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All Comments / By Anatoly Karlin
 All Comments / By Anatoly Karlin
    The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov. For the first part, see: Russians in the 2oth Century. Part I: Origins to WWII. Incidentally, while counter-mainstream commenters in the West are hardly well compensated, this is unfortunately doubly true in Russia. If you have enjoyed our translations of him, a...
  • @Mikhail

    Depends on the context, I don’t quite see how Tsarist Russia was a victim of Western machinations.
     
    Crimean War, Congress of Berlin and Russo-Japanese War serve as examples.

    First World War and Revolution come to mind.

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  • @German_reader

    After this, the faithful Mahdi (the Islamic Savior) and Christ will fight together with the forces of Dajjal.
     
    So his Eurasianism leads him to combining Christian and Islamic eschatology?
    Wow, the guy seems to be even madder than I had imagined.

    His dalliance with ‘Islamic eschatology’ coming apparently through a personage who plays the prophets of doom (Sheik Imran Hosein) is baffling, to say the least. The Sheik, who has a no less baffling audience on other ‘Russian’ and ‘Orthodox’ sites, advocates an alliance between Muslims and Russian Orthodox, who allegedly are designated in the Koran (which he interprets in a personal way) as ‘the closest in affection’ to Muslims, against the Western-Zionist Dajjal! He tries to conceal the rabid anti-Christian thrust of all so-called prophecies, which inform the ‘ideology’ of the jihadis in Syria. In those ‘prophecies’ Jesus comes to ‘smash the crosses, kill the pigs, abolish the jizya (by making everyone a Muslim) and finally to submit to the Mahdi!
    Dugin is not a Christian. His philosophy was influenced by the ‘Sufi’ esoterism of Rene Guenon, the famous apostate.

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  • There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days. I don't follow domestic Armenian politics, but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan - who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs - has recently transitioned from the Presidency to the...
  • @Ali Choudhury
    Outside of a few ritzy neighborhoods which would have been out of reach of the ordinary locals going back decades, foreign oligarchs have not been buying that much property in London. Low interest rates are the primary reason prices have skyrocketed.

    Well that’s what I hear from people there. Although, you are right that the perception and actual cause of the problem are not necessarily the same.

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  • @Polish Perspective
    Eurostat is out with numbers on book reading. Curious trivia.

    https://jodi.graphics/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/People-reading-books.png

    France looks curiously low. And share is not the same as time spent. Here's that:

    https://jodi.graphics/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Time-spent-reading-books.png

    So France continues to underperform. Very strange. Finally a map:

    https://jodi.graphics/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Share-of-people-reading-books-2016-Eurostat-Jo-Di-graphics_.png

    Unfortunately the mapmaker is retarded. It isn't the "share of people" but "time spent" that is being highlighted. I was positively surprised by Greece and to some extent even Turkey. Outside of France I'd say the biggest negative outlier is Austria.

    https://jodi.graphics/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Expenditure-on-books.png

    Though if you look at expenditure on newspapers, books etc, both the French and the Austrians do decently well. Maybe they just buy more expensive books which are more intellectual but read less? Or maybe their newspapers are high-brow enough that less of book-reading is needed.

    I'd be interested in the quality of books rather than just time spent on books. Someone reading Harry Potter, 50 shades of grey and a ton of chick-lit isn't on the same level as someone reading a few major intellectual tomes per year. But I guess that would be too "elitist", or maybe hard to measure.

    I’d be interested in the quality of books rather than just time spent on books. Someone reading Harry Potter, 50 shades of grey and a ton of chick-lit isn’t on the same level as someone reading a few major intellectual tomes per year.

    Might be able to compile this from an index of sales stats based on popular, widely-translated science, history, etc. books (though I imagine Eastern Europe will be a bit underweighed due to widespread piracy).

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  • @Mitleser

    What did all those brave men suffer and die for at the gates of Vienna in the 1600s and centuries before?
     
    What did all those brave Roman men suffer and die for at the gates of Anatolia in the 900s and centuries before?

    “So that a man’s right to publicly dress up as a fruity Roman soldier shall not perish from this Earth!”

    If it weren’t for those darned Turks, it would be happening in Constantinople too!

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-27/turkish-anti-riot-police-officers-disperse-lgbt-community/7545284

    “So that the poz shall perish from the Earth!”

    Peace.

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  • The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov. For the first part, see: Russians in the 2oth Century. Part I: Origins to WWII. Incidentally, while counter-mainstream commenters in the West are hardly well compensated, this is unfortunately doubly true in Russia. If you have enjoyed our translations of him, a...
  • @Cicero2
    I wish I could have replied a few hours ago, but if you want to read some of Ilyin's essays in English, go to this website.

    https://souloftheeast.org/tag/ivan-ilyin/

    This was how I was introduced to his philosophy several years ago after coming across his wikipedia article. It was good to see the archive is still up for other people to discover.

    In particular, you should start with 'On Forms of Sovereignty' (1948), which cuts to the heart of how Ilyin perceived the international order and Russia's place in it.

    https://souloftheeast.org/2015/04/24/ivan-ilyin-on-forms-of-sovereignty/

    Thanks, that’s great.
    Have read the “On forms of sovereignty” article. Actually sounds pretty sensible imo, hard to object unless one is a mindless democracy fanatic (reminds me somewhat of our own times, where the attempt to introduce democracy in a country like Egypt merely led to the empowerment of intolerant demagogues, and then to military dictatorship again…democratic forms are useless unless the population is sufficiently educated and civic-minded).
    I should have been more sceptical of the image of Ilyin spread by Western msm…as usual it’s apparently gross misrepresentation.

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  • Speaking of Law, two dimensions of it are paramount for Law to be worth its Salt. The first dimension is what Paul mentioned about Ilyin, that being what constitutes the Law. How it’s derived. Are the Laws in and of themselves equitable? Do they promote Egalitarianism? What System do they preserve & protect & perpetuate? The second dimension is the administration of the Law. It’s of paramount importance that the Law be administered fairly & equitably. If you have to pay dearly to navigate the Law, as you do in America and most countries, then the Law is not administered fairly & equitably, and therefore, Justice is compromised and the Society enabled by the Law is imbalanced, favoring one group over another, and that one group, as the history of Civilization has shown, tends to be The Moneyed Class, and in this sense, the Law has tended to keep those not in the Moneyed Class in their place. The Law in that sense has served as a form of incarceration, creating false Barriers to Entry for those who don’t have Means.

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  • @PaulR
    Because I was asked, here goes:

    Like a lot of people on the European political right in the inter-war period, Ilyin initially engaged in a certain amount of wishful thinking concerning fascism, which caused him at first to underestimate its dangers. He also had some sympathy with 1930s authoritarianism, nationalism, and especially anti-communism. But Ilyin was also a firm opponent of totalitarianism. Eventually, the Nazis fired him from his job teaching in Berlin because he refused to include anti-Semitic propaganda in his lectures. He continued lecturing around Germany in defiance of the authorities until in 1938 he fled the country.

    Let's be clear - Ilyin is not a modern Western liberal democrat. There are lots of passages in his work calling for 'dictatorship' etc. If that's all of his work you read, you'll no doubt think the guy is a fascist or something close to it. But, there's also a lot in his work which gives a very different impression. Take, for instance, his attitude to law. For Ilyin, law is not something to be obeyed just because it is law and somebody in authority has dictated it. Formal, 'positive' law, he wrote, should try as much as is possible to reflect natural law, which he defined in terms of the right of every individual to live a worthy, dignified, and autonomous life, independent of external coercion. Formal law exists only for this end. Moreover, the state exists only for this end - ie the sole purpose of the state is securing individuals' rights according to natural law. This is a very liberal point of view, and explains why many Russian conservative philosophers nowadays describe Ilyin as a 'liberal'.

    So which is the real Ilyin? The authoritarian or the liberal? The answer is a complex, often paradoxical, mixture of the two. Ilyin supports authoritarianism over democracy precisely because in his time democracies had a nasty habit of collapsing and turning into totalitarian regimes (whether communist or fascist). This is because of the underdeveloped 'legal consciousness' of the people. Democracy could be stable in countries where legal consciousness was well developed, e.g. Britain, But elsewhere, and particularly Russia, it couldn't. Democracy therefore often did a worse job of protecting people's natural rights than authoritarianism. But the latter is only justified to the extent that it promotes natural rights and ultimately the authoritarian state should develop the people's legal consciousness to the extent that authoritarian rule is no longer necessary.

    This all fits quite well into the Russian liberal-conservative tradition, which believes in autocracy (defined in terms of centralizing power into the hands of a single person) but also believes that autocracy is an inherently limited form of government, justified by its ability to protect peoples' freedoms. Of course, to modern Western liberal democrats these elements are contradictory. But without passing judgement on it, that is what it is.

    Paul

    Well said.

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  • @Cicero2
    I wish I could have replied a few hours ago, but if you want to read some of Ilyin's essays in English, go to this website.

    https://souloftheeast.org/tag/ivan-ilyin/

    This was how I was introduced to his philosophy several years ago after coming across his wikipedia article. It was good to see the archive is still up for other people to discover.

    In particular, you should start with 'On Forms of Sovereignty' (1948), which cuts to the heart of how Ilyin perceived the international order and Russia's place in it.

    https://souloftheeast.org/2015/04/24/ivan-ilyin-on-forms-of-sovereignty/

    In particular, you should start with ‘On Forms of Sovereignty’ (1948), which cuts to the heart of how Ilyin perceived the international order and Russia’s place in it.

    https://souloftheeast.org/2015/04/24/ivan-ilyin-on-forms-of-sovereignty/

    Very nice.

    And yet, I suspect, the author would not view Ukraine’s artificial inclusion and forced integration into Russia’s political system so realistically.

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  • @German_reader
    Semi-failed academic in precarious employment.


    Must be pretty lonely for you!
     
    Why? Because of my "extreme" views? Well, I usually avoid talking about politics unless I have some idea where the other person stands.

    I wish I could have replied a few hours ago, but if you want to read some of Ilyin’s essays in English, go to this website.

    https://souloftheeast.org/tag/ivan-ilyin/

    This was how I was introduced to his philosophy several years ago after coming across his wikipedia article. It was good to see the archive is still up for other people to discover.

    In particular, you should start with ‘On Forms of Sovereignty’ (1948), which cuts to the heart of how Ilyin perceived the international order and Russia’s place in it.

    https://souloftheeast.org/2015/04/24/ivan-ilyin-on-forms-of-sovereignty/

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    • Replies: @AP

    In particular, you should start with ‘On Forms of Sovereignty’ (1948), which cuts to the heart of how Ilyin perceived the international order and Russia’s place in it.

    https://souloftheeast.org/2015/04/24/ivan-ilyin-on-forms-of-sovereignty/
     
    Very nice.

    And yet, I suspect, the author would not view Ukraine's artificial inclusion and forced integration into Russia's political system so realistically.
    , @German_reader
    Thanks, that's great.
    Have read the "On forms of sovereignty" article. Actually sounds pretty sensible imo, hard to object unless one is a mindless democracy fanatic (reminds me somewhat of our own times, where the attempt to introduce democracy in a country like Egypt merely led to the empowerment of intolerant demagogues, and then to military dictatorship again...democratic forms are useless unless the population is sufficiently educated and civic-minded).
    I should have been more sceptical of the image of Ilyin spread by Western msm...as usual it's apparently gross misrepresentation.
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  • Branco Milanovic - When autarky becomes the only solution This post-Cold War idea that corporations are taking over the world always seemed ridiculous to me. Consider the following: Wealthiest individual ~$100 billion (Bezos) Wealthiest corporation ~$1 trillion (Apple) Wealthiest country ~ $100 trillion (USA), of which states typically own 20%-70%. Plus, they have 95%+ of...
  • @Spisarevski
    Russia can actually pull of a full autarky even under present conditions if it really wants to. The current elites are too cautious and corrupt to enact radical plans and the majority of the population will not like drastic changes to their lifestyle. Still, it is possible.

    As Anatoly mentioned in an article not long ago, increasing your population is basically a hack to increase your national power.

    So if the 150 million Russians are not enough for the scale that is needed for an internal high tech sector to thrive and be competitive, then you can simply triple your population in 20-30 years time and with something like 500 million people Russia will have all the talent and economy of scale it needs to compete by itself with the best.
    If the likes of Saudi Arabia and Iran could grow their populations like that, then it is certainly possible with Russia's natural resources. Institute white sharia and manage the country's resources in a way which will make sure that having many children is affordable to everyone, and natality should be promoted and incentivized even more than it is now.

    Unlike North Korea, Russia has enough arable land and resources of all kinds to be self-sufficient. It will not starve like NK, or even stagnate, it will just develop slower if it's isolated. Even now it is mostly self-sufficient in terms of culture and technology, and it can be fully self-sufficient if need be. It will lag behind for a time but the weapons it has right now will ensure that it will not be conquered in the next few decades, and then the population boom kicks in.
    Meanwhile Russia's enemies in the West can actually collapse or at the very least become more and more dysfunctional, and with a much bigger population, Russia will be prepared to face the challenges of the future, whatever they may be.

    Russia can’t revert to “socialism in one country”. It just won’t work in the second and third decades of the 21.century. The pull of global economy is just too strong. So it’s “capitulation” or……at this juncture, Russia would be well advised to re-think Ukraine and respond to the next attempt by the Kiev dumbasses to annex Donbass (which has been practically announced for May) by an undeclared overwhelming blitzkrieg and changing the government in Kiev to a pro-Russian one. (Putin has to show he does not give a f*ck about the World Cup!) This should be sold politically in the West as a matter of urgent national security, given the West uncalled-for hostility toward Russia which forces her to re-establish its minimum security perimeter within the former Soviet “near abroad”. (This should have been done in 2014 but what the heck.) No babbling, no useless arguments, no begging, no laments, no calls for international law, which has been shamelessly broken over three decades every time it suits the U.S. and its minions. Should the West respond by maxing the sanctions, threaten the Baltics and re-take them if the West does not relent. Promise to return them if NATO is ditched. Russia absolutely needs a new international posture, and to show an absolute uncompromising determination, taking it to the brink, if need be. That is the only alternative to accepting the U.S. yarlik. Autarky is not an option.

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  • I got the opportunity to meet up with commenter AP this week. Had a very pleasant conversation with him, if a pretty short one as was necessitated by his busy schedule. I had been hoping to do a long post on my travels in Portugal, not nuclear war, this week. Will hopefully get that up...
  • Anon[198] • Disclaimer says:
    @Talha

    And the Tlaxcala liked the Spanish much better than the Aztecs.
     
    This is the plight of the little guy in history; find the better option for suzerainty.

    Since you bring up North Africa, ask the Berbers of Libya what they think of the Arab occupation?
     
    Historically - in that region, sometimes Berbers have had top-billing, sometimes Arabs. This is another issue that imported ethno-nationalism has brought up; "Libya is for Arabs" and other nonsense.

    There is no causal connection between straight lines and war.
     
    That wasn't my point. My point is that it is stupid to fight over and identify yourself over borders somebody else gave you.

    Case in point - the tribe of Bani Tamim has a tribal identity from before Islam - they straddle multiple nation-states across those straight line borders:
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/30/Map_of_Arabia_600_AD.svg/400px-Map_of_Arabia_600_AD.svg.png

    Are they supposed to all of a sudden identity themselves as Saudi or Kuwaiti or Iraqi or Jordanian based on some lines some British and French guys drew up? And consider other tribe members as "the other"? Why? It's fine if they want to, but it's also obvious why they would reject it.

    Peace.

    That wasn’t my point. My point is that it is stupid to fight over and identify yourself over borders somebody else gave you.

    That’s a good point. It was originally badly expressed, and it masks the general truth that Syria, Mesopotamia, and so on (I was mostly thinking of those two, given the context here) are ancient civilizations and at least quasi-national identities, separated by oceans of sand where the precise point of a line doesn’t really mean all that much. That’s why I posted about the US, to get you to think a little; that’s the main reason I post at all these days, to try to put a new and startling perspective on things (that and that I get sucked into discussions– I just had a long and fruitless one over on Revusky’s article; I think I’ll just quit it at this point).

    Your point is much clearer now, but (or “and”, if you like) I would argue that if it were shortened as follows, it would be wrong:

    My point is that it is stupid to fight over and identify yourself over borders.

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  • The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov. For the first part, see: Russians in the 2oth Century. Part I: Origins to WWII. Incidentally, while counter-mainstream commenters in the West are hardly well compensated, this is unfortunately doubly true in Russia. If you have enjoyed our translations of him, a...
  • @PaulR
    Because I was asked, here goes:

    Like a lot of people on the European political right in the inter-war period, Ilyin initially engaged in a certain amount of wishful thinking concerning fascism, which caused him at first to underestimate its dangers. He also had some sympathy with 1930s authoritarianism, nationalism, and especially anti-communism. But Ilyin was also a firm opponent of totalitarianism. Eventually, the Nazis fired him from his job teaching in Berlin because he refused to include anti-Semitic propaganda in his lectures. He continued lecturing around Germany in defiance of the authorities until in 1938 he fled the country.

    Let's be clear - Ilyin is not a modern Western liberal democrat. There are lots of passages in his work calling for 'dictatorship' etc. If that's all of his work you read, you'll no doubt think the guy is a fascist or something close to it. But, there's also a lot in his work which gives a very different impression. Take, for instance, his attitude to law. For Ilyin, law is not something to be obeyed just because it is law and somebody in authority has dictated it. Formal, 'positive' law, he wrote, should try as much as is possible to reflect natural law, which he defined in terms of the right of every individual to live a worthy, dignified, and autonomous life, independent of external coercion. Formal law exists only for this end. Moreover, the state exists only for this end - ie the sole purpose of the state is securing individuals' rights according to natural law. This is a very liberal point of view, and explains why many Russian conservative philosophers nowadays describe Ilyin as a 'liberal'.

    So which is the real Ilyin? The authoritarian or the liberal? The answer is a complex, often paradoxical, mixture of the two. Ilyin supports authoritarianism over democracy precisely because in his time democracies had a nasty habit of collapsing and turning into totalitarian regimes (whether communist or fascist). This is because of the underdeveloped 'legal consciousness' of the people. Democracy could be stable in countries where legal consciousness was well developed, e.g. Britain, But elsewhere, and particularly Russia, it couldn't. Democracy therefore often did a worse job of protecting people's natural rights than authoritarianism. But the latter is only justified to the extent that it promotes natural rights and ultimately the authoritarian state should develop the people's legal consciousness to the extent that authoritarian rule is no longer necessary.

    This all fits quite well into the Russian liberal-conservative tradition, which believes in autocracy (defined in terms of centralizing power into the hands of a single person) but also believes that autocracy is an inherently limited form of government, justified by its ability to protect peoples' freedoms. Of course, to modern Western liberal democrats these elements are contradictory. But without passing judgement on it, that is what it is.

    Paul

    That’s an excellent response. Thanks. I will chew on it for a day or two. There’s much to consider and ponder.

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  • There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days. I don't follow domestic Armenian politics, but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan - who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs - has recently transitioned from the Presidency to the...
  • Russia is not irked by the resignation. Declarations indicate indifference toward the unrest.

    https://themoscowtimes.com/news/moscow-reacts-to-resignation-of-armenian-prime-minister-sargsyan-61243

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  • @Dmitry
    That's the logical and rational view.

    But EU is also worshiped by some - middle-class and educated - Western demographics as a new religion.

    Even in the UK, it was very divided, the society, on this question - and the end result of the voting was within a couple of percent.

    And the UK - is the country in the EU, with the lowest approval ratings for the EU.

    In addition, I would worry that younger generations are very brainwashed into this religion.

    This is much more amongst people like Spanish. When I was learning Spanish, I used read sometimes the Spanish newspaper websites - and they publish many irrational and emotional articles saying how wonderful the EU is (it is a very accepted viewpoint there).

    The young quite like the prospect of being able to work, travel, study and live without restriction in a polity of half a billion people. How they live their lives and spend their time predisposes them to favour the EU.

