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wrf-2013

So I was at World Russia Forum 2018 today:

International Center for Public Diplomacy presents

“Towards US – Russia Rapprochement”

Discussion of the Trump – Putin Helsinki summit results and of the role of pubic diplomacy in improving US – Russia relations.

July 18, 2018; 6.00 PM; Golden Ring Hotel, Smolenskaya 5

Confirmed Speakers

Helsinki Summit Results Panel

Mikhail Strikhanov – President, National Research Nuclear University
Valery Garbuzov – Director, Institute of USA and Canada. Russian Academy of Sciences
Petr Fedorov – Head, Department of International Relations, VGTRK
Andrei Shitov – International Correspondent, TASS

Public diplomacy panel

Thomas Leary, Minister Counsellor Public Affairs, US Embassy in Moscow
Alexander Burganov – Burganov Museum
Sergei Afanasiev – US – Russia Friendship Society
Mikhail Neborsky – International Union of Russian Compatriots

Edward Lozansky – Moderator

I was a panelist at WRF 2012 and WRF 2013 in Washington D.C. It is a semi-annual event, alternately hosted in Washington D.C. and Moscow, meant to bring together Russian and American experts, academics, journalists, and policy-makers in an effort to improve relations between these two nations. It is organized by Eduard Lozansky, a Soviet dissident who emigrated from the USSR and became well-off in the US through his Russia House restaurant in Washington D.C. (incidentally, feel free to visit it if you’re in the area; it is a genuinely good and authentic upper-tier Russian restaurant, if somewhat pricey; and no, I have not been paid for this endorsement).

elbe-meeting

I won’t sugarcoat the truth… with all due respect to Lozansky, whose mission I very much respect and sympathize with, it struck me as sort of pointless. The highlight involved a statue commemorating the famous meeting on the Elbe in April 25, 1945 between American GIs and Red Army soldiers. Awesome, but ancient history, these days. Pretty irrelevant. One of the Russian speakers shared his Cold War anecdotes, another talked about scientific meetings between Russian and American nuclear researchers, another waxed lyrical about UNESCO events where Russians and Americans both happened to be involved. Everyone mouthed off nice platitudes about the necessity of student exchanges, person to person contacts, soft power, and all that jazz. Which is all very nice to be sure, but a marked decline from the far more concrete discussions on media strategy and effective lobbying that dominated 2013. In the event, none of the plans and suggestions from that period ended up getting realized. We Russians are just not that good at lobbying, even when we have a rich, high verbal IQ Jew like Lozansky leading the effort. But at least the WRF 2012 and WRF 2013 involved something relevant.

Of course, the real problem in this age of Russiagate and weaponized FARA was encapsulated by one of the distinguished guests at this forum: Thomas Leary, the Consul General at the US Embassy in Moscow.

In his speech, which was delivered in English, he complained about how work for him had gotten much harder because Russia shut down a bunch of US Consulates. Who initiated this severing of diplomatic ties was left unsaid. In response to some Russian journalists – not from state media such as RT or Sputnik, though this shouldn’t matter – complaining about how the US made it hard for them to work there, he dismissed them by saying that American journalists faced great challenges in Russia as well. (Isn’t this what the Blue Checkmarks call “whataboutism”?). In general, he disagreed with all of the Russian gripes about US conduct, such as the expansion of NATO – the only overlap with the Russians’ positions was that he agreed there should be more person to person ties and public diplomacy.

wrf-2014-thomas-leary

Problem? Well, that’s sort of ruled out in the present environment. No sane American politician would talk with a representative of Russia these days. And if you do it under the radar, you end up like Maria Butina: A proponent of American values such as free speech and the 2nd Amendment, who has just been arrested and faces up to 5 years in prison for practicing said “person-to-person” contacts. This is the question that I directed to the American diplomat: Given that practicing “public diplomacy” now carries the very real risk of imprisonment and jail, at least for Russians in the US, how exactly does he expect for it to work?

Leary replied that he does not comment on current criminal cases, but did emphasize that Russians should follow American laws when they are in the United States.

Perfectly “officialese” answer. Very understandable. He was, after all, probably the only person getting paid for his responses in that room.

Another Russian attendee asking him about his thoughts about setting up a commission to protect journalists’ rights in Russia and the US was the trigger that prompted him to say he had to leave.

I suppose this was discouraging and encouraging at the same time. Discouraging in the sense that for all intents and purposes, Russians and Americans live in two totally different worlds. Apart from the emptiest of platitudes, the Russians and the American were just talking past each other. Discouraging also in the sense that Trumpism is still a very much delineated phenomenon, that hasn’t even worked its way down to the diplomatic corps, who are supposed to be a direct extension of the executive branch. But also encouraging in the sense that Russian opinion was pretty much united on this matter. Even though the people at this event were primarily moderate liberals, the questions to Leary were polite but critical, and my own question seemed to be well received.

Ultimately, as I pointed out in 2013 – well before the complete breakdown of US-Russia relations – this is a values chasm that cannot be bridged anytime soon. Public diplomacy in particular is a waste of time. I was skeptical about its potential impact even back then, and considering the fate of people who courageously begged to differ – George Papadopoulos and Maria Butina immediately come to mind – I am retrospectively glad not to have stepped into that snakepit.

Ultimately, it is the United States that needs Russia, not the other way round. Russia does not have the demographic or economic strength to be a 21st century global superpower in its own right; it foreclosed on that future in 1917. So the only choice it faces is whom to sidle up to: The US, or China. Given America’s “agreement-incapability” (недоговороспособность), fully evidenced and embodied in the haughty and maximalist attitudes of its diplomatic staff, China has as good as won this struggle “by default.” I do realize that it is ironic in the extreme that a hardcore anti-Bolshevik and fan of American institutions such as free speech and gun rights such as myself would favor a Communist power over the (self-proclaimed) “shining city upon a hill”, but then again, politics and history is chock full of ironies. And I think I’m hardly atypical amongst Russians on this point.

 
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  1. Russia House restaurant in Washington D.C. (incidentally, feel free to visit it if you’re in the area; it is a genuinely good and authentic upper-tier Russian restaurant, if somewhat pricey; and no, I have not been paid for this endorsement).

    I can confirm Russia House is well worth visiting. Probably the only place in that pathetic excuse for an imperial capital worth visiting in fact.

    Discouraging also in the sense that Trumpism is still a very much delineated phenomenon, that hasn’t even worked its way down to the diplomatic corps, who are supposed to be a direct extension of the executive branch.

    It’s increasingly apparent that American elites, at least outside of commerce, require wholesale replacement on a massive scale. They’re completely hopeless. Even Newt Gingrich wasn’t capable of containing himself from the reflex to condemn the Helsinki Summit (of course Gingrich condemned Reagan for meeting Gorbachev in Rejkavic as well).

    Ultimately, it is the United States that needs Russia, not the other way round.

    Russia needs the technology of America and its vassals unless it wants to resign itself to being a bigger Australia. Made in China 2025 is still a far way off.

    But it doesn’t need it at any price (i.e. submission, color revolution, dismemberment, etc.).

  2. Dan Hayes says:

    Anatoly,

    The writing has been on the wall for quite some time! By this time Russia should have learned that any long-term working relationship with the US is unachievable and bound to fail. A productive long-term relationship with China might also fail, but it is at least worth a try. Of course one problem in such alliance is China being tempted into expanding into Russia’s unsettled far east.

    BTW, Consul General Leary came across as one of His/Her Majesty’s representatives condescendingly addressing the bare-footed downtrodden.

  3. Mitleser says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Russia needs the technology of America and its vassals

    With emphasis on cooperative vassals.

