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Matt Yglesias might want a billion Americans. But there would have been 500 million Russians in the absence of the Bolshevik Revolution, as was predicted by Dmitry Mendeleev in a 1907 book.

Putin, who it is now very clear reads my blog and Twitter, recently said as much himself in a meeting with schoolchildren in Vladivostok:

In our country, the Russian statehood disintegrated twice during the 20th century. The Russian Empire ceased to exist after the 1917 revolution. Russia lost huge territories in the west and north but gradually recuperated. But later, there followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. Why? We should closely analyse all this and find what triggered those dramatic events. Had they failed to happen, we should have had a different country now. Some specialists believe that we should have had a population nearing 500 million people. Just think about it. Today, we have 146 million. If these tragedies had not occurred, there would have been 500 million people.

 

This isn’t a neo-Tsarist “what if” fantasy.

It is a direct computation of what population trends would have been like in the absence of the multiple catastrophes that Russia experienced during the thirty years from 1917-1947*.

  • Civil War, famines, emigration: 10M+
  • Collectivization famines: 5-7M
  • Political repressions: 1M+
  • World War II and Nazi occupation: 27M
  • 1947 famine: 1.5M

The result is that the combined population of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus was hardly any higher in 1946 (97M+33.5M+7.5M=138M) than it had been in 1916 (92M+35M+7M=134M). This was in a region which had a TFR of 6 children per woman in 1913.

Of course to this figure of ~280M+ Russians within the borders of the modern RF should be added 100M (much more Russified) Ukrainians and 20M Belorussians for a total population of 400M.

This is if anything a lower bound because it assumes that fertility patterns would have otherwise remained unchanged. Possibly a surviving Russian Empire/Republic would have had an earlier demographic transition to sub replacement fertility, as happened in Germany from the 1970s and Italy from the 1980s, due to faster economic development. On the other hand, it could be expected to have had a slower demographic transition earlier on, due to the absence of collectivization and no male/female post-WW2 disparity, and it would not have experienced the fertility-shredding social cataclysm that accompanied the Soviet collapse in the 1990s-2000s.

It is understandable why most Russians are not pining for a third revolution.

* Демографические катастрофы ХХ века by the (late) demographer Anatoly Vishnevsky (from this book). Updated version here.

 
• Category: History • Tags: Demographics, Russia, Soviet Union, Vladimir Putin 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    Commenting rules. Please note that anonymous comments are not allowed.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  2. Mersaux says:

    “It is understandable why most Russians are not pining for a third revolution”

    The average Russian knows nothing about would be demographics of Russia if there hadn’t be a Russian Revolution. Also Lenin and Stalin are still among the “most popular Russians”. Both men did their best to reduce the Russian population growth.

    So all in all I doubt that Russian lack of support for Navalny has anything to do with the Russian revoluton. Otherwise the Communist party in Russia wouldn’t poll so good

    • Replies: @Rahan
  3. How do you think Bolshevism will affect Russia’s population in the future, and how long do you think it will take for Russia to repopulate? Do you think Bolshevism could have accelerated the breeder transition in Russia, like what is happening with France?

    • Replies: @216
  4. AP says:

    Another great data-driven article

  5. TG says:

    One is reminded that the ‘demographic transition’ wherein first people get rich, then have few er children, is a lie. The Iron Law of Development is that FIRST people moderate their fertility rate to less than the physical maximum, THEN – if everything else goes halfway right – they can accumulate per-capita wealth. Except for tiny city-states or nations with an open frontier, never the other way around.

    If Russia’s population had exploded to 500 million, it would more likely be like Pakistan or India. One is reminded that, with a moderate population and abundant resources, even under the dead hand of orthodox communism the Soviet Union was relatively rich, and today, with all it’s problems and sanctions, it’s doing pretty well.

    Look at India: massive population growth there, but the average Indian has a physical standard of living in any ways inferior to late medieval Europe, chronically malnourished and miserable. Sure, GNP has gone up, but that’s mostly been asset price inflation and the need to make massive infrastructure investments to handle all those people living at a low level of subsistence.

    India has something like nice times the population of Russia – and far, far less geopolitical power. I mean, there’s not a lot of actionable power to a billion malnourished peasants squatting in the mud, is there?

    The rich always want to push populations up, because it maximizes profit. There is nothing wrong with a growing population – as long as it is appropriate to the circumstances. But massive unchecked population growth not only impoverishes the average person, ultimately it weakens the power of the nation as a whole. I mean, in WWII, the United States has a population of abut 130 million, relatively old after more than a decade of low fertility and near-zero immigration. Meanwhile China and India in WWII had populations of 360 million and 500 million, respectively. And these were pathetically weak and hardly a military afterthought.

    Growth is not a priori bad, but growth for its own sake is usually a disaster.

  6. AP says:
    @TG

    India lacks Russia’s natural resources and human capital. Russia was already undergoing significant industrialization in the 19th century. Russia without Sovoks would not have been a snowy India but a huge snowy Italy in terms of wealth, industrialization, etc.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  7. Passer by says:

    Putin, who it is now very clear reads my blog and Twitter

    This is not how it works, usually. He is a very busy man, and not too fond on the internet. The reading of such sites would also make a great compromat against him, and he is a careful person. But it is possible that someone among his advisors is your fan.

    • Agree: Pop Warner
    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  8. If Russia’s population were 500 million now after a hundred years of sensible, liberal-ish government, technology would likely be now, where it will be in 2050. That would have been fun. There’d also be so many beautiful books written, music played and films produced.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  9. songbird says:

    What would Russia look like, if none of its Jews had emigrated? And what would the US and UK look like? Though, I guess that would be going back a bit earlier.

    I also wonder if 500 million Russians would have been enough to safely integrate the Stans, and, for the hawks, Mongolia (assuming a different attitude to China.)

    • Replies: @animalogic
    , @SFG
  10. These counterfactuals are kind of ridiculous. If us Helleno-Romaioi did not allow the Constantinopolitan elite to concentrate power in their hands at the expense of the Anatolian military families a few years after the reign Basil II Porphyrogenitos, say 1040 AD, then we would not have allowed the eastern defences to deteriorate, and we would have easily repulsed the Seljuks and the Ottomans. Even assuming the loss of non-Greek speaking territory, we would have retained the borders as they were at the end of the reign of John Komnenos in 1143 AD.

    Therefore, today we would have a population of 80 million and be an important regional player. Additionally, there would have been much fertile land and opportunity for capital accumulation which would have resulted in less Greeks migrating to all corners of the earth.

    You could play this game with every country on earth but what is the point. There is only one unchangeable path to the present but many potential paths into the future and that is what really matters.

  11. Mr. Hack says:

    Russia’s population growth has been stagnant if not receding over the last 5 years (perhaps longer).How can anybody think that this trend is about to change? 500,000,000? Russia has a long ways to go to catch up to the rest of the world and afford a population of this large size, providing it with a lifestyle that is now possible in the West, and desired by anybody with eyes and ears. Russia today, would no doubt resemble more a “snowy India” than a Germany if it had 500m inhabitants. Russia’s GNP is still trailing little Italy’s, correct?

    The demographic forecast presented at the Gaidar Forum, a huge gathering of experts named after the head of the first post-Soviet government, estimated Russia’s population in 2050 as dropping to around 137 million from current 146 million.

    https://www.rbth.com/lifestyle/329934-will-russias-population-decline

    Let’s start putting back some realism into our discussion here folks. What good really is this “what/if” discussion anyways?

  12. Beckow says:

    No, it wouldn’t work that way. The variance would be in 10’s of millions, not much more.

    Three things to consider:
    – WWII was by far the biggest loss (27 million) and had to do with the Western genocide attempt to get lebensraum. What was Russia supposed to do, surrender?
    – The second biggest loss was the 90’s demographic collapse.
    – If Russia had stayed as it was in 1914 a substantially larger percentage of people would had emigrated and it would be taking place a lot longer.

    In summary: the two top population losses were not directly caused by the revolution, and the third one (emigration) was probably overall smaller because of it. On the other hand, with liberalism and open borders, Russia could today resemble the West. Would that really be better?

  13. songbird says:

    Always picture Russia as being too cold, where you would need a kind of hyper-nationalism, that’s quasi-religious to get to 500 million. Or at least underground cities, or cryo-pets, or something.

    But it seems astonishing how few live in the Ukraine.

    I had an idea recently that maybe, it would be possible to reverse-engineer the Amish. Take the secret of what makes them work, but while allowing for the full use of technology. I think ceremonies and customs have more power than people realize – they just haven’t been designed for all the proper things, or aren’t employed as part of a cogent toolkit, but could be so.

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  14. @TG

    Russia IQ: High 90s
    India IQ: Low 80s

    So outcomes were unlikely to be similar anyway.

    But even that aside, Russia in 1913 was vastly more developed than India in 1913, or 1947, or even (arguably) 1970. It was converging on universal primary enrollment, had the world’s third largest stock market by capitalization, the highest number of university students of any European country, and a quarter of peasant households had a savings account (in India, it was 40%… around 2011).

    • Replies: @GuestAug
    , @Mr. XYZ
  15. @Beckow

    – WWII was by far the biggest loss (27 million) and had to do with the Western genocide attempt to get lebensraum. What was Russia supposed to do, surrender?

    Russia would not have gotten into such a position of international isolation if it wasn’t ruled by a terrorist clique.

    Even if it did, Germany would have had much bigger problems against a country with a 40% greater population, an additional decade of industrial development, and one that retained its Tsarist-era cognitive elites. https://www.unz.com/akarlin/sikorskys-engineers/

    – The second biggest loss was the 90’s demographic collapse.

    Which occurred as a result of Soviet collapse, orchestrated by Soviet elites. Or was Yeltsin an American, or a Martian?

    – If Russia had stayed as it was in 1914 a substantially larger percentage of people would had emigrated and it would be taking place a lot longer.

    The Russian Empire had much lower rates of emigration than Britain or Germany. However, at least 2M Russians did become emigres as a result of the Bolsheviks, with many more being permanently stranded abroad. This was again repeated during the 1990s. It is striking how you project what actually did happen thanks to the USSR onto the Russian Empire.

    On the other hand, with liberalism and open borders, Russia could today resemble the West. Would that really be better?

    Correct. At least in my world, multiculturalism, political correctness, SJWism, etc. – undesirable as they might be – are incomparably preferable to killing millions of people (mostly your own people at that in the case of the USSR).

    It also barely needs noting that immigration problems would be much less acute in the context of the base population being twice larger.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @inertial
    , @Seraphim
    , @Beckow
    , @ivan
  16. @songbird

    Russia is now a huge caloric net exporter and can easily maintain a well fed population of 250-300M under current production. Feeding 500M will be trivial.

    Russia’s theoretical carrying capacity under modern industrial agriculture should be around a few billions, comparable to the US. https://www.unz.com/akarlin/world-population/

    • Replies: @songbird
  17. @Triteleia Laxa

    That’s probably a bit too optimistic, but yes, the global tech level might be half a decade or so ahead IRL had Russian human capital been utilized to its full potential during 20C.

    PS. This also relates to the absurd India/Pakistan comparisons above. I am a noted Indophile, but it wasn’t doing any of these things. Either then or now.

    • Thanks: Triteleia Laxa
    • Replies: @inertial
  18. Lokke says:

    Nazism, Bolshevism, and Maoism all proved extremely useful long-term to liberalism and the supremacy of Anglo-Jewish paradigms. The latter two managed to obliterate societies that still tried to resist the onslaught of modernity and could have presented real challenges to western capitalism down the road.

    Although China’s demographic potential probably hasn’t been significantly impacted by Mao and his lunacy as Russia’s has been by the Bolsheviks, China has moved in a hypermaterialistic direction and Chicom society currently looks like a slightly more dystopian version of the modern West. Except it’s worse because Chinese culture has actually been mostly erased and Chinese cities all look trashy, cheap, and soulless, despite the country itself being the heir of a thousand-year-old civilization. The Davos elites and “build back better” enthusiasts clearly look up to the Chicoms as a model to be followed, and that tells us a lot.

    China, despite being economically powerful, presents no real alternative to the western model. Communist China is a product of western paradigms and especially western capital. Xi apparently wants to adopt mild ethnonationalism and build a superficially more “traditionalist” facade for the system to try to differentiate China a bit from the woke Americans. That doesn’t change the fact that China takes many of our social illnesses to the extreme, and that the Chinese people will soon be just as spoiled, castrated, and deracinated as the majority of westerners are.

    The Nazis, in turn, managed, through their fanaticism and incompetence, to do the exact opposite of what they supposedly aimed to do (counter Anglo-Jewish globalistic liberalism and restore a traditional order), and still left a trail of destruction and death in Eastern Europe which delivered it to the Bolshevik yoke in its entirety. Ironically, Nazis have pretty much wrecked “Mitteleuropa” and the prospect of a Russo-German axis to counter Atlanticism. Not surprising considering it was a movement of uncultured LARPer clowns who even replaced actual traditional, old national symbols with silly Swastikas and dumb marching songs.

    These societies have all burned because they were wary of fully accelerating into satanic, massified liberal modernity. I’d say Nazism especially could be seen as a case of a people panicking with existential terror due to the dissolution of traditional beliefs and social bonds, massification, and the advent of an unpredictable liberal society that has no brakes and can’t be kept in check. Russia would probably have undergone a different set of catastrophes had the Bolsheviks failed to usurp power, as it was a society lagging behind in the race for modernization. Eventually, the corrosive forces of liberalism would have torn Russia apart, and a mass outburst of reactionary rage and panic akin to Nazism would have occurred, with catastrophic consequences.

    • Agree: Yellowface Anon
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @songbird
  19. Mr. Hack says:
    @Lokke

    Eventually, the corrosive forces of liberalism would have torn Russia apart, and a mass outburst of reactionary rage and panic akin to Nazism would have occurred, with catastrophic consequences.

    What’s to stop this from happening in Russia today? For all of its thin veneer of trying to resemble a “traditional society”, one can easily detect the slow but steady underlying drumbeat of liberalism and modernism creeping into Russian society. In between the rewriting of Ukrainian history, Putin probably still hangs around his old cronies, drinking good scotch and cognac, listening to old school Western rock stars like Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. Capitalism is, after all, a rather soulless and deracinated sort of a system.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  20. inertial says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Russia got itself in a position of a pretty bad political isolation in the middle of the 19th century, which resulted in a military defeat. And what was the reason for this isolation? Russia’s perceived expansionism in the Balkans. Now imagine that after WWI Russia ended up owning Constantinople. You think England would have taken it lying down? All of this may well have resulted in WWII but with England and France (and possibly USA) fighting on the side of Germany.

    Oh, and on the other side of the world, in the early 20th century the RI had managed to piss off both Japan and China. What if they joined the fray as well? WWII but in the format Russia vs. everyone. Such a war likely would’ve been less genocidal but Russia would’ve ended up dismembered (and far worse than it is now.)

    Or perhaps none of that would have happened. We’ll never know. The point is that alternative history fantasies such as yours always assume that all the bad stuff would have been prevented but all the good stuff would have happened automatically. This is not realistic.

    • Agree: Vishnugupta, iffen
    • Replies: @AP
  21. songbird says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Not so much an issue of food production, IMO, as it is the psychological cost of the cold and the darkness.

    People are only very poorly cold-adapted physically. I think the same is true of the brain. When you consider the way society has been disrupted in modern times. It might be harder to fix a society in a really cold climate, without a a strong return to traditions of family and communal living.

    Not to say it is uncrackable, I just think it is a harder nut to crack, and would require a more rigid discipline.

  22. songbird says:
    @Lokke

    Harbin seems somewhat nice.

  23. inertial says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Hard to say in each individual case, but overall it’s quite likely that technological progress went faster than it would have otherwise precisely because all these Russian inventors found themselves in America. How much Tesla would have contributed to technological progress if he stayed in Serbia? Same with the Russian inventors.

    America was the place to be for an inventor, for reasons both economic and cultural. Zworykin was able to invent the first practical TV because he had Sarnoff backing him up and pushing his invention. On the other hand, Popov invented radio but did nothing with it. Besides, Russian inventors coming to America and doing better there than in Russia predates 1917. Alexander Lodygin comes to mind.

    • Replies: @Adept
  24. Adept says:
    @inertial

    The estimable Scott Locklin wrote a good post on this subject several months ago:
    https://scottlocklin.wordpress.com/2021/03/05/russian-empire-aerospace-refugees/

    But only the first half is about Russian emigres to the US. The second half questions where people fleeing the US might end up, and advises countries to open their arms to refugees-from-wokeness as a matter of policy.

    The talented tenth of a percent of Americans are poised to scatter to the winds; there is no real sink for the talent source spigot. Governmental entrepreneurs in other countries who want to build their country up should probably consider giving them an obvious landing spot. For a century, America was that landing spot for the talented, for the innocent wastrels persecuted, and they helped make the place powerful beyond imagining. I certainly wouldn’t consider a place like China (they have enough empty cities for it), Russia or Belarus, but if the fall of the US takes its sphere of influence with it, those countries have a fighting chance of remaining civilized, and Russia at least does have a history of adopting talented people and integrating them with their society; even leaving them some autonomy. Smaller countries should also consider it.

  25. @Passer by

    The reading of such sites would also make a great compromat against him, and he is a careful person. But it is possible that someone among his advisors is your fan.

    Concur. Also, it may be an ancient principle that when your advice is being accepted by the ruler, instead of publicly taking credit for it, it is more seemly to say, “…and in this I agree with the ruler” or “as our ruler has said…”.

    You and he can know that he got it from you, but it does neither of you good to upstage him.

  26. Seraphim says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    What’s striking is how Russophobia clouds any historical judgment.

  27. @Agathoklis

    Not only are such alternate history projections pointless, their popularity are often indicative of populations that have resigned themselves to also ran status.

    This is surprising in Russia’s case as given the comprehensive civilizational meltdown which is irreversibly underway in the West it is likely to emerge as the flag bearer of European Civilization almost by default by the end of this century.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @iffen
  28. Rahan says:
    @Mersaux

    Also Lenin and Stalin are still among the “most popular Russians”. Both men did their best to reduce the Russian population growth.

    So all in all I doubt that Russian lack of support for Navalny has anything to do with the Russian revoluton. Otherwise the Communist party in Russia wouldn’t poll so good

    All of this makes sense at first glance, but perhaps not when we zoom in.

    Stalin “reduced the Russian population growth” in relation to an imaginary peaceful alt history. In relation to the actual alternative–Hitler winning and implementing Generalplan Ost–Stalin is why Russians, and indeed all Slavs, exist. Unless one thinks that variations of Trotsky or Tsar Nicholas (or Kerensky) would have done a better job at this. That’s not to say I would not hang myself instantly if somehow transported into Stalinist Russia, but that’s neither here nor there.

    Navalny appeals (appealed) to well off big city zoomers and millennials. The crowd to whom “revolution” means “I’ll be able to make a legit living by being a dildo-riding sissy camwhore, while kindly, wise yet vigorous Negros sell me awesome drugs in exchange for blowjobs.”

    The reds in Russia today are divided into four basic factions; two of which are represented in congress and the senate, and two of which thus far have representation only in state legislatures.

    The ones represented on a federal level are:
    1) Social Democrats (A Just Russia)
    2) Communists (CPRF)

    The ones represented in state mini-parliaments are
    1) Communists of Russia
    2) Russian Party of Freedom and Justice

    While only four parties are currently represented on a federal level, the actual political pluralism exists in Russia on the state level. For example here in Siberian heartland Khakassia we see the smaller Communists of Russia, plus some smaller patriotic party, plus even a Retirees of Russia party.

    The “popular communists” which you mention, are the ones in congress and senate, and their traditional allure is “bringing back Soviet stability”, which has gradually morphed into “creating a Slavic version of the Chinese stability”.

    In the last months they’ve received a boost by being the only big party to take the stance that COVID vax mandates are bad.

    But in any case, the supporters of the CPRF are not youngsters who want a revolution, but tired old geezers who just want things back the way they were back when their bones didn’t ache and the world made sense. Since I myself am also against vax mandates, had I been a Rus citizen, this time I would have voted for them due to this issue alone. Right now with the bleeding Great Reset everything else is secondary IMO, and I don’t care what people call themselves or what ideology they pretend to follow, as long as they are capable of saying “no” to Fauci and Schwab.

    Likewise the Social Democrats and the Nationalist LDPR are also against any revolution. For the upcoming elections the Social Democrat platform is literally all about education and libraries…

    …while LDPR say “Russia does not need any more revolutions”. As do all the “pro-business” libertarian parties trying to enter Congress this time around.

    Of the smaller parties existing on the sub-federal level, Communists of Russia want an abrupt return to a Stalinist-Brezhnevist type of society, while the Russian Party of Freedom and Justice is such a vote-diverting fake project it doesn’t even have a functioning website. All they have is a comatose presence on the Russian alternative to Faceberg: https://vk.com/partyrpss

    To reiterate:
    1) Stalin was bad for Russian demographics when compared to an imaginary alt history. When compared to the reality of who else could stop Hitler (Trotsky-type, Tsar Nicholas-type, Kerensky-type) he was quite goof for Russian demographic in the sense that they still exist as opposed to the Generlaplan Ost alternative.
    2) No party in Russian Congress is pushing for a revolution, and only a couple of the smaller parties. Plus, one needs to remember that in post-communist societies, calling for communism is not “revolutionary”, it is to the contrary “reactionary” and “conservative”. Thus even the smaller Communists of Russia larpers are in fact hardcore reactionaries.

    The only “proper revolutionaries” are (were) indeed the Navalny peeps, but their “revolution” meant “let’s all become globohomo”, in the most passive sense of “let’s just open up completely to the west and do what they tell us to do”.

    I.e. their project was Russia becoming an enormous Lithuania. In a sense Yabloko’s program is also this, but a boring social-democrat version, as opposed to an exciting double anal version.

    • Replies: @John Regan
  29. @Vishnugupta

    Or, they can inspire a nation to rebuild, like the Jews did after WW2. Population is ultimately the source of all national power. Sovoks were burning through people to build industrial plants…

    Speaking of retarded Sovoks, I hope Anatoly is going to cover demographic catastrophe (no other way to describe it) unfolding in China right now: annual number of births declined from 22,7 million in 1991 to 12 million in 2020, and projected to decline futher to 5-7 million births by 2030!

    https://stranger233.livejournal.com/39491.html

    I used to be sceptical of China in the past, I’m downright bearish now.

    • Replies: @4Dchessmaster
    , @Dmitry
  30. I did my calculations and came up with 200M Russians, 70M Ukrainians and 15M Belarussians, = total 285M. In this scenario there would still be a Civil War ending earlier between Social Democrats and the Whites, and WWII and its casualties.

    • Replies: @iffen
  31. @Agathoklis

    You miss the point of alternate history, which is thinking of what would have been instead of what we have.

    • Replies: @Agathoklis
  32. @TG

    Coulda, shoulda, woulda. India isn’t poor because there’s a lot of people, it’s poor because the people are Indians. Russia on the other hand is populated mostly by Russians. Due to a thing called Winter, they evolved to favor intelligence and concientiousness.
    Looking at resources is fruitless. Who has more resources, Switzerland or Zimbabwe?

    • Replies: @Weaver
  33. @Mr. Hack

    Taking the Svevlad pill, Tokugawa-style shut-down of borders, then a total purge of bourgeois elements, Cultural Revolution-style, and a big dose of Pol Pot used against all the appendages of Western Modernity. There will be famines, but that is a trial from God who will save the Russians when this is done.

    For myself, the elimination of modernism starts at home, your fields, and the local level.

    • Replies: @Weaver
  34. @Beckow

    Soviet collectivisation/industrialision policies arguably did more damage to Russian demography, than WW2. TFR of a Russian woman went from 7 in 1925 to under 2 by 1965. A more gradual transition, like the one experienced by Argentina, would have given us 500+ million people just within current borders!

    • Replies: @Beckow
  35. @Yellowface Anon

    Thank you for the explanation but it is act of just thinking about what could have been which is pointless in itself. Once you start on that path, one can create multiple alternative scenarios which are often highly contingent on other multiple alternative scenarios. You only have to run a handful of scenarios and the number of scenarios and potential outcomes immediately becomes so unwieldy as to be nonsensical.

    In the case of Russians, I have often heard some of them lament about what could have been if they did not have the Bolshevik Revolution or WWII or Russian Civil War and so on. Let’s put aside how infantile this activity is. It is almost as if they just assume they are deserving of world leadership and it is primarily the work of evil outsiders which denied them that chance. Unfortunately, most of those calamities were the fault of their own clumsiness and backwardness. Also, perhaps their current position as a strong regional player and one of a number of secondary powers is where they should have been anyway. We should not forget that Tsarist Russia was one of a number of Great Powers in the 19th century. They were not a world power. Their brief stint as a world power should be seen as an aberration rather than the norm.

    • Agree: Yellowface Anon
    • Replies: @Rahan
  36. Weaver says:

    If the Bolsheviks often focused on killing elites, I say if because the history seems a bit sketchy; then Russian IQ and general genetic quality might have fallen. That loss might be more significant than population loss. I’m wholly against transhumanism; so, that loss of quality seems important to me.

  37. Weaver says:
    @Sparkylyle92

    Ha Joon Chang points out in his book “Bad Samaritans” that Germans and Japanese were once thought lazy. SK was once very poor and looked down upon as well.

    India could transform itself, maybe. Perhaps a smaller substate of capable Indians could. Some have success in the US, though their IQ might be artificially lowered by malnutrition. They might turn out to be a strong group, though appearing weak today.

  38. Another alternate history that could interest utilitarianist-transhumanist-IQist crowd here.

    Imagine that Polish-Russian wars of the 17th century went the other way.

