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An Analysis of Zhirinovsky's Program
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poll-fom-russia-elections-2018

Yesterday there was another poll on the Russian Presidential elections in 2018, this time from FOM (although state-owned, my impression is that they aren’t any less accurate than the independent – and somewhat oppositionist – Levada).

Adjusting for undecideds/no shows, the results if elections were to be held tomorrow are as follows: Putin – 84%, Zhirinovsky – 9%, Zyuganov – 5%, Sobchak – 3%.

First, I am pretty pleased with these results, since they tally with my 80/7/7/7 prediction (Putin will lose a few percentage points due to lower turnout, but make it up with a little padding of the results; relative to Zyuganov, Zhirinovsky traditionally does better in polls than in real life; and Sobchak will eke out quite a lot more thanks to (a) liberals usually being underweighed by polls, and (b) many of the Yavlinsky (1%) and “other candidate” (1%; I assume these are mostly hardcore Navalny fans) supporters voting for her.

But the second, and more interesting, point is how Zhirinovsky, permanent Fuhrer of the nationalist LDPR, has suddenly become the primary recipient of Russia’s protest vote, a role that was previously the preserve of the Communists. Whereas Zhirinovsky gets 13% to Zyuganov’s 11% and the liberals’ (Sobchak, Yavlinsky, other candidate = Navalny) combined ~9% amongst people with a mixed view of Putin, and 17% to Zyuganov’s 10% and the liberals’ ~8% amongst people who are apathetic towards Putin, Zhirinovsky now commands the support of 40% of Russian voters with a negative view of Putin, versus Zyuganov’s 7%, the liberals’ 18%, and 35% who would not vote or would spoil their ballots (many of these are probably liberals).

Several years ago, it was popular to talk of Hungary’s “Putinization” in neoliberal circles. But I submit that we might now get to see Russia’s “Orbanization,” as the great mass of the opposition to a dominant conservative regime shifts from tired old Communists, and liberals whose popularity is confined to yuppies and the intelligentsia in the big cities, to more overt and hardline nationalists.

zhirinovsky-rifle

Bearing this in mind, it is worthwhile to take a closer look at Zhirinovsky’s 2018 program:

The first thing one notices is that it is something of a mess; an idiosyncratic collection of populist, authoritarian, populist, statist, democratic, and even genuinely liberal proposals. It’s like they locked a cryptoanarchist, an Alt Rightist, and a /pol/tard in a room and forced them to come up with something without bothering to even edit the final product. Said room being Zhirinovsky’s beautiful brain. As such, there is something to be found for almost every exotic species of Russian nationalist – though fully satisfying far fewer of them.

The famous Russian far right blogger/troll Vladimir Frolov (“yarowrath“) once argued that the “basedness” level of a Russian politician could be accurately proxied by the ratio of “russkie” (ethnic Russians) vs. “rossiyane” (anodyne PC term for denizens of Russia) in his vocabulary. Perhaps one of the most distinguishing features of Russian nationalists is that they are unafraid to speak of the interests of russkie, whereas kremlins and liberals alike opt for the term rossiyane (PM Dmitry Medvedev prefers the even less offensive “inhabitants of Russia”).

Consequently, the second thing one notices is that Zhirinovsky’s 1,200 word program is full of “russkie” – twelve instances, to be precise. In contrast, the similarly short program of Alexey Navalny, whom some believe to be a nationalist, mentions the word a grand total of once – in the context of the “russkie” (Russian) language.

Here is what Zhirinovsky is promising to do for russkie, in the sense of ethnic Russians:

  • Give passports to all Russians. Defend Russians abroad, do not allow foreigners to take children from Russian families.
  • Russia, its environment and its democracy – for everyone: For Russians, and the other peoples of the country.
  • 23. Add the following preamble to the Constitution: “We, Russians and the other peoples of Russia…”
  • 24. Create an Institute of the Russian Holocaust of the 20th Century
  • 66. Rely on Russians, not foreigners, in the Academy of Sciences and the universities.
  • We will not allow [foreigners] to shoot down russkie planes, or to laugh at, criticize, lie about, and smear Russia.

The mention of an institute dedicated to the persecution of Russians in the 20th century is particularly fascinating, since this is one of the ideas that we (Kirill Nesterov, @pigdog, myself) have been promoting at our ROGPR podcast for the past year. There are few better ways to generate national solidarity than to promote the idea of some great shared tragedy, and it’s not like Russians would even have to invent anything. Meanwhile, it will accelerate the further discreditation of Communism, liberalism, and the cult of West Worship.

In Russian Nationalism 101, I mentioned three things that virtually all Russian nationalists agree on: An end to mass immigration from Central Asia; no more prosecutions for “hate speech”; and the liquidation of regional autonomies. Zhirinovsky’s program is a “tick, tick, tick” so far as all of these are concerned.

  • 8. Do not allow people from the south to commit crimes in central Russia.
  • 22. Remove the political Article 282 from the criminal code.
  • 26. The country should be divided into 30-40 guberniyas.
  • 27. Cancel the Federation Council.
  • 34. Limit immigration to Russia.
  • 57. Teach local languages only if locals want to.

Note that the “nationalist” Navalny only ever mentions the cancelation of Article 282 when he is specifically asked about it. It is not in his program, and while he doesn’t shy away from using his social media reach to promote various petitions and causes, including some rather inconsequential ones, for some reason he has never tried to collect signatures for the cancelation of Article 282.

Ideologically, Zhirinovsky’s program can perhaps best be described as populist-reactionary:

  • 12. Reconcile Tsarist, Soviet, and modern Russia.
  • 13. All revolutions are evil.
  • 15. Return Imperial symbols: The black-gold-white flag, “God Save the Tsar” as the national anthem, replace the Kremlin’s red stars with the original imperial eagles.
  • 20. Return the old names of Russia’s cities and streets.
  • 82. Redominate the ruble: Remove two zeros, one dollar is worth 60 kopeks.

Almost all non-Leftist Russian nationalists support some form of de-Communization program. It is, of course, rather strange that Russia has a 700,000 population city named after an Italian Communist leader who didn’t even succeed in taking power, a 250,000 population city named after a Polish red terrorist, and a 200,000 population city named after a German Russophobe.

The program has a strong patriarchic slant, and is strongly targeted towards siloviks:

  • 6. Further strengthen the Army and security services.
  • 7. Hit criminality. Create a system of military field trials.
  • 9. Cancel the moratorium on the death penalty.
  • 21. Do not allow more than 10% negative information on TV and radio.
  • 65. Encourage men to go into the education sector.

This would meet support with mainstream conservative nationalists, though many of its points would not go over well with the more liberal Sputnik i Pogrom. While they support an increase in the size of the military, especially of the Ground Forces – the Ukraine and Belorussia aren’t going to regather back into Russia by themselves – they want to do it at the expense of the National Guard and other bloated police and paramilitary agencies.

However, there are otherwise few specifics on foreign policy, apart from the general policy of defending Russians abroad:

  • We need to finish things up in the Middle East. Reorient foreign policy to the South. Alliance with Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Syria. This is 400 million people, technologies, resources, armies.

This is probably Zhirinovsky’s background as a Turcologist speaking, but the general point or for that matter even the feasibility of this proposal is a very open question.

There is a strong pro-natality element.

  • 50. Pay women to avoid abortion, the child will be raised by the state.
  • 51. Create a Ministry of Demographics and offer free fertility treatments.
  • 53. Promote a cult of the family.
  • 54. Pay 20,000 rubles per month to people who adopt orphans.
  • 55. Stimulate fertility in regions where deaths exceed births.

It’s worth noting that #55 is basically codeword for ethnic Russian regions.

That said, this is far from a grim document propounding unremitting authoritarianism, militarism, xenophobia, and ultranationalism.

In some respects, it would also increase the civil liberties of ordinary people.

  • 1. Build a country without Communism, Nazism, racism, or authoritarianism.
  • 12. A one party regime doomed the Empire, and the USSR.
  • 17. Name the mistakes of the Soviet leadership, publish the archives, condemn perestroika.
  • 22. Remove the political Article 282 from the criminal code.
  • 29. Replace all the judges.
  • 30. Conduct free and fair elections.
  • 31. Develop local self-government.
  • 42. Political and criminal amnesty. Humanize the Criminal Code.
  • 73. Easen the processs of getting European visas, remove all sanctions.
  • 74. Make life easier for disabled people: Accessible accomodations, more ramps, freedom from having to pay utilities fees.
  • 91. In Russia, the economy, and democracy, was always offered “from above.” Everything was decided by bureaucrats. The people weren’t allowed to decide anything.

Admittedly, there’s a substantial element of schizophrenia here. For instance, given the rest of the program, it’s rather hard to see the Europeans agreeing to expedite #73.

As regards basic governance and economic policy, the proposals fall into two big, somewhat contradictory categories.

On the one hand, there are the “developmental” policies, e.g. high infrastructure spending, the repatriation of offshore capital, and a reduction of regulations on business along lines that one can imagine even institutions like the IMF approving of.

  • 4. Intense development of road networks, trains with speeds of 400km/h.
  • 10. Attention to the fight against corruption. Bribe-taking bureaucrats should be fired and have their assets confiscated. A businessman should compensate anything stolen by a multiple of three.
  • 19. State commission to investigate the looting of the country after 1991.
  • 28. Reduce the numbers of Duma deputies to 200.
  • 35. Forbid banks from offering credit with property as collateral.
  • 42. Political and criminal amnesty. Humanize the Criminal Code.
  • 48. Develop tourism in Russia.
  • 78. Review the results of privatization, without violence and persecution, through persuasion.
  • 81. Organize a mass free distribution of shares in the state companies to Russian citizens.
  • 83. Large-scale economic amnesty, introduce secret accounts in at least one Russian state bank, and return to Russia all capital illegally taken offshore.
  • 87. Companies working in Russia should have their accounts in Russian banks.
  • 92. Motivate rich citizens to return their money to Russia, only here can they be safe, because abroad they are under the threat of sanctions, freezes, and confiscations.
  • 93. No inspections of businesses, apart from restaurants/catering and medicine. Don’t bother hard-working people!
  • 94. Small businesses involved in science and production – freedom from taxes.
  • 96. Reduce amount of compulsory contributions from entrepreneurs.

