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Moscow Poll on Russia's Constitutional Referendum
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I am a very big supporter of PUTLER’s powerful amendments to the Russian Constitution, and have vigorously shilled for them to my Russian followers.

That said, in demographic terms, I am an exception.

As a young(ish), university educated, self employed (sort of) person, I am in a decided minority amongst my “peer” group, if not the country as a whole.

According to an independent poll commissioned by Roman Yuneman, a Russian liberal nationalist who ran a grassroots campaign for the Moscow Duma and was only deprived of a win thanks to the “nationalist” Navalny endorsing his unpopular Communist opponent (the split in the opposition vote enabled the United Russia incumbent to pull off a narrow victory), some 46% of Muscovites said they are in favor of the amendments while 43% voiced their opposition.

However, do recall that as with most capitals in the world, Moscow is one of the most oppositionist regions to the conservative status quo. Moreover,a significant percentage of the opposition will not turn up to vote, as elements of it have called for a boycott while others have asked their supporters to vote No. So even a completely “fair” result should give a resounding – well over 50% – victory for Yes, even in Moscow. My guess would be around 55% in Moscow, and 65% in the country as a whole.

However, what is much more interesting according to this poll – you can access the complete data here – is that it shows that what has previously been a growing gap in sentiment towards Putin/the “regime” across age groups has now widened to a chasm. While 72% of over 60 y/0 Muscovites support the amendment, only 25% of 18-29 y/o’s do. This is a very interesting finding, and it would be good to see if it is replicated in other polls.

I do not think there are deep ideological reasons behind this; even in Moscow, the typical Russian zoomer is far from a West-worshipper. My guess is that a major consideration for younger millennials and zoomers may be the prospect of seeing Putin, who has ruled Russia for their entire political lives, continue doing so until 2036, and approaching their 50s. The older generations are still beset by the memory of the 1990s and are more at ease with potentially indefinite Putinist stability.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Constitution, Elections, Russia 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. Anuxicus says:

    Russia has a rather young population on average, so this will be hard to pass in an electorate that skews young, but still it may edge out with 55%-65% assuming the vote is fair of course. Turnout will also be pushed lower by COVID and a lower turnout decreased the vote’s legitimacy, meaning that Russia could be facing a civil war by 2035, like 2011 Syria.

  3. LB says:

    The opinions of young people in the poll concern me, because what begins as simple resentment towards Putin and disaffection with the powerful has the potential to be whipped up into something very different. I think a concern is that the longer Putin stays in power, the more the anti-Putin youth could, in their contrarianism, start to become radicalised by the left or co-opted by the West (just like how Trump’s presidency turned the ‘Resistance’ into Bolsheviks in the course of four years). The more young Russians are exposed to a black-and-white moral landscape through Western media, the more they might think that ‘anti-Putin’ must become synonymous with ‘left-wing’.

    This is why a transfer of power (or, more realistically, the face of power) is important. The new electorate should be extended the opportunity to actually feel like they are choosing their leader in 2024, while they are still quite conservative and before they start swinging rapidly in any unpredictable directions. They need to think that they have some control of the system to keep them from upturning it — the feeling of having no control and overbearing corruption is exactly what’s driven the youth to political polarisation in America.

    • Agree: Ano4
    • Replies: @Anuxicus
    , @216
    , @Dmitry
  4. Anuxicus says:
    @LB

    Also the stagnation of Russia’s economy won’t help. The economy has recorded very little growth since 2014 and this may turn the vast youth population of Russia against the government like 2011 Syria.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  5. 216 says:
    @LB

    Perhaps there is a General Sisi equivalent

  6. @Anuxicus

    You are forgetting that in Syria the 2011 revolt was started by snipers in Deraa. The same scenario with snipers was used before in 1995 in Sarajevo, and later in 2014 in Kiev. Now guess who was the screenplay writer and director. It is highly unlikely that this color revolution screenplay writer and director would be able to put actors in place in Russia.

  7. Why are Russians so obsessed with homosexuality? Surely in such a strong, masculine society like Russia run by “manly man” Putin homosexuality is so rare that it doesn’t even merit consideration?

    The fact specifically defining marriage as non-gay is a proposed amendment in a constitutional referendum suggests that homosexuality is a big political and social concern in Russia. Surely just not legalising gay marriage is enough? I don’t really get it, I mean in other culturally conservative countries like China and India, gay marriage isn’t legal and both societies are not exactly pro-LGBT but they aren’t obsessed with it either, it’s basically something that most Chinese and Indians don’t even think about.

  8. Rahan says:

    @Europe Europa
    China and India are not white and not Christian and don’t border Europe.
    Whereas, due to ethnic, cultural, and geographical proximity, anything that hits the West also hits places like Russia, Poland, Hungary etc.

    Gay marriage was the watershed after which the slippery slope became unstoppable and now you’ve got boys turned into eunuchs, drag queen story hour, and an ever-tightening noose around the freedoms of the dwindling normies.

    Making homosexuality legal and it being frowned upon to beat up fairies on the street is perfectly reasonable. Everything else beyond this is hijacking and takeover of the nervous system of a society, which starts first as a slow creep, and then before you know it, has accelerated to avalanche pace.

    Putting as many safeguards into the constitution to not allow the slippery slope to even start, makes perfect sense.

    It’s never “the people” who start this madness that sells addiction and dopamine hits as “expanding freedoms”, while the corresponding curtailing of free speech and religious rights is…also “expanding freedoms”. It’s always certain groups infiltrating institutions and the media, and then doing a one-two combination of lawfare and mass brainwashing. Top-down social engineering. The more the lawfare and mass brainwashing intensifies, the more westerners “suddenly become more accepting” and the more kids “suddenly become transgender”.

    Laws enshrined in the constitution safeguard against the lawfare, and anti-”gay propaganda” laws safeguard against the mass brainwashing. It is supremely logical in the functional sense. If one is trying to keep one’s culture from being dismantled by alien interest groups, that is.

    Of course, there’s a constant brainwashing spillover effect from western media, but that’s just another reason to try and strengthen the cultural defenses.

  9. @Europe Europa

    Given the way the Poz tends to seep east from its Atlantic origins, and seep faster into Indo-European cultures than into non-IE cultures, Russia is both prudent and justified to provide some extra bulwark against this threat.

  10. Dmitry says:
    @Europe Europa

    proposed amendment in a

    Everyone knows (and everyone knows that everyone knows) that constitutional amendments are just a scam – the purpose is to reset Putin’s terms, and the only purpose of the plebiscite is so Putin can remove his term limits.

    However, they had to give some “distractions” so that journalists can pretend that the purpose of the plebiscite was not simply to reset Putin’s terms. In fact, when the story was released, it was a day before they reported about the resetting maneuver.

    So for “distractions” they add some amendments which will have no actual effect on the constitution, and not real world implications, but which might generate some discussions, or allow sycophantic journalists to write articles about – instead of having to say “Putin is just removing his term limits”.

    Therefore.
    1. Purpose of this is to Putin’s term limits.
    2. Distractions of “constitutional amendments” have no actual implications – they are purely semantics, as they do not want to change the constitution.

    In terms of what “distractions” were considered interesting.

    Nobody- apart from Karlin – was interested in addition of reference to the language of a (unnamed) statebuilding people.

    Neither people were interested in clause about marriage.

    However, introduction of the word “god” into the constitution, has created a lot of controversy and discussion. So, this was the one successful “distraction” they had added as an amendment.

    Russians so obsessed with homosexuality? Surely

    Most people are not obsessed with homosexuality.

