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Westerners have semi-legitimate reasons to like Lenin. Hard-headed proponents of Realpolitik and plain old vanilla Russophobes might appreciate his role in crippling Russia relative to what it could have been in the 20th century (i.e. a full-spectrum challenger to the American order, instead of Upper Volta with missiles). The increasing popular strains of SJW leftism... Read More
Regular readers will know I live in the prole area of Moscow. As it turns out, my flat is ghetto as fuck. Drug overdose a few months ago. A murder a couple of days ago. 14/88 graffiti on the walls. Meanwhile, on the same day, the Higher School of Economics - Russia's top economics institution,... Read More
Liberal electoral victories in Moscow compared to the prevalence of those ultimate SWPL status symbols, bike sharing stations... ... the upscale organic food store Azbuka Vkusa... ... and concentrations of nomenklatura housing as of 1989. At first glance, one of these is not like the others. But that's not all that surprising. Dig into the... Read More
Steve Sailer recently pointed out that millennials are a lot shier about nudity than their parents and grandparents. There are plenty of cultural explanations - less exposure to the military, more spacious accomodations, millennial whininess, etc. - but I get the impression that, as with Chinese underperformance in football, the inventor of HBD might have... Read More
Here is the discussion at this on The Russia Debate. My friend and DR commentator Alexander Mercouris correctly predicted this outcome - that Serdyukov would be charged, but that it is a complex case that will take a long time and likely avoid more the more serious allegations in favor of those that can be... Read More
Is summarized below for each state (source) - and it shows some very interesting patterns. The average life expectancy of Asian-Americans (86.5 years) is 4 years higher than in Japan - the longest-lived big East Asian country. Taiwan and South Korea are at around 80; Hong Kong is at 83; Singapore is at 81. The... Read More
A few months late, but worth posting anyway. The results are based on the latest "wave" of the World Values Survey, a very interesting project that tracks sociological data across countries - and which I will likely post more about in the future. Interesting observations: (1) The West in general is the world's least "racist"*... Read More
He got invited to RT to talk about Bradley Manning and his impending sentence. The gay journalist James Kirchick got invited to argue his viewpoint that Manning wa a traitor who deserved to be put to death. (I wonder what his newfound liberal groupies would make of that?). Instead, he used his airtime to go... Read More
Battle of the hacks! In response to Alexei Pankin calling him an anti-Semite in The Moscow Times, Oleg Kashin pens a tongue in cheek response telling him to imagine a kitten dying every time he abuses an overworn cliche. In which Oleg Kashin gives some advice to the politologists. The editors asked me to reply... Read More
Or neither. Well, isn't this a useless post? I am referring to the Global Corruption Barometer released by Transparency International a couple of weeks ago, which I covered at my other blog. For the most part, there were no surprises; the only really strange figures came from Taiwan, where 36% of people claimed to have... Read More
Livestream in Russian, English. been found guilty, as expected. The main question is what the sentence will be: Suspended, or a real term. Here is my prediction (which on developments so far might well turn out to be awfully wrong). Discuss. UPDATE: Even if he is found guilty and sentenced, he still has the choice... Read More
Though I know I missed the train on this news, one point in particular is worth drawing attention to as regard the stabbing of (the half-Tatar) paratrooper Ruslan Morzhanov by a 16-year-old ethnic Chechen, which incited the small town of Pugachev to stage a peaceful mini-revolt against the feds. So. Two murders, committed within the... Read More
So apparently an Ambassadorship costs $1.8 million per post in the US. In virtually any other country, even where the situation with corruption is quite dismal, such arrangements would be seen as unquestionably corrupt. And yet the US scores an entirely respectable 73/100 in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), leagues above say Italy which... Read More
Here it is. Or just skip the graphics and download the data in Excel here. I can't say I care much about most of it. Of course most people everything think corruption is "increasing," because they are a grumpy lot. What does matter is the number of people who report paying a bribe in the... Read More
Faced with the utter failure of their doom-laden projections for Russia's population future to describe reality - it's population is now not only growing in absolute terms, but even barring migration its number of births now virtually equals the number of deaths - the more guttural elements of the interwebs are now resorting to another... Read More
Izvestia writes: I wrote half a year ago (highlights are recent): Not to mention: To the contrary, Dagestan – the biggest Caucasian Muslim republic – has very few top scores relative to the number of very bright people we can expect to find there relative to most other Russian
Russia is to spend 1.5 billion rubles building "Centers of Tolerance" to improve inter-ethnic relations in the next few years. Is this a good use of resources? Pyotr Kozlov examines the issue. The Ministry of Regional Development plans to start constructing Centers of Tolerance all across Russia from 2014, where anyone can go to learn... Read More