Orban pushed through the equivalent of #28 in Hungary. A definite answer to the 1990s privatization question needs to be furnished sooner or later to secure property rights in Russia (for comparison, Navalny proposes a windfall tax, as in Britain). #81 is perhaps a good idea to make ordinary Russians feel more invested in any future privatizations, which are otherwise bound to be unpopular. Economic amnesty is an idea often promoted by liberal economists. Since business inspections are too often just a source of rent for bureaucrats in Russia, cutting them down even further is also often proposed.

However, many of Zhirinovsky’s policies are to various extents statist, populist, or just plainly badly thought out; are of dubious efficacy; and would have the general effect of raising spending on social welfare, restricting individual autonomy, increasing state control of the economy, and increasing general inefficiency.

  • 2. Not a single person unemployed, homeless, or hungry.
  • 33. Import substitution, sell finished products, not raw materials, abroad.
  • 37. Cancel the principle of equity construction. The state must build and sell housing.
  • 38. Cancel mortgages. Only building cooperatives and social housing.
  • 39. Forbid debt collectors.
  • 41. Remove all debt-related restrictions on travel abroad.
  • 43. War against unhealthy additives to food. Forbid imports of GMO food.
  • 44. There is an obesity problem. Time to restrict advertising of unhealthy food.
  • 45. No to black market vodka. Create state stores selling cheap but high quality vodka; elsewhere, at market prices.
  • 46. Forbid sects, trainings, centers, etc. whose activities are harmful to citizens.
  • 49. Return completely free healthcare.
  • 59. Cancel the Unified State Exam. Accept students to universities without exams and return 5 year education.
  • 68. Minimum wage of no less than 20,000 rubles.
  • 85. A tax on superincomes.
  • 86. Remove Russia’s foreign currency reserves from US Treasuries.
  • 88. Nationalize trading centers, free up space for domestic producers.
  • 89. Debt forgiveness of at least 50% for all agrobusinesses and farmers.
  • 100. Special attention has to be given to Siberia and the Far East: No tax economy, salary bonuses, housing subsidies, road construction.

Unfortunately the good or at least perspective ideas are more than counterbalanced by alternatingly questionable and outright catastrophic ones which will, in all likelihood, make Russia into Venezuela.

In particular, the assumptions in #45 are simply wrong, and will collapse Russian life expectancy back down by 5 years or so.

As for ending university exams, that’s not just a return to the USSR, but to the 1920s USSR; without even the Unified State Exam to go on, how are universities supposed to select for talent?

However, in all fairness, many of these proposals will play well to the LDPR’s low-information voters.

This hints at the biggest and most irreconcilable problem of nationalism not just in Russia but throughout Europe and the US generally – the human capital is very low.

Nonetheless, there is precisely zero chance of Zhirinovsky winning and consequently trying to push through his more maladaptive ideas (even assuming that they are earnestly meant). As such, a case can be made that Russian nationalists would be well-advised to vote for him to move those issues which the LDPR really is good on – immigration policy, free speech, a vision of a future where ethnic Russians can advocate for their own ethnic interests without being accused of insulting minorities – further within the Overton Window.

 
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  1. DFH says:

    We need to finish things up in the Middle East. Reorient foreign policy to the South. Alliance with Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Syria.

    What happened to Zhirinovsky wanting to invade them?

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    He cucked.
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  2. @DFH

    We need to finish things up in the Middle East. Reorient foreign policy to the South. Alliance with Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Syria.
     
    What happened to Zhirinovsky wanting to invade them?

    He cucked.

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  3. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    In many countries (France, Netherlands, Germany), I believe, the first year of uni is more selective than whatever counts as entrance exam. The Dutch even have some made-up degree for those who manage to pass the first year. Surely, this is less productive than an exam, but it shows it is possible, and probably convinces most of the failed students that they belong elsewhere.

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  4. Why does immigration restrictionism have to be bundled up with all manner of nonsense – apparently irrespective of whether the restrictionists are Russian, American or Western European?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    This hints at the biggest and most irreconcilable problem of nationalism not just in Russia but throughout Europe and the US generally – the human capital is very low.
     
    I keep getting flak for it, but I have yet to find a single negative exception amongst the European countries.

    Anti-immigration is associated with nationalism. Nationalism is associated with tribalism. Tribalism is associated with lower IQs.
    https://pumpkinperson.com/2015/07/01/the-iq-of-racialists/

    Lower IQ people will support bad policies, despite (presumably) being correct on a few very important things.

    I would also note that nationalists are lower trust. Liberals look out for each other - whenever one gets in trouble with the state, all his/her buddies in the human rights organizations start to campaign for their release. Russian nationalists can't even muster 100,000 people to sign a simple petition that has the chance of benefiting them.

    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/933297377846415360

    Typical low trust reply: "Perhaps, nationalists are smarter than you think and don't want their names/emails harvested?"

    Low trust also expresses itself in more support for sub-optimal policies.
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  5. @TheUmpteenthGermanOnHere
    Why does immigration restrictionism have to be bundled up with all manner of nonsense - apparently irrespective of whether the restrictionists are Russian, American or Western European?

    This hints at the biggest and most irreconcilable problem of nationalism not just in Russia but throughout Europe and the US generally – the human capital is very low.

    I keep getting flak for it, but I have yet to find a single negative exception amongst the European countries.

    Anti-immigration is associated with nationalism. Nationalism is associated with tribalism. Tribalism is associated with lower IQs.

    https://pumpkinperson.com/2015/07/01/the-iq-of-racialists/

    Lower IQ people will support bad policies, despite (presumably) being correct on a few very important things.

    I would also note that nationalists are lower trust. Liberals look out for each other – whenever one gets in trouble with the state, all his/her buddies in the human rights organizations start to campaign for their release. Russian nationalists can’t even muster 100,000 people to sign a simple petition that has the chance of benefiting them.

    Typical low trust reply: “Perhaps, nationalists are smarter than you think and don’t want their names/emails harvested?”

    Low trust also expresses itself in more support for sub-optimal policies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bukephalos
    well conversely there is that one group that is both very tribal and high IQ. Worked wonders for them
    , @Randal

    Anti-immigration is associated with nationalism. Nationalism is associated with tribalism. Tribalism is associated with lower IQs.
     
    The obvious question this raises is the one pointed to by Bukephalos: how does the jewish situation relate to this assertion? Many of the high IQ jewish groups are notoriously tribal. It seems to work pretty well for them.

    Otherwise, I tend to agree with Czechian's comment on this: "In other words, there’s nothing innate about IQ wrt nationalism. It is just a different intellectual fashion now. "

    People of average to moderately higher than average intelligence tend imo to be more conformist wrt intellectual fashion and more alert to the benefits of virtue signalling than less intellectually active groups.

    The whole problem is a shift in intellectual fashion to support leftist internationalism and all its ramifications. It's hard for most to understand the change that has taken place, post-WW1/2, in the US sphere in particular but also seemingly in some of the Soviet sphere, perhaps reflecting the global influence of US elite propaganda during the mid-late C20th.

    This was highlighted again for me yesterday when reading a Steve Sailer thread, in which Ron Unz wrote:

    A century ago, one of America’s most eminent public intellectuals was Lothrop Stoddard, who wrote numerous very influential books, before eventually being purged and dying in obscurity.
     
    http://www.unz.com/isteve/night-of-broken-glass-in-denver/#comment-2095959

    Given just the nature of Stoddard's writings, most people today, including most supposedly intelligent and informed members of the established elites, would assume him to be some kind of fringe Nazi, while of course he was in fact anything but fringe, until WW2 changed everything. Consider also the patriotism of Enoch Powell, among the the most educated and intelligent man ever to enter politics in Britain and most certainly part of the establishment until he was hounded out for being out of step with intellectual fashion and the needs of big business.

    From a broader perspective, the natural balancer in me is tempted to just assume a kind of equivalence based upon some kind of law of conservation of human stupidity, that the pc leftist absurdities believed by elites today are just the modern equivalents to the most extreme absurdities believed by nationalist and racist (I use the term descriptively, without any pejorative sense) elites then. The conservative in me, of course, thinks that modern absurdities are far worse than the older ones.
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  6. Not Raul says:

    Who do you think that the masthead personnel of Sputnik i Pogrom would vote for? Who do you think that they’d support as the kremlins nominee once Putin retires?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Can't really say for its authors, but for SiP readers I'd estimate:

    Putin - <10%, probably 5%
    Navalny (if he was to run) - 32%, based on actual poll result in their forum
    Zhirinovsky - maybe 15-20%

    Despite their active interest in politics, turnout will be low, since many of them don't see any sort of meaningful choice in these elections.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. @Anatoly Karlin

    This hints at the biggest and most irreconcilable problem of nationalism not just in Russia but throughout Europe and the US generally – the human capital is very low.
     
    I keep getting flak for it, but I have yet to find a single negative exception amongst the European countries.

    Anti-immigration is associated with nationalism. Nationalism is associated with tribalism. Tribalism is associated with lower IQs.
    https://pumpkinperson.com/2015/07/01/the-iq-of-racialists/

    Lower IQ people will support bad policies, despite (presumably) being correct on a few very important things.

    I would also note that nationalists are lower trust. Liberals look out for each other - whenever one gets in trouble with the state, all his/her buddies in the human rights organizations start to campaign for their release. Russian nationalists can't even muster 100,000 people to sign a simple petition that has the chance of benefiting them.

    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/933297377846415360

    Typical low trust reply: "Perhaps, nationalists are smarter than you think and don't want their names/emails harvested?"

    Low trust also expresses itself in more support for sub-optimal policies.

    well conversely there is that one group that is both very tribal and high IQ. Worked wonders for them

    Read More
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  8. neutral says:

    Russian nationalists is that they are unafraid to speak of the interests of russkie,

    Zhirinovsky is a jew, so despite all his famous nationalist outbursts, I would never trust such man to have the nationalists interests at heart.

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  9. @Not Raul
    Who do you think that the masthead personnel of Sputnik i Pogrom would vote for? Who do you think that they'd support as the kremlins nominee once Putin retires?

    Can’t really say for its authors, but for SiP readers I’d estimate:

    Putin – <10%, probably 5%
    Navalny (if he was to run) – 32%, based on actual poll result in their forum
    Zhirinovsky – maybe 15-20%

    Despite their active interest in politics, turnout will be low, since many of them don't see any sort of meaningful choice in these elections.

