The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
 Russian Reaction Blog
/
Opinion PollTeasers

Gallup: New Index Shows Least-, Most-Accepting Countries for Migrants

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

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

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

The full list is attached below.

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

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

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

Curiously, the Russian sphere is the major exception that:

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

Also:

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

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

***

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

.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Immigration, Opinion Poll 

Results of the new PEW poll on international relations.

ROG-ZOG alliance on Trump.

pew-trump-support-2017

Russia is also the major country where approval of the US went up since Trump’s election.

pew-usa-approval

These figures are however a bit outdated (they were gathered this spring).

Levada, which keeps track of Russian opinion of foreign countries, showed US approval falling from 37% in March 2017 back to 24% in May 2017 – not far from the nadir under Obama – in what must have been a response to the US strikes on Syria.

levada-russia-usa-approval

Young people are universally more supportive of American customs coming to their countries.

I can state that the figures for Russia are definitely correct.

pew-us-customs

Australians and Israelis have the only rightists who support Trump.

pew-us-support-ideology

By “far right” party opinion:

pew-us-support-ideology-2

Pretty much everyone opposes Trump’s wall, though it is perhaps hard to see how it is anybody’s except Mexico’s business.

pew-support-wall

More Indians and Africans (!) want Trump to create Tropical Hyperborea than Russians. How sad.

pew-support-trump-climate-withdrawal

Here is how Trump stacks up against Merkel, Xi Jinping, and Putin.

pew-trump-putin-merkel

 

Latest poll on the “greatest people of all times and places”:

1989 1994 1999 2003 2008 2012 2017
Stalin 12 20 35 40 36 42 38
Putin 21 32 22 34
Pushkin 25 23 42 39 47 29 34
Lenin 72 34 42 43 34 37 32
Peter the Great 38 41 45 43 37 37 29
Gagarin 15 8 26 33 25 20 20
Tolstoy 13 8 12 12 14 24 12
Zhukov 19 14 20 22 23 15 12
Catherine II 10 10 11 8 11 11
Lermontov 5 5 9 10 9 8 11
Lomonosov 20 13 18 17 17 15 10
Suvorov 17 18 18 16 16 12 10
Mendeleev 13 6 12 13 13 12 10
Napoleon 6 19 19 13 9 13 9
Brezhnev 6 8 12 9 12 8
Einstein 9 5 6 7 7 7 7
Esenin 2 3 5 6 5 7
Kutuzov 10 11 11 10 11 12 7
Newton 6 3 4 6 6 6 7
Gorbachev 10 4 8 6 6 6

Putin’s #2 position is absurd, even if you have a positive opinion of his record, while places #1 and #4 are just depressing.

I explained the causes of modern Russian Stalinophilia in an earlier post:

One would think that given Stalin’s actual record, which was sordid enough, you would not need to “blackwash” him any further, but ideologues will be ideologues, so what happened happened, and next thing you know many people started suspecting that given the false facts and figures being pushed about Stalin – demonstrated so by the newly accessible archival evidence itself – then maybe they were lying about everything else as well, and well maybe Stalin was actually the good guy after all, maligned by his bitter and limp-wristed successors who “sold out” the Glorious Leader.

And thus a huge strand of the Russian “patriotic” opposition to the liberal neocon hegemony of the 1990s, which had decidedly triumphed by the end of Putin’s first term, had in the process also become infested with Stalinophilia – even though it is not really compatible with Russian patriotism, let alone Russian nationalism (which the Communists, including Stalin, ruthlessly persecuted). The tendency of Stalin’s popularity to wax and wane in sync with the state of Russia’s relations with the West – lower when they are good, and higher when they are bad – strongly suggests that the debate over Stalin in Russia has nothing to do with real history. Instead, it is merely one of several tribal identifiers in politics, much like denial of global warming is a tenet of the Red Tribe and blank slatism is a tenet of the Blue Tribe, both of which have everything to do with American-specific politics and nothing to do with science. In Russia’s case, this Stalinist identifier – like the broader patriotic Great Patriotic War ideology onto which it has affixed itself – gets deflated and boosted whenever Russia veers between globalist integrationism and siege mentality, respectively.

