The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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The standard narrative is that the 1920s policy of korenizatsiya - the promotion of "national cultures" over the Russian one across the non-Russian republics of the USSR - was reversed in favor of Russification from the mid-1930s. However, at least so far as the book publications goes, this really seems to have been more of... Read More
There's some people who seem to believe that displaying or posting the white-red-white flag commonly used in Belorussian opposition protests is supposed to "trigger" Russians and/or Russian nationalists, or something. But really, why should even - or especially - Russian nationalists prefer one larp flag - that of the BSSR from 1951-1991... ... over another... Read More
Night in Novogrudok, Belarus (2017) by Pavel Gamburg. Even though we tend to take it as a given, it isn't exactly obvious why Belarus should be so much more "Russophile" than the Ukraine. The lands of White Russia were "regathered" into the Russian Empire well more than a century after Left-Bank Ukraine (the lands east... Read More
Here it is: Vladimir Putin: The Real Lessons of the 75th Anniversary of World War II It is a translation from the Russian on Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Summary from Bryan MacDonald at RT. It's TL;DR for me. But quick perusal, seems like a standard modern Russian attempt to reconcile the Soviet version of history, including battling... Read More
When I was in Saint-Petersburg last November I briefly met a friend of a guy called Nikita Slavin. He had a cool project involving mapping out the age of 55,000 buildings in Saint-Petersburg. TLDR, Saint-Petersburg is really the city of Nicholas II - an absolute majority of buildings in the center were built during the... Read More
The Treaty of Trianon formally expired today, correcting one of the very greatest injustices of world history, which stranded three million ethnic Hungarians outside their country's borders. Worst day of every Hungarians' life is now formally annulled! Even as I write, reports are coming in that "Can't Turban the Orban" has ordered his armored divisions... Read More
Less than a year after their coup, the Sovnarkom of the RSFSR abolished university entrance exams on August 2, 1918. The admissions process of 1918/19 was annulled and universities were ordered to open up to everybody, with no tests for subject knowledge or even literacy. Thus came to an end one of the few unmitigated... Read More
@Enopoletus has found some rather interesting anecdotes from an old book, Thirty Years in Moukden, 1883-1913 by Dugald Christie. There is nothing magical about East Asians and containing epidemics. It's just a story of their rise, coupled with Greater European decline. As he sardonically notes, the same country that taught China how to prevent epidemics... Read More
As I always like to point out, especially on the anniversary of the Georgian BDSM master's death, life in Fascist Italy was nicer, more predictable, and several orders of magnitude safer than in the 1930s USSR. Even for Communists. And Jews. Just nine people executed for political crimes from 1922-43 under Mussolini. That's a rounding... Read More
Newspaper "Signal", Nov 13, 1917: Russia is ruled by a lunatic! We demand an investigation into the mental state of the "autocrat" Lenin! Reps of Army Committee of South-West Front said he's a madman after a conversation with him. … Save Russia from him … Or he will doom us!  
Map of the Mongol Empire at/near its territorial peak. Map of the various variants of stuffed boiled dumplings (credit). Exogamous communitarian family systems (in red). The maximum territorial extent of Communism.
According to phylogenetic analyses, the oldest Indo-European common story features a Smith selling his soul to the Devil in return for power, before tricking him out of his prize. Which, as a frand observed, later came to be known as the tale of Faust. So Europe is a Faustian civilization in the most direct sense.
Yesterday, something much more important than Brexit took place. It was the 30 year anniversary of McDonald's opening its first restaurant in the USSR and selling Big Mac Meals for three rubles to massive throngs of famished Soviet citizens. That was the price that your average samogon-swilling sovok was willing to sell away the country... Read More
Source: Direct comparison of Moscow vs. Saint-Petersburg populations. On the eve of World War I, Saint-Petersburg was bigger than Moscow: 2.1M to 1.8M. It had a more developed and sophisticated economy, and was drawing in more people, though this was partially canceled out by the higher fertility rate in more religious and traditionalist Moscow. SPB... Read More
In the modern world, being a victim gives you status points. So "owning" the Holocaust is like a jackpot - the Germans gave the Jews lemons in 1941-45, and then the Jews made lemonade. Unfortunately, not all Jews are partial to sharing the lemonade stand: Pro tip: This is the part you're meant to say... Read More
I have long advocated that Russian political historiography should de-emphasize combatting the Visegrad/Baltic assault on the Soviet interpretation of history ("we liberated Eastern Europe") and move towards counter-guilt tripping them. It's probably not going to happen soon, because Russian officialese is too invested in its WW2 narrative. That is because Victory is the main legitimizing... Read More
Monument to the Heroes of World War I, erected in Victory Park, Moscow in 2014. After a more than a year-long hiatus, caused by certain geographic and occupational changes in his life, the author of these lines would like to resume his translations of Kholmogorov’s work. Remembrance/Veterans’ Day seems like a marvelous occasion to present... Read More
I am not going to cover things that well-informed normies already know: How Israel is a weird outlier in fertility by First World standards, and the collapse of fertility in the Islamic world; how life expectancy has been soaring nearly everywhere; the "Great White Death" in the US and how all races in the US... Read More
Some comments are so good that shouldn't be allowed to sink in remote discussions threads. Commenter Vendetta writes on China vs. Japan in the late 19th century: *** The British did not provide any of this assistance for free. Japan had to pay for every weapon and every warship supplied by British yards. Its ability... Read More
Igor Sikorsky was a giant of aviation history. He designed the world's first heavy bomber (Ilya Muromets), the world's first mass produced helicopter (Vought-Sikorsky VS-300), and founded a multi-billion worth aviation company that continues making helicopters to this day. He was also a devout Orthodox Christian and a strong Russian patriot: "My family, which comes... Read More
Spolaore, Enrico, and Romain Wacziarg. 2019. “Fertility and Modernity.” Working Paper Series. National Bureau of Economic Research. As hbd*chick points out, this suggests that the fertility transition in Europe was substantially independent of the Industrial Revolution, and was a process of cultural diffusion that emanated from France (where it began before 1830).
