Right after France’s liberation, with American and British soldiers walking the streets, a solid majority of 57% nonetheless believed that it had been the Soviet Union. But by 2004, the situation had cardinally reversed itself, with 58% now crediting the Americans and only 20% – the Soviet Union. This even constituted a decline relative to 1994, despite the intervening decade having been one of the best ever for West-Russia relations. The fact that great bulk of German divisions and airpower were destroyed on the Eastern Front pales into insignificance besides the power of Cold War and just plain anti-Russian propaganda acting on the human biomasses over the course of two generations. (Interestingly, the most “pro-Soviet” group in the 2004 poll was not, as you might expect, supporters of the Communist Party – whose 20% was exactly in line with the national average – but the Front National, with 33%. As sovereigntist successors to De Gaulle, who dreamed of a Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok and whose only real issue with Russia was its then Communist ideology, this should not be too surprising).

I haven’t seen any similar polls from the US or Britain, but I very much doubt they would be substantially different.

With the West and Russia once again growing estranged from each other, and the level of propaganda and mutual recriminations returning to Cold War levels, one wonders what Americans and Frenchmen in 2104 might answer when asked who they think liberated Auschwitz.

Will it be the Americans? Or maybe even a German-Ukrainian combined joint task force? The latter, at least, is presumably what the Ukrainian PM Arseny Yatsenyuk wants the world to start to believe.

 

A couple of Islamist terrorists, the brothers Kouachi, murdered a bunch of cartoonists. Another terrorist, Coulibaly, went on a rampage. All three ended up taking hostages. Counter-terrorists win! Within minutes, everyone had become an expert on Charlie Hebdo’s work, and the typical and inevitably dreary debate began.

Some said Charlie’s cartoons were clearly, stridently Islamophobic, and that although they “of course” condemned the murders, it was understandable why they happened: Cue your standard spiel about failed integration policies, racism, discrimination, the legacy of colonialism. The apologetics sometimes reached nauseating proportions. After all, people “know the consequences” (from Anjem Chodary, so over the top Islamist that he is probably an MI5 mole), and besides, the “sin of provocation” is no less dangerous than “the sin of those who are capable of succumbing to that provocation” (Russian Council of Muftis).

Others, especially journalists, focused on the sanctity of the right to free speech. Though many papers still made sure to cover their asses by pixelating out the offending Mohammed cartoons. It was also widely noted that Charlie Hebdo were, to their credit, at least equal opportunity provocateurs, involving everyone they disliked in their scrotular and scatological fantasies:

charlie-hebdo-cartoons

Do you still believe in the theory of historical progress?

Equal… but some groups were nonetheless plus égaux que d’autres, at least so far as Charlie Hebdo were concerned. In 2009, the cartoonist Siné, a longtime contributor to Charlie Hebdo, joked that Sarkozy’s son, Jean, would “go a long way, that little lad” on rumors that he was planning to convert to Judaism. For any basically normal, non-SJW inclined person, this would be nothing more than a harmless observation on the Jewish talent for economic success (something that is discussed at length by our own Steve Sailer, not to mention by Jews themselves). But for Charlie and the French Establishment, including the “philosopher” Bernard-Henry Lévy, the appropriate response was to fire him and then prosecute him for anti-Semitism (he was acquitted). On another occasion, Charlie started a signature collection campaign to get the Front National banned. Clearly, their own regard for free speech was very far from absolute.

That didn’t stop the masses from pinning #JeSuisCharlie to their Twitface avatars in their millions, and joining European leaders on their so-called unity march, from which Marine Le Pen – representing about a third of the French electorate – was excluded. On the plus side, it was probably the continent’s biggest collective circlejerk since the Nuremburg rallies. A few days later, a total of 54 cases and counting were opened in France related to pro-terrorism “hate speech,” including against the comedian Dieudonné. Politicians who insisted on going against the multiculturalist dogma, such as the elder Le Pen and Orbán, found themselves castigated for political haymaking (if so what was the unity march?) and using a free speech rally to exercise free speech:

Orban told Hungarian state TV in the margins of the rally, held in support of free speech and tolerance in Europe, that the Charlie Hebdo murders should make the EU restrict access to migrants with “different cultural characteristics”.

Referring to the flow of African and Arab migrants to the EU, he said: “Economic immigration is a bad thing in Europe, it should not be seen as having any benefits, because it only brings trouble and danger to the peoples of Europe”.

“Immigration and cultural questions related to that must be discussed in a much more open, honest and straightforward manner than until now. I hope that a composed, calm analysis of the recent events will guide European leaders and Brussels towards a tough policy restricting immigration”, he added.

“While I am PM, Hungary will definitely not become an immigration destination. We don’t want to see significantly sized minorities with different cultural characteristics and backgrounds among us. We want to keep Hungary as Hungary”.

Reasonable, no? No! It’s nothing but dangerous demagoguery, and statements like Orbán’s are outright harmful. You’re placing yourself onto the same platform as Marine Le Pen, and Golden Dawn. There are other triggers. It’s failed integration policies, especially France’s citizenship concept, that are to blame. Scandinavian countries do better. “We against them” will not solve the problem.

All paraphrased from a real Twitter conversation I had with a bona fide EU think-tank person (who is otherwise a genial and intelligent fellow, not an ideologue).