Stalinophilia is a joint creation of sovoks and liberals.

The sovoks because many of them are the equivalent of America’s 95 IQ patriotards, and the ethnoliberals because they want to demonize and further dismantle Russia.

On the plus side, at least Lenin is slowly fading from the scene, the traitor and outright Russophobe made into the secular equivalent of a founding prophet in the USSR.

This suggests something encouraging – that it is not sovoks, but vatniks, who are beginning to worship Stalin.

But they are doing so not out of any love for scientific communism and similar crap, but because of their misdirected nationalist instincts.

With the correct changes in propaganda, vatniks will be demanding the toppling of Lenin statues and the restoration of the Russian Empire in no time at all.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Iosef Stalin, Opinion Poll, Russia 

The figures for Russia are from Levada, those for Ukraine are from KMIS.

poll-ukraine-russia-relations-positive-negative

poll-ukraine-russia-relations-ideal

The basic story is that there was a (mutual) collapse in Ukraine-Russia views of the other country around 2014, which has remained steady since.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Opinion Poll, Russia, Ukraine, War in Donbass 

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.

 

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

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

***

zdf-poll-germany-le-pen

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

yougov-poll-uk-le-pen

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

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

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

This is basically an extension of attitudes towards Brexit.

yougov-poll-uk-le-pen-brexit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Should the government try to limit the inflow of immigrants, or should it not place any administrative barriers and try to use it for the benefit of Russia?

levada-russia-opinion-about-immigrations

 

Red = Restrict immigration; Blue = Don’t place barriers; Green = N/A.

russian-emigration-immigration-1997-2015

This makes sense. The early 2000s saw an all time low in immigration to Russia – the influx of ethnic Russians from the Near Abroad had abated by that period, while the economy was not yet strong enough to attract masses of Central Asian labor.

From the mid-2000s, large numbers of Uzbeks, Tajiks, and Kyrgyz have been rotating in and out, with the occassional dip during recessions.

If there is one thing that Navalny can capitalize on, it is this graph. Still, there’s no need to overstress its significance. After all, discotent with immigration was similarly high by 2011-12, and Navalny’s nativist credentials then were far stronger, but he was unable to turn it into any significant political success.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Immigration, Opinion Poll, Russia 

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 

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

(1) Politician Approval Ratings

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

(2) Navalny’s Video

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

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

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

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

(3) Navalny’s Ratings

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

navalny-awareness-rating

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

navalny-voting-intentions

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

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

 

In my 2017 predictions, I wrote:

Russians have a more positive view of the US than of the EU as of the last Levada poll in that year: 60%.

Latest polls:

russia-approval-usa-eu

The gap is only 2 points now.

Republicans, at least are returning the favor.

us-approval-of-russia

The New Cold War might well be petering out in a premature end.

The Germans are far less happy with Trump, though.

german-approval-of-usa

Feel free to spy on their Chancellor to your heart’s content, but don’t you dare refuse to accept Infinity Moslems into your country.

 

I have been thinking about how to optimize my blogging and I would like to ask for your input with the following one page survey:

http://darussophile.polldaddy.com/s/june-2016-akarlin-reader-survey

In particular, I would like to hear from you on the following questions:

  1. What should I write more about?
  2. What should I write less about?
  3. What sorts of posts do you prefer (longer, shorter)?
  4. Do you want more reviews?
  5. Do you want me to resume open threads? (which I promised and then slowly discontinued)
  6. Your assessment of the quality of the posts, the comments, and the website.
  7. Do you follow me on social media?