    Read More
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  10. ussr andy says:

    irreconcilable problem of nationalism not just in Russia but throughout Europe and the US generally – the human capital is very low.

    /cough‍‍/ vanguaridsm /cough/

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  11. Nationalists would do well to think about bread and butter politics as opposed to just ranting about their grand designs for an ethnostate. One of the way the left makes headway is building cachet through ‘resolving’ issues.

    The dissident right sphere needs to concentrate on forming effective cadres who can influence the actual centres of power within their societies as opposed to right wing echo chambers like gab and #frogtwitter

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    Nationalists would do well to think about bread and butter politics as opposed to just ranting about their grand designs for an ethnostate. One of the way the left makes headway is building cachet through ‘resolving’ issues.
     
    Can't see that the left cares about "bread and butter politics"...more like they've gone totally insane in the last few years and are now mostly about open borders fanaticism, "antiracism" and idiocies like transgenderism, all projects which are at least as demented as some ethnostate utopia (which in Europe was basically a reality only 30-40 years ago).
    It's of course true that right-wingers need to build institutions and infiltrate existing ones, but the problem with a long march through the institutions by the right is the lack of time given that lefties and traitor "centrists" are continually creating facts which will be hard to reverse.
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  12. Art Deco says:

    26. The country should be divided into 30-40 guberniyas.

    A measure of consolidation seems sensible as a conduit to substituting provincial service provision for central government provision. But that sits rather ill with “and the liquidation of regional autonomies.” What is the point of that? You’ve got 6 m sq miles of territory and 150,000,000 people. Russia isn’t Portugal. What is the issue with provincial self government? But then there’s “31. Develop local self-government.” My head is spinning.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    There are of course many contradictory proposals in Zhirinovsky's program, but this isn't one of them. Regional autonomy ≠ local self-government!

    In Russia, with zero historical traditions of federalism (like the US, Germany, or Switzerland), the former was a recipe for extortion of the federal center, tinpot states within a state, and outright separatism in the early to mid 1990s. This is a continuation of the Bolshevik nationalities policies that ended up dismembering Russia, and there is no reason to believe things will now be otherwise.

    Local self-government applies to much smaller units, such as municipal powers, who under current arrangements answer for little more than the park benches.

    Illustration with respect to language policy:

    Regional autonomy (current policy): The Republic of Tatarstan forces all schoolchildren inside its artificial borders, including Russians and Bashkirs, to learn Tatar; privileges people who know Tatar for administrative positions.

    Local self-government: Individual schools, parents' councils, etc. decide what schools teach by themselves (within some loose general guidelines that apply to the entire country). A heavily Bashkir locality in Tatarstan the Kazan Governorate can hire a Bashkir language teacher. Ergo for a Tatar locality in Bashkiria the Ufa Governorate.

    Incidentally, credit where it's due - the Ukraine has actually moved more towards local self-government since 2014. However, there is no talk of them federalizing, which Kiev sees (correctly!) as a Russian ploy to expand its influence into the East and South at the expense of the central government. This is something you very much want for your rivals, not yourself!
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  13. Yesterday, a chick from Green Peace hit me up about deep sea oil drilling. I explained to her while I largely agreed with her on the issue, I couldn’t give a ‘far left’ organization money to tie to their cause, which would result in increased political cachet.

    Ancient Rome emerged because an elite cadre became effective problem solvers. Thus, problem solving is fundamental to a regime’s political efficacy in a way suffrage is not.

    If nationalists want to start winning, we need to become problem solvers first at the micro level, and then all the way up the political chain. Problem-solving is the currency of power.

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  14. Art Deco says:

    9. Cancel the moratorium on the death penalty.

    Again, what is wrong with investing discretion over criminal penalties with provincial government, provided each government maintained its own prisons?

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  15. Art Deco says:

    7. Hit criminality. Create a system of military field trials.

    What’s the use of martial law? Criminality in Russia is a condition, not a crisis. The appropriate response to a condition is incremental improvement of standard-issue institutions.

    (While we’re at it, why is this being debated in a federal election? Why isn’t insufficient crime control a provincial issue or a local issue? I can see problems with the mafia or with immigration enforcement or with drug trafficking being a federal issue, but why burglary?)

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  16. @Lemurmaniac
    Nationalists would do well to think about bread and butter politics as opposed to just ranting about their grand designs for an ethnostate. One of the way the left makes headway is building cachet through 'resolving' issues.

    The dissident right sphere needs to concentrate on forming effective cadres who can influence the actual centres of power within their societies as opposed to right wing echo chambers like gab and #frogtwitter

    Nationalists would do well to think about bread and butter politics as opposed to just ranting about their grand designs for an ethnostate. One of the way the left makes headway is building cachet through ‘resolving’ issues.

    Can’t see that the left cares about “bread and butter politics”…more like they’ve gone totally insane in the last few years and are now mostly about open borders fanaticism, “antiracism” and idiocies like transgenderism, all projects which are at least as demented as some ethnostate utopia (which in Europe was basically a reality only 30-40 years ago).
    It’s of course true that right-wingers need to build institutions and infiltrate existing ones, but the problem with a long march through the institutions by the right is the lack of time given that lefties and traitor “centrists” are continually creating facts which will be hard to reverse.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    Can’t see that the left cares about “bread and butter politics”…
     
    But they did during their rise to influence and later complete power, during the C20th. There was an uneasy alliance on the left between the hard bread and butter issue self-interest of the working classes (as the left defined them) and the internationalist and other intellectual nonsense of the radical left for much of the C20th, until it broke down at the end of that century when the radicals decided they no longer needed the indigenous working classes and could replace them with "minority" identity lobbies and big business.

    What's needed on the right is probably a combination of nationalism with the part of socialism that emphasised solidarity with the indigenous working classes.....but the well has been rather poisoned for that by a particular German manifestation in the early C20th.
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  17. Miro23 says:

    Altogether an excellent article on Zhirinovsky’s Program (that I knew nothing about). A lot of interesting things are happening in Russia.

    Pre 1917 Czarism (aristocracy) > Bolshevism > Neoliberalism > a confused move towards enlightened nationalism?

    It’s a mess, but at least (in contrast to the United States) it’s driven by a concern for the wellbeing and advancement of regular Russian citizens.

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  18. S3 says:

    81. Organize a mass free distribution of shares in the state companies to Russian citizens

    But was this not done right after the Soviet Union fell? And were all of the shares not bought up by theives?

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  19. Czechian says:

    Re: “low human capital” among nationalists. I think this is a classic case of a “technically true, but broadly wrong” short-sighted view.

    Max Planck was famously gung-ho about WWI. Most European intellectuals supported nationalism for most of the 1800-1914 period.

    In other words, there’s nothing innate about IQ wrt nationalism. It is just a different intellectual fashion now.

    Also, this anti-nationalism is not present among elites in China/East Asia or parts of EE like my own country, Czechia. Don’t get blinded by short-sighted perpesctives by dabbling in essentialism re: nationalism, Anatoly.

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    • Agree: Randal
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  20. @Art Deco
    26. The country should be divided into 30-40 guberniyas.

    A measure of consolidation seems sensible as a conduit to substituting provincial service provision for central government provision. But that sits rather ill with "and the liquidation of regional autonomies." What is the point of that? You've got 6 m sq miles of territory and 150,000,000 people. Russia isn't Portugal. What is the issue with provincial self government? But then there's "31. Develop local self-government." My head is spinning.

    There are of course many contradictory proposals in Zhirinovsky’s program, but this isn’t one of them. Regional autonomy ≠ local self-government!

    In Russia, with zero historical traditions of federalism (like the US, Germany, or Switzerland), the former was a recipe for extortion of the federal center, tinpot states within a state, and outright separatism in the early to mid 1990s. This is a continuation of the Bolshevik nationalities policies that ended up dismembering Russia, and there is no reason to believe things will now be otherwise.

    Local self-government applies to much smaller units, such as municipal powers, who under current arrangements answer for little more than the park benches.

    Illustration with respect to language policy:

    Regional autonomy (current policy): The Republic of Tatarstan forces all schoolchildren inside its artificial borders, including Russians and Bashkirs, to learn Tatar; privileges people who know Tatar for administrative positions.

    Local self-government: Individual schools, parents’ councils, etc. decide what schools teach by themselves (within some loose general guidelines that apply to the entire country). A heavily Bashkir locality in Tatarstan the Kazan Governorate can hire a Bashkir language teacher. Ergo for a Tatar locality in Bashkiria the Ufa Governorate.

    Incidentally, credit where it’s due – the Ukraine has actually moved more towards local self-government since 2014. However, there is no talk of them federalizing, which Kiev sees (correctly!) as a Russian ploy to expand its influence into the East and South at the expense of the central government. This is something you very much want for your rivals, not yourself!

    Read More
    • Agree: AP, ussr andy
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    In Russia, with zero historical traditions of federalism (like the US, Germany, or Switzerland), the former was a recipe for extortion of the federal center, tinpot states within a state, and outright separatism in the early to mid 1990s. This is a continuation of the Bolshevik nationalities policies that ended up dismembering Russia, and there is no reason to believe things will now be otherwise.

    1. I think you're attributing to provincial discretion problems which arise from unsettled and disorderly situations.

    2. You're also confounding 'federalism' (which is a legal architecture with specific features) with decentralization. Federalism can promote decentralization, but it is not the same thing. You can see in the United States a federalism which co-exists with officious central government.

    3. I cannot see how provinces 'extort' anything unless the central government is dependent on them in some way. In may be in certain select circumstances, but that is not an inherent property of provincial government.

    4. Russia wasn't 'dismembered' in 1992. The Soviet Union fell to pieces. The only part of Russia that made much of an effort to secede was Chechenya, where lives < 1% of Russia's population. All of the departing union republics had their own language, six of the 14 were thickly populated with Muslims, and 12 of the 14 were populated with non-Slavic peoples. Five of the departing union republics had quite small populations, but four of them had ready and appropriate alternatives to Russia as a foreign patron. There are no affluent countries in the world which have attempted to encompass such an ethnic jumble bar the British diaspora states (all of which are societies of migrants, which the old Soviet Union was not).