    Imagine this dream becoming a reality.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish%E2%80%93Lithuanian%E2%80%93Muscovite_Commonwealth

    This alternate reality would be harder for Russian peasants, but good for all mankind.

    Imagine by 20th century, there is no Russia, only Great Poland all the way to the Pacific, with population of 170+ million people as in our history, and 15% of them are Ashkenazi Jews.

    Yes, imagine world with 25 million super genius Jews.
    Imagine technological and scientific progress in this world.

    This is why amateurs with time machine go after Hitler, but professionals go after Minin and Pozharsky.

  39. Weaver says:
    @Yellowface Anon

    Check out GK Chesterton’s “Outline of Sanity” and Belloc’s “Servile State.” You don’t need to return to agrarianism. I doubt it would even save you.

    The Amish in the US thrive by rejecting modernity, but they couldn’t defend themselves from many threats.

  40. Not sure if a tsarist / bourgeois régime would have managed WW II better than Stalin though… the Soviet Union won precisely thanks to its industrial planification system, which allowed it to manufacture much more gear than Adolf, despite having a smaller economy than the Third Reich ( i think) . One of the only value added of commies may well be that they were the only ones on Earth capable of beating Hitler.

    • Agree: iffen
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  41. @Maïkl Makfaïl

    Remember, it was fear of Bolshevik takeover in Germany that persuaded German elites to surrender power to Hitler. And without Hitler at the helm, it is unlikely that Germany would embark on a grand settler-colonial project in Eastern Europe. We might still get a war in Europe, but it would not become an existential struggle that the “Great Patriotic war” was for Russians.

    • Agree: AP
  42. iffen says:

    Yeah, and only 400 of the 500 million would have been serfs.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  43. iffen says:
    @Vishnugupta

    the comprehensive civilizational meltdown which is irreversibly underway

    Yogi Berra once said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  44. iffen says:
    @drive by shitposting

    Yes, imagine world with 25 million super genius Jews.
    Imagine technological and scientific progress in this world.

    More of what we already have only more heavily influenced by Jews.

    Sure, why not?

    They would be sure to have gotten Bolshevism done right by now.

  45. Russia’s crucial mistake was entry into WW I. Read Peter Frankopan’s book, “The Silk Roads”, to see how Britain inveigled the Russians into renewed encroachments towards the Balkans and Bosphorus. This brought Russia into confrontation with the Germans and Austrians.

    It need not have happened.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  46. @Jon Halpenny

    Maybe Russia’s mistake was that the Bolsheviks pulled out of WWI and signed a separate peace with Germany. The Bolsheviks rolled their revolution on the peace ticket but who says politicians have to keep their promises once they’re in power? They could have easily remained allies with UK, France and US as they did during WWII, shared in the spoils of victory and avoided the interventionist wars by the western powers perhaps avoiding the Civil War or at least winning it with fewer losses. So they pulled out of the world war to plunge themselves into a civil war.

  47. Rahan says:
    @Agathoklis

    We should not forget that Tsarist Russia was one of a number of Great Powers in the 19th century. They were not a world power.

    There were no world powers. Only great powers.

  48. Hartnell says:

    Sorry Karlin but you and Putin are missing out the hard facts on the ground here. Whilst you are both correct in assuming that if all of these events in the 20th century, Russia would have had 500 million people is probably accurate, you are missing the big picture.

    The reality is it was difficult for Russia to avoid the catastrophes that was unleashed. The first reason being is World War 1.

    It is no secret all leaders of Europe at that time desperately wanted a war. Churchill even famously remarked to his wife that if the Serbian crisis did not lead to war, he would have taken his own life. So the possibility of a big war to start off the century was unavoidable. Even if it hadnt been Serbia, it would have eventually happened.

    The second fact that is under the Tsar, Russia had limited industrialisation and many hungry peasants. There were already protests and sympathies for the Commies before 1914 even (remember 1905?). If the Tsar isnt promising anything major and the Bolsheviks were promising commie “heaven on earth”, the peasantry were going to back it.

    The only way to solve this was for the Tsar to make rapid industrial gains and improve food production, which he never successfully did. The revolution I think in Russia was inevitable and only WW1 helped achieve it even faster.

    The third is World War 2. Whoever lost the first was going to want another chance to get back on top. In our case it was Germany. Even if the Tsar had survived, Germany still would have wanted lebensbraum. The big question is would the Tsar have successfully pushed back to Berlin like Stalin did? Somehow I remain doubtful.

    Regardless of who won and lost, Russia was going to get dragged into another war regardless.

    Fourth, famines were happening all over the place. I think without the Bolsheviks, there would have been another famine outbreak. Maybe that would have led to a Bolshevik revolution just on its own merits?

    There are so many possibilities but in an alternate universe, I cannot see Russia escaping the same dramatic episodes like in our timeline.

    The same can be said for the West. Had there have been no world wars, Europe would likely have retained their empires into the 21st century with white demographics remaining on top for another century at least. But alas, everything was unfortunately inevitable and we are all in this same situation.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  49. songbird says:

    A lot of German agression was predicated on the Bolsheviks. How many Volga Germans did they liquidate?

    I think Stalin was mostly a liability. I’m not sure a Czarist Russia would have agreed to divide Poland, eliminating a buffer state, or would have antagonized Finland in the same way.

    • Replies: @mal
  50. AP says:
    @iffen

    Serfdom was abolished in the 1860s, long before Bolsheviks came to power.

    • Replies: @iffen
  51. @iffen

    Don’t know if serious or trolling, but as I like to point out, the distance between 1861 and 1917 is less than the distance between the Great Terror and the fall of the USSR.

    Did the USSR “deserve” to collapse specifically on account of what happened in it more than a half a century in the past?

    If so, perhaps the US also deserves the complete victory of the SJWs who want to deconstruct its identity to revolve exclusively around slavery.

  52. @drive by shitposting

    Why would this have resulted in the extermination of Russian peasants?!

    Such a polity would have been highly unlikely to survive long into the nationalist era, though yes, such a scenario would have likely been better for Eastern Slavdom.

    • Replies: @drive by shitposting
  53. @Hartnell

    The second fact that is under the Tsar, Russia had limited industrialisation and many hungry peasants. There were already protests and sympathies for the Commies before 1914 even (remember 1905?).

    The data paints a different picture:

    Generally speaking, across a range of indices, Russians wouldn’t sustainably exceed the consumer power they had in 1913 until the Khrushchev era.

    The only way to solve this was for the Tsar to make rapid industrial gains and improve food production, which he never successfully did.

    Industrial growth was very high in the last decade of the Russian Empire. 1916 levels wouldn’t be recovered until around 1928-29.

    Fourth, famines were happening all over the place. I think without the Bolsheviks, there would have been another famine outbreak.

    Only famine in the late Russian Empire: 400,000 deaths.

    Famines in the USSR: 5-10M during the Civil War; 5-7M collectivization famines; 2M deaths from dearth within the unoccupied USSR during WW2; 1.5M in 1947 (!).

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @inertial
  54. How about abortions? The Soviets had the first legalized abortions. The Johnston archive gives very big numbers for Russia and Ukraine or USSR period. They seem to have the right numbers for the US.

    http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/index.html#ST

    And does the 27 million USSR WWII figure cover demographic loss or only those killed?

    Now for the 1930s Soviet famine… estimates were about 10 million but this apparently included deportation, leaving the country, and unborn. This is probably the reason newer estimates have been reduced.

  55. @Anatoly Karlin

    No extermination, only centuries of triple class, national and religious oppression in the hands of new masters.
    But, on the other side, when the 20th century rolls up, the unleashed Jewish supergeniuses would build fully automated luxury transhumanist gay space communism for all mankind 😉
    (or blow up the world for real 🙁 )

    >such a scenario would have likely been better for Eastern Slavdom

    this is surprising take from Russian nationalist, to put it mildly 😮

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  56. @Felix Keverich

    depends on the scenario

    in timeline where revolution happens, but bolsheviks are defeated, European and world bourgeois opinion would be as much frightened by Reds and turn to fascism to protect themselves against another revolution
    maybe even more, because the victors will take care to widely publicize Bolshevik crimes (to justify their rule and their own crimes)

  57. @Anatoly Karlin

    Russia’s population doubled since the start of 20th century. Russia’s grain output less than doubled. How come Russians aren’t starving (right now), or at least malnutritioned?

  58. @drive by shitposting

    In the (highly hypothetical) scenario in which Russian identity became sublimated into some kind of East European superethnos, I would obviously not be a Russian nationalist by dint of it having become a larp identity like modern Russian Ingermanlanders or Belorussian Grand Duchy of Lithunia restorationists.

    • Agree: Boomthorkell
    • Replies: @Weaver
    , @Mikhail
    , @Boomthorkell
  59. iffen says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    The commies hated the existing economic structures that entrapped and enveloped the peasants. The Tsarists loved the existing economic structures that entrapped and enveloped the peasants. I give the commies the edge over the Tsarists in the level of contempt and hatred for the actual people who were peasants.

    You assume that the Tsarists would have industrialized the country. The commies actually did it. Do they “deserve” credit?

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  60. iffen says:
    @AP

    Thanks AP.

    Just my way of thinking out loud about the incremental improvement of being a peasant tenant farmer or agricultural day laborer as opposed to being a serf. I should stop thinking in those terms because by many metrics it was clearly an improvement in their lives.

    • Replies: @AP
  61. mal says:
    @songbird

    Well Tsarist Russia owned both Poland and Finland as duchies so they probably wouldn’t give them to Germany. Mannerheim (Finnish leader during Winter War) was a friend of Russian Emperor and one of the finest Russian Imperial Army officers, he worked for Russian intelligence and spied on Japanese in Manchuria. On the other hand, Felix Dzerzhinsky, the creator of Red Terror and Soviet secret police, was a Polish aristocrat with estates in Belarus. So its a mixed bag, maybe giving Poland to the Germans to have fun in wouldn’t have been such a bad idea. Less Polish in the world, less problems?

    Anyway, while I agree with general criticism of Sovoks, Molotov-Ribbentorp pact was one of the few things they got right. After Czechoslovakia and Zaolie, and the mess in Danzig, there was no way for foolish Poland to avoid war with Germany. And as for their “allies” Britain and France, there is a reason why early WW2 is called a Phoney War.

    So saving half a Poland from the Germans, even if temporary, and not letting Germans near the Leningrad by taking Baltics and pushing Finns back, was the best strategic move at the time.

    Molotov-Ribbentorp saved Leningrad and gave Russians strategic advantage and that was far more important than optics and opinions of useless people such as British and French.

  62. Weaver says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    The following might be too off topic, but why would a transhumanist who wants engineered new genes mind if his genetic heritage changed from Russian to Mongolian? If we’re all just lab rats, and if you intend to replace us with new creations, why does nationalism matter to you other than as a means to an end of a nation of lab creations?

    I’m an ethnic Brit, different nation. Feel free to delete this if too off topic.

  63. AP says:
    @iffen

    By 1917 the plight of the Russian peasants was similar to that of their counterparts in places like Italy and Spain rather than in medieval times or in India. The peasants were mostly poor, and mostly uneducated, but this was changing rapidly with the introduction of new schools. Stolypin’s reforms meant that the most enterprising and hardworking of the peasants were becoming prosperous.

    • Agree: Mikhail, Boomthorkell
    • Replies: @iffen
    , @Boomthorkell
  64. Meanwhile in current RF, it looks like views such as below are becoming more often in commie block enviroments – child playground in Kotelniki, a town of Moscow Oblast:

    https://avatars.mds.yandex.net/get-zen_pictures/2038324/118461390-1630483826209/orig

    • Replies: @VVV
    , @kzn
  65. @Rahan

    1) Stalin was bad for Russian demographics when compared to an imaginary alt history. When compared to the reality of who else could stop Hitler (Trotsky-type, Tsar Nicholas-type, Kerensky-type) he was quite goof for Russian demographic in the sense that they still exist as opposed to the Generlaplan Ost alternative.

    WWII as it came to pass was a direct result of Stalin’s foreign policy in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact period. He attempted to play out Germany and Britain/France versus each other, and at the same time opportunistically grab some countries. Possibly his endgame was conquest of Europe (modified Suvorov hypothesis), possibly he just wanted to grab Eastern Europe and the Balkans and leave it at that while waiting for the world revolution. We still don’t know.

    Either way, this policy turned out to be a demographic disaster for Russians (and not only them). As were the fanatical scorched earth policies and lawless partisan warfare once the war was on, which together with general wartime food shortages were the real cause of most of the Soviet civilian mass death which liberal and communist historians alike prefer to attribute solely to deliberate genocide by Those Awful Nazis. Although geopolitically the Stalin policy proved successful in the end thanks to the American intervention which turned the tables on everyone else. At least in the short term.

    As for the Generalplan Ost, if you read the original German documents rather than Wikipedia, one surprising thing you will find in them is that the German policy planners actually anticipated a major growth in the Russian population through natural increase under their rule. Their demographers projected a growth of tens of millions due to better food and health care than under the Soviet system. Even Hitler himself commented on this in Hitler’s Table Talk. He joked that if the Germans really wanted to keep the Russian population levels down, they’d have to sic the Jews on them so they could drown them in birth control, pornography and alcohol:

    There is a very real danger that the locals will increase too rapidly under our care. Their standards of living will inevitably improve under our jurisdiction, and we must take every measure necessary to ensure that the non-German population should not increase at an excessive rate.

    Far from banning the sale of birth control items, therefore, we should rather do our utmost to encourage it [in the occupied Soviet territories]. We should call on the Jews for help! With their unrivalled sense of commerce, they are the very people for the job!

    Of course, the more populous Russia the Nazi policy wonks imagined was ideally to be divided into smaller states politically inferior to Germany, junior partners at best and pseudo-colonial dependencies at worst (depending on which of the many contradictory policy drafts you make your alt-history truth). And some bits, like Crimea, were to be annexed directly to Germany. Another illustration that demographics aren’t always the same thing as political strength.

    Be that as it may. But come the 1990s, Hitler once again proved himself a bit of a prophet in his own anti-Semitic way. Kind of like his similar not-so-funny-any-more prediction in 1945 that a victorious America would inevitably collapse into degeneracy and liberal insanity and leave world dominion to the “Yellow races” for the next few centuries or so.

    • Thanks: Rahan, Yellowface Anon, sher singh
  66. AP says:
    @drive by shitposting

    Imagine that Polish-Russian wars of the 17th century went the other way.

    As I’ve noted earlier, this was when a universal Slavic homeland came closest to being achieved.

    Imagine by 20th century, there is no Russia, only Great Poland all the way to the Pacific, with population of 170+ million people as in our history, and 15% of them are Ashkenazi Jews.

    In this “Great Poland” the Eastern Slavs would have outnumbered the ethnic Poles by a considerable margin. I’m not sure the result would be a “Great Poland,” exactly. There would be a strong influence of Catholicism. Rather than Polish-Russian wars the superstate would probably mop up the Ottomans and/or Swedes sooner.

    This alternate reality would be harder for Russian peasants

    I’m not sure it would be a big difference, for Russian peasants. They would have it equally hard. It would be better for Russian nobles, who would now become members of a voting oligarchy rather than as servants subject to the whims of their despotic Tsar.

  67. inertial says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Industrial growth was very high in the last decade of the Russian Empire. 1916 levels wouldn’t be recovered until around 1928-29.

    That’s actually a pretty impressive achievement by the Bolshies. Either that, or the 1916 levels were in reality quite puny.

  68. AP says:
    @inertial

    The point is that alternative history fantasies such as yours always assume that all the bad stuff would have been prevented but all the good stuff would have happened automatically. This is not realistic.

    You are absolutely correct in this and the further we go in the alternative timeline the greater are the possibilities of unpleasant “surprises.”

    Conversely, the closer in time to real events, the more realistic the appraisal.

    Within 20 years of the Revolution (not too long to consider), the Soviets lost a bunch of territory that the Tsar (or even Kerensky) would not have lost, delayed educational and technological progress by 10 years, and killed or starved to death about 20 million people. Factoring in Russia’s TFR of 6, it is thus very reasonable to assume that by the late 1930s it’s population would be about 40 million people greater than it was in the Bolshevik reality. Russia would have owned all the territories it got in Molotov-Ribbentrop, plus it would have had Finland and probably Poland as client states and it would have had expanded land at the expense of Turkey (i.e., Armenia). All of these “speculations” of what Russia would have looked like in 1935 if no Revolution are very realistic. Beyond that, who knows?

    Now imagine that after WWI Russia ended up owning Constantinople. You think England would have taken it lying down? All of this may well have resulted in WWII but with England and France (and possibly USA) fighting on the side of Germany.

    This is an excellent point. It is indeed likely that a large powerful Russia in the late 1930s (as described above) would have inspired a desire for containment by the rest of the world who would with good reason not want Russia to be some sort of global hegemon. Though because such a Russia would not be a genocidal pariah state, the rivalry might be more like what we are seeing with rising China. Wars would probably be more like the Crimean war, about cutting Russia down to size, and not wars of genocide. This wouldn’t stop Russia from achieving a population of 500 million.

    • Agree: Boomthorkell
  69. @iffen

    The commies hated the existing economic structures that entrapped and enveloped the peasants. The Tsarists loved the existing economic structures that entrapped and enveloped the peasants. I give the commies the edge over the Tsarists in the level of contempt and hatred for the actual people who were peasants.

    You are mistaken here, the Bolshevists hated the peasantry, despite some opportunist agitation to convince people otherwise. To the extent that anyone ‘loved’ the peasantry it was the Social Revolutionaries. And they reciprocated that affinity.

    Even after years of horrifying war, economic strain, having been made ‘culpable’ for the Provisional Government’s actions through their ministerial participation and Ulyanov blatantly stealing the SRs’ land redistribution manifesto the peasantry still stood firm behind the SRs.

    By Lenin’s own account the Social Revolutionaries won a majority of votes and the Bolshevists only a quarter in the only free elections the Bolshevists ever held.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1917_Russian_Constituent_Assembly_election

    As for the actual experience of peasants under Bolshevist rule: terror and starvation under War Communism due to a needless civil war caused entirely by Ulyanov’s ego; being denounced for conditions not created by them (cf. the 1923 Scissors Crisis) and in the late 1920s ending with dying in a metaphorical Kadaververwertungsanstalt if they were unfortunate and ‘merely’ rëenslaved if they were fortunate.

    (This is not valorise the SRs, who also had a bit of a history of getting their hands dirty, but it is safe to say that they were far better than the ones who ended up in charge.)

    • Agree: AP, Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @iffen
  70. Mikhail says: • Website
    @iffen

    the comprehensive civilizational meltdown which is irreversibly underway

    Yogi Berra once said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

    90% being half mental.

  71. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Belorussian Grand Duchy of Lithunia restorationists.

    Recalling a Polish poll you referenced, comparing Belarusian views of the USSR and PLC, while saying nothing of the Russian Empire and Rus periods.

  72. German_reader says:
    @John Regan

    As for the Generalplan Ost, if you read the original German documents rather than Wikipedia, one surprising thing you will find in them is that the German policy planners actually anticipated a major growth in the Russian population through natural increase under their rule.

    The problem is that much of the documentation for Generalplan Ost (which actually wasn’t a coherent plan, more like a series of proposals which didn’t always agree and sometimes reflected competing interests) has perished, so it’s a bit difficult to evaluate. The most extensive surviving sources are the musings of Dr Wetzel from Rosenberg’s Ostministerium, who was kind of a “moderate” Nazi (though still fine with exterminating the Jews and mass expulsions of Poles). It’s true that there is nothing strictly genocidal about Russians in it, instead Wetzel envisages several Russian satellite states under German influence (where Great Russian national sentiment would be denigrated and regional identities be encouraged, and birth rates kept down by propaganda about the disadvantages of having many children, easy access to abortion etc.). However, when reading Wetzel’s musings, one sometimes gets the impression that he was to some extent arguing against more extreme proposals, e.g. at one point he writes that “At least for now physical elimination of Russians would be bad for the interests of the white race in Asia, we only need a Russia demographically weak enough not to endanger German hegemony over Europe”. So one wonders, were there actually people in the SS who advocated radical solutions like “physical elimination”? imo it’s impossible to be sure about this, or what exactly would have happened in the occupied Soviet Union after a German victory.
    However I agree with you that there are many distortions about WW2 which ought to be put under scrutiny (which doesn’t mean excusing Germany’s conduct of the war occupation policy, which were undoubtedly very brutal, along lines laid down by Hitler and his generals even before the start of Barbarossa, so not just the result of some mutual radicalization). The official 27 million dead figure strikes me as very unreliable, it contains elements which can’t be true (like 2 million forced labourers who died in Germany). It also contains groups like the Jews killed in the Baltics and the former Eastern Poland (Soviet citizens only since 1939/40) who imo can be claimed for Russian nationalism only with difficulty. The issue is obviously extremely politicized.

    • Thanks: Rahan
    • Replies: @Godot
    , @John Regan
  73. Government has a consistent record of decivilizing society and forestalling evolution.

    It does this by simply negating the evolutionary action described by the Red Queen Theory, i.e. the predatory actor uses the evolved state of the prey against itself instead of it being used to defend itself.

    Eventually the prey species is so weakened it can no longer support the overwhelming predator species.

    Government has short circuited an important evolutionary interaction of nature and turned it into a weapon. Run to failure is our future.

    • Thanks: Yellowface Anon
    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  74. Godot says:
    @German_reader

    at one point he writes that “At least for now physical elimination of Russians would be bad for the interests of the white race in Asia, we only need a Russia demographically weak enough not to endanger German hegemony over Europe”. So one wonders, were there actually people in the SS who advocated radical solutions like “physical elimination”?

    I could not find that quote in this form. Where do you have this from? Wetzel says: “Haben wir die Masse des russischen Volkes zum Gedanken des Einkinder- oder Zweikindersystems bekehrt, dürften wir das gesteckte Ziel erreicht haben. Wie weit wir damit die weiße Rasse im Hinblick auf die Gefahren aus Asien schwächen, ist eine andere Frage. Vielleicht ist eine positive Bevölkerungspolitik im sibirischen Raum, die hier für uns nicht gefährlich ist, der richtige Ausgleich. Für uns Deutsche kommt es nur darauf an, das Russentum derart zu schwächen, daß es nicht mehr in der Lage ist, den deutschen Führungsanspruch im europäischen Raum zu gefährden”.

    In English: “If we have converted the mass of the Russian people to the idea of ​​the one-child or two-child system, we should have achieved our goal. How far we weaken the White race with regard to the dangers from Asia by this is another question. Perhaps a positive population policy in the Siberian region, which is not dangerous for us here, is the right balance. For us Germans the only thing that matters is to weaken Russiandom in such a way that it is no longer in a position to endanger the German claim to leadership in Europe”.

    So nothing about extermination in this quote. However, extermination briefly comes up in other parts of Wetzel’s memorandum.

    “That the Polish question cannot be resolved by liquidating the Poles like the Jews should be obvious. Such a solution to the Polish question would burden the German people far into the distant future and would take away everyone’s sympathies from us, especially since the other neighboring peoples would also have to expect to be treated similarly when the time comes.”

    Wetzel also discusses a talk held by SS member Professor Wolfgang Abel:

    “Abel pointed out the particular danger of the Russians, given the spread of Nordic blood among them, for the future of our people. […] Since it is biologically far stronger than the German people, there is a great danger that we will would never be able to cope with the Eastern problems, yes in 25 or 30 years there could be a new war in the East. Abel saw only the following possible solutions under these circumstances: Either the extermination of the Russian people or the Germanization of the Nordic portion of the Russian people.”

    Wetzel on this:

    “The path perhaps suggested by Abel to liquidate Russiandom cannot come into consideration for political and economic reasons, apart from the fact that the implementation is hardly feasible. In these circumstances different paths must be followed to deal with the Russian problem.”

    https://www.ifz-muenchen.de/heftarchiv/1958_3_5_heiber.pdf

    • Replies: @German_reader
  75. iffen says:
    @AP

    Well, no wonder the SRs had little support.

  76. iffen says:
    @Hyperborean

    You are mistaken here,

    When I wrote that I give the edge to the commies, I meant that they despised the peasants more than the ordinaries.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  77. iffen says:
    @Yellowface Anon

    I did my calculations and came up with 200M Russians, 70M Ukrainians and 15M Belarussians,

    In your calculations, how many Little Russians equal 1 Big Russian?

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  78. songbird says:

    Is there any truth to the idea that bringing back the mammoth would help warm Russia up? (Or are they superfluous to reindeer?) And if so, why isn’t Russia investing more in it?

    • Replies: @SFG
  79. German_reader says:
    @Godot

    I was thinking of the two quotes you cited (shortly before the first also this sentence “An einer völligen biologischen Vernichtung des Russentums können wir jedenfalls solange kein Interesse haben, als wir nicht selbst in der Lage sind, mit unseren Menschen den Raum zu füllen.“). Obviously a matter of interpretation, but to me it sounds like there were more extreme proposals.

    • Replies: @Godot
  80. @iffen

    When I wrote that I give the edge to the commies, I meant that they despised the peasants more than the ordinaries.

    Okay, I misunderstood what you meant there, but it doesn’t really affect the claim that:

    The commies hated the existing economic structures that entrapped and enveloped the peasants. The Tsarists loved the existing economic structures that entrapped and enveloped the peasants.

    Which is really not true from the peasants’ perspective, except in a very limited sense. There were a few good years during the NEP, but otherwise the Communist takeover was a massive loss for them; they lost the right to easy movement, to choose community leaders, to sell their produce at their own price, to practice their faith, to form their own type of family system, their privacy, their property etc.