    The thing which happened in the last decade is that cultural differences in terms of public discussion of homosexuality, were intentionally (because it was useful for both sides) to become a zone of “ideological conflict” in the West against Russia.

    To distract from domestic incompetence, power in Russia always says “yes but look at how crazy the West is”, and power in the West often says “look how oppressive it is in Russia”.

    In the 1970s, there was actually a real ideology conflict between rulers in the West and in the Soviet Union. However, today, the ideology is the same on both sides, and children of the elite can go to the same schools. (E.g. Prime Minister of Russia sends his children to the same international boarding school as children of John Lennon, and the same school where former Directors of the CIA have been educated.)

    In our current situation, ideology difference can rely on some minor topics like public discussion of homosexuality. In reality, homosexuals live not very much worse (at least in terms of their sexuality) in Russia, than in the West. Russia is far closer to Europe, than the Middle East, on this topic. But there is a surface cultural difference in terms of publicly expressed attitudes to homosexuality (especially as the West has in the last few years turned LGBT politics into a new religious cult). This could become a point of ideology conflict today, particularly it is not important.

    • Agree: melanf
  11. SafeNow says:

    Christopher Caldwell delivered an address on Putin 3 years ago. Caldwell said:

    “If you like (the international) system, you will consider Vladimir Putin a menace. If you don’t like it, you will have some sympathy for him. Putin has become a symbol of national sovereignty in its battle with globalism. That turns out to be the big battle of our times.”

    It seems to me that in the new, less-globalist Covid and Brexit world, Putin would be looking very insightful and prescient now. I don’t know much about those things. But as a chess player, I happen to know that that Putin visited the Russian national chess team to give them a pep talk before the world championships. At this historical moment in which the U.S. honors its looters and vandals, I tip my hat to Putin’s honoring the chess team.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh, AnonFromTN
  12. Dmitry says:
    @LB

    to become radicalised by the left

    What do you mean by “left”?

    If you mean real, actual “left” (i.e. nationalize industries, expropriate expropriators, united the workers) – this is believed mainly with older demographics.

    If you mean “left”, the modern hipster liberalism that is popular in wealthy countries of Western Europe? Things like virtue-signalling, “white privilege”, “safe spaces”, LGBT politics, “trigger warnings”, “postcolonialist theory”?

    There will be not much of a large “mass market” for this in Russia, at least on a national level – even among young people. In a real Russia, normal people don’t have comfort and luxury for the hipster politics we see with young people in overlywealthy countries like England or Sweden. Even for young people, a future successful leftwing (or rightwing) politics in Russia, would focus on such practical topics like raising salaries, and reducing corruption of the elite, to generate mass popularity.

    • Agree: melanf
  13. @Dmitry

    Everyone knows (and everyone knows that everyone knows) that constitutional amendments are just a scam – the purpose is to reset Putin’s terms, and the only purpose of the plebiscite is so Putin can remove his term limits.

    No. The pertinent and important amendments are the ones about ‘federal territories’ and the ‘State Council’.

    The term limit thing is just a ruse so that young and dumb people like you fixate their attention on the unimportant part and don’t ask embarrassing questions – like, what exactly is the function of these ‘federal territories’ and the powers and responsibilities of the ‘State Council’.

    • Agree: Ano4
  14. Kovar says:

    BASED RUSSIAN COMMIES

    “We Communists are staunch supporters and adherents of internationalism. We understand that every nation is interested in preserving its language, developing its culture, preserving its faith, maintaining its traditional way of life, and strengthening its well-being.

    But it’s the ethnic Russians who are the spiritual, moral, and power core of this country.

    This is how our common destiny was formed. This is the History. This cannot be undone. To deny, reason, and act contrary to this is madness, which is fatal to all the peoples of Russia. If the Russian nation should finally weaken and withdraw from the main historical arena, which is inevitable if the course pursued in the country since the early 1990s is maintained, this will entail an irreversible catastrophe. I emphasize that this is a disaster for all citizens living in our vast Eurasian expanses. Russia will simply be trampled and torn apart by stronger and more successful neighbors.

    ….Russia is a country where 80% of the population is ethnic Russian, and the most important element of national policy should be a program to save the original Russian civilization and revive the Russian people as the backbone of the Fatherland.

    Moreover, the preservation and well-being of the Russians — the largest European nation — is a global issue. If the crisis of the Russian ethnic group, generated by the destructive processes of the past 30 years, continues, if its number continues to decline at such a rapid pace, it will have a fatal impact on the Eurasian space and on the entire planet. It will finally bring down the geopolitical and economic stability in a world where the Russians have been one of the key Nations defining its image, history, and moral and ethical ideals for many centuries. “

    https://kprf.ru/party-live/cknews/194458.html

    This was a hard transformation for me to make, from being unfriendly toward Russia because of communism (I’m not a boomer, or a native English speaker for that matter, but you can say I had a boomer mindset), to understanding the nuances between the old communism that came to power through a bloody revolution, which ended up being quite conservative due to its focus on economics and the vertical government model, and the American-developed strain, which is less about economics (it’s barely mentioned today) and more about culture and critique. In the American context, the Jewish intellectuals who fled Europe, some of whom became professors in leading universities, saw that the working class was not sufficiently revolutionary, having backed fascism in Italy and Germany, and correctly assessed that the ideology needed updating.

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

    I’ve never seen so many jewish names packed in one wiki entry.

    The “woke” archetype has the soul of a Bolshevik, the fruit of Jewish money, activism, and media ownership. Repeat with me: British-derived liberalism is dead. Take for example the CEU, which is described as a liberal university, but its curricula is ridden with Frankfurt School-derived Critical Theory gibberish. Nothing about the ideas of Locke, Smith, or Jefferson. Nada. Zero. The students who absorb the ideology and become themselves amplifiers are described as liberals, which they are not.

    I switched my support to what I call embodied democracies (Russia, China, increasingly Turkey, and with good luck Hungary and Poland) where the leadership is constant (or closed) and independent of capital and the goodwill of media barons, and which embody the desires of the nation it serves (nation in the scientific term, the extended ethnic kin), being in that sense democratic (it follows the people’s will), as opposed to comprador democracies, where elected officials depend on friendly media coverage (existed in the distant past for American patriots of either party, esp. outside NYC and other large cities with sizeable Jewish presence/influence) and campaign funding; these elected government officials have in mind life after office which again don’t depend on the people who cast the ballot but on organized networks and their sprawling branches that can dole out jobs to former ‘good’ servants like there’s no tomorrow. There is not only the veting process of desirable candidates (media, funding), but also nice perks for them once they are out of government.

    Regarding the Moscow poll, Putin & Co must channel this discontent, which is nothing more than energy that must blow every one or two generations, to an useful end. Give Russia a new mission. What better mission than position itself as the Whitopia of this century? Declare the US a sponsor of white democide. Make it a policy to point out the race libel coming out from the country; all this talk about white supremacy can be easily and convincingly categorized as race libel, for it incorrectly affirms that whites who oppose their demographic dispossession and who believe in their right to self-rule want to lord or be supreme over other races. The idea that a white person opposed to the democide of his or her race wants racial supremacy over other races is libel. There are so many lies repeated ad nauseum, I’m talking ‘naked king’ level of absurdity here.

    I’ll add my own opinion on the Great Bifurcation, as Karlin calls it.

