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Soviet History

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Muh reparations! Muh slavery! This is nothing new. Demands for reparations have been issuing from the Baltics since the 1990s, the most energetic party typically being Latvia. Nothing will ever come of them, not least because Russia could always send them the bill for Soviet-era infrastructure and subsidized gas. Even so, cringeworthy whining regardless, do... Read More
One of the consequences of selecting a literary nobody for the world's most prestigious intellectual prize is that people will begin digging into their biographies. And find some very, very interesting things. This is what has been happening in regards to 2015 Nobel Literature Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich, whose main distinguishing feature seems to be... Read More
Artwork by Vsevolod Ivanov. A few months ago, I had the pleasure of participating in an "Ascending the Tower" podcast produced by neoreactionary luminaries Surviving Babel and Nick B. Steves. We talked about foreign policy, especially as it pertains to Russia, modern European and American history, the rise of Western universalism, neocons, and the Ukrainian... Read More
Contrary to what some might try to take from my post on the longterm failure of the Soviet economy, I am not an anti-Soviet ideologue. I loathe lies about its achievements and the blanket condemnations directed its way by moralistic poseurs every bit as much or more than I detest reality-challenged attempts to paint it... Read More
While writing this post on Da Russophile about why Russians do not (for the most part) hate Jews - a post that will also be of interest to AKarlin readers - I came across very interesting historical data on literacy and educational accomplishment by ethnic groups in the USSR. Per 100 people of respective nationality... Read More
While researching my article on Soviet economic performance relative to the US (it was bad), I came across this fascinating graph showing income inequality in the USSR since 1946. As you can see, the 10% richest Soviet citizens in the first postwar year were more than seven times as rich as the 10% poorest. That... Read More
Many Communists, leftists, and even patriots (I'm sorry to say) have a pronounced tendency to make out the Soviet economy as not quite the resounding failure it really was - or even to paint it as a success story that was only brought down by perestroika and liberal reforms. The above chart - based on... Read More
It is now nearly 20 years since market reformers began liberalizing the economies of Eastern Europe, or as some smart-ass put it, trying to revive the fish in the centrally planned fish stews. These stews, cooked to diverse recipes from goulash socialism to Soviet "structural militarization", were subjected to a wide spectrum of overlapping treatments... Read More
Following my posting of Russia's Sisyphean Loop, the influential East-Central Europe expert, Vlad Sobell, wrote up an interesting critique at the Untimely Thoughts Russia Discussion Group. It addresses what may be considered some weak, or at least not thoroughly explained, points from the original article, so I thought it would be useful to reproduce it... Read More
Anatoly Karlin @ www.DaRussophile.com PDF version | DOC version Russia’s Sisyphean Loop The Eternal Return to the Future? In this article I attempt to explain Russia’s historical cycles of failed Westernization and to project its future socio-political trajectory. First, I note the nature of and linkages between Russia’s geography, cultural traditions and imperial cycles. Second,... Read More
Review of "Moscow War Diary" (A. Werth) Werth, Alexander – Moscow War Diary (1942) Category: history, Soviet Union, WW2; Rating: 4/5 Soviet Resilience under Fire On 22nd June 1941, the armed columns of Nazi Germany began rolling into Russia, heralding the start of the Great Patriotic War. For Alexander Werth, a correspondent for the British... Read More
Scott, John – Behind the Urals: An American Worker in Russia's City of Steel (1941) Category: history, Soviet Union, Stalin; Rating: 5/5 The Great Depression of the 1930’s, with its iconic images of well-dressed bourgeoisie in soup lines and gaunt figures with hopeless eyes from the Dust Bowl, challenged the prior American consensus that their... Read More
With increasing signs of economic collapse, military overstretch and political problems, is the US doomed to go the way of the late USSR?
Inspired in no small part by the political charade over the bail-outs and boondoggles that plague the TV screens and electronic ether, I've compiled a top 10 list of ways in which the US increasingly resembles the collapsing Soviet Union for your information / despair / entertainment / Schadenfreude / ridicule / etc. A list... 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.