    The Tsarists were often negligent but the Communists pursued a policy of actively attempting to extirpate them as a social group. What does it say about the Ulyanovites in general that they swiftly brought back all the bad things the Tsarist system once had (and upon which they had based their legitimacy on promising to abolish), except in a much more radical form?

    • Replies: @iffen
  81. @German_reader

    Most likely there were at least some hardliners in the SS who wanted a real genocide of the Soviet peoples. Just like there were people like Ilya Ehrenburg or Henry Morgenthau in the US who wanted to cut down the German population by half or so. In all kinds of total wars such people appear. I read somewhere that there was a Time poll of US citizens in 1944, and something like 30 percent of them wanted total extermination of the Japanese people when asked. Quite some revenge for an admittedly clever sneak attack on a strictly military target!

    However after the war President Truman and his advisors did not actually exterminate the Japanese, or even the Germans, however badly they treated them otherwise. (The Morgenthau policies that made it into reality were genocidal in that they killed hundreds of thousands/millions of Germans, but not nearly to the extent originally intended.) It just was not in the national interest to kill all these people when they could make them compliant subjects under puppet regimes instead. Same with the Soviets, who were brutal initially but eventually allowed for a prosperous (by communist standards) East Germany. Despite all the mutual hatreds of the bitter war.

    Similarly I believe the German policy toward Russians (and others) if they had won the war would have become more conciliatory with time, not less. Out of pragmatism if nothing else. In fact that is what happened even during the war; one can see that just by comparing the trends in the early Generalplan memos with the later ones. Since as you correctly note there really was no one “plan” at all, but rather a mess of competing and contradictory memos by various obscure bureaucrats like Dr. Wetzel.

    Of course whatever the demographic consequences, Russia as a major world power politically speaking would be anything from damaged to even completely obliterated by a successful Operation Barbarossa. Depending on the particulars.

    On the topic of your post in general I would say it’s a quite balanced one given the controversial subject matter. I feel I can agree with most of what you write here without comment.

    Thanks also to Godot for that link to the IFZ. I had forgotten that Heiber’s article was available online. Unfortunately he prints only a couple of the relevant documents, but the long Wetzel memo is one of the most interesting.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  82. German_reader says:
    @John Regan

    Thanks. I agree with much of your argument too. It’s crazy that Stalin is increasingly rehabilitated because of his WW2 leadership (and not just in Russia), when his own crimes and miscalculations played such a large role in making the German invasion possible in the first place.

    • Replies: @byrresheim
  83. @Felix Keverich

    Hitler arrival at power resulted from Germany oligarchs fear of the rise of socialist and communist parties in Germany, rise which itself was the result of Germany’s dramatic economic situation.

    • Replies: @AP
  84. @Drapetomaniac

    This is a very “libertarian” observation, but way above its “humanistic” level. No amount of ideology can start to address evolutionary processes.

    How do you value the failure of civilizations in terms of social and biological evolution? Do you actually see complexity in social structure (“civilization”) a benefit for species survival, or an impediment?

    • Replies: @Drapetomaniac
  85. @iffen

    They are all equal in the Triune nation. (I assume what could go wrong demographically, e.g. civil war, famines, WWII, still went wrong, but their impact were more tampered. What I removed are self-inflicted harm like collectivization, Holodomor, and drastic drop in TFR due to overly strict family planning. Even more drastic improvement could be seen in the Caucasus and Turkestan)

  86. GuestAug says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Russia IQ: High 90s
    India IQ: Low 80s

    China IQ: Mid 100s
    US IQ: High 90s

    These are averages though that are of limited value. Anybody knows of median IQ by country data?

  87. Beckow says:
    @Felix Keverich

    …collectivisation/industrialision policies arguably did more damage to Russian demography, than WW2

    Arguably?” – what does that even mean? No, it didn’t, don’t make up stuff. Industrialization and moving to cities has dropped TFR everywhere, that’s the way it works – cities are a demographic sink. But your “arguably” infantile nonsense is really poor, you have a narrative in your mind and you fit everything in it.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Felix Keverich
  88. Beckow says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    You try too hard to fit your preconceptions into the actual historical reality. It doesn’t work that way. Russia demographic losses of 1920’2 and 1930’s are grossly exaggerated: the population actually grew substantially during that time. It could be bigger but not by that much. In WWII Russia wasn’t isolated – that was one time Allies were a real thing. Russia fought a lot better than in WWI – so much for your admiration for the Tsar or some liberal circus.

    Regarding migration: it goes through societies in phases. Russia – other than Western Russia and mostly minorities there like Jews and Poles – was not in a migratory phase pre-WWI. Yet. If there was no revolution, a massive emigration would had taken place in the 20’s and later as in Italy, Ireland, or Third World today. As it was, Soviets managed to postpone it until the 90’s.

    There was never going to be 500 million people in Russia. I am not even sure why you would want it. It has actually turned out rather well for Russians, stop belly-aching.

    • Replies: @AP
  89. AP says:
    @Maïkl Makfaïl

    Genocidal USSR made that possibility frightening (and not only for industrialists but for much of the general public).

    • Agree: Svidomyatheart
  90. sher singh says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    If so, perhaps the US also deserves the complete victory of the SJWs who want to deconstruct its identity to revolve exclusively around slavery.

    Perhaps?

    • Replies: @iffen
  91. AP says:
    @Beckow

    Russia demographic losses of 1920’2 and 1930’s are grossly exaggerated: the population actually grew substantially during that time.

    Not given its high 6-7 TFR.

    From 1921 until 1931 (after the bloody Civil War and before the mass famine of 1932-1933) the population of the USSR increased from 138 million to 160 million – 16% increase.

    Wołyń Voivodeship had been a part of the Russian Empire but became part of Poland; it was spared the Soviet catastrophe. From 1921 to 1931 it’s population increased from 1.4 million to 2.1 million – an increase of 50%. This despite emigration.

    Of course Russia’s would not be expected to be so high given factors such as greater industrialization, but an increase of 30% would be conservative. An additional 18 million people from 1921 to 1931. Now we can add the ~6 million who were starved to death in 1932-1933. And all of the children and grandchildren that those missing people didn’t have.

    Russia fought a lot better than in WWI – so much for your admiration for the Tsar or some liberal circus.

    Given that Russia’s population and industrialization had increased remarkably under the Tsars and would have continued to do so after 1917. In 1905 Russia was defeated by Japan; in 1914-1917 it had defeated the Ottomans and Austria-Hungary at the same time pretty much on its own and had held Germany back. You think it would have been the same under the Tsars in 1939 as in 1917?

    other than Western Russia and mostly minorities there like Jews and Poles – was not in a migratory phase pre-WWI. Yet. If there was no revolution, a massive emigration would had taken place in the 20’s

    In not earlier when it was possible (Jews and Poles left) why later? Especially as wealth increased and Russians could move to the empty eastern lands in their own country.

    You also forget that America shut down most immigration not from Britain, after 1924.

    ::::::::::::::::::

    You are dishonest when you defend Soviets, as you are when discussing Ukraine or Poland. Overall you are driven by pro-Soviet bias.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  92. AP says:
    @Beckow

    Industrialization and moving to cities has dropped TFR everywhere

    It’s mostly secularization and the drop was more extreme under the Soviets than it was elsewhere.

    Russian Empire industrialized in the late 19th and early 20th century. TFR increased from 6.71 in 1890 to 7.39 in 1900 and remained above 7 in 1910:

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/1033851/fertility-rate-russia-1840-2020/

    It was still high before World War II but the population grew much more modestly than it should have, due to all those famine deaths.

  93. @Beckow

    In Russia peasants were forcibly moved by the regime that wanted to destroy their way of life for ideological reasons. People were traumatized, housed in extremely crowded conditions, and forced to work awful industrial jobs. Transition from rural to urban way of life occured much faster for Russians, than it would naturally.

    The process of urbanisation can produce wildly different population outcomes depending on its speed. Russian village, and by extension Russian fertility, were viciously and deliberately decimated within the span of one generation. By contrast, Uzbekistan is still going strong with its 50% rural share in 2020.

  94. @TG

    The rich always want to push populations up, because it maximizes profit.

    good luck trying to explain that to the antivaxx trumpers who think the “commie/satanist elites ( Soros, Bill Gates, ‘Rofschilds’ etc )” are planning depopulation

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  95. Godot says:
    @German_reader

    I think that particular quote is rather about the possibility of “annihilation” through low birth rates, the preceding sentence seems to imply that: “Dabei sind wir durchaus in der Lage, bei einem zu radikalen Geburtenrückgang, der die Existenz des Russentums auf das Spiel stellen würde, jederzeit einzugreifen, indem wir diese oder jene Maßnahmen aufheben.”

    I think it’s pretty clear from the other quotes that Wetzel himself roots out physical extermination and the kinda en passant discussion of the topic don’t really make it seem that there were a lot of people pushing for this, otherwise he would have given more room to this question . But apparently there were people like Abel who at least took it into consideration.

    • Agree: German_reader
  96. Yevardian says:
    @drive by shitposting

    Jew/American detected.
    Unz really should update his humble webzine’s buttons.

  97. iffen says:
    @sher singh

    Glass house, partisan.

    • Replies: @sher singh
  98. iffen says:
    @Hyperborean

    Again, I am not defending the commies and their brutal, murderous, forced urbanization, collectivization and industrialization.

    I am just observing what I believe to be the facts of what occurred. A.K. believes that the economic advance would have taken place anyway, only more better. What if he is wrong? What if, instead of being led by intelligent, enlightened Tsarists such as himself, extreme reactionaries had seized power? What if these reactionaries were quite happy with 80% of the population being peasants? What if, instead of building 15,000 tanks in 1942, they could only have built a couple thousand? What if, instead of defending Stalingrad, Leningrad and Moscow, 90% of the Red Army was being frittered away redeeming Russia’s honor in a war with Japan?

  99. VVV says:
    @sudden death

    Is this a picture from Izmailovo?

    • Replies: @sudden death
  100. @songbird

    I’m afraid that half a billion people is hardly a goal to be desired. Russia has, what seems to me, a sustainable population. Yes, it could absorb an increased internal birthrate — however within limits. It’s attempting to achieve a Russian style middle-class. That means population increase within the bounds of productivity. Old fashioned, but a cautious approach.

  101. SFG says:
    @songbird

    What would Russia look like, if none of its Jews had emigrated?

    Russia would be a major economic power on a level with, say, the UK or France, but have gay pride parades in summer with men in chaps and leather ushankas.

  102. SFG says:
    @songbird

    Why would Russia need to bring back the mammoth to warm them up? (Yes, I know you are joking.) US and Chinese emissions are doing that for them. All Putin has to do is sit back and smile as the world warms. I mean, I’m not Russian, but I can’t imagine the world being warmer is a scary thought for them.

    • Replies: @songbird
  103. SFG says:

    Thanks for explaining this. I wouldn’t vote for Putin but I can see why he thinks the way he does and in his position I would think the same way.

    Question is, apart from nationalistic pride, would you really want there to be 500 million Russians? I mean, throughout the dissident right everyone mocked Yglesias for his billion-Americans book, and rightly so in my view. If you were a giant country like China or India, you’d probably have many of the same problems. Even developed countries like Japan don’t seem like all that nice places to live at high population densities, which may or may not be related to their producing the world’s best escapist entertainment (though Russia of course has a heck of a lot more space than Japan).

    • Replies: @AP
  104. @A. Hipster

    Bashibuzuk explained this well, but the current elites have shifted their valuation of prestige from population size to eco-systemic health, which will at least call for a moderation of human civilizational footprint on Earth.

    It need not be done thru vaccines, it can be done thru breaking markets and supply chains down, nor are they necessarily Democrats. They don’t see the world from a Communist lens but a post-liberal one centered on big transformations. But if you take Satanism as “crass rational Satanism”, they fit the bill. And thru their cultural background (a general millenarian Judeo-Christian milieu) they absorbed much biblical imagery and they are unconsciously using them (e.g. QR health codes, inflation, patent 060606), so the Revelations are becoming a set of self-fulfilling prophecies.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  105. @Yellowface Anon

    Sorry I mean “crass rational materialism”. Couldn’t fix it in time. And by millenarian Judeo-Christian milieu I include all the secret societies that are Christian-inspired, like the Freemasons, which are not alien but the result of secularized Judeo-Christian ethics. About inflation, look at comments on Revelation 6:6 (“A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.”)

    ESV Comment – Do not harm the oil and wine: Local crops such as oil and wine are unaffected, showing that the scarcity is limited, not comprehensive. Some think the command not to harm the oil and wine may have a social significance, since the rich were the primary consumers of oil and wine. It could also be a prediction of events like that of A.D. 92, when the emperor Domitian during a grain shortage ordered the vineyards cut down to make room for more wheat fields. This caused such a backlash that he rescinded the order. In other words, extreme measures would have to be taken due to the progressive pouring out of judgment.

    NLT Comment – Do not waste (or do not harm) the oil and wine: The prices of luxuries such as oil and wine would remain unchanged. It is an image of social and economic imbalance.

  106. Max Payne says:

    Putin, who it is now very clear reads my blog and Twitter

    Putin? More like Purijeev. Am I rite?

  107. European civilization being carried on the shoulders of tracksuit-wearing gopniks?

    I’ll take my chances with globohomo.

  108. AP says:
    @SFG

    would you really want there to be 500 million Russians

    Russian Empire lands have more than enough room for this number.

    I mean, throughout the dissident right everyone mocked Yglesias for his billion-Americans book

    That’s because he wanted to achieve a billion Americans through mass immigration.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  109. @iffen

    I am just observing what I believe to be the facts of what occurred. A.K. believes that the economic advance would have taken place anyway, only more better. What if he is wrong? What if, instead of being led by intelligent, enlightened Tsarists such as himself, extreme reactionaries had seized power? What if these reactionaries were quite happy with 80% of the population being peasants? What if, instead of defending Stalingrad, Leningrad and Moscow, 90% of the Red Army was being frittered away redeeming Russia’s honor in a war with Japan?

    Okay, so we are not so much disagreeing on what happened but more on its necessity in relation to what might otherwise have happened.

    I think we can examine the last decades of the Tsarist era to see that industrial and agricultural production, education and capital investment etc. really were improving at a decent rate. It is also clear that the Russian economy and demographics would have been far less distorted under a continuation of the old régime.* So then we get on the question of whether the Bolshevist economy was more suited for a total war of extermination than the Tsarist (or a moderate republican) one?

    But this assumes that without Lenin’s hordes nearly overrunning half of Europe in 1917-1923 and pledging to overthrow all existing governments that revolutionary genocidal forces (as opposed to traditional liberal-conservative imperialists) would have taken power in Germany and other countries and that Russia would somehow be cut off from all other aristocratic and bourgeois régimes. So arguing about hypothetical economic growth is a moot point because it assumes that the worst case geopolitical scenario, one very much caused by the Bolshevists, would have replicated itself.

    You mentioned a war with Japan, so let us examine the Far East. What we do know is that in 1916 the Tsarists were able to come to an arrangement with Japan over the post-war order in East Asia:

    On July 3, 1916, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Sazonov and Japanese Ambassador Motono Ichirō signed a treaty in Petrograd (today Saint Petersburg) concluding a military and political alliance. This marked the all-time high point of the two countries’ relations. The following year, the Russian Revolution rendered the alliance void, burying its potential for cooperation at a scale historians can only guess at. But rather than speculating, let us consider the historical facts.

    From the beginning of 1915, Japanese newspapers had been talking about the need for an alliance with Russia. Both nations were fighting against Germany and the Central Powers in the early stages of World War I. Nikolai Malevsky-Malevich, the Russian ambassador to Japan, wrote to Foreign Minister Sazonov that since the outbreak of the war, voices in the Japanese media debating an alliance had become so commonplace that there was hardly a newspaper or periodical that had not discussed it. He added that the idea had already proved popular among the general public.

    At the heart of the debate was the question of what it would mean to be in an alliance. For most, this implied that both countries would be obliged to provide military assistance to the other in the case of conflict with a third party, as in the Anglo-Japanese Alliance of the time. Was such a treaty with Russia necessary?

    […]

    Many earlier historians believed that Ambassador Motono had drawn up the treaty for the 1916 alliance. The documents, however, show the role of Yamagata in paving the way with his great diplomatic skills and geopolitical thinking. A key element of his strategy was “imperial diplomacy.” After the visit of the grand duke as an emissary of Czar Nicholas II, and his welcome by Emperor Taishō, there was no room for open objections. The rest was a matter of simple procedure.

    On February 18, 1916, Motono handed Sazonov a note suggesting that official negotiations be opened. Taking into account Russia’s weakness in the Far East, Nicholas II recognized the usefulness of the alliance with Japan. The treaty was a new stage in the countries’ relations, just a decade after the close of the Russo-Japanese War (1904–5). It is therefore wrong to see it as a sign that Russia was giving up its hopes of influence in the region.

    The published articles of the treaty included the obligations of both parties not to enter into any agreements or pacts against each other. They also set forth the arrangement to cooperate in defending mutually recognized territorial rights and special interests in the Far East.

    At the same time, “to deepen the ties of friendship between the two countries,” they concluded a secret agreement. In this, they stated that they would protect China from political dominance by any third power that harbored hostile intentions against Russia or Japan. If measures taken led to war with a third country, then the other party would have to come to the aid of its ally when requested. The parties were not allowed to conclude peace with a common enemy without mutual consent. Finally, they guaranteed that support would be in proportion to the scale of the conflict.

    Japan and Russia agreed to an alliance of five years, which was to remain the deepest secret. Of Russia’s ministers, only Prime Minister Boris Stürmer knew of its existence. However, this lasted no longer than the following year. When the Bolsheviks seized power in November 1917, they declared an end to secret treaties. They caused considerable confusion and embarrassment by publishing many documents relating to secret treaties between the Russian Empire and the other Allied Powers. The Russo-Japanese alliance became a thing of the past before it had the chance to come to fruition.

    https://www.nippon.com/en/column/g00377/the-secret-alliance-with-japan-shattered-by-the-russian-revolution.html?pnum=1

    The point isn’t really whether this specific alliance would have worked out, but rather that the Empire was able to fruitfully engage with other Great Powers (even former enemies) and that the diplomatic and geopolitical margin of error was much larger for a normal Russian government than it was for the USSR.

    *As an addendum I would also mention that a normal Russian state did and would have had a much easier time accessing diverse sources of international trade and investment and diplomatic success (as shown with France) also meant that Russia was less limited by internal capital deposits and that the growth range is more variable.

    • Replies: @iffen
  110. History does not have a subjunctive mood. What happened had already happened. There are ~ 100 million ethnic Russians in RF, and maybe 25 million outside. That’s it. Policy should be based on reality, not “what if” BS.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack, Aedib
  111. iffen says:
    @Hyperborean

    what happened but more on its necessity in relation to what might otherwise have happened.

    Not necessary, but sufficient. I’m not saying that A. K.’s rosy projections were not possible, they may have even been likely, but bird in the hand and all that.

    But this assumes that without Lenin’s hordes nearly overrunning half of Europe in 1917-1923 and pledging to overthrow all existing governments that revolutionary genocidal forces (as opposed to traditional liberal-conservative imperialists) would have taken power in Germany

    Bolsheviks created Hitler.

    Now where have I heard that before?

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  112. @iffen

    Bolsheviks created Hitler.

    Now where have I heard that before?

    I won’t write a snarky remark because I am genuinely curious, enlighten me, where have you heard it before?

    But assuming that for the sake of the argument that it isn’t true, do you really believe the Tsarists would have been as diplomatically isolated as the USSR?

    • Replies: @iffen
  113. @AnonFromTN

    History does not have a subjunctive mood. What happened had already happened. There are ~ 100 million ethnic Russians in RF, and maybe 25 million outside. That’s it. Policy should be based on reality, not “what if” BS

    But the general perception of historical events influences future policy decisions and reactions. Everyone knows what invoking ‘Munich’ means but very few will know what lesson to draw from ‘the abandonment of the Stresa Front’, if they are even aware of it.

    Similarly seeing the world through Soviet eyes rather than Tsarist eyes also influences the direction of Russian society.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  114. @Hyperborean

    Similarly seeing the world through Soviet eyes rather than Tsarist eyes also influences the direction of Russian society.

    While this is generally true, we have to remember hard facts. First, seeing Russia through Tsarist eyes caused two revolutions in 1917 and everything that followed. Second, seeing Russia through Soviet eyes caused the disintegration of the USSR in 1991 and wanton looting of all post-Soviet countries, which lasted until ~2001 in Russia proper.

    Hence, for a successful future-oriented policy the authorities have to avoid seeing Russia through both Tsarist and Soviet eyes.

  115. iffen says:
    @Hyperborean

    where have you heard it before?

    Do you read at TUR other than A. K.’s blog?

    Tsarists would have been as diplomatically isolated as the USSR?

    I’m not sure what you are referring to here.

  116. German_reader says:
    @iffen

    I’m not sure what you are referring to here.

    Tsarist Russia, despite its many flaws, was a lot more palpable as an ally for Britain and France than an unpredictable dictatorship run by left-wing ideologues who by the late 1930s had not only caused the premature deaths of millions of their own citizens, but had also talked of world revolution as their end goal in the recent past, held show trials against Western experts in the Soviet Union (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro-Vickers_Affair , also iirc against German experts in the Shakhty trial) and sponsored subversive communist movements throughout Western states.
    Also, it’s a bit of a cop-out to say “Just read the rest of the UR”, that’s not much of an answer.

    • Replies: @iffen
  117. @VVV

    Guess not, cause Izmailovo is the district of Moscow city, while Kotelniki aren’t officially part of Moscow, but cannot say I’m 100% sure about that, perhaps other commenters themselves living in RF know about it way better.

    • Replies: @VVV
  118. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonFromTN

    One of the few times that we seem to agree on something. See my comment #11 above.

  119. VVV says:
    @sudden death

    Sorry i skimmed through your comment. Yes Kotelniki is Podmoskovye.

  120. sher singh says:
    @iffen

    Weaker India is better for Sikhs as it began open genocide after 71 victory by Sikh majority IA.
    India under seige by China/Pak/Afg with no outside allies will revere Sikhi & not liberalize as fast

    OTOH, weaker America is better overall from Non-white/non-Christian (sjw) POV.
    I do view SJWism as the latest manifestation of Christianity/Abrahamism like enlightenment b4 it..

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    • Replies: @iffen
  121. @iffen

    Do you read at TUR other than A. K.’s blog?

    Not really, no. There are a few sane ones like Derbyshire, Sailer, Epigone or Hood, but their content is too American-focused for my interest and often too depressing. I liked Durocher but he stopped contributing here. There may be others worth reading but since browsing the front page shows that far too many of the articles are ‘lizard-people’ level diatribes (and it seems like there are far more of this sort than I remember) I simply don’t bother.

    I’m not sure what you are referring to here.

    Ex. The USSR alienating the liberal bourgeois parties was harder to avoid, but carrying out their vendetta against ‘social-fascists’ in Germany and Spain even at the cost of letting fascists gain power was entirely a mistake born from the Party’s need for control.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  122. German_reader says:
    @Hyperborean

    The USSR alienating the liberal bourgeois parties was harder to avoid, but carrying out their vendetta against ‘social-fascists’ in Germany and Spain

    Don’t know about Spain, Soviet support for the republic was pretty significant after all, presumably it would have folded much sooner without it. And the non-communist left-wingers there were often pretty nutty too with their penchant for burning churches and the like, communists may even have been a restraining influence and brought better discipline and organization at times.

    I liked Durocher but he stopped contributing here.

    I wonder if he stopped, because he feared persecution by Macron’s government, seems like a distinct possibility given the ban on the identitarians.

  123. iffen says:
    @German_reader

    Tsarist Russia, despite its many flaws, was a lot more palpable as an ally for Britain and France

    Well, they ended up as allies anyway.

    In the end it was really about what the Soviet Union and the U. S. wanted. Roosevelt and Stalin were in agreement that the European Empires were going to be a thing of the past, so I don’t see the U. S. going all in to help the Tsar maintain his empire. Especially since they had major conflicts with the Brits trying to maintain theirs. (If you read Overy, and I think you may have turned me on to him some months ago in a comment section, the Big one was really about the Axis Powers trying to establish Empires and the European Allies trying to hold on to theirs.) I guess the fear of communism won out and we lent limited support to Empire maintenance. Too bad we didn’t stick to our guns (ha), but we gave part of it away, just like we did with Wilson’s 14 Points.

    Hitler was always going to attack Russia and Stalin was always going to attack Germany. You can’t get around that.

    Also, it’s a bit of a cop-out to say “Just read the rest of the UR”, that’s not much of an answer.

    Sometimes my interest in the JQ wanes. If he is unaware of neo-Nazis and their view of Judeo-Bolshevism, I didn’t have the enthusiasm to pursue it.

  124. iffen says:
    @German_reader

    Soviet support for the republic was pretty significant after all, presumably it would have folded much sooner without it.

    Abraham Lincoln Brigade!

    American SJW’s finest hour!

  125. iffen says:
    @sher singh

    will revere Sikhi

    TPTB have decided that they don’t need us Reivers anymore. The same could easily happen to you and yours.

    • Replies: @sher singh
  126. German_reader says:
    @iffen

    Hitler was always going to attack Russia and Stalin was always going to attack Germany.