    There are too many skeptics banking on the left’s usual explanation that the capitalist class benefits from cheap offshore labor. “The capitalists are increasing their wealth on the back of Chinese labor, and the proles here in the US are not revolting, the status quo benefits the capitalists, nothing to see here folks”. The problem with this explanation, and the reason China will be targeted for isolation despite being lucrative for the industrial capitalists, is that organized Jewry like a system where they can basically veto a candidate. They don’t like governments where the leadership don’t respond to them. And they like powerful sovereign governments which can inspire and support similar (but not necessarily communist) governments even less. If you think the big honchons in Apple, Tesla, and other large companies call the shots, just wait. Jewry is forging ahead with the Great Bifurcation, their media are increasingly demonizing China as if on command, they won’t interfere with the profits of these mostly gentile industry heads, sure, but if China comes down hard on them in response to Jewry’s attacks, I can guarantee you organized Jewry will not shed a tear, they probably know blowbacks are possible.

  15. @AnonFromTN

    If we talk about that American Sniper™ trick out the US Hybrid War/Color Coup playbook toolbox one should also remember the failed 2002 Venezuela coup attempt (Llaguno Overpass events)

    The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (doc)

    when does the light bulb moment occur with ANTIFA/BLM/Boogaloo bois/Accelerationists … you can’t make omelette without breaking eggs … if the trick tends to work and the Dotard seems not to take the bait otherwise …

  16. @AnonFromTN

    If we talk about that American Sniper™ trick out the US Hybrid War/Color Coup playbook toolbox one should also remember the failed 2002 Venezuela coup attempt (Llaguno Overpass events)

    The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (doc)

    when does the light bulb moment occur with ANTIFA/BLM/Boogaloo bois/Accelerationists … you can’t make omelette without breaking eggs … if the trick tends to work and the Dotard seems not to take the bait otherwise …

  17. The US has weighed into the referendum campaign by flying the rainbow flag at its Moscow Embassy. “LGTBi rights are universal human rights,” said the hapless Imperial Ambassador in a message on Youtube.

    He’s gunning for the proposed constitutional amendment to enshrine the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Sodom-on-the-Potomac could never countenance such an unnatural provision in any nation’s laws. Surely, it’s time for regime change.

  18. Ano4 says:

    The Referendum is an

    organized

    expression of popular will:

    Given the solemn character of this Historical Referendum, poetry is required. But only if it is written in (pseudo) Tsarist style Cyrillic.

    Къ чему намъ Богъ, коль Путинъ есть у насъ?
    Пройдя чрезъ ритуалы обнуленья,
    Онъ Небо покоритъ безъ промедленья,
    И Богъ ему свой скипетръ передастъ!

    А кто не вѣритъ въ это – *****астъ!)

    [MORE]

    https://kornev.livejournal.com/566341.html

    Comrades, we always have a choice: it’s either Putin or a cat!

    • LOL: Swarthy Greek
  19. Awww now says:

    Thanks, SafeNow, for the quote from that nitwit Caldwell, because he stumbled on one aspect of the amendments nobody else seems to care about: the constitutional change resiling modestly from international law. The change seems to reflect Russia being pushed to a war footing and shoring up municipal law against US lawfare and human rights distortion. Which is a shame, and you can understand why younger, more internationalist Russians might not like it. Russia now dominates the US on all the most comprehensive categories of human rights performance. (N.B. This is in terms of OHCHR indicators, so proliferating anecdotes of aggrieved indviduals does not rebut it.) Russia is, in effect, attenuating rule of law at home to counter US impunity abroad. Which is what tends to happen in war and great power confrontation – which is why CIA likes it. There are ways to counter US coercive interference without weakening human rights protections, because human rights distortion breaches customary international law (A/RES/20/2131.)

    • Replies: @NazbolFren
  20. I find it pretty sad that someone like Karlin fell so easily for Kirilenko and Vaino’s gross political technology tricks. As Dmitry said, it’s quite obvious that the russian elite is in a state of paralysis and desperataly wants to maintain the current status quo. Russia has been stagnating economically for a decade due to Putin’s inept economic policy of budget surplus accumulation, liberalized capital flows and low taxes . Russia outside of Moscow and Saint Petersburg is third worldish. There is zero investment in infrastructure in millioniks: esssential projects like gasification of Krasnoyarsk or metro construction in Chelyabinsk and Omsk have been put on hold since the soviet collapse. Also Russia has a pathetically small motorway network for such a large country: currently Russia’s motorway network is smaller than that of Greece and by 2024 it will still be smaller than Malaysia’s! Lest we forget that Russians are paid slave wages and real income has been falling for almost a decade. Concerning social issues like LGBT, i think it’s important to note that ideological and social elite dynamics remain much more important than purely legal considerations. The 1977 constitution did not save the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from the wrath of Yeltsin and his liberal clique just like the Putin constitution will not save Russia from LGBTQ and socioeconomic decline. The current Russian elite grew up in the USSR, free from the shackles of marketization, consumerism and US culture.The next generation of rich Russians will push for greater liberalization,Americanism and LGBT as it practically grew up in the west and was influenced by western lifestyle. Just look at current court decisions regarding discrimination of transsexuals: https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/04/10/russia-marks-first-workplace-discrimination-win-by-trans-woman-a65172 . Liberals are slowly taking control of the state machinery and its judicial organs and they already control certain universities like HSE/ВШЭ. Putin staying in power would only facilitate a liberal takeover of state organs and ensure continued stagnation of Russia. The referendum failing would actually provide nationalists in Russia the opportunity to seize power as it would basically throw the russian elite off guard and spark infighting for succession. Chekists and the army types could play the same role as that of the Reichswehr and Prussian elites who brought down the Weimar republic by allying with a revolutionary nationalist movement. What is needed is not a bunch of useless clauses written on a worthless scrap of paper but a coalition between revolutionary nationalists and illiberal elites that would purge liberalism from the russian political landscape.

  21. Nedward says:

    Thanks, SafeNow, for the quote from that nitwit Caldwell, because he stumbled on one aspect of the amendments nobody else seems to care about: the constitutional change resiling modestly from international law. The change seems to reflect Russia being pushed to a war footing and shoring up municipal law against US lawfare and human rights distortion. Which is a shame, and you can understand why younger, more internationalist Russians might not like it. Russia now dominates the US on all the most comprehensive categories of human rights performance. (N.B. This is in terms of OHCHR indicators, so proliferating anecdotes of aggrieved individuals does not rebut it.) Russia is, in effect, attenuating rule of law at home to counter US impunity abroad. Which is what tends to happen in war and great power confrontation – which is why CIA likes it. There are ways to counter US coercive interference without weakening human rights protections, because human rights distortion breaches customary international law (A/RES/20/2131.)

  22. Ano4 says:
    @Swarthy Greek

    It’s Kiriyenko, not Kirilenko. Other than that, I agree with what you wrote. This “referendum” is ridiculous both in its form and substance. It is completely decoupled from the socioeconomic realities of the RosFed. And many Russians I know are simply indifferent or make fun of it all.

    • Thanks: Swarthy Greek
  23. Mitleser says:
    @Swarthy Greek

    The 1977 constitution did not save the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from the wrath of Yeltsin and his liberal clique just like the Putin constitution will not save Russia from LGBTQ and socioeconomic decline.

    Reminder what belonged to that Soviet constitution and what Yeltsin and others ended up doing.

    Article 72. Each Union Republic shall retain the right freely to secede from the USSR.

    • Replies: @Swarthy Greek
  24. @Mitleser

    I was referencing the fact that the 1977 constitution affirmed the Communist Party’s supremacy. Yeltsin violated the Soviet constitution in 1991 by outlawing the Communist Party, but nobody blinked an eye because the party had been discredited by Gorbatchev’s weakness. Similarly, liberals that will come after Putin will just rip up his constitution or resort to lawfare to implement their liberal agenda.