(The additional irony is that Orbán isn’t really a friend to European nationalists. When they and a bunch of their American friends decided to have an identitarian conference in Budapest, the event was banned and people who turned up anyway got arrested and deported. Naturally, neither the EU nor the US State Department had much, or anything really, to say on that particular expression of Orbán’s authoritarianism).

“We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends,” said Bernard Holtrop, who survived the massacre by dint of absenteeism. Beginning to nod your head in agreement? Don’t. You missed the previous part where he identified the True Enemy: “We have a lot of new friends, like the pope, Queen Elizabeth and Putin. Marine Le Pen is delighted when the Islamists start shooting all over the place.”

Monsieur Holtrop is presumably too self-absorbed to consider the possibility that her primary concern might not be so much his friendship, or even his freedom of speech, but securing the future of the French people and European civilization.

Given this litany of two-faced hypocrisy and concern trolling from virtually everyone, I do not feel ashamed to proclaim:

Je m’en fous de Charlie Hebdo!

Even debates about the relative weights to be assigned to artistic merit, freedom of speech, and upkeeping civility are of secondary importance.

My own partisan bias is that Charlie Hebdo’s crude scribblings would demean a bathroom stall, but many people would disagree with my opinion and that’s fair enough. I may happen to think it would be an example of social and cultural decadence, but that by itself survivable, at least so long as the nation walls itself off demographically from more virile peoples who are generally unable or unwilling to appreciate artistic masterpieces like Piss Christ, the Paris Buttplug, or, well, Charlie Hebdo. Japan is a byword for decadence, but it’s not like it’s in any danger of foreign cultural inundation.

Moreover, since Charlie Hebdo did not forcibly impose their views on the general public – you can always, like, not buy their stuff – they should be completely immune from any “hate speech” prosecution. But I acknowledge that opinions on this matter can legitimately differ: My friend Alexander Mercouris at Sputnik News makes a solid, legally-grounded argument for why it would be legally and morally defensible for any West European nation to prosecute Charlie Hebdo, and my own objections are normative in nature, and not a little self-interested, in the sense that if interpreted sufficiently widely, I too could be potentially prosecuted in Europe, not to mention half the contributors to The Unz Review.

So… let’s start building the case?

The terrorists were Islamists, and they did have a religion: Islam. Trying to insist otherwise strikes me as being rather pathetic, like the tweed-jacketed old Marxists insisting that the Soviet Union wasn’t really Communist. How credible would it be to deny that Breivik was a European nationalist, or that the Crusaders weren’t real Christians?

As Marine Le Pen just wrote in The New York Times, the threat must be named: “France Was Attacked by Islamic Fundamentalism.” They were Islamists, and – even she shies away from making it explicit – they were also Muslims, no more and no less than the brilliant philosopher Ibn Khaldun or ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi.

Progressive outlets like The Daily Beast and Think Progress claim that we are getting it all wrong, that Muslims only account for “less than 2%” of terrorist acts in Europe and 6% in the US. Just a quick scan through the FBI link they give reveals “terrorist incidents” such as the following:

Terrorist Incidents

March 2002 – November 2002

Vandalism and Arson
Erie, Harborcreek, and Warren, Pennsylvania

(Six acts of Domestic Terrorism)

Between March 2002 and November 2002, a series of animal rights and ecoterrorism incidents occurred in Erie, Harborcreek, and Warren, Pennsylvania. On March 18, 2002, Pennsylvania State Police discovered heavy equipment used to clear trees at a construction site in Erie, Pennsylvania, spray painted with the statements “ELF, in the protection of mother earth,” and “Stop Deforestation.” On March 24, 2002, police responded to the same construction site, where a large hydraulic crane had been set on fire, causing approximately $500,000 in damage.

History of terrorist attacks in Europe. Source: The Economist.

History of terrorist attacks in western Europe. Source: The Economist.

Yes, totally comparable to 9/11.

So this is either a case of astoundingly lackadaisical research and critical thinking, or deliberate disingenuousness. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter, because there are other, more relevant measures – the body count (see the infographic to the right). Islamists are responsible for the overwhelming majority of terrorism-related deaths in Europe, despite Breivik’s single-handed archievements, and despite only constituting 5% of the West European population.

In her article, Marine Le Pen continues:

Yet this distinction can only be made if one is willing to identify the threat. It does our Muslim compatriots no favors to fuel suspicions and leave things unspoken. Islamist terrorism is a cancer on Islam, and Muslims themselves must fight it at our side.

This is an entirely legitimate point, as are her ensuing arguments that sorting out immigration policy is essential for victory in this struggle:

First, the dogma of the free movement of peoples and goods is so firmly entrenched among the leaders of the European Union that the very idea of border checks is deemed to be heretical. And yet, every year tons of weapons from the Balkans enter French territory unhindered and hundreds of jihadists move freely around Europe. …

Second, the massive waves of immigration, both legal and clandestine, our country has experienced for decades have prevented the implementation of a proper assimilation policy… Without a policy restricting immigration, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to fight against communalism and the rise of ways of life at odds with laïcité, France’s distinctive form of secularism, and other laws and values of the French Republic. An additional burden is mass unemployment, which is itself exacerbated by immigration.

What she wisely doesn’t mention are some of the politically incorrect but no less real factors that make Muslim integration so difficult, and as such the case for immigration control so compelling.

First and foremost must be the simple, inescapable fact that European Muslims are, on average, duller (in the IQ sense) than the native populations. Moreover, while the second generation almost always performs significantly better than the first – a natural consequence of the environmental improvements from moving from a developing country to a developed one, i.e. Flynn-on-steroids – it never converges with native scores.