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  • @Hyperborean
    Just because the people selling their country to the highest bidder only care about getting the highest price doesn't mean ordinary Georgians don't resent it.

    Considering how even in full-pozzed London I've heard ordinary people complain about all the foreign oligarchs buying up everything, I don't find it hard to believe that Georgians might find it painful.

    Outside of a few ritzy neighborhoods which would have been out of reach of the ordinary locals going back decades, foreign oligarchs have not been buying that much property in London. Low interest rates are the primary reason prices have skyrocketed.

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    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    Well that's what I hear from people there. Although, you are right that the perception and actual cause of the problem are not necessarily the same.
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  • @Mitleser

    It came from the investment in capital/technology.
     
    That and very favorable geography which includes cheap water and soil.

    https://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/usa_great.jpg

    And all those waterways connecting to the world ocean. Almost free transport.

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  • @Polish Perspective

    I understand we needed foreigners to run the show
     
    There's a significant difference between taking in selective FDI in key industries and outright letting "foreigners run the show". East Asia and especially China did the former. Are you sure you are a nationalist?

    but please don’t turn this into a morality play of how they are supposed to “subsidize” us.
     
    My argument is much simpler. The West gains more from the East once you consider all three factors: public funds, private funds and labour movement. In the debate, we only hear about the first. We never hear about the last two.

    Therefore, the solution I prefer is clean and simple: we stop receiving public funds(literal pay-off money) and they stop getting free labour+monopolistic access to our domestic market. Don't forget that 75% of our EU funds are re-invested in Western European companies.

    The thing is, the West knows this. Günther Öttinger, who is in charge of cohesion funds has all but admitted this. There's a quote I'm too lazy to google where he says in half-jest that if anything the EU should pay EE countries more. But instead of that, my preferred option would achieve a far cleaner break. However, the West would also never agree to it, precisely because they know the real scorecard, which is why their threats of cutting EU funds during the asylum crisis was always a hoax.

    It's interesting, but perhaps not surprising, that Eastern Europeans like yourself have completely and whoolly swallowed the "you should be grateful" meme, while warning about "morality tales" when you aren't advocating for your own colonisation of "letting foreigners running the show".

    I doubt most Poles would be keen to ditch the opportunity of making German wages out of some sort of nationalistic amour propre.

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  • @Thorfinnsson
    Low domestic gas prices are only a problem if it results in production dropping below domestic demand, with demand substituted by imports.

    Obviously this will not happen since the imports themselves would be LNG, excluding Canadian imports which are benign (and Canada doesn't have enough reserves to replace American producers in bulk).

    Increased gas production to satisfy export demand will simply result in us running out of gas reserves sooner at the expensive of a smaller heavy industrial production base.

    In the long-term I'm also skeptical of the viability of LNG in any case. With the development of OBOR and Russia's own efforts it's inevitable that FSU and Persian Gulf gas will be delivered to East Asia by pipeline.

    It's also worth pointing out that according to the US Energy Information Agency that China presently has the world's largest reserves of technically recoverable shale gas. Exploitation is a problem owing to distance from water resources and a lack of technological expertise.

    These are surmountable problems as proven by America's fracking industry. Both the Eagle Ford and Bakken formations are in dry areas not very close to fresh water, and the fracking industry didn't even exist at the turn of the century. Dick Cheney promoted invading Iraq because his energy working group predicted that by this time America would be importing 90% of its oil consumption.

    Meanwhile larger and more competitive industries in chemicals, steel, fertilizer, plastics, cement, etc. add more final value and represent a greater overall level of product complexity and technical efficiency. As most of these products are themselves intermediate input goods they'll increase the competitiveness of our final goods industries as well.

    Another possible use of our gas supremacy is in our world class freight railroad system. Currently this system is diesel-based. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad (a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary) is currently experimenting with gas-powered locomotives.

    China (and Asia in general) are going to be severely water-stressed over the next few decades.

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  • The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov. For the first part, see: Russians in the 2oth Century. Part I: Origins to WWII. Incidentally, while counter-mainstream commenters in the West are hardly well compensated, this is unfortunately doubly true in Russia. If you have enjoyed our translations of him, a...
  • @PaulR
    Because I was asked, here goes:

    Like a lot of people on the European political right in the inter-war period, Ilyin initially engaged in a certain amount of wishful thinking concerning fascism, which caused him at first to underestimate its dangers. He also had some sympathy with 1930s authoritarianism, nationalism, and especially anti-communism. But Ilyin was also a firm opponent of totalitarianism. Eventually, the Nazis fired him from his job teaching in Berlin because he refused to include anti-Semitic propaganda in his lectures. He continued lecturing around Germany in defiance of the authorities until in 1938 he fled the country.

    Let's be clear - Ilyin is not a modern Western liberal democrat. There are lots of passages in his work calling for 'dictatorship' etc. If that's all of his work you read, you'll no doubt think the guy is a fascist or something close to it. But, there's also a lot in his work which gives a very different impression. Take, for instance, his attitude to law. For Ilyin, law is not something to be obeyed just because it is law and somebody in authority has dictated it. Formal, 'positive' law, he wrote, should try as much as is possible to reflect natural law, which he defined in terms of the right of every individual to live a worthy, dignified, and autonomous life, independent of external coercion. Formal law exists only for this end. Moreover, the state exists only for this end - ie the sole purpose of the state is securing individuals' rights according to natural law. This is a very liberal point of view, and explains why many Russian conservative philosophers nowadays describe Ilyin as a 'liberal'.

    So which is the real Ilyin? The authoritarian or the liberal? The answer is a complex, often paradoxical, mixture of the two. Ilyin supports authoritarianism over democracy precisely because in his time democracies had a nasty habit of collapsing and turning into totalitarian regimes (whether communist or fascist). This is because of the underdeveloped 'legal consciousness' of the people. Democracy could be stable in countries where legal consciousness was well developed, e.g. Britain, But elsewhere, and particularly Russia, it couldn't. Democracy therefore often did a worse job of protecting people's natural rights than authoritarianism. But the latter is only justified to the extent that it promotes natural rights and ultimately the authoritarian state should develop the people's legal consciousness to the extent that authoritarian rule is no longer necessary.

    This all fits quite well into the Russian liberal-conservative tradition, which believes in autocracy (defined in terms of centralizing power into the hands of a single person) but also believes that autocracy is an inherently limited form of government, justified by its ability to protect peoples' freedoms. Of course, to modern Western liberal democrats these elements are contradictory. But without passing judgement on it, that is what it is.

    Paul

    This all fits quite well into the Russian liberal-conservative tradition, which believes in autocracy (defined in terms of centralizing power into the hands of a single person) but also believes that autocracy is an inherently limited form of government, justified by its ability to protect peoples’ freedoms. Of course, to modern Western liberal democrats these elements are contradictory. But without passing judgement on it, that is what it is.

    Doesn’t negate the idea of having competent personnel around that single person, with the aforementioned group being very much involved in impacting the decision making process.

    Modern Western liberal democrats“, have some contradictions of their own.

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  • @German_reader

    To be sure, he had cynical views about Western policies towards Russia – does anyone here even disagree?

     

    Depends on the context, I don't quite see how Tsarist Russia was a victim of Western machinations.
    Have you written about Ilyin in detail before? Is some of his work available in translation, and if so, what should one read to understand his thought?
    I have no doubt that what Western msm and people like Timothy Snyder write about him is hysterical nonsense, but if possible I'd like to see for myself.

    Depends on the context, I don’t quite see how Tsarist Russia was a victim of Western machinations.

    Crimean War, Congress of Berlin and Russo-Japanese War serve as examples.

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    • Replies: @Seraphim
    First World War and Revolution come to mind.
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  • @Cold N. Holefield
    Maybe Paul Robinson can address this. It's Ivan Ilyin in his own words.

    Putinism: Rusia and Its Future with the West

    Europe does not understand the Nazi movement. It does not understand it and is afraid. And the more it is afraid, the less it understands. The less it understands, the more it tends to believe all the nagative rumors, all the horror stories of "eyewitnesses," all the frightening predictions. Radical left wingers in virtually all European nations create an atmosphere of ill will and hatred. Unfortunately our Russian [émigré] press is gradually also drawn into this, the [Jewish-liberal] emotions gradually become categories of good and evil.

    To this day European public opinion has failed to understand that National Socialism is by no means radical racialism that does not respect the law. The spirit of National Socialism does not lead to racialism.
     
    I love this excerpt.

    ....National Socialism is by no means radical racialism that does not respect the law.
     
    How clever. He's correct. It can just as easily be read as follows.

    National Socialism is radical racialism that respects the law.
     
    Remember, The Rule of Law is very important to Ilyin. It's a Central Tenet of his Philosophy. So long as its legal, it's virtuous.

    This excerpt also tickles me.

    The spirit of National Socialism does not lead to racialism.
     
    Once again, very clever on his part. He's also correct once again. It should and could read as follows.


    The spirit of National Socialism does not LEAD TO racialism because the spirit of National Socialism IS INHERENTLY racist.
     

    Because I was asked, here goes:

    Like a lot of people on the European political right in the inter-war period, Ilyin initially engaged in a certain amount of wishful thinking concerning fascism, which caused him at first to underestimate its dangers. He also had some sympathy with 1930s authoritarianism, nationalism, and especially anti-communism. But Ilyin was also a firm opponent of totalitarianism. Eventually, the Nazis fired him from his job teaching in Berlin because he refused to include anti-Semitic propaganda in his lectures. He continued lecturing around Germany in defiance of the authorities until in 1938 he fled the country.

    Let’s be clear – Ilyin is not a modern Western liberal democrat. There are lots of passages in his work calling for ‘dictatorship’ etc. If that’s all of his work you read, you’ll no doubt think the guy is a fascist or something close to it. But, there’s also a lot in his work which gives a very different impression. Take, for instance, his attitude to law. For Ilyin, law is not something to be obeyed just because it is law and somebody in authority has dictated it. Formal, ‘positive’ law, he wrote, should try as much as is possible to reflect natural law, which he defined in terms of the right of every individual to live a worthy, dignified, and autonomous life, independent of external coercion. Formal law exists only for this end. Moreover, the state exists only for this end – ie the sole purpose of the state is securing individuals’ rights according to natural law. This is a very liberal point of view, and explains why many Russian conservative philosophers nowadays describe Ilyin as a ‘liberal’.

    So which is the real Ilyin? The authoritarian or the liberal? The answer is a complex, often paradoxical, mixture of the two. Ilyin supports authoritarianism over democracy precisely because in his time democracies had a nasty habit of collapsing and turning into totalitarian regimes (whether communist or fascist). This is because of the underdeveloped ‘legal consciousness’ of the people. Democracy could be stable in countries where legal consciousness was well developed, e.g. Britain, But elsewhere, and particularly Russia, it couldn’t. Democracy therefore often did a worse job of protecting people’s natural rights than authoritarianism. But the latter is only justified to the extent that it promotes natural rights and ultimately the authoritarian state should develop the people’s legal consciousness to the extent that authoritarian rule is no longer necessary.

    This all fits quite well into the Russian liberal-conservative tradition, which believes in autocracy (defined in terms of centralizing power into the hands of a single person) but also believes that autocracy is an inherently limited form of government, justified by its ability to protect peoples’ freedoms. Of course, to modern Western liberal democrats these elements are contradictory. But without passing judgement on it, that is what it is.

    Paul

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    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Mikhail

    This all fits quite well into the Russian liberal-conservative tradition, which believes in autocracy (defined in terms of centralizing power into the hands of a single person) but also believes that autocracy is an inherently limited form of government, justified by its ability to protect peoples’ freedoms. Of course, to modern Western liberal democrats these elements are contradictory. But without passing judgement on it, that is what it is.
     
    Doesn't negate the idea of having competent personnel around that single person, with the aforementioned group being very much involved in impacting the decision making process.

    "Modern Western liberal democrats", have some contradictions of their own.

    , @Cold N. Holefield
    That's an excellent response. Thanks. I will chew on it for a day or two. There's much to consider and ponder.
    , @AP
    Well said.
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  • @Cold N. Holefield

    On Russia and some other issues, Tucker Carlson has been far more objective than what’s evident at CNN and MSNBC, as well as much of Fox News.
     
    Tucker Carlson is a Sanctimonious Arch Conservative Prick. What he and his ilk may give with one hand they take back double with the other.

    If you need him as Authority to support your argument, you've already lost your argument. If you don't need him as Authority to support your argument and lend weight to it, then don't give him Billing.

    Who in The West do you really think you're appealing to with this Poor Pious Russia Bullshit?

    I'll tell you who.

    People Like This

    FYI, I can find Russian Writers who speak as equally abysmally of Russia as this author speaks glowingly of it. Russia, like any other Country, is The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, but IT OWNS THAT and no author gets to place the blame for Russia's shortcomings, and it has many, on anyone or anything else but Russia itself.

    The author of the New York Review of Books article I linked to mentions how Putin's recruiting of Ilyin to legitimate his Potemkin Kleptocratic Government is rather ironic when you consider Ilyin's opinion of The Soviet Union and The Communists. But Putin's shrewd and since no one is left in Russia to challenge Putin on his Bullshit, he's able to shamelessly contain Ilyin & Stalin & The Soviets under his Deranged Propaganda Umbrella where Russia, not America, is that Shiing City on the Hill.

    Breaking News!!

    There is no Shining City on the Hill.

    Tucker Carlson is a Sanctimonious Arch Conservative Prick. What he and his ilk may give with one hand they take back double with the other.

    If you need him as Authority to support your argument, you’ve already lost your argument. If you don’t need him as Authority to support your argument and lend weight to it, then don’t give him Billing.

    Who among US mass media cable TV hosts is more objective on Russia? He makes some cogent point, in addition to having on some quality guests.

    You’ve failed to convince differently. FYI, I don’t exclusively rely on establishment sources – JRL court appointed Russia friendlys included.

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  • @Cold N. Holefield

    What Belarussians want, for obvious reasons, is to avoid the “Ukrainian path”. They are very afraid to be subject of a Maidan-like experiment.
     
    They're smart to be wary. The West hangs its Vassals out to dry. Look at Trump and Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico is a Protectorate.

    The West cannot be trusted. Former Soviet Satellite States that want to remain independent are going to have to be miraculously clever in walking The Independence Tightrope.

    Well, Batka was able to efficiently control “Maidanist viruses” within Belarus. In addition, people seem allergic to take liberal Sirens sings at face value. I think Belarus skillfully managed its post-soviet period and avoided the disease suffered by its two bigger brothers. In the post-soviet space, Kazakhstan and Belarus are the best performers.

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  • @German_reader

    In his talks he addressed the issue of Jewish collaboration with Soviets which he minimized and claimed that non Jewish collaboration was even larger
     
    Yeah, that's the standard line, and it's of course true that many Jewish businesses were closed down by the Soviets, bourgeois Jews deported to the Gulag etc.
    But I have my doubts whether it's the whole story.
    Some years ago I read a study about wartime Latvia (Björn Felder, Lettland im Zweiten Weltkrieg). It contained some facts which seemed very explosive to me (e.g. membership of the Latvian Communist party in 1940/41 was mostly Russians and Jews, with only the top level being ethnic Latvians...and even more strikingly: The Soviets made a big show of how they wanted to fight antisemitism, which the author demonstrated by reference to numerous leaflets, newspapers etc.)...and which are in stark contrast to what you generally read about Stalin's Soviet Union in the early 1940s (which supposedly was all about thinly veiled Russian nationalism by then and already well on the way to its later "antisemitism").
    Not that this could be in any way a justification for the mass murders the Germans and some local collaborators later committed. But it did indicate to me that establishment historians like Snyder don't go out of their way to look at issues that might potentially be controversial.
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  • There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days. I don't follow domestic Armenian politics, but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan - who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs - has recently transitioned from the Presidency to the...
  • @Polish Perspective

    Poland, for example, receives around twice as much free money or aid from the EU, than the entire world UN annual budget. I guess Poland might be the most aid receiving country in the world? (I wonder if anyone has done calculations of this topic?)

     

    https://i.imgur.com/yNvMzzD.jpg

    Poland isn't even in the top 5 once you adjust for GNI. It's true that Poland gets most in absolute terms, but that's also because we are way bigger than most EE countries. I find a lot of economic innumerate to fail to understand this point and just repeat "yes but they get THIS MANY BILLIONS". But without adjusting for economic size is meaningless. Sad to see that you are not smarter than this, Dmitry.

    Also, this is counted from the year 2000. The latest EU funds flow constitute about 1% of our GNI according to our central bank. The next one will be half that, even if no change is done, simply on account of a growing economy and a closer realignment to the EU median.

    Furthermore, whenever we are talking about EU funds this should be kept in mind:

    https://i.imgur.com/YNiPO03.png

    People only look at public fund flows, because it gives Western Europeans a moral edge ("see, it's only thanks to us because of us generous we are!"). In reality, you should count both public and private flows. Once you do that, EE countries are being drained of capital on a net basis.

    You can see this in sector after sector. Take retail. A German goes to shop in Aldi, Lidl or Kaufmann. All domestic firms. Poles and Czechs shop at the same stores, with Carrefour thrown into the mix. As you can see from the chart, the most drained country of us all is Czechia. No wonder euroskepticism is high there.

    And I haven't even talked about the fact that Western European countries benefit massively from labour and we lose, in some instances permanently.


    People only look at public fund flows, because it gives Western Europeans a moral edge (“see, it’s only thanks to us because of us generous we are!”). In reality, you should count both public and private flows. Once you do that, EE countries are being drained of capital on a net basis.

    You are correct, but the chart doesn’t show that. It’s quite misleading.

    In only compares the net inflow of EU transfers to the net outflow of capital income.

    Other inflows include:

    • FDI (FDI into Poland for 2016 was around 3% of GDP it appears–more than EU transfers)
    • Exports
    • Foreign portfolio investment (i.e. investment into a business short of direct control, as well as bond purchases)
    • Bank lending
    • Repatriated foreign earnings and debt repayments

    Other outflows include:

    • Outbound FDI
    • Imports
    • Outbound foreign portfolio investment
    • Outbound bank lending
    • Foreign aid

    In theory the capital (FDI, portfolio investment, lending) and current accounts (trade, debt service, repatriated earnings) must always balance, though in reality this isn’t always true (see the Eurodollar market for instance).

    Depending on what EU funds are actually used for they could represent a very good deal in that EU funds do not represent FDI, portfolio investment, or lending and thus involve no obligation to service foreign debt or send capital income to foreign investors. Knowing the EU I doubt the funds are used for anything useful but you would know better.

    In general outside of East Asia fast-growing and/or converging economies run current account deficits in order to grow faster. Norway for instance ran a current account deficit of 13% of GDP while it was getting its North Sea oil industry off the ground.

    If you want to avoid that you have to suppress consumption and increase domestic saving, hence the famously high household savings rate in China (and Japan until recently). Or you accept slower growth. Inbound FDI also makes it easier to acquire foreign technology and know-how.

    A good way to split the difference is through joint ventures and forced technology transfers.

    You can see this in sector after sector. Take retail. A German goes to shop in Aldi, Lidl or Kaufmann. All domestic firms. Poles and Czechs shop at the same stores, with Carrefour thrown into the mix. As you can see from the chart, the most drained country of us all is Czechia. No wonder euroskepticism is high there.

    Sure, but ALDI, Lidl, Kaufmann, and Carrefour doubtless have higher productivity and better merchandising skills than anything that existed in the Visegrad 4 or could’ve come to the fore in the post-communist period.

    As a result Visegrad people exchange lost profits for lower prices, better quality, and improved product selection.

    Of course you can argue that efficient retailers would’ve developed anyway, but this surely would’ve taken more time.

    The real question is whether the Visegrad 4 can create successful multinational corporations or if they will forever be comprador economies controlled by the German 1%. There are worse fates than that incidentally. Australia and Canada have been a comprador economies from day one for instance.