Preliminary Thoughts

I don’t thrive on making short posts like Steve Sailer. You need a predictable schedule and a regular work ethic for that and I don’t really possess either. Also, the three “slots” I have on the Unz.com front page aren’t ideal for more frequent shorter posts. Moreover, one can make a more general point that it is the longer, more indepth material that tends to get noted and cited in the longterm. I am as big a fan of Sailer as anyone here, but in terms of name recognition, the father of HBD lags Nicholas Wade, Charles Murray, and probably even Greg Cochran and Henry Harpending, all of whom have published best-selling books on closely related topics. While progress on my own book has been nothing to write home about, I am seriously considering at least making a habit of writing longer, more indepth articles.

In general I think in the grand hierarchy social media < short posts < longreads < books. This is why the emergence of Twitter, Facebook, etc. are so overestimated. They amplify short-term noise, but in the overall scheme of things they contribute nothing to global progress and understanding (indeed by rewiring so many brains from deep analytical mode to dopamine-fueled reaction mode they might even have retarded it). Besides, both platforms are fast sinking into politicized censorship. Personally, for the past several years, I have mostly used social media just to advertise my own blog posts. But maybe I should put my money where my mouth is and put them into archive mode entirely except for the occasional big announcement. But first I want to find out exactly what percentage of readers here follow me on my social media accounts.

I am also considering introducing more stringent moderation. I am one of the few authors on this website who doesn’t premoderate, and my general comments policy is extremely lax. Perhaps too much so, since it seems to me that more and more commentators have been taking it as a licence to troll, spam, shitpost, and otherwise pursue their particular obsessions even when the post topic has nothing to do with them. This normally wouldn’t matter on modern commenting platforms such as Disqus, where these SIFs (Single Issue Fanatics) are typically downvoted into oblivion, but there is no such mechanism on linear commenting systems. So from now on I am considering becoming much more proactive about redacting stupid and off topic posts, and if necessary, banning repeat offenders. Then again, if most people are satisfied with the way things are, I will refrain from fixing something that isn’t broken. You tell me!

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: Administration, Opinion Poll 

According to the latest figures from Gallup, only 1% of Russians approve of the US leadership.

russian-approval-us-leadership-2016

This is quite impressive. Not often you get such extreme figures.

Although the percentage of truly committed “zapadniks” in Russia is not high, around 15% at most, I do think the data must have taken a sharp turn down within the confidence interval. The figures for last year where 4%.

Incidentally, according to the independent Russian polling organization Levada, whereas positive impressions of the US as a country (not the leadership as with Gallup) plummeted to a record low of 12% by 2015, since then there has been a marginal recovery back up to around 20%. So, not a major change, but a minor uptick nonetheless.

russian-approval-us-2016

From the full Gallup report, here is a list of the ten countries with the dimmest view of the US leadership (China was not included in the survey):

. + -
Syria 20% 71%
Iran 19% 51%
Lebanon 18% 72%
Serbia 16% 56%
Yemen 15% 69%
Egypt 10% 62%
Belarus 9% 67%
Palestine 9% 79%
Kazakhstan 8% 70%
Russia 1% 89%

So that’s basically Russia+ and various Middle East countries it has bombed/invaded/tried to color revolution.

Iraq is a strong net negative, but at 30% approval, nowhere near the bottom of the list. Even Ukraine is a net negative, with 35% approval and 40% disapproval.

Countries with the most positive outlooks on the US leadership include a whole bunch of African countries topped by Congo-Brazzaville (80%); Kosovo (85%), Albania (74%), and the UK (65%) in Europe; and Cambodia (74%) in Asia.

 

Many puzzling sociological developments can be explained through opinion polls. According to recent YouGov polls carried out in the US and Britain:

(1) Only 30% of American 18-29 year old men describe themselves as “completely” masculine, compared to 65% of over 65s.

gender2a

(2) If you are of the opinion this isn’t a great trend then prepare to get triggered even harder – Only 2% of 18-24 year old men describe themselves as “completely” masculine (relative to 56% of over 65s), while 14% of 18-24 year old women describe themselves as “completely” feminine (versus 59% of over 65s).

genderAge

(3) “British masculinity is a fraction of America’s.”