Below is a table of 2009 PISA-derived IQs for 1st generation immigrants, 2nd generation immigrants, natives, and the national average. (Not all the immigrants will be Muslim, of course, but since many of the other of the other immigrants are from similarly high-IQ European nations, such as the Poles, that would if anything knock the Muslim figures down even lower). Immigration is also a hotly debated issue in the US, including in its cognitive impacts – remember the Richwine Affair? – so I give figures for the US too.

1st Gen IQ 2nd Gen IQ Native IQ National IQ
France 89.4 91.8 101.2 99.6
Germany 93.7 94.5 105.0 101.5
Italy 87.1 92.4 98.7 97.9
Netherlands 95.4 95.7 105.0 102.9
Spain 89.1 94.2 99.0 97.6
Sweden 87.6 92.1 100.8 99.3
UK 95.1 99.3 101.2 100.0
USA 97.2 96.1 100.3 99.4

Lower IQs are almost inevitably associated with higher delinquency, higher crime rates, higher unemployment, and poorer general life outcomes. It has next to nothing to do with discrimination or white privilege, and a lot to do with employers valuing competent workers over incompetent ones; next to nothing to do with cops looking for some brown person to bully, and a lot to do with brighter people being generally better at cost-benefit analyses, e.g. as to the advisability of dropping out of school, selling drugs, or stealing that shiny new iPhone.

Modern welfare states spend a lot of resources just helping the more socially (and, inevitably, biologically) disadvantaged members of their societies stand on their own two feet.

As the blogger at Those Who Can See has found out, all three of the Charlie Hebdo terrorists benefited a lot from those programs:

An old friend from their orphanage has revealed some choice bits, a near-caricature of petty Arab thugs:

‘Cherif was a loudmouth, a fighter, loved to bling out in Lacoste tracksuits and screw girls, hated the ‘Gauls’ (native French) [...] Saïd was different, non-violent, civil and well-liked, though he wasn’t crazy about ‘Gauls’ either…’

An ex-colleague of Saïd’s has also spilled to the press. He claims the elder brother worked under him for the City of Paris trash detail, but was ‘unmanageable’ (e.g. refusing to shake hands with female colleagues), was transfered five times, then let go.

It is in reading between the lines that one figures out that his job, ‘recycling ambassador,’ was an invented make-work post of the type created to occupy (and pay) otherwise unemployable immigrants. The City of Paris, according to the article, had many such ‘ambassadors’ who went door-to-door to explain the joys of recycling to the city’s residents. The snitch in the article says a large number were unmanageable Islamists, about which they alerted their bosses often but were rebiffed because ‘the subject was taboo.’

This anecdote may seem neither here nor there, but in the larger narrative, progressives rail endlessly that France isn’t doing enough to integrate its Arabs. Here we have the City creating cushy do-nothing jobs for them in order to buy social peace, and the unhappy Saïd still manages to get himself fired for incompetence. Integration failed–but who is at fault?

Peter Frost, who also writes here at The Review, assigns higher Muslim crime rates and terrorism to their more macho and “alpha” cultural upbringings, deriving as they do from regions that had not managed to suppress violence as did Europe.

Murder was increasingly punished not only by the ultimate penalty but also by exemplary forms of execution, e.g., burning at the stake, drawing and quartering, and breaking on the wheel (Carbasse, 2011, pp. 52-53). This “war on murder” reached a peak from the 16th to 18th centuries when, out of every two hundred men, one or two would end up being executed (Taccoen, 1982, p. 52). A comparable number of murderers would die either at the scene of the crime or in prison while awaiting trial (Ireland, 1987).

I am somewhat skeptical of this explanation. Civilization in the Maghreb, to say nothing of Egypt or Mesopotamia, is far older than anything in Europe north of the Mediterranean… Even if they were less effective at stamping out violence, they had a heck of a lot longer to do it. “Our empire was old before dragons stirred in Old Valyria…”

My thesis is that the roots of the deep ailments that affect most Muslim societies lie elsewhere: In their extensive rates of inbreeding, which goes all the way up to the double cousins. The latest research indicates that first cousin matings could lower offspring IQ by as much as 30 points. (It need hardly be said that this is astoundingly bad; basically, it’s a drop from normal to retardation). Now consider that 37% of Pakistani marriages in the UK are between first cousins. The rates are not dissimilar amongst most other European immigrant Muslim communities.

The institution of cousin marriage is not integral to Islam per se. To the contrary, it was likely an outshoot of Mohammed’s instructions that daughters should also get a share of the family inheritance, thus creating a perverse economic incentive to keep wealth within the family by cousin marriage. Andrey Korotayev wrote a brilliant paper on this, which I highly recommend checking out if you’re interested in the historic origins of the Muslim family type.

Extensive first cousin, including FBD, marriage can explain a lot.

It explains the emphasis on keeping women veiled and accompanied by male guardians. Since future partners are, in many cases, “prearranged,” there is absolutely no need for extracurricular dalliances. Men, too, can experience specific problems under this system… with a significant percentage of the female population “wardened off” so, where do they seek release? Not everyone has a guaranteed wife, or a high enough SMV to game non-Muslim girls. Porn satisfies many but not all. After this, only more and more unorthodox solutions are left.

It explains the “clannishness” that Peter Frost notices.