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  • Walmart is said close to $12 billion-plus deal for Flipkart

    Why should you care? Because if this deal goes through, a major Indian giant in the making will be snuffed out. We need more competition among the tech giants away from the US-controlled dogma.

    I had earlier speculated about the far more Westernised Indian elites and how that plays badly into a divergence path – as compared to Chinese elites who are far more rooted in their own country. If you look at India’s digital landscape, virtually nothing is different from a typical Western country in terms of what tech they use.

    The irony here is that Snapdeal(an also-ran) and Flipkart were both loudly talking about imposing capital rules which would have meant that foreign investors can invest but they can’t get controlling interest. Something similar was mulled in China after Naspers got a big stake in several Chinese companies, but those companies remained in Chinese hands even with a lot of foreign capital. This may now not happen in India.

    The NDA – the ruling Indian coalition with the BJP as its head – exposed the lie of them being any different than the Congress – the previous rulers, who are dynastic in Indian politics – when it refused these proposed rules.

    I actually read the BJP 2014 manifesto all those years ago and was excited when they mentioned a break with Western dogma. Sadly it was all fluff. They have maintained a neoliberal line and they don’t seem to understand the importance of your own domestic tech sector. India is one of the very few countries which can pull it off. I’ve argued before that in order to get Big Tech you need a Big Market first.

    So India is throwing this away, if the deal is completed. This on the heels of Indian elites embracing SJW trends like feminism with gusto in a way that doesn’t appear to be happening in China to even nearly the same extent. Of course, Polish elites are of low quality, but our excuse is that given our precarious position and our far smaller economy, it was inevitable that we were going to end up in someone’s orbit. India is big enough to chart its own course far more independently but the tragedy is that it seems completely unwilling or even incapable of doing that.

    So only China will truly challenge the US dominance in all fields. India seems intent on playing the supplicant. Russia is the only other major country which stands up to the US and for that it needs our thanks, especially in foreign policy. If even the Indian “nationalists” won’t do this, there’s no hope for the opposition. Then again, the Congress has actually run a more independent foreign policy than the BJP, interestingly enough. Especially when it comes to regime change etc.

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  • The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov. For the first part, see: Russians in the 2oth Century. Part I: Origins to WWII. Incidentally, while counter-mainstream commenters in the West are hardly well compensated, this is unfortunately doubly true in Russia. If you have enjoyed our translations of him, a...
  • @utu

    I find it ironic you didn’t notice this
     
    I did not read the books. I am familiar only with many reviews and his talks.

    But I guess it’s too controversial for someone like Snyder
     
    In his talks he addressed the issue of Jewish collaboration with Soviets which he minimized and claimed that non Jewish collaboration was even larger and he was saying that people believed in Jewish collaboration and that may explain (not justify) their action.

    In Jedwabne which I think Poland still is controversial as many people do buy the now accepted story the so called pogrom began with having Jews marching with the bust of Lenin form the monument that was erected during Soviet occupation. I think that bust Lenin was found during the exhumation that unfortunately was prematurely terminated under the pressure of Jewish religious groups.

    Probably you are right and I should take a second look at him and read his books first. My mistake came from me being still hopeful.

    Now I remember, years ago I bought Bloodlands but then I lent it to an acquaintance before reading it and completely forgot about it. Since then I moved to another country and the still another so I will have to buy it again if I want to read it.

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  • @utu

    I find it ironic you didn’t notice this
     
    I did not read the books. I am familiar only with many reviews and his talks.

    But I guess it’s too controversial for someone like Snyder
     
    In his talks he addressed the issue of Jewish collaboration with Soviets which he minimized and claimed that non Jewish collaboration was even larger and he was saying that people believed in Jewish collaboration and that may explain (not justify) their action.

    In Jedwabne which I think Poland still is controversial as many people do buy the now accepted story the so called pogrom began with having Jews marching with the bust of Lenin form the monument that was erected during Soviet occupation. I think that bust Lenin was found during the exhumation that unfortunately was prematurely terminated under the pressure of Jewish religious groups.

    Probably you are right and I should take a second look at him and read his books first. My mistake came from me being still hopeful.

    In his talks he addressed the issue of Jewish collaboration with Soviets which he minimized and claimed that non Jewish collaboration was even larger

    Yeah, that’s the standard line, and it’s of course true that many Jewish businesses were closed down by the Soviets, bourgeois Jews deported to the Gulag etc.
    But I have my doubts whether it’s the whole story.
    Some years ago I read a study about wartime Latvia (Björn Felder, Lettland im Zweiten Weltkrieg). It contained some facts which seemed very explosive to me (e.g. membership of the Latvian Communist party in 1940/41 was mostly Russians and Jews, with only the top level being ethnic Latvians…and even more strikingly: The Soviets made a big show of how they wanted to fight antisemitism, which the author demonstrated by reference to numerous leaflets, newspapers etc.)…and which are in stark contrast to what you generally read about Stalin’s Soviet Union in the early 1940s (which supposedly was all about thinly veiled Russian nationalism by then and already well on the way to its later “antisemitism”).
    Not that this could be in any way a justification for the mass murders the Germans and some local collaborators later committed. But it did indicate to me that establishment historians like Snyder don’t go out of their way to look at issues that might potentially be controversial.

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    • Replies: @utu

    Yeah, that’s the standard line
     
    https://www.scribd.com/document/72092745/Collaboration-Of-Polish-Jews-With-Nkvd-and-Soviets
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days. I don't follow domestic Armenian politics, but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan - who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs - has recently transitioned from the Presidency to the...
  • @reiner Tor

    foreigners run the show
     
    I used it in the context of cell phone providers, where at least two decades ago there could have been some need for economies of scale. I’m not wholly sure.

    In general I think my comment wasn’t clear enough, I mostly agreed with you. E.g. the “morality tale” referred to the supposed western “subsidies” which we lazy Easterners supposedly receive.

    Anyway, now there are some points you made which I actually disagree with.

    we stop receiving public funds(literal pay-off money) and they stop getting free labour+monopolistic access to our domestic market.
     
    It’s impossible. Our educated elites (and even the not so educated unwashed masses) actively want the ability to choose to go to work in Western Europe. Short of Eastern Bloc style border fences and criminalization of emigration, how can you prevent the West (actually, the western elites) from taking advantage of your labor force?

    And short of capital controls and full scale nationalization, how can you prevent the profit repatriations?

    So the EU funds will be cut, unless the V4 can somehow show some force, but it’s unclear how. Cutting those funds is actually popular in Germany, I’m sure.

    Our educated elites (and even the not so educated unwashed masses) actively want the ability to choose to go to work in Western Europe.

    You can’t stop braindrain. On that we agree. But you certainly can stop the great masses. We certainly didn’t see the kind of flood we saw post-2004 before and that is entirely by design.

    And short of capital controls and full scale nationalization, how can you prevent the profit repatriations?

    Capital controls may not be a hugely bad thing. China still maintain them. It’s important here to distinguish between FPI (foreign portfolio investments) and FDI. It’s the latter which you want, and even then I’d say that only some types of FDI is actually beneficial, and only if it is directed towards genuine productive and technological capacity. As for full scale nationalisation, it isn’t feasible today nor would it even be preferable even if it was.

    I don’t think the state should be running retail stores. I do think that we have enough domestic firms to do a good job today. Given that we can’t wrest control out of foreign ownership hands, we can at least tax them appropriately given their massively monopolistic position. However this has been blocked by Brussels at every turn. In an environment where modest EU funds get cut even more, I don’t see why we should restrain ourselves despite massive Brussels screeching on this.

    So the EU funds will be cut, unless the V4 can somehow show some force, but it’s unclear how. Cutting those funds is actually popular in Germany, I’m sure.

    On an annual basis, Germany contributes around 0.1% of GNI. It’s a rounding-error. I don’t think the general public actually cares much, and I also don’t think the general public which cares even understands how little Germany pays.

    That said, none of this changes my stated position: the best outcome would not only be cutting EU funds but completely eliminating them – in exchange for ending Schengen and ending monopolistic market dominance. The latter two will never be accepted by the West because those are the two areas where they are draining the Eastern part of Europe. This is also why we never hear about them in the debate, because it doesn’t the fit the narrative of “we’re subsiding the poor EEs”.

    The best outcome is rarely the most realistic outcome, but I honestly think less EU funds will be good for us in the long term. At any rate, the current EU funds is about 1% of GNI according to our central bank and it has halved for each funding cycle. This is what successful convergence is supposed to mean. So us losing EU funds will not be a huge blow at any rate and it will free up political capital to go after areas which causes a lot of butthurt in Brussels in the economic sphere. It will also make us even more immune to blackmail on 3rd world quotas.

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  • The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov. For the first part, see: Russians in the 2oth Century. Part I: Origins to WWII. Incidentally, while counter-mainstream commenters in the West are hardly well compensated, this is unfortunately doubly true in Russia. If you have enjoyed our translations of him, a...
  • @German_reader

    But I found him refreshing that he managed to change parts of Holocaust narrative and put it in wider context of butchery that was going on in the East were many actors were involved and that he does not neglect the role of the USSR.
     
    I didn't find him refreshing at all, his book is very conventional (it's also explicitly and vehemently anti-German in its treatment of the expulsions of Germans in the last chapter...I find it ironic you didn't notice this, given how you constantly accuse me of being a "cuck"). It's just an endless catalogue of atrocities, no original research. I also found his saccharine statement early in the book that he wants to focus on the victims, not on the killers pretty pathetic...that's just another manifestation of the modern Western cult of the victim. What's the point in writing about mass killings when you don't tell us about the perpetrators and their motives?
    He also shied away from dealing in detail with the interaction between Soviet and Nazi crimes in the areas annexed by the Soviets in 1940 (Baltic states and what was then Eastern Poland). From what I've read the Soviets presented themselves as fighters against antisemitism in those areas in 1940/41 and there was noticeable support by Jews for the Soviet occupiers (though other Jews became victims of the Soviets and were deported, that's also true). When the Germans came in 1941, they tried to use that to enlist the local population as participants into their race war. But I guess it's too controversial for someone like Snyder (who clearly wants to be an establishment historian) to deal with that...easier that just to pretend that the Soviet Union by 1940 was just a vehicle for Great Russian chauvinism and Stalin an antisemite.

    I find it ironic you didn’t notice this

    I did not read the books. I am familiar only with many reviews and his talks.

    But I guess it’s too controversial for someone like Snyder

    In his talks he addressed the issue of Jewish collaboration with Soviets which he minimized and claimed that non Jewish collaboration was even larger and he was saying that people believed in Jewish collaboration and that may explain (not justify) their action.

    In Jedwabne which I think Poland still is controversial as many people do buy the now accepted story the so called pogrom began with having Jews marching with the bust of Lenin form the monument that was erected during Soviet occupation. I think that bust Lenin was found during the exhumation that unfortunately was prematurely terminated under the pressure of Jewish religious groups.

    Probably you are right and I should take a second look at him and read his books first. My mistake came from me being still hopeful.

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    • Replies: @German_reader

    In his talks he addressed the issue of Jewish collaboration with Soviets which he minimized and claimed that non Jewish collaboration was even larger
     
    Yeah, that's the standard line, and it's of course true that many Jewish businesses were closed down by the Soviets, bourgeois Jews deported to the Gulag etc.
    But I have my doubts whether it's the whole story.
    Some years ago I read a study about wartime Latvia (Björn Felder, Lettland im Zweiten Weltkrieg). It contained some facts which seemed very explosive to me (e.g. membership of the Latvian Communist party in 1940/41 was mostly Russians and Jews, with only the top level being ethnic Latvians...and even more strikingly: The Soviets made a big show of how they wanted to fight antisemitism, which the author demonstrated by reference to numerous leaflets, newspapers etc.)...and which are in stark contrast to what you generally read about Stalin's Soviet Union in the early 1940s (which supposedly was all about thinly veiled Russian nationalism by then and already well on the way to its later "antisemitism").
    Not that this could be in any way a justification for the mass murders the Germans and some local collaborators later committed. But it did indicate to me that establishment historians like Snyder don't go out of their way to look at issues that might potentially be controversial.
    , @utu
    Now I remember, years ago I bought Bloodlands but then I lent it to an acquaintance before reading it and completely forgot about it. Since then I moved to another country and the still another so I will have to buy it again if I want to read it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days. I don't follow domestic Armenian politics, but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan - who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs - has recently transitioned from the Presidency to the...
  • @RadicalCenter
    The Glendale-Burbank-LA Area, quite often.

    The Census Bureau has it that there are 63,000 Armenian-born people in the 4 counties around LA. Not bad for a circumscribed area, but not a horde either.

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  • how smart are Armenians?

    Armenia blows but all the Armenians in the diaspora are geniuses. And you can’t just say that all the smart Armenians left because Armenia does well in all the chess olympiads and kicked the shit out of the much bigger Azjerkoffistan or whatever it’s called in their war.

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  • The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov. For the first part, see: Russians in the 2oth Century. Part I: Origins to WWII. Incidentally, while counter-mainstream commenters in the West are hardly well compensated, this is unfortunately doubly true in Russia. If you have enjoyed our translations of him, a...
  • @for-the-record
    My central university library

    So you are an academic (or perhaps a perpetual student)? Must be pretty lonely for you!

    Semi-failed academic in precarious employment.

    Must be pretty lonely for you!

    Why? Because of my “extreme” views? Well, I usually avoid talking about politics unless I have some idea where the other person stands.

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    • Replies: @Cicero2
    I wish I could have replied a few hours ago, but if you want to read some of Ilyin's essays in English, go to this website.

    https://souloftheeast.org/tag/ivan-ilyin/

    This was how I was introduced to his philosophy several years ago after coming across his wikipedia article. It was good to see the archive is still up for other people to discover.

    In particular, you should start with 'On Forms of Sovereignty' (1948), which cuts to the heart of how Ilyin perceived the international order and Russia's place in it.

    https://souloftheeast.org/2015/04/24/ivan-ilyin-on-forms-of-sovereignty/
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  • There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days. I don't follow domestic Armenian politics, but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan - who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs - has recently transitioned from the Presidency to the...
  • @Anatoly Karlin

    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?
     
    Correct, though only true for the sovok generation.

    Georgian restaurants in the USSR played the role of French restaurants in the US, as the elite place to go to place for status signalling purposes. Only French cuisine really is world class, whereas Georgian cuisine isn't (same for the wines). Now that there are mid-range Georgian establishments, the older Soviet people like to frequent them, since they continue to regard them as prestigious, even though there are no end of much cheaper (and better) restaurants and eateries.

    For the Moscow yuppies I think it's more about Georgia's (admittedly not entirely fictive) success at larping as a "European" country. This allows them to status signal how European and progressive they are.

    Georgian restaurants in the USSR played the role of French restaurants in the US, as the elite place to go to place for status signalling purposes.

    They did? I can’t recall a single one in my home town, where live 600,000 people and (at one time) the world headquarters of several major corporations.

    Only French cuisine really is world class, w

    “World class”? What does that even mean? Are you referring to quality, snob appeal, or something else?

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  • @Polish Perspective
    Eurostat is out with numbers on book reading. Curious trivia.

    https://jodi.graphics/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/People-reading-books.png

    France looks curiously low. And share is not the same as time spent. Here's that:

    https://jodi.graphics/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Time-spent-reading-books.png

    So France continues to underperform. Very strange. Finally a map:

    https://jodi.graphics/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Share-of-people-reading-books-2016-Eurostat-Jo-Di-graphics_.png

    Unfortunately the mapmaker is retarded. It isn't the "share of people" but "time spent" that is being highlighted. I was positively surprised by Greece and to some extent even Turkey. Outside of France I'd say the biggest negative outlier is Austria.

    https://jodi.graphics/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Expenditure-on-books.png

    Though if you look at expenditure on newspapers, books etc, both the French and the Austrians do decently well. Maybe they just buy more expensive books which are more intellectual but read less? Or maybe their newspapers are high-brow enough that less of book-reading is needed.

    I'd be interested in the quality of books rather than just time spent on books. Someone reading Harry Potter, 50 shades of grey and a ton of chick-lit isn't on the same level as someone reading a few major intellectual tomes per year. But I guess that would be too "elitist", or maybe hard to measure.

    France is no longer a European country.

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  • @Polish Perspective

    I understand we needed foreigners to run the show
     
    There's a significant difference between taking in selective FDI in key industries and outright letting "foreigners run the show". East Asia and especially China did the former. Are you sure you are a nationalist?

    but please don’t turn this into a morality play of how they are supposed to “subsidize” us.
     
    My argument is much simpler. The West gains more from the East once you consider all three factors: public funds, private funds and labour movement. In the debate, we only hear about the first. We never hear about the last two.

    Therefore, the solution I prefer is clean and simple: we stop receiving public funds(literal pay-off money) and they stop getting free labour+monopolistic access to our domestic market. Don't forget that 75% of our EU funds are re-invested in Western European companies.

    The thing is, the West knows this. Günther Öttinger, who is in charge of cohesion funds has all but admitted this. There's a quote I'm too lazy to google where he says in half-jest that if anything the EU should pay EE countries more. But instead of that, my preferred option would achieve a far cleaner break. However, the West would also never agree to it, precisely because they know the real scorecard, which is why their threats of cutting EU funds during the asylum crisis was always a hoax.

    It's interesting, but perhaps not surprising, that Eastern Europeans like yourself have completely and whoolly swallowed the "you should be grateful" meme, while warning about "morality tales" when you aren't advocating for your own colonisation of "letting foreigners running the show".

    foreigners run the show

    I used it in the context of cell phone providers, where at least two decades ago there could have been some need for economies of scale. I’m not wholly sure.

    In general I think my comment wasn’t clear enough, I mostly agreed with you. E.g. the “morality tale” referred to the supposed western “subsidies” which we lazy Easterners supposedly receive.

    Anyway, now there are some points you made which I actually disagree with.

    we stop receiving public funds(literal pay-off money) and they stop getting free labour+monopolistic access to our domestic market.

    It’s impossible. Our educated elites (and even the not so educated unwashed masses) actively want the ability to choose to go to work in Western Europe. Short of Eastern Bloc style border fences and criminalization of emigration, how can you prevent the West (actually, the western elites) from taking advantage of your labor force?

    And short of capital controls and full scale nationalization, how can you prevent the profit repatriations?

    So the EU funds will be cut, unless the V4 can somehow show some force, but it’s unclear how. Cutting those funds is actually popular in Germany, I’m sure.

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    • Replies: @Polish Perspective

    Our educated elites (and even the not so educated unwashed masses) actively want the ability to choose to go to work in Western Europe.
     
    You can't stop braindrain. On that we agree. But you certainly can stop the great masses. We certainly didn't see the kind of flood we saw post-2004 before and that is entirely by design.

    And short of capital controls and full scale nationalization, how can you prevent the profit repatriations?
     
    Capital controls may not be a hugely bad thing. China still maintain them. It's important here to distinguish between FPI (foreign portfolio investments) and FDI. It's the latter which you want, and even then I'd say that only some types of FDI is actually beneficial, and only if it is directed towards genuine productive and technological capacity. As for full scale nationalisation, it isn't feasible today nor would it even be preferable even if it was.

    I don't think the state should be running retail stores. I do think that we have enough domestic firms to do a good job today. Given that we can't wrest control out of foreign ownership hands, we can at least tax them appropriately given their massively monopolistic position. However this has been blocked by Brussels at every turn. In an environment where modest EU funds get cut even more, I don't see why we should restrain ourselves despite massive Brussels screeching on this.

    So the EU funds will be cut, unless the V4 can somehow show some force, but it’s unclear how. Cutting those funds is actually popular in Germany, I’m sure.
     
    On an annual basis, Germany contributes around 0.1% of GNI. It's a rounding-error. I don't think the general public actually cares much, and I also don't think the general public which cares even understands how little Germany pays.

    That said, none of this changes my stated position: the best outcome would not only be cutting EU funds but completely eliminating them - in exchange for ending Schengen and ending monopolistic market dominance. The latter two will never be accepted by the West because those are the two areas where they are draining the Eastern part of Europe. This is also why we never hear about them in the debate, because it doesn't the fit the narrative of "we're subsiding the poor EEs".