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @AnonFromTN
    , @Mitleser
  25. Ano4 says:
    @Swarthy Greek

    Yeltsin wiped himself clean with the Constitution twice. The second time was in 1993 when he completely rewrote the Constitution after having massacred the the Parliament to great Worlwide Democratic applause.

    I was lucky enough not being in Moscow at the time of the events, being young and idealistic I would have probably put my life at risk during the Supreme Soviet defense. My personal experience of the shock therapy “reforms ” made me a Red Brown already by 1992 (I sympathized a lot with РНЕ back then).

    I have of course become older and cynical since, the last time I cared about any election was in 1996. After the “defeat ” of Uncle Zu (which Medvedev admitted a few years ago being due to fraudulent election process) it became absolutely clear for me that any democratic process is rigged and unworthy of serious attention. Better laugh about it all.

    🙂

  26. @Swarthy Greek

    liberals that will come after Putin

    Except that liberals won’t come after Putin. Too many people in Russia remember the horrors of “liberal” 1990s. The word “liberal” is almost a swearword in today’s Russia. The next leader will likely be more nationalist and more hostile towards the Empire and its vassals. It is unlikely that s/he will have Putin’s ability to calculate many moves ahead. Swift counter-moves might be emotionally rewarding, but they often increase the price the country pays for standing up to the Empire. In that sense Russia might lose some advantages, but overall anti-libtard direction would not change. Not to mention that downfall of the Empire is inevitable, the only question is how fast that would happen. Putin (and Xi) understand that too fast downfall of the US and $ would hurt their countries much more than slow decline. Hence their policies, which large sections of the population in Russia and China see as too mild.

    • Replies: @Swarthy Greek
  27. Mitleser says:
    @Swarthy Greek

    Reminder that Yeltsin outlawed the CPSU after the failed August coup.
    Russia is not Prussian Germany or some Arab state.

    Chekists and the army types could play the same role as that of the Reichswehr and Prussian elites who brought down the Weimar republic by allying with a revolutionary nationalist movement.

    If you are unwilling to use an improved constitution to your advantage, don’t even think about using the apolitical army for your political games against the elite.

  28. Hartnell says:

    I have to confess, I once had my fears of a potential SJW putsch after Putin. I never saw it happening anytime soon but probably 20 years down the pipeline. However, I have been convinced recently of Dimitry and his thoughts.

    What we have to understand about Russia is its history and where it is going on a political and economic stage compared to the West. Right now Russia has an economy mainly centred on oil and gas. The West wants to make do without this by phasing out petrol and diesel engines by 2040. This is going to hurt Russia’s economy.

    In other words, Russia has the potential to have more problems and right now, the last thing on the youths mind is going full blown SJW. They just want to improve their quality of life. Yet if there are more problems around the corner, there simply will not be the time or place to worry about BLM, for example.

    Plus all of these immigrants do not want to move to Russia. There is no major welfare state for them to live on and if Russia does try to enact a major welfare state over the entire country, once again, major problems. Plus I doubt Russians want to pay millions for Africans or Muslims to live for free in their country on their expense when they have their own worries.

    Overall, I think for Russia, the future is more likely going to be right wing then we imagine. For example in the following steps:

    1) They have to find new economic alternatives with which to grow the economy away from oil and gas. Which means more protectionism in the long run. Could lead to a nice growth in soft cultural power however.

    2) Not many immigrants want to live in Russia. It’ll be too much of a cost and I doubt millions of Africans are going to want to live in -45c conditions in Siberia. Any that do make it will go to Moscow and St. Petersburg but even then, there will be stiff competition for jobs from the natives.

    Therefore if Russia is to survive and since no one wants to really move there, they need to start having babies. Hence why going nationalistic is probably the only way the country can become competitive.

    3) They don’t want more Chechnya’s. The West has yet to experience this but Russia remembers.

    4) The West is heavily declining. Russians are shocked with BLM. They are starting to see a continent in decline. The more the West starts to decline and the crazier it becomes, the more Russians are going to pull up the draw bridge.

    So overall, I think that Russia has the potential to be great but it needs to solve the economy and corruption, have more kids and basically keep looking at the West failing.

    Remember back in the 1980s, the West was freedom, economic prosperity and greatness. A shining city on the hill. Now it’s starting to resemble a third world basket case. It will only intensify. I doubt for improving the quality of life, many Russians need convincing that SJWism and millions of third world people is a good idea for improving this…

  29. @Europe Europa

    You’ve been obsessing over “Russian masculinity” for awhile; is there something you need to tell us about yourself?

  30. WHAT says:

    Ischenko hand this interesting parallel in his recent artice: the first generation that faces little hardship invariably tries to destroy the general order. As with boomers, so is with soviet obrazovanshina, so is with zoomers now.
    Fuck zoomers.

  31. @AnonFromTN

    You are talking like Putin has any vision, when in fact the last decade has shown that Putin and his clique have absolutely no long term plan for Russia beyond protecting their entrenched interests. People in Russia don’t vote for Putin because they support him or his vision but because they are afraid of instability and don’t have any alternative as all other parties (incluing Navalny’s clique) are political technology props.The “at least it’s better than the 90s” trope you are using is wearing off as an entire generation hasn’t lived through the 90s and due to the fact that Russians have been getting poorer for a decade also makes it much less effective than it was in the 2000s. Also don’t forget that the liberal Moscow elite which has actual access to money and state institutions dislikes Putin because they can’t have pride parades. A “No” to the referendum would either trigger infighting and allow real nationalist political movements to emerge or actually push Putin’s clique to improve their political offer and actually raise living standards to guarantee a peaceful transition of power in 2024.

  32. @Swarthy Greek

    …Putin and his clique have absolutely no long term plan for Russia beyond protecting their entrenched interests.

    Okay, so what exactly are their “entrenched interests”?

    • Replies: @Swarthy Greek
  33. Kovar says:
    @Swarthy Greek

    Russia outside of Moscow and Saint Petersburg is third worldish.

    Sorry but that’s a forced meme by now, hasn’t Karlin visited other cities and wrote about them? He had positive impressions on a number of them, and I read a similar account on Russia Insider.

    My understanding is that there are pleasant mid-sized and large-ish cities all over Russia, not as rich as Moscow and St. Pete – one can understand this phenomenon, which is not exclusive to Russia – but nice places to live with decent infrastructure nevertheless.

    • Replies: @Swarthy Greek
  34. @Swarthy Greek

    Russians have been getting poorer for a decade

    Any data supporting this assertion? Available sources do not support this:
    https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/russia/annual-household-income-per-capita
    https://www.rbth.com/business/330451-average-salary

    Yes, Putin is far from ideal. He looks super-smart on the international stage only because of the utter stupidity of the elites of the Empire and its sidekicks. That’s the only reason Russia punches way above its weight. The last US president who combined reasonable intelligence with strong personality was Nixon. Clinton’s intelligence was nullified by trailer park mentality, which included bimbo eruptions (with clear preference for sluts). Bush Jr was dumb as a brick. Obama was a bit more intelligent, but his spinelessness nullified that. Trump is a 70-year-old teenager (Beavis and Butthead come to mind). The last European leader of decent caliber was de Gaulle. This is the background on which Putin and Xi look great.

    As far as the economy goes, Russia is the least dependent on the US $ among sizable economies. This is important in view of inevitable collapse of the US $, speeded up by the US printing money like there is no tomorrow. Putin started a lot of projects that would bear full fruit long after he is gone, such as the port in Ust-Luga and huge LNG plant in the North. Russian inter-city roads are a lot better than they ever were before (I know this first hand, I drove on them in 2016 and 2018). Moscow looks more magnificent than it ever did. European capitals, including London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, don’t even come close. Provincial cities look better than ever before, with people having more disposable income than before (lot’s of customers in cafes and restaurants, theaters, etc.). So, whether Putin has a long-term strategy or not, the country is moving in the right direction. This is particularly remarkable considering current slow suicide of the West.

