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Interesting links.

(1) Len Sassaman and Satoshi: a Cypherpunk History. This is, I think, the strongest case for someone being Satoshi that I have read to date. All I can say is that IF it was him, he played the double act VERY well.

(2) Gregoire Canlorbe (Postil Magazine) – A conversation with Emil O.W. Kirkegaard

(3) James Thompson – Our World in Blank Slate Data?

(4) Anders Sandberg – Galactic duck and cover

(5) Turkey’s lira is collapsing again. Sovereign default? Probably not – still has ample reserves (on paper). But interesting developments nonetheless.

(6) Stronk buy signal:

https://twitter.com/m0rn3_/status/1375170652580294657/

 

 
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  1. This is the current Open Thread, where anything goes – within reason.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

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

  2. songbird says:

    I think Americans who want to travel back in time and tell plantation owners to “pick their own cotton” are missing the real thrust of history.

    If the US had somehow magically been prevented from having slavery, then we would have still imported millions of Africans to show that we are better than white Brazilians, or South Africans. It would not have prevented the Civil War at all, just made it happen with atomics.

    • Replies: @Boomthorkell
  3. A123 says:

    Humor for the open thread. Open [MORE] for additional pics.

    PEACE 😇

     

    [MORE]

     
     
     

  4. I thought the Chinese were propping up Turkey’s economy. David Goldman said that was the case a couple of years ago.

    • Agree: Not Raul
  5. SafeNow says:


    Biden was asked by a “reporter” whether N. Korea is the most challenging foreign-policy conundrum. Because Biden’s answer consisted solely of “Yes,” (as he told Putin, he is “busy”) I will helpfully expand. Kim and his inner circle have over 100 personal cheerleaders, as we saw at the Olympics. They also have the Traffic Ladies (retirement age is 26). This unprecedented factor complicates the mental state of the leaders. and how the U.S. should think about them.

    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
  6. songbird says:
    @SafeNow

    Perhaps, Japan should try it to draw out the Hikikomori.

    • Replies: @128
  7. 128 says:

    Maybe people can try to use sources that are not paywalled here?

  8. Mostly white Europe has failed to vaccinanate its people at half the rate of the 40% black and Hispanic USA.

    White nationalists, how do you cope with this troubling fact?

  9. 128 says:
    @songbird

    Would an Ireland that is not pozzed in exchange for a standard of living comparable to Eamon de Valera’s times be a good trade? That should still be above what the North Korean countryside has.

    • Replies: @songbird
  10. songbird says:
    @128

    Without a doubt. IMO, better dirt floors in parts of the country than poz. Attracting international capital was one of Ireland’s biggest mistakes ever.

  11. @JohnPlywood

    I am not a white nationalist. I am a non-participant-observer. I have a friend who works in the american medical complex who maybe maintains the friendship only because she has pity on me her token deplorable friend. Like every white American has one token black friend except we could be distant cousins if we looked at our completely populated ancestor trees to four levels. She got the vaccination. Horrible immune system reaction for the better part of seven days. And she has the second shot scheduled.

    I am going to get vaccinated if and when the SWAT team shows up at my front door with guns and needle drawn and not before. Diversity is what makes our country what it is!

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  12. @JohnPlywood

    This has already been covered in previous OTs. The short answer is that Europe believed the nonsense about the “international rules-based system” propaganda, whereas the Angloids just instituted de facto export bans on all vaccine production.

    Meanwhile, the Angloid press has been running a nonstop propaganda campaign about supposed European “incompetence” (understood in technical, rather than political, terms) when the reality is much simpler: naïvité.

    I don’t hate Angloids for being ruthless. I hate European leaders for being craven, submissive and pathetic creatures constantly crawling under the diktat of what the US wants it to do. We’re seeing the same thing with the intentional self-detonation of the EU-China investment deal. Europe is just a remote-controlled collection of subcolonial puppet states. Cowardice has to be punished, so I feel no sympathy, just disgust.

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill, AltanBakshi
  13. Re: sanctions of Russia. There are good reasons to suggest that any “crippling” sanctions would mostly backfire on Western financial institutions. Russia has done a decent job de-risking their foreign debt contracts; in some instances even re-writing the terms from scratch, such as giving flexibility to pay back in rubles at prevailing market exchange rates even when the debt was taken in CHF, EUR or USD.

    I would not wager on major sanctions being imposed for these and other reasons. In the event that I am wrong, it is unlikely that the effects will be as harsh as many seem to presuppose.

    • Replies: @atharvaveda
  14. @songbird

    I’m a little confused with your point, but with the plantation economy, as far as I recall, they only used Africans because it was more profitable (initially) then Europeans (initially.) If there was some law against slavery though, I don’t think they would have even considered importing millions of Africans. They would likely have been forced to double-down on poor Irish and Indentured Brits.

    Anyhow, what would FOLLOW that, assuming the normal course of history…is hard to say. I don’t actually know when African migrants started being a thing…did we ever see real numbers of them before the 2000s?

    Comical idea though: American Plantation Lords import massive amounts of Malay
    and Indian workers, inspired by experience of Dutch and British plantations in the Indies.

    Alt. More likely timeline: MAYAN CHICANOS EVERYWHERE.

    • Replies: @songbird
  15. @JohnPlywood

    Thank God for all those Black and Hispanic doctors and medical distributors for bringing about the joys of this little experiment in non-Emperor approved gene-therapy.

    Oh, wait a minute…a society with a large slave class can function fine so long as its smart-fraction and elites can accomplish what they set out to do. Still, it doesn’t make it good.

    Anyhow, sarcasm aside, what is troubling about this anyway?

  16. @Thulean Friend

    Yes, but, if you look at the chart, EU produced fewer vaccines than India. It even had a shittier ratio of imports to exports. EU is looking mad incompetent right now and white nationalists are angry and looking for an answer from their mentors as to why this is happening. And where all the Asian women at.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  17. @JohnPlywood

    white nationalists are angry and looking for an answer from their mentors as to why this is happening

    Proof link please.

    Thanks.

  18. @Morton's toes

    It normally takes a couple of years minimum to develop a decent novel vaccine. And sometimes it just doesn’t work. Great that we had these Big Pharma stakhanovites in 2020, otherwise we would already all be dead of Covid by now…

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  19. @Thulean Friend

    I don’t hate Angloids for being ruthless. I hate European leaders for being craven, submissive and pathetic creatures constantly crawling under the diktat of what the US wants it to do.

    “European leaders” have been running a non-stop campaign to discredit the non-profit AZ jab and trying to get the WHO to ban it, and when that failed they are now trying to impose an export ban on AZ, the vaccine they tried to say is unsafe and that they didn’t want. And you call Anglos ruthless!

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    , @Dmitry
  20. @JohnPlywood

    If the RNA vaccine were any good, you would be able to identify vaccinated people using an antibody test, as it is done for hepatitis or measles. The current wave of vaccination is merely a contest in dick length. Amerikanski Nigro Kizzmekia made vaccines first, German Turk made it second, Joos vaccinated first, limies also diluted their doses etc.

    Well, suck my medium-size Romanian dick. Corona is following its course undeterred, and is naturally waning in a country where 10% oficially had it and spring has arrived. Talk to us next November anyway.

    • Replies: @melanf
  21. @JohnPlywood

    When you have a hard core of anti-establishment, libertarian types who understands the risk of testing out gene therapy for a barely lethal virus, and (possibly rightly) suspect vaccination is the road to the Great Reset’s techno-serfdom.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  22. @Yellowface Anon

    Sorry I transposed the two regions. Anyway, you see, whites are further down the road of disenfranchisement on their own lands, and the disenfranchised will never trust what the upcoming top-down order offers, so it is natural the higher the share of whites, the higher extent vaccine refusal might be. Europe has its own healthy load of left-wing anti-establishment types and they often see eye to eye with the American dissident Right, and anti-Gates-vaxx is one of them.

  23. melanf says:
    @Dacian Julien Soros

    f the RNA vaccine were any good, you would be able to identify vaccinated people using an antibody test

    So that’s exactly how it is

  24. 128 says:

    So what are the chances that GM will pull out of Russia, or the Hilton Hotel Leningradskaya or Mariott Grand Aurora gets a name change? Are there any 4 or 5 star domestic hotel chains? All of the luxury hotel chains in Russia seems to be foreign like Sokos, Hilton, or Le Meridien.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  25. 128 says:

    As cryptocurrencies come into wider usage, they will come into the same reporting necessities as regular currencies for things like anti-money laundering, terrorist financing etc.

  26. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    You suggested that you’d like to continue discussing “reforms in the Western world” that we began in the last open thread, #145:

    Exactly what types of reforms do you see occurring in the Western world? Has this process already started?

    Yes it has already started and is currently ongoing. There are many aspects in the recent evolution of Western societies that point to this. It’s a long topic, better discussing it on the next open thread.

    Sounds like this is a topic that you’ve though a lot about – here’s your chance to expound on it.

  27. Karl Denninger has the real scoop on the COVID-19 business:

    https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=241875

    Karl is rapidly becoming my favorite blogger, comparable to AlFin,

  28. On the Donbass thread we have started a conversation about Western economic and social reforms that according to my humble opinion have been many years in preparation, but have only been put forward starting last year, during the early stages of the Covid pandemics.

    I believe (quite subjectively) that the end goal of these social and economic changes is to attempt a restoration of the leading role of the globalized Western capitalism in the World economic affairs and of the Atlanticist networks on the World political stage.

    Commenter JL asked me if this didn’t look like some sort of “Western Perestroika ” that will end in the same inglorious way as the last ditch effort to reform the Soviet regime and its system of alliances. I believe that the West is indeed in a somewhat similar situation, that its ideological and economic foundations are severely damaged and in need of a serious repair and upgrade. But the situation in today’s globalized West is of course completely different from the Soviet Union back in the 80ies.

    As AP and I both replied, we think both economic and social systems are very different. I also have the impression that cultural code and Zeitgeist cannot be directly compared. And yet there is a feeling of déjà vu for those who have lived under the final decades of the Soviet regime and who now live in the West, the impression that the system is ongoing a deep and radical transition to something unknown. A transition that might end up badly.

    This is something people of Soviet background talk about in my circle. And even native Westerners sometimes offer similar opinions. As one of my French friends, an investment banker, a man my age (mid 40ies) who is somewhat familiar with today’s RusFed, but did not live in USSR, told me last week: “This era feels like the last drops of economic and political sanity circling the drain”. I believe my parents might have felt something similar in the late Brezhnev era, at least that was the impression that comes from reading Soviet dissidents of that period.

    Mr Hack has asked whether I could describe why I think “Western Perestroika ” was already underway. I replied that it is a long discussion and it’s better be done on an open thread. Given the nature of the topic it might go in different strange directions and become actually lost in a heap of disorganized information and opinions.

    Again, this feeling or impression is very subjective and might be completely wrong. Perhaps the globalized West is doing alright, NATO and its allies will continue to rule the global defense and warfare scene, while Western corporate interests will just keep on dominating the global markets. If I am wrong, then there is nothing to discuss and I apologize for wasting your time with a useless comment.

    But if you also feel something similar, then I would like to know your thoughts about it.

  29. Do any of you know what the deal is with the iron cage or plexiglass box they put defendants in at trials in Russia/FSU?

    Specifically, I am curious if it goes back to the imperial era, or if it was a Soviet innovation. In any case, as an Anglo-Saxon, I find it prejudicial, in the legal sense. How can the defendant not appear guilty if he is stuck in a cage like an ape at a 19th century zoo?

    Lots of between-nation variation in attitudes here. Perhaps the Russian mind is not as worried about punishing the innocent. Interestingly, in the Netherlands and at least some Scandinavian countries, defendants are in many/most cases not publicly identified. They find it an intrusion of privacy/presumption of innocence that American law always names the defendant.

  30. songbird says:
    @Boomthorkell

    If there was some law against slavery though, I don’t think they would have even considered importing millions of Africans.