    The argument as I see it is basically this:

    1.) Nazism (and other fascist movements) was in part a reaction to the (perceived) Bolshevik threat. Obviously that’s not the whole story (the basic Nazi ideas existed even before WW1 after all), but a radical movement like the Nazis would have found it much harder to achieve mass support and cooperation by traditional elites without the real or alleged threat of Bolshevism.
    2.) Even if Hitler or a similar figure had come to power in an alternative timeline where Russia wasn’t communist, Germany would have been much easier to contain. But Stalin’s flawed perception of reality (he was a Marxist ideologue after all and for a long time seems not to have grasped the threat of Nazi Germany, because on some level all capitalist-imperialist states were alike to him) and his cynical foreign policy in the Molotov-Ribbentropp period isolated the Soviet Union and created favourable conditions for a German invasion which wouldn’t have existed otherwise.

    Anyway, on some level this is of course all idle speculation, and the commenters who write it’s totally useless have a point.

    • Replies: @iffen
    , @Hyperborean
  127. @German_reader

    And the non-communist left-wingers there were often pretty nutty too with their penchant for burning churches and the like, communists may even have been a restraining influence and brought better discipline and organization at times.

    Fair point.

    I wonder if he stopped, because he feared persecution by Macron’s government, seems like a distinct possibility given the ban on the identitarians.

    To be honest, even a neutral magistrate would be unlikely to look too fondly on anyone associated with this website. And given its deterioration I doubt there is much value
    left continuing writing here.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  128. German_reader says:
    @Hyperborean

    To be honest, even a neutral magistrate would be unlikely to look too fondly on anyone associated with this website.

    I don’t find anything recent by Durocher on other platforms though, doesn’t seem limited to UR.
    Agreed about UR, on the whole it’s a terrible site, vast majority (more than 90%) of content is total garbage, at this point it wouldn’t be much of a loss if it went down. A pity, the commenting system itself is pretty great after all.

    • Agree: iffen
    • Replies: @Yevardian
    , @John Regan
  129. @iffen

    Sometimes my interest in the JQ wanes. If he is unaware of neo-Nazis and their view of Judeo-Bolshevism, I didn’t have the enthusiasm to pursue it.

    I think their narrow obsession with gas chambers and the six million is very unproductive, but the mainstream narrative that Judeo-Bolshevism is a fictitious invention born from irrational prejudice by feverish minds is laughable when one can simply list a long line of names to disprove it.

    • Replies: @Weaver
  130. iffen says:
    @German_reader

    his cynical foreign policy in the Molotov-Ribbentropp period isolated the Soviet Union and created favourable conditions for a German invasion which wouldn’t have existed otherwise.

    Stalin caused Barbarossa?

    There is much value in your comment.

    I object to the generalization that we can lay the blame for Hitler on the Bolsheviks.

    I agree that we can blame the elites and their miscalculations.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  131. German_reader says:
    @iffen

    Stalin caused Barbarossa?

    Barbarossa wouldn’t have been possible without the fall of France…which was facilitated by Molotov-Ribbentropp. Stalin basically made an enormous miscalculation, because he expected the war in the west to be similar to WW1, with the capitalist-imperialist powers bleeding each other out and leaving the Soviet Union in a favourable position (to intervene as the arbiter of Europe at an opportune point, or maybe even to spread the world revolution). Well, it turned out differently, and as a result the Soviet Union faced a Germany that controlled much of western Europe.

    I object to the generalization that we can lay the blame for Hitler on the Bolsheviks.

    Well, the main blame for Hitler’s regime obviously rests on his voters and the elites who made him chancellor, and seeing the relationship between Bolshevism and Nazism as a simple action-reaction scheme would be simplistic. But the Bolshevik context imo is still pretty important and frequently under-estimated today.

  132. @Felix Keverich

    How on Earth can communism be blamed for China’s fertility decline?
    Just take a look at the decline in the most prosperous Western nations like The Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway among others. The decline in those countries is almost apocalyptic.

    Another example would be the White population in the United States. The Opioid crisis has devastated White Americans in the same way that alcoholism devastated Russians in the 1990s. Remember that the USA is the most capitalistic nation on Earth, so communism can’t be blamed for that either.

    As someone who has always been fascinated by both the Russian Empire and Soviet Union, I would agree that Imperial Russia is definitely misrepresented as having been more backward than it really was. I also agree that the Bolshevik ruthlessness in the period between 1917-1922 was responsible for a lot of death and misery.

    However, whether it was Imperial Russia or the USSR, the British always tried to counter the Russians. The Crimean War and the Russo-Japanese War are just two examples.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  133. @Yellowface Anon

    The idea is to take all controlling or destructive technology away from those inclined to control or destroy. Take the loaded gun away from the chimps. Essentially that means no government.

    The biological and behavioral origins of government lie in the animal world. It has the sole power to prevent mankind from leaving its animal heritage behind and the sole power to return mankind to the animal world. Trapped in a government limbo.

    It is quite possibly an insurmountable bottleneck in man’s continued evolution which would constitute a plausible explanation of Fermi’s Paradox.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  134. kzn says:

    Typical Karlin offensive drivel.

    1. Putin saying the end of the Soviet Union caused a huge population collapse is the exact opposite of saying “no Soviets, then population would be 300 million” you dummy.

    2. Interwar demographics of the 3 Baltics countries (i.e non-soviet and with joke” wars of independence” or civil wars after 1917) a disaster. Russia/Belarus/Ukraine SSR population growth during same interwar period is FAR superior – which should bring an end to any debate on this nonsense.

    Subsequent reintegration of Baltics after 1940 “surpringly” brings a regeneration of their population that “coincidentally” becomes a disaster after end of soviet Union and the miracles that it brought them

    The Nazi and western-funded scumbag war against Russia killed 27 million of us. If you unfairly take all military deaths as 100% men and all civilian deaths as 50% men, that makes it 19 million men not able to reproduce. 2 children was average at the time so that’s 38 million men and women who a generation later are unable to have 76 million children. 130 million people unborn on Russian land because of nazi scum and their western financers

    • Replies: @Weaver
    , @Yellowface Anon
  135. @AnonFromTN

    Yes, as I wrote above, “There is only one unchangeable path to the present but many potential paths into the future and that is what really matters.”

    This is a pointless childish enterprise.

    • Agree: AnonfromTN
  136. sher singh says:
    @iffen

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    • Replies: @iffen
  137. @Drapetomaniac

    Biological libertarianism! Fermi’s Paradox will be validated before we will get there, if ever.

    • Agree: Drapetomaniac
  138. kzn says:
    @sudden death

    What exactly is the point of your photo dummy? I have no idea WTF you are trying to suggest in that incomplete photo.

    It’s interesting that you bring in the issue of playgrounds – it seems just like churches in Russia in last 15 years of the most beautiful standard being built or renovated or rebuilt all throughout Russia……. a huge number of very big, entertaining for kids and nicely built playgrounds are being built in Russia in the last 5 years – so much so that there is blatantly alot of corruption money in them, although judging by the results – competent corruption from the municipalities (not, of course, that I am comparing playgrounds to historical churches) . Certainly in Kazan, the Communist residential blocks in Moscow and the huge newly-built and old communist residential blocks in Moscow Oblast I would say it would be impossible to miss these new,nice and big kids playgrounds (easily superior to western counterparts) that have suddenly got created.

    BTW – Did Lithuania even compete at the Olympics, LMAO? Surely it doesn’t qualify as a country because I did not hear it mentioned even once at the Tokyo Olympics.

    N. B On American footage of 1968 Olympic gold medal heavyweight boxing final, it is clearly stated by the commentators that George Foreman is fighting a RUSSIAN – just shows how much Americans validate the imaginary Lithuanian “occupation” by the Soviets.

    • Replies: @sudden death
  139. @AP

    Stolypin was too sensible and pragmatic, which is why he was murdered, God bless him.

    I thought it was a good sign Putin said he admired him. As far as modern Russian governing figures go (the past is beautiful, but it’s hard to apply Ivan Grozny to 21st-century Nation-States), he is one of the best. It’s like any Anglo or Indian looking at Alexander Octavian Hume.

    • Agree: Weaver, AP
  140. Weaver says:
    @kzn

    How many Russians did the Bolsheviks kill? Or is it OK when they do it, because the Bolsheviks were targeting the best and brightest, which is to say those who could challenge Bolshevik power?

  141. @Anatoly Karlin

    No one deserves anything, but as you say, stupidity must be punished.

    In America’s case, of course, it’s greatest mistake besides allowing the importation of Africans in the first place was either

    1: Insufficient integration (not in the gay, guns marching kids into school together sense) or maintenance of hierarchy

    2: Not deporting all of them to Africa or South America with Silver Dollar Reparations in Hand post-war.

    Either path is fine, but we should have stuck with it and done it right. Now, instead, we have been sentenced to a Hell of our own design.

    As far as Serfdom though, honestly, it made sense in its time, and when it no longer made sense, it ended. The rest of Eruope had serfs when it made sense, too.

    • Replies: @Weaver
  142. Weaver says:
    @Hyperborean

    They don’t like acknowledging the Holodomor either. Ironically, we might have now reached 6 million Arabs killed in wars that seem fought for Israel.

    What do you think of Solzhenitsyn’s 200 Years? It’s like my one window into Russian history. He seems to be a sincere Russian nationalist, loves his country, believes in God. So, I just assume his books are true.

  143. @Anatoly Karlin

    The funny thing is that the Russian identity itself was exactly a super Eastern Slav ethos. I mean, even non-slavs “larp” as Russians because of its (admittedly former). It was progressing nicely before the Mongol invasions, and afterwards, was doing a good job reuniting the various Slavic factions.

    Sadly, as this article notes, that all ended before it could reach its logical conclusion.

    Maybe the future will give a new chance. Otherwise, we might get to settle for a kind of Human Ethos if we get a space war going on.

  144. Weaver says:
    @Boomthorkell

    Someone has to work. Professional warriors are better at war. Professional politicians are better at politics. Specialisation. Peasants seem to have lived relatively pleasant lives, but Malthusian trap. That’s the same reason Jews, same reason many people, competed for resources: Too many children.

    Systems seem to decay with time, but there’s obviously no time limit; things just change. I’m sure a system could improve also, or change radically.

    It’d be relatively easy to manage a Greek city state of 10K people, keep everyone relatively united and content. It’d be difficult to manage the Russian empire, or so I imagine.

    • Agree: Boomthorkell
  145. @kzn

    In 1930:

    Country Birth rate Death rate TFR
    Sweden 15.4 11.7 1.96
    Norway 17.0 10.5 2.19
    Finland 21.8 14.0 2.75

    Estonia 17.4 14.9
    Latvia 19.8 14.2
    Lithuania 27.3 15.8

    Russia 43.9 27.3 5.83
    Ukraine 32.5 18.4
    Poland 32.5 15.5 4.33

    The Baltics looks like somewhere in between Scandinavia and the core Soviet territories. (And remember Latvia had a Soviet Republic until 1920, which partly explains their high (-27%) drop in population between 1914 & 1920.

  146. @kzn

    Well, it certainly was not the most succesful Olympics for LT, but at the very least there still was medal level performance done, even if modest in overall picture, but it’s still not too bad, considering that out of the 206 countries and territories there are 72 that have never won any medal at the Olympics 😉

    Kate French kept Great Britain’s tradition of getting medals in women’s modern pentathlon alive Friday, using pinpoint shooting to pull away from the pack in the laser run, a combination of shooting and running, to take gold with an Olympic record of 1385 points.

    Laura Asadauskaite of Lithuania set a record time in the laser run to take silver and, at age 37, became the oldest medalist in the sport’s history, male or female. Hungary’s Sarolta Kovacs took bronze.

    https://www.nbcolympics.com/news/womens-pentathlon-yields-another-british-gold

    • Replies: @kzn
  147. kzn says:
    @sudden death

    I was anticipating and looking forward to the comedy of you trying to shamelessly claim Lasitskene (name through marriage, she is Kochina before that) as not only a Lithuanian gold medal winner, but the biggest achiever of the Olympics with her amazing win in the High Jump…. sadly you did not comply.

    Can’t be bothered checking, but there must be some Lithuanian basketball players in the NBA in the last 10 years?

    • Replies: @LatW
  148. Yevardian says:
    @German_reader

    Agreed about UR, on the whole it’s a terrible site, vast majority (more than 90%) of content is total garbage, at this point it wouldn’t be much of a loss if it went down.

    Just curious, how did you come about this humble webzine in the first place?
    I just came here because AK stopped blogging on his own website to write here, incidentally his main focus changed from peak oil and HBD to Russian nationalism at around the same time.

    I honestly don’t recall how or if this site has ‘deteriorated’ from any earlier point, other than perhaps the quality of commenters, since this place has been flooded with crackpots banned from every other register-to-comment website.

    I also tried finding Durocher after he ceased writing here (without explanation?) but again, nothing. I used to read Gilad Atzmon and Israel Shamir, a long time before that came here, but since the quality of their writing has declined markedly recently, and they’ve both become soft flu-hoaxers. Quite embarassing, as I used to recommend reading them, in what seems like the distant past now.

    Linh Dinh can be pleasant light travel reading when he avoids preaching, and Ron Unz’s articles themselves are always ‘powerful’ reading that contain a lot of interesting research, whatever you think of his conclusions. Although I couldn’t care less about reading anymore about Covid.

    Then there was Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky and Razib Khan, all serious, respected academics, who presumably accepted a republishing fee without any research, I guess until they noticed they were being published next to borderline rubbish like Steve Sailer and Fred Reed, and stopped having new articles here. I’d never heard of those two insufferably boring and smug rightoid authors before this site, their popularity is a mystery to me.

    Off the top of my head, the only non-crank academic of any importance that still publishes here is the economist and (one of the best currently in the field, actually) classicist Michael Hudson, but his main income-source seems to be real work for the Chinese government, he’s probably forgotten he even has columns here.

    Early on, I did wonder if this site would start to republishing formerly or semi-mainstream writers like Robert Fisk, Theodore Dalrymple, Chris Hedges, David Cesarani, John Bradley, Glen Greenwald or John Pilger, but obviously, that time’s long past.

    Too bad, because (echoing others) the commenting system, library archive, and overall site layout is probably the best I’ve ever seen on the internet.

  149. Yevardian says:
    @Agathoklis

    Yes, AK’s endless harping on how Lenin and the Bolshevik coup blew up Russia (he’s basically right, but so what) gets pretty tiresome considering how so many other countries lost much, much more power than Russia did, both in actual and potential terms.

    I mean, just two take examples of countries from semi-regular commenters on this blog, Germany, Greece and Hungary all had an absolutely catastrophic 20th Century, and all mostly due to terrible policies or just plain incompetence of their own governments.
    By contrast, countries like Czechslovakia, Romania, Jordan or Iran that chose not to seethe over with butthurt over revanchism or lost glory have done fairly well.
    I still don’t think contemporary Russia isn’t in any position to antagonise its neighbours any further, even on issues that Russia is mostly in the right.
    On the other hand, I don’t think Russia had any choice (as a sovereign power wishing to preserve any ‘credibility’ at all) to do as it did regarding Crimea, so perhaps after the fallout from that Russia’s leaders just concluded trying to improve relations with Europe was a waste of time from that point.

    Russia is still an independent great power after everything, unlike Germany, France the UK, or Japan. At the 20th Century’s dawn, most of these countries were in a much better position than Tsarist Russia, but still ended up with much less relative power at the end of it. AK should be content with that. It could be much worse… Imagine some power-obsessed blogger trying to be an Armenian or Asyyrian militant nationalist.

    • Replies: @Agathoklis
  150. @John Regan

    Be that as it may. But come the 1990s, Hitler once again proved himself a bit of a prophet in his own anti-Semitic way. Kind of like his similar not-so-funny-any-more prediction in 1945 that a victorious America would inevitably collapse into degeneracy and liberal insanity and leave world dominion to the “Yellow races” for the next few centuries or so.

    Any sources on this? Most “prophecies” I’ve found deal with Europe/Jews, not America.

    • Replies: @John Regan
  151. @Yevardian

    Yevardian, if you compare Greece’s land area in 1900 to 2000, Greece expanded by over 100%. If you include the other independent Hellenic state, Cyprus (de facto Greece) it expanded even further. Of course, there were some severe reversals along the way but based on the above metric, Greece had a wildly successful 20th century. Actually, it is hard to think of other states which existed at the time expanding to such an extent. By the way if you use the above metric, Greece had a better 20th century than Tsarist/Soviet/Russian Federation as Greece’s borders expanded whereas Russia contracted.

    Therefore, your comment about Greece having an ‘absolutely catastrophic 20th Century’ is mystifying.

    I agree about Russia. It has done quite well given what might have happened. Karlin should be relieved it did not turn out much worse.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  152. @Yevardian

    soft flu-hoaxers

    Calling an apple apple is what things should be.

  153. @Agathoklis

    If you count the area of the Kingdom of Greece/Hellenic Republic, sure. But the cultural area retreated tremendously back into the borders.

    • Replies: @Agathoklis
  154. LatW says:
    @kzn

    Can’t be bothered checking, but there must be some Lithuanian basketball players in the NBA in the last 10 years?

    They’ve been doing well in Eurobasket. There are several Latvians in the NBA right now.

    There are also some decent female javelin throwers.

    • Thanks: kzn
    • Replies: @kzn
  155. @German_reader

    Anyway, on some level this is of course all idle speculation, and the commenters who write it’s totally useless have a point.

    Of course, one could say that, but how else is one supposed to rebut the pro-Soviet argument that Russia was fated to be invaded and therefore the CPSU is to be hailed as saving the Russian people without pointing out that the Nazi-Soviet war was not like a wildfire that no one could have prevented but rather more like an arson putting out a fire they themselves had caused?

    It is possible to criticise the USSR’s foreign policy by restricting oneself to just the 1930s, but it usually devolves into arguing about Perfidious Albion and France, which as countless books published over the decades show, is a circular task.

    The problem is that if one accepts the underlying premises supporting the Soviet argument then it is easy to create a plausible narrative in their favour. A certain degree of ‘historical nihilism’ is needed to crack the façade of the saintly Great Patriotic War, which is often the ‘last resort’ in a lot of arguments about modern day (geo-)politics.

    • Replies: @iffen
    , @German_reader
  156. @Yellowface Anon

    Greeks were spread throughout the Balkans, Middle East, Egypt, Black Sea, Romania, certain cities in the Adriatic and even as far as southern France. Closer to the Aegean Basin, Greeks were often (in some cases along with with the Armenians) the mercantile, industrial, ecclesiastical and administrative elite. However, in an era of declining empires and the rise of the nation-state, we were hardly going to wholly hang onto this space. Someone like Yevardian should understand this better than anyone. Although, Ion Dragoumis was intellectually brilliant, his idea of dominating the Ottoman Empire from within was much more removed from reality than the nation-state centred Venizelists. At the same time, there were significant groups of alloethnoi (non-Hellenes) in the Greek state which would created instability for the future Greek state if they remained where they were. A retreat back into the borders; albeit, massively expanded, was always going to happen. Of course, it would have been great to have hung onto some of the valuable gains.

    Paradoxically, the success of the Greek millet (and the Armenian) within the mid-late Ottoman Empire sowed the seeds of their later troubles. Compare them to the Bulgars or Serbs. Those populations were largely agrarian and lived in a contiguous zone. When the time came for them to create their nation-state, there was little consolidation to do. There were few Serbs living in Trebizond or Ikonion or Caeasarea or Alexandria.

    • Replies: @Yevardian
  157. iffen says:
    @Hyperborean

    the saintly Great Patriotic War

    I don’t attach saintly, but it is difficult to think of a more heroic, momentous event in the 20th Century.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Hyperborean
  158. iffen says:
    @German_reader

    Barbarossa wouldn’t have been possible without the fall of France…

    So let’s blame French military ineptitude.

  159. @4Dchessmaster

    How on Earth can communism be blamed for China’s fertility decline?

    Well, besides the one-child policy that established single-child family as the norm, Chinese Sovoks have the same idotic obsession with urbanisation and economic growth at all costs. Chinese cities are dreadful to look at, unaffordable to live in, and are the ultimate population sinks, with estimated TFR of 0,7 in Shanghai and Beijing. As if that wasn’t enough, they want to build a 100-million city!

    • Replies: @4Dchessmaster
  160. AP says:
    @iffen

    A giant criminal stupidly almost gets himself killed by a much smaller man, a partner in crime who surprised him, but barely wins the fight. Heroic.

    • Replies: @iffen
  161. @iffen

    I don’t attach saintly, but it is difficult to think of a more heroic, momentous event in the 20th Century.

    Once I realised it was all unnecessary, the suffering becomes much more tragic than heroic for me.

    • Replies: @iffen
  162. iffen says:
    @AP

    The people, the peasants who paid the price, not Stalin.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  163. iffen says:
    @Hyperborean

    Once I realised it was all unnecessary

    Sure, if German elite hubris had not led them to believe that they could control and manipulate Hitler.

    Sure, if the Russian elites had not been stupidly indifferent to the plight and desires of the common folk, and had had the foresight to throw their support to the Social Democrats, Russia could have been in the mix of developing and expanding European social democracy.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  164. German_reader says:
    @Hyperborean

    Of course, one could say that, but how else is one supposed to rebut the pro-Soviet argument that Russia was fated to be invaded and therefore the CPSU is to be hailed as saving the Russian people without pointing out that the Nazi-Soviet war was not like a wildfire that no one could have prevented but rather more like an arson putting out a fire they themselves had caused?

    Sure, but these issues have been discussed dozens of times on this blog, and you always get the same dumb talking points taken from Soviet propaganda (“Britain and France wanted Hitler to invade the Soviet Union”, “Molotov-Ribbentropp was necessary and a great idea” etc.). It’s kind of tiresome and while it’s true that WW2 and its mythology are still very important for our world, endlessly focusing on WW2 discussions is also a kind of escapism.
    (stupidly enough, German right-wingers are also now doing this…while some cling to the usual “revisionist” tropes, others have totally adopted the official Russian view and begun lauding Stalin, defending Molotov-Ribbentropp etc. Sure, why not, it’s not like one has more urgent issues to discuss in 2021!).

  165. @German_reader

    Agreed about UR, on the whole it’s a terrible site, vast majority (more than 90%) of content is total garbage, at this point it wouldn’t be much of a loss if it went down.

    My view is exactly the opposite. In these dark days of censorship when the traditional tyranny of Europe is increasingly creeping into America as well, a forum for debate that can attract people with different positions and truly values free speech is more valuable than ever.

    Consider just a few of the high profile contributors to the Unz Review:

    * Steve Sailer (oldfashioned compassionate conservative frozen in amber in pre-Woke mode)

    * Anatoly Karlin (liberal progressive transhumanist Russian civic nationalist)

    * E. Michael Jones (fanatical Catholic with immense classical learning)

    * Andrew Anglin (former neo-Nazi turned hardcore American Taleban)

    * Chanda Chisala (the one person in the world who tries to argue rationally against race realism rather than just scream about racism)

    * Fred Reed (anti-imperialist liberal and world’s greatest China shill)

    * Ron Unz himself (unique man with unique opinions)

    Obviously I don’t agree with many of the positions that these men promote. Just as obviously they don’t agree with each other. In fact I personally find many of the opinions held by various of these men downright repulsive. But all of them are very bright, and all of them have at least some good points to make. My intellectual life is the richer for engaging with them. Without the Unz Review that probably would not have happened.

    Where else literally in all the world today can you find this amount of brainpower representing so many truly diverse opinions? And opinions that are mostly banned by the mainstream at that?

    The Unz Review will never be “respectable” like so many people seem to think it ought to be. But surely the point of it isn’t to be a slightly more edgy National Review. It serves a far nobler purpose by allowing for a truly free debate unhampered by any brand of political correctness. Where each position must stand or fall solely on the strength of the arguments presented for or against it.

    Ron Unz is that rarest of rare birds: A man who truly believes in freedom of speech for its own sake and not just as a rhetorical or tactical device to push his own views. The Unz Review is the result. Bless him for it, says I.

  166. @iffen

    Sure, if German elite hubris had not led them to believe that they could control and manipulate Hitler.

    I have already explained why that is a later consequence of the 1917-1923 wave of revolutions, of which Ulyanov bears a large part of the blame, but even assuming we get to 1933, what were they supposed to do? Suspend the constitution and assume power for themselves and risk an uprising by the Liberals, the KPD and/or the NSDAP?

    I mean, maybe with hindsight they should have, but usually the people who say ‘they just shouldn’t have backed Hitler’ don’t usually describe what they should have done instead.

    Sure, if the Russian elites had not been stupidly indifferent to the plight and desires of the common folk, and had had the foresight to throw their support to the Social Democrats, Russia could have been in the mix of developing and expanding European social democracy.

    Except they did, as the months went on the parliamentary Liberals who initially formed the Provisional Government included more and more the input of the Mensheviks and the Social Revolutionaries. I would again point out that Lenin, if he had actually followed the lenient promises he had made, could simply have given over power to the people who actually did win a majority of the vote.

    If you mean before that you seem quite determined to ignore all the pre-war reforms that were made.

    Also, except for a few years, there was no unified group of Russian Social Democrats, so I am not sure if you mean the Bolsheviks (a self-avowedly unappeasable faction), the Mensheviks or the Social Revolutionaries?

    • Replies: @German_reader
  167. German_reader says:
    @Yevardian

    Just curious, how did you come about this humble webzine in the first place?

    Via Steve Sailer. I have forgotten the exact details, but iirc in the early 2010s or so I read an article in German media (probably Lorenz Jäger in FAZ, back when they still had token conservatives) which mentioned Sailer, and I started looking occasionally at his blog. I was never a fan (your criticism of him is a bit harsh, but not entirely unjustified), but I thought it was an interesting window into American culture from a perspective you don’t get at all in mainstream European media. So when Sailer went to Unz, I sort of followed.
    From my perspective Unz review is mostly an antisemitic website, and that focus wasn’t quite as evident early on iirc.