    Regional autonomy (current policy): The Republic of Tatarstan forces all schoolchildren inside its artificial borders, including Russians and Bashkirs, to learn Tatar; privileges people who know Tatar for administrative positions.


    a. It's discourteous to minorities in Tatarstan to compel them to have school lessons in Tatar. This problem can be addressed by replacing public agency with voucher-funded philanthropy in the provision of schooling and composing regents' examinations in several languages. The problem to which you refer is not inherent in provincial discretion; you can incorporate into your constitution and enabling legislation provisions which provide privileges and immunities to households and corporate bodies in this sort of situation.

    b. It's not discourteous to minorities employed by the provincial government to expect them to be conversant in the language of the area. The alternative is to insist on a cumbersome bilingualism in public administration or to insist public employees in Tatarstan all have to be conversant with Russian on the job. That last would be reasonable for employees of the central government or for employees of a municipality in Tatarstan wherein Russians have a plurality.



    Incidentally, credit where it’s due – the Ukraine has actually moved more towards local self-government since 2014. However, there is no talk of them federalizing, which Kiev sees (correctly!) as a Russian ploy to expand its influence into the East and South at the expense of the central government. This is something you very much want for your rivals, not yourself!

    The central government in the Ukraine would do well to reconsider. You have 42 million people and eight cities with more than 600,000 people in them. You also have a culturally and politically fissured society that might benefit from allowing different segments their say in their proper sphere. A half a dozen regions constructed around Odessa, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kiev, Lviv, &c. would be the way to go. A central government in a country the size of the Ukraine is properly pre-occupied with high politics, the monetary system, fragments of law enforcement (e.g. the border guard, customs, immigration control), regulating long-distance trade, lumpy public works (e.g. inter-regional highways), and the social security system. The rest can be devolved.
    , @Mitleser

    This is something you very much want for your rivals, not yourself!
     
    Not according to the Kremlin who promotes such a policy in both.
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  21. Randal says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    This hints at the biggest and most irreconcilable problem of nationalism not just in Russia but throughout Europe and the US generally – the human capital is very low.
     
    I keep getting flak for it, but I have yet to find a single negative exception amongst the European countries.

    Anti-immigration is associated with nationalism. Nationalism is associated with tribalism. Tribalism is associated with lower IQs.
    https://pumpkinperson.com/2015/07/01/the-iq-of-racialists/

    Lower IQ people will support bad policies, despite (presumably) being correct on a few very important things.

    I would also note that nationalists are lower trust. Liberals look out for each other - whenever one gets in trouble with the state, all his/her buddies in the human rights organizations start to campaign for their release. Russian nationalists can't even muster 100,000 people to sign a simple petition that has the chance of benefiting them.

    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/933297377846415360

    Typical low trust reply: "Perhaps, nationalists are smarter than you think and don't want their names/emails harvested?"

    Low trust also expresses itself in more support for sub-optimal policies.

    Anti-immigration is associated with nationalism. Nationalism is associated with tribalism. Tribalism is associated with lower IQs.

    The obvious question this raises is the one pointed to by Bukephalos: how does the jewish situation relate to this assertion? Many of the high IQ jewish groups are notoriously tribal. It seems to work pretty well for them.

    Otherwise, I tend to agree with Czechian’s comment on this: “In other words, there’s nothing innate about IQ wrt nationalism. It is just a different intellectual fashion now.

    People of average to moderately higher than average intelligence tend imo to be more conformist wrt intellectual fashion and more alert to the benefits of virtue signalling than less intellectually active groups.

    The whole problem is a shift in intellectual fashion to support leftist internationalism and all its ramifications. It’s hard for most to understand the change that has taken place, post-WW1/2, in the US sphere in particular but also seemingly in some of the Soviet sphere, perhaps reflecting the global influence of US elite propaganda during the mid-late C20th.

    This was highlighted again for me yesterday when reading a Steve Sailer thread, in which Ron Unz wrote:

    A century ago, one of America’s most eminent public intellectuals was Lothrop Stoddard, who wrote numerous very influential books, before eventually being purged and dying in obscurity.

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/night-of-broken-glass-in-denver/#comment-2095959

    Given just the nature of Stoddard’s writings, most people today, including most supposedly intelligent and informed members of the established elites, would assume him to be some kind of fringe Nazi, while of course he was in fact anything but fringe, until WW2 changed everything. Consider also the patriotism of Enoch Powell, among the the most educated and intelligent man ever to enter politics in Britain and most certainly part of the establishment until he was hounded out for being out of step with intellectual fashion and the needs of big business.

    From a broader perspective, the natural balancer in me is tempted to just assume a kind of equivalence based upon some kind of law of conservation of human stupidity, that the pc leftist absurdities believed by elites today are just the modern equivalents to the most extreme absurdities believed by nationalist and racist (I use the term descriptively, without any pejorative sense) elites then. The conservative in me, of course, thinks that modern absurdities are far worse than the older ones.

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  22. Randal says:
    @German_reader

    Nationalists would do well to think about bread and butter politics as opposed to just ranting about their grand designs for an ethnostate. One of the way the left makes headway is building cachet through ‘resolving’ issues.
     
    Can't see that the left cares about "bread and butter politics"...more like they've gone totally insane in the last few years and are now mostly about open borders fanaticism, "antiracism" and idiocies like transgenderism, all projects which are at least as demented as some ethnostate utopia (which in Europe was basically a reality only 30-40 years ago).
    It's of course true that right-wingers need to build institutions and infiltrate existing ones, but the problem with a long march through the institutions by the right is the lack of time given that lefties and traitor "centrists" are continually creating facts which will be hard to reverse.

    Can’t see that the left cares about “bread and butter politics”…

    But they did during their rise to influence and later complete power, during the C20th. There was an uneasy alliance on the left between the hard bread and butter issue self-interest of the working classes (as the left defined them) and the internationalist and other intellectual nonsense of the radical left for much of the C20th, until it broke down at the end of that century when the radicals decided they no longer needed the indigenous working classes and could replace them with “minority” identity lobbies and big business.

    What’s needed on the right is probably a combination of nationalism with the part of socialism that emphasised solidarity with the indigenous working classes…..but the well has been rather poisoned for that by a particular German manifestation in the early C20th.

    Read More
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  23. Randal says:

    Russia has maybe 15 million hardcore nationalists, of whom 15,000 (0.1%) signed petition to cancel Article 282.

    In the US sphere I think part of the problem is that the right is just as virulently divisive as the left famously was in the C20th.

    “Racists” and civic nationalists think hate speech laws are ok as long as they are used against those contemptible “anti-Semites”, whilst “anti-Semites” and civic nationalists think they are ok as long as they are used against those evil “racists”. Meanwhile in reality they are ever more actively used against both racists and antisemites, and serve to effectively silence civic nationalists by making sure they have to be ultra-careful in everything they say.

    They don’t hang together and end up being hanged separately.

    You can see the underlying process regularly on Unz.com, where someone who routinely comes out with hardcore “anti-Semitic” stuff will viciously condemn “racism”, as though their desperate virtue signalling will somehow make them more acceptable to the establishment/mainstream, and elsewhere someone who is outspokenly “racist” about black people will desperately vilify “anti-Semites” in exactly the same contemptuous terms that their own opinions make them viewed by the said establishment and mainstream. Meanwhile the civic nationalists are desperately and futilely trying to be obnoxious enough about both “racists” and “anti-Semites” to ensure they aren’t tarred with the same brush.

    In Britain, a similar dynamic plays out between “islamophobes” and “anti-semites”, where significant numbers of each group wants hate speech laws to be applied to the other lot and fails to grasp that they will be used against both.

    Read More
    • Agree: ussr andy
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    In the US sphere I think part of the problem is that the right is just as virulently divisive as the left famously was in the C20th.

    If by 'the right' you mean a scatter of combox denizens and screwball hobbyists like Richard Spencer. Actually influential people on 'the right' (government officials, a scatter of businessmen and lawyers, and George Will) aren't acting in ways which constrict public debate or exacerbate ordinary political disputes.
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  24. Art Deco says:
    @Randal

    Russia has maybe 15 million hardcore nationalists, of whom 15,000 (0.1%) signed petition to cancel Article 282.
     
    In the US sphere I think part of the problem is that the right is just as virulently divisive as the left famously was in the C20th.

    "Racists" and civic nationalists think hate speech laws are ok as long as they are used against those contemptible "anti-Semites", whilst "anti-Semites" and civic nationalists think they are ok as long as they are used against those evil "racists". Meanwhile in reality they are ever more actively used against both racists and antisemites, and serve to effectively silence civic nationalists by making sure they have to be ultra-careful in everything they say.

    They don't hang together and end up being hanged separately.

    You can see the underlying process regularly on Unz.com, where someone who routinely comes out with hardcore "anti-Semitic" stuff will viciously condemn "racism", as though their desperate virtue signalling will somehow make them more acceptable to the establishment/mainstream, and elsewhere someone who is outspokenly "racist" about black people will desperately vilify "anti-Semites" in exactly the same contemptuous terms that their own opinions make them viewed by the said establishment and mainstream. Meanwhile the civic nationalists are desperately and futilely trying to be obnoxious enough about both "racists" and "anti-Semites" to ensure they aren't tarred with the same brush.

    In Britain, a similar dynamic plays out between "islamophobes" and "anti-semites", where significant numbers of each group wants hate speech laws to be applied to the other lot and fails to grasp that they will be used against both.

    In the US sphere I think part of the problem is that the right is just as virulently divisive as the left famously was in the C20th.

    If by ‘the right’ you mean a scatter of combox denizens and screwball hobbyists like Richard Spencer. Actually influential people on ‘the right’ (government officials, a scatter of businessmen and lawyers, and George Will) aren’t acting in ways which constrict public debate or exacerbate ordinary political disputes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    By "the right" I mean people who are meaningfully patriotic (primarily, in this context). One could extend it in a wider context to those who broadly adhere to traditional conservative views on social issues (ie not accepting the radical left dogmas on immigration, race, religion, sexual behaviour, gender and gender roles, etc that have become received elite opinion in the modern US sphere over the past few decades).