Ok, actually they did do quite a few things wrong - e.g., most things under Maoism - but they did absolutely nothing wrong specifically 30 years ago. It's an artificial outrage drummed up as part of America's Sinophobia campaign. There was no such big outrage or sanctions when South Korea killed thousands of protesters in... Read More
Steve Sailer has just posted Michael Woodley of Menie's lecture (hosted on Edward Dutton's YouTube) on the cognitive archeogenetics of ancient and modern Greeks at this year's Psychology Conference. Explaining the cultural/intellectual decline of Classical Greece is one of the major puzzles of history. One HBD-realistic approach is to approach it from the point of... Read More
Five years since the referenda in Donetsk and Lugansk about joining the Russian Federation. By early February 2014, numerous regional administrative offices (OGAs) had been seized by Maidan forces in Far West Ukraine, with attempts at storming them elsewhere in the West and Center. Some city and regional councils made autonomy- or even independence-sounding proclamations.... Read More
Every so often some Berlusconi Bro praises Mussolini to some extent or another and invites a flurry of condemnation from the handshakeworthy set. This has just happened with Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament. And then, of course, there was Matteo Salvini's approving quotation of the Italian dictator last year. From what I can... Read More
A reader pointed out to me that my argument on animal rights vs. slavery: ... was brought up by Audacious Epigone back in 2012: One of my favorite rhetorical devices to use on those who cast moral aspersions on the actions of historical figures involves a thought experiment about the consumption of meat, or more... Read More
One of the most memorable anecdotes from Stephen Cohen's Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives is where he recounts a visit by Egor Ligachev, probably the second man after Gorbachev in the late 1980s USSR, to New York, in which he amazed his interlocutors by repeatedly asking who was responsible for organizing the food supply to... Read More
I have long been in the Krivosheev camp, but this sounds like very plausible: *** The casualty estimates of Overmans and Krivosheev are off by significant amounts. On the German side, the first estimate of military losses was produced by Gregory Frumkin of the, editor of the Yearbook of the League of Nations, unlikely to... Read More
Greg Cochran's recent post on the topic reminded me of a post I began writing but then abandoned ages ago (like in 2012). I can't find whatever I wrote (no big loss; there wasn't much) but I did come across this graph I had quickly and messily compiled back then: Population figures are taken from... Read More
There have been some recent debates on this blog's comments threads about human capital in Poland, Russia, and the West Russian lands while they were under Polish rule. While there is a consensus that Poland was more intellectually advanced than Russia, at least during the 17th century, the relative position of the Ukraine and Belorussia... Read More
One question people sometimes ask is how the intellectual/cultural/scientific output of the Byzantine Empire compared to Western Europe and/or Italy, its most advanced major region for most of the medieval period. How do we answer this? Quantify! Quantify! Quantify! In this post, I will attempt to provide a short "cliometrics"-based answer. Buringh, Eltjo, and Jan... Read More
I'll use this example of N.N. Taleb reaching muh African Einsteins levels of wokeness here to answer a common counter to critics of race differences in IQ. North European backwardness was a function of late demographic development; in those regions, intensive agriculture became technologically possible relatively late: Michael Mitterauer, "Why Europe?" Janet Martin, "Medieval Russia,... Read More
Cool, useful resource here: Границы России 1462-2018 гг Associated video below: Couple of infographics to go along with that: Russian territory over time. Territories gained/lost by each ruler. Biggest gainz: Mikhail Romanov & Alexey Mikhailovich (Siberia). Biggest losers: Gorbachev, Lenin
The reason that I maintain that svidomy are a subset of sovoks is because they don't just topple mass produced monuments to Lenin - they seek to rewrite their entire Russian imperial heritage. For instance, this is what the Maidanists and their Western supporters refer to as "de-Communization". A couple of days ago, the Suvorov... Read More
Cicerone comments: All valid, excellent points. The UK was still a bit in front of Germany, though I agree that it's really France that stands out. Fertility rates in UK, Germany, France 1800-2015. There's a huge variety of other factors to consider, for instance: 1. Starting genotypic fertility preferences (e.g. during the medieval age and... Read More
Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary (1890-1907) on illegitimate births: Illegitimate births / 100 births in Russia in 1892: St. Petersburg 15.92 Smolenskaya 1.93 Moscow 13.65 Kazan 1.90 Lifland 6.36 Mogilev 1.89 Estland 4.46 Vladimirskaya 1.86 Arkhangelsk 4.33 Kharkiv 1.84 Kovno 4.12 Tverskaya 1.82 Perm 4.07 Olonets 1.79 Yaroslavskaya 4.03 Kaluzhskaya 1.75 Pskovskaya 3.98 Bessarabian 1.74... Read More