    Yeah, for example Germany pretty much dominates the machine tool market 70 to 90 % in Russia still (Depending who you ask). Russia has finally started to invest and take back some of it’s own market but that will take a long while. And Russia will never be completely self sufficient in this area. So, Korea, Taiwan, China and possibly Japan. are looked at to fill the void and or cooperate. For other sectors it’s the same ..as much as possible self-sufficient. But also have second sources and or for stuff that can’t be done economically in Russia …more reliable partners.

    https://forums.spacebattles.com/posts/42447010/

  4. Dmitry says:

    In the current paranoid environment in American – it would be probably safer to be an Islamist, a Neo-Nazi, a gangster rapper, or a Mexico narcotrafficker – than it would be to work in the field of America-Russia relations, as a dilettante.

    And at least you could have more fun with the former jobs.

    I googled this organization – it sounds like next people who FBI will arrest after Butina.

    This kind of article on Google:

    It dawned upon me how this one man, a Russian emigre, a Professor of Physics and Mathematics had profoundly impacted the Republican Party — not just on Russia issues — by bringing together many groups, who bonded over their experiences in Moscow.

    Edward Lozansky’s long term propaganda efforts have contributed to an environment where the GOP is strangely accepting of overt Russian influence over the head of their party, and over numerous party leaders, ignoring decades of US foreign policy and their party’s institutional bias against authoritarian regimes.

    Lozansky’s story is the story of how the Grand Old Putin Party was born.

    https://thesternfacts.com/opinion-edward-lozanskys-russia-lobby-compromised-the-republican-party-9970a6eb6139

    -

    Apparently “World Russia Forum” – 4 degrees of separation from Trump.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  5. Dmitry says:

    Newsweek – in the bold part, referring to Karlin’s blog people :)

    Lozansky, a former nuclear physicist who emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1976, is known in Russia policy circles as a mysterious, conservative figure. With analysts warning of a new Cold War, and as the Department of Justice and Congress investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, Lozansky’s efforts to promote Russia in Washington have drawn scrutiny from analysts and even allegations that he is spreading propaganda for the Kremlin.

    Yet even then, “not everybody was attending this,” said Andrew Kuchins, a senior fellow at the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service who spoke at the conference. “There were some other good experts there, but overall it was a very mixed crowd and kind of unusual,” he said. “Let’s just use the word ‘eclectic.’”

    Gangster rappers from Compton, cocaine distributors of Medellin, Bloods, Crips and Gambinos? No, apparently, FBI should focus on a few intellectuals giving their personal opinion about international relations.

    Naveed Jamali, a former double agent for the FBI who specialized in Russian military intelligence, agreed. “My sense is that all these things to some degree are arms of the Russian intelligence apparatus,” he said.

    https://www.newsweek.com/russia-house-washington-dc-edward-lozansky-forum-899928

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    , @Mikhail
  6. @Dmitry

    Naveed Jamali, a former double agent for the FBI who specialized in Russian military intelligence, agreed. “My sense is that all these things to some degree are arms of the Russian intelligence apparatus,” he said.

    Where’s my paycheck from the FSB?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Mikhail
  7. Dmitry says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    The atmosphere in the media, has changed very rapidly?

    In 2009, television was very positive about this place.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  8. @Thorfinnsson

    Russia needs the technology of America and its vassals unless it wants to resign itself to being a bigger Australia.

    On a fundamental level, I don’t really see how Russia can’t ultimately produce all of it herself(or from friendly states) assuming that some systemic issues are solved. Made in China is far off, but Made in Japan isn’t.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  9. Dmitry says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Where’s my paycheck from the FSB?

    Sorry you have to ask Karlin next time you see him in the office in Lubyanka. I’m only for Mossad and MI6 at the moment.

  10. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Dmitry

    Naveed Jamali is an establishment flack, who’d look quite foolish when substantively challenged, unlike his very managed (censored) segments on MSNBC.

    Ed Lozansky and RT have been way too kind towards Andrew Kuchins, who in turn showed his appreciation.

  11. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Daniel Chieh

    Who is paying Jamali and how much?

  12. Mikhail says: • Website

    Somewhat related is Tucker Carlson’s erudite commentary on Trump and the analysis of Russia, with some follow-up thereafter:

    http://theduran.com/tucker-carlson-slams-attacks-against-donald-trump/

    Excerpt –

    [MORE]

    You know what they’re saying; that’s exactly what happened – [Mr. Trump] buckled. That happens. This is politics, after all. What is amazing and unusual and ominous is who made him buckle.

    The people yelling the loudest about how the Russians are our greatest enemy and Trump is their puppet happen to be the very same people who have been mismanaging our foreign policy for the past two decades:

    •the people who invaded Iraq, and wouldn’t admit it was a mistake.
    •the people who killed Muammar Gadhaffi for no obvious reason,
    •and prolonged the horrible Syrian Civil War and then
    •threw open the borders of Europe.
    •The ones still defending the pointless Afghan conflict, and
    •even now planning brand new disasters around the world, in Lebanon, Iran, and yes, in Russia.

    These are the people who have made America weaker and poorer and sadder; the group whose failures got Trump elected in the first place.

    You would think that by this late date, they would be discredited completely, and unemployable, wearing uniforms and picking up trash by the side of a turnpike somewhere. But, no, they’re not. They are hosting cable news shows; they are holding high positions of influence at the State Department. They run virtually every non-profit public policy institution in Washington. They are still, in some sense, in charge of our national conversation.

    And naturally, they hate the idea of rethinking or correcting any of the countless blunders they have made over the years.

    And that is one of the reasons they hate Trump. Because he calls them on those blunders.

    Some clear examples are given in this piece:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/07/12/more-mumbo-jumbo-on-russia.html

    Excerpt –

    For numerous reasons, Michael McFaul’s continued standing as a leading Kremlinologist, highlights the ongoing flaws in US policy towards Russia.

    The group of American mass media promoted Russia watchers includes an overrated lot, whose shortcomings are downplayed, as they regularly reemerge in high profile settings – typically with little if any substantive opposition. These truly bad actors prop each other, while downplaying their inconvenient (for them) detractors.

    As I earlier noted, McFaul lauded The Atlantic for hiring Julia Ioffe. She essentially got a pass after making an inappropriately perverse sexual reference concerning Ivanka Trump’s relationship with her father. The record shows that Politico fired Ioffe over that remark. However, her new and current position at The Atlantic isn’t reflective of a demotion and quite likely a promotion, in terms of stature and earnings, along with her appearances on CNN and MSNBC.

    The McFauls of the world don’t seem particularly concerned about the fake news which Ioffe peddles. During a June 3 exchange with CNN’s Brian Stelter, Ioffe said that the Russian government had poisoned the Skripals – something that’s factually quite suspect on the basis of what’s presently known and unknown. Likewise, her other claim (to Stelter) that the Russian government downed a civilian airliner over the former Ukrainian SSR isn’t a conclusively well established fact.

    Stelter offered no challenge to Ioffe. Mind you that his media review show on CNN is supposedly an intent to critically review media fault lines.

    In Ioffe’s July 2 Washington Post article on the 2018 World Cup, she states (when describing Russia’s victory over Spain): “No one celebrated like this when Russia crushed the competition in the medal race at the Sochi Olympics in 2014 – a victory of which it was later stripped amid allegations of systemic doping. When Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014, the celebrations were fraught with anger and political division that broke up friendships and families.”

    In point of fact, Russia hasn’t been stripped of its first place tally at Sochi. On this particular matter, Ioffe erroneously went by a prior ruling that was successfully challenged. The put mildly suspect claim of “systemic doping” hasn’t been conclusively proven.

    Ioffe’s mantra about “when Russia illegally annexed Crimea” has been stated by McFaul. That characterization is sheer hypocritical chutzpah, given the examples of Kosovo and northern Cyprus. On US TV, McFaul can be defended upon to not challenge the negatively inaccurate comments about Russia.