    That’s an interesting distinction – a law against slavery, rather than a law against the slave trade (which ended up being violated.) Would it have worked? I’m not sure, perhaps, a law against blacks.

    Alt. More likely timeline: MAYAN CHICANOS EVERYWHERE.

    Perhaps, but when they built the Panama Canal, I think most of the low-skilled labor was black, imported from places like Jamaica, and the locals did very little, if any, of the grunt work. For a time, black slaves even had a niche appeal among Indians and Chinese.

    But my overall point is this: slavery doesn’t seem to explain the presence of blacks in Europe. I would say that there was enough information available to Europeans – certainly by the timeline of Ireland – for them to understand that it was a bad idea to allow blacks to come. But that did not stop them – and we haven’t come to the full population explosion of Africa, yet. It seems likely that more are coming.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  31. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    From the ground level here in the US, things really do look quite shakened up, from the strange presidential election that ended in quite visible violence, to the unfettered violent street protests last summer, to the continual acts of public violence experienced in centers of commerce today, and all of this framed by a background of the still viable pandemic threat. It does appear at times that the Federal government is trying to use the pandemic and its effects to its own advantage, to try and instill control of the country, that does appear to be coming apart at the seams. To no avail though really, the American crowds have shown much disdain for any attempts to reel them in, throughout the whole pandemic. The far right seems as emboldened as ever, and somewhere in the back of this all lurks the “Orange Man”, who seems to still be siting in a viable position to run next time around.

    All of this doesn’t even begin to belie the fate of the country as the real effects of a long drawn out recession are bound to take hold…

    When you watch the news, you really do wonder how long will Biden be able to last, stumbling about on various stages and stairs. How long till we are really exposed to the vagaries of a Harris presidency? Lots and lots of uncertainty out there, that doesn’t bid well for the markets at all….the whole world is not for the better by any of this.

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Beckow
    , @Bashibuzuk
  32. Beckow says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    …Perhaps the globalized West is doing alright, NATO and its allies will continue to rule the global defense and warfare scene, while Western corporate interests will just keep on dominating the global markets.

    The globalised West is still doing better than other parts of the world. But like an ageing runner carrying a heavy, messy backpack with faster runners on its toes, and a steep hill coming up. The Western mind is cloudy, confused and unable to handle changing realities. Instead of dropping the unnecessary burdens, they want to pause the race and forbid cameras. The West has increasingly embraced censorship and that shows fear because no self-confident culture censors.

    There is a logic in this approach: any “reforms” require that that the rest of the world stays still. It also requires an elite rejuvenation in every sense of the world. Instead a 78-old feeble grandpa, a post-menopausal grouch Merkel, and a weirdo who is married to his elderly aunt. That goes across the society elites: Hollywood is literally brain-dead, academia stuck in a paper shuffle and perks, corporations blackmailed into tribute payments to deranged angry groups. Below it is an ethnic mess with elderly boomers dreaming of cheap service labor and migrants looking for handouts and revenge.

    The fact that it is unsustainable doesn’t mean that it will collapse, the Pisa Tower is still standing. Maybe in a few years the elderly will die off and there will be a revival, but each year the numbers get worse. Washington has just issued $2 trillion in fiat “wealth”, millions are still coming in thry unguarded borders, young people cannot afford to start families, the rentier class is locking themselves in gated enclaves. In major cities the dysfunction is visible (but thank god there is still a hill in El Paso where a few lucky ones can hide, as AP so poignantly argues).

    W all know what would have to be done, but it’s unpleasant for people who make decisions. It is a lot easier to dream off shooting the runners who are catching up. The problem is in its current state, West is likely to miss. And the runners also have weapons.

    (If you have a better idea, share it.)

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  33. Svevlad says:
    @JohnPlywood

    dunno i’m a serb (not white!)

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  34. songbird says:

    I think the bigger danger than GRBs is the Earth’s magnetic field shifting.

    If it happens the wrong way, it could focus a lot of ultraviolet on some normally productive area of crops, like the American Mid West.

  35. songbird says:
    @Mr. Hack

    I heard what I thought was a rather amusing theory the other day: Republicans will get in again, and America’s problems will be solved by elections – because it will cause the Left to go even crazier, totally destabilizing the country, until it breaks apart into more functional units.

    Let me hasten to add that I do not believe it will happen.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @Mr. Hack
  36. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    We seldom agree, but I agree with you here.

    One question – back to some exchanges we had: do you see the central role that the older generations and their in-retrospect selfish choices have played?

    They had a great thing going, they decided to lock in personal gains in jobs, assets, real estate, sinecures, and screw the next generation by open borders, pyramid asset schemes, massive increase in education-housing costs, insane personal liberalism.

    Sure, the younger people too often embraced it and made it worse, but the process was started by Boomers and Silents and they are the ones who benefitted: open borders, gender madness, racial kow-towing, degenerate culture. Young have few choices: massive migration has destroyed labor markets and pyramid asset schemes created a no-win situation. So escaping to uber-liberalism, or in some cases assh..le libertarianism, is easier than dealing with economic reality.

    Or do you still defend what your generation did to the coming generations? We all know that eating your young is the worst crime for anyone to commit.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  37. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    Quite honestly, I disagree with you here on the bulk of your viewpoints. Firstly, it’s been my experience to note that the overwhelming majority of American parents love their offspring and try to help them as much as they can, whether that be financially, including the financing of education, helping out with car loan payments, etc etc., or even lending moral support. In the past, it was rare to see children living at home past the age of 20, unlike in Europe where the extended family thing is more engrained as the norm and multi-generational living is not uncommon, although this is fast changing in the US too. But let’s look at your points more closely:

    They had a great thing going, they decided to lock in personal gains in jobs, assets, real estate, sinecures, and screw the next generation by open borders, pyramid asset schemes, massive increase in education-housing costs, insane personal liberalism.

    This is quite a simplistic way of looking at things, and it doesn’t help that you’ve lopped a lot of things together that really deserve separate analysis. Most people by the time that they hit their 50’s are getting quite fond of looking to the future, when they can slow down and exit the workplace rat race. There really aren’t a whole lot of employees in their 60’s hanging around anymore. As far as “locking in gains” as far as assets, real estate and sinecures are concerned, what would you suggest? You spend your whole life working hard and squirreling away some funds to help you in retirement, and then what are you supposed to do? “You can’t take it with you” and certainly any remainding funds and assets after you make the big exit will end up being bequeathed to close family members and possibly friends. That’s the way that it should be?

    You can’t really go and blame the working folks of the country that big banks and Wall Street have managed to put their kids into a terrible financial mess by instituting unreasonable college loans that cover the cost of outlandishly high school tuitions costs? This is the kind of issue that should belong to the Democratic party, but as they’re in bed with these Wall Street financial banks, we’ll have to see where this all goes.

    the process was started by Boomers and Silents and they are the ones who benefitted: open borders, gender madness, racial kowtowing, degenerate culture.

    Again, I think that you’re over generalizing here again. If you’re against these “social justice” and liberal value oriented issues, you have a choice of voting for somebody more conservative, more Republican if you will. The country is pretty surely divided on these sots of issue, and as many (if not more) boomers that may have started off as lefties, have migrated slowly but surely to the right. I see this trend solidly continuing. The Left are the ones promoting open borders, the surest way to increase their membership head count.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  38. songbird says:

    Funnily enough, the new black muppets on Sesame Street who are being used to indoctrinate toddlers to worship blacks are lighter-skinned than the reconstruction of Cheddar Man.

  39. A123 says:
    @songbird

    America’s problems will be solved by elections – because it will cause the Left to go even crazier,

    The question is, “Will the GOP’s transformation to MAGA Populism succeed?”

    At this point it looks fairly promising. GOP(e) Swamp creatures like Liz Cheney will face well funded Primary challenges. (1)

    House GOP Conference Chairwoman Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has seen her political support completely collapse in Wyoming as solid majorities of both Republicans and all voters in the state want her out of office, a new poll shows.

    Only 10 percent of GOP voters, and 13 percent of all voters, say they would vote to reelect her, and she trails by more than 30 points—54 percent to 21 percent—against state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, who has announced a campaign against her since her impeachment vote.

    Due to the 2-party nature of the U.S. system — MAGA support for Workers pushes the anti-Worker U.S. Chamber of Commerce [USCoC] and international MegaCorporations into the DNC.

    Bernie Sanders & The Squad hand-in-hand with the USCoC. No tent is big enough to make that combination work. Terms like schism and “Circular Firing Squad” spring to mind.

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    (1) https://sbynews.com/2021/01/30/poll-liz-cheneys-political-support-collapses-in-wyoming-as-primary-challenger-takes-double-digit-lead/

    [MORE]

     

    • Replies: @songbird
  40. Mr. Hack says:
    @songbird

    So, what do you believe?

    • Replies: @songbird
  41. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    First, a generalization is inevitable in a blog discussion. Second, “loving one’s children” and other emotional excuses are irrelevant in the context what has been happening in the economy. Both in US, and also in Europe, a bit later, but very similar.

    The traditional Republican party is an open-borders party even more than an average Democrat. They are obsessed with cheap labor, have been since Reagan, and are at the forefront of bringing in as many migrants as they can behind a smoke-screen of “shortage of labor“. Mainstream right-wing parties in Europe are exactly the same: Merkel and Macron and centre-right, BoJo is an open borders fanatic, he just doesn’t like too many Poles. You can expect Senate Republicans to join the deranged liberals in opening the borders more, amnesty, etc…there is no political solution because people in power want open borders and deracinated impoverished working class. Even Trump was wishy-washy and did less than he could.

    The generations that voted these people into power is responsible. It is evasive to say “Wall Street bankers screw the kids”, etc…the situation today exists because it was consciously created by a ruling class that was elected and kept in power. They couldn’t do it e.g. after WWII in either Europe or US. In a democracy you cannot escape responsibility.

    The problem in US is a growing gap between what elderly made and had to spend (basically free education and cheap housing) and what the younger generation is facing. The elderly fixed the labor market by bringing tens of millions additional migrants. With increased supply of labor (on all levels, from dishwashers to engineers) incomes predictably stagnated and costs went up. In Europe something similar has happened and the social programs have been heavily used to bring in more migrants – e.g. free housing for migrant “families” means less housing or more cost for the locals.

    You like to celebrate the “high-education” migrants. Do you realize that they received their education at home for free and arrive in the West (US) with no debts or obligations? The local young people have enormous debts and often responsibility for ageing parents. The migrants leave that at home and eventually bring their old relatives in order to put them on free medical care and social programs since they are technically “indigent”. (Only on California there are 1 million elderly Third Wold migrants on Medicare who were brough by their kids. Do the numbers and consider who is paying for it.)

    There are nuances. But that is the general picture: a (Boomer) generation that optimized all for themselves and screwed the next generations. The fact that they will give it up at the end is irrelevant, it doesn’t work that way. There is a large number of overpaid Boomers who sit in their sinecures from universities to government.

    Good intentions and “loving children” is fine, but by any standard the Boomer+ older generation screwed their children. In a democracy, they are also responsible and not “Wall Street”. There is often a terrible price to pay for evil, let’s see if it happens.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  42. songbird says:
    @A123

    There has been a lot of turnover in Republican ranks, hasn’t there? Though, I admit to being something of a skeptic.

    • Replies: @A123
  43. songbird says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Hate to say it, but I think the most likely scenario is a long decline – like maybe for a hundred years or more. Brazil del Norte. I think the reason that polarization won’t pull the US apart is that secession can’t be grassroots, it needs to involve elite defection, and there aren’t any economic incentives for any of them to defect, unlike in the Soviet Union.

    50 years out, I could potentially see Chinese people fleeing to China and whites trying to flee to Eastern Europe, in large numbers.

    On the other hand, the US could be made a lot more functional with certain political changes. Maybe, they could happen, if King Dollar croaks? Or if DeFi allows for enough tax avoidance? But I’m not sure.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  44. @songbird

    By the time masses of Africans started to arrive in Europe, Europe (and the world) was in the grip of a blankslatist ideology.

