It was never my mission to pursue “activist” goals so much as to try to accurately understand and explain how the world works, and at best, play some modest role in informing the debate in those areas that I hoped could make use of some of my insights.
From that perspective, my record of my “Russian reactions” in my past almost seven years at The Unz Review has been a mixed one:
- Despite its stellar predictive power, from development economics to the Karabakh War of 2020, the HBD/”cognitive capitalist” worldview is “unhandshakeworthy” as never before, with Wokeness – #BLM, CRT, identity politics – having become America’s secular religion. This will probably create a lot of damage before sobriety returns, which will likely take a quite a while, as much of the “Dissident Right” seems to have decided that the correct response to SJW overreach was one upping them with Qanon and other very powerful theories.
- Assiduously as I tried to “explain” Russia, one blogger was never likely to get very far, given that the underlying dynamics were always driven by the exigencies of American domestic politics (“the game was rigged from the start“). Hence, the sudden disappearance of Russiagate as soon Trump was out of power. Consequently, we have the supreme irony of Russo-American relations being less bad under Biden, under whom strategic priority has shifted to China, than they were under “Putin puppet” Trump.
- Conversely, on the “bright” side – at least so far as many Russians are concerned – is that Putin has adopted my own program for Russia, progressively outlined over the past half decade, almost wholesale (hence my recurrent jokes about him reading my blog). My last longread for The Unz Review both marked and celebrated the culmination of that process, and I hope it will serve as a thematically appropriate endpoint to the Russian Reaction blog.
“You win some, you lose some.” :shrug: But I’m satisfied to have been dealt an American Airlines on the particular “debate” that is most germane to my own life choices.
Going forwards, although I can’t commit to a similar amount of blogging – the inability to produce sufficient content to justify my blogging slot at UR played a significant role in my decision to “retire” – I will nonetheless continue to compile weekly Open
Threads Takes to maintain the RR community, as well as the occasional “effortpost” (at least to the extent that increased demands on my time from other, non-blogging related projects permit).
- If you’re interesting in following my future adventures in graphomania on topics from Soviet freezers to eschatological musings then do subscribe to Powerful Takes, my newsletter at Substack.
- I will also remain on Twitter (at least so long as @jack tolerates me there).
- My website akarlin.com will continue to serve as a central repository for past articles as well as announcements about future plans.
- If they do shut down all my normie accounts, I will be on urbit at ~lacrys-halseg.
To nip any ill-intentioned rumors in the bud, I would like to reiterate my respect and appreciation for our host Ron Unz, whose choice of bloggers and columnists for this webzine has always fulfilled its masthead’s commitment to featuring “interesting, important, and controversial perspective largely excluded from the American mainstream media“. Besides providing a powerful distribution and commenting platform for all these colorful characters, which included the rescue of my own “blogging career” in 2015, he has himself personally gone well beyond the call of duty to further this mission through his American Pravda series. Agree or disagree with its fundamental reassessments of major inflection points in US and world history, it can certainly never be said that it failed to be stimulating and thought-provoking. I would also like to note that in my years here, not once has Ron Unz ever pressured me into any kind of self-censorship and editorial direction. This is a rare and much coveted privilege in the world of journalism, even if perfectly logical and consistent with his vision of The Unz Review as a repository for a dazzlingly diverse verging on schizophrenic kaleidoscope of powerful takes from all corners of the political compass (as opposed to shilling any one particular party line). Blogging here has been a privilege, and I intend to continue following the many bloggers and columnists here whom I greatly respect.
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.