    The people you are talking about are generally people who, whilst they might grumble occasionally in asides, have broadly made an accommodation with the triumphant leftist agenda (or in some cases thoroughly internalised it) in order to retain social and political respectability. In general they will not champion any traditionally conservative position on the above issues, and if they were to accidentally seem to do so and were to be publicly challenged about it, they would promptly apologise grovelingly and would themselves virulently denounce any public expression of traditional conservative views.

    They are "right" in name only. In both senses.

    Actually influential people on ‘the right’ (government officials, a scatter of businessmen and lawyers, and George Will) aren’t acting
     
    There, that's about the size of it.

    These are the kind of "influential" people in office and in positions of power and nominally on the right who, over the past few decades, have given us a society in terminal social decline, in which homosexual "marriage" is an actual thing, and people are hounded out of business and even prosecuted for failing to approve of it, in which mass immigration both legal and illegal has all but swamped the indigenous peoples, in which foreign and military policy is more or less openly run for the benefit of lobby groups, some of them foreign, and in which it's socially unacceptable and probably soon actually illegal to question the narrative of white guilt and minority victimhood. Quite a remarkable absence of achievement, in fact.

    Far from being "influential" at anything other than lining their own nests, they've actually been totally ineffectual, when judged by actual results.
    , @RadicalCenter
    You think that George Will is influential. Okay.
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  25. Art Deco says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    There are of course many contradictory proposals in Zhirinovsky's program, but this isn't one of them. Regional autonomy ≠ local self-government!

    In Russia, with zero historical traditions of federalism (like the US, Germany, or Switzerland), the former was a recipe for extortion of the federal center, tinpot states within a state, and outright separatism in the early to mid 1990s. This is a continuation of the Bolshevik nationalities policies that ended up dismembering Russia, and there is no reason to believe things will now be otherwise.

    Local self-government applies to much smaller units, such as municipal powers, who under current arrangements answer for little more than the park benches.

    Illustration with respect to language policy:

    Regional autonomy (current policy): The Republic of Tatarstan forces all schoolchildren inside its artificial borders, including Russians and Bashkirs, to learn Tatar; privileges people who know Tatar for administrative positions.

    Local self-government: Individual schools, parents' councils, etc. decide what schools teach by themselves (within some loose general guidelines that apply to the entire country). A heavily Bashkir locality in Tatarstan the Kazan Governorate can hire a Bashkir language teacher. Ergo for a Tatar locality in Bashkiria the Ufa Governorate.

    Incidentally, credit where it's due - the Ukraine has actually moved more towards local self-government since 2014. However, there is no talk of them federalizing, which Kiev sees (correctly!) as a Russian ploy to expand its influence into the East and South at the expense of the central government. This is something you very much want for your rivals, not yourself!

    In Russia, with zero historical traditions of federalism (like the US, Germany, or Switzerland), the former was a recipe for extortion of the federal center, tinpot states within a state, and outright separatism in the early to mid 1990s. This is a continuation of the Bolshevik nationalities policies that ended up dismembering Russia, and there is no reason to believe things will now be otherwise.

    1. I think you’re attributing to provincial discretion problems which arise from unsettled and disorderly situations.

    2. You’re also confounding ‘federalism’ (which is a legal architecture with specific features) with decentralization. Federalism can promote decentralization, but it is not the same thing. You can see in the United States a federalism which co-exists with officious central government.

    3. I cannot see how provinces ‘extort’ anything unless the central government is dependent on them in some way. In may be in certain select circumstances, but that is not an inherent property of provincial government.

    4. Russia wasn’t ‘dismembered’ in 1992. The Soviet Union fell to pieces. The only part of Russia that made much of an effort to secede was Chechenya, where lives < 1% of Russia's population. All of the departing union republics had their own language, six of the 14 were thickly populated with Muslims, and 12 of the 14 were populated with non-Slavic peoples. Five of the departing union republics had quite small populations, but four of them had ready and appropriate alternatives to Russia as a foreign patron. There are no affluent countries in the world which have attempted to encompass such an ethnic jumble bar the British diaspora states (all of which are societies of migrants, which the old Soviet Union was not).

    Regional autonomy (current policy): The Republic of Tatarstan forces all schoolchildren inside its artificial borders, including Russians and Bashkirs, to learn Tatar; privileges people who know Tatar for administrative positions.

    a. It’s discourteous to minorities in Tatarstan to compel them to have school lessons in Tatar. This problem can be addressed by replacing public agency with voucher-funded philanthropy in the provision of schooling and composing regents’ examinations in several languages. The problem to which you refer is not inherent in provincial discretion; you can incorporate into your constitution and enabling legislation provisions which provide privileges and immunities to households and corporate bodies in this sort of situation.

    b. It’s not discourteous to minorities employed by the provincial government to expect them to be conversant in the language of the area. The alternative is to insist on a cumbersome bilingualism in public administration or to insist public employees in Tatarstan all have to be conversant with Russian on the job. That last would be reasonable for employees of the central government or for employees of a municipality in Tatarstan wherein Russians have a plurality.

    Incidentally, credit where it’s due – the Ukraine has actually moved more towards local self-government since 2014. However, there is no talk of them federalizing, which Kiev sees (correctly!) as a Russian ploy to expand its influence into the East and South at the expense of the central government. This is something you very much want for your rivals, not yourself!

    The central government in the Ukraine would do well to reconsider. You have 42 million people and eight cities with more than 600,000 people in them. You also have a culturally and politically fissured society that might benefit from allowing different segments their say in their proper sphere. A half a dozen regions constructed around Odessa, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kiev, Lviv, &c. would be the way to go. A central government in a country the size of the Ukraine is properly pre-occupied with high politics, the monetary system, fragments of law enforcement (e.g. the border guard, customs, immigration control), regulating long-distance trade, lumpy public works (e.g. inter-regional highways), and the social security system. The rest can be devolved.

    Read More
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  26. Randal says:
    @Art Deco
    In the US sphere I think part of the problem is that the right is just as virulently divisive as the left famously was in the C20th.

    If by 'the right' you mean a scatter of combox denizens and screwball hobbyists like Richard Spencer. Actually influential people on 'the right' (government officials, a scatter of businessmen and lawyers, and George Will) aren't acting in ways which constrict public debate or exacerbate ordinary political disputes.

    By “the right” I mean people who are meaningfully patriotic (primarily, in this context). One could extend it in a wider context to those who broadly adhere to traditional conservative views on social issues (ie not accepting the radical left dogmas on immigration, race, religion, sexual behaviour, gender and gender roles, etc that have become received elite opinion in the modern US sphere over the past few decades).

    The people you are talking about are generally people who, whilst they might grumble occasionally in asides, have broadly made an accommodation with the triumphant leftist agenda (or in some cases thoroughly internalised it) in order to retain social and political respectability. In general they will not champion any traditionally conservative position on the above issues, and if they were to accidentally seem to do so and were to be publicly challenged about it, they would promptly apologise grovelingly and would themselves virulently denounce any public expression of traditional conservative views.

    They are “right” in name only. In both senses.

    Actually influential people on ‘the right’ (government officials, a scatter of businessmen and lawyers, and George Will) aren’t acting

    There, that’s about the size of it.

    These are the kind of “influential” people in office and in positions of power and nominally on the right who, over the past few decades, have given us a society in terminal social decline, in which homosexual “marriage” is an actual thing, and people are hounded out of business and even prosecuted for failing to approve of it, in which mass immigration both legal and illegal has all but swamped the indigenous peoples, in which foreign and military policy is more or less openly run for the benefit of lobby groups, some of them foreign, and in which it’s socially unacceptable and probably soon actually illegal to question the narrative of white guilt and minority victimhood. Quite a remarkable absence of achievement, in fact.

    Far from being “influential” at anything other than lining their own nests, they’ve actually been totally ineffectual, when judged by actual results.

    Read More
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  27. Mitleser says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    There are of course many contradictory proposals in Zhirinovsky's program, but this isn't one of them. Regional autonomy ≠ local self-government!

    In Russia, with zero historical traditions of federalism (like the US, Germany, or Switzerland), the former was a recipe for extortion of the federal center, tinpot states within a state, and outright separatism in the early to mid 1990s. This is a continuation of the Bolshevik nationalities policies that ended up dismembering Russia, and there is no reason to believe things will now be otherwise.

    Local self-government applies to much smaller units, such as municipal powers, who under current arrangements answer for little more than the park benches.

    Illustration with respect to language policy:

    Regional autonomy (current policy): The Republic of Tatarstan forces all schoolchildren inside its artificial borders, including Russians and Bashkirs, to learn Tatar; privileges people who know Tatar for administrative positions.

    Local self-government: Individual schools, parents' councils, etc. decide what schools teach by themselves (within some loose general guidelines that apply to the entire country). A heavily Bashkir locality in Tatarstan the Kazan Governorate can hire a Bashkir language teacher. Ergo for a Tatar locality in Bashkiria the Ufa Governorate.

    Incidentally, credit where it's due - the Ukraine has actually moved more towards local self-government since 2014. However, there is no talk of them federalizing, which Kiev sees (correctly!) as a Russian ploy to expand its influence into the East and South at the expense of the central government. This is something you very much want for your rivals, not yourself!

    This is something you very much want for your rivals, not yourself!

    Not according to the Kremlin who promotes such a policy in both.