  45. @songbird

    I think a war could hasten its demise. Otherwise I agree, and hopefully there’ll be no war.

    • Replies: @songbird
  46. Dmitry says:

    So Visegrad countries are the most deadly in the world for coronavirus in terms of officially reported deaths (ignoring postsoviet space countries, where daily reported deaths have been so vastly underreported as to be almost meaningless).

    So, the lesson is that this what happens with combination lack of strict enough lockdowns and perhaps populations’ individual disobedience, and lack of intelligent policies like installation of indoor ventilation and PPE (e.g. Japan).

    At least, Hungary has a fast vaccination. But vaccination had to be combined with a strict lockdown (or obedient population and intelligent ventilation policies, like in Japan) while you are doing it, and in Hungary and Israel are both an example where they have failed to enforce strict enough lockdown during the vaccination campaign. As a result of the lack of strict lockdown, Hungary and Israel had both the highest amount of their deaths synchronous with their rapid vaccination campaign.

  47. mal says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Mr Hack has asked whether I could describe why I think “Western Perestroika ” was already underway.

    Nah, Biden is no Gorbachev. He is a Kerensky – a fossil of the old order to be swept away in order to make way for global glorious revolution. Once Mensheviks and right deviationists have been dealt with, President WASBAPPIN will be able to accomplish what Trotsky couldn’t.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    , @Bashibuzuk
  48. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    lack of strict lockdown,

    Well I wrote this part unclearly. There is of lack of sufficiently strict and early, lockdown, during the vaccination campaigns.

  49. Dmitry says:

    Lebanon is experiencing this kind of archetypical “currency crisis”, where you have falling (unofficial) local currency value, and a rapid inflation for imported products.

    This perhaps is reminiscent economic problems to 1997 in the Asian tiger economies, 1998 in the Russian Federation, and in 2002 in Argentina? And it’s one of the reasons why a government should focus on food security as a kind of minimax for the worst case situation of such financial crisis.

    Brawls in shops as Lebanon’s financial meltdown hits supply of food

    BEIRUT (Reuters) – The collapse of Lebanon’s currency has forced many grocery shops to temporarily shut within the last 24 hours, raising fears that a country reliant on imports could soon face shortages of food.

    Food shops around the country were locking their doors, halting online deliveries or restricting customers’ orders. Others stayed open, but could not say for how long.

    “There’s a big possibility we will close if it stays like this. I don’t know where will we get supplies, and no one is helping us,” said Beirut grocer Mohieldin Fayed, who has kept his shop open.

    The pound tumbled to 15,000 to the dollar on Tuesday, losing a third of its value in the last two weeks. It has now sunk by 90% since late 2019.

    “If this persists, things will start to disappear, traders will prioritise what to get,” said Hani Bohsali, head of the foodstuffs importers syndicate. “We’ll have to buy less, in variety and quantity, because we can’t find the money.”

    He estimated the country has roughly two months of supplies, while it was getting more and more difficult for importers to obtain the dollars they need to keep buying.

    The economy’s collapse has pushed much of the population into poverty and poses the biggest threat to stability since the 1975-1990 civil war.

    Social media users have been sharing videos of supermarket brawls, such as a fight between a man and a woman trying to buy powdered milk. Prices of many consumer goods such as diapers or cereals have nearly tripled during the crisis.

    Nabil Fahed, head of the syndicate of supermarket owners, said some of the shops that had shut on Tuesday reopened on Wednesday after replenishing stocks. But he said permanent closures would happen if no exchange stability was reached.

    “What we’re afraid of is that these eventually turn from temporary closures … that it becomes final because it is a dire situation, their capital is being eroded and they don’t have money to pay for goods.”

    The vice president of Lebanon’s bakeries’ syndicate said bakeries were supplying the country with bread for now, but could not do so indefinitely without a solution. Lebanon imports almost all of its wheat.

    “If we continue at this pace, in the end we will reach a forced closure until the exchange rate stabilises,” Ali Ibrahim, who tried to resign from his position two weeks ago because of the dire situation, said in a statement.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-crisis-economy-idUSKBN2B929I

  50. @mal

    President WASBAPPIN will be able to accomplish what Trotsky couldn’t.

    Simultaneous nuclear strikes against all nations in the world?

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @mal
  51. @Mr. Hack

    All of this doesn’t even begin to belie the fate of the country as the real effects of a long drawn out recession are bound to take hold…

    It is hard to say whether the West will end up in a recession, I think there is no more economic normalcy left, any prognostication is difficult. Perhaps people knowledgeable in economic forecasting could chime in and share how they see the future economic activity unfolding.

    About the political polarization, it is indeed evident that there is nearly no common ground left. I would like to add that it is perhaps due as much to the to the influence of legacy mass media as the impact of the social media, the blogosphere etc. There is an enormous quantity of information, but it is quite contradictory and extreme. It is not really amenable to analysis or reflection, it is emotive and not rational. A lot of it is near the levels of click bite, some is outright manipulation of public opinion. This is an important aspect of our situation: we have an excess of information, but a lot of it is useless or outright misleading.

    But perhaps these are symptoms of a deeper social malaise?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  52. @Beckow

    I agree with much of what you wrote, but I am frankly not sure whether we really know what has to be done. We experience the symptoms of the manifold decline of our societies, we see its impact around us and even in our circles, but we have no consensus about how to deal with these changes, much of which are hardly positive.

    The political polarization that Mr Hack has mentioned and the low quality of the torrent of information that is pouring 24/7 on the Western middle class, makes any mindful discussion of solutions to the crisis nearly impossible. The solutions offered on both extremes are hardly realistic.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Beckow
  53. @mal

    make way for global glorious revolution

    What would be the ideological justification this time?

    what Trotsky couldn’t

    Trotsky did not have teh internets, big data and deep learning. TPTB now have all of this and more.

    (I know that you’re kidding…)

    • Replies: @mal
  54. @Dmitry

    Most infectious diseases vary in lethality by ethnicity. Doesn’t this fit the global pattern best?

  55. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    I’m guessing that the long term effects of a recession appearing, after all that the US (and the world) has been through in 2020, is still to be felt based on what transpired historically in 2008 and its resulting economic slowdown. Perhaps the generous pandemic relief checks sent out to many has temporarily slowed down this worsening situation?

    Somehow though, I think that we’ve averted discussing the “reforms” of the Western world, that I think you ascribe to the Atlanticist juggernaut and lynchpin in Washington DC? 🙂

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  56. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    You can expect Senate Republicans to join the deranged liberals in opening the borders more, amnesty, etc…there is no political solution because people in power want open borders and deracinated impoverished working class. Even Trump was wishy-washy and did less than he could.

    Trump came to power largely on a platform to tighten up the borders. It’s yet to be seen how much mileage and real impetus meaningful border control issues will play in future Republican politics. Certainly, a lot in states that share a border with Mexico. This issue is far from resolved yet, and big business may not have the last word here. Many voters hold strong anti open border viewpoints, and taxpayers don’t always feel burdened to bail out every Tom, Dick and Harry that crosses the border.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  57. @Daniel Chieh

    Based and nukepilled.

    • Agree: mal, reiner Tor
    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
  58. songbird says:
    @reiner Tor

    For every war hawk, I think there is a buffer of a couple of less crazy people. At least, enough to prevent a bigger war – Iran-level and above. Very few people are crazy enough to want to go to war with China over someone else’s offshore mineral rights or over Taiwan.

    I give serious war a very low probability. The trend has been to less boots on the ground, less economic restructuring for war. Ultimately, a more soy-infested US will probably become more aggressive with its rhetoric, but less able to project power.

    The one unknown is ethnic animus. Suppose Kamala is commander-in-chief, during a tense situation, and she wants to try to use the US as a golem to punish China? I don’t say it will happen – I think she is more of a cosmopolitan hustler – but I’d lower the DEFCON level by half a point.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  59. mal says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    The purifying fires of anti-fascism. That SaveIdlib hashtag crowd may not run on logic and rationality (Al Qaeda office in Idlib is probably not too keen on transgender rights), but they make up for it with zeal. I have a feeling we will see a lot of that getting promoted in upcoming years.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  60. @mal

    A world that doesn’t have a weekend gay parade in every country is a world that doesn’t need to exist.

    He’s gotten banned fwiw. I guess he’s a bit too fun for the powers that be.

    • Replies: @mal
  61. mal says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    What would be the ideological justification this time?

    Same as always – Global Absolute Empire based on a confederate structure, led by a progressive revolutionary vanguard, where each individual confederate is guaranteed to be weaker than the revolutionary core, making resistance futile.

    Trotsky did not have teh internets, big data and deep learning. TPTB now have all of this and more.

    (I know that you’re kidding…)

    Only partially. I don’t like it, but our friendly overlords know what they are doing.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @Daniel Chieh
  62. mal says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    He got banned because he was boiling that frog too fast, frog was getting uncomfortable and getting second thoughts. Same with Trump – Trump was too honest and that just won’t do.

  63. @mal

    our friendly overlords know what they are doing

    I believe they (unfortunately?) indeed know what needs to be done. And I think think that this time it is not only addressing some social, economic and geopolitical aspects in need of (urgent?) change. The environmental aspects and human biology are also targeted for an adjustment. This is what I am mostly worried about, but perhaps I shouldn’t worry and learn to love the Green New Great Reset…

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/26/buttigieg-says-white-house-is-weighing-mileage-levy-to-fund-infrastructure.html

    • Agree: mal
  64. A123 says:
    @songbird

    There has been a lot of turnover in Republican ranks, hasn’t there? Though, I admit to being something of a skeptic.

    I am mildly optimistic. However, it is a “2 steps forward, 1 step back” change process.

    I thought the MAGA party was committed to protecting female athletes. Then Gov. Noem caved for no apparent reason. (1)

    We are extremely disappointed to see Gov. Noem break her word on this critical legislation,” Terry Schilling president of the American Principles Project (APP) said in a statement. “Gov. Noem’s veto would scrap the vast majority of the bill text and would strip protections for female athletes in collegiate sports in the state. Additionally, it would eliminate all reasonable enforcement mechanisms, neutering the legislation so much as to render it meaningless.”

    The GOP(e) Swampies are going to fight as long as they can. The Uniparty gives them cash & prestige that they do not want to lose.

    My biggest concern is redistricting. MAGA won at the state level, and they should be able to use that to take control of the House. I suspect theoretically Red states, like Georgia, will intentionally throw away that advantage. Swampies will attempt to create safe Uniparty GOP(e) seats and fragile MAGA districts.

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    (1) https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/tyler-o-neil/2021/03/20/betrayal-noem-neutered-bill-protecting-womens-sports-n1433936

  65. @Mr. Hack

    Somehow though, I think that we’ve averted discussing the “reforms” of the Western world, that I think you ascribe to the Atlanticist juggernaut and lynchpin in Washington DC?

    I think we should first define what “Atlanticist ” means. In my opinion it is not an ideological, but first and foremost an economic and financial alignment.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  66. @mal

    Only partially. I don’t like it, but our friendly overlords know what they are doing.

    I don’t think they do, having some acquaintance with the higher rungs of governance. I think the truth is that there’s no coherent “plan”; certainly there’s coordination of language and a lot of other fakeness like the “build back better” and coordinated messaging. But I think, much like how Soros organized his destruction largely through donations and sabotage, its not really a master plan as much as well-funded effort to encourage the ill nature of modernity and maximize it. Its more skating the waves and guiding them, I feel, more than a specific cabal truly creating the waves of poz.

    But in practice, government is increasingly staffed by some combination of amoral strivers, nepotistic appointees and a particular brand of dysfunction that ultimately encourages spoils-seeking. And spoils seekers are more like carrion eaters than masterminds, they either don’t care or are blindly unaware that their activity promotes the very collapse of the system that gives them their gains. For the former, they may simply be seeking to steal as much as possible before the system collapse: they are parasites who’ll find a new host. For the latter, they’re like parasites who’ll die with the host, but can’t realize it.