    In a June 27 Brian Williams’ hosted MSNBC segment, McFaul suggested that Putin wins by default by just having a summit with Trump – as if the Russian leader is internationally ostracized, which is clearly not so. Actually, some are reasonably wondering if it’s really in Putin’s best interests to have the meeting, with the kind of anti-Russian and anti-Putin theatrics, that will be evident in the background (Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, et al). Trump’s mass media detractors have been constantly critical of his advocacy for improved US-Russian ties. To date, Trump has fallen short in achieving that desire.

    In this particular MSNBC segment, McFaul appeared with Frank Figliuzzi, who falsely presented as fact several (put mildly) dubious and negative claims about Putin. This was a moment for a true adult in the room to caution against Figliuzzi’s reckless innuendo. None were evident in that segment.

    US mass media TV news continues to be inundated with anti-Russian propaganda. On the same day as the MSNBC Williams segment with McFaul and Figliuzzi, CNN’s Anderson Cooper hosted Ralph Peters, who pretty much said the same as Fgliuzzi. (I’ve previously discussed Peters’ anti-Russian spin.) On Cooper’s show, Peters called Trump an “infant child.” Never mind Peters’ brashly insulting inaccuracies that are rhetorical empty calories when assessing US-Russian relations.

    Peters gave up commenting on Fox News for the absurd reason that it was soft on Russia. His departure from that network came shortly after Fox News host Tucker Carlson had challenged Peters’ views on Russia. In US mass media TV. Carlson remains a rare exception to the one-sided anti-Russian leaning slant of his peers. He can’t be legitimately accused of being soft on Russia. For the likes of Peters, an attempt at even-handedness is misinformation.

    Hillary Clinton’s not too distant outburst in Ireland ranks with some of the most inaccurate things said about Putin. According to her “Vladimir Putin has positioned himself as the leader of an authoritarian, white supremacist and xenophobic movement that wants to break the EU, weaken America’s traditional alliances and undermine democracy. We can see this authoritarian movement rippling out from the Kremlin, reaching across Europe and beyond. It’s emboldening right-wing nationalists, separatists, racists and even neo-Nazis.”

    Some white supremacist, seeing how Putin has been reaching out to the leaders of China, Japan and South Korea, in addition to Russia being part of the BRICS bloc, that includes South Africa, India, Brazil and China. Putin isn’t primarily responsible for the breakdown in Russia-West relations. Rather, he has sought a policy for Russia to have good ties with the West and others. The relatively small nation of Saudi Arabia outspending Russia on armed forces is one of several examples indicating that the “Russian threat” theme is overhyped BS.

    That some extremists in the West might see Putin as a kind of great white hope isn’t his doing. BTW, Russian extremists aren’t so supportive of Putin because they know that he’s the opposite of what Hillary Clinton said.

    McFaul, Ioffe, Figliuzzi, Peters and Clinton, constitute a partial sampling of the fault ridden, Russia related commentary.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    , @Dan Hayes
  13. Beckow says:

    Western world needs white villains. Currently there are none available other than the Russians. All other potential candidates have been too tame (Germans, French) or have too much melanin. All evil will be projected on Russia and Russians until we reach truly absurd levels or proceed to an actual war – that might happen simultaneously.

    Recently a business guy from a Third World sh..hole told me that ‘Russians are thugs who murder each other on the streets’. This was in the context of the World Cup. So there you have it, the ever impressionable wannabes will follow the Anglo lead. I responded that his sh..hole country had murder rate 4 times Russia’s, his response: ‘Oh come on, you know what I mean‘. I guess I do, it is now obligatory to say it, and is not meant to be examined. It is a ritual, an exorcism of ‘white evil’ combined with displays of loyalty. This will be fun for a while. And then we might all come to regret it…

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @peterAUS
  14. @Mikhail

    “We can see this authoritarian movement rippling out from the Kremlin, reaching across Europe and beyond. It’s emboldening right-wing nationalists, separatists, racists and even neo-Nazis.”

    As you know, Russia has always been a steady supporter of Nazis and Nazi factions and countries everywhere. Mein Kampf is popularly sold in bookstores everywhere there.

    • LOL: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Mikhail
  15. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Daniel Chieh

    Explains Trump saying that Putin is a big Israel and Bibi fan.

    On Fox, Newt was recently yapping to Sean about how Russia and Germany have historically worked with each other, adding how a number of eastern Germans remain fond of the Soviet era.

  16. Dan Hayes says:
    @Mikhail

    Mikhail:

    Tucker Carlson has listed the influences of three foreign powers which threaten American democracy: Communist government of China, Sunni Gulf States and Latin American countries forcing demographic changes in America.

    But Carlson consciously neglected to identify a power far more threatening and pernicious. I applaud this failure for otherwise he would suffer opprobrium and censure. So far he has stayed from overstepping the political fine line that would torpedo his career. For this we should be all grateful for Carlson is one of the few public commentators telling it like it is. Joe Sobran is an example of what happens when the line of political discourse is overstepped. It would a tragedy if Tucker suffered a likewise fate.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Dan Hayes
  17. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Dan Hayes

    On his last show, he noted a hypothetical issue if Israel were to attack NATO ally Turkey over something having to do with some recent disagreements between these two states.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
  18. Dan Hayes says:
    @Dan Hayes

    To end the suspense of those wishing the identify of “the power far more threatening and pernicious” are directed to: Mearsheimer & Walt.

  19. Dan Hayes says:
    @Mikhail

    Mikhail:

    It would be jolly if the US was obligated to come to the defense of NATO ally Turkey if attacked by Israel. I would wager the likelihood of the US fulfilling this NATO obligation to be zero or less.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  20. Mitleser says:

    The highlight involved a statue commemorating the famous meeting on the Elbe in April 25, 1945 between American GIs and Red Army soldiers. Awesome, but ancient history, these days. Pretty irrelevant.

    Should have used space as topic.
    It would not be so backward looking.

  21. America is on a path to become an insolvent third-world shithole by the middle of this century. It is inevitable regardless of any crazy fantasies that Thorfinnsson might entertain on this matter. US political class is NOT going to get replaced, immigration will NOT get fixed, USA will go broke and lose its control of international finance.

    America won’t even have the time to realise that it needs Russia’s help, it will grow irrelevant overnight and will then have to confront much bigger problems than (potential) Chinese expansion.

    We need to treat USA as a dead man walking imo. He is already dead he just doesn’t know it yet.

    • Agree: Yevardian
    • Replies: @Mitleser
  22. A recent Gallup poll conducted in the Ukraine shows that the country is deeply divided on the issue of relations with Russia.

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/228086/ukrainians-russians-polarized-future-relations.aspx

    It also shows how the country is being held hostage by Galician extremists. 28% of people in the Central part of the country (including Kiev) now openly say they want better relations with Russia “by any means” (up from 14% in 2014). In the South-East it’s 35% (up from 27% in 2014).

    On the whole Ukrainians seem ready to yield and accept Russia’s terms, or at least moving in that direction. But they are being held back Galicians, who if anything grew even more fanatical in their hostility to Moscow: 39% want to terminate relations with Russia (up from 17% in 2014).

    According to Gallup, Ukrainians who want better relations with Russia are less likely to approve of the their government, which shows that the current regime mostly represents the interests of Galician nationalists.

  23. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich

    USA is not in terminal decline and should not be treated as such.

    • Replies: @Yevardian
    , @Felix Keverich
  24. Yevardian says:
    @Mitleser

    The various core-Americans as a people still have some positive qualities, so I’d like to disagree, but facts are stubborn things. Some regions might eventually prosper later on, but as a unified whole, the state is doomed.

  25. @Mitleser

    It is. A country like Russia can recover from a failed ideology/political system, but there is no recovery from a demographic displacement. White Americans have a negative population growth, they are literally dying and their place is being rapidly taken by Mestizo immigrants from Latin America.

    Mestizos are not only racially inferior to whites, they are going to vote for politicians, who will bring Latin America’s political culture to USA, cementing the country’s decline. In this respect Ocasio-Cortez phenomenon should be seen as a canary in the coal mine.