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  28. Randal says:

    Germany’s shame

    Never mind events nearly a century ago that were nothing to do with almost any living German, this is the kind of thing of which modern Germans really ought to be ashamed. Locking up grandmothers (and plenty of other people) for expressing opinions:

    ‘Nazi Grandma’ loses appeal case, sentenced to 14 months in prison for Holocaust denial

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    I agree with you that it's ridiculous (especially so given how lenient Germany's justice system is in regards to violent crime) and personally I think Holocaust denial should be decriminalized (even though I think Holocaust deniers are mostly very stupid and unpleasant people)...Germany's hyper-correctness on these issues is just silly, probably some sort of compensation for the fact that so many genuine Nazi criminals (up to and including concentration camp guards) never were really punished and had nice lives in the post-war federal republic.
    I have my doubts though if it's politically productive to focus on such issues...that's what annoys me about certain AfD politicians as well (like nutcase Björn Höcke who is obsessed about WW2 issues). The left and mainstream "conservatives" have failed utterly, they have absolutely no positive idea for the future, life has been steadily getting worse for average citizens over the last 30 years, and now the establishment is actively facilitating invasion (speaking of Germany here, but the fundamental story is the same imo throughout Western Europe)...it's unfortunate that the genuine right is so incompetent at exploiting these manifest failures.
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  29. @Randal
    Germany's shame

    Never mind events nearly a century ago that were nothing to do with almost any living German, this is the kind of thing of which modern Germans really ought to be ashamed. Locking up grandmothers (and plenty of other people) for expressing opinions:

    'Nazi Grandma' loses appeal case, sentenced to 14 months in prison for Holocaust denial

    I agree with you that it’s ridiculous (especially so given how lenient Germany’s justice system is in regards to violent crime) and personally I think Holocaust denial should be decriminalized (even though I think Holocaust deniers are mostly very stupid and unpleasant people)…Germany’s hyper-correctness on these issues is just silly, probably some sort of compensation for the fact that so many genuine Nazi criminals (up to and including concentration camp guards) never were really punished and had nice lives in the post-war federal republic.
    I have my doubts though if it’s politically productive to focus on such issues…that’s what annoys me about certain AfD politicians as well (like nutcase Björn Höcke who is obsessed about WW2 issues). The left and mainstream “conservatives” have failed utterly, they have absolutely no positive idea for the future, life has been steadily getting worse for average citizens over the last 30 years, and now the establishment is actively facilitating invasion (speaking of Germany here, but the fundamental story is the same imo throughout Western Europe)…it’s unfortunate that the genuine right is so incompetent at exploiting these manifest failures.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Höcke is a former history teacher.
    His "obsession" with these issues should be understandable.
    , @Randal
    I understand your view on this, and why the obsessions of "Holocaust deniers" seem petty next to the big obvious issues of mass immigration and globalisation, but on the other hand I wonder if your country will ever truly be free until the expression of such views is normalised. To some extent false "holocaust" guilt seems to operate similarly in your country to the way false colonial and"racism" guilt does in my country, and false slavery and "racism" guilt does in the US. Perhaps these people have actually on some level grasped the real importance of the issue, even if their detailed concerns seem petty, remote from the immediate issues and obsessive.
    , @iffen
    the genuine right is so incompetent at exploiting these manifest failures

    If we ever get a genuine right maybe they won't be incompetent.
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  30. Randal says:

    Imo freedom of speech is the key to politics in the near future. The pc left is pushing to extend the suppression of honest speech about politically incorrect issues from one of mostly passive exclusion to one of active (often actively violent, but sometimes “just” removal of livelihood) bullying and of actual criminalisation where they can achieve it.

    If they succeed, they will still ultimately lose imo but they will succeed in cutting off any hope of defeating them by legitimate political means, leaving only genuine extremism as a viable response.

    An absolutist position on the criminalisation of political dissent is called for imo. Holocaust denial laws have been something of a trojan horse in this regard in Europe, and are currently being introduced in this country as well by the back door, via prosecution for supposedly “grossly offensive” communications.

    And further while it’s not an issue for you, the corrupt abuse by pro-Israel lobbies of holocaust denial and “incitement” laws to suppress criticism of Israel and of jewish lobby interests is a real problem as well, given what a malign force Israel and its lobbies have been in the ME recently, dragging the US and its European toadies into all kinds of disasters.

    Speech suppression is an increasingly potent weapon in the hands of the worst kinds of people pushing the worst causes. It needs to be resisted wherever it is found.

    And it’s just a moral outrage that a grandmother can be actually bullied and prosecuted, let alone actually sent to prison, for merely expressing an opinion, of course, but moral outrages are ten a penny I suppose. Politicians these days are quick to virtue signal with ridiculous apologies for the supposed outrage of historically having sent people to prison for breaking the law merely for sexual gratification. Perhaps they should save time and just issue formal apologies now for the harassment of people like Mrs Haverbeck.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    With "those issues" I meant the specific issue of WW2/Nazism and Holocaust denial in Germany...one can't win here with those topics, they're a distraction. Personally I think it's perverse that people can be thrown into prison for Holocaust denial (Horst Mahler's case is also pretty disturbing if you think about it closely) and ideally it should end, but compared to other matters this is a fringe issue right now.
    I'm fully in agreement with you about the wider issue of free speech though...the left and various ethnic lobbies have really shown what they're like with their pushing for such legislation even in countries like Britain and US whose citizens once prided themselves on living in a free country. In that context support for unconditional freedom of speech is certainly the right course of action.
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  31. Brabantian says: • Website

    Profound issues here about the ‘lack of social capital’ amongst the nationalist / rightist political streams. Do agree with ‘Czechian’ above that non-Russian Eastern Europe has some unusual strength in the breadth of nationalist sentiment.

    One issue that seems core , is that there does not seem to be one truly powerful label meme against the devious cultural Marxist manipulators, comparable to the simple terms ‘racist’ & ‘bigot’ used against the right. Various terms used – SJWs, snowflakes, cucks, etc – don’t have the same clarity and power. This deficiency really needs some ‘meme magic’.

    And am reminded of Andrew Anglin’s oft-stated idea that he is not really attempting to reach people over 30 or 40, who often have material inducements to go along with the system … he is targeting teen-agers and people in their 20s whom he thinks will shake the world shortly.

    For all his flaws and faults and yes ‘offensive bigotry’, Anglin at times has clever political psychology. One of his truly under-estimated ploys, is to connect his far-right political positioning, with the massive dysfunctionality of male-female relationships in these societies where youth are under-employed with grim prospects. And he does this not by vapid generalities, but by specifics, giving concrete if politically incorrect insight as to what is going on in male & female brains and how to hack that interface so young guys can get some sex and find a wife. This was significantly fuelling his 4 million visitors a month before the shutdown.

    One of the helpful ideas from classical Marxism, is that people in general change their ideas when concrete circumstances force them to do so … this process can be led or accelerated by a vanguard, but that vanguard has to tap into a basic underlying reality, and do so in a way that people can easily grasp.

    Anglin’s claim – perhaps not so far-fetched – is that the rightist memes are working much more strongly upon youth than most people realise, partly because the tools we would use to judge such things are themselves tainted

    For those keeping up, Anglin just parked on the .red domain – not for a country but in fact really the colour, I wonder how many old-line Marxists use it

    https://dailystormer.red/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    One issue that seems core , is that there does not seem to be one truly powerful label meme against the devious cultural Marxist manipulators, comparable to the simple terms ‘racist’ & ‘bigot’ used against the right. Various terms used – SJWs, snowflakes, cucks, etc – don’t have the same clarity and power. This deficiency really needs some ‘meme magic’.
     
    No harm in trying, but I think calling for cleverer memery rather misses the point. The reason "racist", "bigot", "antisemite", "islamophobe" "homophobe" etc have the power they do is because they are backed by decades of elite indoctrination, the propaganda power of most of the mainstream media and the majority of mainstream celebrities and public figures, the financial clout of the big businesses that are either directly run by identity lobby obsessives or are desperate to have the money the identity lobbies can withhold from them, the "minority" lobby groups massively funded by both said elites and by the governments they "influence", and in many cases increasingly the force of law.

    That's what powers the racist/antisemite/islamophobe/homophobe etc "hatred" lie. The truth stands little chance, at least in the short run. Of course, over the longer run it has the advantage of being the truth, and the attempt to keep a lid on it will probably ultimately blow up in the faces of those doing so. But it might well take decades and/or need a crisis to power its explosion.
    , @S3

    meme magic
     
    Bolsheviks vs White Russians? Everyone loves a lost cause.
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  32. @Randal
    Imo freedom of speech is the key to politics in the near future. The pc left is pushing to extend the suppression of honest speech about politically incorrect issues from one of mostly passive exclusion to one of active (often actively violent, but sometimes "just" removal of livelihood) bullying and of actual criminalisation where they can achieve it.

    If they succeed, they will still ultimately lose imo but they will succeed in cutting off any hope of defeating them by legitimate political means, leaving only genuine extremism as a viable response.

    An absolutist position on the criminalisation of political dissent is called for imo. Holocaust denial laws have been something of a trojan horse in this regard in Europe, and are currently being introduced in this country as well by the back door, via prosecution for supposedly "grossly offensive" communications.

    And further while it's not an issue for you, the corrupt abuse by pro-Israel lobbies of holocaust denial and "incitement" laws to suppress criticism of Israel and of jewish lobby interests is a real problem as well, given what a malign force Israel and its lobbies have been in the ME recently, dragging the US and its European toadies into all kinds of disasters.

    Speech suppression is an increasingly potent weapon in the hands of the worst kinds of people pushing the worst causes. It needs to be resisted wherever it is found.

    And it's just a moral outrage that a grandmother can be actually bullied and prosecuted, let alone actually sent to prison, for merely expressing an opinion, of course, but moral outrages are ten a penny I suppose. Politicians these days are quick to virtue signal with ridiculous apologies for the supposed outrage of historically having sent people to prison for breaking the law merely for sexual gratification. Perhaps they should save time and just issue formal apologies now for the harassment of people like Mrs Haverbeck.

    With “those issues” I meant the specific issue of WW2/Nazism and Holocaust denial in Germany…one can’t win here with those topics, they’re a distraction. Personally I think it’s perverse that people can be thrown into prison for Holocaust denial (Horst Mahler’s case is also pretty disturbing if you think about it closely) and ideally it should end, but compared to other matters this is a fringe issue right now.
    I’m fully in agreement with you about the wider issue of free speech though…the left and various ethnic lobbies have really shown what they’re like with their pushing for such legislation even in countries like Britain and US whose citizens once prided themselves on living in a free country. In that context support for unconditional freedom of speech is certainly the right course of action.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen

    With “those issues” I meant the specific issue of WW2/Nazism and Holocaust denial in Germany…one can’t win here with those topics, they’re a distraction.
     