    It is possible that many things could have been done better and benefited ordinary citizens more. However, it is at least equally possible that things could have been much worse. I am unhappy that among younger people there is nostalgia for the Soviet times (this explains Stalin’s popularity), as I actually lived in the USSR, unlike these youngsters. However, this nostalgia is better than globohomo alternative the West is succumbing to.

    • Replies: @SveVid
  35. @Dmitry

    Most people are not obsessed with homosexuality.

    The thing which happened in the last decade is that cultural differences in terms of public discussion of homosexuality, were intentionally (because it was useful for both sides) to become a zone of “ideological conflict” in the West against Russia.

    My guess is that you are too young to understand how this began. There were laws against “unnatural acts”. It didn’t matter whether the “unnatural acts” were committed by homosexuals or heterosexuals. Those laws were decriminalized, in many countries, except for homosexuals. Then the “rights” champions took over with court challenges to remove the restrictions against homosexuals. That modest start has led us to today’s insanity, mostly through activist jurists, that homosexuality is normal and a “right” to be promoted above heterosexuality.

    “Most people” means most normal heterosexuals. Most of these people would be just fine if the homosexuals just STFU and stayed in the closet. It is the immodesty that bothers them, just as they are bothered by the immodesty of young women dressing like whores. The overwhelming majority of homosexuals and SJWs are entirely obsessed with homosexuality, as are the nation-wrecker globalists. IMO, cultural differences do not enter into it. The anti-Russia narrative is driven by the globo-homo cult. To be sure there are a lot of “normal heterosexuals” that buy into the anti-Russia fabrications, but they are bombarded with it 24/7 and that is to be expected. As long as Russia resists the globalist world view, it will be under attack.

  36. @Dmitry

    Most people are not obsessed with homosexuality.

    The thing which happened in the last decade is that cultural differences in terms of public discussion of homosexuality, were intentionally (because it was useful for both sides) to become a zone of “ideological conflict” in the West against Russia.

    My guess is that you are too young to understand how this began. There were laws against “unnatural acts”. It didn’t matter whether the “unnatural acts” were committed by homosexuals or heterosexuals. Those laws were decriminalized, in many countries, except for homosexuals. Then the “rights” champions took over with court challenges to remove the restrictions against homosexuals. That modest start has led us to today’s insanity, mostly through activist jurists, that homosexuality is normal and a “right” to be promoted above heterosexuality.

    “Most people” means most normal heterosexuals. Most of these people would be just fine if the homosexuals just STFU and stayed in the closet. It is the immodesty that bothers them, just as they are bothered by the immodesty of young women dressing like whores. The overwhelming majority of homosexuals and SJWs are entirely obsessed with homosexuality, as are the nation-wrecker globalists. IMO, cultural differences do not enter into it. The anti-Russia narrative is driven by the globo-homo cult. To be sure there are a lot of “normal heterosexuals” that buy into the anti-Russia fabrications, but they are bombarded with it 24/7 and that is to be expected. As long as Russia resists the globalist world view, it will be under attack.

  37. @Kovar

    Bro, have you ever been to Russia? Karlin has mostly written about touristy places like golden ring cities and moscow commuter suburbs like Volokalamsk. Rural Russia is emptying fast and dying. I can point out plenty of middle sized russian cities which are hellholes like Nizhny Tagil, Kirov, Kostroma, Arkhangelsk, Murmansk… And most “nice” millioniks like Yekaterinburg still have completely inadequate infrastructure. Sochi cannot even be accessed through a motorway, instead you have to drive through a shitty 2 lane road that is always cloagged up. Cities like Krasnoyarsk and Novosibirsk have Indian levels of air pollution, there is no garbage sorting system…etc. Sure, there are a few places like Izhevsk that look nice but they are the exception rather than the rule.

    PS: Russia Insider sucks, watch the Jew Varlamov instead to get a glimpse of what russian cities look like. He is a prick but he will show you how “real” russia looks like.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  38. @anonymous coward

    Money. Putin and his buddies enjoy the millionaire lifestyle that they can afford by being at the helm. If Putin falls don’t you think that people like Sechin, Kostin or Miller would have to go and let go of the millions that they earn due to their corporate position by virtue of being Putin’s buddies? Also don’t forget how people like Deripaska, Rotenberg or Vekselberg leech off state money through subsidies and public procurement. They are at risk of losing everything if Putin loses power and someone new comes to power with a less economically liberal agenda that would include nationalisations .

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @anonymous coward
  39. Ano4 says:
    @Swarthy Greek

    Absolutely correct. VVP is the chairman of the board of the Ozero Datcha Cooperative that has privatized the most juicy morsels of the RosFed (gaz, oil, rail roads, infrastructure development, military industrial complex a.s.o.). All his friends benefited enormously. They were middle class when USSR went down, with no prospects to become more important than head of a regional Ispolkom, but they are all 1%ers today. VVP himself is today one of the richest persons on Earth.

    All this wealth has been taken from the population of the RosFed and transferred to the Russian 1%. Two generations ago RosFed was one of the most egalitarian societies worldwide, today it is one of those demonstrating the most inequality. In 1988, some 75% of the RosFed population were Middle Class, today it is around 25% (living mainly in Moscow and Piter), the wealthy represent another 10% and the super rich 1%. All other Russians would be considered poor by any Western standards.

    The only problem between the Globalist 1%ers and the Russian 1%ers is simply that the former do not want to recognize the latter as equal partners. If the Globalist Cabal come to terms with the immense wealth and power that Russian 1%ers have acquired and accepted them into “the family “, Russian 1%ers would be glad to jump in the Globalist lap. They would forget all about “geopolitics “, “ideology “, “religion “. They would be glad to join NATO and accept USA and EU as partners. They wiould turn against China in a minute if their wealth was guaranteed to remain with their offspring. I am sure the Chinese are aware of this.

    • Replies: @Swarthy Greek
  40. SveVid says:
    @AnonFromTN

    That’s my view as well.

    The last thing Russia is doing is stagnating, In fact, I think Russia is just starting to spread it’s wings…seems pretty self evident if you care to actually look at things as they are instead of repeating western media BS

    • Agree: Simpleguest
  41. Mitleser says:

    They wiould turn against China in a minute if their wealth was guaranteed to remain with their offspring.

    Two decades ago, probably.
    Nowadays, nope.

    Trade is too significant and profitable, the conflict with China not worth it.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  42. @Ano4

    I mostly agree with what you said in the sense that the Putin system’s main objective has been to perpetuate the massive upward transfer of wealth from the state to middle rank KGB officers and soviet era gangsters that occured in the Yeltsin era. The financial system, the bureaucracy, the army and the state’s repressive apparatus (FSB, MVD, RosGvardiya) are kept functional to safeguard the regime. Meanwhile, investment in social welfare and infrastructure is kept at a minimum to prevent mass unrest among the populace. To keep himself and his clique in power, Putin mainly relies on the votes of terrified pensioners who see in him a source of stability and periodically panders to interest groups like orthodox reactionaries and nationalists through dog whistles like the “Russian amendment” that Karlin gloats about. The next generation of “New Russians” which grew up in the liberal and capitalist west will have no qualms about spreading globo-homo in exchange of a few bribes.