USUKgender

(4) … and is quickly becoming a dirty word. 42% of young British men have a negative impression of masculinity, more than the 39% who have a positive impression of it. In fact, they appear to dislike masculinity even more than young British women, of whom only 27% have a negative impression of “masculinity.”

masc

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Masculinity, Opinion Poll 

According to a recent BBC/Globescan opinion poll, Russia and Germany (sic!) are some of the most ethnically nationalistic major countries on the planet.

Here are some highlights from the full report (PDF):

Index of Rootless Cosmopolitanism

bbc-2016-poll-1-global-citizen

Curiously, the current pattern, in which the advanced/OECD nations (Canada, Chile, Germany, Mexico, Spain, UK, USA) have become more insular than non-OECD nations (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Russia) is an inversion of the situation prior to 2009, when the opposite was more true. I suppose this might be because only around the late 2000s did the rich countries begin to “lose out” in a visible way to globalization.

This effect has been especially pronounced in Germany:

This sentiment has continued to grow at a strong pace since then among respondents in emerging economies to reach a high of 56 per cent in both 2015 and 2016. Conversely in seven OECD countries it has followed an opposite trajectory, dropping to a low of 39 per cent in 2011 and remaining at low levels since (now at 42%). This latter trend has been particularly pronounced in Germany where the poll suggests identification with global citizenship has dropped 13 points since 2009 to only 30 per cent today (the lowest since 2001).

Thanks Angela Merkel?

Approval of Intermarriage between Different Racial/Ethnic Groups

bbc-2016-poll-2-intermarriage

The US is no surprise here; since 1960, approval of interracial marriages has gone from from the fringe to the universal, including amongst evangelical conservatives.

In contrast, only 34% of Germans approve of interracial marriage, which is equivalent to US rates in the 1970s. This might come across as something of a surprise to people whose image of modern day Germany revolves around Alt Right cuckoldry rhetoric, but then again Germany also until quite recently had explicitly racial citizenship laws.

Russia is higher at 43%, but also considerably more Russians outright oppose it.

Perhaps the only more or less surprising figure here is from South Korea, where 66% approve of interracial marriage. Koreans are an extremely nationalistic people. I suppose one thing to bear in mind that in Korea and East Asia more generally “interracial marriage” means Whites/Europeans, whereas in the US the default assumption is that its with Blacks and in Europe, with Muslim ethnicities.

Approval of Immigration

bbc-2016-poll-3-immigration-acceptance

Worth noting that immigrants to Spain seem to be mainly elderly Brits and Germans buying up seaside retirement homes in the south, while many younger Spaniards themselves are emigrating in large numbers to the northern and more economically dynamic members of the EU.

Defining Criteria of Self-Identity

bbc-2016-poll-6-identity

There’s only three countries in which a plurality of citizens don’t feel the highest amount of identification with their national citizenship.

Most Spaniards think of themselves as world citizens.

A plurality of Pakistanis consider themselves Muslims first and foremost. This stands to reason and many or most other Muslim countries would display similar results.

More Indonesians on their thousands of islands identify most strongly with their local community.

The largest percentage of people identifying most strongly with their race or culture are in South Korea. As per above, this is of no surprise.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Nationalism, Opinion Poll 

These are the results of a recent YouGov/Handelsblatt poll on which leader the citizens of the G20 countries want to see as the next US President.

g20-poll-russians-support-trump-2016

Russia is the only country where more people, by a considerable margin, support Donald Trump becoming US President (31%) than support Hillary Clinton (10%).

This might come as a surprise to some of you considering how many Russians and (((Russians))) have been writing anti-Trump jeremiads in both the Western and Russian press:

Which just goes to show that whenever you see a Russian writing in an American mainstream media publication, its usually safe to assume the truth is the exact opposite of whatever he or she says.

Here is how one /r/The_Donald user described his “awakening”:

Thats actually really cool to hear. I will admit, I ate up our medias picture of Russia and never had much positive to say, but this election has made me do my own research and you all seem pretty bad ass. I would like to say sorry for being a cuck and hopefully we can become strong allies in the future.