    The best outcome is rarely the most realistic outcome, but I honestly think less EU funds will be good for us in the long term. At any rate, the current EU funds is about 1% of GNI according to our central bank and it has halved for each funding cycle. This is what successful convergence is supposed to mean. So us losing EU funds will not be a huge blow at any rate and it will free up political capital to go after areas which causes a lot of butthurt in Brussels in the economic sphere. It will also make us even more immune to blackmail on 3rd world quotas.
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  • @Dmitry
    The census will only track a fraction of emigrants/workers. You can see above that officials are not using it when estimating for this question.

    You mean they’ll find them once you’ve told them where to look.

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  • The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov. For the first part, see: Russians in the 2oth Century. Part I: Origins to WWII. Incidentally, while counter-mainstream commenters in the West are hardly well compensated, this is unfortunately doubly true in Russia. If you have enjoyed our translations of him, a...
  • @German_reader
    Two of his books actually seem to have been republished in recent years:
    https://www.amazon.de/Wesen-Eigenart-russischen-Kultur-Betrachtungen/dp/393712974X (apparently published in German already in the 1940s)

    https://www.amazon.de/%C3%9Cber-gewaltsamen-Widerstand-gegen-B%C3%B6se/dp/3963210052/ref=pd_sim_14_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=0KNEV58FDG119KMQB9YB
    (seems to be a new translation)

    My central university library only has some tract by him from the 1920s about private property and communism...but I might try to get hold of that book about Russian culture.

    My central university library

    So you are an academic (or perhaps a perpetual student)? Must be pretty lonely for you!

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    Semi-failed academic in precarious employment.


    Must be pretty lonely for you!
     
    Why? Because of my "extreme" views? Well, I usually avoid talking about politics unless I have some idea where the other person stands.
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  • There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days. I don't follow domestic Armenian politics, but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan - who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs - has recently transitioned from the Presidency to the...
  • @Polish Perspective

    FDI was 176 Billion in 2016. Polish GDP was 469 Billion.
     
    China gets around 100-120 billion USD per year in FDI. Who knew that Poland gets 50% more than China with less than 1/20th the population?

    Please, learn basic math first before opining. Your basic common sense should have kicked in long ago when you even typed that comment.

    My mistake. The figure I cited was probably FDI stock. FDI net inflows are much lower, of course. Actual figure is 16 billion.

    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/BX.KLT.DINV.CD.WD?locations=PL

    Your basic common sense should have kicked in long ago when you even typed that comment.

    I stay corrected.

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  • @Spisarevski

    the EU it is the opposite – it is the new members which drain the money, and the old members who provide it.
     
    Actually it's the old members who drain the human and natural resources of the new members.
    The "money" the old members provide is not that much - in Bulgaria for example, when the membership fees are subtracted, the net funds received are about 500-600 million EUR per year, which is not a big deal, even for our small economy .
    Meanwhile, just the education of all the specialists who go to work in Western Europe costs billions of dollars more than the funds we received, and that education was paid with our taxes. There are all sorts of other hidden losses and lost profits as well - being forced to close perfectly safe nuclear reactors, to sell state monopolies and important industries to western entities under disadvantageous contracts that can't be broken because of "free trade" or something, and many others.
    Old member Germany is building a second Nord Stream while South Stream was denied to Bulgaria.

    Anyway I think Anatoly said somewhere recently that one of the main reasons the USSR fell apart is because it was uncool. While I agree, I can only hope that this will be true for the EU as well, I can't really imagine something more uncool than the EU.

    And this is why I can't understand for the life of me why are there sill sizeable factions in some countries that want to become part of the Western empire of niggerfaggotry, enormous and unaccountable bureaucracy (with commissars and everything) and hypocritical totalitarianism (the thought police varies from country to country but if this monstrosity doesn't fall apart, then we will all live in 1984 sooner or later).
    There is no freedom or prosperity waiting for you once you join these faggots - in fact, just the opposite.

    “the old members who drain the human and natural resources of the new members”

    Most British working people experience the drain on themselves, through lower wages, increased crime and worse public services. British employers, on the other hand, love the fact that they consider $10 an hour a great wage.

    The vast majority of the 3.5 million foreign workers in the UK are doing low-paid jobs, and paying little tax (for the others, see my next paragraph). One Polish child at a UK primary school costs about £6,000 a year, paid from taxes, while the tax paid by a minimum wage worker is about £880, so you need the tax from seven workers just for one child’s primary education.

    Male real median wages in the UK are lower now than in 1997.

    “the education of all the specialists who go to work in Western Europe costs billions of dollars more than the funds we received, and that education was paid with our taxes”

    You have a point there. My sister’s dentist surgery has dentists from Portugal, Bulgaria and Romania.

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  • @reiner Tor
    This is exactly my thinking. I’ve always thought it made exactly zero sense to export raw materials or fossil fuels in the long run. There might be short term reasons for that, but exporters should aim to move away from that and instead add value.

    An example could be Emirates or Qatar Airways. By taking advantage of their fortunate geographic location and the low fuel prices resulting from their hydrocarbon reserves they are selling a service with much higher added value than just exporting oil.

    It rather depends on the quantity of raw materials available vs. the real and potential domestic demand.

    Dubai for instance has far fewer reserves than Abu Dhabi, which is why they went for major diversification.

    Admittedly Emirates (as well as Etihad and Qatar Airways) could get into trouble in the future as a result of the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350. But if they do they had a good run, and Dubai’s value as an entrepot remains.

    But yes, the classical mercantilist formula is to reduce the cost of raw materials and increase the amount of value added by your own industry. There were some flaws in the formula of course such as the obsessive focus on the accumulation of bullion, and while “comparative advantage” is complete nonsense there are still advantages in less managed trade.

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  • Eurostat is out with numbers on book reading. Curious trivia.

    France looks curiously low. And share is not the same as time spent. Here’s that:

    So France continues to underperform. Very strange. Finally a map:

    Unfortunately the mapmaker is retarded. It isn’t the “share of people” but “time spent” that is being highlighted. I was positively surprised by Greece and to some extent even Turkey. Outside of France I’d say the biggest negative outlier is Austria.

    Though if you look at expenditure on newspapers, books etc, both the French and the Austrians do decently well. Maybe they just buy more expensive books which are more intellectual but read less? Or maybe their newspapers are high-brow enough that less of book-reading is needed.

    I’d be interested in the quality of books rather than just time spent on books. Someone reading Harry Potter, 50 shades of grey and a ton of chick-lit isn’t on the same level as someone reading a few major intellectual tomes per year. But I guess that would be too “elitist”, or maybe hard to measure.

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    • Replies: @LondonBob
    France is no longer a European country.
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    I’d be interested in the quality of books rather than just time spent on books. Someone reading Harry Potter, 50 shades of grey and a ton of chick-lit isn’t on the same level as someone reading a few major intellectual tomes per year.
     
    Might be able to compile this from an index of sales stats based on popular, widely-translated science, history, etc. books (though I imagine Eastern Europe will be a bit underweighed due to widespread piracy).
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  • The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov. For the first part, see: Russians in the 2oth Century. Part I: Origins to WWII. Incidentally, while counter-mainstream commenters in the West are hardly well compensated, this is unfortunately doubly true in Russia. If you have enjoyed our translations of him, a...
  • @Mitleser
    Try the German national library: http://d-nb.info/gnd/118970054

    Two of his books actually seem to have been republished in recent years:
    https://www.amazon.de/Wesen-Eigenart-russischen-Kultur-Betrachtungen/dp/393712974X (apparently published in German already in the 1940s)

    https://www.amazon.de/%C3%9Cber-gewaltsamen-Widerstand-gegen-B%C3%B6se/dp/3963210052/ref=pd_sim_14_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=0KNEV58FDG119KMQB9YB

    (seems to be a new translation)

    My central university library only has some tract by him from the 1920s about private property and communism…but I might try to get hold of that book about Russian culture.

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    • Replies: @for-the-record
    My central university library

    So you are an academic (or perhaps a perpetual student)? Must be pretty lonely for you!
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  • @German_reader
    Thanks, I'll have a look at it.
    I wonder about the books Iljin published in German, I suppose they'll be difficult to track down, but maybe I'll try.

    Try the German national library: http://d-nb.info/gnd/118970054

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    Two of his books actually seem to have been republished in recent years:
    https://www.amazon.de/Wesen-Eigenart-russischen-Kultur-Betrachtungen/dp/393712974X (apparently published in German already in the 1940s)

    https://www.amazon.de/%C3%9Cber-gewaltsamen-Widerstand-gegen-B%C3%B6se/dp/3963210052/ref=pd_sim_14_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=0KNEV58FDG119KMQB9YB
    (seems to be a new translation)

    My central university library only has some tract by him from the 1920s about private property and communism...but I might try to get hold of that book about Russian culture.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @utu

    Timothy Snyder isn’t Jewish
     
    I always assumed that he was. But I found him refreshing that he managed to change parts of Holocaust narrative and put it in wider context of butchery that was going on in the East were many actors were involved and that he does not neglect the role of the USSR. I have recently spent several hours watching through his lectures and realized that his take is more evolved version of my own take to which I arrived after realizing many years ago that Jews actually were not murdered in Germany as Germany remained to some extent a "country of law" (Rechtsstaat) and countries that were German allies could protect Jews better than countries that were occupied by Germany like Poland and places that were lawless like Ukraine and Belarus. His narrative met some resistance within the canonical Jewish Holocaustians but I think it eventually got accepted though his narrative is not ready yet to be utilized in the pop-history of Hollywood and newspaper headlines in Holocaustian indoctrination because it is too complex. However there are issues that he does not touch like the number of the dead. He also separates himself from Hannah Arendt take on Jewish culpability in Judenrats etc. On the positive side he tries to have a more balanced view on Auschwitz and the fact that it was chiefly a huge prison/labor camps complex and it began to play a role in extermination of Jews much later when the the final solution in East was pretty much completed.

    There is a current political context of his work. Just like Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" of 1993 neatly foreshadowed and prepared the shift of interest of American Empire form the conflict with USSR to to engagement with Islam, Snyder book by stressing Soviet crimes and culpability in Holocaust and explaining conditioning to which Belorussians and Ukrainians were subjected shifted the attention of the American Empire to the conquest of Russia's eastern provinces. Thanks to Snyder "the murderous" Ukrainians can be understood and somewhat justified and thus from being just the Holocaust perpetrators they became also freedom fighters against Russian imperialism and thus can be sought as potential allies in the American Empire's projects. It is possibly this was the main objective of his work. Some writings of Anne Applebaum about the same geographical area served similar purpose, i.e., to warm up the image of Poles, Lithuanias, Belorussians and Ukrainians. It is possible that Applebaum and Snyder sit in the same think tanks or at least are paid from the same sources.

    Academia always served the Empire. It is where from comes the подготовка, the preliminary "media artillery" barrage before the main attack.

    Applebaum is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[54] She is on the board of the National Endowment for Democracy.[55] She was a member of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting's International Board of Directors.[56] She is a Senior Adjunct Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) where she co-leads a major initiative aimed at countering Russian disinformation in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).[57] She is on the editorial board for The American Interest[58] and the Journal of Democracy.[59]
     

    But I found him refreshing that he managed to change parts of Holocaust narrative and put it in wider context of butchery that was going on in the East were many actors were involved and that he does not neglect the role of the USSR.

    I didn’t find him refreshing at all, his book is very conventional (it’s also explicitly and vehemently anti-German in its treatment of the expulsions of Germans in the last chapter…I find it ironic you didn’t notice this, given how you constantly accuse me of being a “cuck”). It’s just an endless catalogue of atrocities, no original research. I also found his saccharine statement early in the book that he wants to focus on the victims, not on the killers pretty pathetic…that’s just another manifestation of the modern Western cult of the victim. What’s the point in writing about mass killings when you don’t tell us about the perpetrators and their motives?
    He also shied away from dealing in detail with the interaction between Soviet and Nazi crimes in the areas annexed by the Soviets in 1940 (Baltic states and what was then Eastern Poland). From what I’ve read the Soviets presented themselves as fighters against antisemitism in those areas in 1940/41 and there was noticeable support by Jews for the Soviet occupiers (though other Jews became victims of the Soviets and were deported, that’s also true). When the Germans came in 1941, they tried to use that to enlist the local population as participants into their race war. But I guess it’s too controversial for someone like Snyder (who clearly wants to be an establishment historian) to deal with that…easier that just to pretend that the Soviet Union by 1940 was just a vehicle for Great Russian chauvinism and Stalin an antisemite.

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    • Replies: @utu

    I find it ironic you didn’t notice this
     
    I did not read the books. I am familiar only with many reviews and his talks.

    But I guess it’s too controversial for someone like Snyder
     
    In his talks he addressed the issue of Jewish collaboration with Soviets which he minimized and claimed that non Jewish collaboration was even larger and he was saying that people believed in Jewish collaboration and that may explain (not justify) their action.

    In Jedwabne which I think Poland still is controversial as many people do buy the now accepted story the so called pogrom began with having Jews marching with the bust of Lenin form the monument that was erected during Soviet occupation. I think that bust Lenin was found during the exhumation that unfortunately was prematurely terminated under the pressure of Jewish religious groups.

    Probably you are right and I should take a second look at him and read his books first. My mistake came from me being still hopeful.
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  • @utu

    Timothy Snyder isn’t Jewish
     
    I always assumed that he was. But I found him refreshing that he managed to change parts of Holocaust narrative and put it in wider context of butchery that was going on in the East were many actors were involved and that he does not neglect the role of the USSR. I have recently spent several hours watching through his lectures and realized that his take is more evolved version of my own take to which I arrived after realizing many years ago that Jews actually were not murdered in Germany as Germany remained to some extent a "country of law" (Rechtsstaat) and countries that were German allies could protect Jews better than countries that were occupied by Germany like Poland and places that were lawless like Ukraine and Belarus. His narrative met some resistance within the canonical Jewish Holocaustians but I think it eventually got accepted though his narrative is not ready yet to be utilized in the pop-history of Hollywood and newspaper headlines in Holocaustian indoctrination because it is too complex. However there are issues that he does not touch like the number of the dead. He also separates himself from Hannah Arendt take on Jewish culpability in Judenrats etc. On the positive side he tries to have a more balanced view on Auschwitz and the fact that it was chiefly a huge prison/labor camps complex and it began to play a role in extermination of Jews much later when the the final solution in East was pretty much completed.

    There is a current political context of his work. Just like Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" of 1993 neatly foreshadowed and prepared the shift of interest of American Empire form the conflict with USSR to to engagement with Islam, Snyder book by stressing Soviet crimes and culpability in Holocaust and explaining conditioning to which Belorussians and Ukrainians were subjected shifted the attention of the American Empire to the conquest of Russia's eastern provinces. Thanks to Snyder "the murderous" Ukrainians can be understood and somewhat justified and thus from being just the Holocaust perpetrators they became also freedom fighters against Russian imperialism and thus can be sought as potential allies in the American Empire's projects. It is possibly this was the main objective of his work. Some writings of Anne Applebaum about the same geographical area served similar purpose, i.e., to warm up the image of Poles, Lithuanias, Belorussians and Ukrainians. It is possible that Applebaum and Snyder sit in the same think tanks or at least are paid from the same sources.

    Academia always served the Empire. It is where from comes the подготовка, the preliminary "media artillery" barrage before the main attack.

    Applebaum is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[54] She is on the board of the National Endowment for Democracy.[55] She was a member of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting's International Board of Directors.[56] She is a Senior Adjunct Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) where she co-leads a major initiative aimed at countering Russian disinformation in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).[57] She is on the editorial board for The American Interest[58] and the Journal of Democracy.[59]
     

    During the war in Yugoslavia the West sided with Croats who until then had pretty bad reputation as being one of the most murderous actors of the WWII and it was the Serbs who were considered the heroes of the WWII fighting for the right cause. Many people, also in Israel, were confused at that time as they instinctively wanted to support the good Serbs and it turned out that Serbs were not good anymore and the bad guys became the good guys. Similar dissonance people suffer in the case of Ukrainians as they are being transformed into good guys and their enthusiastic participation in Holocaust and genocidal massacres of Poles (also Czechs) in Volhynia is supposed to be forgotten.

    This is a good illustration that the narrative is created by power and truth is treated instrumentally. The truth is a rhetorical devices (after Paul Feyerabend). Those who can claim they poses it win. But only in rare case the truth altered the balance of power as it usually power alters the truth, so the winner can also claim the high moral ground.

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  • There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days. I don't follow domestic Armenian politics, but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan - who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs - has recently transitioned from the Presidency to the...
  • @Thorfinnsson
    Low domestic gas prices are only a problem if it results in production dropping below domestic demand, with demand substituted by imports.

    Obviously this will not happen since the imports themselves would be LNG, excluding Canadian imports which are benign (and Canada doesn't have enough reserves to replace American producers in bulk).

    Increased gas production to satisfy export demand will simply result in us running out of gas reserves sooner at the expensive of a smaller heavy industrial production base.

    In the long-term I'm also skeptical of the viability of LNG in any case. With the development of OBOR and Russia's own efforts it's inevitable that FSU and Persian Gulf gas will be delivered to East Asia by pipeline.

    It's also worth pointing out that according to the US Energy Information Agency that China presently has the world's largest reserves of technically recoverable shale gas. Exploitation is a problem owing to distance from water resources and a lack of technological expertise.

    These are surmountable problems as proven by America's fracking industry. Both the Eagle Ford and Bakken formations are in dry areas not very close to fresh water, and the fracking industry didn't even exist at the turn of the century. Dick Cheney promoted invading Iraq because his energy working group predicted that by this time America would be importing 90% of its oil consumption.

    Meanwhile larger and more competitive industries in chemicals, steel, fertilizer, plastics, cement, etc. add more final value and represent a greater overall level of product complexity and technical efficiency. As most of these products are themselves intermediate input goods they'll increase the competitiveness of our final goods industries as well.

    Another possible use of our gas supremacy is in our world class freight railroad system. Currently this system is diesel-based. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad (a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary) is currently experimenting with gas-powered locomotives.

    This is exactly my thinking. I’ve always thought it made exactly zero sense to export raw materials or fossil fuels in the long run. There might be short term reasons for that, but exporters should aim to move away from that and instead add value.

    An example could be Emirates or Qatar Airways. By taking advantage of their fortunate geographic location and the low fuel prices resulting from their hydrocarbon reserves they are selling a service with much higher added value than just exporting oil.

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    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    It rather depends on the quantity of raw materials available vs. the real and potential domestic demand.

    Dubai for instance has far fewer reserves than Abu Dhabi, which is why they went for major diversification.

    Admittedly Emirates (as well as Etihad and Qatar Airways) could get into trouble in the future as a result of the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350. But if they do they had a good run, and Dubai's value as an entrepot remains.

    But yes, the classical mercantilist formula is to reduce the cost of raw materials and increase the amount of value added by your own industry. There were some flaws in the formula of course such as the obsessive focus on the accumulation of bullion, and while "comparative advantage" is complete nonsense there are still advantages in less managed trade.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Thorfinnsson
    The guy named himself after Frederic Bastiat, what do you expect?

    Bastiat is the same genius who proposed that France should unilaterally disarm, and that this good example would inspire Prussia to disarm.

    Louis Napoleon thought otherwise and wished to expand the French Army to a million men, but his liberal ministers were more inclined to agree with Bastiat's thinking though they didn't go as far as unilateral disarmament.