    Exactly. Ditto USA and UK.
    , @reiner Tor
    My other comment in the other thread might loosely be related to this topic, so let me copy it over here. I hope nobody minds it:

    In his book The Culture of War the Israeli military historian wrote I think a full chapter on the Bundeswehr. He wrote that this institution only had a future as an effective fighting force if it was willing to embrace its past, meaning its predecessors like the Wehrmacht, Reichswehr, and the Prussian army. But, as he wrote, it was actually more and more repudiating it, renaming units and barracks named after (decidedly non-Nazi) Wehrmacht soldiers, eventually bringing the WW1 and earlier army, and even the pre-unification Prussian army under suspicion. The only German military tradition they were willing to embrace was the 1944 plot on Hitler’s life, but even that was distorted, since they wouldn’t talk about the plotters’ battlefield heroism, only their heroism in trying to murder and replace their own commander-in-chief. However commendable that was, that’s not something to motivate a young soldier to give his life on the battlefield for the Fatherland. Only examples of past battlefield heroism can do that, while the example of soldiers who wanted to murder their own commander-in-chief in wartime to stop the war they were fighting will do actually quite the opposite: it tells you that maybe the war you are fighting currently is one where you ought to surrender instead of fighting it…

    As van Creveld wrote, however commendable it is that Germany is willing to tackle its horrible past, it’s got to the point where it’s inimical to keeping an effective and combat capable armed force, and the German democracy will eventually prove unable to defend itself. In other words, self-loathing is not an evolutionarily stable strategy. (That his parents were holocaust survivors makes it probably easier for him to write about it than for some German hick like the AfD guy.)
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  33. Randal says:
    @Brabantian
    Profound issues here about the 'lack of social capital' amongst the nationalist / rightist political streams. Do agree with 'Czechian' above that non-Russian Eastern Europe has some unusual strength in the breadth of nationalist sentiment.

    One issue that seems core , is that there does not seem to be one truly powerful label meme against the devious cultural Marxist manipulators, comparable to the simple terms 'racist' & 'bigot' used against the right. Various terms used - SJWs, snowflakes, cucks, etc - don't have the same clarity and power. This deficiency really needs some 'meme magic'.

    And am reminded of Andrew Anglin's oft-stated idea that he is not really attempting to reach people over 30 or 40, who often have material inducements to go along with the system ... he is targeting teen-agers and people in their 20s whom he thinks will shake the world shortly.

    For all his flaws and faults and yes 'offensive bigotry', Anglin at times has clever political psychology. One of his truly under-estimated ploys, is to connect his far-right political positioning, with the massive dysfunctionality of male-female relationships in these societies where youth are under-employed with grim prospects. And he does this not by vapid generalities, but by specifics, giving concrete if politically incorrect insight as to what is going on in male & female brains and how to hack that interface so young guys can get some sex and find a wife. This was significantly fuelling his 4 million visitors a month before the shutdown.

    One of the helpful ideas from classical Marxism, is that people in general change their ideas when concrete circumstances force them to do so ... this process can be led or accelerated by a vanguard, but that vanguard has to tap into a basic underlying reality, and do so in a way that people can easily grasp.

    Anglin's claim - perhaps not so far-fetched - is that the rightist memes are working much more strongly upon youth than most people realise, partly because the tools we would use to judge such things are themselves tainted

    For those keeping up, Anglin just parked on the .red domain - not for a country but in fact really the colour, I wonder how many old-line Marxists use it
    https://dailystormer.red/

    One issue that seems core , is that there does not seem to be one truly powerful label meme against the devious cultural Marxist manipulators, comparable to the simple terms ‘racist’ & ‘bigot’ used against the right. Various terms used – SJWs, snowflakes, cucks, etc – don’t have the same clarity and power. This deficiency really needs some ‘meme magic’.

    No harm in trying, but I think calling for cleverer memery rather misses the point. The reason “racist”, “bigot”, “antisemite”, “islamophobe” “homophobe” etc have the power they do is because they are backed by decades of elite indoctrination, the propaganda power of most of the mainstream media and the majority of mainstream celebrities and public figures, the financial clout of the big businesses that are either directly run by identity lobby obsessives or are desperate to have the money the identity lobbies can withhold from them, the “minority” lobby groups massively funded by both said elites and by the governments they “influence”, and in many cases increasingly the force of law.

    That’s what powers the racist/antisemite/islamophobe/homophobe etc “hatred” lie. The truth stands little chance, at least in the short run. Of course, over the longer run it has the advantage of being the truth, and the attempt to keep a lid on it will probably ultimately blow up in the faces of those doing so. But it might well take decades and/or need a crisis to power its explosion.

    Read More
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  34. utu says:

    Who is really enabling Zhirinovsky for so many years? Was he ever on the winning side of any issue? Is his true role to give the kiss of death to anything he allegedly endorses?

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  35. S3 says:
    @Brabantian
    Profound issues here about the 'lack of social capital' amongst the nationalist / rightist political streams. Do agree with 'Czechian' above that non-Russian Eastern Europe has some unusual strength in the breadth of nationalist sentiment.

    One issue that seems core , is that there does not seem to be one truly powerful label meme against the devious cultural Marxist manipulators, comparable to the simple terms 'racist' & 'bigot' used against the right. Various terms used - SJWs, snowflakes, cucks, etc - don't have the same clarity and power. This deficiency really needs some 'meme magic'.

    And am reminded of Andrew Anglin's oft-stated idea that he is not really attempting to reach people over 30 or 40, who often have material inducements to go along with the system ... he is targeting teen-agers and people in their 20s whom he thinks will shake the world shortly.

    For all his flaws and faults and yes 'offensive bigotry', Anglin at times has clever political psychology. One of his truly under-estimated ploys, is to connect his far-right political positioning, with the massive dysfunctionality of male-female relationships in these societies where youth are under-employed with grim prospects. And he does this not by vapid generalities, but by specifics, giving concrete if politically incorrect insight as to what is going on in male & female brains and how to hack that interface so young guys can get some sex and find a wife. This was significantly fuelling his 4 million visitors a month before the shutdown.

    One of the helpful ideas from classical Marxism, is that people in general change their ideas when concrete circumstances force them to do so ... this process can be led or accelerated by a vanguard, but that vanguard has to tap into a basic underlying reality, and do so in a way that people can easily grasp.

    Anglin's claim - perhaps not so far-fetched - is that the rightist memes are working much more strongly upon youth than most people realise, partly because the tools we would use to judge such things are themselves tainted

    For those keeping up, Anglin just parked on the .red domain - not for a country but in fact really the colour, I wonder how many old-line Marxists use it
    https://dailystormer.red/

    meme magic

    Bolsheviks vs White Russians? Everyone loves a lost cause.

    Read More
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  36. Mitleser says:
    @German_reader
    I agree with you that it's ridiculous (especially so given how lenient Germany's justice system is in regards to violent crime) and personally I think Holocaust denial should be decriminalized (even though I think Holocaust deniers are mostly very stupid and unpleasant people)...Germany's hyper-correctness on these issues is just silly, probably some sort of compensation for the fact that so many genuine Nazi criminals (up to and including concentration camp guards) never were really punished and had nice lives in the post-war federal republic.
    I have my doubts though if it's politically productive to focus on such issues...that's what annoys me about certain AfD politicians as well (like nutcase Björn Höcke who is obsessed about WW2 issues). The left and mainstream "conservatives" have failed utterly, they have absolutely no positive idea for the future, life has been steadily getting worse for average citizens over the last 30 years, and now the establishment is actively facilitating invasion (speaking of Germany here, but the fundamental story is the same imo throughout Western Europe)...it's unfortunate that the genuine right is so incompetent at exploiting these manifest failures.

    Höcke is a former history teacher.
    His “obsession” with these issues should be understandable.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    I think Höcke's family background (East Prussian expellees on both his parents' sides) and his specific kind of nationalism are more relevant as an explanation for his obsessions.
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  37. Randal says:
    @German_reader
    I agree with you that it's ridiculous (especially so given how lenient Germany's justice system is in regards to violent crime) and personally I think Holocaust denial should be decriminalized (even though I think Holocaust deniers are mostly very stupid and unpleasant people)...Germany's hyper-correctness on these issues is just silly, probably some sort of compensation for the fact that so many genuine Nazi criminals (up to and including concentration camp guards) never were really punished and had nice lives in the post-war federal republic.
    I have my doubts though if it's politically productive to focus on such issues...that's what annoys me about certain AfD politicians as well (like nutcase Björn Höcke who is obsessed about WW2 issues). The left and mainstream "conservatives" have failed utterly, they have absolutely no positive idea for the future, life has been steadily getting worse for average citizens over the last 30 years, and now the establishment is actively facilitating invasion (speaking of Germany here, but the fundamental story is the same imo throughout Western Europe)...it's unfortunate that the genuine right is so incompetent at exploiting these manifest failures.

    I understand your view on this, and why the obsessions of “Holocaust deniers” seem petty next to the big obvious issues of mass immigration and globalisation, but on the other hand I wonder if your country will ever truly be free until the expression of such views is normalised. To some extent false “holocaust” guilt seems to operate similarly in your country to the way false colonial and”racism” guilt does in my country, and false slavery and “racism” guilt does in the US. Perhaps these people have actually on some level grasped the real importance of the issue, even if their detailed concerns seem petty, remote from the immediate issues and obsessive.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    To some extent false “holocaust” guilt seems to operate similarly in your country to the way false colonial and”racism” guilt does in my country, and false slavery and “racism” guilt does in the US.
     
    Yes, but the example of the US, the UK and other Western countries is exactly the reason why I think German right-wingers are misguided in their belief that Germany is somehow unique because of guilt over Nazism. For whatever reason it's a general trend in Western societies that our past history is essentially seen as a history of crime and we need to atone for it by ever more absurd self-denunciations and negation of any collective interests. Even in Germany the issue isn't limited by any means to Nazism: lefties have already dug up German colonial atrocities or even Brandenburg-Prussia's quite insignificant participation in the transatlantic slave trade as other past sins to feel guilty about, and you hear very often arguments of the sort "We have exploited the third world/We're only rich because they're poor/We're responsible for climate change" to justify mass immigration. The issue is much bigger than just how to deal with the Nazi past. And in regards to the Nazi past Germany has to be very careful imo since any rash moves could potentially lead to a deterioration in relations with Poland, Russia or other neighbours and important countries.
    And while I generally agree with you about free speech, I don't think you take enough account of Germany's specific situation...it's not surprising that there were laws penalizing glorification of Nazism/Holocaust denial in post-war Germany (laws which the victorious allies would have insisted on in any case, to prevent a resurgence of Nazism which was not unreasonable after what had happened), a defeated nation with only partial sovereignty and whose main goal was being readmitted to the community of nations. I have a lot of sympathy for the view that these laws are now outdated, no longer necessary and should be abolished, but by themselves they aren't indicative imo of the trends troubling today's West. The really disturbing issue to me is that so many countries apart from Germany enacted laws penalizing Holocaust denial many decades after WW2, plus plenty of increasingly draconian anti-"hate speech" legislation.
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  38. Callaghan says:

    e.g. ZANU PF?