Ultimately, as the only major candidate who doesn’t want to fight a New Cold War with Russia, it stands to reason the most Russians with an opinion on US politics support Trump.

Putin’s near endorsement of Trump as a “bright and talented person” would have also helped.

As Irish journalist Danielle Ryan points out, it’s not like Trump is likely to magically transform relations between the US and Russia. And certainly those corners of the internets who dream of a Western Alliance between a Trumpian America and Putin’s Russia to remove kebab are deluded (even if they are ironically deluded… or delusively ironic… or whatever).

putin-trump-alliance

It’s a nice dream though.

However, there is the basic perception that Russia will get along better with a straightforward American patriot than an empty suit (or empty dress?) ideological stooge of neocon and globalist agendas.

I expect the 10% of Russians for Hillary Clinton are mostly Westernists/zapadniks who reliably support the politically correct line of the “international community” against Russia. (However, I think it’s safe to say that Clinton also has a massive anti-rating in Russia. Bill Clinton’s war against Serbia – which resulted in the first major spike in anti-American sentiment in post-Soviet Russia’s history – is still remembered negatively. And many Russians are aware of Hillary Clinton’s warm relations with liberal “neocons in other words” interventionists).

This zapadnik constituency who support Hillary Clinton are not feeling the Bern because they tend to be virulently anti-socialist in the style of Garry Kasparov*:

I’m enjoying the irony of American Sanders supporters lecturing me, a former Soviet citizen, on the glories of Socialism and what it really means! Socialism sounds great in speech soundbites and on Facebook, but please keep it there. In practice, it corrodes not only the economy but the human spirit itself, and the ambition and achievement that made modern capitalism possible and brought billions of people out of poverty. Talking about Socialism is a huge luxury, a luxury that was paid for by the successes of capitalism. Income inequality is a huge problem, absolutely. But the idea that the solution is more government, more regulation, more debt, and less risk is dangerously absurd.

Really the only group of people who would support Sanders in Russia are the liberal leftist anti-globalist ecological hippie types but they’re only 1-2% of the population, or an order of magnitude lower even than the zapadnik liberals.

As for Cruz, literally the only Russian of any prominence I’ve found who supports him is the Christian Orthodox fanatic and renowned lolcow Dmitry Enteo:

***

There are no major surprises in the rest of the rankings.

(1) On average the more “cucked” countries support Hillary Clinton more.

(2) Mexico is at the top and one can’t really fault them for that.

(3) China seems to intuitively support Trump. They too have their issues with the Clintons in the form of the bombing of their Belgrade embassy in 1998. However, they are also understandably a bit put off by Trump’s relatively more bellicose rhetoric against their country, plus as the survey notes, China’s – and India’s and Indonesia’s – respondents were all queried online. The part of the Chinese population that is regularly online and presumably likelier to participate in such polls is demographically younger and presumably more globalist.

(4) Apparently not all Saudis share Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s negative assessment of Trump (or maybe they really don’t like the idea of a woman at the helm):

Finally, I would note that the US Presidential Elections haven’t really gotten going yet, so many foreign opinions of Trump vs. Clinton will be quite hazy and uncertain at this point. International opinion will become clearer as we approach November 2016.

* At least when Kasparov’s writing in English in Facebook or The WSJ, as opposed to riling up protest crowds in Moscow, when for some reason his rhetoric becomes remarkably leftist.

 

Based on a December 22, 2015 WIN/Gallup International poll:

world-map-putin-approval-2015-details

[Click to enlarge].

Note that this indicates net approval, that is, the percentage of people with a favorable view of Putin minus the percentage of people with an unfavorable view of him.

global-putin-approval-2015 One immediately striking thing is just how how uniform Western attitudes are. Note how countries where net approval of Putin is below -20% are almost exclusively Western countries, while the only two notable countries in the Western geopolitical bloc to approve of Putin are Greece and Bulgaria. Both of which happen to belong to Orthodox civilization, going by Huntingtonian definitions.