    Despite his failing health, Napoleon III could see that the Prussian Army, combined with the armies of Bavaria and the other German states, would be a formidable enemy. In 1866, Prussia, with a population of 22 million, had been able to mobilize an army of 700,000 men, while France, with population of 26 million, had an army of only 385,000 men, of whom 100,000 were in Algeria, Mexico, and Rome.[131] In the autumn of 1867, Napoleon III proposed a form of universal military service, similar to the Prussian system, to increase the size of the French Army, if needed, to 1 million. His proposal was opposed by many French officers, such as Marechal Randon, who preferred a smaller, more professional army; he said: "This proposal will only give us recruits; it's soldiers we need."[132] It was also strongly opposed by the republican opposition in the French parliament, who denounced the proposal as a militarization of French society. The republican deputy, Émile Ollivier, who later became Napoleon's prime minister, declared: "The armies of France, which I always considered too large, are now going to be increased to an exorbitant size. Why? What is the necessity? Where is the danger? Who is threatening us? ...If France were to disarm, the Germans would know how to convince their governments to do the same. "[133] Facing almost certain defeat in the parliament, Napoleon III withdrew the proposal. It was replaced in January 1868 by a much more modest project to create a garde mobile, or reserve force, to support the army. [134]
     
    Woops...

    Bastiat is the same genius who proposed that France should unilaterally disarm, and that this good example would inspire Prussia to disarm.

    I wish more Frenchmen were like him…
    Europe would be a better place.

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  • @Polish Perspective

    FDI was 176 Billion in 2016. Polish GDP was 469 Billion.
     
    China gets around 100-120 billion USD per year in FDI. Who knew that Poland gets 50% more than China with less than 1/20th the population?

    Please, learn basic math first before opining. Your basic common sense should have kicked in long ago when you even typed that comment.

    The guy named himself after Frederic Bastiat, what do you expect?

    Bastiat is the same genius who proposed that France should unilaterally disarm, and that this good example would inspire Prussia to disarm.

    Louis Napoleon thought otherwise and wished to expand the French Army to a million men, but his liberal ministers were more inclined to agree with Bastiat’s thinking though they didn’t go as far as unilateral disarmament.

    Despite his failing health, Napoleon III could see that the Prussian Army, combined with the armies of Bavaria and the other German states, would be a formidable enemy. In 1866, Prussia, with a population of 22 million, had been able to mobilize an army of 700,000 men, while France, with population of 26 million, had an army of only 385,000 men, of whom 100,000 were in Algeria, Mexico, and Rome.[131] In the autumn of 1867, Napoleon III proposed a form of universal military service, similar to the Prussian system, to increase the size of the French Army, if needed, to 1 million. His proposal was opposed by many French officers, such as Marechal Randon, who preferred a smaller, more professional army; he said: “This proposal will only give us recruits; it’s soldiers we need.”[132] It was also strongly opposed by the republican opposition in the French parliament, who denounced the proposal as a militarization of French society. The republican deputy, Émile Ollivier, who later became Napoleon’s prime minister, declared: “The armies of France, which I always considered too large, are now going to be increased to an exorbitant size. Why? What is the necessity? Where is the danger? Who is threatening us? …If France were to disarm, the Germans would know how to convince their governments to do the same. “[133] Facing almost certain defeat in the parliament, Napoleon III withdrew the proposal. It was replaced in January 1868 by a much more modest project to create a garde mobile, or reserve force, to support the army. [134]

    Woops…

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    • Replies: @Mitleser

    Bastiat is the same genius who proposed that France should unilaterally disarm, and that this good example would inspire Prussia to disarm.
     
    I wish more Frenchmen were like him...
    Europe would be a better place.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov. For the first part, see: Russians in the 2oth Century. Part I: Origins to WWII. Incidentally, while counter-mainstream commenters in the West are hardly well compensated, this is unfortunately doubly true in Russia. If you have enjoyed our translations of him, a...
  • @German_reader

    the author might be Jewish.
     
    Timothy Snyder isn't Jewish, but iirc of gentile North European (Dutch?) ancestry. I do get the impression though that he caters strongly to the interests and prejudices of American Jews (read his Bloodlands book...not impressed, and the very last chapter strongly irritated me).
    In any case, I'm not interested in hysterical hit pieces accusing Ilyin of "fascism", I want to know if some representative sample of his work is available in English, German or French, so I can judge for myself.

    Timothy Snyder isn’t Jewish

    I always assumed that he was. But I found him refreshing that he managed to change parts of Holocaust narrative and put it in wider context of butchery that was going on in the East were many actors were involved and that he does not neglect the role of the USSR. I have recently spent several hours watching through his lectures and realized that his take is more evolved version of my own take to which I arrived after realizing many years ago that Jews actually were not murdered in Germany as Germany remained to some extent a “country of law” (Rechtsstaat) and countries that were German allies could protect Jews better than countries that were occupied by Germany like Poland and places that were lawless like Ukraine and Belarus. His narrative met some resistance within the canonical Jewish Holocaustians but I think it eventually got accepted though his narrative is not ready yet to be utilized in the pop-history of Hollywood and newspaper headlines in Holocaustian indoctrination because it is too complex. However there are issues that he does not touch like the number of the dead. He also separates himself from Hannah Arendt take on Jewish culpability in Judenrats etc. On the positive side he tries to have a more balanced view on Auschwitz and the fact that it was chiefly a huge prison/labor camps complex and it began to play a role in extermination of Jews much later when the the final solution in East was pretty much completed.

    There is a current political context of his work. Just like Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” of 1993 neatly foreshadowed and prepared the shift of interest of American Empire form the conflict with USSR to to engagement with Islam, Snyder book by stressing Soviet crimes and culpability in Holocaust and explaining conditioning to which Belorussians and Ukrainians were subjected shifted the attention of the American Empire to the conquest of Russia’s eastern provinces. Thanks to Snyder “the murderous” Ukrainians can be understood and somewhat justified and thus from being just the Holocaust perpetrators they became also freedom fighters against Russian imperialism and thus can be sought as potential allies in the American Empire’s projects. It is possibly this was the main objective of his work. Some writings of Anne Applebaum about the same geographical area served similar purpose, i.e., to warm up the image of Poles, Lithuanias, Belorussians and Ukrainians. It is possible that Applebaum and Snyder sit in the same think tanks or at least are paid from the same sources.

    Academia always served the Empire. It is where from comes the подготовка, the preliminary “media artillery” barrage before the main attack.

    Applebaum is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[54] She is on the board of the National Endowment for Democracy.[55] She was a member of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting’s International Board of Directors.[56] She is a Senior Adjunct Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) where she co-leads a major initiative aimed at countering Russian disinformation in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).[57] She is on the editorial board for The American Interest[58] and the Journal of Democracy.[59]

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    • Replies: @utu
    During the war in Yugoslavia the West sided with Croats who until then had pretty bad reputation as being one of the most murderous actors of the WWII and it was the Serbs who were considered the heroes of the WWII fighting for the right cause. Many people, also in Israel, were confused at that time as they instinctively wanted to support the good Serbs and it turned out that Serbs were not good anymore and the bad guys became the good guys. Similar dissonance people suffer in the case of Ukrainians as they are being transformed into good guys and their enthusiastic participation in Holocaust and genocidal massacres of Poles (also Czechs) in Volhynia is supposed to be forgotten.

    This is a good illustration that the narrative is created by power and truth is treated instrumentally. The truth is a rhetorical devices (after Paul Feyerabend). Those who can claim they poses it win. But only in rare case the truth altered the balance of power as it usually power alters the truth, so the winner can also claim the high moral ground.
    , @German_reader

    But I found him refreshing that he managed to change parts of Holocaust narrative and put it in wider context of butchery that was going on in the East were many actors were involved and that he does not neglect the role of the USSR.
     
    I didn't find him refreshing at all, his book is very conventional (it's also explicitly and vehemently anti-German in its treatment of the expulsions of Germans in the last chapter...I find it ironic you didn't notice this, given how you constantly accuse me of being a "cuck"). It's just an endless catalogue of atrocities, no original research. I also found his saccharine statement early in the book that he wants to focus on the victims, not on the killers pretty pathetic...that's just another manifestation of the modern Western cult of the victim. What's the point in writing about mass killings when you don't tell us about the perpetrators and their motives?
    He also shied away from dealing in detail with the interaction between Soviet and Nazi crimes in the areas annexed by the Soviets in 1940 (Baltic states and what was then Eastern Poland). From what I've read the Soviets presented themselves as fighters against antisemitism in those areas in 1940/41 and there was noticeable support by Jews for the Soviet occupiers (though other Jews became victims of the Soviets and were deported, that's also true). When the Germans came in 1941, they tried to use that to enlist the local population as participants into their race war. But I guess it's too controversial for someone like Snyder (who clearly wants to be an establishment historian) to deal with that...easier that just to pretend that the Soviet Union by 1940 was just a vehicle for Great Russian chauvinism and Stalin an antisemite.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days. I don't follow domestic Armenian politics, but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan - who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs - has recently transitioned from the Presidency to the...
  • @reiner Tor
    In Hungary the genius leftist-liberal government in the 1990s privatized most public utilities. So you get your electricity from E.ON, your water supply from Veolia Environnement, etc. Our first conservative government (not yet Fidesz) In 1993 sold our telephone monopoly to Deutsche Telekom. They immediately raised prices and “sold” the Hungarian subsidiary their own obsolete equipment which was due to be replaced in Germany anyway. Now the Hungarian customers paid for it anyway within a couple of years through higher prices, but now we’re paying them permanent dividends. They are now in the broadband internet provider monopoly business (in most areas there’s still very little competition, with either them or UPC, or sometimes some other firm), which could easily be done by a Hungarian owned company. Though at least cell phone service (where DT became also dominant due to its earlier presence in the telephone monopoly, when the mobile business was still insignificant) is the more important part (probably it needs a bigger company as owner due to economies of scale), but even here: I understand we needed foreigners to run the show, and I understand that the Germans are not worse than others, but please don’t turn this into a morality play of how they are supposed to “subsidize” us.

    I understand we needed foreigners to run the show

    There’s a significant difference between taking in selective FDI in key industries and outright letting “foreigners run the show”. East Asia and especially China did the former. Are you sure you are a nationalist?

    but please don’t turn this into a morality play of how they are supposed to “subsidize” us.

    My argument is much simpler. The West gains more from the East once you consider all three factors: public funds, private funds and labour movement. In the debate, we only hear about the first. We never hear about the last two.

    Therefore, the solution I prefer is clean and simple: we stop receiving public funds(literal pay-off money) and they stop getting free labour+monopolistic access to our domestic market. Don’t forget that 75% of our EU funds are re-invested in Western European companies.

    The thing is, the West knows this. Günther Öttinger, who is in charge of cohesion funds has all but admitted this. There’s a quote I’m too lazy to google where he says in half-jest that if anything the EU should pay EE countries more. But instead of that, my preferred option would achieve a far cleaner break. However, the West would also never agree to it, precisely because they know the real scorecard, which is why their threats of cutting EU funds during the asylum crisis was always a hoax.

    It’s interesting, but perhaps not surprising, that Eastern Europeans like yourself have completely and whoolly swallowed the “you should be grateful” meme, while warning about “morality tales” when you aren’t advocating for your own colonisation of “letting foreigners running the show”.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    foreigners run the show
     
    I used it in the context of cell phone providers, where at least two decades ago there could have been some need for economies of scale. I’m not wholly sure.

    In general I think my comment wasn’t clear enough, I mostly agreed with you. E.g. the “morality tale” referred to the supposed western “subsidies” which we lazy Easterners supposedly receive.

    Anyway, now there are some points you made which I actually disagree with.

    we stop receiving public funds(literal pay-off money) and they stop getting free labour+monopolistic access to our domestic market.
     
    It’s impossible. Our educated elites (and even the not so educated unwashed masses) actively want the ability to choose to go to work in Western Europe. Short of Eastern Bloc style border fences and criminalization of emigration, how can you prevent the West (actually, the western elites) from taking advantage of your labor force?

    And short of capital controls and full scale nationalization, how can you prevent the profit repatriations?

    So the EU funds will be cut, unless the V4 can somehow show some force, but it’s unclear how. Cutting those funds is actually popular in Germany, I’m sure.
    , @Ali Choudhury
    I doubt most Poles would be keen to ditch the opportunity of making German wages out of some sort of nationalistic amour propre.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Dmitry
    You will surely be right that having lowers cost of inputs - should improve competitiveness of industries that use them.

    But to go back to the gas discussion, why is keeping the domestic gas price lower (and thereby subsidizing some industries), preferable to exporting more of gas as LNG, and directly managing to 'cash in'.

    I guess the answer would require study comparing the two situations.

    But there seems no intrinsic reason why the former is better.

    And the latter would seem preferable to me, because the result of lower gas prices in America (combined with export restrictions of LNG or I'm not sure what you propose), will be lower gas production other things equal.

    Low domestic gas prices are only a problem if it results in production dropping below domestic demand, with demand substituted by imports.

    Obviously this will not happen since the imports themselves would be LNG, excluding Canadian imports which are benign (and Canada doesn’t have enough reserves to replace American producers in bulk).

    Increased gas production to satisfy export demand will simply result in us running out of gas reserves sooner at the expensive of a smaller heavy industrial production base.

    In the long-term I’m also skeptical of the viability of LNG in any case. With the development of OBOR and Russia’s own efforts it’s inevitable that FSU and Persian Gulf gas will be delivered to East Asia by pipeline.

    It’s also worth pointing out that according to the US Energy Information Agency that China presently has the world’s largest reserves of technically recoverable shale gas. Exploitation is a problem owing to distance from water resources and a lack of technological expertise.

    These are surmountable problems as proven by America’s fracking industry. Both the Eagle Ford and Bakken formations are in dry areas not very close to fresh water, and the fracking industry didn’t even exist at the turn of the century. Dick Cheney promoted invading Iraq because his energy working group predicted that by this time America would be importing 90% of its oil consumption.

    Meanwhile larger and more competitive industries in chemicals, steel, fertilizer, plastics, cement, etc. add more final value and represent a greater overall level of product complexity and technical efficiency. As most of these products are themselves intermediate input goods they’ll increase the competitiveness of our final goods industries as well.

    Another possible use of our gas supremacy is in our world class freight railroad system. Currently this system is diesel-based. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad (a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary) is currently experimenting with gas-powered locomotives.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    This is exactly my thinking. I’ve always thought it made exactly zero sense to export raw materials or fossil fuels in the long run. There might be short term reasons for that, but exporters should aim to move away from that and instead add value.

    An example could be Emirates or Qatar Airways. By taking advantage of their fortunate geographic location and the low fuel prices resulting from their hydrocarbon reserves they are selling a service with much higher added value than just exporting oil.
    , @Ali Choudhury
    China (and Asia in general) are going to be severely water-stressed over the next few decades.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Frederic Bastiat

    People only look at public fund flows, because it gives Western Europeans a moral edge (“see, it’s only thanks to us because of us generous we are!”). In reality, you should count both public and private flows. Once you do that, EE countries are being drained of capital on a net basis.
     
    FDI was 176 Billion in 2016. Polish GDP was 469 Billion.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/poland/foreign-direct-investment
    https://tradingeconomics.com/poland/gdp

    FDI was 176 Billion in 2016. Polish GDP was 469 Billion.

    China gets around 100-120 billion USD per year in FDI. Who knew that Poland gets 50% more than China with less than 1/20th the population?

    Please, learn basic math first before opining. Your basic common sense should have kicked in long ago when you even typed that comment.

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    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    The guy named himself after Frederic Bastiat, what do you expect?

    Bastiat is the same genius who proposed that France should unilaterally disarm, and that this good example would inspire Prussia to disarm.

    Louis Napoleon thought otherwise and wished to expand the French Army to a million men, but his liberal ministers were more inclined to agree with Bastiat's thinking though they didn't go as far as unilateral disarmament.


    Despite his failing health, Napoleon III could see that the Prussian Army, combined with the armies of Bavaria and the other German states, would be a formidable enemy. In 1866, Prussia, with a population of 22 million, had been able to mobilize an army of 700,000 men, while France, with population of 26 million, had an army of only 385,000 men, of whom 100,000 were in Algeria, Mexico, and Rome.[131] In the autumn of 1867, Napoleon III proposed a form of universal military service, similar to the Prussian system, to increase the size of the French Army, if needed, to 1 million. His proposal was opposed by many French officers, such as Marechal Randon, who preferred a smaller, more professional army; he said: "This proposal will only give us recruits; it's soldiers we need."[132] It was also strongly opposed by the republican opposition in the French parliament, who denounced the proposal as a militarization of French society. The republican deputy, Émile Ollivier, who later became Napoleon's prime minister, declared: "The armies of France, which I always considered too large, are now going to be increased to an exorbitant size. Why? What is the necessity? Where is the danger? Who is threatening us? ...If France were to disarm, the Germans would know how to convince their governments to do the same. "[133] Facing almost certain defeat in the parliament, Napoleon III withdrew the proposal. It was replaced in January 1868 by a much more modest project to create a garde mobile, or reserve force, to support the army. [134]
     
    Woops...
    , @Frederic Bastiat
    My mistake. The figure I cited was probably FDI stock. FDI net inflows are much lower, of course. Actual figure is 16 billion.
    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/BX.KLT.DINV.CD.WD?locations=PL

    Your basic common sense should have kicked in long ago when you even typed that comment.
     
    I stay corrected.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @RadicalCenter
    Yes. A prescient warning about the folly of Turkish EU membership.

    Austria would be the first to go not only Muslim but simply Turkish. Turks by the millions would flock to Austria and Germany to join their large kin networks that are already in place. Already Austria, with its tiny population and consistently low fertility rate, was on the road to drastic demographic and cultural change in the near future. Beautiful Vienna will be a more savage, intolerant place ruled by sharia:

    https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4229/austria-muslims-vienna-schools

    That column was written four years ago. The population numbers are slightly worse now.

    What did all those brave men suffer and die for at the gates of Vienna in the 1600s and centuries before?

    What did all those brave men suffer and die for at the gates of Vienna in the 1600s and centuries before?

    What did all those brave Roman men suffer and die for at the gates of Anatolia in the 900s and centuries before?

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    • Replies: @Talha
    "So that a man's right to publicly dress up as a fruity Roman soldier shall not perish from this Earth!"
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/4549794-3x2-940x627.jpg

    If it weren't for those darned Turks, it would be happening in Constantinople too!
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/7545282-3x2-940x627.jpg
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-27/turkish-anti-riot-police-officers-disperse-lgbt-community/7545284

    "So that the poz shall perish from the Earth!"

    Peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov. For the first part, see: Russians in the 2oth Century. Part I: Origins to WWII. Incidentally, while counter-mainstream commenters in the West are hardly well compensated, this is unfortunately doubly true in Russia. If you have enjoyed our translations of him, a...
  • So, rumor grapevine concerning the 24 hour American IRS outage has the following:

    1: Russian SVR was deeply dismayed by Roselkomnadzors clown car antics regarding Telegram, and believed that Russian cyber deterrence was threatened by this public show of incompetence.

    2: IRS was taken down for 24 hours to have some lulz/bragging rights/making someone look more stupid that Roselkomnadzor. One cannot accuse the SVR of setting only modest goals for itself. 2/3 so far.

    3: IRS takedown was also because some SVR affiliated rich guys are pretty displeased with the state of US double taxation. You see, normal rich people have tax optimizers, certain Oligarchs have the SVR.

    4: Replaceing IRS website with a Roselkomnadzor notice “Website taken down for financial scamming” was considered, but not utilized due either a lack of humor or to the prophecies of Kek not being sufficiently advanced.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Artists' rendition of Roskomnadzor trying to block Telegram. The problem isn't even so much the cack-handed authoritarianism, though that's bad enough. Russian web censor Roskomnadzor's (RKN) blockage of Telegram several days ago will negatively affect the 15 million Russians who use the platform, which combines the functionality of Twitter (public blogs, channels) and WhatsApp (mobile...
  • So, rumor grapevine concerning the 24 hour American IRS outage has the following:

    1: Russian SVR was deeply dismayed by Roselkomnadzors clown car antics, and believed that Russian cyber deterrence was threatened by this public show of incompetence.

    2: IRS was taken down for 24 hours to have some lulz/bragging rights/making someone look more stupid that Roselkomnadzor. One cannot accuse the SVR of setting only modest goals for itself. 2/3 so far.