As Russia develops a Migration Code to deal with recent influxes, one police official testifies that 47% of crimes in Moscow are committed by foreigners. 47% of crimes in Moscow are carried out by foreigners, according to the latest statistics. This was announced by at a meeting of a Duma working group by the deputy... Read More
The Russian Spectrum presents the results of Levada, FOM, and VCIOM polls over the past dozen years showing the rapid digitization of Russian society. The three questions used were all similar: "Do you use the Internet, and if so how frequently?" Also in the latest Levada poll: "Do you use the Internet, and if so... Read More
Writing in Novaya Gazeta, Andrei Vladimirovich Kolesnikov argues that the branding of the opinion pollster Levada Center as a "foreign agent" marks Russia's return to the bad old days of Lysenkoism. Levada Center is being destroyed with Stalinist methods. Sociological data is dope for the present-day vlast. She looks at sociological reports just like a... Read More
More than 20 years after the fall of the USSR, Russia - and the other republics, too - remain deeply averse to the public expression of homosexuality. The Russian Spectrum makes available the results of two Levada polls, from March and May of this year, in an attempt to quantify this "homophobia" over the years.... Read More
Analogizing to the Pussy Riot affair, journalist Oleg Kashin argues that the grisly murder of a gay man in Volgograd may soon shame - or rather, frighten - the Kremlin into dropping its gay-baiting campaign. This question is either for the intellect, or for general erudition: How many beer bottles can fit into the rectum... Read More
Russians don't trust their friends much. But they trust strangers and the state even less, so personal relations predominate in the economy at the expense of clubs, communities, and institutions. Sociologist Pavel Stepantsov paints a bleak picture of Russian society for Vedomosti. Many of the games we play, and that are studied by sociologists, are... Read More
If you remember a couple of weeks ago, the Internet was rocked - for a total of about one or two days - by a wave of leaks from the ICIJ about the identities of offshore account holders in the British Virgin Islands. What juicy revelations did we have about the henchmen of the kleptocratic... Read More
"The Otherness of Self" by Xin Liu, published in 2002. Rating: 1/5. I don’t want to sound overly demanding, but really, unless a writer is the next Kant or Heidegger, he owes it to his readers to make his prose at least minimally engaging. With this book on too many occasions I was under the... Read More
Everybody in the Western media seems to have forgotten Pussy Riot. Well, not forgotten, they still wheel them out every so often as symbols of the repressiveness of the Putin regime - but news of actual developments in the affair have come to a standstill. Which is a pity, because they undermine the commonly accepted... Read More
In my previous post about the real incidence of rape (it is in massive decline! contrary to the claims of the campus rape industry), I said there was a discrepancy in the National Crime Victimization Survey statistics about its prevalence in the past several years. Steven Pinker writes that it was at 50/100,000 in 2008,... Read More
Chinese Characteristics by Arthur Henderson Smith, published in 1894. It is available free here. Rating: 5/5. In rich and evocative prose reminiscent of De Tocqueville's writings on America, Arthur H. Smith lays out what he sees as the core features of the Chinese character and his values. The tone is bold and fearless, making sweeping... Read More
My latest for VoR and US-Russia.org on Russia's recent Foreign Policy Concept: The new foreign-policy concept is a long-overdue adjustment to international realities. There can be no meaningful "strategic partnership" between Russia and the US or indeed Russia and the West in general, when their respective core values have diverged from each other so much.... Read More
In one of the recent posts on corruption, commentator AP wrote: Is this true? Seeing as how the Russian state doesn't release Unified State Exam (USE) results by region, probably due to PC considerations, at first this assertion might appear to be unanswerable. However, there is a way to get round the problem. (1) We... Read More
It's not just the gopniks who are withering away; so are racist skinheads. According to the SOVA Center - an NGO which is about as anti-Kremlin as it gets, so no point in speculating that it cooks the figures for PR purposes - racist attacks in Russia have plummeted from their peak levels in 2007-2008,... Read More
I knew that gays had a maybe five or even ten times higher chance of getting AIDS and other STD's than heterosexuals. I didn't know the differential was actually more like 50. Something like 20% of the US gay population (which makes up 3.5% of its total population) is HIV positive. It is 5% in... Read More
Continuing from my previous post (which focused mostly on trends), this one focuses exclusively on international comparisons as per the results of Transparency International's Global Corruption Barometer survey of 2010-11. The graphs represent affirmative answers to the question of whether the respondent had paid a bribe in the past 12 months to each of 9... Read More
My latest for the US-Russia.org Expert Discussion Panel. Also as usual it appears at Voice of Russia. The version printed here is a slightly longer one: There are already a lot of opinions on the topic of Russian corruption, and I see no pressing need to add more to that morass. I do however think... Read More