    And that’s why I think in many ways, its worse than thinking that there’s actually a plan. There’s no plan and no reason. We’ll suffer not for great meaning or against powerful hosts, but because of the collective petty machinations of little napoleons for status, because of the whims of the powerful and mentally ill, and for the infinite disgruntlements of an ideological bourgeoisie that hate their families and find mean in the religion of wokeness, who’ll plunge us all into ugliness and darkness, so they can forget for a little moment of the ugliness of themselves and the self-hate that they in their more lucid moments, realize that they deserve because of how damned they are.

    It is through their own little personal hells that they open portals for the demons, even if it destroys them too.

    • Thanks: AP, AltanBakshi
    • LOL: sher singh
    • Replies: @mal
  67. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    I did actually look up the term recently (Atlanticist) and it seemed to give a greater weight to NATO involvement. But however you define it, I was interested in following up on your statement regarding impending “reforms in the western world”. I thought that you had something on your mind that you wanted to discuss in a longer fashion? Perhaps, I misread you?….

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  68. songbird says:

    I’ve come to realize that I find the voice of a tranny even more disturbing than the sight of one.

    Quite remarkable. We are used to thinking of our eyes as the sieve of all physiognomy, but we should not forget the power of our ears.

    I recall reading an old sci-fi story where they created a duplicate of murdered man, from recordings of the sound of his voice.

  69. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    I don’t feel it personally but I didn’t live through perestroika. My wife did, she sees changes here but they are in some sense the opposite of perestroika, which involved a sense of openness while in the West there is in contrast a sort of Puritanical closing up. People in the USSR stopped getting cancelled as the Soviet system teetered on the edge, whereas cancellation is beginning in the USA. If one wants to be a pessimist, this suggests that instead of the beginning of Perestroika and pending collapse, we are witnessing the dawn of a stifling and stagnant Brezhnev era as corrupt corporate bureaucracies under senile semi-leadership consolidate their grip over an increasingly cynical but still-wealthy population going about its business. In which case, Perestroika happens in 20 years and collapse in 30. The Boomers will die peacefully in their prosperity – sorry, Beckow. We in the next generation will have a nasty old age.

    I am not so pessimistic but if I were, that is what I would expect to happen.

    I do agree that modern Westerners have in common with late-period Soviets, a sense of dissatisfaction with how things are:

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/341675/satisfaction-continues-improve-march.aspx

    Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. continued to improve in March, as 32% say they are satisfied with the direction of the country. This is the second monthly increase Gallup has recorded after the measure fell to its lowest point in nearly a decade in January. Still, Americans are more than twice as likely to report being dissatisfied with the country’s direction (67%).

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

    Now some quick musings about several key differences between the USA and the end-stage USSR:

    1. USSR was poor by Western standards and getting poorer and falling further behind. In contrast, USA and EU are the richest places on Earth.

    2. When Soviet system collapsed, the collapse didn’t harm other places, they prospered. If USA/EU go down everyone will go down with them. Is Russia going to be able to buy Chinese stuff to replace what the USA/EU had been buying? And who will buy Russian gas and oil if neither EU or China (due to collapse in trade with the now-collapsed USA/EU) need it anymore?

    3. When Soviet financial system collapsed, people lost their life savings. If the US financial system collapses, a lot of people will lose a lot of savings. But also, a lot of people won’t have to be making payments on their SUVs and homes anymore. And no defunct bank will take them from the hundreds of millions.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @Dmitry
  70. songbird says:

    Even if one didn’t hear about Saudi Arabia allowing Netflix to stream gay shows, I think that the construction of the Abraj Al Bait would probably be a strong sign of poz in Islam and in particular in Saudi Arabia.

    Would the zoning laws of NYC have allowed such a complex to be built as close to Central Park as it is to the Kaaba? A while back, I made an argument about how I thought that Christianity had lost something from the modern ease of travel, making pilgrimage much easier and hermitage much more difficult.

  71. @Svevlad

    BASED

    [MORE]


    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  72. mal says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Maybe. I guess incompetence and a plan to keep confederates weak would look rather similar. United States would just be another confederate in the grand scheme of things, to be kept weakened accordingly.

    I mean, why did Soros fund all those district attorneys in the liberal states? Why was he playing catch and release with BLM/antifa during riots? I mean, murder rate skyrocketed in liberal cities, and they were supposed to be Soros’ allies – heavily Democratic strongholds. It’s a rather mean thing to do to your friends. Was he not planning on burning liberal cities down or was he incompetent and didn’t see it coming?

    Maybe, but I find it hard to believe. It seems to me that liberal cities got too powerful and needed to be cut down to size. It was nothing personal, just keeping another confederate weak. Even if those confederates are nominally pro-Soros.

    Same thing with trannies. Overlords know that designer babies and other bioengineering will become a thing in not too distant future, but instead of promoting this from a position of strength and glory, they introduce those concepts from a position of weakness and basically advertise chemical castration. Everything to keep people going that route weak.

    Same with environment. Energy security and environmental concerns are serious issues, and again the overlords are pushing weaker solutions (such as renewables).

    EU is a bureaucratic mess for that reason as well. All to keep them below potential.

    I bet once space exploration kicks off for real, Greenpeace will discover space turtles and place then on endangered species (they will be so endangered nobody will ever see one) list and that will be used to set up barriers as to where and how you can explore.

    It’s not that the World Economic Forum crowd is stupid, they fancy themselves quite progressive and they have some good ideas and they do understand social pain points. But desire to control things drives them to promote weakness and rationing rather than human glory and that is frustrating. Even when they are on the right side of history.

    Or maybe they are just coasting and seeing how many social experiments they can pull off before things become unglued and fall apart. But at this point, my bet is still on weakening the confederates.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @songbird
  73. @AP

    This makes more sense to me than the perestroika comparison. I don’t see why the West should collapse, in fact, the USSR would not have collapsed, had it been willing to be 0.1% as violent in preserving itself as it had been about setting itself up in the first place.

    2. When Soviet system collapsed, the collapse didn’t harm other places, they prospered. If USA/EU go down everyone will go down with them.

    Depends on the mechanism by which they go. But I don’t see why other places should go down with them – if they become drastically poorer, you could get reverse brain drain, benefiting all those places.

    • Agree: Not Raul
    • Thanks: AP
    • Replies: @AP
    , @Bashibuzuk
  74. Murderous car thief at crash site laments separation from phone (still in trashed car) while shattered victim motionless on concrete—at 1:09 in this sickening document. Thought I was jaded, but guess not. Unfiltered psychopathy.

  75. @Mr. Hack

    No you didn’t misread me. I disagree completely with Mr Chieh and I believe that there’s an attempt at reforming global Capitalism and that these reforms have been long in preparation. But first we need to understand why the people who are involved with the reform process believe that it is necessarily.

    They don’t do it for fun, because they are particularly evil or because they believe in some idiotic ideology. They are doing it because they probably believe that they have no choice and that without these reforms the future of the whole civilization, the human species and probably the biosphere will be very bleak. That we are facing a collapse of our civilization and that they must prevent it. What they are working towards is a future that they see as a lesser evil, or perhaps a greater good.

    All the political shenanigans and slogans of wokness and pozz are in my opinion a useful distraction to keep the masses busy with idiotic and meaningless illusions, while serious people (political grown-ups) are taking the indispensable decisions.

    That’s what I believe is happening. I also believe that these people will probably fail, because they are attempting something unprecedented and extremely hard to achieve. Namely, in this very generation, before 2050 or so, they want to completely transform human civilization forever. Not only the West, but the World.

    I know that it sounds crazy, but this is what think is happening. Of course I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone thinks that I have some mental problem caused by reading too many conspiracy theories online. I have no problem with anyone thinking that what I write is crazy, everyone is free to believe what they feel most appropriate, we still live in a (mostly) free society, for a time at least.

    🙂

  76. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Well, if the USA/West go down now China (which per capita is till much poorer than the USA) will never get its money back and it will also lose its biggest customer (Russians and poor Africans won’t be buying all the stuff Americans will stop buying). Given the domino effect and the fact that the USA (unlike the USSR in 1985) is currently far richer than any other major country, a collapsed America, even if its fall will be greater than others’ decline, will probably still be richer than the rest of the world.

    I suppose not much will change in Africa, it will be as poor as ever, it will stop getting aid but that won’t matter much in the long run. Maybe the more developed Latin American countries and Russia will be in a closer position to the USA.

    :::::::::

    Of course, if we are entering not perestroika but the Brezhnev era, and perestroika will start in 25 years (and collapse in 30), things may be different then. China will need the US/West less, Russia other areas will develop further, etc. In 30 years, an American collapse may not be as bad for everyone else as it would be now or in 5 years.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  77. @SafeNow

    This is why the comments need a, “Sexy,” button.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  78. @mal

    But desire to control things drives them to promote weakness and rationing rather than human glory and that is frustrating.

    I think they simply believe that they have no other option left, that every other probable development is either a dead end or an outright catastrophe. You have mentioned Space exploration, I believe that one of the pieces of the puzzle is that we will probably be not ready for a massive space exploration program for at least a couple more generations. If we keep business as usual during that period we will screw up the biosphere beyond repair and make our very biological survival as a technological civilization very uncertain. To jump start this type of Space program, we require a World Government and a totalitarian system. To survive as a civilization until we get to acquire the ressources from our solar system we need to cut the consumption of the global (mostly Western) middle class. We need to reorient completely the Capitalist system towards producing long term strategic outcomes instead of short term gains. This is our global Perestroika: an attempt to ensure our survival as technological civilization until we reach the Space Age.

    • Disagree: EldnahYm
    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  79. @schnellandine

    I’m sure the God-Machine will take this into consideration in regards to humanity.

  80. songbird says:
    @Blinky Bill

    Wonder if there could be some selection bias here. I mean, how cucked do you have to be to be a Serb taking an implicit bias test on race? Germany and Sweden: maybe, they are forcing students to take it? To mix with the cucks? And in Eastern and Southern Europe: perhaps, they had to pay people to take it?

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    , @Daniel Chieh
  81. @Anatoly Karlin

    If the reforms go as planned, the globalized West will not collapse, but the World in which our children will live in a generation will be a completely different environment. If the reforms fail, then what AP described will probably happen on a global scale reaching a degree where the global economy becomes dysfunctional, the technological civilization fails to a much lower level of sophistication, leading to a neo-Malthusian age that you have described in your writings. If the reforms fail, Soviet Perestroika ‘s outcomes might well seem a walk in a park and a joyful picnic.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  82. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    stagnant Brezhnev era as corrupt

    America’s situation is quite different, as usual. Soviet Union in the 1970s, was internally seeming to people, to be a functional, prosocial and optimistic time, while America in the 2020s, loves to portray itself as a dysfunctional and crazy country, always looking for the next zombie apocalypse. On the other hand, Soviet Union in the 1970s, was economically very vulnerable to the commodity cycle, while the economy of America’s bourgeoisie in the 2020s is much more diversified.

    However, note that America’s situation in the 2020s, is very similar to America’s situation in the 1970s, or in the 1920s.

    America was for at least the last century and half, always an internally dysfunctional, weird, and crazy society, which has the ability to romanticize its own weirdness (even Capone’s Chicago became romantic, by the 1950s). But America’s bourgeoisie is an economically diversified and well insulated one, and even a collapse of GDP by 30% in the 1930s, could hardly weaken their control of the country.

    Westerners have in common with late-period Soviets, a sense of dissatisfaction with how things are:

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/341675/satisfaction-continues-improve-march.aspx

    Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. continued to improve in March

    That’s another opposite situation of the USA to the USSR, or even Russian Federation.

    America’s national personality is somewhere between narcissistic and histrionic personality disorder, as it has been for more than a century. Compare American media reports about coronavirus, with the situation in Russia.