From Everyday Life in Moscow during the Stalin Period by Georgy Andreevsky. Whoever penned this was arrested in 1939: Кто кричал «вся власть Советам!», / All you who shouted "All power to the Soviets!", Кто стрелял по юнкерам, / You who fired at the Junkers, Кто по Зимнему при этом / You who bombarded Winter... Read More
While I have read quite a few books on WW1, only a couple really "stand out": Niall Ferguson (1998) - The Pity of War: Explaining World War I [download] does justice to its subtitle, boldly reinterpreting most of the standard narrative through vivid statistical argumentation. For instance, the claims that there was widespread enthusiasm for... Read More
Almost none of Romania's celebrity intellectuals have yet been translated into English (presumably, the fact that most of them - Eminescu, Iorga, Eliade, Cioran, Țuțea - are reactionaries or fascists of some stripe or another played a role in that). Hopefully, this may yet change, at least with respect to Țuțea. This post features a... Read More
Joseph Tainter - The Collapse of Complex Societies (1998) Rating: 5/5 Notes: Can be downloaded here. Access my other reviews here: TLDR: Joseph Tainter argues that the root cause of civilizational collapse is because of over-investment into and declining marginal returns on complexity. Societies invest in complexity to solve their problems and typically need to... Read More
Engels writing in 1868: Soviet propaganda map: "Tsarist Russia: Prison of Peoples. The Predatory Ambitions of Tsarist Imperialism." Notably, it is from 1936.
Izvestia (Dec 13, 1941) honors Vlasov amongst eight other heroes of the Battle of Moscow. Anybody who has spent any amount of time questioning the standard Soviet narratives about the first half of the 20th century will invariably be called a Vlasovite at some point. So far as neo-Stalinists are concerned, the turncoat general is... Read More
Map of Greeks and Armenians in Turkey, before and after the genocides/expulsions of the 1910s-20s, and consequent demographic growth (via /r/Mapporn). As I noted before, I can't think of any other major region where the strategic population balance changed so drastically during the course of the past century. Around 1914, there were 15.0 million Muslims... Read More
From Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford. I am certainly not claiming that the ketogenic diet explained Mongol military success. But this would have given them a plain physical advantage over the rice-eating bugman conscript peasants. In addition to their other advantages, both physical (e.g. probably greater genotypic strength,... Read More
Ron Unz writes: The demographic argument with regard to Europe’s Jewish population is obviously an important one, as I mentioned in my article. Basically, before the war, there were millions of Jews living in Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe, and after the war they’d mostly vanished, so where did they go, except into... Read More
Thorfinnsson called it! So my 2 cents worth about Ron Unz's latest article questioning the standard narrative about the Holocaust... 1. Where I am coming from. I am not exactly a philo-Semite. Indeed, I qualify as an anti-Semite by the ADL's standards, and RationalWiki would confirm. In general, I consider that Russians have quite a... Read More
Russians doing nothing wrong whatsoever. So how should Russians react to Butthurt Belt whining about muh repressions, calls for reparations, etc? I would recommend an indifferent aloofness. After all, Russians did not vote for the Bolsheviks; it was imposed on Russians by Latvian bayonets. Communist brutality towards Russians exceeded that towards its East European satellites... Read More
The nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is honestly one of the single most effectively altruistic actions in all of human history. By helping persuade the Japanese to surrender (they were open to doing that with preconditions, but that was hilariously at odds with the military balance by mid-1945), the Americans helped make the world a... Read More
This is essentially a short history of the 20th century from the point of view of HBD realism and the maxim that "population is power." This century turned out to be an "American Century." But it wasn't obvious that it was going to be that way - while the United States was almost predestined to... Read More
The Russian Empire, like most European countries, had very liberal gun laws, with no significant restrictions on sales, possession, or open carry. Chelyabinsk gun shop around 1900. After 1905, you needed the permission of the local head of police to buy pistols and revolvers, but this was a very quick affair and granted as a... Read More
Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

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

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

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