    • Agree: Ano4
  43. Ano4 says:
    @Mitleser

    Their property and wealth are in the West. They’re only cozying up to the Chinese and the Iranians because they have been rejected by the Globalized Western elites.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @SveVid
    , @NazbolFren
  44. Dreadilk says:
    @AnonFromTN

    During BLM DC protests Trump demonstratively walked counter snipers through the BLM crowd.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  45. Mitleser says:
    @Ano4

    If it had been so simple, they would have already capitulated and accepted the Western terms.
    Their main asset has always been their control of the Russian economy for which China has become an essential partner. The value of their property and value in the West pales in comparison to that.

    Improving relations with China predates what you call rejection by the globalized Western elites.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  46. @Dreadilk

    During BLM DC protests Trump demonstratively walked counter snipers through the BLM crowd.

    If true, this was one of very few actions of his worthy of a president. Bandits must fear state power. If they don’t, you get what was in Russia in the 1990s or in most of Somalia today.

  47. @Mitleser

    You are right, things are a lot more complicated. Besides, Russian mega-thieves learned the lesson of their hapless Ukrainian colleagues: a strong state behind you is the only thing that prevents other thieves from stealing your loot.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  48. Ano4 says:
    @AnonFromTN

    You and Mitleser may both be right and it is quite possible that I am being too extreme in my judgment of these people. But I still remember quite vividly the early 90ies and cannot help myself but seing all these people as scum.

    For me VVP is a heir appointed by Yeltsin, friend to Abramovich and Kadyrov and business associate of Barsukov (Kumarin), Shoigu is one of the murderers of Supreme Soviet defenders in October 1993, patriarch Kirill is the man who got the profits of importing alcohol and cigarettes for the Church while people were dying of alcoholism by hundreds of thousands, Chubais is of course the chief robber-privatizer.

    Several of my childhood friends did not survive these years, many others had to live through hardships that could have been easily avoided if these criminals and traitors did not subvert Russian society to turn it against itself under the pretext of reforming the USSR.

    My opinion is simple: it would have been way better if there was no Russian revolution in 1917, but once it had been done and the Russian people coped with its terrible consequences, it would have been best to avoid Perestroika.

    If Putin has truly stabilized Russia for at least 2-3 generations, then probably he deserves some respect. But quite frankly I doubt it. I think unfortunately that Russia might face another round of great tribulations in the next 5 to 10 years. And this time, if this happens it would be entirely Putin’s clique fault.

    I hope that I am wrong though…

    • Agree: Swarthy Greek
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Dmitry
  49. @Ano4

    I am not saying that Russian oligarchs are decent people. Of course, they are scum who looted state assets under Yeltsin regime and keep milking the state under Putin, under his protection. However, it appears to me that Putin is skillfully maneuvering them to ensure that their self-interests coincide up to a point with the interests of state. The hopeless (in this regard) scum he imprisoned, like Khodorkovsky, or forced to run away, like Berezovsky (and I am sure felt good when MI6 did his job for him and hanged that piece of shit). The smartest one turned out to be Gusinsky: he ran away with his loot and does not say a word, happy to be alive and rich. As far as Chubais is concerned, while most Russians I know want other oligarchs imprisoned, there is virtual consensus that they want Chubais hanged, preferably publicly.

    However, corruption seems to be inevitable in any state. MIC in the US steals more than the whole Russian budget, and they are not the only thieves in town. The best thing any state can do is keep corruption within limits: using the numbers from a well-known joke, it should be 10%, not 100%, like in Ukraine.

    So, my judgment is purely practical, not moral. It is a fact that Putin turned a basket case of a country, almost completely destroyed by Yeltsin and his thieves, into a functional entity. I don’t know how long relative stability would last, but I hope that Russians learned the lesson that Ukrainians failed to learn: all revolutions are disasters, they always destroy more than any possible gains they bring.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  50. Gill B says:

    Only issue I have is the mention of God. In Wiemar Germany, members of the military swore the following oath:

    I swear loyalty to the Reich’s constitution and pledge,
    that I as a courageous soldier always want to protect the German Reich and its legal institutions,
    (and) be obedient to the Reich President and to my superiors.

    After Hitler became chancellor, it changed:

    I swear by God this holy oath,
    that I want to ever loyally and sincerely serve my people and fatherland
    and be prepared as a brave and obedient soldier
    to risk my life for this oath at any time

    This may seem puzzling, as the Nazis were no fans of God. But in January 1933 the Nazis were not yet in total control, they still had to deal with President Hindenburg, who formally had the power to depose Hitler. Naturally, they wanted the mention of the Reich President gone from the oath, but they still needed to conciliate conservative Germans, thus the mention of God. They didn’t like God anymore than they liked Hindenburg, but he could not threaten them because unlike Hindenburg he did not exist.

    I’m not saying the Russian constitutional amendments are similarly sinister. But anytime I see God connected to nationalism, I see the seed for America’s sickness, where Wall Streeters praise Jeesus to pacify right-wing voters in the hope they won’t notice things like displacement-level immigration, affirmative action, or the anti-male family court regime.

    • Replies: @Gerard-Mandela
  51. SveVid says:
    @Ano4

    Not for much longer it won’t…assuming those individuals want to stay in politics

  52. @Swarthy Greek

    > Putin and his buddies enjoy the millionaire lifestyle
    > millionaire

    You’re off by, like, five orders of magnitude.

    …by virtue of being Putin’s buddies

    Putin doesn’t have any ‘buddies’. He’s not a 15 year old schoolboy.

  53. Increasing urbanization in Russia will lead to a gradual liberalizing over decades if its not checked. Spengler wrote about the cosmopolitan tendency of the metropolis, and everything from Calhoun’s rat experiments to the micro-sociology of transactional vs relational value systems has backed it up.

    However ‘based’ Putin becomes on immigration, willingness to use military force to re-integrate Russian lands, or illiberal amendments to the constitution, they are no substitute for assuring the social and material conditions that preserve a right-wing sensibility among the super-majority of the populace and elites. Russia and England developed a nationalist orientation first. In Russia, the definition of Russian nationhood emerged out of the routines of village life. No doubt it was cataloged by the learned classes, but this is an expression, not the causal historical force itself.

    If I were Putin, I’d be encouraging emigration to the Far East by those whom AK calls Moscow ‘office plankton.’

  54. @Swarthy Greek

    LOL, Bryansk is not a touristy place.

    You are wrong on most of your points. Russian living standards have increased in the past decade, though obviously not as quickly as in ECE.

  55. Hartnell says:
    @Lemurmaniac

    This is always a problem that has been going on since the dawn of time. Basically large settlements turn into cities that become large breeding grounds for Cosmopolitanism until they eventually collapse and shrink, leading to more right wing thinking and behaviour.

    I think the way to beat this is to always ensure you have strong birth rates, particularly in the countryside. If you have that factor and it is a continued generation of new babies being born, then they start to migrate back into the cities, giving them a more closely resembled ethnic look.

    To be honest though, I do think the future of white people is actually going to be more conservative. The more they get pushed from the cities and back into the town’s and villages, the more right wing and conservation they will become. I think Karlin documented this a year or two ago.

    I think if you want a prime example of what the white man is going through, look at the history of the Jews. When they were at their peak in ancient Israel, they went ‘liberal’ for those days before eventually downsizing, becoming more conservative and moving into Europe, where they started to become more liberal again until the 20th century…

    Nowadays in Israel, they are very right wing and concerned about their survival. That I think is a similarish fate for European eventually.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    , @Lemurmaniac
  56. @Gill B

    Mention of God has a completely different dynamic to us compared to Nazi Germany. Our proposed new Constitution is trying to be a uniting factor for all the population .You have certain things have a socialist slant to satisfy Communists and certain things that satisfy nationalists/Tsarists , including their perception of the anti-religion state that came before 1991.
    We’re also a multi-ethnic , multi-religious state…and we’re not like Americans to even think this “God’s nation” or “indispensable” nation BS – so I can’t see any problems over what I think is a meticulous prepared new Constitution ( formulated after mass discussion from all parts of society I might add, not from the very top)

    It is also under the context of us undergoing a massive series of building, rebuilding and renovating some very beautiful churches in the last 10-15 years of which themselves are great cultural, tourist and of course religious fulcrums of many a town/city in Russia

  57. @Awww now

    Human rights are US soft power – to believe in Human Rights is to inadvertantly buy into US soft power.