    • Disagree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @iffen
  168. @German_reader

    Sure, but these issues have been discussed dozens of times on this blog, and you always get the same dumb talking points taken from Soviet propaganda (“Britain and France wanted Hitler to invade the Soviet Union”, “Molotov-Ribbentropp was necessary and a great idea” etc.). It’s kind of tiresome and while it’s true that WW2 and its mythology are still very important for our world, endlessly focusing on WW2 discussions is also a kind of escapism.

    Normally I would agree, and the circular debates on various topics (the causes of the First World War, anything about Ukraine, the race of Ancient Egyptians, etc.) is part of why I have reduced my participation on this website in favour of more enjoyable and productive tasks.

    But given that Karlin ‘dedicated’ this thread to Russian twentieth century history, what else can we talk about without derailing the thread?

    others have totally adopted the official Russian view and begun lauding Stalin, defending Molotov-Ribbentropp etc. Sure, why not, it’s not like one has more urgent issues to discuss in 2021!).

    Is there a specific circle associated with this or is more of a loose sentiment?

    • Replies: @iffen
    , @German_reader
  169. iffen says:
    @German_reader

    (“Britain and France wanted Hitler to invade the Soviet Union”

    You don’t believe that the enthusiasm they had for seeing Hitler and Stalin degrade each other equaled Stalin’s enthusiasm for seeing Germany, France and Britain destroy each other?

  170. German_reader says:
    @Hyperborean

    Suspend the constitution and assume power for themselves

    Don’t want to divert this thread into a discussion about Germany, but the constitution had already been sort of suspended, the late Weimar governments since 1930 didn’t have parliamentary majorities, but relied on presidential emergency decrees. And yes, the argument usually advanced is that a temporary authoritarian system under someone like von Schleicher (until the worst of the economic crisis had passed) would have been the best solution.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  171. iffen says:
    @Hyperborean

    (the causes of the First World War, anything about Ukraine, the race of Ancient Egyptians, etc.)

    I would like to point out that the race of Ancient Egyptians is a trivial issue. WWI and its completion in WWII, and the aftermath, are the defining events of the modern era. The end of colonialism, and the creation of nation-states therefrom, the reduction of Britain and France to secondary status, the opening of the avenue for the rise of China, the duopoly of American and Soviet world power and the concomitant Cold War with its death struggle between “communism” and capitalism are the essence of our existence.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  172. iffen says:
    @German_reader

    that focus wasn’t quite as evident early on iirc.

    You remember correctly.

  173. @German_reader

    The British and its allies really did want the Nazis to invade the USSR. It has nothing to do with Soviet propaganda. In fact it makes perfect sense from a rationalist point of view.

    Example: the American written books “Tragedy and Hope” or “The Anglo-American Establishment” clearly mention the Milner and Chamberlain groups and how they cooperated with various powers in Europe and also pressuring Americans to join the war once chaos and uncertainty threatened them.

  174. @iffen

    I would like to point out that the race of Ancient Egyptians is a trivial issue. WWI and its completion in WWII, and the aftermath, are the defining events of the modern era. The end of colonialism, and the creation of nation-states therefrom, the reduction of Britain and France to secondary status, the opening of the avenue for the rise of China, the duopoly of American and Soviet world power and the concomitant Cold War with its death struggle between “communism” and capitalism are the essence of our existence.

    The chosen topic itself is secondary, it is the inconclusive and repetitive nature of the discussion that I am lacklustre about.

  175. German_reader says:
    @Hyperborean

    Is there a specific circle associated with this or is more of a loose sentiment?

    The most notable recent example is Alexander Gauland’s speech in the Bundestag during a session on 22 June commemorating the German invasion (Gauland is one of the founders of AfD and still a senior figure in the party). Gauland started by hitting the notes typical for German politics of remembrance (“war of annihilation” etc.), but then went on to defend the Molotov-Ribbentropp pact as a clever and justified move by Stalin, putting the blame for it on the Western powers. Pretty much a full endorsement of what now seems to be the official Russian view. I can only assume that Gauland fancies himself to be some latter-day Bismarck working for Russian-German understanding and thinks that a positive view even of Stalin would be conducive to such a goal (quite delusional imo).
    Anyway, this led to howls of outrage by other circles of AfD-voting right-wingers (notably in right-wing magazine Sezession), who dragged up all their favourite revisionist tropes about Barbarossa merely having been a preventive strike etc.
    Of course none of this matters much, since the German right in general is likely to remain utterly impotent.

    • Replies: @iffen
  176. @German_reader

    Now a separate issue is the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Here yes the pro Soviet crowd says this bought time and space for the Communists and allow them a victory at the end.

  177. @Californian Candidate

    The “prophecy” about America was recorded in the so-called Bormann-Vermerke of 1945. The original German does not seem to be available online, but an English translation from the 1960s can be found in various places under the title The Political Testament of Adolf Hitler.

    A quote from the English goes like this:

    At this juncture it is difficult to say which, from the ideological point of view, would prove to be the more injurious to us – Jew-ridden Americanism or Bolshevism. …

    As for the Americans, if they do no swiftly succeed in casting off the yoke of New York Jewry (which has the same intelligence as a monkey that saws through the branch on which it is perching), well – it won’t be long before they go under, before even having reached the age of maturity. The fact that they combine the possession of such vast material power with so vast a lack of intelligence evokes the image of some child stricken with elephantiasis. …

    If North America does not succeed in evolving a doctrine less puerile than the one which at present serves as a kind of moral vade mecum and which is based on lofty but chimerical principles and so-called Christian science it is questionable whether it will for long remain a predominantly white continent. It will soon become apparent that this giant with the feet of clay has, after its spectacular rise, just sufficient strength left to bring about its own downfall. And what a fine chance this sudden collapse will offer to the yellow races! …

    And so, in this cruel world into which two great wars have plunged us again, it is obvious that the only white peoples who have any chance of survival and prosperity are those who know how to suffer and who still retain the courage to fight, even when things appear hopeless, to the death.

    Perhaps Hitler as a young struggling artist would have been a commenter at Steve Sailer’s column, if the Unz Review had been around in the early 1900s?

    • Replies: @Californian Candidate
  178. @German_reader

    Don’t want to divert this thread into a discussion about Germany, but the constitution had already been sort of suspended, the late Weimar governments since 1930 didn’t have parliamentary majorities, but relied on presidential emergency decrees.

    Right, what I meant was more dropping the veneer of popular legitimacy by suspending the Reichstag and the constant parade of elections.

    And yes, the argument usually advanced is that a temporary authoritarian system under someone like von Schleicher (until the worst of the economic crisis had passed) would have been the best solution.

    But can we say that it was mainly hubris of a general German elite that led to Hitler, rather than the infighting and stubbornness of conservative politicians coupled with a dysfunctional system?

    • Replies: @iffen
  179. kzn says:
    @LatW

    As I’m sure you know, an all ethnic Latvian team defeated Russia in Gold medal final in the new 3 x 3 basketball competition for the Tokyo Olympics.

    Russia silver medal for both mens and womens events

    • Replies: @LatW
  180. @German_reader

    Barbarossa wouldn’t have been possible without the fall of France…which was facilitated by Molotov-Ribbentropp.

    I must say that German intelligence misread or overlooked results of the Nomonhan Incident, to the point of underestimating the impact of a victory against a perceived inferior Japanese army.

    And apparently according to declassified Soviet archives, the victory by Zhukov was not so clear cut (which further elevates the importance of the battle),

    The Battle of Khalkhin has resulted in greater vigilance against Japan. After the Nomonhan incident, the Soviet troops in Siberia and Zabaikar were gradually strengthened, and as of July 1, 1941, the Soviet troops, the Far East Front and the Zabaikar Division had 23 sniper divisions, one cavalry division, and tanks. 5 divisions, 3 motorized sniper divisions, 13 aviation divisions, 3 sniper brigades, 1 airborne brigade, 1 armored vehicle brigade, 2 air brigades, 1 air defense brigade, 1 motorcycle regiment, artillery regiment With 22 regiments, 8 aviation regiments, 3 engineer regiments, and 8 boat bridge erection regiments, the total force was 723,119, tanks 4,638, guns 14,062, cars 60,091, tractors 11,968, and aircraft 4,777. These large units were not moved until the end of the war, even after the German troops suddenly invaded the Soviet territory and became a full-scale war.

    https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/ノモンハン事件#ソビエト

    Related…from another source, translated from Russian

    Slavinsky suggests that Stalin’s agreement with Churchill and Roosevelt to attack Japan after Germany’s surrender allowed him to keep Japan in the war until he was ready to attack and thus avenge Russia’s defeat in the war of 1904-1905.

    The Japanese-Soviet Neutrality Pact: A Diplomatic History 1941-1945 Boris Slavinsky
    https://books.google.com/books?id=SuvlACp3d2UC&hl

    • Thanks: John Regan
    • Replies: @nebulafox
  181. @Agathoklis

    The point is to try not to make the same mistake all over again albeit for different set of reasons.

    There are always people who desire breaking up what they have and think they themselves will make everything better.

  182. iffen says:
    @Hyperborean

    rather than the infighting and stubbornness of conservative politicians coupled with a dysfunctional system?

    Yes, let’s blame the peasants for instituting and failure to reform dysfunctional systems.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  183. iffen says:
    @German_reader

    Barbarossa merely having been a preventive strike etc.

    But Barbarossa was a preventive strike and Stalin did agree to the M/R pact in order to buy preparation time.

  184. @iffen

    Yes, let’s blame the peasants for instituting and failure to reform dysfunctional systems.

    When did I ever suggest that ordinary Germans were to blame for the Weimar constitution? Your ‘elites’ vs. ‘peasants’ class-based filter makes you too defensive.

    • Replies: @iffen
  185. iffen says:
    @Hyperborean

    Your paraphrase of a part of my comment got my attention.

    hubris of a general German elite

    But, your feigned ignorance of the “Bolsheviks created Hitler” premise is what really got my attention.

    That’s okay as well, it just took me by surprise.

    I enjoy dialogue, but prefer good faith interlocutors.

  186. German_reader says:
    @iffen

    I enjoy dialogue, but prefer good faith interlocutors.

    Meh, come on, it’s a bit much to accuse other commenters of bad faith like that (as is the implied guilt by association…with authors on UR whom Hyperborean said he doesn’t even read). Your one-liner comments are frequently so cryptic that it’s hard to understand what argument exactly you’re trying to make, adding personal accusations on top of that isn’t conducive to “dialogue” either.

    • Replies: @iffen
  187. @iffen

    But, your feigned ignorance of the “Bolsheviks created Hitler” premise is what really got my attention.

    I asked ‘where have you heard it before?’

    Your response was ‘Go read the rest of Unz Review’, rather than pointing out say books or articles.

    To which I then responded ‘I don’t really read the rest of this website because of the low quality.’

    I have no need to pay attention to revisionists when it is sufficient to read mainstream Jewish sources written for a Jewish audience.*

    Ex. This review that lists lots of statistics:
    https://jewishreviewofbooks.com/articles/4988/lenin-and-maimonides/

    Simply parsing mainstream books in a critical manner is sufficient.

  188. songbird says:
    @SFG

    There’s a theory that de-extincting and rewildering the mammoth would change the albedo of snow, by their trampling and digging through it, causing the ground to absorb more heat.

    Trouble is that bringing it back seems near to impossible. And I’m not sure if there is any significant difference between using them and trying to use other animals, like bison.

    Though, given sun cycles and super cycles, probably no stone should be left unturned, in the effort to be able to warm up the North, should it prove necessary.

  189. songbird says:

    I am only half-serious when I have said that Russians should genetically modify themselves for the cold. But I am a real enthusiast, when it comes to them building underground cities and parks.

    The technology would be transferable to Mars. Also, good shielding for EMP blasts and surface detonations of nukes.

  190. iffen says:
    @German_reader

    Meh, come on, it’s a bit much to accuse other commenters of bad faith like that (as is the implied guilt by association…

    Read the article that he linked in comment #187 and tell me that he didn’t feign ignorance. He knows what revisionists are but has no knowledge of their tropes? You c’mon. But whether he is a neo-Nazi or not really doesn’t matter to me. Anyway, he and I would not have much in common for further discussion since “the topic” is secondary to him and it’s all that I care about.

    Your one-liner comments are frequently so cryptic that it’s hard to understand what argument exactly you’re trying to make

    I did a bit of trolling, but not as much these days. Anyway, if someone challenges me on it, I always play it straight and try to respond as best as I can. I assume a milieu and don’t try to “frame” or write a history of the world in each comment. I have arguments but I don’t have a “message,” but many commenters do, and I rebel at their transparent attempts to pretend that they don’t.

    You seem to be a well educated and intellectually honest individual. I have never seen any indication that you are anything other than that. Maybe you are so good at dissimilitude that it is above my paygrade to detect, but I think that you are forthright.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  191. @John Regan

    Thanks. That’s an interesting, matter-a-fact evaluation of America’s progression into what it is today. Considering the amount of Nazi sympathizers among the American elite around that time and in the following decades, it is surprising the US still ended up where it is now. I’m sure Hitler wasn’t the only one that understood these things.

  192. iffen says:
    @sher singh

    Hindus must have not gotten the memo that diversity is India’s strength.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @sher singh
  193. @iffen

    Hindus must have not gotten the memo that diversity is India’s strength.

    Maybe they don’t want any part in the suicide of woke “countries”.

    • Replies: @iffen
  194. iffen says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Why is countries in quotes?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  195. songbird says:

    The question is, do you try to sell your vision of 500 million Russians directly? (Presumably, showing the advantages of upscaled smart fraction, economies of scale, and flying pyramids.)

    Or would it be counterproductive to mention the number? Even in a competitive sense, comparing the nightmare vision of a billion Americans or Africa’s explosion. Do you just concentrate on getting women to want more children?

    • Replies: @Yevardian
  196. @iffen

    Why is countries in quotes?

    They used to be counties, but are turning themselves into woke shitholes.

  197. @Felix Keverich

    You think capitalists are not obsessed with economic growth?

  198. @4Dchessmaster

    You think capitalists are not obsessed with economic growth?

    American joke: if you believe that unlimited growth is possible, you are either mad, or an economist.

    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
  199. LatW says:
    @kzn

    As I’m sure you know, an all ethnic Latvian team defeated Russia in Gold medal final in the new 3 x 3 basketball competition for the Tokyo Olympics.

    Yes, it’s pretty awesome, although I don’t consider that a real Olympic sport.

    Btw, since you’re from Kzn, do you know the hockey team Ak Bars?

    Sorry for the OT.

  200. Yevardian says:
    @Agathoklis

    Oh of course, I’m not one of those people who thinks the ‘Megali Idea’ should be doggedly held onto, no matter what. Yes, perhaps including Greece alongside countries that did have legitimate grievances, but then continued to repeatededly score own-goals in being unable to give up those grievances (*cough* Serbia *cough*) is unfair. Since 1922 it does seem that every single dispute with Greece has been due to Turkish bad faith.

    And yes, Greece did hugely extend its territory during the Balkan Wars (quite adroitly, considering that Bulgaria did most of the real fighting against the Turks), but although technically that’s a part of the 20th Century, I’d consider that turbulent era really spans in 1914-1989, just as culturally, the 19th Century proper begins after Waterloo, 1915.

    Anyway, the Greek government did essentially manage to ensure the worst of both worlds in WW1, with the (Germanophile) king Constantine attempting to keep Greece neutral, failing, triggering a pro-ally Venezelist coup, and entering the war far too late (or was it after the armistice? the events are so complicated) to make any difference.
    I recall that the king Constantine’s obsession with getting revenge on Venizelos essentially lost Cyprus for Greece, whilst also triggering the ‘national schism’, which stirred so much chaos within the Greek government at the time that it’s been argued that dysfunction may have lost them the Turkish war. Not to mention it was known that the Turkish war was seen as a Venizelist cause, and something Constantine had always been against, which can’t have done much for morale.
    Also the war’s disastrous aftermath resulted in Athens becoming one of the world’s ugliest cities..

    Then that national schism (which lost Greece the grant of Cyprus, and possibly the Turkish war) seems to have been a key reason for the succession of petty dictatorships, coups and juntas that plagued Greece until the 1980s.

    Greece got off quite lightly on its failures mainly due to the strong Hellephilia in Britain, and Western Europe more generally. IIRC, in the 1870s, Greece even declared a war against Turks in which the Greeks got totally annihilated, and were only saved from complete Ottoman re-annexation (and probable massacre) by foreign intervention. Certainly Bulgaria paid dearly when it overreached, and of course Armenia got almost wiped out.

    Then again in WW2, Greece might have been the only country to have a Communist government due to popular support, but both Stalin and Roosevelt agreed for its removal.

    Kind of a sidetrack, but I suppose it gives me a chance to ask about the native perspective on the Greek monarchy, Venizelos, and the schism.

    • Replies: @Agathoklis
    , @Dmitry
  201. sher singh says:
    @iffen

    • Replies: @iffen
  202. Yevardian says:
    @songbird

    The question is, do you try to sell your vision of 500 million Russians directly? (Presumably, showing the advantages of upscaled smart fraction, economies of scale, and flying pyramids.)

    Perhaps 500 million is too high, but nonetheless, it can be reasonably argued that if not for a sequence of national catastrophes, and Lenin’s “nationality policy” (something born from the Bolshevik’s origins as just one of seemingly endless Russian terrorist groups, but they then succeeded beyond their wildest dreams), which stirred national (as opposed to religious) consciousness in Central Asians that had probably never existed before.
    Tashkent and Samarkand could feasibly have become major Russian metropolises. Ok, since this thread was an invitation for fruitless daydreaming, yes, I suppose if “Holy RVSSIA” continued, Armenians would have been privileged as Christians in their life-and-death struggle with Turkish orcs. Except Tsar Nicolas was hopelessly incompentent, and the Kerensky goverment was just as shambolic, if not even more incompetent. So even if not for the Bolsheviks, quite likely some other fanatical socialist or anarchist terrorists would have thrown the country into chaos and civil war anyway.

    It’s not as if Imperial Russia had any shortage of such groups. And even if you only count the Bolsheviks without Lenin, its not as if the Bolsheviks were lacking in dozens of other gifted, ambitious and vicious leaders.

    The USSR is a part of Russia’s history, it was probably a natural development, it had its achievements, and it can’t ever be changed. So any real Russian patriot should just accept that, instead of permanently seething over it as a creation of the Jews or Latvians or whatever. *Even* if it created Ukraine.

    • Thanks: songbird
    • Replies: @songbird
  203. @Yevardian

    Out of all the Balkan/south-eastern European countries, the Greeks have most successfully utilised and manipulated the Great Powers. We were also fortunate that we used to have significant Philhellenic capital in Europe and the US but that has disappeared with the elimination of Classical Studies among the European elite. Small nations have to cleverly use all the levers at their disposal. Our numerous failures and some successes shows you how badly some of the others managed themselves.

    “Then again in WW2, Greece might have been the only country to have a Communist government due to popular support, but both Stalin and Roosevelt agreed for its removal.”

    Historians have estimated that the Communist Party (KKE) had at most 20% popular support during the German occupation and declined rapidly after the establishment of the Democratic Army and beginning of the Greek Civil War proper in 1946.

    “Kind of a sidetrack, but I suppose it gives me a chance to ask about the native perspective on the Greek monarchy, Venizelos, and the schism.”

    No one cares about the monarchy except for a tiny lunatic monarchist fringe and very old people who remember the monarchy fondly. It is a non-issue.

    Venizelos is universally admired by the centre Right and Left but with acknowledgement that he made some miscalculations.

    If you mean, the National Schism, then the above sentence covers this.

  204. @4Dchessmaster

    Economic growth happens organically in capitalist societies. CCP fucking decided in 2015 that it’s going to “urbanise” additional 100 million peasants.

    https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/business/china-to-move-100-million-farmers-to-cities-in-urbanisation-plan/articleshow/50296652.cms?from=mdr

    • Replies: @4Dchessmaster
  205. @AnonFromTN

    The limiting factor seems to be not availability of raw materials, but rather black body radiation from the earth’s surface: if continued exponential economic growth requires continued exponential growth in energy use (and eventually, it must, since there are also limits to efficiency gains), the economy will either eventually stabilize or the oceans will boil off. The rosy scenario is that the size of the economy is on an S-curve and will gently stabilize. The scary scenario is overshoot and violent oscillation, possibly ending in collapse.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  206. @iffen

    But whether he is a neo-Nazi or not really doesn’t matter to me. Anyway, he and I would not have much in common for further discussion since “the topic” is secondary to him and it’s all that I care about.

    Why did you mention Jews in the first place, using guily by association, rather than rebutting the direct points I made (in which, again, mentioning Jews was not necessary). But you are right in that I should stop wasting my time with writing long comments on a website that is obscure to non-Anglophones.

    I assume a milieu and don’t try to “frame” or write a history of the world in each comment.

    Perhaps you should, being laconic and vague is not very helpful.

    I have arguments but I don’t have a “message,” but many commenters do, and I rebel at their transparent attempts to pretend that they don’t.

    Are you really sure you don’t have a ideology of your own?

    • Replies: @iffen
  207. @Felix Keverich

    That’s debatable.
    My point is that the economic growth in the USA prior to the 1930s had children employed in dangerous jobs, no unions or the weekend, and no regulation of corporations.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  208. @4Dchessmaster

    That’s debatable.

    You dropped this phrase to avoid adressing the points I made, then moved onto completely different issue altogether. Lame.

  209. songbird says:
    @Yevardian

    I feel like 500 million assumes the creation of more large cities, which would inevitably be population sinks, preventing such a number from ever having been reached.

    A more rational number might be something like the population of the US. Or, at least, that might be the optimistic estimate.

    • Replies: @AP
  210. AP says:
    @songbird

    A more rational number might be something like the population of the US. Or, at least, that might be the optimistic estimate.

    This would be a pessimistic scenario, only for ethnic Russia.

    In 1907 Russia (including Ukraine) had almost twice as many people (151 million vs. 87 million) and much higher TFR than the USA. So 500 million be realistic:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population_in_1907

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @songbird
  211. iffen says:
    @Hyperborean

    Okay, I’ll play along for at least a couple of rounds.

    Why did you mention Jews in the first place,

    In comment #44 I tagged a comment that had mentioned Jews. Jews had already been mentioned six times before I wrote that comment. You mentioned Jews in comment #187. So, in our exchange you mentioned Jews in the first place. Perhaps you were confused by my use of Bolshevik, thinking that Bolshevik might be a synonym for Jew. (You are pleading for a language handicap, right? That is the meaning of “obscure to non-Anglophones, right?)

    Less tediously, (This may not interest you in that I understand you have little interest in topic or substance, but only in style.) The JQ is implicit in No Sovoks in the post title. If we envision No Sovoks, we must consider the contingency of the Bolshevik seizure of power. And if you consider the Bolsheviks, you are required to take notice of the Jews and the JQ. You must consider the meaning of Judeo-Bolshevik. It’s very complicated (to my pea-brain, anyway). For example, you must try and define terms like anti-Semite and there is the possibility that getting to a good definition is an impossible task. A. K. once submitted the ADL test to his readers, but I really think that he was pulling our leg. (I frequently use the duck test, but it might not work for everyone.) Another example of the complexity of the subject is that just by using certain words or phrases one can find himself in the anti-Semite category. I use JQ all the time, but for some that would be sufficient to call me an anti-Semite. You can find sources that will enlighten you, the scales will fall from your eyes, and you will be able to see reality. I can’t provide a complete reading list, but I assure you that there is a vast literature out there, an actual industry if you will (much smaller compared to the Holocaust industry), but it’s there.

    using guily by association

    I’m not clear on your accusation of using guilt by association. I accused you of not commenting in good faith. It follows that I associate you with other commenters who do the same.

    I asked ‘where have you heard it before?’

    Your response was ‘Go read the rest of Unz Review’, rather than pointing out say books or articles.

    Start here: American Pravda: How Hitler Saved the Allies, by Ron Unz – The Unz Review

    But like I said the literature and industry is vast and like trying to find a quote from Hitler saying, “Kill the Jews” in might not be possible to find the exact phrase, “Bolsheviks created Hitler”. I doubt that I can improve on what your able defender wrote, “… the Nazis would have found it much harder to achieve mass support and cooperation by traditional elites without the real or alleged threat of Bolshevism.”

    being laconic and vague is not very helpful.

    Here I plead guilty. I’m actually rather selfish and I use the comment section mostly for my own edification and sometimes entertainment.

    Are you really sure you don’t have a ideology of your own?

    I don’t have a well-defined ideology. I certainly have political beliefs and values, but I don’t spend a lot of time trying to get converts.

  212. @The Big Red Scary

    You are rational, which means that you are neither mad nor an economist.

  213. German_reader says:
    @iffen

    The JQ is implicit in No Sovoks in the post title.

    No, it isn’t, at least not any more than the “Latvian question” would be (Latvian red riflemen are far more of a topos than Jewish Bolsheviks in AK’s writings on the revolution after all).
    You’re reading way too much into both the original post and some readers’ comments.

    • Replies: @iffen
    , @iffen
  214. songbird says:
    @AP

    But the US grew a lot by immigration, so that would serve as counterweight to those other factors. TFR would presumably decrease with development.

    I wonder if anyone has tried to make a best fit model by taking the best cases for analogous climatic zones. For example, part of Russia might be analogous to Quebec, but it drops off pretty quickly from there and then you are dealing with Alberta and the Yukon.

    • Replies: @AP
  215. nebulafox says:
    @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

    The Winter War probably erased whatever attention that German planners paid to the Red Army’s defeat of the IJA.

    (In fairness, it wasn’t just Hitler who underestimated them: the whole German military and bureaucratic apparatus underestimated the Soviet Union, as did many Anglo-American observers. Time Magazine pegged Moscow to fall easily upon the invasion.)