Really, Ukraine is the exception that proves the rule. Although Putin’s approval rating of -38% is considerably negative and far worse than before 2013, one has to admit – regardless of his particular opinion on the Maidan and the Donbass conflict – that most Ukrainians have no obvious cause to love Putin and plenty to hate him. Nonetheless, remarkably, far more people the US (-44%) and especially Europe (-50% to -70%) dislike or hate him.

What all this says about the agenda and central management (if any) of the Western MSM I leave as an exercise in speculation to the reader.

Incidentally, Americans dislike Putin considerably less than Europeans. This is a lot less surprising that it might seem at first glance because there is a powerful socially conservative but counter-culture demographic that is cool with Trump and spawned NRx and the Red Pill, admires the cartoons of the real Ben Garrison and makes counter-signal memes for fashy goys, provides an audience for The Unz Review, etc. This demographic is much less prevalent in Europe, where the Right tends to be crusty old Cold Warriors and the Left has been more comprehensively hijacked by Social Justice than even in the US. This reaches a symbolic apogee in second-to-last Sweden Yes! which gives Putin a -77% net approval rating.

Incidentally, this is not a new development, I wrote about it half a year ago and Russia watcher Patrick Armstrong presaged its appearance even earlier:

It’s a fun and counterintuitive fact but Putin is more popular in the US (21%) than he is in any major NATO country bar Germany (23%). Moreover, the US takes the lead if only West Germany is counted (19%), since the overall German score is influenced by the unusually Russophilic attitudes of the East (40%). Maybe because Americans respect manliness, at least marginally more so than limp-wristed Europeans if dank memes on the Internet are anything to go by?

Most of the rest of the world outside the West either couldn’t care less about Putin (e.g. Latin America, Africa) or continue to be positive towards him (e.g. India, China). Incidentally, this just goes once more to confirm that at least from a global demographic point of view, talk of Russia’s “isolation” from the international community is complete and utter nonsense. This is rather obvious but even – especially – obvious things need to be repeated when they are so strenuously and regularly denied by the media.

There are a few countries where Putin is even more popular than he is in Russia itself. The highest on the list, giving him a 79% net approval rating, is Armenia. This is also unsurprising since relations between Armenia and Russia more than passingly resemble those between Israel and the US when it is run by Republican Presidents, down to the influence of powerful ethnonationalist lobbies. On that front, they have recently integrated their air defense systems. Another prominent member of that crowd is Serbia, where Putin is as popular as in Russia. No surprise there, and they certainly have no reason to love NATO.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Opinion Poll, Vladimir Putin 

A few months ago, I wrote the following:

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. …

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

Well, now we do have such polls, not only for the US and Britain but also for some other countries of interest like Germany and Finland, all thanks to two big recent polls by YouGov and ICM Research.

Updated with an additional IFOP poll for France, and some VCIOM polls on the topic that I dug up for Russia, I believe I have assembled what may be the most comprehensive graph on changing Western attitudes towards the Soviet victory in World War 2 anywhere on the Internet.

poll-ussr-usa-contributed-allied-victory-ww2

Differences between the polls from different organizations shouldn’t be overstressed. For instance, the wording differs quite a bit poll to poll. But the general picture is clear and depressing.

As we can see, the percentage of Frenchmen who believe that the Soviet Union made the greatest contribution to Allied victory in World War Two has declined continuously from 1945, reaching an asymptote around 20%-25% from the 1990s on. Germany and the UK aren’t quite as historically illiterate/brainwashed as France on this issue, but the gap isn’t anything to write home about. Well, okay, at least the UK is understandable on some level; they are voting patriotically. Otherwise, they are actually the only modern Western nation to rate the Soviet contribution at a marginally higher level than the American one. But the German responses are completely inexplicable, considering that 75%-80% of Axis manpower and aircraft losses accrued to the Soviets.

But I suppose that so far as modern Germans concerned, just like Westerners in general, 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.

The retired Wehrmacht generals and Hollywood did their jobs well.