    The only rejection is a rejection of the very concept of human rights

  58. @Swarthy Greek

    The only way to purge liberalism and woke culture from russia is to enshrine a rejection of human rights in law – to reject the concept of human rights is to reject American soft power (as most human rights orgs are controlled by the US) and woke culture depends on the recognition of human rights.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  59. @Ano4

    Do what the Romans did with the Senate – ban any duma official from “working” and holding wealth amongst family and friends. Make the FSB watch them and jail anyone who has any wealth and drives any car not Russian.

    Next – any Duma official needs to be banned from leaving the country (even on vacation), and their family and friends shall also not be allowed outside the country.

    Finally – just as the American Foinding Fathers, seperated Church and State – the Russian Constitution shall seperate Wealth (and the Merchant Class) from State by banning any landowner, wealth holder, etc from the state apparatus.

    This will ensure that only patriots who care nothing for wealth will govern the country.

  60. @Lemurmaniac

    If I were Putin, I’d be encouraging emigration to the Far East by those whom AK calls Moscow ‘office plankton.’

    That’s impractical. Their motto is “I can work anywhere, as long as no work is required”. The people living in the Far East don’t want that trash in their region.

    • Replies: @Lemurmaniac
  61. Dmitry says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Putin is skillfully maneuvering them

    That was a bit of a fake narrative, that was created and carefully curated by Putin’s team – to appease public anger about oligarchs, at the same time they were multiplying and increasing their control of the economy. In later years, to continue curating the narrative, there has included even some performance art in the genre “Putin criticizes Deripaska for trampling workers’ rights” (as he becomes richest man in the country).

    There is an element of truth, insofar as Putin can inefficiently expropriate oligarchs who ran into conflict with him. However, can be seen with Sergei Pugachev, a large part of the money from such attempts goes to London law firms. So it’s not even necessarily that useful to expropriate them. In some years, a large proportion of the total income of London law firms, comes from Russian legal conflicts.

    However, the oligarchs are not necessarily a bad model of governance. Oligarchs have become an informal extension of state capacity. As they come to control more and more of the economy, this means the government can informally extend control.

    It’s easy to control a maybe a hundred people, and they can then themselves control large parts of the economy. They also control themselves, and divide into different groups of clans. It might be easier to rely on personal relationships, and managing people you know.

    Businessmen are a lot of the time fighting between themselves, but the government can resolve the problem through personal relationships. So Nornickel was a constant fight between Potanin and Deripaska. So Putin then places Abramovich into the company, and allowed the two sides to compromise.

    When there is need for “plausible deniability” for government action, then people like Prigozhin can work as a kind of informal part of state capacity.

    he imprisoned, like Khodorkovsky, or forced to run away, like Berezovsky (and I am sure felt good when MI6 did his job for him and hanged that piece of shit).

    You write like this is representative, but most of the oligarchs did not run into conflict with the government.

    More often they had conflict with other oligarch groups.

    Some of oligarchs that developed in the 1990s – like Alfa Group oligarchs – pretend to the West, they are not related to Putin. But then you can find that they employ Putin’s daughter.

    Others, like Timchenko and Rotenbergs, were mostly created by Putin, and therefore really dependent on him, so that can really be considered a kind of extension of the government.

    Putin turned a basket case of a country, almost completely destroyed by Yeltsin and his thieves

    One reason GDP boomed in the early 2000s – oil price has increased from $12 barrel in 1990s, to over $100 a barrel in less than a decade. Similarly with many other commodity prices.

    Another reason GDP boomed – recovery after 15 years of economic disaster and chaos.

    Then another reason – there was a very effective economic policy of Putin’s team, especially in financial management, which has built a stable financial basis which continued even through later crisis.

    That said there is a limit in terms of how much you can attribute recovery to the government.

    Putin’s team and appointments, were very intelligent economic managers. This resulted in responsible financial management.

    But you could have idiots Kamala Harris or Che Guevara as president, and the GDP would have still boomed in the early 2000s, as oil and commodity prices skyrocketed so much.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  62. Dmitry says:
    @Swarthy Greek

    liberalization,Americanism

    I think we have enough years of watching, to see that “cold” and “mild” conflict between Russia and West is something more systematic, and in some sense benefits interests both sides.

    Putin’s original idea was to improve relations with the West (the first international leader he became friends with was Tony Blair). Later, Putin unintentionally fell into his current Primakov style of external policy, after some quite few years of “trial and error”, and attempts to be very conciliatory to Western leaders.

    Something similar is also on the American side. Obama was originally claiming he will improve relations with Russia, and so 8 years later was Trump.

    (Russian) media in 2008 was very optimistic and positive about Obama, and was expected he would improve relations – but America actually worsened its attitude to Russia by 2012. Similarly, there was a more mild example with Trump. Every time there is new president in America, there is such a naive optimism.

    So, it seems likely that at least “mild” opposition of Russia and the West has some more systematic reasons, and will not be easily affected by change of the leaders.

  63. Znzn says:

    Well Russia’s Gini Coefficient in 2018 was at 37.5, which is really not that bad. Now it could afford to loosen fiscal policy and run a small deficit, around 1 to 2 percent of GDP or so, invest in the national capital stock, give cash to working people, in order to stimulate consumption, and bump GDP growth to 4 to 5 percent.

  64. Dmitry says:
    @Ano4

    tribulations in the next 5 to 10 years

    I am not at all Nostradamus, but indicators I would look at, do not necessarily support such a political instability (in Russia).

    Economy is stable; median age is 40, and current young graduates will have less competition for jobs due to their position as a smaller cohort the population pyramid.

    It will be easier to attain better jobs, other things equal, for people from smaller age cohorts.

    There is also no such “Arab spring” (which was partly powered by too many young people, with too few jobs).

    There is also nothing exciting happening ideologically – and rather more ideological convergence internationally, with only minor differences .

    So what has has happened of recent years to support future political instability?

    1. Disillusionment with the government, and a bit of loss of its control over the informational space of the younger people.
    2. Some stagnation in incomes.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  65. Ano4 says:
    @Dmitry

    You are right about the demographics of RosFed being supportive of stability. On the other hand, we have the fall of the oil and gas prices and the loss of their market shares to competitors. Moreover, the COVID induced recession will most probably increase the deflationary pressure on the natural resources prices and Russia is mainly a natural resources exporter.

    I don’t think that a mass movement against the VVPs Vertical of Power is possible in Russia, nothing similar to the Arab Spring or even Maidan is possible there. What is possible is that the reduction in income from exporting natural resources would trigger an intense competition between the oligarchic clans and also among the regional elites. This would bring a systemic instability, which reinforced by the lowering of the standard of living for the masses would destabilize the whole Putinist system.

    Given that Russia has many foes and little friends, external intervention might ease the dismemberment of the Federation into regional blocks that might seek autonomy or even independence. Regional elites would seek protection by becoming clients to powerful foreign patrons and then it would be done, RosFed would be gone the way of USSR and the Russian Empire.