  26. Yevardian says:

    In this respect Ocasio-Cortez phenomenon should be seen as a canary in the coal mine.

    Not that American elections have ever meant much since Woodrow Wilson, but 2016 was a Latin American style election if we’ve ever seen one, as our dear host has pointed out.

  27. Twinkie says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    I can confirm Russia House is well worth visiting. Probably the only place in that pathetic excuse for an imperial capital worth visiting in fact.

    What, no Rasika? What are you, some sort of a racist?

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  28. @Beckow

    All evil will be projected on Russia and Russians until we reach truly absurd levels or proceed to an actual war

    Quite possible. Putin is no angel, neither are the Russians in general, but this reminds me of the constant vilification of Saddam. And we know how that one ended. So I don’t think we can just dismiss the risk of a war.

  29. @Felix Keverich

    Brazil is a Latin American country, and had it had nukes, it’d be still formidable. Multiply Brazil by 2 or 3, its smart fraction by maybe 10, and add a vast legacy military infrastructure and thousands of nukes, and you’ll have the US of A in the second half of the century. It’ll still be formidable, even if probably less formidable than China will be at that point.

  30. neutral says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Its worse than just Mestizos, blacks still play an a very dominant role in the government, the sub Saharan population flood will hit the USA just as badly as Western Europe, then you also have an endless amount of browns coming in from South Asia (despite the endless fawning about how successful the upper caste Indians are, with enough migrants their behaviour will start to resemble the average of India).

  31. OT

    Meanwhile, the British police now claim to have identified the Skripal suspects, of course Russians. They claim to have identified them on CCTV videos and going through the list of people entering and leaving the country around that time.

    Interestingly, they still haven’t released any of the camera pictures of the suspects.

    However, I’d say that if they can somehow prove that there were several Russians in Salisbury at the time, moving around town close to the Skripals, who arrived a few days earlier and subsequently left the country, then that’d be some evidence that it was, indeed, Russia. However, we’re still far from that point.

  32. inertial says:

    The only way to set up an effective Russian lobby in America is to hire a bunch of insiders – former senators, cabinet officials, and such. Of course, no insider will agree to work for the Russian lobby.

    This goes back to what I’ve been saying. Ethnic lobbies don’t drive American policy. On the contrary, American Deep State determines which ethnic lobbies are allowed to exist and exactly how much influence they should have.

  33. neutral says:
    @inertial

    American Deep State determines which ethnic lobbies are allowed to exist and exactly how much influence they should have

    No, it is the jewish ethnic lobby that determines which other ethnics are allowed to bribe politicians. Unless you are seriously going to argue that the deep state could suddenly decide to not work with AIPAC and the international jews.

    • Replies: @inertial
  34. Mitleser says:
    @reiner Tor

    British Skripal claims are worthless without evidence.

  35. utu says:
    @inertial

    American Deep State determines which ethnic lobbies are allowed to exist

    The First Commandment of AIPAC:

    “Thou shalt have no other lobbies before us”

  36. @inertial

    Or entrenched lobbies decide which new lobbies seem harmless to their influence, and more powerful lobbies have the power to remove less powerful ones from the corridors of power. Probably no lobby is all-powerful, so no lobby can throw out all the rest, but it’s possible to manage the situation, so a new Russian lobby suddenly gaining power (no matter how much money Putin would be willing to throw at it) seems most unlikely.

    By the way apparently even Orbán had difficulties setting up a US lobby for himself. He could get a former one-term Congressmen and maybe a couple think tank people, but nothing more. And I think Putin found it even harder. It’s just difficult, unless your influence seems beneficial to the already entrenched lobbies.

    • Replies: @inertial
  37. inertial says:

    The best public diplomacy right now is to get as many Americans and other Westerners as possible to come to Russia and discover that it’s not Mordor. Donald Trump himself could serve as an example of the success of this approach.

    This means that Russia needs to introduce unilateral visa free regime with certain Western nations. I understand that this is humiliating but it’s necessary.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @Cagey Beast
  38. Mitleser says:
    @inertial

    Why is it necessary?

    • Replies: @inertial
  39. @Dmitry

    Local news, even in the imperial capital, generally is much less ideological and hysterical. They’re just looking for good stories, and just about the only decent entertainment available in DC is restaurants and bars.

    But sure, in 2009 it was really only the Ecommunist and a few Jewish berserkers pushing hysterical Russophobia (that went mainstream in 2014).

  40. @Daniel Chieh

    Russia’s large enough to do so if she likes (consider that Russia has more people today than America did in WW2), but at the price of falling considerably behind the technological frontier. Which of course is exactly what happened during the Cold War, though obviously its deficient economic system played a major role as well.

    Made in Japan is indeed there now (other than jet engines)…and Japan is an American vassal state. Though one which is historically more willing to skirt the rules on American sanctions and export controls (see the Toshiba Affair). I believe Mazda now has an assembly plant in Vladivostok.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  41. @Twinkie

    Indian food is like the same five dishes made over and over, heavily camouflaged with spices in order to protect its victims from food poisoning.

    This is culture which failed to invent more than one type of cheese, and diaspora Indians are so culinarily inept that they haplessly substitute tofu for said cheese because they’ve never heard of ricotta or even thought to look into it.

    The last thing I do when visiting a different city is look up Indian restaurants.

    Other than Japanese all ethnic “cuisine” is a scam, and this is coming from someone who enjoys heat and strong flavors generally.

    You can round up six billion people on this world and collectively they’ve contributed less to global cuisine than, say, the 500,000 people of Lyons alone.

    Get me a dry-aged ribeye (won’t find that at Rasika…) or a nice filet of salmon (Atlantic, King, or sockeye).

    Looking at Trip Advisor it seems now that DC has a David Burke steakhouse, and conveniently it’s at the new Trump hotel there. I know where I’ll be fining if forced to visit that shithole city again.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  42. Mikhail says: • Website
    @inertial

    The only way to set up an effective Russian lobby in America is to hire a bunch of insiders – former senators, cabinet officials, and such. Of course, no insider will agree to work for the Russian lobby.

    This goes back to what I’ve been saying. Ethnic lobbies don’t drive American policy. On the contrary, American Deep State determines which ethnic lobbies are allowed to exist and exactly how much influence they should have.

    To go along with people who’ve been truly committed to improved US-Russian relations, along with knowing the US establishment biases and how to directly confront them.

    The latest farce being a just aired CNN segment, noting that the Russian government has offered to cooperate with John Mueller in exchange for the Kremlin questioning the likes of Michael McFaul and Bill Browder. CNN then shows a McFaul Tweet saying that the Stalin era Soviet government had never attempted to arrest Americans.

    Of course, that’s a deceitful comment on his part, which gets lost in the way that many Americans have been subconsciously duped. There’s also the hypocritical matter of how Russians can be arrested by the US government unlike vice versa.

    For all his faults, John Bolton suggested that the indictment of 12 Russian nationals is BS if the Russian constitution forbids such a transfer. Offhand, I don’t know if that’s right – but he makes a cogent point notwithstanding.

  43. @inertial

    The only way to set up an effective Russian lobby in America is to hire a bunch of insiders – former senators, cabinet officials, and such.

    Bribery is wrong.

  44. @inertial

    If anything, the Russians should vet any westerners wishing to visit their country, not let anyone in. Now that the establishment in the West has lost its collective mind, it will be sending troublemakers Russia’s way to get revenge.

  45. Beckow says:
    @Felix Keverich

    …Ocasio-Cortez phenomenon should be seen as a canary in the coal mine

    Proximity matters and to some extent US has always been destined for a slow ‘Latin-American’ transformation.

    But one has to be careful with these endless analogies, things are much more complex. What is definitely happening is that there will not be a dominant power for the next few decades, if ever in our lifetimes. That is a healthy dynamic, except it comes with more danger and more conflict.