    Mind, I don’t think it mattered: the invasion of the USSR was too embedded in Hitler’s ideology for it not to happen. No Barbarossa would require a dead Hitler before 1941. Which isn’t the most implausible alternative history setup, given the amount of assassination attempts he dodged in his life even before 1941. Or, if you want to go back far enough, he was at Ypres and the Somme, bloodbaths if there ever were any: just redirect a bullet at the right moment.

  216. @iffen

    (You are pleading for a language handicap, right? That is the meaning of “obscure to non-Anglophones, right?)

    No, I meant that while this website, for whatever reason, has some relevance to American internet debates, it has nearly zero relevance to social debates in my home region of Scandinavia and that therefore my participation here is a waste of time.

    I don’t have a well-defined ideology. I certainly have political beliefs and values, but I don’t spend a lot of time trying to get converts.

    Political beliefs and values are not ideological? Since when does one need to actively proselyte to have an ideology? This seems like hairsplitting to me.

    Your expressing regret that the US was unable to dismantle more of the British and French empires due to geopolitical needs and suggesting France was to blame for Operation Barbarossa due to losing the Battle for France (though probably made in jest) seems to indicate your disdain isn’t just limited to Tsarists and Nazis, whom one can’t really expect Americans to approve of, but even the moderate traditional imperialists that were supposedly American allies.

    But as mentioned before there is not much use remaining here and I should rededicate my time to more relevant Danish and Swedish language local content and discussions instead.

    At least in Denmark the post-war obsession with the Second World War has vanished and people are now back to arguing about who is to blame for losing Northern Schleswig.

    • Replies: @German_reader
    , @iffen
  217. German_reader says:
    @Hyperborean

    But as mentioned before there is not much use remaining here and I should rededicate my time to more relevant Danish and Swedish language local content and discussions instead.

    You’re probably correct, there isn’t much point to commenting on this site for anybody from Europe.
    Was nice reading your comments again though. If you leave permanently, all the best to you.

    • Thanks: Hyperborean
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  218. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich

    They have likely a far higher standard of living than me and you (or anyone using this forum), so “retarded” is more fitting for us than them.

    They also have to manage an incomprehensibly vast population.

    It’s preferable for them a population pyramid in which they won’t be flooded in the streets by unemployed young men like Mubarak or Ben Ali, at least until they had developed better capacity (perhaps via technology) to control their citizens’ views.

    And we can assume officials will be meanwhile establishing diverse and strong positions in places like Vancouver.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  219. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    Did you ever read the content on this website? – I mostly only read titles, unless there is some topic with Karlin like his posts about his vacations, etc, where there is an interesting content. If you judged this website from its typical content, it’s always been the craziest and stupidest content on the internet.

    I come here to write with you people, or post some pictures of building to AP, etc. From that point of view of its forum, it’s an excellent and beautiful website – a toad (content) which can turn into the prince (forum). I assumed most other people here had the same reason. They came to post and discuss, not to read the strange materials.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  220. Dmitry says:
    @Yevardian

    How did you find the situation this year in Armenia?

    Pashinyan is re-elected and planning somekind of peace process to normalize relations with Turkey.

    Pashinyan said this week that he supports the Turkey-Armenia railway.

  221. @German_reader

    The rehabilitation of Dshugashwili works in no small part by attributing his crimes to the Germans.

    When we talk at length about the inhumane treatment of Russian prisoners of war by the Germans, we might spare at least a thought for the inhumane treatment of Russian prisoners of war by …

    … the Russians after their “liberation”.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  222. German_reader says:
    @Dmitry

    Did you ever read the content on this website?

    In the past I occasionally did, but mostly not anymore. You’re right that it’s mostly garbage that isn’t worth engaging with.
    Karlin’s blog is a partial exception, because regular commenters mostly aren’t insane, have above average education levels and come from a variety of countries, so you get to read some interesting perspectives. And occasionally Karlin writes something interesting as well (though I don’t think he’s much invested in this blog anymore, which is understandable). But it’s also gotten a bit stale imo, the discussions about favourite topics like the world wars or Ukraine are pretty exhausted and have become repetitive, and there’s inane nonsense like AaronB’s feuds with other commenters. And since UR is such a nutty website it’s unlikely there’ll be many new quality commenters.

    • Agree: sher singh
  223. German_reader says:
    @byrresheim

    When we talk at length about the inhumane treatment of Russian prisoners of war by the Germans, we might spare at least a thought for the inhumane treatment of Russian prisoners of war by …

    … the Russians after their “liberation”.

    iirc some of that is exaggerated, it’s apparently not true that the Soviets just sent former pows en masse to the Gulag as is often claimed.
    But feel free to discuss that with someone else, I’m not really interested.

  224. songbird says:
    @AP

    I’ll also add that the US had very providential geography.

    For example, the West Coast, with a very mild climate, was pretty underpopulated past even 1950. I don’t think there was analogous area at least to scale in Russia.

  225. Not Raul says:
    @nebulafox

    (In fairness, it wasn’t just Hitler who underestimated them: the whole German military and bureaucratic apparatus underestimated the Soviet Union, as did many Anglo-American observers. Time Magazine pegged Moscow to fall easily upon the invasion.)

    General Heinrich Aschenbrenner, the German air attaché in Moscow, warned Berlin about the strength of the Soviet military; but his reports were ignored.

  226. AP says:
    @songbird

    But the US grew a lot by immigration, so that would serve as counterweight to those other factors. TFR would presumably decrease with development

    Sure. I guess these factors would equalize and overall growth rates would be similar. But since Russia’s population was almost double that of the USA in 1907, this suggests that the modern population of the territory of the Russian Empire would be a little less than double that of the USA, if not for the Bolshevik nightmare. So around 550 million people.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  227. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    France had 6 times larger population than USA in 1800. Today the USA population is 5 times larger the France’s population.

    As for what would have been with the Russian population without the events of 1917. The main question is the alternative economic development path that is imagined.

    If economic development had been faster without the revolution, then the demographic transition would be earlier – population would be smaller than today. If economic development been slower without the revolution, the demographic transition would be later – population would be larger (although nothing like 500 million of course), as there would be less time between leaving the Malthusian trap and the demographic transition.

    The reason India and China developed such large populations across the 20th century, was because of their disastrous history, they have delayed the demographic transition across the 20th century. Introduction of contraception technology is further accelerating this transition across the century in the industrialized countries.

    China had the world’s most disastrous 19th century and 20th century, as a result the population grows across the 20th century as low economic development created greater time between leaving the Malthusian trap and the demographic transition. India will bypass China’s population around end of this decade, as there its more delayed development is producing a later demographic transition than China. (That is, China’s economic development is a few generations earlier than India, and its demographic transition fall generations later – although contraception technology is going to accelerate the demographic transition)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqHZRwVU_0

    • Agree: songbird
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @songbird
    , @Dmitry
    , @AP
  228. iffen says:
    @German_reader

    Latvian Red Riflemen were more instrumental to the Russian Revolution than Jews. That’s a novel idea. Perhaps you mean they were more instrumental to the success of the Bolsheviks over other socialist and communists.

  229. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    , as there would be less time between leaving the Malthusian trap and the demographic transition.

    Edit – “as there would be more time”.

    (That is, China’s economic development is a few generations earlier than India, and its demographic transition fall generations later

    Edit – “China’s economic development is a few generations earlier than India, and its demographic transition fall generations earlier

    Sorry although we need an editing function on this forum as a human right.

    • Replies: @iffen
  230. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    Soviets were the first in space.

    Not a perfect marker of development by any means, as it was a political/military priority above the civilian consumer economy, and the Soviet Union had scale others lacked, but AP seems to be ignoring it entirely.

  231. iffen says:
    @sher singh

    Are you trying to claim the title of “Original SJWs” for Sikhs?

  232. iffen says:
    @Dmitry

    Sorry but we need an editing function on this forum as a human right.

    Have you considered writing in a text app, then copying and pasting?

  233. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    YouTube video I was trying to embed in bottom of this post (I didn’t add the last letter of the code and then couldn’t edit the post anymore).

    This post illustrates the population growth between China and India across the 20th/21st century. China’s economic development arrives earlier, and as a result its demographic transition.

  234. iffen says:
    @Hyperborean

    this website, for whatever reason, has some relevance to American internet debates, it has nearly zero relevance to social debates

    AFAIK this site has zero relevance.

    This seems like hairsplitting to me.

    This seems like nit-picking to me.

    I just don’t have a well-known and well-defined name for my ideology.

    Your expressing regret … seems to indicate your disdain isn’t just limited to Tsarists and Nazis … whom one can’t really expect Americans to approve of …

    Imperialism and colonialism bad. Self-determination of peoples good.

    … to more relevant Danish and Swedish language local content and discussions instead.

    We are one of the biggest whales ever. When we go down that vacuum is gonna suck a lot of the world village with it.

    my participation here is a waste of time.

    Don’t let the door … Naw, just kidding.

  235. iffen says:
    @German_reader

    Iffen is more based with regard to Jews than GR. I sure didn’t see that coming.

  236. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    France had 6 times larger population than USA in 1800. Today the USA population is 5 times larger the France’s population.

    Because France’s demographic transition occurred earlier and France did not get immigrants.

    Russia’s demographic transition would come much later than the USA’s.

    If economic development had been faster without the revolution, then the demographic transition would be earlier

    Demographic transition occurs due to industrialization and also secularization. For example Germany’s transition did not occur in the 19th century when it was rapidly industrializing but in the 20th, when it became secular:

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/1033102/fertility-rate-germany-1800-2020/

    Under Tsars, industrialization would have been faster (due to not losing 10 years) but secularization would have been much slower. Moreover, the Soviets destroyed the traditional rural villages which would have been reservoirs of high fertility and turned them into rural “factories.”

    Moreover, you ignore the other factor that resulted in lower Soviet population: all the people whom the Soviet killed, mostly at a time (1920s and 1930s) when fertility was still high and thus when they would have produced lots of additional people. The ~20 million starved to death and killed from 1917-1937 would have nearly quadrupled in population with a TFR of 6+ in one generation (the 20 million plus 60 million children over the women’s life span – although mortality from disease might result in 70 million lost people rather than 80 million).

    China had the world’s most disastrous 19th century and 20th century, as a result the population grows across the 20th century as low economic development created greater time between leaving the Malthusian trap and the demographic transition.

    Russia has far more room than India or China and is far more developed, so those additional people would not be living in squalor as in 20th century China or India.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  237. @nebulafox

    Mikhail Tukhachevsky, the Soviet military theoretician known for theory of Deep Battle, decisive on the Eastern Front, was liquidated during Great Purge amongst others was another factor…

    You may be tempted to think, that out of casual racism, Germans assumed that the Japanese who took the most casualties since the Russo-Japanese War at 1937 Battle of Shanghai against a Chinese army that is considered in the West a joke, must not be a real threat.

    But German advisors to Chiang Kai-Shek were upfront observers at Battle of Shanghai, and there was this April 1938 report

    Es kann kein Zweifel darüber sein, daß der chinesische Soldat dem japanischen im Grunde kämpferisch erheblich überlegen ist.

    There can be no doubt that the Chinese soldier is basically considerably superior to the Japanese in terms of fighting.

    pg 24 from https://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/de/nodes/1048#page/24/mode/inspect/zoom/7

    The defeats of Chiang’s troops at Shanghai, Nanjing, and Wuhan, should not be seen as inevitable. So what likely happened, in a story that ended in tears for all parties, was that the Japanese, underestimated the Chinese, while both Germans and Chinese, overestimated the Chinese.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  238. Seraphim says:

    All projections of the future never factor in that the Day of the Great Judgement will come inevitably.

  239. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    Russia’s demographic transition

    In the Russian Empire, the indicators of demographic transition were rising in the 1880s-1890s. So demographic transition was beginning, as expected with the industrialization beginning to penetrate in the empire.

    This is according if you read people like Vishnevsky. But I would refer to such experts’ discussion as I’m not any demographer or expert, and a better discussion in their writings is than we what we clueless amateurs can achieve.

    Germany’s transition

    Germany was transitioning in the late 19th century. It seems to be only around 20 years or something like this behind to UK, which is probably not far from the industralization levels between those great powers.

    industrialization would have been faster (due to not losing 10 years) but secularization

    This is importing dynamics of the current situation into a different complex.

    It is unlikely religion affects upwardly the fertility rate before a late stage of industrialization (or even postindustrialization) when there is equal access for modern contraceptive choices, especially to the lower classes which constitute the majority of women. A large part of women, especially in lower classes, did not have an option for fertility restriction, whether they would choose to or not. Fertility restriction is not an easy option for nonelite women in the earlier stages of industrialization.

    Before later stages of industrialization, children were moreover important sources of labour, and were important for generating income in lower class families.

    For example, in Victorian England, more religious population (more churchvisiting in middle and upper class) would often have children later than the lower classes (more secular or nonchurch visiting population, especially in the proletariat).

    Chasity of women, was a privilege or luxury, in that context, as was very extended engagement and lack of incentive to increase family’s income by child labour.

    While before the 1750 higher status people had more children, fertility restriction becomes related to access of different classes to options to delay marriage (“extended engagement” – we know common theme as 19th century literature fans), restrict fertility, and not need excess numbers of children to generate family income.

    ~20 million starved to death and killed from 1917-1937

    These numbers are a bit high, to say it mildly.

    But of course millions of unnatural deaths after October 1917 has significant effect in reducing the population, especially from the Second World War. (Although male deaths less than female deaths – women’s fertility determines population replacement).

    Also adding deaths of Second World War to casualties of October 1917, would be reaching some implausibility for the “counterfactual historian” (you need to add similar disasters to the alternative history timeline, to create fair comparison).

    Example of China and India, shows in extreme examples, that eventual population had been determined by the delay or onset of industrialization, and the disasters can collaterally increase the population through that mechanism. The video I provided above shows only after 1950.

    China and India had worse deaths from disasters, epidemic and famines in both 19th and 20th century. But due partly collateral effect of the delayed industrial development, their population growth overrides such effects.

    In the 20th century China’s population grows far times more than in any previous century of its history; even though, or perhaps slightly because, this is century of tragedies like Mao’s disastrous “Great Leap” and the Yangtze floods.

    • Replies: @AP
  240. @Dmitry

    Is it ok to have population pyramid when you have 2 pensioners per 1 working person? Cause that’s what China is going to get by the second half of this century. It’s a mathematical certainty. If they can’t build Communism by that time, China will not survive in its current borders.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  241. @Dmitry

    I was tempted to make a similar comment, although much more hostile, but you beat me to it.

    It’s amusing to me that Yevardian mocks Serbia for harming itself by “refusing to give up on past grievances.”

    Putting aside the fact that Serbia tried exactly that at least twice by hosting Yugoslavia (surprise! it failed), Serbia in 2021 is light years ahead of Armenia in 2021, and I’m sure I’d definitely win if I made a bet that in 2024 Serbia will only leave Armenia behind in the dust even further than it already has.

    It’s really bad form to criticize other random nations on factually baseless grounds (the obsession with India is also strange, although admittedly Armenia is superior to India insofar as it doesn’t practice street-shitting), especially considering the current state of his own. Perhaps genius Yevardian would care to explain how Serbia would be better off “giving up on past grievances”, especially considering it’s working out so well for his home country right now lol.

    Pashinyan is re-elected and planning somekind of peace process to normalize relations with Turkey.

    Lol.

    The “Caucuses Pace Initiative” or whatever, by Erdogan and Putin is basically a divvying up of the Caucuses in Russian and Turkish sphere of influence where Georgia and Armenia are the big losers. Russia and Turkey will have at them however they feel like it, with Putin and Erdogan agreeing not to meaningfully interfere with each others’ grinding into submission and abuse of Georgia and Armenia respectively.

    Pashinyan said this week that he supports the Turkey-Armenia railway.

    Lol.

    This was even funnier to me. Looking at Armenoids freak out on Twitter over the fact Pashinyan didn’t inform his population of the terms of the peace treaty he signed (this issue is interesting and worth detailed reflection, but it’s more for Open Thread) was pleasantly amusing.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  242. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    In the Russian Empire, the indicators of demographic transition were rising in the 1880s-1890s

    Russian TFR was higher in 1900 (7.39) than it was in 1880 (6.85) or indeed in any year going back to 1840:

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/1033851/fertility-rate-russia-1840-2020/

    Russian TFR crashed in 1920 as the country deindustrialized, partially recovered in 1925-1935, the crashed again.

    While before the 1750 higher status people had more children

    This depends on the country. I doubt this was true in Eastern Europe. This occurred with secularization which hit the middle and upper classes first and earliest in the West.

    ~20 million starved to death and killed from 1917-1937

    These numbers are a bit high, to say it mildly

    The exact figure from Karlin would be around 17+ million before World War II:

    Civil War, famines, emigration: 10M+
    Collectivization famines: 5-7M
    Political repressions: 1M+

    Russia’s TFR was stable and above 7 from 1895-1910 (it was higher than, as Russia industrialized, than before industrialization) and even above 6 during World War I. So the generation that lost 17 million would have produced offspring triple its number, if it kept to its World War I rate and even more if it reverted to its prewar rate or had a post-war peacetime baby boom rather than Civil War and Bolshevism.

    So not even taking into account World War II, without Bolshevism the Russian Empire would have had those 17 million missing people plus their 51 million or so children. 68 million more people by 1950. Now add their children and grandchildren. TFR would decline for that generation as elsewhere in the globe, probably down to 4 from 6, maybe those extra 68 million in 1950 would result only an additional 120 or 130 million by 1980.

    Of course and again, this is without taking into account the 27 million lost in World War II.

    Also adding deaths of Second World War to casualties of October 1917, would be reaching some implausibility for the “counterfactual historian” (you need to add similar disasters to the alternative history timeline, to create fair comparison)

    Without Bolshevism, chances of Nazism decreases. Odds of doing better (and thus losing fewer people) in war increases. This is admittedly more speculative than the very clear consequences of the 17 million dead and their lost descendants described above.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  243. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Sure dependency ratio is increasing already in China ( https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2020/01/08/meeting-the-challenge-of-chinas-changing-population/ ) which could limit the economic growth. But presumably in the future China will have higher incomes per capita, and so they expect there will be resources available to operate a welfare system for the dependent people.

    Chinese authorities are also going to use technology to control the population, already introducing social credit system. They will use biometric data to be able to track daily activities of each citizen.

    They also can already use the social credit organ to make some people continue manual labour after age 80.

    With an aging population, generally people will be easier to manage and less rebellious than a younger population, other things equal. A lot of the problem of Ben Ali, Mubarak, Assad, etc, to manage their population, had been the difficulty of controlling a young population, with millions of unemployed young men.

    And we know if all the plans of the authorities fails, then China’s ruling class are already hedging with strong positions and property ownership for their family in cities like Vancouver and London – they are not exactly stupid people, and they should living well regardless of the political future.

  244. Dmitry says:
    @Greater Serbian Chetnikhood

    I’m not criticizing Yevardian though – I’d be interested to read his comments about what is happening in his country, as pretty confusing politics for those of us who don’t live there.

    Armenia is superior to India insofar as it doesn’t practice

    I haven’t visited anywhere in Caucasus , but I assume it must be like any area of transcaucasia (although diverging in wealth from places like Baku, which has oil money, and already wealth in Russian Empire times).

    Central Erevan will surely be full of wealthy millionaires and the supercars of the wealthy political class. But Gyumri looks like (from streetviews) becoming empty of people.

    Aside from corruption typical of postsoviet upper classes, Armenia’s main problem will be surely emigration (a large part of the country is living in Russia). They have a situation in relation to Russia, which is similar to countries like Bulgaria in relation to EU – free movement of labour.

    However, unlike Bulgaria which receives compensating investments from EU in exchange for the out-migration of workers – Armenia is receiving military protection from Russia, but not any great economic investment equivalent of EU in Bulgaria.

    Armenia has a weak position politically and economically, even worse than Georgia.

    Pashinyan didn’t inform his population of the terms of the peace treaty he signed (this issue

    It seems pretty mysterious to me (but again as person ignorant of all the region and its plans) how this railway will be working?

    Turkey is building a gas pipeline to Nakhchivan, and Turkey’s railway to Nakhchivan will be the first stage. What is their plan.

    At the same time, Aliev is building railway that will go under the Southern border of Nagorno-Karabakh, for cargo trains.

    But some of the plans could also avoid Turkey and Iran, and go to Georgia through Armenia.

    Although Iran is excited about the project somehow, as like Turkey they will want to be receiving a cut of this infrastructure.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  245. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    avoid Turkey and Iran, and go to Georgia through Armenia.

    The current planned corridor is excluding Armenia. And the alternative new cargo railway will be, ostensibly, benefiting now Armenia.
    However, it looks like (seeing the map) that Armenia’s access to this new trade route would become dependent on Azerbaijan on both sides. To Russia, via Azerbaijan, and to Turkey and Iran via Nakhchivan. So for Aliev there could be a benefit of increasing his leverage with this train project.

    It looks like a careful move for Aliev geopolitically, but it can benefit Armenia economically while they have access to it.

  246. songbird says:

    Finland’s pop about doubled between 1900 and now. Of course, they had several run ins with communists. Not sure how much the wars affected their TFR. But I think they were a little less developed to start with.

    Based on that, doesn’t this idea of 500 million Russians seem a little doubtful?

    • Replies: @AP
  247. AP says:
    @songbird

    Finland had a significantly lower TFR in 1900 than did Russia (4.89 Finland, 7.39 Russia).

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @songbird
  248. Beckow says:
    @AP

    You simply lack the ability to consider things in their context. Trends continue until they don’t… Try to get that into your quasi-autistic mind, it is not that hard.

    The only things that exist are the ones we can observe. To do fanciful what-if scenarios leads nowhere – for some reason the what-ifs are always based on your pre-existing ideological biases. There are morons dreaming what-ifs about Germany winning WWII (always only in the east for some reason), weather, better generals, whatever…Thea “500 million people” what-if is based on a similar lack of logic: governments don’t impact what people do in their private lives that much. On the margin it matters, but overall the difference is more in tens of millions and not “500 million”.

    Few facts (I claim these are obvious facts):
    – Russia was going to continue move to the cities and industrialisation automatically leading to a lower TFR (cities are a demographic sink – always and everywhere)
    – Russia fought substantially better in WWII than in WWI – if they lost WWII there would scarcely be any Russians left today. Now ponder that what-if scenario.
    – You cannot have a 50% natural increase in 10 years as you claimed for Volyn. That would translate to 4-5% increase per year, literally unheard of given historical data. Often there is also migration.

    Finally, why is a big population a good thing? Can someone explain that? 1 billion Americans? are you kidding? at 100-150 kg per pop the earth would literally collapse :)… Given the latest quality of these new Americans, maybe fewer would be better. As we discussed, increasingly short, fat and not very smart, swarthy cholo-like semi-morons with poor reading and work habits. Why wouldn’t something similar happen in other countries were population is allowed to explode?

    • Replies: @AP
  249. songbird says:
    @AP

    It is hard for me to believe that Russia could maintain a higher TFR than Niger. That’s more than double what it was in Ireland in 1900, a fairly undeveloped and religious country, if one with high emigration.

    I even wonder if the TFR was inferred inaccurately.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  250. AP says:
    @songbird

    It is hard for me to believe that Russia could maintain a higher TFR than Niger

    Not hard for me to believe. One of my grandparents was the youngest of ten children, the other the youngest of six. Both were born soon before World War I, so it was the ~1900 cohort. So TFR of these two unrelated families was 8. Both were of educated gentry background, not peasants but very religious. This was in Galicia. Eastern Slavs were just very fertile back then.

  251. 216 says: • Website
    @ImmortalRationalist

    Only one ideology has produced above-replacement fertility in a developed country.

    Zionism.

  252. Since everyone else is chipping in this alternate history discussion..a few points..

    1.Russian industrialization was financed by foreign capital (Mostly French). Russian domestic savings rate was abysmal.All European countries that have industrialized have done this on the back of high domestic savings.The US is the exception but that is a completely different political economy with people like JP Morgan raising capital in London to finance industrial expansion.

    With Germany neutralized and possibly Balkanized in our alternate history scenario with Imperial Russia +France imposing Versailles ++ on Germany why would Britain and France(which btw was near bankrupt) continue to finance Russian industrial expansion?

    You think the UK and France would just sit tight while Russia emerges as the hegemon of Eastern and Central Europe and gains a permanent warm water port in Constantinople? That would be quite out of character.

    2.Russian educated class was not a coherent entity like say that of Imperial Germany under Bismark. It consisted of Volga Germans,Poles and many others who considered themselves Western Europeans in exile.They also led by the Czar extracted parasitic rents more in line with Latin American elites than any elites of the other great powers.

    Productive industrialists like Sirkosky had no political power comparable to Krupp or Siemens.

    This is hardly a precursor to rapid industrialization of the sort previously seen in US,Germany or Meiji Japan.

    3. Russian industrial technical capabilities was extremely modest and very dependent on transfer of technology at the critical component level thus very vulnerable to technology denial sanctions.

    If you take apart any advanced product produced by Imperial Russia you will find British or French critical components.

    For example Sikorsky Illya Muromets bomber was powered by British Sunbeam Crusader V8 Engines.

    Sort of like Spaniards today build high speed trains comparable to German and French trains but on closer study you find that the Traction Motors and IGBT converters for such trains are imported from Austrian and Swiss firms.

    So yeah its good to believe that grand things were just around the corner if only…

    But the alternate history hypothesis that Russia was comfortably on track to emerge as a fully developed superpower of all Eurasia with a population of over 500 million+ Eastern Slavs has IMHO more than a few loopholes.