    3: IRS takedown was also because some SVR affiliated rich guys are pretty displeased with the state of US double taxation. You see, normal rich people have tax optimizers, certain Oligarchs have the SVR.

    4: Replaceing IRS website with a Roselkomnadzor notice “Website taken down for financial scamming” was considered, but not utilized due either a lack of humor or to the prophecies of Kek not being sufficiently advanced.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov. For the first part, see: Russians in the 2oth Century. Part I: Origins to WWII. Incidentally, while counter-mainstream commenters in the West are hardly well compensated, this is unfortunately doubly true in Russia. If you have enjoyed our translations of him, a...
  • @Anatoly Karlin
    Paul Robinson addressed that article pretty thoroughly: https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/bandwagon-of-errors/

    I haven't yet written anything systemic about Ilyin on this blog, but if you're interested in the topic, I'd recommend Robinson's archive on this topic: https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/tag/ivan-ilyin/

    Russian conservatism is one of his core specialties and he has a book coming out soon on this topic.

    Thanks, I’ll have a look at it.
    I wonder about the books Iljin published in German, I suppose they’ll be difficult to track down, but maybe I’ll try.

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    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Try the German national library: http://d-nb.info/gnd/118970054
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days. I don't follow domestic Armenian politics, but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan - who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs - has recently transitioned from the Presidency to the...
  • @Dmitry
    With all respect for civilized and secular Turks who also exist - overall, you could not achieve a faster way to turn Western Europe into an Islamic zone, than accession of Turkey (and her huge population) to Schengen Area.

    Yes. A prescient warning about the folly of Turkish EU membership.

    Austria would be the first to go not only Muslim but simply Turkish. Turks by the millions would flock to Austria and Germany to join their large kin networks that are already in place. Already Austria, with its tiny population and consistently low fertility rate, was on the road to drastic demographic and cultural change in the near future. Beautiful Vienna will be a more savage, intolerant place ruled by sharia:

    https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4229/austria-muslims-vienna-schools

    That column was written four years ago. The population numbers are slightly worse now.

    What did all those brave men suffer and die for at the gates of Vienna in the 1600s and centuries before?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    What did all those brave men suffer and die for at the gates of Vienna in the 1600s and centuries before?
     
    What did all those brave Roman men suffer and die for at the gates of Anatolia in the 900s and centuries before?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov. For the first part, see: Russians in the 2oth Century. Part I: Origins to WWII. Incidentally, while counter-mainstream commenters in the West are hardly well compensated, this is unfortunately doubly true in Russia. If you have enjoyed our translations of him, a...
  • @AP

    I do get the impression though that he caters strongly to the interests and prejudices of American Jews
     
    IIRC some Jewish critics were upset with him because they felt that his focus on Polish and Ukrainian suffering diluted the "unique" suffering of the Jewish people during those times.

    That’s pretty funny, one of the things I found so bizarre about the last chapter of his book was his treatment of characters like Jakub Berman in post-war Poland. The focus was almost entirely on how these people had to live in fear of Stalin’s alleged antisemitism…not on the fact that they were pretty repellent characters themselves who were instrumental in the creation of a communist dictatorship.
    He had similar tendencies in earlier chapters imo (e.g. the striking overrepresentation of Jews among NKVD personnel until 1937/38 only gets mentioned in the context of the Great Terror when they fell victim to a system they had earlier been part of; iirc he also had the usual line about Stalin supporting Great Russian chauvinism).
    And quite apart from that, it’s just a totally unoriginal book, little more than a tedious catalogue of atrocities.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days. I don't follow domestic Armenian politics, but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan - who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs - has recently transitioned from the Presidency to the...
  • @Dmitry
    The best solution for a significant proportion - especially young people, who want a job where they can afford a normal life.

    The main emigration is to Russian Federation, although I'm not sure if there is data available on the exact number of work permits issued each year.

    There are probably as many, ,or more, Armenians in Russia at any single time, than in Armenia.

    Seems right. I have met two Armenians who were born and raised in Moscow, one now settled in Glendale CA and the other in Burbank CA.

    I’d guess there are as many Armenians in the USA as in Yerevan (a million), with at least 250-300,000 of those in Glendale-LA Area alone (LA and cities bordering LA to the north such as Burbank, Montrose, and La Crescenta).

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  • @Thorfinnsson
    Sure, and I've long maintained that human capital trumps natural capital.

    And generally machinery (if we could somehow separate it from the kn0w-how needed to operate) trumps natural capital.

    But there's no reason to ignore the role of natural capital. The choice between processing natural gas into higher value-added products like chemicals, fertilizer, steel, fiberglas, etc. vs. simply exporting it makes it clear the former is more valuable.

    Keeping input costs low (without subsidies) is a form of low-hanging fruit. Capital and know-how on the other hand take more time to build up.

    And while the investment into know-how, farm machinery, improved genetics, etc. are obviously very important for why America is the world's largest food exporter, it should also be noted that we have more arable land than any other country in the world. #2 and #3 in arable land area are India and China, who for obvious reasons can't export as much food as us. #4 is Russia who with its smaller population perhaps will one day export as much as us (already has surpassed us in wheat exports).

    Even here my thinking is relevant. The #1 cash crop in America is corn (maize). A huge fraction of this is wastefully turned into sugar and fuel substitutes. In the absence of our bullshit ethanol and HFCS industries, we would export far more food.

    If you want a real investment story for agricultural success look to the world's second agro-exporter...which amazingly is the tiny country of the Netherlands.

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/09/holland-agriculture-sustainable-farming/

    You will surely be right that having lowers cost of inputs – should improve competitiveness of industries that use them.

    But to go back to the gas discussion, why is keeping the domestic gas price lower (and thereby subsidizing some industries), preferable to exporting more of gas as LNG, and directly managing to ‘cash in’.

    I guess the answer would require study comparing the two situations.

    But there seems no intrinsic reason why the former is better.

    And the latter would seem preferable to me, because the result of lower gas prices in America (combined with export restrictions of LNG or I’m not sure what you propose), will be lower gas production other things equal.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Low domestic gas prices are only a problem if it results in production dropping below domestic demand, with demand substituted by imports.

    Obviously this will not happen since the imports themselves would be LNG, excluding Canadian imports which are benign (and Canada doesn't have enough reserves to replace American producers in bulk).

    Increased gas production to satisfy export demand will simply result in us running out of gas reserves sooner at the expensive of a smaller heavy industrial production base.

    In the long-term I'm also skeptical of the viability of LNG in any case. With the development of OBOR and Russia's own efforts it's inevitable that FSU and Persian Gulf gas will be delivered to East Asia by pipeline.

    It's also worth pointing out that according to the US Energy Information Agency that China presently has the world's largest reserves of technically recoverable shale gas. Exploitation is a problem owing to distance from water resources and a lack of technological expertise.

    These are surmountable problems as proven by America's fracking industry. Both the Eagle Ford and Bakken formations are in dry areas not very close to fresh water, and the fracking industry didn't even exist at the turn of the century. Dick Cheney promoted invading Iraq because his energy working group predicted that by this time America would be importing 90% of its oil consumption.

    Meanwhile larger and more competitive industries in chemicals, steel, fertilizer, plastics, cement, etc. add more final value and represent a greater overall level of product complexity and technical efficiency. As most of these products are themselves intermediate input goods they'll increase the competitiveness of our final goods industries as well.

    Another possible use of our gas supremacy is in our world class freight railroad system. Currently this system is diesel-based. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad (a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary) is currently experimenting with gas-powered locomotives.
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  • @Art Deco
    Aside from some lucky rich people – the best solution for average Armenians is emigration.

    Best solution to what? Emigrate to where?

    The Glendale-Burbank-LA Area, quite often.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    The Census Bureau has it that there are 63,000 Armenian-born people in the 4 counties around LA. Not bad for a circumscribed area, but not a horde either.
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  • @Dmitry
    I've read this viewpoint (I think in Bloomberg article).

    But a lot of industry can be made more competitive through productivity gains and investment in capital. Not from having cheaper energy costs.

    If you can compare it to farming for example. America did not become the world's largest food exporter, by 'lowering the costs of water and soil'.

    It came from the investment in capital/technology.

    Sure, and I’ve long maintained that human capital trumps natural capital.

    And generally machinery (if we could somehow separate it from the kn0w-how needed to operate) trumps natural capital.

    But there’s no reason to ignore the role of natural capital. The choice between processing natural gas into higher value-added products like chemicals, fertilizer, steel, fiberglas, etc. vs. simply exporting it makes it clear the former is more valuable.

    Keeping input costs low (without subsidies) is a form of low-hanging fruit. Capital and know-how on the other hand take more time to build up.

    And while the investment into know-how, farm machinery, improved genetics, etc. are obviously very important for why America is the world’s largest food exporter, it should also be noted that we have more arable land than any other country in the world. #2 and #3 in arable land area are India and China, who for obvious reasons can’t export as much food as us. #4 is Russia who with its smaller population perhaps will one day export as much as us (already has surpassed us in wheat exports).

    Even here my thinking is relevant. The #1 cash crop in America is corn (maize). A huge fraction of this is wastefully turned into sugar and fuel substitutes. In the absence of our bullshit ethanol and HFCS industries, we would export far more food.

    If you want a real investment story for agricultural success look to the world’s second agro-exporter…which amazingly is the tiny country of the Netherlands.

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/09/holland-agriculture-sustainable-farming/

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    • Replies: @Dmitry
    You will surely be right that having lowers cost of inputs - should improve competitiveness of industries that use them.

    But to go back to the gas discussion, why is keeping the domestic gas price lower (and thereby subsidizing some industries), preferable to exporting more of gas as LNG, and directly managing to 'cash in'.

    I guess the answer would require study comparing the two situations.

    But there seems no intrinsic reason why the former is better.

    And the latter would seem preferable to me, because the result of lower gas prices in America (combined with export restrictions of LNG or I'm not sure what you propose), will be lower gas production other things equal.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anatoly Karlin
    This is all very plausible.

    There's been occasional stories in the media about Jewish repats who went back to Russia (i.e. Moscow) because Israel was too provincial for the tastes they'd developed.

    Yes compared to Moscow, it is surely very culturally provincial, in every sense.

    But the chaotic, primitive Middle Eastern, atmosphere is a different issue entirely (some people instantly fall in love with chaotic Middle Eastern atmospheres, some people hate it).

    -

    By the way I read a good article this week on people emigrating from Israel

    https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/3591450

    -

    As for Georgia. I haven’t been to the region. But the atmosphere surely something similar there. And plenty of tourists are falling in love with these more chaotic atmospheres. But I don’t think they will confuse it with the West.

    Read More
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  • The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov. For the first part, see: Russians in the 2oth Century. Part I: Origins to WWII. Incidentally, while counter-mainstream commenters in the West are hardly well compensated, this is unfortunately doubly true in Russia. If you have enjoyed our translations of him, a...
  • @Aedib

    Belarus will eventually accede to Russia,
     
    I don’t think so. What Belarussians want, for obvious reasons, is to avoid the “Ukrainian path”. They are very afraid to be subject of a Maidan-like experiment.

    What Belarussians want, for obvious reasons, is to avoid the “Ukrainian path”. They are very afraid to be subject of a Maidan-like experiment.

    They’re smart to be wary. The West hangs its Vassals out to dry. Look at Trump and Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico is a Protectorate.

    The West cannot be trusted. Former Soviet Satellite States that want to remain independent are going to have to be miraculously clever in walking The Independence Tightrope.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Aedib
    Well, Batka was able to efficiently control “Maidanist viruses” within Belarus. In addition, people seem allergic to take liberal Sirens sings at face value. I think Belarus skillfully managed its post-soviet period and avoided the disease suffered by its two bigger brothers. In the post-soviet space, Kazakhstan and Belarus are the best performers.
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  • There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days. I don't follow domestic Armenian politics, but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan - who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs - has recently transitioned from the Presidency to the...
  • @Dmitry
    I've read this viewpoint (I think in Bloomberg article).

    But a lot of industry can be made more competitive through productivity gains and investment in capital. Not from having cheaper energy costs.

    If you can compare it to farming for example. America did not become the world's largest food exporter, by 'lowering the costs of water and soil'.

    It came from the investment in capital/technology.

    It came from the investment in capital/technology.

    That and very favorable geography which includes cheap water and soil.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    And all those waterways connecting to the world ocean. Almost free transport.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov. For the first part, see: Russians in the 2oth Century. Part I: Origins to WWII. Incidentally, while counter-mainstream commenters in the West are hardly well compensated, this is unfortunately doubly true in Russia. If you have enjoyed our translations of him, a...
  • Maybe Paul Robinson can address this. It’s Ivan Ilyin in his own words.

    Putinism: Rusia and Its Future with the West

    Europe does not understand the Nazi movement. It does not understand it and is afraid. And the more it is afraid, the less it understands. The less it understands, the more it tends to believe all the nagative rumors, all the horror stories of “eyewitnesses,” all the frightening predictions. Radical left wingers in virtually all European nations create an atmosphere of ill will and hatred. Unfortunately our Russian [émigré] press is gradually also drawn into this, the [Jewish-liberal] emotions gradually become categories of good and evil.

    To this day European public opinion has failed to understand that National Socialism is by no means radical racialism that does not respect the law. The spirit of National Socialism does not lead to racialism.

    I love this excerpt.

    ….National Socialism is by no means radical racialism that does not respect the law.

    How clever. He’s correct. It can just as easily be read as follows.

    National Socialism is radical racialism that respects the law.

    Remember, The Rule of Law is very important to Ilyin. It’s a Central Tenet of his Philosophy. So long as its legal, it’s virtuous.

    This excerpt also tickles me.

    The spirit of National Socialism does not lead to racialism.

    Once again, very clever on his part. He’s also correct once again. It should and could read as follows.

    The spirit of National Socialism does not LEAD TO racialism because the spirit of National Socialism IS INHERENTLY racist.

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    • Replies: @PaulR
    Because I was asked, here goes:

    Like a lot of people on the European political right in the inter-war period, Ilyin initially engaged in a certain amount of wishful thinking concerning fascism, which caused him at first to underestimate its dangers. He also had some sympathy with 1930s authoritarianism, nationalism, and especially anti-communism. But Ilyin was also a firm opponent of totalitarianism. Eventually, the Nazis fired him from his job teaching in Berlin because he refused to include anti-Semitic propaganda in his lectures. He continued lecturing around Germany in defiance of the authorities until in 1938 he fled the country.

    Let's be clear - Ilyin is not a modern Western liberal democrat. There are lots of passages in his work calling for 'dictatorship' etc. If that's all of his work you read, you'll no doubt think the guy is a fascist or something close to it. But, there's also a lot in his work which gives a very different impression. Take, for instance, his attitude to law. For Ilyin, law is not something to be obeyed just because it is law and somebody in authority has dictated it. Formal, 'positive' law, he wrote, should try as much as is possible to reflect natural law, which he defined in terms of the right of every individual to live a worthy, dignified, and autonomous life, independent of external coercion. Formal law exists only for this end. Moreover, the state exists only for this end - ie the sole purpose of the state is securing individuals' rights according to natural law. This is a very liberal point of view, and explains why many Russian conservative philosophers nowadays describe Ilyin as a 'liberal'.

    So which is the real Ilyin? The authoritarian or the liberal? The answer is a complex, often paradoxical, mixture of the two. Ilyin supports authoritarianism over democracy precisely because in his time democracies had a nasty habit of collapsing and turning into totalitarian regimes (whether communist or fascist). This is because of the underdeveloped 'legal consciousness' of the people. Democracy could be stable in countries where legal consciousness was well developed, e.g. Britain, But elsewhere, and particularly Russia, it couldn't. Democracy therefore often did a worse job of protecting people's natural rights than authoritarianism. But the latter is only justified to the extent that it promotes natural rights and ultimately the authoritarian state should develop the people's legal consciousness to the extent that authoritarian rule is no longer necessary.

    This all fits quite well into the Russian liberal-conservative tradition, which believes in autocracy (defined in terms of centralizing power into the hands of a single person) but also believes that autocracy is an inherently limited form of government, justified by its ability to protect peoples' freedoms. Of course, to modern Western liberal democrats these elements are contradictory. But without passing judgement on it, that is what it is.

    Paul
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  • There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days. I don't follow domestic Armenian politics, but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan - who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs - has recently transitioned from the Presidency to the...
  • @Thorfinnsson
    There are other major gas producers besides the one I listed, yes, and not just Iran.

    The USA unlike Iran has no barriers to global trade (other than idiotic self-imposed ones thanks to our sanctions love affair), and we are a much more developed country with a much better business climate.

    The shale boom has led to a renaissance in the US chemicals industry, which previously had been migrating offshore for decades in pursuit of lower input costs.

    I'm not able to find it now, but a few years ago the CEO of Dow Chemicals wrote an essay decrying the rush to export surplus gas. He produced a list of $100 billion worth of capital investment being made in America owing to low gas prices. Other corporate executives denounced him for "protectionism" since our business class has largely gotten high on its own supply.

    My general position is that with the exception of labor costs it should be government policy to keep input costs as low as possible (without resorting to subsidies of course) in order to gain a competitive edge against rival foreign countries. We're not any better at engineering or management than Western Europe or Japan, but we do have bountiful natural resources unlike them.

    It's okay to export surplus raw materials within reason, but you never want to do so when the opportunity cost results in foreign industries adding value instead of your own industries. Mercantilism 101.

    It's not enough to have lower gas prices than gas importing countries. Gas prices must be competitive with other major gas producing countries where modern industrial plants can be constructed.

    I’ve read this viewpoint (I think in Bloomberg article).

    But a lot of industry can be made more competitive through productivity gains and investment in capital. Not from having cheaper energy costs.

    If you can compare it to farming for example. America did not become the world’s largest food exporter, by ‘lowering the costs of water and soil’.

    It came from the investment in capital/technology.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    It came from the investment in capital/technology.
     
    That and very favorable geography which includes cheap water and soil.

    https://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/usa_great.jpg
    , @Thorfinnsson
    Sure, and I've long maintained that human capital trumps natural capital.

    And generally machinery (if we could somehow separate it from the kn0w-how needed to operate) trumps natural capital.

    But there's no reason to ignore the role of natural capital. The choice between processing natural gas into higher value-added products like chemicals, fertilizer, steel, fiberglas, etc. vs. simply exporting it makes it clear the former is more valuable.

    Keeping input costs low (without subsidies) is a form of low-hanging fruit. Capital and know-how on the other hand take more time to build up.

    And while the investment into know-how, farm machinery, improved genetics, etc. are obviously very important for why America is the world's largest food exporter, it should also be noted that we have more arable land than any other country in the world. #2 and #3 in arable land area are India and China, who for obvious reasons can't export as much food as us. #4 is Russia who with its smaller population perhaps will one day export as much as us (already has surpassed us in wheat exports).

    Even here my thinking is relevant. The #1 cash crop in America is corn (maize). A huge fraction of this is wastefully turned into sugar and fuel substitutes. In the absence of our bullshit ethanol and HFCS industries, we would export far more food.

    If you want a real investment story for agricultural success look to the world's second agro-exporter...which amazingly is the tiny country of the Netherlands.

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/09/holland-agriculture-sustainable-farming/

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  • In other news, it seems I was broadly correct (despite my lack of knowledge of Armenian political specifics as Avery pointed out).

    Sargsyan has resigned, but there has been no wave of anti-Russian sentiment to go with it.

    Instead of hanging on to unpopular foreign leaders, Russia has maintained neutrality over what is an internal Armenian political squabble: https://www.facebook.com/maria.zakharova.167/posts/10216573046828327

    (Before anyone rushes in to make the Ukraine comparison, that wasn’t really a choice in 2013-14, because the Maidan was explicitly anti-Russian from the start. Unlike the Ukraine, Armenia really does need Russia).

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  • @Dmitry

    For the Moscow yuppies I think it’s more about Georgia’s (admittedly not entirely fictive) success at larping as a “European” country. This allows them to status signal how European and progressive they are.
     