Date Table/Sources

USSR USA Great Britain Other/Don’t Know
UK 2015 (ICM) 13% 16% 46% 25%
Germany 2015 (ICM) 17% 52% 4% 27%
France 2015 (ICM) 8% 61% 9% 22%
USA 2015 (YouGov) 11% 55% 7% 27%
UK 2015 (YouGov) 15% 14% 50% 21%
Sweden 2015 (YouGov) 16% 33% 22% 29%
Germany 2015 (YouGov) 27% 37% 7% 29%
France 2015 (YouGov) 15% 47% 14% 24%
Finland 2015 (YouGov) 24% 32% 13% 31%
France 2015 (IFOP) 23% 54% 18% 5%
France 2014 (IFOP) 23% 49% 18% 10%
Russia 2010 (VCIOM) 91% 3% 1% 5%
Russian 2009 (VCIOM) 87% 4% 2% 7%
France 2004 (IFOP) 20% 58% 16% 6%
Russian 2002 (VCIOM) 92% 2% 1% 5%
France 1994 (IFOP) 25% 49% 16% 10%
France 1945 (IFOP) 57% 20% 12% 11%

PS. The YouGov poll also included data for Denmark and Norway. I did not bother to include them because they have limited influence on international affairs and their results are similar to Sweden’s anyway.

 
• Category: History • Tags: Opinion Poll, Propaganda, World War II 

Here are three very important graphs for comprehending the ebb and flow of Russia’s relations with the West, and why what some are now calling the New Cold War might well be here to stay.

Russian approval of the United States (green is positive, red is negative):

russia-usa-attitudes

Russian approval of the EU:

russia-eu-attitudes

While it’s hard to remember now, there really was an incredible air of optimism about future relations with the US and Europe towards the end of the Soviet Union that, perhaps even more strangely, lasted throughout most of the trials and tribulations and Harvard-supported looting of the country. There was something of a cargo cult in relation to the West, the idea that imitating and appeasing them just right would catapult the country into prosperity and the end of history. Just a few random examples. The term “evroremont,” denoting a quality housing renovation, presumably to European standards. Foreigners being allowed first in line to visit museums and cultural attractions. Women flinging themselves at any American adventurer type regardless of his success and social status (Mark Ames and the eXile are a testament to that).

There were sharp dips now and then, in surprisingly regular increments of five years, corresponding to some imperial action or other. The bombing of Serbia in 1999. The invasion of Iraq in 2003. The South Ossetian War in 2008. Crimea in 2014. Relations steadily cooled as the West began an aggressive expansion of its economic and security infrastructure into what Russia saw as its sphere of influence, in so doing breaking informal commitments made with Gorbachev that NATO wouldn’t expand an inch east. Russia unquestionably became more authoritarian, though the extent of the break with late Yeltsinism in that regard is highly exaggerated, and this was accompanied by an ever shriller campaign of demonization in the Western media that shows no signs of peaking even to this day. Bearing all this in mind, it is perhaps actually surprising that the moving average of Russian opinion of the US and EU declined only modestly between 2000 and 2013, from around 70% for both the EU and the US, to 60% for the EU and 50% for the US. For all the rhetoric about Russians being taken in by anti-Western propaganda, it’s worth noting that US approval of Russia was actually consistently if modestly lower than Russia’s approval of the US.

US approval of Russia:

us-russia-approval-pew

But there’s a couple of critical differences between previous dips and today that suggest that prior experience is no longer any guide to the future ever since approval ratings of the US and the EU plunged to less than 20% in 2014:

First, while reactions to Serbia, Iraq, and Georgia were short but sharp affairs, lasting but a few months, the recent collapse in relations as gauged by public opinion is already ongoing for more than a year. Nothing remotely similar has occured since the start of scientific polling in Russia. You might think that in a personalistic and relatively closed political system like Russia polls might not count for much, but you would be wrong; if anything, the lack of strong institutions able to act as a social glue makes polling and ratings all the more important, and it is something that the Kremlin pays heed to religiously. This is largely why Putin keeps participating in all these various stunts which range from the impressive (piloting a fighter jet during the Second Chechen War) to the faintly ridiculous (diving and magically finding ancient Greek amphora). The constant negativity seen ever since February 2014 might well be the start of a new normal, which if so might be increasingly difficult to turn around even if the respective political leaderships were to commit to doing so.