    US is heading towards being a large Third World country on steroids with the usual creole elite and endless intra-group conflicts.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  46. Slightly OT — a possible money-making opportunity for suitable member(s) of our East European commentariat.

    James Bond to take on Russian baddies for the first time in 20 years in next movie

    The latest 007 film, the 25th in the series will star Daniel Craig as 007. And Bond will be battling Moscow baddies for the first time in 20 years.

    A casting call has revealed intriguing details of two characters who will follow in the villainous footsteps of Rosa Klebb and General Orlov.

    Producers of the series, inspired by Ian Fleming’s novels, are seeking a 30 to 60-year-old leading male, from Russia or the Balkans. He must be “charismatic, powerful, innovative, cold and vindictive”.

    A leading female role is also up for grabs for a Russian or Balkan and must be “very striking” with “strong physical combat skills”.

    Her character is described as “intelligent, brave, fierce and charming, she’s witty and skilful, a survivor”. The couple look likely to have a Maori hench­­man, who must possess “combat skills” and be “ruthless and loyal”.

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/film/james-bond-take-russian-baddies-12942268

    Volunteers? Nominations?

    • LOL: reiner Tor
  47. @Beckow

    It will still be very strong for a long time. It’s just wishful thinking to expect it to just go away over the next few years, and to think it doesn’t matter any more.

  48. Mitleser says:

    The truth about the ((threat)).

  49. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich

    I don’t think it will lose its power (only its relative power), considering their increasing dominance in science and technology, and large investment in this area (e.g. majority of world’s combined venture capital funding).

    China will be significantly higher in GDP, but still far below in GDP per capita – and as a result, America will still be attracting the most intelligent workers from around the world to work in its future industries.

    Culturally America will continue in decline (and the result is spread around the world, although Chinese culture will surely become an alternative, minority cultural influence, like how Korean and Japanese is becoming already now).

    At the same time, in America increased racial conflicts in the country’s interior, and increasing separation between the rich and the poor, with introduction of more “Brazilian” urban models like “gated communities”.

    America also loses its political consensus, and polarized. With increasingly stupid politicians – comical incidences, such as physical fights, or people flying toy drones, start to enter US Congress buildings, as their atmosphere becomes more similar to Rada in Kiev, .

    This is by 2050.

    But longer-term predictions are going to be inaccurate, because they are so dependent on technology which we cannot know about. (E.g. who can predict behaviour of genetically engineered American Mestizos of the future – perhaps they will be more calm, docile and nonintefering in international relations than Americans of today; perhaps the opposite).

  50. @Dmitry

    As Ron Unz often points out, Latinos just aren’t that violent. He points out that there are no gated communities in Silicon Valley, even though its majority Hispanic now.

    So long as the African element is not increasing, the US should avoid going down that road.

    I think reiner Tor is spot on: “Brazil is a Latin American country, and had it had nukes, it’d be still formidable. Multiply Brazil by 2 or 3, its smart fraction by maybe 10, and add a vast legacy military infrastructure and thousands of nukes, and you’ll have the US of A in the second half of the century. It’ll still be formidable, even if probably less formidable than China will be at that point.

    • Agree: Kimppis
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Hyperborean
  51. Kimppis says:
    @Dmitry

    I don’t think it will lose its power (only its relative power), considering their increasing dominance in science and technology

    Looking only at China’s progress, America’s dominance in sicence and technology is certainly not increasing. Actually, you could argue that the “dominance” is already history in many fields. That is exactly what relative decline means.

    There are also some very recent reports like this: https://www.scmp.com/tech/article/2153798/china-surpasses-north-america-attracting-venture-capital-funding-first-time

    America will still be attracting the most intelligent workers from around

    Debatable and in any case not that relevant, considering China’s population is over 4 times larger.

    It’s difficult to predict exchange rates, etc, but China’s PPP GDP per capita won’t necessarily be massively smaller by 2050, not that it matters too much either way due to that aforementioned population size.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  52. @reiner Tor

    Since the discovery of the perfume spray bottle, I’ve shifted from “Accidental self poisoning by the Skripals selling nerve agents” to Russians, possibly the state certainly secret service agents did it. Motive? The Mueller investigation.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  53. Mitleser says:
    @Dmitry

    The future will be bipolar.

    Over the weekend, Reference News (参考消息), the newspaper published by the official Xinhua News Agency that clips news coverage from around the world, ran an interview with Yan Xuetong (阎学通), director of the Institute for International Relations at Tsinghua University and one of China’s leading foreign policy experts. In the interview, Yan discusses the rise of China and substantial changes — but not yet fundamental, he says — to the global political and economic system.

    At the website of Reference News, the interview carried the headline, “Push for Independence in Taiwan Would Be the Biggest Crisis in the Future for China-US Relations.” At the website Aisixiang (爱思想) the headline was instead: “‘Chaos and Disorder’ Are Becoming the Normal State of the World.”

    The following is a partial translation of the interview with Yan, for whom the return of bipolarity in world affairs is clearly a fait accompli.

    [MORE]

    The Nature of the Global Order Has Not Fundamentally Changed

    Cankao Xiaoxi: In the world today, it seems that “chaos and disorder” have become the ordinary state of things. How do you see the state of affairs today?

    Yan Xuetong: We see different changes in the state of the world along different dimensions. When we compare today to the 20 years following the break up of the Soviet Union (1992-2011), we see that the world is moving now from a unipolar situation in which the United States is supreme, to a bipolar world in which the supreme powers are China and the United States. We are moving away from a state in which international norms are led by Western liberalism (西方自由主义) to a state where international norms are no longer respected; the international system is moving from a West-centered model to one in which power is redistributed; and [at the same time], the nature of the international system (国际体系) remains the hegemonic system of the post world war period, with no fundamental change in its nature.

    The making of the new world order will take some time. The process of redistribution of power is the process of power devolution (权力分散) and the reconstitution of influence (势力重组), and so the normal state of things is chaos and disorder. In the midst of this process, as there is a lack of a dominant set of values, the bond of old norms is weakened, and new norms have not yet been built. The use of strategies of competition that do not respect norms or uphold commitments will become the normal state, and the worship of resourcefulness and lack of strategic credibility (战略信誉) will become a path that many countries are inclined to.

    As nuclear weapons will prove a deterrent to war by any major power, these countries will tend to use economic sanctions as a means of competition, and protectionism will carry the day. Major powers will not wish to bear the costs of global governance and the preservation of order. Global governance and regional cooperation will stop in their tracks, and it’s possible that regionalization will see a reverse trend, including in the European Union. We could quite possibly be in a situation in which there is no global leader. The situation in the world right now has only undergone a change in degree (程度变化), and not a fundamental change in nature, a change in terms of the order but not a change in terms of systems — and this can’t be compared with the changes brought on by the two world wars. If we compare the situation of the past 50 years to what we face now, we can say that we are in an intermediate phase of change, because the changes now have not yet reached the immensity of what we saw with the end of the Cold War.

    A “Bipolar System” Will Take Shape Within Five Years

    Cankao Xiaoxi: Back in 2013 you predicted that by 2023 a bipolar system between China and the United States would establish itself. Is this still your view, and why?

    Yan Xuetong: After the Cold War, the United States became the absolute leading power in the world, but its leadership position of late is not like that of the 1990s. In 2013, I predicted complete bipolarization by 2023. Looking at things now, we can ascertain even more clearly that multipolarity is impossible, and a bipopular system (两极格局) within five years is extremely possible.

    We can judge the international system by comparing the strength (实力) of the major powers and their strategic relationships. Lately, the world’s third-ranked power cannot in terms of national strength be compared on the same level as China or the United States. By 2023, this gap will widen even further. Strategic relationships have also become quite clearly a matter of other major nations choosing between the United States and China. The international system after 2018 will be decided by the relative development speeds of the major powers. I believe that there is no science to determining what the international situation will be like after 10 years. The most I’ll project ahead is 10 years. Within 10 years, there is no way that China will be on par with the United States. The growth of our country’s comprehensive national strength (综合国力) has already slowed down, and there is a risk that this rate of growth in strength could continue to decrease.