    • Thanks: AP, sher singh
    • Replies: @AP
  253. AP says:
    @Beckow

    You simply lack the ability to consider things in their context. Trends continue until they don’t

    The key is, when and how do they discontinue?

    The only things that exist are the ones we can observe. To do fanciful what-if scenarios leads nowhere

    There is nothing “fanciful” about the statements that Bolshevism led to the loss of 10 million to deaths, starvation, fleeing in 1917-1920s, the starvation of about 6 million in the 1930s, and the executions of about a million more people. Nothing “fanciful” about the fact that these missing 17 million or so would have produced about 50 million people (given TFR rate) in the 1920s to 1940s.

    Similarly, nothing “fanciful” about the claim that Russian TFR would have decreased at a slower rate if not for the Bolsheviks. It had been stable at around 7 through the industrialization of 1890-1910.

    Russia was going to continue move to the cities and industrialisation automatically leading to a lower TFR (cities are a demographic sink – always and everywhere)

    See above.

    Russian TFR was higher in 1900 (7.39) than it was in 1880 (6.85) or indeed in any year going back to 1840:

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/1033851/fertility-rate-russia-1840-2020/

    It was above 7 until World War I, despite industrialization and urbanization.

    I imagine it would have decreased, but no reason to assume a decrease as dramatic as what had occurred.

    Russia fought substantially better in WWII than in WWI

    So? And it fought even more substantially better in WWI than it did in 1905. You imagine that without Bolsheviks it would not have improved? Bolsheviks, who cost it tens of millions of people lost years of industrialization, and loss of cognitive elites (such as Sikorsky)? Sovoks can be funny.

    You cannot have a 50% natural increase in 10 years as you claimed for Volyn

    Not my claim for increase in number, claim of Polish government census. Certainly there was settlement by Polish colonists but also emigration so the increase wasn’t primarily driven by migration:

    https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wojew%C3%B3dztwo_wo%C5%82y%C5%84skie_(II_Rzeczpospolita)

    Finally, why is a big population a good thing? Can someone explain that?

    Every life is precious, the more people the better unless it results in some sort of terrible overcrowding as in India. The territory of the Russian Empire of course has more than enough room for 500 million people. More people, more arts, science production, innovation, and of course even more raw power for the nation that possesses this. Instead of 140 million Russians, there would be 300 million or so.

    And of course, the fact the less people in Russia was achieved through mass killings is a horror.

    Anyways, AK already addressed some of your arguments here:

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/500-million-russians/#comment-4884589

    • Agree: iffen
    • Replies: @sher singh
  254. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    https://www.statista.

    You’re posting from a unreliable source. This is discussion will go to “junk in junk out” if we use that kind of sourcing. We need a peer reviewed academic literature for the sources.

    ussian TFR

    Aside from lack of reliable source for your numbers, “TFR” is an estimation for incomplete information (it’s useful only to estimate about the present).

    If you need to look at the real fertility rate, then we identify the completed fertility rates by year of birth, and from a reliable source (e.g. professional demographers in peer reviewed literature).

    true in Eastern Europe. This occurred with secularization which hit the middle and upper classes first and earliest

    Of course it is especially true in the Russian Empire.

    One reason is because in the Russian Empire, modern Northern European (two generation) family model was becoming prevalent, while much of the peasants still live in the communal, almost tribal family structures; modern family is becoming prevalent in urban areas as the century progresses, and this will effect the fertility later. These are the demographic transition indicators.

    In the Russian Empire upper class in the 19th century, there is of course also the trends of European culture like women’s emancipation, becoming prevalent. reasons).

    This changing social life of women in the upper classes, could start to create fertility restriction behaviours (but the latter is only accessible for the upper classes also for economic or technological reasons).

    Russia’s TFR was stable and above 7

    (Aside from the use of an unreliable source whose numbers are somehow unlikely). According to stable population theory, the replacement of population is determined by women’s completed fertility (“TFR” can be ignored for now, as it is method for prospective estimates, not retrospective judgement).

    We can find reliable source for Estonian women (not a representative sample of women in the Russian Empire), are like:

    Estonian women had lower fertility than other nationalities in the Russian Empire.

    But for information on a wider sample of nationalities will require finding a professional demographer or their writings.

    In late 20th century, in Russia itself, in Soviet times, the fertility rates became quite an undramatic story

    What happened from around 1930-1990 – just story of a fall from 3 children per women to 2 children per women.

    • Replies: @AP
  255. sher singh says:
    @AP

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_real_population_density_based_on_food_growing_capacity

    India next to countries like Italy or New Zealand.

    Indian overcrowding is a meme, corrupt bureaucracy extracting rents to stall infra is correct answer.

    That bureaucracy btw, is a gift of the British who went full SJW post 20s & created a proto Woke state.

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    • Replies: @AP
  256. AP says:
    @sher singh

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_real_population_density_based_on_food_growing_capacity

    India next to countries like Italy or New Zealand.

    That’s based on food growing capacity, not on how crowded a place is.

    You are not completely wrong, however, because a few countries (not city-states or islands like Hong Kong) have even higher density than India: Bangladesh, Netherlands, Lebanon, Rwanda, and South Korea:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_dependencies_by_population_density

  257. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    https://www.statista.

    You’re posting from a unreliable source. This is discussion will go to “junk in junk out” if we use that kind of sourcing. We need a peer reviewed academic literature for the sources.

    Here is a peer-reviewed academic source that corroborates the source that I posted from:

    https://www.ier.hit-u.ac.jp/rrc/English/pdf/RRC_WP_No2.pdf

    Birth rate of over 50/1000 until 1907, is higher than any country in the world currently, according to Worldbank. The highest, Niger, is “only” at 46:

    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.CBRT.IN

    Niger has TFR of 6.8 so Russia’s was over 7.

    Russia’s birth rate was above 46 as late as 1928, when the Bolsheviks destroyed the Russian countryside and forcibly collectivized the farms.

    true in Eastern Europe. This occurred with secularization which hit the middle and upper classes first and earliest

    Of course it is especially true in the Russian Empire.

    Late 19th century aristocrat Leo Tolstoy had 13 children. Dostoyevsky only had 4, as did Piotr Wrangel. Lenin was one of 8 children even though his father supported equal rights for women. Nabakov was one of 5 children. Etc.

    Anecdotal of course, but you did not find data contradicting it, only info about the start of feminism which as we see in the Ulyanov family did not necessarily lead to few children.

    Russia’s TFR was stable and above 7

    (Aside from the use of an unreliable source whose numbers are somehow unlikely).

    See above. It is indeed a reliable figure.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  258. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin

    • Replies: @Not Raul
  259. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    Russia’s was over 7.

    Completed fertility was 6,32 for cohorts born in 1870 and 4,47 by 1900 (women entering fertility at the beginning of the First World War and into the 1920s).
    It’s textbook history, that the demographic transition is happening rapidly in the last third of the 19th century, as industrialization belated begins to penetrate the empire.

    The question for fertility rates in alternative history is about the whether effect of the October 1917 has increased the speed of industrialization, or reduced the speed of these processes (as the latter is likely in China).

    Because industrialization is the driver the demographic transition – if increased industrialization speed as believed in the standard Soviet history, then there will be lower fertility rates in reality, than in the alternative nonreality scenario without October 1917. If reduced industrialization speed as a result of October 1917, then there would have been higher fertility rates than without events of October 1917.

    you did not find data contradicting it, only info about the start of feminism

    Mironov’s textbook implies from the size of the families that the fertility rate (of surviving children) cannot be that high in upper class and middle class families. A large proportion of children died, and the family size that Mironov found (and constantly displays in tables) was consistently quite small households for the upper classes and urban families – implying 3 children in those families.

    Of course the more specific data will there in the books and journals. It requires us to read the academic papers of the demographers (although to attain somekind of objective “literature review” would probably need us to ask someone who is working in this field, or a student who studies this area).

    If you are talking about the narrow topic that middle and upper class families were smaller and had few children than the peasants – this is worldwide reversal, and it begins from the late 18th century in Europe, even extending in Africa in the 20th century.

    In the Russian Empire, this is the classic example, as the peasants continued living in large communal families, for a long time after the upper and middle class, as well as urban class, were living in modern small family structure.

    Traditionally peasants were in this kind of large, biblical/tribal patriarchal family structure.

    Dostoyevsky only had 4 Lenin was one of 8.. Leo Tolstoy had 13 children

    With industrialization, there is small counter wind to the population. from the decline in infant mortality. In terms of the eventual population effect, Dostoyevsky had 2 children (two children died as babies). Lenin is one of 6, because 2 other siblings die as children. Tolstoy contributes 8 children to the population, because 5 of his children die as babies.

    By the way, looking at 19th century celebrity artists, is not necessarily so useful – I mean so many great 19th century artists like Levitan, Balakirev, Lermontov, Gogol, Tchaikovsky, Musorgsky, etc had – 0 children. There is an unusual amount of great artists that had 0 children in the 19th century, and the Russian Empire was no exception to this fashion.

    • Replies: @AP
  260. ivan says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I read somewhere that the Soviet Union reported around 200 million abortions in the 60s and 70s and possibly 80s. I am open to correction on this figure, but it stuck in my mind as it is an horrendous figure. Perhaps some “administrators” thought it was the modern thing to do, and were proud. of it.

    The Russians are food exporters now, its a no brainer that had the Communists not done their black deeds , the Russian population based on food production alone would be in the region of 300 millions. India at the eve of Independence had 300 to 400 million people today she has 1.3 billion mostly younger people. All this due to the enormous productivity of modern agriculture and the miracles of modern heath care. It would have been the same in Russia .

    • Agree: AP
  261. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Completed fertility was 6,32 for cohorts born in 1870 and 4,47 by 1900 (women entering fertility at the beginning of the First World War and into the 1920s).

    Your source contradicts the reliable, peer-reviewed one that I provided and also contradicts itself. First it states that the cohort born in 1870 had a TFR of 7.0 and then it states 6.32. Furthermore it does not specify whether this included Russian territories such as the Baltics or not. The source I provided, showing birth rates associated with 7 TFR all the way through to 1907, explicitly referred to European Russian territory within present borders.

    It’s textbook history, that the demographic transition is happening rapidly in the last third of the 19th century, as industrialization belated begins to penetrate the empire.

    The problem for your claim is that the high birth rate was maintained under the Tsars through industrialization (while collapsing under the Soviets). This is probably why:

    One way that Bolshevism brought down the fertility rate was by destroying the traditional village through forced collectivization (we see the birth rate fall rapidly in 1928). Peasants were turned into agricultural workers. Under normal circumstances, the birth rate in urban industrial population would have fallen but the countryside would have remained as a reservoir of very high fertility; thus the fall in fertility in the country as a whole would have been more gradual. By “industrializing” the very villages the Soviets brought the TFR down further.

    I suspect that the high birth rate in Russia (over 50 as late as 1907, higher than in modern Niger) was maintained under the Tsars during early industrialization because as fertility in the growing cities decreased, conditions in the countryside improved (fewer famines, better agricultural techniques, Stolypin’s reforms resulting in more wealth, etc). This enabled growth in population there, maintaining the reservoir of demographic growth.

    By the way, looking at 19th century celebrity artists, is not necessarily so useful – I mean so many great 19th century artists like Levitan, Balakirev, Lermontov, Gogol, Tchaikovsky, Musorgsky, etc had – 0 children

    That was my point. Russian aristocrats were so fertile at that time that even one engaged in the arts such as Tolstoy had 13 kids; even one who was a political progressive such as Ulyanov had 8 children.

    (Tchaikovsky was of course gay and Gogol was mentally ill).

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  262. AP says:
    @Vishnugupta

    With Germany neutralized and possibly Balkanized in our alternate history scenario with Imperial Russia +France imposing Versailles ++ on Germany why would Britain and France(which btw was near bankrupt) continue to finance Russian industrial expansion?

    1. You are correct. If Germany were completely neutralized alliance and investment by the French might indeed have decreased and Russian industrialization would have slowed down considerably. Investment would not have been zero of course – Russia would it have been a pariah state and the French would not want to lose their considerable investment. Russia would then have been sort of like a huge snowy Italy in terms of industrialization of 500 million people. Given that in this scenario Germany would be incapable of waging a genocidal war against Russia I’m not sure how this wouldn’t be a great timeline for Russia.

    2. If Germany came back France would continue to support Russia.

    Russian educated class was not a coherent entity like say that of Imperial Germany under Bismark. It consisted of Volga Germans,Poles and many others who considered themselves Western Europeans in exile

    Russian elite were at least 50% Russians. Among those not Russian, the Baltic Germans (Volga Germans were just farmers) were perhaps the largest group and for the most part very loyal to Russia. Wrangel was a good example. You are correct about Poles.

    If you take apart any advanced product produced by Imperial Russia you will find British or French critical components.

    For example Sikorsky Illya Muromets bomber was powered by British Sunbeam Crusader V8 Engines.

    Sort of like Spaniards today build high speed trains comparable to German and French trains but on closer study you find that the Traction Motors and IGBT converters for such trains are imported from Austrian and Swiss firms

    I would be interested in Karlin addressing this.

    • Agree: Not Raul
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @Mr. XYZ
  263. Not Raul says:
    @Mikhail

    Some of those numbers for 1990 look way too low. Armenia was poor; but not that poor.

    Since 1990, I doubt that per capita income in Armenia actually became about five times larger.

    There was a big earthquake there towards the end of 1988, and there was a lot of foreign aid, and rebuilding efforts, in 1989-1990.

  264. @AP

    ‘Russia would then have been sort of like a huge snowy Italy in terms of industrialization of 500 million people.’

    Or a huge snowy Uruguay or Chile given its biggest exports on the eve of WW 1 were food grains with no realistic prospect of exporting significant amounts of value added industrial products due to lack of warm water ports precluding competitive exports to the British Empire (which practiced free trade and allowed other industrialized countries market access)and an industry unable to compete with Germany,Netherlands, Czech Republic among others in the European markets.

    It also IIRC had the largest national debt and lowest national savings rate of any major European power.

    Italy,Spain etc. are relatively much richer today due to post WW 2 US aid and access to markets and technology and intra EU transfer payments from more developed Western countries.

    Finally per capita income figures of Italy are inflated due to the Euro whose value is predicated on Eurozone export surplus overwhelmingly driven by demand for German exports outside the Eurozone.

    Too many variables but in an alternate timeline without WW2 and the Cold War and the resultant political consolidation of Western Europe Italy may not be even half as rich as it us today i.e. in PPP terms it may be roughly equal to or even less than what Russia is today.

    As many other commenters gave pointed out Russia is the only major WW 1 European power which is still an independent major player in the world with very limited downsides in the 21st century. There isn’t much to complain.

    • Replies: @AP
  265. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    contradicts the reliable, peer-reviewed one that I provided

    There isn’t contradiction. You posted something about the birthrate, which is not adjusted to the age structure of the population. Birth rate by itself doesn’t tell us only about the fertility rate. E.g. you can have to have a very low birth rate, and yet a high fertility rate, if e.g. you are in an area with a lot of old people – and you can have a high birthrate with a low fertility rate, if you e.g. had a young population or a lower proportion of old people. Birth rate can vary depending on the age-structure of the population, not only on fertility rate.

    We need to find the demographic literature. (A problem of inconvenience is that a lot was published by the older generation of demographers (i.e. Belova) and their work doesn’t look like published much in the easily accessible places online).

    But there are secondary sources discussing those demographers works available online, as I posted.

    high birth rate was maintained under the Tsars through industrializ

    It was falling from the late 19th century – Russian Empire is going into the “demographic transition” before the October 1917 situation intercedes.

    The question is whether the historical events accelerated the trend or not, but it’s not a question of the trend itself. No demographers are saying that demographic transition was not going to happen.

    fertility rate was by destroying the traditional village through forced collectivization

    This brutal government policies could acceleration of the decline of the compound families that still existed among the peasantry.

    Boris Mironov shows the modern European “small family” structure (with two generations living together) is increasing in proportion in every decade through the 19th century – first in the upper and middle classes, and then a wider urban population.

    During the 19th century, the share of the population in the large compound families was falling. The government’s policy in the 1920s is accelerating the trend in my opinion.

    But in many other countries we can see these processes without the need of an authoritarian government policy – the destruction of the peasantry in 19th century England was not an especially nonrapid process. So I wouldn’t question that it was going to happen.

    Russian aristocrats were so fertile

    Until the middle 18th century the social status correlated with more surviving children. But by the 19th century this pattern has reversed (In the 20th century it even reversed in Africa).

    In the Russian Empire in the 19th century, family size (after infant mortality) in the upper and middle class is far smaller than in the lower classes. Boris Mironov shows many times the family sizes are usually just over 5 people, or under 6 people (i.e. just over 3 children) in the upper class families in those cities that he studies.

    • Replies: @AP
  266. AP says:
    @Vishnugupta

    ‘Russia would then have been sort of like a huge snowy Italy in terms of industrialization of 500 million people.’

    Or a huge snowy Uruguay or Chile given its biggest exports on the eve of WW 1 were food grains with no realistic prospect of exporting significant amounts of value added industrial products

    It was indeed a massive exporter of food grains. However the oil and gas industries were just beginning and this was the start of a boom in Russia. It was also a massive source of coal, and where there is coal there come steel and iron. Indeed, there was a significant increase in iron and steel production prior to World War I (from 35.5 million pounds in 1887 to 246.5 million pounds in 1913). Where there is steel and iron there inevitably arises stuff like trains and machinery.

    So it would be more than simply a huge Chile with copper mines.

    industry unable to compete with Germany,Netherlands, Czech Republic among others in the European markets.

    It was still the early stages, not yet time for production of complex things, but already Russia was producing a lot of iron and steel. World War I inspired a lot of military production that would have resulted in some transition of knowledge into civilian application.

    due to lack of warm water ports

    Odessa.

    It also IIRC had the largest national debt and lowest national savings rate of any major European power.

    Maybe. I wonder how much of this would have been “given” to Germany at Versailles.

    Italy, Spain etc. are relatively much richer today due to post WW 2 US aid and access to markets and technology and intra EU transfer payments from more developed Western countries.

    Wouldn’t Russia’s 20th century oil and gas boom roughly equalize that advantage? Per Maddsen, already from 1870 to 1913 Russia’s per capita GDP improved from being poorer than Portugal to being richer than Portugal. By the 1970s Russia was again poorer than Portugal. And it still is.

    As many other commenters gave pointed out Russia is the only major WW 1 European power which is still an independent major player in the world

    It’s the only one of those with 140 million people and the world’s greatest natural resources reserves. If not for Bolsheviks, it would have around 250-300 million people (current, ethnic borders) or around 500 million people (borders of intact Russian Empire) and the world’s greatest natural resources. So it is a catastrophic result.

    • Replies: @ivan
  267. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    contradicts the reliable, peer-reviewed one that I provided

    There isn’t contradiction. You posted something about the birthrate, which is not adjusted to the age structure of the population. Birth rate by itself doesn’t tell us only about the fertility rate. E.g. you can have to have a very low birth rate, and yet a high fertility rate, if e.g. you are in an area with a lot of old people – and you can have a high birthrate with a low fertility rate, if you e.g. had a young population or a lower proportion of old people. Birth rate can vary depending on the age-structure of the population, not only on fertility rate.

    Okay. Here is fertility rate to 1925:

    http://www.demoscope.ru/weekly/2008/0353/tema01.php

    From Russian demographers. It was nearly 7 in 1925, when Bolsheviks hadn’t really touched the countryside yet. If it was nearly 7 in 1925, it must have been above 7 in 1890-1910.

    fertility rate was by destroying the traditional village through forced collectivization

    This brutal government policies could acceleration of the decline of the compound families that still existed among the peasantry.

    Correct. And this was still a large % of the Russian population. Therefore these policies created a large artificial drop in fertility.

    Notice in the chart I included that by the 1950s Russia had a much lower TFR than the USA, which was no less industrialized but which had not undergone Bolshevism and was still a very religious society.

    In essence, you claim that industrialization/urbanization is the only factor that determines family size. But there are other, partially related ones such as traditional families, religion, etc. While industrialization and urbanization eroded these, Bolshevism aggressively destroyed them in such a way that TFR dropped more steeply than would be expected given Russia’s industrialization/urbanization. In addition to the mass killings and emigration caused by Bolshevism, this impact on TFR also contributed to Russia’s sad demographic situation.

    “Russian aristocrats were so fertile”

    Until the middle 18th century the social status correlated with more surviving children. But by the 19th century this pattern has reversed (In the 20th century it even reversed in Africa).

    Globally. In Russia and Eastern Europe the shift occurred later than the mid 18th century.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  268. ivan says:
    @AP

    The Russian endowment in terms of natural resources , huge rivers, minerals and all that was needed for industrial growth would have been in a similar position to that of the USA. A continent – sized market , without any need for foreign markets. A world unto itself. The Russians had all the advantage that say Japan would have : being able to adopt the latest methods, without having to go through the much more painful dislocations of the pioneering European nations.

  269. Although I think it’s exaggerated, I’ve long since come to the conclusion that ethnic Russians would now- without revolutions, terror, famines, WW2…. – have numbered over 300 M, perhaps close to 400 M.

    Also,there would have been perhaps 150-200 M Germans.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
    , @nebulafox
  270. nebulafox says:
    @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

    Well, troops defending their country from invasion from people who they have no reason but to expect the worst from tend to be very well motivated and are willing to do stuff that other soldiers won’t. The IJA would prove that themselves in 1944 and 1945 against us.

    That, and Chiang committed all his best troops to Shanghai and Wuhan, so it isn’t surprising that their battlefield performance took the Japanese by surprise. I think Chiang’s bet was that if he did that, he could get support from the external world, which did… kind of work out, but not in a way that helped the KMT keep power in the long haul.

  271. @Bardon Kaldian

    So, now you know why Anglos and Jews could not let that happen.

  272. @iffen

    This is highly unlikely because the vision of late Tsarist Russia as a reactionary, obscurantist shithole is a joint liberal-Alt Right meme (the only difference being that the former say, “and this is bad”, and the latter say, “this is actually good!”).

    The Imperial Russian Air Service had the largest number of planes in 1914.

    GOELRO was a direct continuation of electrification plans draw up in 1916. (By which time Russia had become the world’s 4th largest electricity producer, ahead of France).

    It invented transhumanism (cosmism).

    It has more female university students than all the rest of Europe combined in 1914.

    The idea that it would have ended up in an anti-developmentalist dictatorship along the lines of Salazar after the Civil War is, I suppose, while not absolutely impossible, highly unlikely.

    • Replies: @iffen
  273. @German_reader

    I wonder if he stopped, because he feared persecution by Macron’s government, seems like a distinct possibility given the ban on the identitarians.

    He focused his attention on more substantive literary work. The result of which you will soon have the opportunity to peruse!

  274. nebulafox says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    The way I see it, this all comes down to WWI. No WWI, nothing else that follows would have been possible, whether in Russia or in other European countries.

    I’m increasingly convinced that the pop history stereotype is wrong. Far from being the inevitable product of the web of alliances that characterized prewar Europe, the more I look at what actually happened and what people actually thought at the time in the first half of 1914, it was the most tragically unnecessary conflict I’ve come across.

    (The story of the Sarajevo assassination itself is tragicomic on a surreal level, full of grotesque mess ups and near derailing moments down to the final fateful wrong turn that the driver made. All the way to the choice of the date of June 28th: both Franz Ferdinand’s anniversary with Sophie Chotek and St. Vitus Day for the Serbs.)

    It’s ultimately masterbatory. What happened happened, and we have no way of knowing whether the alternative world would have been worse. But it does give you a newfound appreciation of how our lives really revolve around contingencies.

  275. @songbird

    Not indefinitely. If it did, it would 10x+ its population over the century. But nobody is claiming that, least of all myself.

  276. @AP

    I would be interested in Karlin addressing this.

    Russia in 1913 was not a country at the leading edge of technological production and I never claimed it was.

    However, it had already largely built the basis for becoming one. Steel production 5M tons a year (4th in the world), the world’s third largest stock market by market cap, electricity production 4th in the world by 1916 (a doubling on the levels of 1913, only to be matched again in 1928), productivity within the specifically industrial segment of the economy comparable to France, six huge automative factories laid down in 1916 alone to build armored vehicles. It would be pretty strange if all of this runaway growth had not led to the development of technology-intensive industries.

    Russian educated class was not a coherent entity like say that of Imperial Germany under Bismark. It consisted of Volga Germans,Poles and many others who considered themselves Western Europeans in exile.

    Russia in 1913 had Europe’s highest number of university students in absolute numbers and was even quite respectable in per capita terms.

    The vast majority of them would not have been Volga Germans and Poles.

    • Agree: AP, Not Raul
  277. iffen says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    the vision of late Tsarist Russia as a reactionary,

    I’m not saying that they were. Obviously, I am not as well read on the era as you. But something was wrong. Something was different in that these freaks, Bolsheviks, were able to seize (and hold) power. Why didn’t Russia evolve in a social democratic manner? Something was dysfunctional in the elites and Tsarists, and I blame that dysfunction as much as I blame the ideologically crazed commies.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Dmitry
  278. AP says:
    @iffen

    It was a sensitive time to stupidly get into a World War. Would Dickensonian Britain, had it been under similar pressure, with the Germans helping the troublemakers, have escaped unscathed?

    • Replies: @iffen
    , @Mr. XYZ
  279. iffen says:
    @AP

    I don’t understand the point of your comment.

    Elites decide.

    The elites in Russia made some bad decisions and as a result they got the Bolsheviks.