It explains the massively depressed IQs seen throughout the Muslim world, especially relative to their estimated genotypic potential. Average IQs in oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Qatar, where first cousin marriage is particularly endemic, are not substantially higher than in dirt-poor sub-Saharan countries.

And because of the critical import of IQ to virtually all aspects of human behavior, it explains a whole host of other domains – crime, unemployment, etc. – in which Muslim immigrants continue to underperform.

The solution is obvious enough, right?

It might not work straight away, but if strictly enforced, it will work eventually. Cousin marriage rates will fall, as they did in southern Italy or Japan in the 20th century, though those two countries had the advantage of starting from far lower bases. IQs will rise. We will finally get some measure of integration. Multiculturalism might even stop being the byword for social dysfunction that it has become today.

Right?

Wrong. You’re forgetting IQ is a social construct. And HBD is just what the old school racists now call their racism. Cousin marriage is a venerable tradition, and you have no right to tell Muslims whom they can or cannot marry. It would insult their religious beliefs (even though they have nothing in common). Besides, gays marry, so why not first cousins? Einstein did it. And what about the Darwin-Wedgwood clan? That one example completely disproves everything!

So the second logical alternative to the HBD explanation is the cultural one: That Islam really is an innately sick culture, and all societies that follow its precepts are doomed to economic irrelevance and social retrogression. They hate us for our freedumbs!

And this is how you get neocons, Breiviks, and multi-trillion dollar foreign adventures in far off deserts.

Or maybe Muslims really are kept down by the Man. He refuses to hire them, wages war on their coreligionists, and props up oppressive dictators. Because he wants Muslim oil and answers to Jewish shitlords. Islam isn’t the problem; it’s the solution. Allahu akbar! Behead those who insult Islam!

And this is how you get Islamists, ISIS, and terrorist attack after terrorist attack.

"An act of exceptional barbarism..." "That's not what you said when you sent them to me."

Not a Charlie Hebdo cartoon, naturally. “An act of exceptional barbarism…” “That’s not what you said when you sent them to me.”

Marine Le Pen, again:

Third, French foreign policy has wandered between Scylla and Charybdis in the last few years. Former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s intervention in Libya, President François Hollande’s support for some Syrian fundamentalists, alliances formed with rentier states that finance jihadist fighters, like Qatar and Saudi Arabia — all are mistakes that have plunged France into serious geopolitical incoherence from which it is struggling to extricate itself.

And these guys, jihadists, are sent off with Western blessings (and money, and guns) to destabilize yet more Arab states…against those same dictators whom Islamists believe the West supports. Dictators who are usually the only power keeping those disparate, clannish states together and offering any hope of effecting lasting reform. But we better! We know from Fukuyama-via Marx-via Hegel that liberal democracy is universal, equally suited for an advanced high-IQ European or East Asian society, and a low-IQ ethnic medley where 75% of the populations wants the death penalty for apostasy.

And the resulting wars and anarchy displace more and more people, many of whom end up as immigrants on European shores.

And the cycle of invade/invite the world continues.

The way it sustains itself, one has to admit, is really quite elegant, if ultimately disastrous for everyone concerned.

Iraqis, Lybians, Syrians, and other victims of Western universalism get their countries wrecked by jihadists picked up from European banlieues and Arab street gutters, sometimes in conjunction with American bombs. The European peoples get to be enriched by more and more diversity in an offer they can’t refuse. The American taxpayer gets to pick up the tab.

But at least the American gets to walk away from the whole mess. La Raza Cósmica sure beats Eurabia.

 

I am back to writing for the US-Russia.org Expert Discussion Panel, which since my hiatus has found an additional home at Voice of Russia. The latest topic was on whether Russia, China, and the West could find a common approach to the challenges of the Arab Spring. My response is pessimistic, as in my view Western actions are driven by a combination of ideological “democracy fetishism” and the imperative of improving their own geopolitical positions vis-à-vis Iran, Russia, and China. This makes it difficult to find any middle ground:

It is true that many Muslims in the Middle East want their aging strongman rulers out, and democracy in. Even Osama bin Laden, who purportedly “hates us for our freedom”, once mused that the reason Spain has a bigger economy than the entire Arab world combined was because “the ruler there is accountable.”

And this is also part of the reason why we should refrain from fetishizing “democracy” as the solution to all the region’s ills.

That is because liberal democracy as we know it in the West, with its separation of powers – in particular, that of the Church and state – isn’t at the top of most locals’ priority lists. It only really concerns the liberal youth who initially headed the revolt, while the other 95% of the population is concerned with more trivial things, like unemployment and food prices. As per the historical pattern with the French and Russian revolutions, the Arab Spring happened during a period of record high grain prices. And now as then, a revolution won’t magically create jobs or fill bellies.

In today’s Egypt, it is not foreign-residing technocrats like El Baradei, with his 2% approval ratings, who become President; nor is the cultural discourse set by young Cairo women who strip nude against patriarchy. Remove a secular, modernizing dictator from a country where 75% of the populations supports stoning for adultery, and sooner rather than later you get restrictive dress codes for women (de facto if not de jure), attacks against Christian minorities, and bearded Islamists worming their way into power.

As for Syria, the biggest practical difference is that the liberal minority in the opposition was sidelined even before the fall of the dictator, as it is the Islamists who are now taking the lead in the fighting against Assad.