    Once the bipolar system is established, there will be a real question of whether the concept of “the West” as it is now used in international relations will be applicable. “The West” was originally a geographic concept, later it became a cultural concept, and in the wake of the Cold War it became a political concept. The present [process of] bipolarization has meant that Western countries and developing countries alike are experiencing internal splits, and the remaking of political strength will very possibly not happen any longer along Western and non-Western lines, but along ideological lines. . . . When Western countries no longer influence international politics in a unified manner, the political concept of “the West” will no longer objectively suit the study of international relations.

    The Risks of Trump Uncertainty

    Cankao Xiaoxi: You have said before that with the rise of China, we will face greater troubles and threats. Trade tensions between China and the United States have impacted the bilateral relationship. In the future, what risks and challenges do we need to prepare for?

    Yan Xuetong: From the standpoint of international relations, within the next two years, one of the biggest problems we will face is how to deal with Trump’s unpredictability. Because he essentially makes decisions according to his own, there is little continuity between these decisions, and it is very difficult to predict, and so we must ensure that bilateral tensions do not spread to the ideological sphere. The core of the Cold War was about ideology, and only by preventing ideological tensions can we prevent a Cold War. Over the next five years, ideas of independence in Taiwan could develop further, bringing the risk of a full-fledged standoff between China and the United States, which we must be one guard against. Over the next 10 years, the biggest danger on the outside will probably be the question of Taiwan independence. For this we need to build effective prevention mechanisms to avoid [a crisis].

    http://chinamediaproject.org/2018/06/26/yan-xuetong-on-the-bipolar-state-of-our-world/

  54. Cover of latest Time magazine:

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  55. Dmitry says:
    @Kimppis

    Per capita GDP of China will be far below US for many decades.

    The relevant figure for “brain drain” are nominal figures of the salaries for the particular profession – it’s just how your salary translates when you make a decision to apply for a job in the West.

    In particular, American universities have financial resources far beyond any other institutions in the world.

    Salaries in America for skilled people are particularly high, even compared to a lot of Western Europe, or places like Japan (which are a few generations advanced of China in development).

    At the moment, a significant proportion of the world’s cleverest people are immigrating to America, and this is problem even for high income countries of Western Europe (which is losing them to America).

    There is an interesting dynamic here though, where the overly high salaries in America, also result in offshoring of a lot of work, including R&D work.

    The pattern will seem some kind of bifurcation, with the most elite research increasing in America, while lower level work is being offshored (and which results in technology transfer).

    R&D work can be offshored. Intel, for example, offshored part of its design of processors to Israel in the 1980s, because of much lower salaries there, while many of the top scientists of the country immigrated to America at the same time.

    The same process will probably result in a lot of American companies offshoring R&D work in China, while top researchers in China will always continue immigrating to America (so long as there is the salary different).

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  56. @for-the-record

    I thought it was a joke…but its not.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  57. @Dmitry

    From what I’ve heard, AI researchers made about as much in China as they do in the US and given cost differentials, it actually means that they make more. I’m actually dubious about elite research as well, given that there’s at least some elite research that can’t be done as well in the US, such as genetics(less access to monkeys, for example), and where there are other local resources that can be found locally in China.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  58. Beckow says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    It is a joke, we are meant to die laughing. This is almost as good a joke as blowing up the planet to save Al Qaeda in Aleppo as Hillary wanted. We dodged that one, but maybe just a short delay.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  59. @Beckow

    This is actually funny, in a macabre sort of way.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  60. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    As Ron Unz often points out, Latinos just aren’t that violent. He points out that there are no gated communities in Silicon Valley, even though its majority Hispanic now.

    So long as the African element is not increasing, the US should avoid going down that road.

    I traveled in California last summer (my brother is there at the moment), and for anecdotal evidence, also didn’t see anything bad from Latino Americans (I saw a lot working restaurants, maybe some drug addicts in the bus).

    I guess the problem is on the political, rather than street, dimension – their voting for Democrat Party, which results in increased immigration and “Obama liberals” in American politics.

    Surely, however, there is not anything invariably “Obama liberal” in Latino populations of America. Optimistically, they could change to neoliberal and support Republicans.

    In Latin American countries themselves – it is not all a story of Venezuela and Cuba. We can see an optimistic story of Chile, where a communist leader Salvador Allende, was defeated by Augusto Pinochet.

    Under Pinochet, the country itself has been reformed and developed in a neoliberal direction, and gradually transformed to a democracy, and a developed economic, with a similar level now to EU members like Portugal.

    The political world of Latin America is not only negative. Also positive model of people like Pinochet already exists in Latin America ideology.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    , @Daniel Chieh
  61. @Hyperborean

    I wonder, if President Trump started a nuclear war with Russia, would the survivors still go, ”yeah, but what about…”?

  62. @Dmitry

    So who will be the ones getting helicopter rides?

    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
  63. @Anatoly Karlin

    As Ron Unz often points out, Latinos just aren’t that violent. He points out that there are no gated communities in Silicon Valley, even though its majority Hispanic now.

    Perhaps Unz has already explained it, but how come it seems Mexico is so violent and chaotic yet US Latin Americans are relatively peaceful?

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  64. Dmitry says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    The free market can distribute quite well in these questions for jobs with immediate benefits. The salary of software engineers, particularly in somewhere like California, is so attractive, because of immediate practical value of the work they are doing.

    But as a result of the higher salaries, they could become quite vulnerable to offshoring at some point (although even in this scenario, the main profits of the company would remain in America).

    -

    But for less directly practical research in the shortrun, but with longrun benefits? (“Elite research”). A research professor of computer science in a higher American university, will receive 2-3 the salary even of equivalent in a Western European university.

    In the shortrun, the economic benefits of this work is not always clear, so it would be a “gamble” for China to try to equal American salaries, and we would surely be unlikely to see China offering these jobs at salaries competitive to America (in any large numbers, i.e. enough to be “brain-draining the world”), for many years. And even when China matches America in this area – America will still probably be in second place for elite research.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  65. Beckow says:

    Trump started a nuclear war with Russia, would the survivors still go, ”yeah, but what about…”?

    That one is relatively easy, they would blame Putin. But Trump would be blamed for ‘appeasement‘ that ‘led to the war‘. These guys have their story lines well polished, nothing ever changes…

  66. Jon0815 says:
    @reiner Tor

    Meanwhile, the British police now claim to have identified the Skripal suspects, of course Russians. They claim to have identified them on CCTV videos and going through the list of people entering and leaving the country around that time.

    The UK’s security minister has called that report “ill-informed speculation.”

    However, I’d say that if they can somehow prove that there were several Russians in Salisbury at the time, moving around town close to the Skripals, who arrived a few days earlier and subsequently left the country, then that’d be some evidence that it was, indeed, Russia.

    It could also just mean that the Russians were keeping tabs on a former spy. And it may be a completely false report anyway.

    Although I have thought all along that the single most likely culprit (50% probability) was a renegade GRU faction that both wanted to both take revenge on Skirpal and embarrass Putin. Second most likely being an Ivins type at Portland Down (25%).

    The perfume bottle report is weird, particularly given how after Yulia’s taped statement looking noticeably more attractive, there was that Internet meme of novichok as an allure-enhancing perfume.

    It seems improbable that after the assassin sprayed the novichok on the doorknob, and disposed of the bottle miles away in central Salisbury, the Skirpals would show no ill-effects for hours after touching the doorknob, until they happened to suddenly became simultaneously stricken, a short distance from where the bottle was abandoned.

    And did the two druggies happen to find the bottle in the trash a short time after the attack, and then not expose themselves to its contents for months? Or did the poisoner leave the bottle some place where it went undiscovered for months?