    In America, the reports are gratuitously obsessed about their own incompetence, and histrionically portraying the coronavirus as the next apocalypse, or at least scenario from a Hollywood disaster film. Whereas, by contrast, in the Russian media, everything is stable, calm and the authorities are in control.

    Technological progress will drive the same alienation and psychological discomfort to all countries of the world, but Americans are the best self-dramaticizing hysteria about this process of alienation, as in everything else, while in Russia it’s almost in the opposite mentality to America’s one (at least to the extent the authorities are in control of communication).

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
    , @AP
  83. songbird says:
    @mal

    Maybe, the whole point of promoting trannies is to throw ugliness into the face of people until they become so disgusted that they willingly accept eugenics.

    • LOL: mal
  84. @songbird

    I’m not a Serb, but if I had to guess.

    1. Trolling.

    2. What Dark Skin means to them.


    [MORE]

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  85. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Have you seen 1970s American comedy films like Network (Teleset)?

    Most of the same cultural topics that we associated with America of the 2020s, were not any different than those contained in such films satirizing the dysfunctions of 1970s America. *

    Some have a teleological view that the cultural madnesses of America today, must result in an exciting ending or conclusion.

    But 1970s America had almost exactly the same madnesses, of 2020s America, and that is probably going to be in the 2070s in a modified form.

    * For example, the satirical speech about the dehumanizing effect of television, which was passed to computers and the internet

    The success of Trump’s style of populist rhetoric with a gullible American public..

    The oligarch’s speech about globalization and the inexistence of nations, etc.

    And satire about Black Lives Matter’s corporatism (the same groups were there in the 1970s in America)

    • Agree: Not Raul
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  86. @songbird

    Serbs recognize they are POC oppressed by American imperialism.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    , @songbird
  87. @Dmitry

    The end of 70ies was a tough time in US. Tough times were back in 2008, they would’ve been back earlier if not for the demise of the Eastern Block. Capitalism is an inherently unstable and dehumanizing system, that is one of the reasons that the political grown-ups have decided to rein it in and reform it. Many of these people are not American and US is not be all end all for them. They have a broader outlook and a long term vision. They want a unified World.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
  88. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    So if many of the current day memes are just “useful distractions” then what are the real “reforms” that you think that they may be implementing in order to create a society that includes “the lesser evil or greater good” So far, your “conspiracy theory seems relatively benign, notheing that would even make for a decent plot for a new James bond picture.

    BTW, there’s no need for you to be self depracatory, for it’s clear that you’re a very intelligent, well read indicidual, who basis his opinions of history, economics and science. Besides, who doesn’t love the latest and greatest conspiracy theory anyways! Did you read Giraldi’s recent piece where he dismantles (supports?) the notion of a “Deep State’? 🙂

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  89. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    If you look at 4 states on Mexico border, 3 have moved left in the last 10 years: California, N Mexico and Arizona. Texas is the last hold-out. It is also very likely that business interests will not allow another tighten-the-border candidate to be nominated.

    You are welcome to be an optimist, but it doesn’t look good.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  90. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    Arizona, is not a decidely Democratic state, and will be up or contention for some time yet. I’m not sure about New Mexico. California is probably lost to the left, however, is paying and will continue to pay for this by a large exodus of discontents (both rich and poor). California has indeed crossed the Rubricon. 🙁

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Beckow
  91. EldnahYm says:
    @schnellandine

    Unfortunately, we don’t execute minors in the United States, so these two will probably cause more problems in the future.

  92. @Boswald Bollocksworth

    I think I first saw it in the case of Andrei Chikatilo, a serial killer, and I assumed it was to protect him from the families of the victims (who were also present in the courtroom).

    I actually think defendants’ privacy should be protected the European way. However, once they are sentenced (and the verdict became final), this protection should be withdrawn, and the personal data as well as high resolution photos and videos (where he would be asked if he feels shame for being a criminal) should be published for anyone to see.

  93. @Mr. Hack

    implementing in order to create a society that includes “the lesser evil or greater good”

    They would basically need to reform global capitalism to make it more environmentally sustainable. To get there they would need to drastically lower global consumption and redirect the productive processes towards more long term objectives. Also, they have probably as a goal to complete the current technological transition trends in automation and AI, biotechnology and bioengineering, renewable energy and new nuclear energy technologies. While doing this they would also need to prevent the techno-Singularity and rule out the Accelerationist evolution described by Nick Land. Finally they need to complete globalization and balance regional, geopolitical and global governance.

    Deep State

    Any functional complex technological society must have a Deep State. Especially if it is a democratic society. Inside its social otganisation some people are bound to draw plans and make decisions without being constrained by the electoral cycles and social preferences of the voters. Deep State is only a problem if it is too corrupt and self-serving. But one of the goals of current reforms is also to curtail global corruption and ensure a higher level of financial compliance, decision-taking transparency and overall rule of law. People must get ready to live in a total awareness society where the decision makers know all they need to know about any member of the society and any anti-social activity can be prevented and/or corrected.

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Morton's toes
  94. @Blinky Bill

    These people look like a perfect illustration of the mix of “neolithic Anatolian agriculturalists ” and “ancient European Cro-Magnon hunters gatherers”.

    A beautiful phenotype.

    [MORE]

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
  95. the victory of Ngannou against Miocic in UFC last night might be the begin of a quite boring century in sports – at least in many disciplines. While African TFR of course might actually fall down by 2100, up to then Subsaharan Africans will rise their share of the world population very fast and substantial. Under these conditions a non-West-African heavyweight boxing champion, MMA Champion, best soccer player, best football player etc. is hard to imagine.

  96. @songbird

    The non-crazy people didn’t prevent the Soleimani assassination. The Iranian answer could have killed American servicemen, in which case Trump might not have been in a position to de-escalate. I believe the chances of something similar happening are not zero.

    There is another factor. If there are local wars in which America’s adversaries gain ground in easy victories (like a Blitzkrieg in Taiwan), then they might get emboldened and try to replicate the success elsewhere. The American establishment might get nervous and respond forcefully, and without considering giving a way out without a loss of face. (They no longer try to placate their enemies.) This could result in dangerous situations.

    I think overall the chances of a big war over the next couple decades are relatively small (10-20% maybe?), but certainly not zero.

    • Agree: melanf, Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @songbird
  97. @schnellandine

    Peaceful Carjacking Gone Bad, Random, probably Poverty, and Society, claim another victim.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
  98. rkka says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    “They don’t do it for fun, because they are particularly evil or because they believe in some idiotic ideology. They are doing it because they probably believe that they have no choice and that without these reforms the future of the whole civilization, the human species and probably the biosphere will be very bleak. That we are facing a collapse of our civilization and that they must prevent it.”

    It’s very late in the day…

    In the early ’70s, computer modelling suggested that the externalities of industrial civilization (pollution, resource depletion) would by the early 2000s accumulate to the point that they would render industrial civilization unsupportable if “business as usual” continued.

    http://www.donellameadows.org/wp-content/userfiles/Limits-to-Growth-digital-scan-version.pdf

    Jimmy Carter seemed to have been a believer, putting on a sweater rather than dialing up the thermostat, and putting solar panels on the White House roof. And he made speeches about it.

    Then we elected Ronnie on a platform of Laissez le bon temp rouler! and all that was just deleted from the culture, save for a few fringes.

    Then we got to the early 2000s, and discover that history has tracked pretty close to the base “business as usual” case of the “Limits to Growth” modelling.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse

    So what could have been a moderate, well-lubricated process evolving over time is gonna be recklessly fast, enormously costly in both financial and human terms, and perilous beyond belief.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  99. @AP

    China will never get its money back and it will also lose its biggest customer

    The money lost will be trivial in the grand scheme of things. Britain never “got back” the money it spent on the Napoleonic wars, but it didn’t matter as it got so developed that it could easily pay back those debts. For comparison, Britain’s debt levels reached something like double of annual GDP (it spent even more than that, but much of it was covered by tax revenue), whereas current Chinese losses would be a fraction of that. Similarly, China doesn’t really need customers. It needs to sell enough to cover its raw material and technology imports, but obviously after the fall of the West there’d be no more technology left to import, so it’s just going to be China importing raw materials and delivering its manufactured goods in exchange. Okay, a little bit more if there’s tourism. Raw materials producers (and perhaps tourist destinations) will be enough.

    I don’t really think the West’s fall is that imminent, just I don’t think it’d be so bad for China if it happened right now.

    • Agree: Vishnugupta
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  100. @rkka

    I partially agree. The Limits to Growth rapport was only partially right. It is true that we live in a finite environment, but technology allows for a more thorough exploitation of its ressources so the limits are enlarged by technological progress. If we still used the technology of 1972, we would have already collapsed as a civilization. But we became technologically more advanced and avoided the collapse.

    [MORE]

    Of course, the fact that we avoided an early scenario of collapse doesn’t mean that there are no limits to the growth of our consumption as a species. That is why we need to thread a very fine line between ressources depletion and the fastest possible technological development. We cannot abandon technology, we are too numerous to survive without it and we need it to develop further to become a spacefaring civilization.

    Limits to Growth was also important in the context of the Cold War, it was one among many arguments justifying convergence, détente and collaboration. Two exponentially technologically evolving and competing social systems on a finite planet were bound to deplete its ressources and reach the limits even faster. The convergence narrative was that they should evolve to become compatible and then fuse into a single planetary system. The collapse of USSR offered some room and respite to Western capitalism. It kept growing in a more open and globalized economy where it could easily access and exploit the natural and human ressources all around the world.

    Now we are in a new iteration of the Cold War, this time China is the main enemy and suddenly we discover that the same warnings that echoed in 1972 are remixed and reused (Global Warming being a new iteration of Limits to Growth). Of course if the Chinese plow ahead with their technological development, then again the ressources will start to deplete faster than before by the two competing economic systems. Therefore a new convergence doctrine is needed. But I am not sure at all that the Chinese leadership will buy into it. They have already mapped the OBOR as the new globalized capitalism with Chinese characteristics and I don’t think they will just abandon it.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  101. @reiner Tor

    I don’t really think the West’s fall is that imminent, just I don’t think it’d be so bad for China if it happened right now.

    The West will not fall if it transforms itself. But if it doesn’t succeed in its transformation, then China will eventually impose OBOR as the new economic framework and will lead the world into a capitalism with Chinese characteristics.

    一山不容二虎

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  102. rkka says:

    But we became technologically more advanced and avoided the collapse.

    You misspelled “delayed” above.

    Along with technological advancement, what I think the neocons & Cheneys (two different but cooperative political phenomena) were banking on was the disintegration and de-industrialization of both the Warsaw Pact and Soviet successor states, allowing the new oligarch class there to sell their newly acquired assets for scrap & offshore the proceeds to the Anglosphere’s shadow banking system. Their fate would be impoverished, depopulated natural resource appendages for the Anglosphere. And so the combined Baltics have gone from 8m to 6m, with deaths exceeding births by 1.7 to 1; Ukraine from 52m to 43m (including Crimea), with deaths exceeding births by 2.1 to 1; Romania from 23m to 19m, with deaths exceeding births by 1.66 to 1; and Bulgaria going from 8.6m to 6.9m, with deaths exceeding births by 1.8 to 1. By comparison, Russia and Belarus are a fair bit healthier demographically.

    The reason for the Anglosphere’s incandescent hatred of Putin is that he disrupted this cozy little plan by jailing Khodorkovsky while breaking the independent political power of the oligarchs & insisted on being negotiated with, not dictated to.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk, AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  103. @Bashibuzuk

    Age of Malthusian Industrialism doesn’t posit technological collapse, merely technological stagnation, while population expands to the carrying capacity limits (whatever they are) of the modern industrial economy over several centuries due to high-fertility “breeders” being selected for.

    I don’t take Malthusian/collapse scenarios seriously, they have lost me a lot of potential money.

    • Agree: Abelard Lindsey
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  104. @Boswald Bollocksworth

    A very small minority of trials in Russia are in front of a jury. Its the judge deciding the case so there is absolutely nobody for the “cage” to be prejudicial to. The process is absolutely normal.