Will the new regimes that emerge out of the Arab Spring be anywhere near as accommodating with the West as were the likes of Mubarak, or even Assad – who, as Putin reminded us, visited Paris more times that he did Moscow? Will religious fundamentalists be able, or even willing, to build up the (educational) human capital that is the most important component of sustained economic growth?wahh Will they even be able to regain control of their borders, or will they end up like Libya, an anarchic zone disgorging Wahhabi mujahedeen into neighboring countries that don’t really want them?

Western policy-makers do not seem all that eager to consider these questions. Maybe they think they can manipulate the Arab Spring to serve their own interests – after all, Assad’s Syria is an ally of Iran, supplies Hezbollah, and has security relations with Russia and China. They may be calculating that the geopolitical boon from removing the Alawites from power outweighs the costs of Islamists taking over in Damascus. Certainly there are grounds to doubt that genuine concern for democracy explains French, British, and American actions: After all, the two dictatorships friendliest to the West, Bahrain and Yemen, were actively supported in their crackdowns.

If the above interpretation is anywhere near true, there can be little hope for Russia and China finding common ground with the West. It would imply that the Middle East is a chessboard for Great Power games – and chess isn’t a game that you typically play to draw. The one thing everyone should bear in mind, though, is that no matter a man’s ideological leaning, he resents being a pawn. This is a life truism that was demonstrated in the attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi, that is being played out today in Mali, and that will continue to reverberate so long as the crusaders – for they are widely seen as such – remain in Dar Al-Islam.

(Reprinted from Da Russophile by permission of author or representative)
 

I had great fun observing the fallout over Depardieu’s “defection” to Russia. The reason for the apostrophes is of course because it had nothing to do with it. It was Depardieu trolling Hollande and the French “Socialists”, and Putin trolling Westerners and his own homegrown “democratic journalists.” (Or maybe not? In any case, I for one have a difficult time comprehending why anyone would care so much.) This trolling was both entertaining and successful, because it elicited so, so much beautiful rage and loathing from all our favorite quarters.

The Western press

Predictable enough, coverage of this on the right-wing sites like the Wall Street Journal was schizophrenic. After all the writers and readers have to decide on who they hate more: Socialist France or Putin’s Russia? Of course the faux-left/neoliberal press like Le Monde and The Guardian had no such problems. They went stark raving apoplectic:

Gérard Depardieu isn’t enough to change Russia’s image by our good friend Andrew Ryvkin: “The actor may be taking Russian citizenship, but convincing citizens life is better than in the west is a difficult PR exercise” – I hardly think that was ever the point.

Gérard Depardieu joins very small club of adoptive Russian citizens, by Howard Amos: “Few foreigners seek Russian citizenship and even fewer are granted it, with the tide generally going in the opposite direction.” Ah, the (completely discredited) Sixth Wave of Emigration trope. What makes this especially funny is that 300k-400k Brits leave Britain every year, whereas the equivalent figure for Russia (with more than 2x the population) is slightly above 100,000 this year.

But best of all was the Guardian’s caption competition to the above photo. Here are some of the Guardian picks:

Après moi le beluga…?

Gerard announces the closure of several Parisian Boulangeries.

The hilarity of this is that the Guardian is a major mouthpiece for “fat acceptance”; indeed, it is not atypical for its contributors to write inanities like this: “While obese is a medical term, fat is the language of the bully. It’s not a word doctors should use.”

While I certainly have no problem with making fun of fat apologists and their enablers, but what’s hilarious is that the Guardian CiF is notoriously censorious and would have surely deleted those comments had they been directed at anyone the Guardian likes for violating its “community standards.”

Western democratic journalists

Unfortunately even many otherwise reasonable people were ridiculously outraged.

https://twitter.com/theivanovreport/status/286916844370161665

https://twitter.com/theivanovreport/status/287202688507195393

Mark Adomanis started out well:

But then he too went weird.

As the details of his newly minted Russian citizenship Depardieu has (justifiably!) been roundly condemned by right, left, center, and everywhere in between.

Quite a change from this in 2010, no?: “All of the US-run freedom indices aren’t merely slanted (that’s to be expected) but usually also have some truly weird crap thrown in the mix.” ;)

Russian liberals

Via politrash, who noted that writing this much have torn the democratic journalist in question (Gleb Razdolnov) to pieces: Please Answer, Depardieu!… (Open Letter)

A must-read for anyone interested in Russian liberal psychology. Go to your Google Translate.

And Depardieu knows all the correct things to say to troll and wind them up even further.

In a class of its own: Julia Ioffe

Gerard Depardieu’s Russian Citizenship Is a Passport to a Westerner’s Playground for TNR.

Days earlier, Putin, by presidential fiat, had extended Russian citizenship to Depardieu, who recently declared that he would abandon his native France, allegedly because of high taxes: Russia’s flat 13 percent tax rate looked a lot better than Francois Hollande’s now defunct proposal to raise taxes to 75 percent for those making over 1 million euros.

Minor point, perhaps, but NOT defunct.

The inaugural trip to Mordovia, observers noted, was a strange choice given what the republic is generally known for: penal colonies. The Mordovian economy subsists almost entirely on these alone; roads are merely strings connecting the colonies, some of which date back to Stalin. Most visitors to Mordovia are likely to see not yodeling singers in colorful frocks, but a depressed region where the free population seems split into two camps: the prison guards, and the day drinkers.

I have no doubt that Depardieu didn’t see and will not see this side of Mordovia, nor will he have met with the region’s most famous inmate, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, of the band Pussy Riot.