    I have wondered if the novichok on the doorknob was a deliberate red herring, designed to confuse police and draw their attention away from the true method and location of the attack.

  67. @Hyperborean

    Most Mexicans in Mexico aren’t violent either. The cartels are violent.

    Fifty years ago Mexico was a safer place than America.

    Of course the dysfunction of Latin American political culture fairly routinely leads to extensive corruption, state collapse, revolution, coup d’etats, etc. These entire can result in explosions of violence.

  68. @Dmitry

    We can see an optimistic story of Chile, where a communist leader Salvador Allende, was defeated by Augusto Pinochet.

    Chile is an optimistic story of the good that can be wrought from political assassination, mass torture/murder and gravity-assisted bioconversion of communists into ecological goods but its still not really a very healthy country except in comparison to its neighbors. At any rate, its exceedingly dubious that a Pinochetian renaissance will prevail in the future US.

  69. @Dmitry

    Paul Weyrich and Jack Kemp have been dead for over a decade.

  70. @Thorfinnsson

    Most Mexicans in Mexico aren’t violent either. The cartels are violent.

    I occasionally see articles about MS-48 (or whatever they are called) trying to extend their reach into the USA, do you think this is a minor concern for now?

    Of course the dysfunction of Latin American political culture fairly routinely leads to extensive corruption, state collapse, revolution, coup d’etats, etc. These entire can result in explosions of violence.

    While Latin America is not a model for building a stable and prosperous regime, I find it impressive how, barring a few exceptions, the elite always manages to land its feet.

    Even the Socialist governments seem to usually have a European or Arab or other honorary white individual in the executive or vice-executive position.

  71. @Dmitry

    But for less directly practical research in the shortrun, but with longrun benefits? (“Elite research”). A research professor of computer science in a higher American university, will receive 2-3 the salary even of equivalent in a Western European university.

    This seems a bit dubious to me; give me the kind of numbers you’re thinking of? $250k? A million per year? On that, China has offered 1 million/year for some scientists.

    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2105278/china-offering-over-million-dollars-foreigner-run-worlds-largest

    AnonFromTN touched on this, though; if you’re a scientist or a researcher, you’re not looking really to maximize your wealth. You have to be driven by something else, otherwise you’d be in industry and making about a third more(at least). Academia isn’t a place to get rich in, you have to really have the right type of mindset to deal with it. I’m pretty sure that if you wanted to make money as a researcher, you shouldn’t be working for a university anyway; the only millionaire that I know who does research worked for DuPont. Its also my belief that corporate politics is slightly less insane than academic politics.

    There are a lot of reasons why the US will remain a top center of science: excellent equipment, good colleagues, the ability to pursue your specific interests without government involvement, and just generally better conditions. But I don’t think that money alone is central.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Johann Ricke
  72. LondonBob says:
    @Philip Owen

    The security minister has rubbished the media claims about suspects identified, another fabrication.

  73. LondonBob says:

    The US will have a civil war, trends all moving that way.

  74. Dmitry says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Salary for professor (or associate professor) of computer science in a good research university/higher school America? Around $120,000 + a year?

    And in Oxford or Cambridge University? (famous Western European universities) – about $60,000-70,000 a year. (“Professor” has a different meaning for there – so you have to search salary of “lecturer”)

    In the latter case, the private sector can drain away many talented people.

  75. inertial says:
    @reiner Tor

    For the purposes of this discussion it doesn’t make sense to speak of separate lobbies because it’s all the same people at different points of their career. Call them nomenklatura.

    You know about the Military-Industrial Complex? Similarly, there exists Government-Media-Academia-Lobbying Complex (connected to the MIC, of course.) There is a revolving door between various branches of the Complex. A Congressman who just lost an election, a researcher at a think tank, or a retired high level civil servant could be offered a job at a lobbying firm. After a stint as a lobbyist they could go back to their former occupations, or to something new, e.g. a talking head on TV.

    Working as a lobbyist for Good Guys is a legitimate career choice. It will enhance you resume and you get to meet a lot of people just like you. But trying to lobby for a Bad Guy can destroy your career. Everyone knows who the Good Guys and the Bad Guys are – the group think is strong with these people.

    So, Good Guys lobbies have no trouble hiring influential people. For example, in the late 90s there was a powerful Albanian lobby, which had a number of bigfoot American politicians working for it; for example Bob Dole and John McCain. On the other hand, Orban is a designated Bad Guy, so he has trouble attracting even the minor players.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  76. inertial says:
    @neutral

    I knew that I’d hear from the adepts of the Church of Holy AIPAC. You believe what you want to believe.

  77. @Thorfinnsson

    I think the only reason why the cartels could have gotten so powerful is because of the overall dysfunction of the government. You never hear, anywhere else, of non-state entities waging war against state entities; the idea of, say, the Mafia fighting battles against the Italian military would be farcical. The narco-guerillas successful waged war against Colombia, and cartels provide government services and levy taxes in parts of Mexico…which is hilarious, really, but it also shows that they can successfully control land and population.

    At this point its a chicken and egg problem. Are governments incapable of dealing with them because they are so powerful? Did they become so powerful because the governments were so dysfunctional? Does it matter anymore?

  78. @inertial

    One thing I remember was that it was considered kosher to hire a family member of a political official as a lobbyist for your cause, sometimes with quite remarkable salaries. Its hard not to see how that is not essentially, a blatant yet legal bribe.

  79. @Dan Hayes

    Since they’re both supposedly our allies, let’s attack both, each on behalf of the other, and destroy them.

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
  80. inertial says:
    @Mitleser

    Back when Trump was an unlikely contender for the Republican nomination, I was struck by his relative friendliness to Russia. In American election campaigns, there is no political downside to Russophobia and no upside to Russophilia, so all other other candidates competed with each other in bashing Russia. But not Trump. He even had a couple of kind words to say about the Kremlin Beelzebub himself. Why?

    My best guess is that Trump visited Russia and liked it. He does believe horror stories about it, for one. And this is why Russia should get as many foreigners as possible to come and visit. Some of them may become important in the future.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  81. @Felix Keverich

    I clicked Agree, but with a caveat.

    Aren’t the Russians being replaced, too, just not nearly as rapidly?

    Is the total fertility rate of Russians in the Russian Federation at replacement level 2.1?
    Has it been at that level at any time during the past 25 years?

    I realize that the Muslim nations in the Caucasus have a small population, but aren’t the non-Russian Muslim people in Chechnya, Dagestan, etc., consistently reproducing above replacement level?

    It seems that the population of Russia is becoming just slightly less Russian and slightly more non-white and Muslim with each passing year. Sadly, we may someday write “Russia” in quotes just as we are starting to write “Germany” and “France” and “Sweden.”

  82. Dmitry says:
    @RadicalCenter

    It’s correct there is a difference in birthrates.

    But also remember minority nationalities are quite small people, and assimilating as well, through intermarriage and secularization – although this process is less rapidly than in the Soviet era.

    For Tatars, for example, you can read how this is a very sensitive topic among them (intermarriage), because of how often it leads to assimilation and loss of separate identity in the next generation. They panic about this topic on the Tatar internet forums even because intermarriage is becoming more common.

    The probable outcome is always that vastly larger Russian nationality swallows the smaller nationalities, than the other way round.

  83. Anon[202] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    I’m glad you like cheese, because with desserts (Indian sweets are good but not up to European quality) and maybe sausage it is the only unique glory of European cookery that is not done better somewhere else.

    That said, as a mixed Ceylonese I have to agree with you about the majority of Indian and especially Indian-American cooking, done by chefs who believe in the two great gods of ghee and salt (fake ghee half the time anyway). But odds are the Rasika is not like that, though I’ve never been there.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  84. inertial says:

    Russia House restaurant in Washington D.C.

    Since it’s in DC I had to check out Tyler Cowen’s Ethnic Dining Guide. Cowen is a perfect WEIRD and SWPL, so I was interested in what he had to say.