    It's a good hypothesis - but I'm not sure that can be true for people who actually like their holiday in Georgia though.

    People I know was there, say that they like it because how cheap, primitive and 'crazy' the atmosphere is - the kind of same reason people talk about countries like India or Mexico.

    The kind of tourists who like clean, European destinations - it's a slightly different taste, although sure there's plenty who like both (both primitive and sophisticated destinations, but it's difficult to confuse them).

    I like both kind of destinations but I would not confuse them.

    I like the developed and posh places like Cambridge and Oxford and Salzburg. But also like undeveloped looking places like Israel. But although Israel is economically rich and allied with Western powers, you could never confuse it on the ground with a Western country. Israel is very primitive, Middle Eastern, chaotic, undeveloped atmosphere country. On the ground, surely much more similar to Tehran (not that I have been there), than to New York .

    The way a country allies is not so much reflected in the experience a tourist has. For example, in Moscow, you get a much more 'Western European' style experience than you would get in (say) Mexico City.

    And the kind of energy you get in Georgia will surely be quite an opposite, of what you get in the actual West.

    This is all very plausible.

    There’s been occasional stories in the media about Jewish repats who went back to Russia (i.e. Moscow) because Israel was too provincial for the tastes they’d developed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Yes compared to Moscow, it is surely very culturally provincial, in every sense.

    But the chaotic, primitive Middle Eastern, atmosphere is a different issue entirely (some people instantly fall in love with chaotic Middle Eastern atmospheres, some people hate it).

    -

    By the way I read a good article this week on people emigrating from Israel

    https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/3591450


    -


    As for Georgia. I haven't been to the region. But the atmosphere surely something similar there. And plenty of tourists are falling in love with these more chaotic atmospheres. But I don't think they will confuse it with the West.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anatoly Karlin

    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?
     
    Correct, though only true for the sovok generation.

    Georgian restaurants in the USSR played the role of French restaurants in the US, as the elite place to go to place for status signalling purposes. Only French cuisine really is world class, whereas Georgian cuisine isn't (same for the wines). Now that there are mid-range Georgian establishments, the older Soviet people like to frequent them, since they continue to regard them as prestigious, even though there are no end of much cheaper (and better) restaurants and eateries.

    For the Moscow yuppies I think it's more about Georgia's (admittedly not entirely fictive) success at larping as a "European" country. This allows them to status signal how European and progressive they are.

    For the Moscow yuppies I think it’s more about Georgia’s (admittedly not entirely fictive) success at larping as a “European” country. This allows them to status signal how European and progressive they are.

    It’s a good hypothesis – but I’m not sure that can be true for people who actually like their holiday in Georgia though.

    People I know was there, say that they like it because how cheap, primitive and ‘crazy’ the atmosphere is – the kind of same reason people talk about countries like India or Mexico.

    The kind of tourists who like clean, European destinations – it’s a slightly different taste, although sure there’s plenty who like both (both primitive and sophisticated destinations, but it’s difficult to confuse them).

    I like both kind of destinations but I would not confuse them.

    I like the developed and posh places like Cambridge and Oxford and Salzburg. But also like undeveloped looking places like Israel. But although Israel is economically rich and allied with Western powers, you could never confuse it on the ground with a Western country. Israel is very primitive, Middle Eastern, chaotic, undeveloped atmosphere country. On the ground, surely much more similar to Tehran (not that I have been there), than to New York .

    The way a country allies is not so much reflected in the experience a tourist has. For example, in Moscow, you get a much more ‘Western European’ style experience than you would get in (say) Mexico City.

    And the kind of energy you get in Georgia will surely be quite an opposite, of what you get in the actual West.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    This is all very plausible.

    There's been occasional stories in the media about Jewish repats who went back to Russia (i.e. Moscow) because Israel was too provincial for the tastes they'd developed.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • There are some fairly good reasons in favor of Russia's decision to intervene in Syria, which is why I have always been modestly if unenthusiastically supportive of it: It is basically a giant and continuous live training exercise for Russian pilots and generals, making it almost "free" in financial terms. The value of the Khmeimim...
  • @Ron Unz

    Just a note that the Unz.com commenter Art Deco is a lying scumbag.

    I have made a grand total of about a dozen comments on MR, most or all of which went through so far as I know.
     
    Actually, I'm pretty sure he's a fanatic Jewish-activist type, though working very hard to conceal his motives.

    Basically, he provides a vast quantity of comments, the overwhelming majority "moderate", and "mainstream," generally disputing any deviations from the Official Narrative, but in a cautious and restrained manner, often buttressed by detailed factual citations. But every now and then something about Israel or Jews may come up, and he begins making all sorts of extreme statements, much like the most extreme WashPost Neocon. You can see this if you browse his archive:

    http://www.unz.com/comments/all/?commenterfilter=Art+Deco

    My guess is his nasty and dishonest attacks on AK are because of that SPLC denunciation a few weeks ago.

    I also strongly suspect that the "moderate/mainstream" tone of the overwhelming majority of his comments are simply intended to establish his credibility for his periodic comments on Jews/Israel.

    Given the massive volume of his comments, over 500K words, it really wouldn't surprise me if he's some sort of disinfo agent. After all, all sorts of "extremists" comment here because they've been banned everywhere else, but why would a "mainstream" fellow write 500K words of mostly "mainstream" comments here unless he was being paid to do so?...

    This is extremely silly. Art Deco posts high-quality and thought-provoking comments on a variety of websites, left and right, mainstream and obscure, and his views on Israel are no more extreme or less worthwhile than anything else he talks about.

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  • There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days. I don't follow domestic Armenian politics, but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan - who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs - has recently transitioned from the Presidency to the...
  • @Hyperborean
    Just because the people selling their country to the highest bidder only care about getting the highest price doesn't mean ordinary Georgians don't resent it.

    Considering how even in full-pozzed London I've heard ordinary people complain about all the foreign oligarchs buying up everything, I don't find it hard to believe that Georgians might find it painful.

    OK – makes sense – it’s much of the same everywhere; the elite sell out the locals to the highest bidder.

    Peace.

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  • @Thorfinnsson


    2. Another factor driving Georgian tourism is that it’s really prestigious among the Moscow yuppie hipster crowd. For instance, one acquaintance of mine – half-Jewish, MacBook toting “creative” person – is going there to get married this weekend. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan has this sort of “soft power” among the spending classes.
     
    Why?

    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?

    Saakashvili?

    Georgia to me is another irrelevant joke. Of course I'm not Russian.

    I’ve never have been. But you can see the popularity for people.

    Relatively cheap flight – and you end up in an exotic (but easy to navigate culturally/linguistically) destination, with colourful local people/traditions.

    Everything is also cheap and you can eat Georgian cuisine a lot more cheaply than in restaurants outside Georgia.

    As Karlin says – they are also clever at viral marketing themselves to kind of hipster, middle class tastes

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  • @Thorfinnsson


    2. Another factor driving Georgian tourism is that it’s really prestigious among the Moscow yuppie hipster crowd. For instance, one acquaintance of mine – half-Jewish, MacBook toting “creative” person – is going there to get married this weekend. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan has this sort of “soft power” among the spending classes.
     
    Why?

    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?

    Saakashvili?

    Georgia to me is another irrelevant joke. Of course I'm not Russian.

    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?

    Correct, though only true for the sovok generation.

    Georgian restaurants in the USSR played the role of French restaurants in the US, as the elite place to go to place for status signalling purposes. Only French cuisine really is world class, whereas Georgian cuisine isn’t (same for the wines). Now that there are mid-range Georgian establishments, the older Soviet people like to frequent them, since they continue to regard them as prestigious, even though there are no end of much cheaper (and better) restaurants and eateries.

    For the Moscow yuppies I think it’s more about Georgia’s (admittedly not entirely fictive) success at larping as a “European” country. This allows them to status signal how European and progressive they are.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    For the Moscow yuppies I think it’s more about Georgia’s (admittedly not entirely fictive) success at larping as a “European” country. This allows them to status signal how European and progressive they are.
     
    It's a good hypothesis - but I'm not sure that can be true for people who actually like their holiday in Georgia though.

    People I know was there, say that they like it because how cheap, primitive and 'crazy' the atmosphere is - the kind of same reason people talk about countries like India or Mexico.

    The kind of tourists who like clean, European destinations - it's a slightly different taste, although sure there's plenty who like both (both primitive and sophisticated destinations, but it's difficult to confuse them).

    I like both kind of destinations but I would not confuse them.

    I like the developed and posh places like Cambridge and Oxford and Salzburg. But also like undeveloped looking places like Israel. But although Israel is economically rich and allied with Western powers, you could never confuse it on the ground with a Western country. Israel is very primitive, Middle Eastern, chaotic, undeveloped atmosphere country. On the ground, surely much more similar to Tehran (not that I have been there), than to New York .

    The way a country allies is not so much reflected in the experience a tourist has. For example, in Moscow, you get a much more 'Western European' style experience than you would get in (say) Mexico City.

    And the kind of energy you get in Georgia will surely be quite an opposite, of what you get in the actual West.
    , @Art Deco
    Georgian restaurants in the USSR played the role of French restaurants in the US, as the elite place to go to place for status signalling purposes.

    They did? I can't recall a single one in my home town, where live 600,000 people and (at one time) the world headquarters of several major corporations.



    Only French cuisine really is world class, w

    "World class"? What does that even mean? Are you referring to quality, snob appeal, or something else?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anatoly Karlin
    1. Armenia has actually done quite well, I think. Considering it's surrounded by hostile states on two sides, and has to spend a lot of $$$ on the military, this is all the more impressive.

    https://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/developing-transition.png

    2. Another factor driving Georgian tourism is that it's really prestigious among the Moscow yuppie hipster crowd. For instance, one acquaintance of mine - half-Jewish, MacBook toting "creative" person - is going there to get married this weekend. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan has this sort of "soft power" among the spending classes.

    3. The Caucasus isn't anywhere near the top of my to go list (that's reserved for China, India, and a bunch of Mediterranean and ME places, inc. Israel and Iran). However, if I was to go there, I'd go to Armenia or Azerbaijan before Georgia. Armenia has a more impressive history, while Baku is the biggest city in the region and people say good things about it. Last draw is Georgian cuisine, but I am of the opinion that it's grossly overrated.

    3. The Caucasus isn’t anywhere near the top of my to go list (that’s reserved for China, India, and a bunch of Mediterranean and ME places, inc. Israel and Iran). However, if I was to go there, I’d go to Armenia or Azerbaijan before Georgia. Armenia has a more impressive history, while Baku is the biggest city in the region and people say good things about it. Last draw is Georgian cuisine, but I am of the opinion that it’s grossly overrated.

    Sure – I feel the same. I’m much more excited to think about visiting places like Cuba or Argentina. But Tbilisi or Baku are a cheap ‘weekend’, it is not comparable to more expensive holidays.

    Iran will be interesting with the visa-restriction going to be removed soon – but presumably the kind of place it would be easier to visit in a tour-group.

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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    It would be pretty strange for Armenians to not like their only guarantor against Azeri designs on their territory, and their only friend in the region apart from Iran.

    (Though as Felix correctly points out, not exactly something that would bother Russians, since Armenia benefits from the relationship far more).

    But it's not strange, because you are making things up, as you are regrettably wont to. In reality, Armenia is one of the few countries where Putin is even more popular than in Russia itself.

    https://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/world-map-putin-approval-2015-details.png

    What is interesting about that map is how the world community thinks about things vs the “world community” (i.e. all the puppets of the US that the media declares to be the world).

    With India and China you already have a big chunk of the world population, assuming that the rest of Africa leans like Nigeria and Congo, then you have the bulk of world actually being pro and not anti, contradicting the narrative of the cuckservative and SJW media.

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  • @Thorfinnsson


    2. Another factor driving Georgian tourism is that it’s really prestigious among the Moscow yuppie hipster crowd. For instance, one acquaintance of mine – half-Jewish, MacBook toting “creative” person – is going there to get married this weekend. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan has this sort of “soft power” among the spending classes.
     
    Why?

    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?

    Saakashvili?

    Georgia to me is another irrelevant joke. Of course I'm not Russian.

    Why?
    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?
    Saakashvili?
    Georgia to me is another irrelevant joke. Of course I’m not Russian.

    Maybe some Russians are making pilgrimages.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Stalin_Museum,_Gori

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  • @Art Deco
    There are over 3 million Armenians at any time in Russia –

    Known to you, but not to Russian census enumerators.

    The census will only track a fraction of emigrants/workers. You can see above that officials are not using it when estimating for this question.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    You mean they'll find them once you've told them where to look.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Felix Keverich

    They’ll be lower than the cost of LNG.

    They will not be lower than the cost of gas compared to other major producing countries such as Canada, Russia, Qatar, etc.

     

    You forgot about Iran. Iran has massive natural gas production, but can't export due to sanctions, so gas in Iran is practically free. You want America to be more like Iran?

    Obviously, allowing more exports will raise the prices on the domestic market. But I can guarantee they will still be much lower than prices in SE Asia, where US will export.

    You want America to be more like Iran?

    Give the CSA a chance, brother.

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  • @Felix Keverich

    They’ll be lower than the cost of LNG.

    They will not be lower than the cost of gas compared to other major producing countries such as Canada, Russia, Qatar, etc.

     

    You forgot about Iran. Iran has massive natural gas production, but can't export due to sanctions, so gas in Iran is practically free. You want America to be more like Iran?

    Obviously, allowing more exports will raise the prices on the domestic market. But I can guarantee they will still be much lower than prices in SE Asia, where US will export.

    There are other major gas producers besides the one I listed, yes, and not just Iran.

    The USA unlike Iran has no barriers to global trade (other than idiotic self-imposed ones thanks to our sanctions love affair), and we are a much more developed country with a much better business climate.

    The shale boom has led to a renaissance in the US chemicals industry, which previously had been migrating offshore for decades in pursuit of lower input costs.

    I’m not able to find it now, but a few years ago the CEO of Dow Chemicals wrote an essay decrying the rush to export surplus gas. He produced a list of $100 billion worth of capital investment being made in America owing to low gas prices. Other corporate executives denounced him for “protectionism” since our business class has largely gotten high on its own supply.

    My general position is that with the exception of labor costs it should be government policy to keep input costs as low as possible (without resorting to subsidies of course) in order to gain a competitive edge against rival foreign countries. We’re not any better at engineering or management than Western Europe or Japan, but we do have bountiful natural resources unlike them.

    It’s okay to export surplus raw materials within reason, but you never want to do so when the opportunity cost results in foreign industries adding value instead of your own industries. Mercantilism 101.

    It’s not enough to have lower gas prices than gas importing countries. Gas prices must be competitive with other major gas producing countries where modern industrial plants can be constructed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    I've read this viewpoint (I think in Bloomberg article).

    But a lot of industry can be made more competitive through productivity gains and investment in capital. Not from having cheaper energy costs.

    If you can compare it to farming for example. America did not become the world's largest food exporter, by 'lowering the costs of water and soil'.

    It came from the investment in capital/technology.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @JL
    So Sargsyan resigned his post as PM. Perhaps Avery could comment on what to expect next?

    I suspect that the Parliament will appoint Karen Karapetyan as PM.

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  • Branco Milanovic - When autarky becomes the only solution This post-Cold War idea that corporations are taking over the world always seemed ridiculous to me. Consider the following: Wealthiest individual ~$100 billion (Bezos) Wealthiest corporation ~$1 trillion (Apple) Wealthiest country ~ $100 trillion (USA), of which states typically own 20%-70%. Plus, they have 95%+ of...
  • There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days. I don't follow domestic Armenian politics, but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan - who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs - has recently transitioned from the Presidency to the...
  • @Anatoly Karlin
    1. Armenia has actually done quite well, I think. Considering it's surrounded by hostile states on two sides, and has to spend a lot of $$$ on the military, this is all the more impressive.

    https://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/developing-transition.png

    2. Another factor driving Georgian tourism is that it's really prestigious among the Moscow yuppie hipster crowd. For instance, one acquaintance of mine - half-Jewish, MacBook toting "creative" person - is going there to get married this weekend. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan has this sort of "soft power" among the spending classes.

    3. The Caucasus isn't anywhere near the top of my to go list (that's reserved for China, India, and a bunch of Mediterranean and ME places, inc. Israel and Iran). However, if I was to go there, I'd go to Armenia or Azerbaijan before Georgia. Armenia has a more impressive history, while Baku is the biggest city in the region and people say good things about it. Last draw is Georgian cuisine, but I am of the opinion that it's grossly overrated.

    I’m not sure how to read the graph – i.e. I’m not sure what is the y axis showing?

    About the general economic situation.

    http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2018/01/weodata/weorept.aspx?pr.x=15&pr.y=6&sy=1999&ey=2016&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=911%2C912%2C922%2C915%2C186%2C926&s=NGDPD%2CPPPGDP%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPPC%2CLP%2CGGXWDG_NGDP&grp=0&a=

    I looked at the countries in the IMF database – I’m not sure how negatively to interpret their situation overall? I think of all the economies, it is the one I would like the least after Ukraine (the three – Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine – with negative population growth).

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  • So Sargsyan resigned his post as PM. Perhaps Avery could comment on what to expect next?

    Read More
    • Replies: @g2k
    I suspect that the Parliament will appoint Karen Karapetyan as PM.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Thorfinnsson
    They'll be lower than the cost of LNG.

    They will not be lower than the cost of gas compared to other major producing countries such as Canada, Russia, Qatar, etc.

    This has already happened in Australia in fact.

    http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/gas-cartel-is-pushing-gas-prices-up-in-australia/news-story/61acc1864d54fb6eb4801c332e683fbd

    And it appears that in parts of Australia gas is somehow now more expensive than LNG in Japan.

    Between 2006 and 2015, increases to residential gas prices ranged from 23 per cent in Victoria, to 74 per cent in Tasmania.

    Industrial users saw price increases ranging from 16 per cent in Tasmania to 113 per cent in North West Queensland.
    [...]
    Much of the blame for high gas prices has been linked to increased demand after three export terminals were built in Gladstone that enabled companies to ship gas overseas for the first time, combined with a low oil price that has discouraged gas exploration, as well as restrictions on gas exploration and development in states.
     

    The United States should strictly limit its gas exports and ban the building of any new thermal fossil fuel electric powerstations in order to keep domestic gas prices as low as possible.

    Of course, this will require rounding up atomophobes and herding them into concentration camps. The trout fishermen who don't understand the concept of "fish ladders" in dams also require reeducation. But these things are already 100% necessary.

    Coal should continue to be used at existing powerstations for economic reasons, but no new ones should be constructed. Export infrastructure to deliver coal to Asia must be built. Currently this is being held up by environmentalist criminals in Washington state for "water use" reasons. These people need to be rounded up and shot.

    They’ll be lower than the cost of LNG.

    They will not be lower than the cost of gas compared to other major producing countries such as Canada, Russia, Qatar, etc.

    You forgot about Iran. Iran has massive natural gas production, but can’t export due to sanctions, so gas in Iran is practically free. You want America to be more like Iran?

    Obviously, allowing more exports will raise the prices on the domestic market. But I can guarantee they will still be much lower than prices in SE Asia, where US will export.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    There are other major gas producers besides the one I listed, yes, and not just Iran.

    The USA unlike Iran has no barriers to global trade (other than idiotic self-imposed ones thanks to our sanctions love affair), and we are a much more developed country with a much better business climate.

    The shale boom has led to a renaissance in the US chemicals industry, which previously had been migrating offshore for decades in pursuit of lower input costs.

    I'm not able to find it now, but a few years ago the CEO of Dow Chemicals wrote an essay decrying the rush to export surplus gas. He produced a list of $100 billion worth of capital investment being made in America owing to low gas prices. Other corporate executives denounced him for "protectionism" since our business class has largely gotten high on its own supply.