    Our media is also able to report nearly anything they want about the case and evidence when legal proceedings start exactly because only the judge decides the verdict ….. for UK media they can’t report anything on any case when legal actions start.

    South Africa doesn’t do trial by jury because obviously the racial factor in defendant and jury composition would be controversial and a prejudicing factor in every trial. You are correct in that South Africa’s legal system is Anglo-Saxon and I don’t think they use cages during legal sessions.

    Israel I suppose is western…… wasn’t Eichmann on trial in a glass cage? Nearly all the main “sensational” trials in Russia have been done without a jury, although I think they are going to have more of them, – so I can’t say what the exact procedure on not prejudicing a jury trial is….. they are so rare I don’t know anybody who has even got asked to be on one!

    As far as I know – UK courts do not allow cameras in, so I’m no sure at all if they don’t use plexiglass boxes

  105. @Anatoly Karlin

    I don’t think we might really sustain several centuries under a technological stagnation scenario without a population collapse. In fact I don’t think that at the present level of technological complexity and the current Western capitalist socioeconomic system, we can handle any long term stagnation. A significant period of stagnation would inevitably turn into decline ending with a collapse to a lower level of economic, social and technological organization. Perhaps this is what our benevolent overlords are trying to prevent.

    Also, stock market gains or losses appraisal are possibly not the best tool of environmental and socioeconomic prognostication.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  106. @rkka

    The reason for the Anglosphere’s incandescent hatred of Putin is that he disrupted this cozy little plan by jailing Khodorkovsky while breaking the independent political power of the oligarchs & insisted on being negotiated with, not dictated to.

    Putin would have done a perfect job if not for the fact that under his watch the Russian elites, including his close circle, have plundered Russia as well and transferred substantial proportion of the proceeds to the said Anglosphere.

    • Replies: @rkka
    , @Gerard.Gerard
  107. rkka says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Putin would have done a perfect job if not for the fact that under his watch the Russian elites, including his close circle, have plundered Russia as well and transferred substantial proportion of the proceeds to the said Anglosphere.

    I’d be the last to deny that plunder has continued. It is diminished though, and investment in Russia has increased. For one example, the Russian armed forces are no longer “ruins and debris” but possess a powerful, usable, and hence extremely credible conventional deterrent threat to go along with the traditional nuclear deterrent, whose credibility was always undermined by the staggering collateral damage totally out of proportion to the value of any political objective that would be the consequence of its actual employment

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  108. songbird says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Serbs recognize they are POC oppressed by American imperialism.

    I prefer to think that they are feeding-in false information in order to be chosen as the new enforcers of our PC overlords, before ultimately turning on them.

    These newer video games that have branching moral paths – I think the right decision is to choose the most pozzed path, and then wait for your results to be tabulated, so that you will be awarded position after the Great Reset, and be able to be part of the fifth column, when the time finally comes.

  109. songbird says:
    @reiner Tor

    The way I see it, we already passed the Iran test.

    People like McCain and Bolton have croaked or lost influence. And Iran is kind of a special case – the most dangerous, as there is an established history of antagonism. And less of a tendency to hit the brakes, since its economy isn’t anywhere as close to big as China’s.

    After all the BLM riots, I think people in charge will be cautious about sending troops overseas and losing their pacification capacity at home.

  110. @Bashibuzuk

    To jump start this type of space program, we require a World Government and a totalitarian system.

    This doesn’t make intuitive sense to me. The European Enlightenment and subsequent world colonisation happened not despite, but arguably because of fierce inter-state competition. The late 19th century was arguably the most innovative period in human history and it coincided with the peak of Great Power competition. It ultimately ended in a disaster on the continent, but whatever else one might say, it certainly didn’t slow down innovation.

    Moreover, your argument ignores the fundamental garrulous nature of humanity. During uncontested US primacy, the world could afford to pretend to care about international co-operation because there was only a single hegemon in the system. It shaped global institutions and everyone played along because there was literally no alternative.

    Now we’re seeing a situation with at least two, and potentially three (India) hegemons in a few decades time. China has made it abundantly clear it will not be subservient to US diktat the way a colonised continent like Europe has become. India is trending the same direction. This throws up obvious co-ordination problems in the way of your argument. The US does not like to share the crown, and its competitors have no plan to give up their rightful place (as they see it).

    This world will not be conducive to a world government. Is that a problem for innovation? History tells us otherwise.

    • Agree: mal
    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  111. @Dmitry

    As usual, an excellent, perceptive comment from you. The supposed decline of America is much overdone by panicking conservatives. Lots of people underestimate the deep patriotism that Americans have, and I was guilty of this too a few years ago. No longer.

    The deranged Russiagate and now Red China/Yellow Peril 2.0 scares prove that even “liberal” Americans are perfectly content turning into insanely zealous nationalists on a dime if they feel their national security is threatened in any way (even if imagined). This is not a country prone to breaking up any time soon. Asabiyyah is not an issue here.

    Most of the cultural pathologies are coming from a neoliberal bugman class that is unrepresentative of the nation but has a very loud megaphone to propagandise their nonsense.

    At any rate, they don’t even believe their own propaganda when their politicians actually get to rule.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  112. (5) Turkey’s lira is collapsing again. Sovereign default? Probably not – still has ample reserves (on paper). But interesting developments nonetheless.

    [MORE]

  113. AaronB says:
    @Thulean Friend

    One might apply this to the internal situation as well.

    Just as international unity does not lead to innovation, excessive internal unity within a society likewise leads to stagnation.

    The 19th century was also a period of great internal social division and of competing value systems and philosophies.

    Nietzsche studied Greek culture and concluded that humanity reaches new heights only through fierce competition – he believed it was the Greek institution of the ‘agon’ that led to Greece becoming so much greater than its neighbors, who stressed unification, harmony, and central authority.

    Heraclitus said war is the father of all things- obviously meaning competition and strife among divided factions leads humanity to create and adapt.

    It is common here to mock the slogan that diversity is our strength, but it is true in a very real sense.

    In America, might not the Indian, Chinese, Jewish, and White communities compete with each other in a friendly rivalry to outdo, out-excel, and out-achieve each other and leading America as a whole to new discoveries and creations? A sort of modern Greek agon?

    Social rivalry need not be racial, but a healthy society needs a certain level of social division and strife. Competition between factions leads to innovation. Of course, too much strife becomes chaos and disintegration- but without risk and danger there is nothing great.

    People are too afraid of division and strife. Nietzsche suggested the yearning for harmony and peace is the sign of decadence and exhaustion. All autocratic regimes are really decadent in their fear of competition.

    Conservatives are by nature fearful creatures- that is why they wish to conserve and arrest change. They fear strife and desire peace and harmony.

    Even the Woke ideology, in its insanity and aggression, is a stimulus towards the development of alternative and better philosophies, and a wake up call out of dull complacency.

    Kant was famously roused from his dogmatic slumber by Hume, whose skeptical philosophy he found repellent and a challenge.

    I sometimes get the sense that the commentators here are a bunch of exhausted and weary old souls.

    From a Buddhist/Taoist perspective, of course, I am not interested in national greatness or technological innovation, although I find it easy to enter into the mindset of “worldly” achievement and understand what factors and conditions lead to its attainment (perhaps my lack of emotional involvement makes me more objective).

    What does worry me is the conservative fear-based desire to impose a stultifying and dreary unity on life and tightly control everything, eliminating risk, adventure, diversity of lifestyle and thought, and freedom. This suppression of the abundance of nature is anti-Tao.

    Of course, the mainstream Left exhibits similar tendencies.

  114. @Thulean Friend

    The discussion started on the Donbass Thread when I wrote that I don’t see a direct military confrontation between China and the globalized West before the globalized West completes the reforms that have been started last year during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemics. I was then asked if these reforms might end up as badly as the Perestroika did and what I thought the nature of these reforms was.

    I think I clearly explained what these reforms were in my opinion and expressed from the very beginning of the discussion on this thread that I did not believe that the globalized West will succeed in its transformation. My pessimistic opinion is not due to some anti-Western bias, but the fact that the reforms are unprecedented in both scope and intensity. I agree with the commentor rkka that much time has been lost (an entire generation after the fall of the Eastern Block was force-fed capitalist triomphalisme) and that the price to pay will be now higher than in the 1980ies.

    Moreover, if you follow the exchange of comments, you will easily see that I believe the Great New Green Reset, or the Westerstroika (bwahahaha) is strongly motivated by the Chinese ascendancy and the impetus placed upon the containment of the OBOR/BRI by the globalized West. I believe that a form of convergence will be tentatively offered to the CCP based upon the “common environmental safety” or whatever they will invent as a justification. I have also written, that the Chinese will most probably not buy into that.

    Finally, the last important aspect of the Westerstroika is an increased control upon the scope, the aim and the intensity of technological innovation. I believe that it is motivated by the desire of TPTB to prevent the techno-Singularity. Of course, competition increases innovation, there is no possible doubt about it, but an incresed innovation will strengthen Landian Accelerationism, it will end up with a techno-Singularity and trigger dramatic consequences for humankind.

    That is why I have written that the failure of the Westerstroika would be way more terrible than the demise of the Soviet Union. Quite ironic that a generation after the terrible events of the early 90ies in my native land we find ourselves in even more dire straits, facing an even more complex conundrum. A problem delayed is a problem neglected, a problem neglected is a failure in making. Sad that the pain we have endured then was largely in vain. This is of course the end result of stupidity of both elites and the masses worldwide. And stupidity must be punished. And punished it will be.

  115. AaronB says:
    @AaronB

    Its interesting how an attitude can mean one thing on one level and its opposite on another level.

    If your values are worldly success, greatness, and achievement, then the avoidance of strife, division, competition, and the desire for peace, harmony, and unity, both internally and externally, signifies weakness, decadence, exhaustion.

    However, that you desire worldly success or greatness signifies you are excessively concerned with control of your environment and survival, and are motivated by fear – and thus signify weakness, exhaustion, lack of exuberance 🙂 And that you cannot see past appearances.

    (From a Buddhist/Taoist perspective).

    And so – avoidance of strife and competition can signify either fear and weakness or exuberance and fearlessness 🙂

    Sort of like, as I read somewhere, the exact same gene can do one thing in one context and something else in another.

    The world is so much more uncanny than our everyday philosophies.

  116. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    The contention is good, but all 3 states have moved more liberal-left. My point is that open borders have consequences. It takes a few years, but things change…

    How about the 1 million California Medicare elderly who never worked in US? (Official website number.) There are a few million more in India, Pakistan (see Sailer’s piece today)… itching to get that long-postponed knee surgery for free in US. The young people often with no insurance are paying for it. Trump talked, but did nothing about it.

    Who among older voters thought this was a good idea? It just happened? Or Wall Street?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  117. Beckow says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    There are solutions, in both Europe and N America:
    – stop the massive inflow of migrants, incl. family reunifications, etc…
    – fix the infrastructure
    – manage work by limiting hours to 24-32 hours/week
    – provide basic social guarantees to all citizens (health, education, pensions) – yes, “socialism”
    – avoid wars.

    It will not be done because groups that control all governing bodies are heavily invested in preserving the current set-up: business would see increase in costs and inflation, parasitic officials would not get rewarded by the oligarchs, ethnic lobbies would lose power, investments would tank, old people would get less, warmongers put on ice…so we might have to wait until the numbers get so out-of-whack that the system collapses. That could take decades, and it won’t be pleasant.

    Remember that there was a losing side in the election that Hitler won…how bad did they have to be to lose to Hitler?

    • Replies: @rkka
    , @Xi-Jinping
    , @Xi-Jinping
  118. @AaronB

    All my favourite people are commenting in this thread. Happy passover by the way!

    • Thanks: AaronB
    • LOL: Blinky Bill
  119. The revolution which began in Europe is now slowly traversing across the Atlantic. If even America, ground zero for car-centric NIMBY:ism, can return to sanity then there are no limits to progress.