The state of Oklahoma, generally known for the Trail of Tears. Southern Poland, generally known for Auschwitz. Nanking, generally known for its rape. Any others you can think of?

Nor will Depardieu see Russia as it exists for 99.9 percent of his now fellow countrymen. As Putin’s pet, he will be shielded from the collapsing infrastructure and a ramshackle poverty inexplicable for a country that pumps more oil than Saudi Arabia. He will never have to go to a poorly trained, overworked, and underpaid Russian doctor who would likely misdiagnose him anyway. He will never get caught in the teeth of the corrupt justice system; he won’t be extorted for bribes, whether or not he runs afoul of the law.

So specifically Russian. But the best is yet to come:

Of course, this can be said of any wealthy Russian, or any celebrity anywhere in the world. The difference here is the orientalism of such Western men—and they are always, always men—who decamp to Russia and praise the place for its freedom and simplicity. The women, they say, are more beautiful and better (read: more sparsely) dressed, more deferential to men (especially men with money), and always aim to please, sexually.

Because ugly, badly dressed, rude, frigid, and – incidentally – worse paid relative to men is a far superior lifestyle?

Without examining why Russian women might be like this, Western expats use these qualities as evidence for a quietly long-held view that feminism is the crude weapon of the ugly Western woman.

Well…

The whirl-a-gig unpredictability of the place rarely stops being fun because it’s never entirely real. In these men’s eyes, it is not lawlessness; it is freedom from annoying rules.

In my years living in Moscow, I have come across many such Western men. In Moscow, their wealth gives them the kind of reality-bending leverage that it couldn’t in New York, London, or Paris. In Moscow, their wealth—and, in Depardieu’s case, fame—made them brilliant and sexually attractive, especially to the leggy, barely legal girls from the provinces; in those Western cities, their money merely made them rich.

Okay, I think she’s basically confirmed my theory from an older post:

One thing that really stands out is that it is female Jews who dislike Russia more than anything, at least among Western journalists. As this post has already pushed well beyond all respectable limits of political correctness, I might as well go the full nine yards and outline my theory of why that is the case. In my view, the reasons are ultimately psycho-sexual. Male Jews nowadays have it good in Russia, with many Slavic girls attracted to their wealth, intelligence and impeccable charm (if not their looks). But the position of Jewesses is the inverse. They find it hard to compete with those same Slavic chicks who tend to be both hotter and much more feminine than them; nor, like Jewish guys, can they compensate with intelligence, since it is considered far less important for women. This state of affairs leads to sexual frustration and permanent singledom (pump and dump affairs don’t count of course), which in turn gives rise to the angry radical feminism and lesbianism that oozes out of this piece by Anna Nemtsova bemoaning Russia’s “useless bachelors”. Such attitudes further increase male aversion to them, thus reinforcing their vicious cycle of singledom. And the resulting frustration indelibly seeps into their work…

Basically in Russia, Ioffe is surrounded by massively superior competition to what she’d find in her hometown, massively diminishing her relative attractiveness and male attention/commitment. This is understandably hard on the ego. In that respect, Washington DC is the polar opposite of what she’d have found in Russia.

So, no wonder that Ioffe has been so angry during her time in Russia and bugged out of the place much sooner rather than later. Why else would she spend so much column space ruing the far superior sexual choice available to expats in Russia?

I mean there’s nothing wrong with her disliking Russia for that, it’s a perfectly understandable and natural reaction. People are drawn to places where they enjoy more attention, respect, and sexual market value. That is why it is “always” male expats that enjoy the place as she points out. Whereas an American female journalist might hook up with some Latino lothario in Brazil, in Moscow she’d have to settle for beetroot-stained runts in vests and tracksuit pants.

But at least the foreign expats she is so so evidently butthurt about are, by her own admission, honest about their motivations. They want to keep 75%-13%=62% of their money, not have their cars periodically torched by “youths”, and have the freedom to look over a girl without going to jail for it.

Update: Ioffe’s reply to this post

Ouch this must have struck a nerve with her!

(Reprinted from Da Russophile by permission of author or representative)
 

Le Nouvel Observateur recently compiled opinions on Russian democracy from each of the ten French Presidential candidates. While the Left is highly critical of the authoritarian Putin regime, the Right is more favorably disposed to the Russian President-elect. On the eve of the first round of the French Presidential elections, I provide a translation of Russie: Ce qu’en disent les candidats.

Nicolas Sarkozy

“After the crash of the 1990′s, it was at the cost of a takeover that the authority of the state was restored and the economy recovered. There was brutal repression in Chechnya, the war in Georgia, and most recently the contestations about the elections, even if they do not give cause to question the legitimacy of the next President. Today the Russians want political reform and I think it is the will of their leaders too. France’s role should be to encourage this movement, but not to read Russia lectures or stigmatize this great country which, despite our differences, is one of our major partners. Let’s not forget that it is only 20 years since Russia emerged from a long totalitarian night.”

Sarkozy is the current center-right President and head of the ruling UMP, who is likely to lose to Hollande in the second round according to opinion pollsters.