    That is what I am worried about, and again I hope that it is just me being pessimistic and that such prognostic is wrong.

  66. @Dmitry

    But you could have idiots Kamala Harris or Che Guevara as president, and the GDP would have still boomed in the early 2000s, as oil and commodity prices skyrocketed so much.

    Luck played its role, but the key was policy. Due to high oil prices Russia was able to repay IMF loans and stop doing what IMF told it. Considering that in terms of destructiveness IMF is second only to the nuclear war, this was huge luck.

    However, increased revenues could have been stolen, too: greed has no limits. Recall 1990s. More than half of the population was pauperized not because there were no valuable state assets, but because these assets were looted by mega-thieves, Russian and foreign, while the government only facilitated this looting. As well as other criminal activities: remember the lawlessness of the 1990s, when every bandit was the boss, virtually no crime was solved, there were shootouts everywhere, everybody who could afford it installed steel doors, and law enforcement did nothing? Or remember the state of the Russian military at the time: no financing, officers had to sell stuff and contract soldiers out for various jobs just to keep them fed? The first Chechen war was started and lost pathetically.

    Things changed a lot after traitorous Yeltsin resigned. My guess is that he was forced to resign by military and police and got an ultimatum: either he resigns voluntarily and they grant him and his family immunity from prosecution, or they depose him and then prosecute for every crime he committed. I guess they did not want to become scapegoats again: the second Chechen war was in full swing, and if Yeltsin remained in power, it would have been lost just as ingloriously as the first. Remember, the first Putin’s executive order as president was granting Yeltsin immunity? I think he kept his side of the bargain.

    Now the appetites of the thieves are curbed: they are allowed to steal, but now as much. The result is that the living standards keep rising, cities, infrastructure, and industrial projects are built, the military is in decent shape, and the Empire is furious. The latter is a very good sign, it means that Russian government is doing a lot of things right. Remember, the Empire loved Yeltsin, which was a sure sign that he was a piece of shit.

    Russian government skillfully minimized the effect of imperial sanctions after 2014, and actually made Russian economy a lot more self-sufficient and less dependent on the US $. That was no mean feat, considering to what lengths the Empire and most of its vassals went. Yes, some, like South Korea, flatly refused to play this stupid game from the start, others, like Israel and Japan, introduced token sanctions that did not impede export of anything, even military hardware. But most imperial bootlickers introduced real sanctions and still keep them, despite losing more than Russia as the result.

    I am not saying that Russian government is ideal, or that Putin and his clique are saints doing exclusively what’s best for the country. What I am saying is that they are much better for Russia than any Western government is for its country. The only peer in this regard Putin has is Xi, who is also no saint by a long chalk.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  67. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Lemurmaniac

    Increasing urbanization in Russia will lead to a gradual liberalizing over decades if its not checked.

    Yep. Urbanisation is the biggest driver of liberalism. I don’t know if there’s any way to uncouple urbanisation and liberalism. Changing the Constitution won’t help. It’s the culture war that matters, not short-term political fights. If you lose the culture war (and it’s probably half lost already) then once the liberals take charge they’ll make their own constitutional changes. Putin is fighting the wrong battle.

    • Replies: @Lemurmaniac
  68. @AnonFromTN

    you want them metastaticising in power centres? change the social environment, change preferences.

    nothing truly nationalist is going to be considered practical by a technocracy.

  69. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Hartnell

    To be honest though, I do think the future of white people is actually going to be more conservative. The more they get pushed from the cities and back into the town’s and villages, the more right wing and conservation they will become.

    But are white people getting pushed from the cities?

    Sounds to me like there’s a lot of cope in your assertion.

  70. @dfordoom

    culture war is a distraction. It occurs in the realm of representation, which is conscious and thus less related to core orientation. We need to look at reformatting social-material conditions from the ground up.

  71. dfordoom says: • Website
    @NazbolFren

    The only way to purge liberalism and woke culture from russia is to enshrine a rejection of human rights in law

    You can enshrine whatever you like in laws but it won’t help you if you’re losing the culture war.

    This is the mistake that conservatives made in the West. Laws don’t matter. Culture matters.

  72. @Hartnell

    it’s possible to intervene in this cycle, but first the right has to shake off its passivity and addiction to fighting in the melee of 24 hour news controlled by hostiles.

  73. Dmitry says:
    @AnonFromTN

    increased revenues could have been stolen, too: greed has no limits. Recall 1990s. More than half of the population was pauperized

    Main oil and commodity exporting countries, have exactly the same shape in the GDP curve from 2000.

    So I think it is quite unlikely that Russia could have diverged, simply because the President had been inadequate.

    Look at Saudi and Russia – GDP per capita curve shape is almost identical. This cannot be coincidence. The economies are both coupled to the same external factor (in Saudi Arabia change of President does not overlap with changes in Russia, and there is yet identical GDP curve shape – i.e. the cause of the GDP curve shape is what happens in external commodity price markets) .

    appetites of the thieves are curbed: they are allowed to steal, but now as much. The result is that the living standards keep rising, cities, infrastructure, and industrial projects are built, the military is in decent shape, and the Empire is furious. The latter is a very good sign

    Have you calculated that less revenue is “stolen” (i.e. going to rent owners)? Do you mean in absolute or relative terms?

    I think more that “cake is growing” – therefore the smaller slices of cake can also increase. In absolute terms, more is going to the rent owners, but in relative terms less.

    While in the 1990s (and actually mainly from 1983-85), “cake was shrinking, or had so shrunk”, and the smaller slice of cake is paying the cost disproportionately. So in relative terms more was “stolen” in the 1990s, but not necessarily in absolute terms.

    Russian government skillfully minimized the effect of imperial sanctions after 2014, and

    Putin’s appointed employees like Kudrin, more recently Nabiullina, had been excellent in terms of stabilizing of finances and responding to financial crisis.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  74. @Dmitry

    Look at Saudi and Russia – GDP per capita shape is almost identical.

    People often forget that many countries are much more dependent on oil than Russia.
    Saudi Arabia – oil is 42% of GDP, 87% of budget revenues and 90% of export earnings.
    Quite a few other Gulf satrapies are similar.
    Norway – oil constitutes 18% of GDP and 62% of exports.
    Russia – oil revenues were on average for 1988-2017 ~8% of GDP.

    Thanks to sanctions, Russia increased food production. Now it’s the greatest exporter of wheat, and a huge fraction of internal food consumption is from local sources. The food in Moscow used to be much worse than in provinces, as it was mostly imported crap, but it became local and much better as the result. Russian cheese used to be so-so, but now many French and Italian manufacturers started production inside Russia, and Russian-made cheese is at least as good and varied as imports that it substituted. There are many more examples, but I’d rather be brief.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  75. Dmitry says:
    @AnonFromTN

    often forget that many countries are much more dependent on oil than

    But it is still very determinative, especially with the current financing system of the government – where oil/gas revenues can even constitute 50% of the budget in years like 2012, 2013, 2014 (when oil/gas prices are still high).

    Another thing is to look at the prices of other commodities – aluminum, zinc, diamonds, copper.

    These commodities are all determined by international markets, and the extent of their revenues is not dependent on who is president in one or other country, but the international market situation.

    Russia.
    Saudi Arabia –

    How do you explain that GDP curve shape of Saudi Arabia/Russian Federation is identical since 2000- if they are not primarily controlled by the international commodity market, as opposed to internal factors.

    Note that the shape of the GDP curve is identical . If we add a less-commodity dependent economies (India, Israel, Japan) as a control, then you see how much more Russia and Saudi Arabia GDP seem to be both coupled to the commodity prices.

    • Agree: Ano4
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