  120. Someone in the other thread was complaining about Google distorting search results.

    One interesting example a friend of mine (tennis fan) told me is that whenever he searches for ATP Miami, he always only gets the WTA results. He has never been interested in it, and he has never heard of anyone who was. Certainly it’s difficult to imagine anyone who is more interested in it than in men’s tennis. I guess Google is being feminist here.

  121. @Bashibuzuk

    I believe the Great New Green Reset, or the Westerstroika (bwahahaha) is strongly motivated by the Chinese ascendancy and the impetus placed upon the containment of the OBOR/BRI by the globalized West. I believe that a form of convergence will be tentatively offered to the CCP based upon the “common environmental safety” or whatever they will invent as a justification.

    Climate change policies may have a geopolitical angle, but I think you underestimate the internal will of the Chinese to deal with these problems, including by collaborating with others. This is not solely Xi’s own pet project. One of the most influential Chinese documentaries during the last decade was Under the Dome. There is a genuine popular groundswell of support inside China.

    The Indians recently announced that they are aiming to go net-zero a full decade before China, despite being significantly less developed (and thus needing more energy as they grow). In brief, I think this is your Russian perspective distorting your lens here. Russia, like Australia, is notoriously “climate-skeptical” and tend to view climate policies cynically and defensively.

    Finally, the last important aspect of the Westerstroika is an increased control upon the scope, the aim and the intensity of technological innovation. I believe that it is motivated by the desire of TPTB to prevent the techno-Singularity. Of course, competition increases innovation, there is no possible doubt about it, but an incresed innovation will strengthen Landian Accelerationism, it will end up with a techno-Singularity and trigger dramatic consequences for humankind.

    They can try to control whatever they like, it won’t make a damn difference. We have a saying in Sweden: teknik slår alltid politik. I think any English speaker can understand the gist of it. We at least seem to agree that the world is not going to slow down in innovation any time soon and that concepts like “techno-malthusianism” are garbage and laughable.

    While I agree that a singularity would have dramatic consequences, I don’t see how it would necessary be bad. Evolution is constant, and being limited to 80-120 years is intensely boring. I want to learn new things at 800 years, let alone 8000. We can’t get there without essentially shedding our biological constraints (bodies), which requires radical new technologies and a fundamental end to homo sapiens. That’s not to be feared, merely the next step in the long arch of history.

  122. rkka says:
    @Beckow

    Remember that there was a losing side in the election that Hitler won…how bad did they have to be to lose to Hitler?

    Adolf & the Nazis never won any election. What brought The Mustache to power was the machinations of the German Center-Right.

    First came Bruning’s “Austerity” response to the Creditanstalt crisis, which impoverished & radicalized the German working & middle class voter:

    https://www.nber.org/papers/w24106

    The Nazi vote rocketed up, as desperate people looked for simple answers.

    Then these same Center-Right politicians convinced Hindenburg to name Adolf chancellor, then granted him dictatorial power by a 4/5 majority vote, including every single national political party in favor, except the Social Democrats (the KPD having already been banned).

    So it was the German Center-Right who paved Adolf’s path to power, then handed him dictatorship. And he rewarded them handsomely.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @AP
  123. Beckow says:
    @rkka

    …Bruning’s “Austerity”…which impoverished & radicalized the German working & middle class voter

    Right, that looks familiar, today the West is ruled by a bunch of “Brunings”. Mistakes and self-serving behavior are what decides elections. In the election, Nazis came in first, and had a majority with their allies.

    That’s what winning an election means. You are hiding that reality behind minutia.

    • Replies: @rkka
  124. @Thulean Friend

    We at least seem to agree that the world is not going to slow down in innovation any time soon and that concepts like “techno-malthusianism” are garbage and laughable.

    It seems to be a term of your own invention (Googling it gives 34 hits), which is perhaps appropriate, given your comments on the AoMI have been consistently strawmannish.

    Anyhow, a technological singularity will certainly be very good, assuming the X risks are skirted.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  125. 128 says:

    If Jews never got to the West or to Europe other than in very very very tiny numbers (for whatever reason), what groups would see the most gains in terms of term output as they take up the slack? French? Germans? Britons? Italians would be even more influential in the 16th century? As for eastern Europe, Baltic Germans would be even more dominant in Russia if Jews were not around. Note that Episcopalian whites ( a nice proxy for upper class Northern Europeans) have a slightly higher IQ than Jews, although the personality tends to be more agreeable and less argumentative.

  126. rkka says:
    @Beckow

    That’s what winning an election means. You are hiding that reality behind minutia.

    Yes. Mussolini said that Fascism is more properly called Corporatism, for it is the merger of state & corporate power. Variations of this is now the main model of governance, with the corporations/oligarchs mostly owning the politics.

    In PRC & Russia, the state owns the corporations/oligarchs more than the reverse, though in Yeltsin’s Russia, the Seven Bankers did own the government..

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  127. @Anatoly Karlin

    I believe we might indeed have either a techno-Singularity with an uncontrolled Accelerationism or a Malthusian future with an exhausted technological progress. Both are dangerous for the future of our species. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the Fermi paradox: socioeconomic bottlenecks. Our best bet would be to wisely avoid both extremes and attempt to move forward in a measured and thoughtful manner. We need to avoid conflit and achieve a balance. Future can wait.

  128. @rkka

    In PRC & Russia, the state owns the corporations/oligarchs more than the reverse

    Some version of Green Corporativism / Environmental Solidarism will probably also be the end of a successful Westerstroika.

  129. @Thulean Friend

    I agree that technological innovation is the primary driver of the social change. I don’t deny climate change, but I don’t believe human impact is significant compared to solar activity cycles and perhaps other geophysical phenomena. If the Chinese and Indians converge with the West on the environmental agenda, then we might have a possible common ground to move forward together and avoid violent competition that might be detrimental for everyone in the medium/long term.

  130. @Bashibuzuk

    I don’t think “we” have any input. Not even so much “we” as in blog commenters but as also as in the real power-breakers, to the extent they exist. Either there will be sufficiently intense breakthroughs to catapult us into accelerating intelligence augmentation (be it silicon or wetware), or it will not be sufficiently intense, with the result that dysgenics grounds the entire enterprise to a halt for a few centuries.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
  131. songbird says:

    In the past, I thought it might be a good idea if we taxed pozzed movies, but, perhaps, there is a better solution… What if we just mandated that the protagonists eat bugs on screen?

  132. @Bashibuzuk

    Completely retarded and false you double-dealing idiot.

    1. How many hundreds of billions are in government reserves, to be used in crisis, the National projects and the rebuilding of the country in the last 20 years? And a cretin like you is talking about “plunder”. This is not like Saudi Arabia, where there is an extremely small elite in a much smaller country in population, most of the skilled labour or specialist work is foreign, most of the unskilled or manual work is also foreign,oil extraction costs are much lower than in RF, domestic consumption of oil is much lower, majority of the local woman don’t work…….. in KSA they can accumulate big reserves, build stuff AND plunder the country

    2. Khodorkovsky, Gusinsky and Berezovsky were 3 of the most sinister, powerful and richest oligarchs – prosecuting these swines and (partially) seizing their assets….. resulted in a massive western PR effort against Russia to intimidate western public and western investors away from. Russia , 2 of them the west prevented from getting extradited to Russia, $100 billion of russian money could be potentially seized by the west if their corrupt legal system judges in favour of Yukos. That’s just from 3 oligarchs ( who are just western middlemen)……. how can state pursue all the other main oligarchs and not come to some agreement with them in these circumstances you idiot?

    In addition the west and has also allowed many,many other criminal, corrupt officials and businessmen to become fugitives over there since the time of Kho/Gu/Berez….. the Chelyabinsk ex governor one of the latest examples

    As for the state “oligarchs”, for which of them can you cite underperforming share price, low contribution to state budget/ unofficial state projects and general bad performance to call “plunder” you faggot?Name one. Very silly

    Trillions of dollars stolen from Russia in 90s /early 2000s to be given to the west………..
    situation non-comparable now.

  133. songbird says:

    Another idea to fight political correctness might be to bring back minstrel shows, but instead of using blackface, just hire dark non-Africans to play Africans: Dravidians, Papuans, etc.

  134. @Anatoly Karlin

    Isn’t hat a bit fatalistic? As if human beings had no impact at all on the outcome of the evolution of their own civilization.

    OTOH the Fermi paradox probably holds true because the immense majority of intelligent species in our galaxy probably do not manage to become spacefaring as they get crushed between the extremes of technological progress gone awry and an extreme biosphere degradation à la Обитаемый остров / Жук в муравейнике. There are many possible dead-ends for potentially a very low number of positive outcomes. Also we probably have a limited period of time to “graduate ” and get our “spacefaring credentials ” before we lose the pace of progress and perhaps die-out.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/18/toxic-chemicals-health-humanity-erin-brokovich

    Commenter Levtraro has mentioned a couple of times a “segregated governance ” of sorts. Perhaps it would allow to concentrate innovation and keep it under control in some hi-tech smart city enclaves, while a large proportion of humanity would live more or less in a late nineteenth or early twentieth century fashion, distributed across small / medium size agricultural communities (possibly like the Amish or Mennonite). Maybe that would be a way to hedge for the existential risks.

  135. fnn says:
    @schnellandine

    CNN says it was an accident.

  136. fnn says:

  137. @Thulean Friend

    I’m absolutely astonished by that article. There seems to be no cure for the Russian delusion that they have to sell ruble-denominated bonds to foreigners to finance their own government’s operations. Literally the only thing accomplished by this is giving away rubles to foreigners in the form of interest, incidentally creating downward pressure on the ruble as the interest on the bonds is sold for other currencies, which the Russian central bank then has to counteract. In other words, Russia both gives away free money to countries that hate Russia and are dedicated to destroying Russia, and provides the tools for financial speculation against the ruble. This kind of child-like ignorance and naivité is why the West continues to run rings around Russia. As for the article you linked to, imagine writing something that complex and ambitious on the basis of a mistaken premise.

  138. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Yes, you are perceptive as usual. American complaints are a lot of drama and not new.

    However the wide-ranging moralistic crackdown is fairly new. there was somewhat of a parallel with abolitionism in the 1920s but that was also an era of widespread and acceptable flaunting of those rules. The present moralizing seems more pervasive and restrictive.

    • Agree: Coconuts
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  139. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    This map makes suggests that what is measured is not racism, but exposure to black people. States with more blacks score higher, those with less score lower. I don’t think white people from New Jersey and Mississippi are equally racist.

    In Europe in contrast, places with fewer black people score as more racist.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  140. AP says:
    @rkka

    Adolf & the Nazis never won any election. What brought The Mustache to power was the machinations of the German Center-Right.

    He clearly won the election according to normal rules of multiparty parliamentary elections. His party won the most votes under generally honest conditions and was able to form the government with its coalition partners. Largest party and percentage support in the last free German election:

    Nazis got 37.3% of the vote.

    In 2017 Merkel got 33% of the vote, and in 2009 she got 34% of the vote, less than Hitler got in March 1932. Will you claim Merkel didn’t win those elections?

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    , @Mitleser
  141. @Bashibuzuk

    People must get ready to live in a total awareness society where the decision makers know all they need to know about any member of the society and any anti-social activity can be prevented and/or corrected.

    That’s not why the decision makers want the control. They want the control so they can do all the great drugs and perverted sex. What you are describing is more cover story than anything else. Anti-social activity is fine if you are on the top of the pyramid. In fact it is almost the whole point.

  142. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    FWIW, largest party doesn’t *automatically* mean winning the elections. Just ask Benjamin Netanyahu in 2009 and Nuri al-Maliki in 2010. However, Yes, Hitler was in the best position to form a governing coalition in Germany after the German elections of 1932 so long as the German Communists refused to cooperate in forming a unified anti-Nazi front with the other German political parties. Had the German Communists indeed been willing to form such a unified anti-Nazi front, though, then things would have been much different.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @AP
  143. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Was greater exposure to black people also what caused Southern whites in the US to support anti-miscegenation laws until at least the 1960s?