    My general position is that with the exception of labor costs it should be government policy to keep input costs as low as possible (without resorting to subsidies of course) in order to gain a competitive edge against rival foreign countries. We're not any better at engineering or management than Western Europe or Japan, but we do have bountiful natural resources unlike them.

    It's okay to export surplus raw materials within reason, but you never want to do so when the opportunity cost results in foreign industries adding value instead of your own industries. Mercantilism 101.

    It's not enough to have lower gas prices than gas importing countries. Gas prices must be competitive with other major gas producing countries where modern industrial plants can be constructed.

    , @Mitleser

    You want America to be more like Iran?
     
    Give the CSA a chance, brother.

    https://d1u5p3l4wpay3k.cloudfront.net/alphacentauri_en/b/bd/AC_Fac_Ldr_002.png
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anatoly Karlin
    1. Armenia has actually done quite well, I think. Considering it's surrounded by hostile states on two sides, and has to spend a lot of $$$ on the military, this is all the more impressive.

    https://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/developing-transition.png

    2. Another factor driving Georgian tourism is that it's really prestigious among the Moscow yuppie hipster crowd. For instance, one acquaintance of mine - half-Jewish, MacBook toting "creative" person - is going there to get married this weekend. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan has this sort of "soft power" among the spending classes.

    3. The Caucasus isn't anywhere near the top of my to go list (that's reserved for China, India, and a bunch of Mediterranean and ME places, inc. Israel and Iran). However, if I was to go there, I'd go to Armenia or Azerbaijan before Georgia. Armenia has a more impressive history, while Baku is the biggest city in the region and people say good things about it. Last draw is Georgian cuisine, but I am of the opinion that it's grossly overrated.

    2. Another factor driving Georgian tourism is that it’s really prestigious among the Moscow yuppie hipster crowd. For instance, one acquaintance of mine – half-Jewish, MacBook toting “creative” person – is going there to get married this weekend. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan has this sort of “soft power” among the spending classes.

    Why?

    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?

    Saakashvili?

    Georgia to me is another irrelevant joke. Of course I’m not Russian.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen

    Why?
    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?
    Saakashvili?
    Georgia to me is another irrelevant joke. Of course I’m not Russian.
     
    Maybe some Russians are making pilgrimages.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Stalin_Museum,_Gori

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Stalin%C5%AFv_rodn%C3%BD_d%C5%AFm.JPG
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?
     
    Correct, though only true for the sovok generation.

    Georgian restaurants in the USSR played the role of French restaurants in the US, as the elite place to go to place for status signalling purposes. Only French cuisine really is world class, whereas Georgian cuisine isn't (same for the wines). Now that there are mid-range Georgian establishments, the older Soviet people like to frequent them, since they continue to regard them as prestigious, even though there are no end of much cheaper (and better) restaurants and eateries.

    For the Moscow yuppies I think it's more about Georgia's (admittedly not entirely fictive) success at larping as a "European" country. This allows them to status signal how European and progressive they are.
    , @Dmitry
    I've never have been. But you can see the popularity for people.

    Relatively cheap flight - and you end up in an exotic (but easy to navigate culturally/linguistically) destination, with colourful local people/traditions.

    Everything is also cheap and you can eat Georgian cuisine a lot more cheaply than in restaurants outside Georgia.

    As Karlin says - they are also clever at viral marketing themselves to kind of hipster, middle class tastes


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsH1IUF8ESA
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  • @Polish Perspective

    Poland, for example, receives around twice as much free money or aid from the EU, than the entire world UN annual budget. I guess Poland might be the most aid receiving country in the world? (I wonder if anyone has done calculations of this topic?)

     

    https://i.imgur.com/yNvMzzD.jpg

    Poland isn't even in the top 5 once you adjust for GNI. It's true that Poland gets most in absolute terms, but that's also because we are way bigger than most EE countries. I find a lot of economic innumerate to fail to understand this point and just repeat "yes but they get THIS MANY BILLIONS". But without adjusting for economic size is meaningless. Sad to see that you are not smarter than this, Dmitry.

    Also, this is counted from the year 2000. The latest EU funds flow constitute about 1% of our GNI according to our central bank. The next one will be half that, even if no change is done, simply on account of a growing economy and a closer realignment to the EU median.

    Furthermore, whenever we are talking about EU funds this should be kept in mind:

    https://i.imgur.com/YNiPO03.png

    People only look at public fund flows, because it gives Western Europeans a moral edge ("see, it's only thanks to us because of us generous we are!"). In reality, you should count both public and private flows. Once you do that, EE countries are being drained of capital on a net basis.

    You can see this in sector after sector. Take retail. A German goes to shop in Aldi, Lidl or Kaufmann. All domestic firms. Poles and Czechs shop at the same stores, with Carrefour thrown into the mix. As you can see from the chart, the most drained country of us all is Czechia. No wonder euroskepticism is high there.

    And I haven't even talked about the fact that Western European countries benefit massively from labour and we lose, in some instances permanently.

    There’s nothing ignorant in noting that Poland has received more of the aid than any of the countries.

    You can interpret this how you like, or complain that it still hasn’t received the most in per capita terms. The country/economy has the received most, and the numbers are amazing.

    But if Ukraine thinks they can repeat the story in the future, it is going to be heavily disappointed.

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  • @Dmitry
    There are over 3 million Armenians at any time in Russia - and numbers are probably higher considering the situation with illegal and undocumented immigrants.

    As for emigration rate, the majority come to Russia on work permits. However, if we look just at the minority that successfully obtain Russian citizenship - almost 1% of the total population in Armenia obtains Russian citizenship each year.

    There are over 3 million Armenians at any time in Russia –

    Known to you, but not to Russian census enumerators.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    The census will only track a fraction of emigrants/workers. You can see above that officials are not using it when estimating for this question.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @reiner Tor
    OTOH the Americans were also quite opposed to both Streams. I remember back when in 2008 the then leftist Hungarian PM Gyurcsány had good relations with Putin, and pushed for South Stream, and the Americans were criticizing us for it.

    OTOH the Americans were also quite opposed to both Streams.

    “OTOH”? This isn’t really up to a debate. The only side who is interested in stopping these pipelines is the US. The European Comission is simply following orders from the US.

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  • @Felix Keverich
    Irrelevant. I wasn't making a comment on the commercial viability of LNG exports from the US. I said that the price of this exported gas will always be greater than the price of gas in the US.

    To be sure American companies, under certain conditions, will export LNG at a loss. Even then the price of this gas must account for liquefaction and transportation costs.

    Simply put:

    Price of exported LNG = price of gas on the domestic market + liquefaction and transportation costs
    (those include the cost of electricity for the plants, fuel for the tankers, wages - they remain substantial even after infrustructure is build).

    ^This equation will always hold in a market economy.


    Russia’s policy of subsidizing former Soviet republics with cheap gas and open markets in exchange for neutral (not even friendly!) foreign policies seemed quite reasonable, yet here we are.
     
    It was a stupid policy and Russia deserved to be punished for disregarding the rules of the market economy.

    They’ll be lower than the cost of LNG.

    They will not be lower than the cost of gas compared to other major producing countries such as Canada, Russia, Qatar, etc.

    This has already happened in Australia in fact.

    http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/gas-cartel-is-pushing-gas-prices-up-in-australia/news-story/61acc1864d54fb6eb4801c332e683fbd

    And it appears that in parts of Australia gas is somehow now more expensive than LNG in Japan.

    Between 2006 and 2015, increases to residential gas prices ranged from 23 per cent in Victoria, to 74 per cent in Tasmania.

    Industrial users saw price increases ranging from 16 per cent in Tasmania to 113 per cent in North West Queensland.
    [...]
    Much of the blame for high gas prices has been linked to increased demand after three export terminals were built in Gladstone that enabled companies to ship gas overseas for the first time, combined with a low oil price that has discouraged gas exploration, as well as restrictions on gas exploration and development in states.

    The United States should strictly limit its gas exports and ban the building of any new thermal fossil fuel electric powerstations in order to keep domestic gas prices as low as possible.

    Of course, this will require rounding up atomophobes and herding them into concentration camps. The trout fishermen who don’t understand the concept of “fish ladders” in dams also require reeducation. But these things are already 100% necessary.

    Coal should continue to be used at existing powerstations for economic reasons, but no new ones should be constructed. Export infrastructure to deliver coal to Asia must be built. Currently this is being held up by environmentalist criminals in Washington state for “water use” reasons. These people need to be rounded up and shot.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich

    They’ll be lower than the cost of LNG.

    They will not be lower than the cost of gas compared to other major producing countries such as Canada, Russia, Qatar, etc.

     

    You forgot about Iran. Iran has massive natural gas production, but can't export due to sanctions, so gas in Iran is practically free. You want America to be more like Iran?

    Obviously, allowing more exports will raise the prices on the domestic market. But I can guarantee they will still be much lower than prices in SE Asia, where US will export.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Avery
    {There are over 3 million Armenians at any time in Russia }

    How do you know this?
    Where did you get that number from?

    It was 3 million – two years ago.

    https://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=2528568

    By now the figure will be over 3 million, into the customs union.

    https://regnum.ru/news/2316978.html

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  • Branco Milanovic - When autarky becomes the only solution This post-Cold War idea that corporations are taking over the world always seemed ridiculous to me. Consider the following: Wealthiest individual ~$100 billion (Bezos) Wealthiest corporation ~$1 trillion (Apple) Wealthiest country ~ $100 trillion (USA), of which states typically own 20%-70%. Plus, they have 95%+ of...
  • You continue with the low quality analyses. There is a reason why Russia defied the US, you know. It did not come from nowhere. If you listen to russian FM sources, you will often hear that the world is becoming multipolar and that the last 500 years of western domination are coming to an end.

    Yet you never asked yourself why are they talking like that. Maybe because they have a reason for it?

    These sanctions will simply not matter. There is tectonic shift happening. Most of the worlds economy will be in Asia. Europe is becoming a backwater, it will have only 4 percent of the world’s population. The US is going to cripple itself with massive debt levels.

    Are you aware that most economic studies show that China will eventually have an economy 2 times bigger than that of the US, India will become a larger economy than the US as well, while for a first time in several hundred years the West will no longer be the center of the world economy?

    https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/issues/economy/the-world-in-2050.html

    Are you aware that debt levels in the US are projected to reach astronomical levels, and this under “optimistic” scenarios?

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-13/americas-future-no-longer-looks-sustainable-market-context-deutsche

    Are you aware that IQ in the West stopped increasing and is possibly even dropping, but IQ in the rest of the world continues to increase?

    The consensus among IQ experts has been that IQ will stay the same or drop in western countries and will increase by 6-7 IQ points in the rest of the world, probably due to further Flynn effect gains by better nutrition and medical care, as millions of non-westerners join the middle class. China alone is projected to gain 7 IQ points.

    https://notpoliticallycorrect.me/2016/11/14/a-reversal-of-the-flynn-effect/

    Moreover, if Chinese have equal IQ to Japanese, this would mean that they will eventually have similar per capita GDP to Japan, in other words China will eventually have an economy 3-4 times bigger than that of the US. And this isn’t even factoring the projected IQ increase in China and IQ decline in the US.

    Meanwhile, on the cultural front, Islam is projected to eventually become the world’s largest religion, becoming larger than Christianity. Africa is projected to reach 4 billion people, many of whom will come after Europe.

    That’s multipolarity for you.

    Taking all of this into account, it means that in 20 years the West will simply not matter. And the Russian Gov is aware of that.

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  • The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov. For the first part, see: Russians in the 2oth Century. Part I: Origins to WWII. Incidentally, while counter-mainstream commenters in the West are hardly well compensated, this is unfortunately doubly true in Russia. If you have enjoyed our translations of him, a...
  • @El Dato
    Once it becomes obvious that this Soviet legacy has run out the American owners of Ukraine and Belarus will scrap them.

    Who are "the American owners of Belarus"?????

    Belarus will eventually accede to Russia, but Ukraine not so much. It's rather like (todays) Poland in that respect, which is unlikely to reintegrate the Deutschland anytime soon. Maybe it will split in two, only time can tell.

    Belarus will eventually accede to Russia,

    I don’t think so. What Belarussians want, for obvious reasons, is to avoid the “Ukrainian path”. They are very afraid to be subject of a Maidan-like experiment.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cold N. Holefield

    What Belarussians want, for obvious reasons, is to avoid the “Ukrainian path”. They are very afraid to be subject of a Maidan-like experiment.
     
    They're smart to be wary. The West hangs its Vassals out to dry. Look at Trump and Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico is a Protectorate.

    The West cannot be trusted. Former Soviet Satellite States that want to remain independent are going to have to be miraculously clever in walking The Independence Tightrope.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @German_reader

    the author might be Jewish.
     
    Timothy Snyder isn't Jewish, but iirc of gentile North European (Dutch?) ancestry. I do get the impression though that he caters strongly to the interests and prejudices of American Jews (read his Bloodlands book...not impressed, and the very last chapter strongly irritated me).
    In any case, I'm not interested in hysterical hit pieces accusing Ilyin of "fascism", I want to know if some representative sample of his work is available in English, German or French, so I can judge for myself.

    Paul Robinson addressed that article pretty thoroughly: https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/bandwagon-of-errors/

    I haven’t yet written anything systemic about Ilyin on this blog, but if you’re interested in the topic, I’d recommend Robinson’s archive on this topic: https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/tag/ivan-ilyin/

    Russian conservatism is one of his core specialties and he has a book coming out soon on this topic.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    Thanks, I'll have a look at it.
    I wonder about the books Iljin published in German, I suppose they'll be difficult to track down, but maybe I'll try.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days. I don't follow domestic Armenian politics, but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan - who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs - has recently transitioned from the Presidency to the...
  • @Dmitry
    But people are not usually going to Georgia for the beach

    I have never yet been on holiday to the region (so you better read g2k).

    I'm sure I'll write a lot of reviews in tripadvisor when I go eventually.

    But all three of these destinations (Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan), get extremely good reviews with tourists, and it is the new fashion to go on holiday there.

    My parents went on holiday in Baku last year and they sounded very happy about the holiday.

    1. Armenia has actually done quite well, I think. Considering it’s surrounded by hostile states on two sides, and has to spend a lot of $$$ on the military, this is all the more impressive.

    2. Another factor driving Georgian tourism is that it’s really prestigious among the Moscow yuppie hipster crowd. For instance, one acquaintance of mine – half-Jewish, MacBook toting “creative” person – is going there to get married this weekend. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan has this sort of “soft power” among the spending classes.

    3. The Caucasus isn’t anywhere near the top of my to go list (that’s reserved for China, India, and a bunch of Mediterranean and ME places, inc. Israel and Iran). However, if I was to go there, I’d go to Armenia or Azerbaijan before Georgia. Armenia has a more impressive history, while Baku is the biggest city in the region and people say good things about it. Last draw is Georgian cuisine, but I am of the opinion that it’s grossly overrated.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson


    2. Another factor driving Georgian tourism is that it’s really prestigious among the Moscow yuppie hipster crowd. For instance, one acquaintance of mine – half-Jewish, MacBook toting “creative” person – is going there to get married this weekend. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan has this sort of “soft power” among the spending classes.
     
    Why?

    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?

    Saakashvili?

    Georgia to me is another irrelevant joke. Of course I'm not Russian.
    , @Dmitry
    I’m not sure how to read the graph – i.e. I’m not sure what is the y axis showing?

    About the general economic situation.

    http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2018/01/weodata/weorept.aspx?pr.x=15&pr.y=6&sy=1999&ey=2016&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=911%2C912%2C922%2C915%2C186%2C926&s=NGDPD%2CPPPGDP%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPPC%2CLP%2CGGXWDG_NGDP&grp=0&a=

    I looked at the countries in the IMF database – I’m not sure how negatively to interpret their situation overall? I think of all the economies, it is the one I would like the least after Ukraine (the three - Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine - with negative population growth).
    , @Dmitry

    3. The Caucasus isn’t anywhere near the top of my to go list (that’s reserved for China, India, and a bunch of Mediterranean and ME places, inc. Israel and Iran). However, if I was to go there, I’d go to Armenia or Azerbaijan before Georgia. Armenia has a more impressive history, while Baku is the biggest city in the region and people say good things about it. Last draw is Georgian cuisine, but I am of the opinion that it’s grossly overrated.
     
    Sure - I feel the same. I'm much more excited to think about visiting places like Cuba or Argentina. But Tbilisi or Baku are a cheap 'weekend', it is not comparable to more expensive holidays.

    Iran will be interesting with the visa-restriction going to be removed soon - but presumably the kind of place it would be easier to visit in a tour-group.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov. For the first part, see: Russians in the 2oth Century. Part I: Origins to WWII. Incidentally, while counter-mainstream commenters in the West are hardly well compensated, this is unfortunately doubly true in Russia. If you have enjoyed our translations of him, a...
  • @German_reader

    the author might be Jewish.
     
    Timothy Snyder isn't Jewish, but iirc of gentile North European (Dutch?) ancestry. I do get the impression though that he caters strongly to the interests and prejudices of American Jews (read his Bloodlands book...not impressed, and the very last chapter strongly irritated me).
    In any case, I'm not interested in hysterical hit pieces accusing Ilyin of "fascism", I want to know if some representative sample of his work is available in English, German or French, so I can judge for myself.

    I do get the impression though that he caters strongly to the interests and prejudices of American Jews

    IIRC some Jewish critics were upset with him because they felt that his focus on Polish and Ukrainian suffering diluted the “unique” suffering of the Jewish people during those times.

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    That's pretty funny, one of the things I found so bizarre about the last chapter of his book was his treatment of characters like Jakub Berman in post-war Poland. The focus was almost entirely on how these people had to live in fear of Stalin's alleged antisemitism...not on the fact that they were pretty repellent characters themselves who were instrumental in the creation of a communist dictatorship.
    He had similar tendencies in earlier chapters imo (e.g. the striking overrepresentation of Jews among NKVD personnel until 1937/38 only gets mentioned in the context of the Great Terror when they fell victim to a system they had earlier been part of; iirc he also had the usual line about Stalin supporting Great Russian chauvinism).
    And quite apart from that, it's just a totally unoriginal book, little more than a tedious catalogue of atrocities.
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  • There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days. I don't follow domestic Armenian politics, but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan - who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs - has recently transitioned from the Presidency to the...
  • @Art Deco
    But Maidanism is more of a religious phenomenon, so no firm predictions can be made.

    No, they just don't like you. Get over it.

    It would be pretty strange for Armenians to not like their only guarantor against Azeri designs on their territory, and their only friend in the region apart from Iran.

    (Though as Felix correctly points out, not exactly something that would bother Russians, since Armenia benefits from the relationship far more).

    But it’s not strange, because you are making things up, as you are regrettably wont to. In reality, Armenia is one of the few countries where Putin is even more popular than in Russia itself.

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    • Replies: @neutral
    What is interesting about that map is how the world community thinks about things vs the "world community" (i.e. all the puppets of the US that the media declares to be the world).

    With India and China you already have a big chunk of the world population, assuming that the rest of Africa leans like Nigeria and Congo, then you have the bulk of world actually being pro and not anti, contradicting the narrative of the cuckservative and SJW media.

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  • The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov. For the first part, see: Russians in the 2oth Century. Part I: Origins to WWII. Incidentally, while counter-mainstream commenters in the West are hardly well compensated, this is unfortunately doubly true in Russia. If you have enjoyed our translations of him, a...
  • @German_reader

    the author might be Jewish.
     
    Timothy Snyder isn't Jewish, but iirc of gentile North European (Dutch?) ancestry. I do get the impression though that he caters strongly to the interests and prejudices of American Jews (read his Bloodlands book...not impressed, and the very last chapter strongly irritated me).
    In any case, I'm not interested in hysterical hit pieces accusing Ilyin of "fascism", I want to know if some representative sample of his work is available in English, German or French, so I can judge for myself.

    I want to know if some representative sample of his work is available in English, German or French, so I can judge for myself.

    If you don’t get a good answer here, you might try asking this question over at Paul Robinson’s blog:

    https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.