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  39. iffen says:
    @German_reader
    I agree with you that it's ridiculous (especially so given how lenient Germany's justice system is in regards to violent crime) and personally I think Holocaust denial should be decriminalized (even though I think Holocaust deniers are mostly very stupid and unpleasant people)...Germany's hyper-correctness on these issues is just silly, probably some sort of compensation for the fact that so many genuine Nazi criminals (up to and including concentration camp guards) never were really punished and had nice lives in the post-war federal republic.
    I have my doubts though if it's politically productive to focus on such issues...that's what annoys me about certain AfD politicians as well (like nutcase Björn Höcke who is obsessed about WW2 issues). The left and mainstream "conservatives" have failed utterly, they have absolutely no positive idea for the future, life has been steadily getting worse for average citizens over the last 30 years, and now the establishment is actively facilitating invasion (speaking of Germany here, but the fundamental story is the same imo throughout Western Europe)...it's unfortunate that the genuine right is so incompetent at exploiting these manifest failures.

    the genuine right is so incompetent at exploiting these manifest failures

    If we ever get a genuine right maybe they won’t be incompetent.

    Read More
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  40. iffen says:
    @German_reader
    With "those issues" I meant the specific issue of WW2/Nazism and Holocaust denial in Germany...one can't win here with those topics, they're a distraction. Personally I think it's perverse that people can be thrown into prison for Holocaust denial (Horst Mahler's case is also pretty disturbing if you think about it closely) and ideally it should end, but compared to other matters this is a fringe issue right now.
    I'm fully in agreement with you about the wider issue of free speech though...the left and various ethnic lobbies have really shown what they're like with their pushing for such legislation even in countries like Britain and US whose citizens once prided themselves on living in a free country. In that context support for unconditional freedom of speech is certainly the right course of action.

    With “those issues” I meant the specific issue of WW2/Nazism and Holocaust denial in Germany…one can’t win here with those topics, they’re a distraction.

    Exactly. Ditto USA and UK.

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  41. @Randal
    I understand your view on this, and why the obsessions of "Holocaust deniers" seem petty next to the big obvious issues of mass immigration and globalisation, but on the other hand I wonder if your country will ever truly be free until the expression of such views is normalised. To some extent false "holocaust" guilt seems to operate similarly in your country to the way false colonial and"racism" guilt does in my country, and false slavery and "racism" guilt does in the US. Perhaps these people have actually on some level grasped the real importance of the issue, even if their detailed concerns seem petty, remote from the immediate issues and obsessive.

    To some extent false “holocaust” guilt seems to operate similarly in your country to the way false colonial and”racism” guilt does in my country, and false slavery and “racism” guilt does in the US.

    Yes, but the example of the US, the UK and other Western countries is exactly the reason why I think German right-wingers are misguided in their belief that Germany is somehow unique because of guilt over Nazism. For whatever reason it’s a general trend in Western societies that our past history is essentially seen as a history of crime and we need to atone for it by ever more absurd self-denunciations and negation of any collective interests. Even in Germany the issue isn’t limited by any means to Nazism: lefties have already dug up German colonial atrocities or even Brandenburg-Prussia’s quite insignificant participation in the transatlantic slave trade as other past sins to feel guilty about, and you hear very often arguments of the sort “We have exploited the third world/We’re only rich because they’re poor/We’re responsible for climate change” to justify mass immigration. The issue is much bigger than just how to deal with the Nazi past. And in regards to the Nazi past Germany has to be very careful imo since any rash moves could potentially lead to a deterioration in relations with Poland, Russia or other neighbours and important countries.
    And while I generally agree with you about free speech, I don’t think you take enough account of Germany’s specific situation…it’s not surprising that there were laws penalizing glorification of Nazism/Holocaust denial in post-war Germany (laws which the victorious allies would have insisted on in any case, to prevent a resurgence of Nazism which was not unreasonable after what had happened), a defeated nation with only partial sovereignty and whose main goal was being readmitted to the community of nations. I have a lot of sympathy for the view that these laws are now outdated, no longer necessary and should be abolished, but by themselves they aren’t indicative imo of the trends troubling today’s West. The really disturbing issue to me is that so many countries apart from Germany enacted laws penalizing Holocaust denial many decades after WW2, plus plenty of increasingly draconian anti-”hate speech” legislation.

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  42. @Mitleser
    Höcke is a former history teacher.
    His "obsession" with these issues should be understandable.

    I think Höcke’s family background (East Prussian expellees on both his parents’ sides) and his specific kind of nationalism are more relevant as an explanation for his obsessions.

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  43. @German_reader
    With "those issues" I meant the specific issue of WW2/Nazism and Holocaust denial in Germany...one can't win here with those topics, they're a distraction. Personally I think it's perverse that people can be thrown into prison for Holocaust denial (Horst Mahler's case is also pretty disturbing if you think about it closely) and ideally it should end, but compared to other matters this is a fringe issue right now.
    I'm fully in agreement with you about the wider issue of free speech though...the left and various ethnic lobbies have really shown what they're like with their pushing for such legislation even in countries like Britain and US whose citizens once prided themselves on living in a free country. In that context support for unconditional freedom of speech is certainly the right course of action.

    My other comment in the other thread might loosely be related to this topic, so let me copy it over here. I hope nobody minds it:

    In his book The Culture of War the Israeli military historian wrote I think a full chapter on the Bundeswehr. He wrote that this institution only had a future as an effective fighting force if it was willing to embrace its past, meaning its predecessors like the Wehrmacht, Reichswehr, and the Prussian army. But, as he wrote, it was actually more and more repudiating it, renaming units and barracks named after (decidedly non-Nazi) Wehrmacht soldiers, eventually bringing the WW1 and earlier army, and even the pre-unification Prussian army under suspicion. The only German military tradition they were willing to embrace was the 1944 plot on Hitler’s life, but even that was distorted, since they wouldn’t talk about the plotters’ battlefield heroism, only their heroism in trying to murder and replace their own commander-in-chief. However commendable that was, that’s not something to motivate a young soldier to give his life on the battlefield for the Fatherland. Only examples of past battlefield heroism can do that, while the example of soldiers who wanted to murder their own commander-in-chief in wartime to stop the war they were fighting will do actually quite the opposite: it tells you that maybe the war you are fighting currently is one where you ought to surrender instead of fighting it…

    As van Creveld wrote, however commendable it is that Germany is willing to tackle its horrible past, it’s got to the point where it’s inimical to keeping an effective and combat capable armed force, and the German democracy will eventually prove unable to defend itself. In other words, self-loathing is not an evolutionarily stable strategy. (That his parents were holocaust survivors makes it probably easier for him to write about it than for some German hick like the AfD guy.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    Already answered in the other thread. We probably should continue the discussion there, or stop it...I feel kind of guilty for going off-topic like that :-(
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  44. I try to keep OT stuff in the OT threads, but I don’t want to risk any of you missing this:

    https://www.theonion.com/breitbart-criticized-for-publishing-humanizing-profile-1820881338

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  45. @reiner Tor
    My other comment in the other thread might loosely be related to this topic, so let me copy it over here. I hope nobody minds it:

    In his book The Culture of War the Israeli military historian wrote I think a full chapter on the Bundeswehr. He wrote that this institution only had a future as an effective fighting force if it was willing to embrace its past, meaning its predecessors like the Wehrmacht, Reichswehr, and the Prussian army. But, as he wrote, it was actually more and more repudiating it, renaming units and barracks named after (decidedly non-Nazi) Wehrmacht soldiers, eventually bringing the WW1 and earlier army, and even the pre-unification Prussian army under suspicion. The only German military tradition they were willing to embrace was the 1944 plot on Hitler’s life, but even that was distorted, since they wouldn’t talk about the plotters’ battlefield heroism, only their heroism in trying to murder and replace their own commander-in-chief. However commendable that was, that’s not something to motivate a young soldier to give his life on the battlefield for the Fatherland. Only examples of past battlefield heroism can do that, while the example of soldiers who wanted to murder their own commander-in-chief in wartime to stop the war they were fighting will do actually quite the opposite: it tells you that maybe the war you are fighting currently is one where you ought to surrender instead of fighting it…

    As van Creveld wrote, however commendable it is that Germany is willing to tackle its horrible past, it’s got to the point where it’s inimical to keeping an effective and combat capable armed force, and the German democracy will eventually prove unable to defend itself. In other words, self-loathing is not an evolutionarily stable strategy. (That his parents were holocaust survivors makes it probably easier for him to write about it than for some German hick like the AfD guy.)

    Already answered in the other thread. We probably should continue the discussion there, or stop it…I feel kind of guilty for going off-topic like that :-(

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  46. @Art Deco
    In the US sphere I think part of the problem is that the right is just as virulently divisive as the left famously was in the C20th.

    If by 'the right' you mean a scatter of combox denizens and screwball hobbyists like Richard Spencer. Actually influential people on 'the right' (government officials, a scatter of businessmen and lawyers, and George Will) aren't acting in ways which constrict public debate or exacerbate ordinary political disputes.

    You think that George Will is influential. Okay.

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    Thirty years ago, yes. Stephen Chapman of the Chicago Tribune complained in a column in 1984 that you visit Washington, you interview politicians and officials, and you hear the same question asked over and over: "Did you read George Will's column today?". Different political environment, different media environment, so now he's another talking head among many.
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  47. Art Deco says:
    @RadicalCenter
    You think that George Will is influential. Okay.

    Thirty years ago, yes. Stephen Chapman of the Chicago Tribune complained in a column in 1984 that you visit Washington, you interview politicians and officials, and you hear the same question asked over and over: “Did you read George Will’s column today?”. Different political environment, different media environment, so now he’s another talking head among many.

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  48. Alright. And he’s not even significant any more. Thank God.

    Little nebbish should have stuck to writing about baseball.

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