    He has two entries under “Russia House.” From 5/20/06:

    Some claim it [Russia House] is excellent, I need to check it out. I love good Russian food, despite its unavailability in Russia. The best places I know are in Helsinki.

    The next day:

    I drove to this place once, but it looked boring and overpriced. So, I reoptimized and opted for Peruvian chicken in a nearby strip mall, I think it was called Pollo Inka.

    LOL.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  85. Mitleser says:
    @inertial

    Well, a slow liberalisation of the visa regime does seem to happen.

  86. Mitleser says:
    @RadicalCenter

    “more non-white”

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  87. Twinkie says:
    @Anon

    But odds are the Rasika is not like that, though I’ve never been there.

    Food at Rasika is pretty good as is people watching. It’s not your typical neghborhood Northern Indian tandoori chicken joint.

    My low opinion of Indians does not affect my appraisal of an Indian restaurant. I try to be as objective as I can. If the food is tasty, it is tasty. It really is as simple as that.

  88. @Daniel Chieh

    There are a lot of reasons why the US will remain a top center of science: excellent equipment, good colleagues, the ability to pursue your specific interests without government involvement

    My impression about Chinese Party apparatchiks is that they are like little emperors – they not only think (like Obama) that they are the smartest guy in the room – they like to micromanage just purely as an expression of their power. That’s how you come up with something like China’s draconian one-child policy and its ban on motorcycles in the big cities. I’d expect creative foreigners to chafe under many of the arbitrary and anger-inducing diktats dreamed up by company despots, and leave fairly quickly, even if they dipped their toes in the water for short periods of time.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  89. @Thorfinnsson

    I can imagine that France might be the greatest single national contributor to global cuisine (though it’s not exactly clear how to go about quantifying such things), which would also make it a superlative per capita contributor.

    But Indian cuisine – which is really about 10 different regional ones – is certainly no less complex. Wherever did you get this absurd idea? Also they need to be commended as the only people who managed to make vegetarianism delicious.

    Japanese has more of an elite reputation because it was the first “ethnic” country to become developed and start marketing its food to moneyed gourmands. But there is nothing particular special about sushi or sashimi, nor have I ever figured out where the preoccupation with umami comes from (something that is present in all manner of cuisines, including even Russian, which I will admit doesn’t have much to write home about).

    The Americans have certained brought the art of the steak to perfection. As ketoheads we can certainly appreciate that. It is interesting to note that the Japs have also developed steak (Wagyu beef) and single malt whiskey to as high a level as anything seen in the West. This reflects the East Asian talent for copying and then optimizing.

  90. @Thorfinnsson

    Also with respect to Mexico in particular, it does seem that the drugs issue is central.

    Northern areas (US border) are the most violent, the most underdeveloped/Aztec areas are actually quite peaceful.

    It is of course very plausible that a much more Latinized US will see more Latin maladies affect its body politic, which may eventually translate to skyrocketing crime. I still haven’t really figured out why, say, Latin America is so damn violent, more so even than West Africa, or all but the most (temporarily) collapsed of Middle Eastern states.

    • Replies: @Anon
  91. Dmitry says:
    @Mitleser

    Kadyrov is part of the problem though, as he is encouraging a lot of Islamization.

    It’s a difficult problem for the authorities though. Religion is bringing various ideological and social benefits. At the same time, this multireligious policy is not good here, where you are preparing for future problems and separatism for future generations.

    In the Chechen Republic, it should be encouraged secularization.

    -

    Grozny before the war – secular people.

  92. @RadicalCenter

    Two distinct groups:

    1. The Central Russian Muslim groups (racially Slavic/Finno-Ugric, with only minor Central Asian admixture) don’t have substantively higher fertility rates than Russians, and are if anything getting slowly reduced as a share of the population. This process is proceeding rapidly for Christian Finno-Ugric groups.

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russia-more-russian/

    2. DICh (Dagestan-Ingushetia-Chechnya) peoples are very different in temperament and mores; despite both them and Tatars being Muslim, in reality the differences between them and Tatars are far larger than between Tatars and Russians. They also hardly ever intermarry with Russians; the few cases that happens are between their men and Russian women. Fortunately, they start from a low base, and the TFR of both Dagestan and Ingushetia are at around 2.0, so no especially threatening; Chechnya is different, with a TFR of about 3.5. Still, not a disastrous trend, considered Chechens constitute about 1% of the Russian population.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  93. @inertial

    I love good Russian food, despite its unavailability in Russia.

    Wat.

  94. @Johann Ricke

    Nah, someone like that wouldn’t survive Party politics. There are issues with conflicts of interest, e.g. wanting to “show results” soonish rather than waiting the years needed but grandstanding would have quick, unpleasant consequences.

  95. Anon[126] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Rootlessness stemming from a combination of christian intolerance towards clans and recent colonization leaving people unrelated to their neighbors

  96. @Anatoly Karlin

    Fortunately, they start from a low base, and the TFR of both Dagestan and Ingushetia are at around 2.0, so no especially threatening; Chechnya is different, with a TFR of about 3.5. Still, not a disastrous trend, considered Chechens constitute about 1% of the Russian population.

    I thought Russian demographics is your hobby, but there figures are seriously out of date. It’s actually 1,75 for Ingushetia and 2,62 for Chechnya in 2016.

    All this federal investment in the Caucasus seems to be making a difference, causing the locals to adopt a modern, urbanised way of life.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  97. @reiner Tor

    It doesn’t matter how populous a third world America will be. Any growth in US population will come exclusively from non-white immigration. Population of White Americans will decline from the current level of just under 200 million. Having 300 million more POCs pumped into it will actually make the country worse off! We have seen in South Africa how quickly an advanced Anglo society can degenerate under pressure of demographic change. And I know, Mestizos are not niggers, but still. USA won’t be “formidable” at all.

    Futhermore, superpower military infrastructure requires hundreds of billions of dollars to maintain – out of reach for a corrupt, disfunctional third-world dump, that America will become. Without money it falls into disrepair and becomes worthless fast. Just look at what happened in the post-Soviet Ukraine.

  98. @Felix Keverich

    Well, while I have a rough idea of where things are, I don’t religiously memorize the vital stats of every Russian region for every year.

    Obviously this just confirms the point that they are not a demographic threat.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  99. @Anatoly Karlin

    Well, while I have a rough idea of where things are, I don’t religiously memorize the vital stats of every Russian region for every year.

    Neither do I. But these are no ordinary Russian regions, and their demographic transition (towards lower fertility) is kind of a big deal.

    It also vindicates Kremlin’s policy of “feeding the Caucasus” – something that lowbrow Russian nationalists at Sputnik&Pogrom fail to recognise.

    • Agree: melanf
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  100. @Felix Keverich

    Far from certain that it wouldn’t have happened without subsidies either.

    Also it is ICh which is transitioning to lower fertility from anomalously higher rates. Dagestan has long been steadily around 2.0.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  101. @Anatoly Karlin

    Such declines in fertility are usually a product of urbanisation. These Chechen cities weren’t going to rebuild themselves. Or perhaps, they would, but it would take a lot more time.

    Dagestan has been around 2.0 since late 1990s, but Russia’s TFR was 1.2 at the time.

  102. Mitleser says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    I believe Mazda now has an assembly plant in Vladivostok.

  103. unzreader says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    4chan’s literature board /lit/ has had DC meet-ups at Russia House on several occasions in the last 6 months.

  104. @reiner Tor

    Brazil * 3 + ,000 nukes = NIGHTMARE^3

    Luckily the US won’t make it whole to the end of the century. A financial crisis many times bigger than 2008 will do them for. If racial strife and political hatred won’t arrive first

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  105. @PedanticItalian

    Luckily the US won’t make it whole to the end of the century.

    The breakup of a country that big with lots of nukes and no obvious ethnic borders etc. will be an even bigger nightmare than the (Brazil *3 with thousands of nukes).

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