François Hollande

“Russia agreed to commitments, especially those of the Council of Europe, which she must respect. I especially wish this so that we can build the partnership with Russia which we need to create a growth-friendly environment in Europe and to construct other international balances. This is particularly the case in the UN Security Council where Russia cannot continue to go its own way, complicit in the massacres in Syria. Russian society is changing, as evidenced in the recent elections during which a real demand for democracy was expressed. It is now important that the Russian government pursue its announced democratization efforts. All over the world, France must support the rule of law, civil liberties, media independence, and respect for human rights, all while respecting the sovereignty of peoples. This requires a deep dialog and cooperation with Russia, which is a major partner for France and the EU, both economically and strategically.”

Hollande is the center-left head of the Socialist Party, and is the pollsters’ favorite to take the French Presidency.

François Bayrou

Russia’s society and economy have undergone profound changes, but nonetheless fundamental liberties are still too often stymied, notably those which concern press freedom and freedom of speech. The current situation is clearly not comparable to that which prevailed under the Communist regime, but democrats cannot be satisfied. We must convince Russia to make further progress, though the decisive impetus will come from the Russians themselves.

Bayrou is a centrist politician who is head of the Democratic Movement and polling about 13%.

Marine Le Pen

There is no evidence to suggest that Russia is not a democracy from a constitutional perspective. It is not a one-party state and no serious analyst can assert that Vladimir Putin does not enjoy a solid majority and popular legitimacy. If you read Russian newspapers, you will see that the tone of the opposition press is much freer and more virulent against Putin than it is in France against Sarkozy. The problem we have as regards Russia is that our perceptions are influenced by the strategic representations that American and European ideologized networks, hostile to the Russians’ policy of national pragmatism, installed in the heart of our mainstream media.

Marine Le Pen is a far-right politician who is head of the Front National and polling about 15%.

Eva Joly

The recent Russian elections have shown us that Vladimir Putin considers elections and democracy as mere formalities before reattaining his full powers, which he had never ceased exercising in the first place. This can be described as the exercise of autocratic power, while hundreds of thousands of Russian citizens simply asked for free elections worthy of a modern democracy. But the most lamentable thing in all this is the deafening silence of French and European leaders as regards the disputed re-election of Vladimir Putin on March 4. So during this campaign I called upon all the Presidential candidates to make a clear commitment to democracy and human rights in Russia.

Eva Joly is the head of Europe Écologie–The Greens and has insignificant support.

Philippe Poutou

If Putin’s party arrived well ahead in local elections in Russia, it is the result of massive fraud, intimidation, and arrests of activists. For the first time in Russia, the voters went out into the streets to express their anger. In Moscow, many opposition candidates did not have the right to stand and the opposition parties did not have access to the media. In Astrakhan, the incumbent mayor used gangster methods to prevent his opponent from getting elected. So I obviously do not consider the Putin regime to be a democracy.

Philippe Poutou is the head of the New Anticapitalist Party and has insignificant support.

Nicolas Dupont-Aignan

Putin’s Russia is a complex country that has come a long way since not only Communism, but also since the decade of transition that profoundly destabilized it. Putin ended a period of decline and ended the looting of the country by the oligarchs and we can understand that the Russians are grateful to him. Russia is not yet a Western democracy but it is democratizing. We hope that the coming years will bring new progress in this domain and in the struggle against corruption. Either way, I do not think that provoking Vladimir Putin through external interventions, as some will have it, will bring any progress in this field. We must give it time.

Nicolas Dupont-Aignan is a Gaullist and former UMP member, who has insignificant support.

Jacques Cheminade (Solidarité et Progrès)

There are no more democracies left in the world. Europe is not an example when it sends Greece to the garrote. If she had a real policy, which is impossible with Mlle. Ashton, it should initiate peace through mutual development starting from the complementary economic interests of Russia, China, and the other Asian countries.

Jacques Cheminade is the head of Solidarité et Progrès, the party of the LaRouche movement in France, and has insignificant support.

Nathalie Arthaud

Even going by criteria accommodating to Great Powers claiming to be “democratic”, the Putin regime is an authoritarian regime. Putin’s predecessors, from Stalin to Gorbachev, betrayed the Communism which they themselves laid claim to: They were in fact defending the interests of the bureaucratic layer that usurped the revolutionary power founded by the workers and peasants in 1917. Putin, however, does not betray the values of the capitalist world to which he lays claims to, judging by the methods of other heads of state.

Nathalie Arthaud is the head of Workers’ Struggle and has insignificant support.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon (Left Front)

Declined to answer the questions of La Nouvel Observateur.

The leader of the French communists declined to answer the question. He is predicted to get about 13%.

(Reprinted from Da Russophile by permission of author or representative)
 

Really now?

Apart from direct falsifications, which were extensively discussed here, the other really big criticism of the Russian elections process is that it isn’t a level playing field. As said by an OSCE bureaucrat, “The point of elections is that the outcome should be uncertain. This was not the case in Russia.”

Well wait a second. First, uncertainty isn’t the point of an election at all; otherwise, why not make it into a lottery? It’s to get the person who most represents the people into power. Second, there is no country where each candidate gets equal airtime, ad money, debating invites, etc. Cases in point: Ron Paul, Nader, Marine Le Pen, generic Green Parties and Pirate Parties, etc. Perhaps one day we will live in Internet democracies where anyone can nominate oneself and debates are won and lost via webcasts on Facebook but for now level playing fields are a fiction everywhere.

One can write a whole article on comparisons, but why bother when the Russian political scientist Evgeny Minchenko has already done an excellent job of picking apart these questionable assertions about how elections in Russia are much less free and competitive than in the West in his article Seven Myths about the Russian Elections? I translate his effort below. H/t @lindsey_bn for the link via Twitter.