In an interview with Dmitry Nadezhdin, Russia's chief police officer says that he, as a citizen - if not as a government Minister - supports the return of the death penalty for the worst crimes. Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov says that it ain't happening. The Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev gave an interview to NTV, in... Read More
A new Levada poll indicates that after a brief infatuation with markets and "Western-style democracy" in the early 1990s, Russians more or less consistently consider the Soviet system to be the best one out there. Which of these political systems do you think is best: The Soviet system (the one we had until the 1990's),... Read More
Yuri Matsarsky meets up with Egyptian Christians who fled to Russia from the persecution of Islamist extremists. "Late one evening I was walking home after a meeting with friends, when I stopped to have a cigarette at the Domodedovskaya metro station and saw a crowd of people with small children at the entrance. By their... Read More
I had great fun observing the fallout over Depardieu's "defection" to Russia. The reason for the apostrophes is of course because it had nothing to do with it. It was Depardieu trolling Hollande and the French "Socialists", and Putin trolling Westerners and his own homegrown "democratic journalists." (Or maybe not? In any case, I for... Read More
In her weekly column for Novaya Gazeta, Russian journalist and writer Yulia Latynina compares the civic-mindedness of American and Russian oligarchs - and not to Russia's favor. John Hopkins (1795-1873) - one of the richest men of the 19th century, trader and joint owner of railways - founded John Hopkins University (16th in the university... Read More
In the wake of Gérard Depardieu's scandalous "defection" to Russia to escape high French income taxes, liberal Russian journalist Gleb Razdolnov yearns to know what the hell he was thinking. Dear Gérard! You've taken the decision to abandon your homeland, France. We will not talk of the reasons that prompted you to take this step.... Read More
1. For Russian orphans life is much more dangerous in Russia than in America. Let's agree to disregard the hidden subtext which implies that any country ought to give over its orphans to foreign nationals should it be ranked safer for children. Let's first examine if the claim that Russia is 39 times more dangerous... Read More
At least if you take Michael Bohm's arguments in his latest Moscow Times missive on how Russia Is Turning Into Iran to its logical conclusion. Look, I'm not a fan of blasphemy laws. The First Amendment is a wonderful thing and something that makes the US truly great... even exceptional, to an extent. Although it... Read More
Natalia Zubarevich's concept of "The Four Russias" is one of the most reasoned and perceptive political analysis from the liberals, and as such I think it important enough to translate it (mostly I disagree with its core assumptions and conclusions though I do think it is a useful way of envisioning Russian politics). As such... Read More
Russia is preparing to "nationalize the elites" by forbidding bureaucrats (and their spouses and children) from owning property or bank accounts abroad. (1) This need hardly be said at this point but this does demonstrate that Russia is not the "kleptocracy" it is frequently described as. Why would kleptocrats purposefully make life any harder for... Read More
One of the most common arguments made to explain why Russians don't finally overthrow the evil Putin in a bloody bunt is that they are brainwashed by the regime's TV propaganda stations. This isn't actually very accurate at all. Russian TV isn't any more propagandistic than in the West, and on some issues, less so;... Read More
There's tons of criticism that Russia no longer has a "national idea." The sentiment comes from almost everyone: Nationalists, liberasts, Communists, foreign critics, Russian "experts" with far too much time on their hands, and even some otherwise astute observers. I don't disagree with the thesis, but do ask: Why is that such a bad thing?... Read More
A PR disaster: Five views on Pussy Riot's war. Go, read. Comment there if possible. Just a couple more notes: Since I submitted the article, commentator peter made one of the most convincing arguments against the validity of the sentence against Pussy Riot. I suppose this will be raised in PR's appeal. Just to clarify,... Read More
mls13 writes: That is actually a very intriguing question. I suppose there's a reason Matryoshka dolls weren't invented in Italy!
Just to hammer down the myth of Russian impoverishment one more time (with the help of graphs from Sergey Zhuravlev's blog)... In the past few years, in terms of basic necessities (food, clothing, housing) Russia has basically (re)converged to where the Soviet Union left off. Here is a graph of food consumption via Zhuravlev. At... Read More
One of the things that most annoys me about Western coverage of St.-Petersburg's law against homosexual propaganda to minors, the case against Pussy Riot, etc., is how it is almost always presented as a show-down between "liberated" and "creative" Russians and the macho dictator Putin. In reality, of course, it's a culture war - and... Read More
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Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.

One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.

Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.