  280. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    Here is fertility rate to 1925:

    Sure but this is not the relevant data, as population replacement is determined only by the completed fertility rates (TFR is useful only as an estimate for incomplete information, when we don’t know the completed fertility), as I said above.

    As I already, said this fertility rate is lower for cohorts after 1870. For the last prerevolutionary beginning to be fertile women, fertility rate is going from 6 to 5-6 of children per women.

    industrialization/urbanization is the only factor that determines family size. But there are other, partially related ones such as traditional families, religion

    In the current epoch (i.e. now), religion influences strongly upwards fertility in our present system, as women of all classes have a potential choice in terms of their fertility, while especially certain religions ban use of modern contraception, or discourage family planning.

    But in the pre-industrial and also early industrial time, women of most classes do not ability to voluntarily restrict fertility, and especially not modern contraception.

    In that stage of history, after the Malthusian trap opened, not religion which is determining fertility divergences within a country, but social class, education and urbanization. Estonians had such low fertility rates in the Russian Empire, not because of their religion, but because of their region’s high economic level, literacy, urbanization, etc.

    Estonia was one of the most economically developed parts of the Russian Empire, and this is why Estonians’ fertility rates were so low compared to other nationalities living in less developed parts of the Russian Empire.

    That’s why China’s population increased so far in the 20th century – because of the low levels of industrialization continue in China until the last third of the century.

    In China’s situation, it’s likely that failed disasters of “Great Leap Forward” has contributed even to increases in fertility, in comparison to alternative in which the country’s economy had developed smoothly.

    In Russian Empire, if progress of industrialization, literacy, urbanization, education, etc, had really been more successful than in the Soviet time, then the natural fertility rate (not talking about emigration or unnatural deaths) would have fallen faster, than as happened in reality.

    But it’s difficult to say this question, because authorities of Soviet times were very successful (also a brutal nightmare) in driving industrialization – and these processes of industrialization, literacy, urbanization, education, had happened at speeds which had been considered by foreign contemporaries to be historically unprecedented.

    The typical view of contemporary observers and historians (not only in Russia) had been that the authorities in Soviet times had achieved possibly the fastest industrialization of an economy that had been seen.

    this impact on TFR

    The important thing is completed fertility. TFR is an estimate designed for incomplete information (i.e. in the present time, before we know the real fertility rate).

    Globally. In Russia and Eastern Europe the shift occurred later than the mid 18th century.

    To answer this, we need to look at the historical and demographic literature.

    I haven’t read all of Mironov’s textbook, but when he writes about the 19th century, the modern family size has penetrated the upper classes already, at the time when the peasantry are mostly living in large compound families.

    • Replies: @AP
  281. Dmitry says:
    @iffen

    This is standard textbook history. In the last decades, there is the intrinsically difficult to manage empire facing challenges such as nationalism of many small subject peoples, there is an extremely archaic political machinery, there is booming economy driving social change and vast inequality, as well as importation of Western ideas by education classes, and in the final years particularly an idiotic leader (like having a drunk captain of your aeroplane), and a result in disastrous military defeats.

    A booming and rapid developing economy and social development, is not necessarily a safeguard against revolution, and the financial boom can contribute to political instability in developing countries. These exciting economic times can be found historically sometimes among the most politically unstable epochs.

    A young population is also adding potential for extreme political instability. This political instability, results and requires authorities’ brutality to manage the population; but the brutality of authorities can create an even more unstable system, and a revolutionary spiral begins.

    It was a similar historical junction in Iran, before the revolution. Look how Iran’s GDP was booming in the final years of the Shah’s rule.

    How fast literacy was rising in the prerevolutionary Iran.

    Before the political instability, Iran has excellent economic indicators. But the booming economy may have contributed to the social and political instability in Iran.

    • Replies: @iffen
  282. Coconuts says:

    A booming and rapid developing economy and social development, is not necessarily a safeguard against revolution, and the financial boom can contribute to political instability in developing countries. These exciting economic times can be found historically sometimes among the most politically unstable epochs.

    This is the reason that Salazar created the anti-developmentalist dictatorship (or organic Christian democracy) that AK mentioned above, which wasn’t really anti-developmentalist but sought to control and regulate development so that it didn’t cause social and political breakdown. Even the modest exposure to development that was happening in Portugal in the later 19th and early 20th century caused a significant amount of political instability and incompetent government, despite some good intentions.

    At the same time in Spain similar forces precipitated their last Civil War.

  283. iffen says:
    @Dmitry

    It was a similar historical junction in Iran, before the revolution.

    I certainly see the parallel between the Bolsheviks and the mullahs taking advantage of the conditions to insert themselves as the new elite.

    My question is not about social, political and economic conditions that provide fertile ground for revolution. My question is what was different about Russia?

    It can be argued that the German elites made the correct calculations. Thanks to the Cold War and the fear of the Bolsheviks, Germany was handed Mitteleuropa on a platter and is an economic world power. How far were they set back by the death and destruction handed to them by the Nazis?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  284. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    TBF, India’s average IQ at its full potential would be in the low or mid-90s, so perhaps 5 points below Russia’s.

  285. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    1. You are correct. If Germany were completely neutralized alliance and investment by the French might indeed have decreased and Russian industrialization would have slowed down considerably. Investment would not have been zero of course – Russia would it have been a pariah state and the French would not want to lose their considerable investment. Russia would then have been sort of like a huge snowy Italy in terms of industrialization of 500 million people. Given that in this scenario Germany would be incapable of waging a genocidal war against Russia I’m not sure how this wouldn’t be a great timeline for Russia.

    The one risk that I am concerned about is Russia experiencing a “warlord era” of its own similar to early 20th century China, 1990s Afghanistan, or 2010s Libya in the event that the Whites win the Russian Civil War. Afghanistan and Libya are low avg IQ countries, but China is VERY comparable to Russia in regards to this, no? If the “warlord era” outcome is avoided, though, then Russia would undoubtedly be MUCH better off with a White victory in its civil war. Heck, even with a “warlord era”, Russia would still be better off so long as the Nazis never actually come to power in Germany. But if Russia is ruled by warlords AND the Nazis still come to power in Germany, then Russia might very well be SEVERELY fucked in 1941 or whenever Operation Barbarossa occurs in this TL. (A Russia that’s divided and ruled by warlords–similar to early 20th century China–probably wouldn’t be able to put up that much of a fight against Nazi Germany. True, Japan was not able to conquer all of warlord-ruled China, but China’s population advantage over Japan was greater, perhaps even *significantly* greater relative to Russia’s population advantage over Germany, even assuming no huge demographic devastation for Russia in the 1920s and 1930s due to a lack of Bolshevism/Communism in Russia in this TL.)

    • Replies: @AP
  286. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    What was especially stupid on the part of Russians was to fall for the Bolsheviks’ defeatist propaganda when it was already EXTREMELY clear that the Entente would win World War I due to the US entry into this war on the Entente side. But I guess that this is the problem when Russians couldn’t articulate desirable war aims to their peasants: I doubt that the typical Russian peasant actually cared that much about, say, Memelland or Ottoman Armenia or even Constantinople. And of course severely weakening Russian military discipline in the middle of a World War was an extremely fatal blunder. But Yeah, Russia should have completely refrained from fighting in World War I considering that the gains for it even in the event of victory would have been relatively small. Not worth over a million dead young Russians, that’s for sure!

    As a side note, after WWI broke out and the Bolsheviks launched their coup, the best scenario for Russia would have been a White victory in the Russian Civil War along with the success of the Baltic, Belarusian, central Ukrainian, and Central Asian (Basmachi) independence movements. Russia could have kept Novorossiya and Chernihiv, I suppose. It would have also had a lot of Great Russian settlers to thoroughly Russify those two regions in this scenario. Having several million or more ethnic Russians move there would have been a VERY solid move in this scenario.

    Also, one more question: What effect(s) do you think that a White victory in the Russian Civil War would have had on the 1947 partition of India and also on the subsequent 1971 partition of Pakistan? Because I personally consider both of these partitions (but not the execution of the 1947 one, which was god-awful) to be excellent. Hindu Indians deserved to be free from Muslim radicalism, and the more moderate Bangladeshi Muslims also deserved to be free from their more radical Pakistani compatriots (and this is not to mention the logistical issue of running a country separated by a thousand kilometers or more of Indian territory!). If you can have the Whites win the Russian Civil War while still resulting in India’s partition (and France’s eventual withdrawal from Algeria–since, again, I want to separate from radical Islam), I’d gladly wish that I myself would have lived in such a scenario!

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  287. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Sure but this is not the relevant data, as population replacement is determined only by the completed fertility rates (TFR is useful only as an estimate for incomplete information, when we don’t know the completed fertility)

    The measure of “completed fertility rates” is also flawed because it does not take into account children born after a woman is a certain age (cutoffs range from 40 to 44). The three types of fertility rates are described here:

    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/05/22/u-s-fertility-rate-explained/

    As we have seen, on two of the measures – general fertility rate (births per 1,000) and total fertility rate, Russian fertility did not decline during the late Tsarist-era industrialization. Russia’s general fertility rate (birth rate) through 1910 was higher than any county in the world in 2021. It’s TFR was above 7 until 1910. Only on the completed fertility rate did it decline.

    From pew:

    “Typically, researchers collect fertility data for women ages 15 to 44. They then measure “completed fertility” as the number of children ever born to women ages 40 to 44, on the assumption that most women at this age are done having children. According to this measure, since 1976, the low point in U.S. fertility occurred around 2006, when women near the end of their childbearing years had had an average of 1.86 kids.

    Because it is a retrospective measure, completed fertility summarizes childbearing patterns from recent decades but cannot provide direct insights into the fertility behaviors of younger women today. Also, because it doesn’t take into account the larger shares of women who are postponing childbearing, it may underestimate fertility for some, such as highly educated women, many of whom have children later in life.”

    As conditions improved and as some women postponed having children or were capable of having children later, some births might not have been captured by completed fertility.

    In the current epoch (i.e. now), religion influences strongly upwards fertility in our present system, as women of all classes have a potential choice in terms of their fertility, while especially certain religions ban use of modern contraception, or discourage family planning.

    But in the pre-industrial and also early industrial time, women of most classes do not ability to voluntarily restrict fertility, and especially not modern contraception.

    Even in those times, without modern contraception, secular or “free-thinking” people could postpone marriage if they were not religious. And while “natural” family planning such as abstaining from sex during certain times of the month is imperfect, it is not completely useless.

    In Russian Empire, if progress of industrialization, literacy, urbanization, education, etc, had really been more successful than in the Soviet time, then the natural fertility rate (not talking about emigration or unnatural deaths) would have fallen faster, than as happened in reality.

    Again, you claim that industrialization was the only variable affecting fertility, when others such as traditional family structures and religiosity play a role.

    For example, if industrialization proceeded as it did, but the peasants weren’t forced onto collective farms and instead kept their traditional lifestyle, only part of the population would experience fertility decline (the people moving into cities to work in factories) while the other would retain very high levels of fertility. The overall decline in the country would therefore have been more modest than it was.

    In Russia as late as the 1950s there were more rural than urban people. So if rural people retained a TFR of 6 and urban had one of 3, one would expect an overall TFR approaching 5 instead of one that was lower than 3.

    I haven’t read all of Mironov’s textbook, but when he writes about the 19th century, the modern family size has penetrated the upper classes already

    Does he provide figures? Anecdotally, family sizes in the 19th to early 20th century among my various unrelated (to each other) ancestral branches who were gentry, were all quite large. They were actually larger than in my peasant ancestors (who presumably could not afford as many children).

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @Dmitry
  288. AP says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    The one risk that I am concerned about is Russia experiencing a “warlord era” of its own similar to early 20th century China, 1990s Afghanistan, or 2010s Libya in the event that the Whites win the Russian Civil War. Afghanistan and Libya are low avg IQ countries, but China is VERY comparable to Russia in regards to this, no?

    I think it would be possible but unlikely in Russia’s case (though Ukraine had a warlord era of its own at that time – a reason why it failed to stay free). I doubt that Denikin would have gone to war against Kolchak.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  289. @Mr. XYZ

    Good to see you back.

    But I guess that this is the problem when Russians couldn’t articulate desirable war aims to their peasants: I doubt that the typical Russian peasant actually cared that much about, say, Memelland or Ottoman Armenia or even Constantinople.

    Russia was ruled by the Provisional Government during the time when Bolshevik propaganda actually made an impact, and their aims were not Tsargrad, but things like the self-determination of nations and the like (coupled with an extreme relaxation of military discipline). Obviously the Russian peasant couldn’t care less about that.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  290. @AP

    Even in those times, without modern contraception, secular or “free-thinking” people could postpone marriage if they were not religious. And while “natural” family planning such as abstaining from sex during certain times of the month is imperfect, it is not completely useless.

    Mid-17C.

    TFR in Great Britain: Just above 4.

    TFR in the Puritan colonies: 7-8.

    • Thanks: AP
  291. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    “completed fertility rates” is also flawed

    Completed fertility rate is how many children that women have. It’s what we mean by fertility rate. The cutoff point is chosen where it doesn’t effect the final number.

    “Total fertility rate” is a model (inaccurate, but in a crude way which allows demographers to know where it goes wrong – so is self-consciously popular with them for that) model that tries to predict what the completed fertility rate will be if the risk of having a children for the women according to the age-specific fertility rates would be constant across time.

    It doesn’t reflect what would be the fertility rate of any real women, as the real woman is not moving through the age-specific fertility rates of one particular year (unless she would be a type of time-traveler).

    For any particular year, the “total fertility rate” can be very inaccurate, if you compared to what will be the completed fertility rate, as the trend for births relative to age is not likely to be constant across time.

    The important thing to remember is that the fertility rate is what determines the population replacement, while “total fertility rate” is a crude model to try to predict what the fertility rate might be in real time (when you have incomplete information).

    There is a real data (completed fertility rate) and then the model which you can use to try to predict what the future completed fertility rate is in real time (“total fertility rate”).

    children later, some births might not have been captured by completed fertility.

    The births by women above 45 (or where the cutoff point is) will not be large enough to change the number beyond some 0,01s. This is why the cutoff is selected where it will be. Moreover, for historical generations, they don’t need to use any cutoff.

    n two of the measures – general fertility rate (births per 1,000) and total fertility rate, Russian fertility did not decline during the late Tsarist-era industrialization

    You’re arguing pointlessly now.

    Population is only determined by how many children each woman had, according to stable population theory.

    Births per 1,000 is not relevant, as it is not age-independent.

    TFR is not relevant for the past, if there is accurate data to know how many children women actually had. Theoretical children that would have been born if the risk of having a children is constant across time according to age-specific fertility rates, does not translate into real number of children each woman had (but is an attempt to model that in incomplete information).

    secular or “free-thinking” people could postpone marriage if they were not religious. And while “natural” family planning such as abstaining from sex

    In the 19th century stage of history, both chastity of women (associated with religiosity) and female emancipation- are prevalent more strongly in the middle and upper classes.

    In the traditional peasant society, there had previously been more sexual permissiveness, and depending on region women were hazed to be virgins before marriage but it wasn’t necessarily common like it was in middle and upper classes.

    Orthodox Church was working constantly to install Christian marriage values into the peasantry into the 19th century.

    This is Boris Mironov’s textbook again. I can send the book if you enjoy the history.

    if rural people retained a TFR of 6

    “TFR” is a model to estimate the fertility rate when there is incomplete information, where we look at the risk of pregnancy of a women if she lived through the age-specific fertility rates of that year. If you want to know the population replacement of the past, we would try to find the actual fertility rate (i.e. how many children were born per woman), not the “TFR” which is a calculation of the risk of pregnancy if a woman moved through all the age-specific fertility rates of a single year.

    he provide figures?

    Yes, he doesn’t look at information of the whole country, but finds a lot of data for particular regions and cities. Mironov’s book is translated as “Social history of Russia during the period of the empire”.

    ancestral branches who were gentry, were all quite large.

    I’m not sure individual examples are that great for inferring the national average, especially in the countries of vast population. My (boring, lower middle class) parents had given birth three children in the 1990s; they are otherwise some of the more average people of their time and origin – but the fertility rate had not certainly been 3 in the time for the national situation. And one of my grandparents was a single born when we read fertility rate was above 2,5.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @AP
  292. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    Births per 1,000 is not relevant, as it is not age-independent.

    For example, you mentioned about Niger above. But Niger has a life expectancy of 62 years old, while Russian Empire life expectancy was around 30 years old at the beginning of the 20th century. So these are examples which would likely have a different population age structure.

    As the age structure of the population will be different between the two examples, and therefore the final fertility rate would surely be significantly lower in the younger population at the same level of births per 1000 in a year.

    Demography requires the professionals to process the information quite a lot, before it will be useful for us (amateurs) to debate about it.

    • Replies: @AP
  293. Dmitry says:
    @iffen

    elites made the correct calculations. Thanks to the Cold War

    Well, elites in the final years of Russian Empire were not Bismarck and Metternich. These were not master strategists. Historians generally view them as reacting from crisis to crisis in these years.

    One of the notable aspects of the Russian Empire, is a low state capacity in many areas inside the country itself, that can seem like a culture shock compared to what we are experiencing with modern states – and therefore many events in those years are partly not in the authorities’ control. The authorities were outside of the “multiple equilibria” (as economists would say) of being sufficiently illiberal or sufficiency liberal.

    For this example, we notice why as “Russian Empire” was rebranded as a “Soviet Union”, the new authorities focus on (rather dystopian) things like greatly expanding the secret police, and a lot of the interesting architecture of the 1920s-1930s, can include the buildings large, monumentalist compounds for the secret police in the major cities.

    You see the same in the postrevolutionary Iranian authorities – much of their interest is in reacting to the areas of low capacity that were evident in the government they had successfully revolutionized.

    Iran “Revolutionary Guard” becomes the most powerful institute in the postrevolutionary Iran. It’s really euphemism of “counter-revolutionary guard”, that would ensure that 1979 would not be repeated.

    • Thanks: iffen
    • Replies: @iffen
  294. iffen says:
    @Dmitry

    the new authorities focus on

    Exactly.

    People blame them for not staying in the Great War so as to share in the “spoils.” But they knew that a civil war was coming and that they had limited time to consolidate and secure their power. Permanent control was the priority that eclipsed the sum total of all other possible goals for the Empire.

  295. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    In 1950 Niger had a life expectancy of around 32, a birth rate of around 55, and a TFR of around 7.2.

    https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/NER/niger/life-expectancy

    https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/NER/niger/birth-rate

    https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/NER/niger/fertility-rate

    About the same as Russia around 1900, well into industrialization.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  296. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    “completed fertility rates” is also flawed

    Completed fertility rate is how many children that women have. It’s what we mean by fertility rate. The cutoff point is chosen where it doesn’t effect the final number

    The point made by the researchers in the pew article I linked to is that the cutoff does affect the final number to a small extent.

    Furthermore, completed fertility rate statistics typically don’t catch every birth but use sampling (would every kid born in a peasant’s house have their birth recorded?). Samples would probably be skewed in favor of urban or town settings:

    https://demography.subwiki.org/wiki/Completed_cohort_fertility

    These factors would tend to underestimate numbers of births in comparison to TFR. I suspect that this is why TFR is used more often than is completed fertility rate.

    I’m not sure individual examples are that great for inferring the national average, especially in the countries of vast population

    Of course. I just find it strange that several unrelated families of gentry origin would be quite large, larger than one of peasant origin if the trend is supposedly the opposite. So it is the opposite? Someone posted stats of when fertility flipped in favor of poorer less educated people, by country. IIRC this first occurred in Western Europe in the 18th century, Germany in the mid 19th. I suspect it didn’t happen in Eastern Europe until the early 20th.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  297. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    It doesn’t have to be Denikin. It could be a future Russian military leader who will emerge later on, such as in the 1925-1935 time period. Denikin would already be getting up there in years pretty quickly, after all. In 1934, he’d already be 60, if I recall correctly.

  298. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    That’s not quite right. Initially, the Russian Provisional Government actually wanted to fight the war on to a decisive victory, which was interpreted by Russian leftists and socialists as maintaining the previous Tsarist Russian government’s war aims, including a Russian conquest of Constantinople and helping the Anglo-French expand their empires even further in the Middle East and elsewhere. Please read up on the reactions to the Milyukov Note, for instance. It was only a result of the outrage and backlash over this that Milyukov got sacked and the Russian Provisional government abandoned its initial policy in regards to war aims.

    And BTW, I suspect that Ukrainian and Baltic soldiers would be MUCH more motivated by national self-determination than by Tsargrad.

  299. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    In regards to life expectancy, might it not be more prudent to look at life expectancy from age ~13 onward? After all, isn’t that around the earliest age that people actually begin having babies in developing/pre-industrialized countries?

    In other words, Yes, 1900 Russia and 1950 Niger had very low life expectancies at birth, but just how much of that was due to extremely high infant and childhood mortality? If someone there already reached the age of 13, just how much longer would they be expected to live on average? 40 years? More than that?

    This is why it’s easier to raise the average lifespan than the maximum lifespan. You can prevent a lot of people from dying young but significantly extending the lives of the extremely old is a MUCH more daunting challenge.

  300. @nebulafox

    To be clear, my points here is rather —

    1. The Japanese underestimated the Chinese, while the Chinese, after years of German training, overestimated themselves. This is was what led to a dangerous situation and escalation to an otherwise totally unplanned war.

    2. The Germans, while perhaps having misjudged Japanese strength to an extent, were not alone amongst Euros. Because it was too difficult to extrapolate conditions in Western Europe with well developed roads to the Malaysian jungles, as the British at Singapore would find out.

    3. There have been here quite a few threads on Suvorov hypothesis, but is somewhat ignoring the situation in the East Asia,

    a. Soviets increased manpower on the Far East from June to December 1941, from 650,000 to 1,200,000 (yes, during Barbarossa)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kantokuen#Soviet_response

    b. There is a school of thought* in the Sinosphere that the full escalation of Sino-Japanese War was a derivative result of a larger gambit between Soviets and Japan.

    *Liu Zhongjing 刘仲敬

    The story here is complicated since Sun Yat-sen’s overthrow of the Manchus were bankrolled by the Japanese Pan-Asianists. Then Chiang ended up accepting Soviet assistance in the Northern Expedition, the Pan-Asianists regarded it as a direct betrayl.

    c. Soviets may also have had considerable role in Xi’an Incident, which led to KMT-CCP United Front.

    Chiang Kai-shek’s “secret deal” at Xian and the start of the Sino-Japanese War
    https://www.nature.com/articles/palcomms20143

    I’ve been commenting here on related topics if interested,
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/the-epistemology-of-9-11-narratives/#comment-4901688

  301. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    These factors would tend to underestimate numbers of births in comparison to TFR.

    Completed fertility is usually slightly higher than “TFR”; although there should be all kinds of possible scenarios.

    But the issue here is that “TFR” is a (intentionally crude) estimating model – it is not measuring births that actually exist, but trying to approximate what could happen from incomplete information.

    While completed fertility, it is measuring how many births actually existed. It’s the real result, that is possible to attain with complete information. Unfortunately, it’s only accurately accessible retrospectively.

    Replacement of the population is determined by the completed fertility rate, rather than the realtime estimation. But the realtime estimation is often the best information available for discussing many topics between demographers (although the demographers seem to have more refined models available now).

    peasant origin if the trend is supposedly the opposite. So it is the opposite? Someone posted stats of when fertility flipped in favor of poorer less educated people, by country. IIRC this first occurred in Western Europe in the 18th

    Until the 18th century, higher status people had more children.

    But in the 19th century, in the Russian Empire, the upper classes are already living in what are essentially a “modern family structure”.

    In what Mironov’s book is looking at, these are usually looking like 5-6 people families, that could imply 3-4 children (with many being incompleted families). So perhaps it is 4-5 children for completed families. (But who can know before someone processes the data).

    Infant mortality was still very high through all the 19th century, so that the fertility rate might be significantly higher than the number of children who survived to be entered to municipal data.

    In 1950 Niger had a life expectancy of around 32, a birth rate of around 55, and a TFR of around 7.2.

    But we would need to “process” such kind of data for which we do not have the age-structure of the population, to know anything about these questions – and I would only believe professional demographers.

    With the Russian Empire, the demographers have processed all this, although it is a little difficult to access their information as it seemed to be a topic that was solved in 1970s-80s by its latest.

    Apologizing to repost an image, but as they summarize what the situation was quite clearly. Gradual decline before the revolutions, steeper decline after the revolutions.

    • Replies: @AP
  302. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    But the issue here is that “TFR” is a (intentionally crude) estimating model – it is not measuring births that actually exist, but trying to approximate what could happen from incomplete information.

    Sure, but because in many places births have not been recorded, “completed fertility rate” is also an approximation based on samples. Perhaps for this reason, even historical data typically uses TFR not CFR.

    But this argument may be sort of meaningless, even cohort fertility shows that during Tsarist industrialization fertility was around 7:

    https://d-nb.info/1139785702/34

    “Cohort total fertility rates are derived from children ever born (CEB) in population censuses. The average numbers of CEB are computed for single-year birth cohorts of women usually aged 40 (or 45) to 80 (or 85) years at the time of the census”

    Page 100, chart C.

    Up until birth cohort 1878 (i.e., women who started having babies around 1895 and ended around 1918) completed fertility rate was at 7. It was actually higher than birth cohort 1850. Russian cohort fertility peaked for women born in 1870 – that is, women who were giving birth during Tsarist industrialization in 1888-1914 (when they were 18-44 years old) .

    It started collapsing with the cohort giving birth during World War I and later (born 1880, were 34 years old when the war started, and getting lower as they got younger during the war and peak child-bearing years).

    Until the 18th century, higher status people had more children.

    Everywhere, or only in the most developed places?

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