Seven Myths About The Russian Elections

Evgeny Minchenko

Myth 1 – A prolonged stay in power can be the basis for proclaiming the government illegitimate. Here we can look at the examples of Canadian PM Jean Chrétien – 20 years, Federal Chancellor of the FRG Helmut Kohl – 16 years. Ólafur Grímsson is the President of Iceland since 1996, and in 2000 his term of office was extended without elections as there was nobody willing to compete with him, he won the elections in 2004, he once again had his term extended in 2008 with no elections, and he does not exclude participating in the upcoming 2012 elections. There is a similar history with Chrétien and Kohl, although one has to note that it’s a slightly different state of affairs in parliamentary democracies.

Myth 2 – Elite collusion, in our context the Putin – Medvedev “castling”, can be a basis for proclaiming the government illegitimate. Unfortunately, politics is structured in such a way that elite collusion does happen. A striking example is the history of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. When they were nominating a candidate for Prime Minister, they agreed that Blair would go first, and then Brown. Vladimir Putin gave this very example: When Tony Blair stepped down after a scandal, there were no elections. Gordon Brown carried on for another three years as Prime Minister, with no elections, even though when the British voted for New Labour at the polls they were voting for Tony Blair as Prime Minister. On the other hand, when they finally did hold elections, Labour was crushed. In my opinion, this demonstrates that the public does have the opportunity to express their attitudes towards this kind of collusion. Our reaction was Bolotnaya Square and Prospekt Sakharova.

Myth 3 – Harsh screening and disqualification of undesirable candidates in the Russian Federation. True, we have our Grigory Yavlinsky with his 1.5% rating who couldn’t take part in the elections, but I want to draw attention to what is now happening in the Presidential campaign in France. They have a very specific system in that the candidate must enlist the support of at least 500 mayors or elected local officials. Despite there being 50,000 such officials in France, Marine Le Pen – who has a 17% approval rating – has yet been unable to collect these signatures. And this isn’t Yavlinsky, with his 1.5%, this is a person, who has a real chance of reaching the second round. I hope that Marine Le Pen will be able to solve her problem, as did her father Jean-Marie Le Pen; the ruling authorities were forced to command signatures to be gathered on his behalf after public pressure. There are various technologies for filtering out undesirable candidates. A striking example is the impeachment of Rolandas Paksas in Lithuania: Only after he left did it emerge that the court had pronounced him innocent, but by then he could not return to the Presidency. Another example – the story of Strauss-Kahn, who had a leading position among the French Presidential candidates, but who for reasons unknown to us could not take part in the elections. Bidzina Ivanishvili lost his Georgian citizenship, and is not allowed into the Presidential election.

Myth 4 – The dominance of one party or one candidate in the mass media. I think this problem with access to media resources exists everywhere. It’s obvious that in the US candidates from the two key parties dominate over all others. On the other hand, it’s worth pointing out that the benefits which Mikhail Prokhorov enjoyed on Russian TV channels in the last elections were for a long time enjoyed by no other candidate.

Myth 5 – Vladimir Putin declined to participate in the debates, so the elections were illegitimate – the voters didn’t have an opportunity to assess him. Let’s take a look at other countries. There were 23 candidates in the last US elections. For instance, Ralph Nader was registered in 48 states out of 51, but the elected Obama debated exclusively with McCain. Having a minimum of 15% in opinion polls is a condition for participating in US debates. Or what about France, 2002 – Chirac vs. Le Pen. As a rule, there are no debates prior to the first round in France. The tradition of holding debates only applies to the period between the first round and the second round. Mikhail Saakashvili, who is frequently portrayed as a great democrat, has never debated anyone in his two Presidential elections.

Myth 6 (very common) – Russian legislation creates comfortable conditions for electoral falsifications. The suggested solution – rewrite the laws so that they match those of normal “democratic countries.” But the problems aren’t in the laws. As a matter of fact, ours are very stringent. They say, “Let’s abolish early voting!” But in the US, typically up to 30% of voters cast their ballots early. As for procedures on allowing observers into polling stations in other countries, in France you have to be a member of the Electoral Commission to observe the voting, and in the US observers are frequently denied access, especially foreign ones. In terms of observer access to polling stations, Russia is actually one of the world’s more liberal states.

Myth 7 – Big protest actions are a cause for a revision of the election results. One striking example – the attempted “Cactus Revolution” in Mexico in 2006. Compared to our modest turnouts, in Mexico up to a million people took to the streets. At the same time, there appeared the following phenomenon: “And I don’t know why this candidate was elected, none of my acquaintances voted for him.” The specific cause of this lay in López Obrador being Mayor of Mexico City, and dominant in the capital and the adjoining southern regions, where many people genuinely didn’t know anyone who voted for Calderón. Nonetheless, all those protests came to naught.

What is to be done?

For the elections to be more honest and transparent, we need to have an independent judiciary, and opposition representation in parliament and the regions. I think that if there were to be elections for governors, they would enable them to reallocate administrative resources between the various parties. Inter-elite conflicts, a stable tradition of political competition – which we still have to work out, as it unfortunately isn’t double within 20 years – independent media, true federalism, and so those proposals that were made by Medvedev are, in my opinion, adequate: The liberalization of political party registration, and the transition to direct elections of governors.

(Reprinted from Sublime Oblivion by permission of author or representative)
 
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.