Second, and this ties in with the above, the EU has traditionally been seen slightly more positively than the US, and with the partial exception of 2008, we do not see the same sharp bumps and dips. Until 2014… when it became completely undistinguishable from the US. And that shouldn’t be all that surprising, considering the EU’s steady drift from what Russians imagined and dreamed it might be – a greater Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok, as De Gaulle saw it – to an unapologetically Atlanticist entity that accepted partnership with no other integration blocs (such as the Eurasian Union), grew increasingly confident in orchestrating regime changes against governments that didn’t hew to their neoliberal orthodoxy, and worst of all, subsumed integration into Atlanticist security structures (first and foremost, NATO) as an inalienable component of its economic expansion. Now the average Russian wouldn’t think in such terms, of course, but in general, it is probably fair to say that Russians now see both the EU and the US as just two blocs of the same, singularly hostile West.

But the story doesn’t quite end there.

Russian approval of China:

russia-china-attitudes

Even as the US and EU plumb new lows, Russian approval of China struck an alltime high of 81% (recall that this is equivalent to their approval of the US in the waning days of the Soviet Union). These feelings are mutual, and Putin is highly respected as a leader in CCP circles and reportedly by Xi Jinping personally. Again, this is not surprising: When one side slaps you with sanctions, while the other comes round with a fat wallet and offers to support the ruble should Russia only ask, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out who’d be the more popular guy at the party. All pretty obvious. Except, perhaps, for those neocons who appear to believe with all conviction that the West is absolutely indispensable for Russia, and that Russia will eventually agree to pay any cost to mend relations for the privilege of fighting China for them to the last Russian.

 

Foreign Policy reports on a massive opinion poll of International Relations experts on immigration, the wisdom of leaving Iraq, and the likelihood of war between the US and China or Russia. Here is the PDF. In some cases, their answers are compared to those of the public at large.

For the most part, it’s all pretty sane and predictable.

Most people, especially the scholars, think leaving Iraq was a good idea. They are unsure whether or not the US and Russia are headed back to a Cold War (neither am I). Henry Kissinger is rated as the most effective US Secretary of State in the past 50 years. And in an amusing example of Dunning-Kruger, far more scholars answer “I don’t know” for every question than does the general public.

The risk of war with Russia (2.55/10) or China (1.91/10) over the next decade is rated as low.

This is correct. The Chinese navy is still nowhere near as strong as even the US Pacific Fleet, though it is expanding fast. So long as the disparity remains this big, China will do its utmost not to risk outright war.

As for Russia, the US will not fight it for Ukraine – period; only the most svidomy Ukrainian and a certain subgroup of paranoid Russian nationalists believe otherwise. And deranged neocon ramblings aside, Russia would be idiotic to open up a front against the NATO Baltics even if it was interested in so doing (which it isn’t).

war-russia-china-poll

Where there is a substantial difference between public and expert opinion is in their attitudes towards immigration.

immigration-poll-ir-experts-vs-public

This is clearly primarily a class thing. For IR experts, more immigrants means cheap Hispanic workers and a vague personal sense of moral superiority. For the average population, it means downwards pressure on low-skill wages and a strong personal sense of cultural inundation.

Of course, do take all this with the requisite amount of salt. So far as foreign relations and immigration are concerned, since everyone is an expert and there are no real sanctions to being wrong (no skin in the game as Nassim N. Taleb would say), almost all but the most vague predictions turn out to be wrong. Of course this would apply to myself too.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Futurism, Immigration, Opinion Poll 
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.


PastClassics
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
A simple remedy for income stagnation
Confederate Flag Day, State Capitol, Raleigh, N.C. -- March 3, 2007
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
The evidence is clear — but often ignored