  144. Mitleser says:
    @AP

    The main reasons for Merkel’s dominance is her success against her rivals within the CDU und the decline of the SPD, until recently the only serious rival of the CDU on federal level.
    Merkel “won” in 2009 and 2017 because the SPD performed even worse, losing a third of their voters between 2005-2009 and never fully recovering.
    Merkel’s only huge victory in a federal election was in 2013.

    • Replies: @AP
  145. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    In regards to intelligence augmentation, why exactly is it so crucial for Russia to develop such technology itself? After all, even if other countries such as China will develop this technology first/in place of Russia, won’t Russia still be able to purchase this technology from them later on?

    This would be similar to a biosingularity. Initially, gametogenesis + IVF + embryo selection will likely primarily be one in wealthy countries, but eventually, it will also spread to poorer countries due to lower costs and possibly also noblesse oblige on the part of wealthier countries to help out their poorer brethren.

  146. @Anatoly Karlin

    I don’t buy into any AGI scenario. In fact, I think we’re already in another AI “winter”. All of this current AI hoohaa is based on multi-layered neuronets, a technology actually invented in 1986! It was only around 2010 or so that semiconductor hardware had advanced to the point where people could start playing around with these deep layered neuronets.

    Bio-engineering is a complete different story. I think the next 50 plus years will be bio-engineering years just like the last 50 years have been semiconductors/computers/IT. However, I still do not believe we will get massive increases in human IQ. Developments will be more incremental.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  147. @Europe Europa

    The EU itself passed the AZ vaccine as safe and effective. Other For Profit vaccine companies are the places to look for the criticisms which are very similar to those levelled against Sputnik V. By the way, the Astra part is Swedish.

  148. @128

    GM has pulled out of Russia.

    I’ve done a lot of work on hotels in Russia. There are no real hotel chains in Russia due to:
    Hotels were mostly privatized by extablishment.
    Soviet Hotels were mixed grades so no star ratings.

    There are new individual Russian owned establishments that meet 4 or 5 star levels and are not branded but they don’t operate in chains or even franchises. Up to 2014 they sold out anyway. Also, by franchising to an international brand, the hotel operators (usually not the same as the owners) get access to training for their staff. There was a huge shortage of competent hotel staff, especially managers. So foreign brands were preferred. The best hotels were sold out after 2014 as there was not so much competition and every large city was accomodatin teams of auditors from the Central Bank and teams from the Investigative Committee looking into local FSB corruption.

  149. Media trust over time. This might look like a sudden massive fall in 2021 but it’s really just a return to the trend. The increase between 2015 and 2019 was mostly because of political polarization. With Biden being President now you can’t pretend CNN and NBC is the #Resistance anymore.

  150. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    Who among older voters thought this was a good idea? It just happened? Or Wall Street?

    In its desire to fill supposed future vacancies in the job market, America’s elites (read Wall Street) have opened the floodgates to open borders policies. How wold you answer your own question?

    • Replies: @Beckow
  151. Beckow says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    ..Had the German Communists indeed been willing to form such a unified anti-Nazi front, though, then things would have been much different.

    Are you sure anyone asked them?

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  152. @Abelard Lindsey

    I also believe we should focus on enhancing our own genetics. We get an exponentially increasing amount of genomic data, it is only a matter of time before we can optimize our genetic information.

    OTOH, who really knows what lurks in the deepest layers of the cyberspace. Peehaps the AGI is already around and acting without us even noticing it.

    • Agree: mal
    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
  153. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Beckow

    If they wanted to offer coalition negotiation terms, they were welcome to do so by sending messages to the other German political parties, no? AFAIK, Stalin told the German Communists not to cooperate with the other German political parties because he believed that having Hitler come to power in Germany would be better for the Soviet Union’s interests. Biggest and bloodiest miscalculation EVER!

    • Replies: @Beckow
  154. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Let me correct that:

    In its desire to lower average incomes of Americans, the globalised elites opened the floodgates and opened borders. Many among the older generation saw it as an opportunity to make money in stocks, real estate, etc… so they voted for the open-borders elites again and again. Until the flood reached them, and by then it was too late…

    Is that about right?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  155. Beckow says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    …If they wanted to offer coalition negotiation terms, they were welcome to do so by sending messages to the other German political parties…

    In other words, no. Thanks for confirming.

    German Centre-Right and other parties preferred Nazis to Communists. And you talk about a bloody miscalculation…do you guys with affinity for Nazis ever think logically, or is it all just emotional hatred?

  156. AP says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    However, Yes, Hitler was in the best position to form a governing coalition in Germany after the German elections of 1932 so long as the German Communists refused to cooperate in forming a unified anti-Nazi front with the other German political parties.

    Including the far right German nationalist Party that went into coalition with the Nazis? Or the Roman Catholic Party?

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    , @Mr. XYZ
  157. AP says:
    @Mitleser

    The main reasons for Merkel’s dominance is her success against her rivals within the CDU und the decline of the SPD, until recently the only serious rival of the CDU on federal level.

    Yes, this explains why she won. So?

    Merkel “won” in 2009 and 2017 because the SPD performed even worse, losing a third of their voters between 2005-2009 and never fully recovering.

    Why quotes around won? She won, for whatever reason. People often won because the opponent screws up. Biden “Won” because Trump botched Covid. So? He still won.

    Hitler’s Nazis won the 1932 multiparty election by the German people; his party got the most votes with 37% of the vote. He got a higher percentage of the votes than did Merkel in 2 of the last 3 elections, than David Cameron (but less than Teresa May or Boris Johnson) in British elections, more than Trudeau in the last Canadian election, etc. It was a fairly solid victory by the standards of multiparty parliamentary elections.

  158. @Bashibuzuk

    Enhancing our genetics is really about enhancing cognitive ability and executive function. These are really the only traits that really matter. Cognitive ability is likely based on thousand genes and executive function even more. This is way beyond the capabilities of CRISPR. We need whole chromosome synthesis to make this a reality. That is probably 20 years off. If you want to describe it in “Star Trek” future history terms, it means Khan and his ilk are born during the 2040’s and take power in their respective countries around 2070 or so, making the Eugenics Wars in the late 21st century rather than last 20th century. Seriously though, the whole chromosome synthesis is necessary to significantly improve these traits and that is some time off from now.

    BTW, curing aging does not require this kind of technology at all as aging is not “genetic” at all. This is the reason why most of us life extensionist types really don’t care about “germline gene therapy”. We’re not interested in genetically designing other humans. We seek only to fix ourselves.

    • Thanks: Bashibuzuk
  159. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    I doubt that any single voter was ever convinced that by voting for any specific candidate that was a proponent of open borders their 401(k) account would grow to unimaginable levels. Add in the propostion that somebody would vote for and elite candidate in order to lower their own or anybody elses average income, and you have developed a really fantastic conspirac y theory.

    I do, however, remember the late 90’s and early 00’s when the dot.com mania including the ever increasing values of technology stocks fueled a massive buyoff of overly inflated stocks with unsustainable P/E ratios. Everybody thought that they would become millionaires by investing 10k in a technology mutual fund – what ever happened to that dream? 🙂

    • Replies: @Beckow
  160. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Not sure if the DNVP were *far*-right, but Yes, possibly even them and definitely the Catholic Center Party. Maybe the Nazis and the DNVP can both be excluded, but I’ll need to take a look at the exact electoral math. But the Catholic Center Party would definitely have to participate in such a coalition.

  161. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    I looked at the figures for November 1932:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/November_1932_German_federal_election

    Social Democrats: 121 seats
    Communists: 100 seats
    Center Party: 70 seats

    That’s already 291 seats out of the necessary 293 seats necessary for a majority. A couple of additional seats should easily be found. For instance, the Bavarian People’s Party, the Bavarian branch of the Center Party, had 20 seats. That would push the coalition up to 311 seats. The moderate right-wing German People’s Party had 11 seats, thus pushing the coalition up to 322 seats. And of course there were some additional parties with five seats or less.

    So, Yes, very doable with the cooperation of the Catholic Center Party, even without the DNVP.

    • Replies: @AP
  162. songbird says:

    I wonder if hyphenated US presidential administrations will become the norm going forward.

  163. @Bashibuzuk

    Our best bet would be to wisely avoid both extremes and attempt to move forward in a measured and thoughtful manner. We need to avoid conflit and achieve a balance.

    Putting aside your fears of the singularity, and my enthusiastic embrace of it, there could be more socially acceptable paths:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/aubreydegrey/status/1371196809595346950

    I don’t know nearly as much about anti-aging as de Grey does, but even his skeptics have acknowledged that advancements in the field of anti-aging have been substantial over the past decade – and there’s no sign of things slowing down. If his predictions are borne out to be true, then we could possibly get something both of us would like: I would get the longetivity aspect, but you would get the avoidance of the shedding the biological constraints, and we would still (at least outwardly) remain homo sapiens.

    (I am somewhat skeptical that remaining confined to our biological constraints can truly take us to the next level, but perhaps de Grey’s future is a middle-ground that can be accepted by all, reasonable, sides).

  164. mal says:

    Some good news on space radiator chillers which are a civilization critical technology for any meaningful space based electricity generation.

    На территории конгрессно-выставочного комплекса гостиницы «Космос» 23-26 марта 2021 года проходит XXIV Московский международный Салон изобретений и инновационных технологий «Архимед». В этом году Центр Келдыша (входит в состав Госкорпорации «Роскосмос») представит опытный образец излучателя устройства сброса тепла в космическое пространство.

    Изобретение предназначено для системы терморегулирования космических аппаратов. Излучатель имеет увеличенную эффективность сброса тепла и при этом повышенную степень защиты трубки с теплоносителем от метеоритов и космического мусора.

    https://www.roscosmos.ru/30464/

    At an international expo ‘Archimedes’ in Moscow Keldysh Center (Russian research institute) demonstrated experimental device for radiation of waste heat into space. Device is dedicated to thermal regulation of spacecraft. I’m not sure if it’s a panel or fiber based one, or maybe even a droplet (panel is worst, fiber is OK, droplet is the future).

    And speaking of the devil, it looks like Russians solved the droplet dispersion problem back in 2017. This guy solved it, to be exact.

    Topic starts at around 6:20. To recap for non Russian speakers. Any moron can build a nuclear reactor and launch it into space, its easy to do. So why then the largest single power unit in space is about 20 kW? Because while producing electricity in space is easy, dissipating waste heat is not. Space is like a giant thermos that insulates well. The only way to get rid of heat is through radiation. Conventional way is radiator panels, but it’s extremely inefficient as their size requirement grows two orders of magnitude faster with power level increase. Past few hundred kW, those panels will weigh more than all the rest of the spacecraft put together.

    To improve heat radiation efficiency, we must move from 2D panel to 3D geometry. Hence the droplets, as small droplets maximize surface area to volume (mass) ratio. This will allow for orders of magnitude lighter cooling systems and therefore high power output (nuclear reactors are very light compared to the weight of the cooling system they require). The droplets are made as you pass diffusion pump oil through an atomizer basically.

    However, there is a problem. Small droplets accumulate static charge by picking up free electrons from space. This causes them to repel from each other and that makes collecting them back after they cooled off very difficult, and this results in coolant mass loss. That was the problem with Kaplya-2 experiment on the International Space Station back in 2014. There were a number of proposals put forward (external electromagnetic fields, plasma feed to neutralize the droplets etc) but they are all cumbersome, unreliable, or require expendable materials which makes them unsuitable for years long operation.

    A simple, robust, and permanent solution to the problem is to illuminate the droplets with UV light at around 140 nm wavelength. This will trigger photoelectric effect that will kick off the excess electrons from the droplet. Unlike external electric field, there is no danger of over-ionizing the droplets and stripping too many electrons which will cause the same repulsion problem. No complex control is needed. All it takes is about a dozen UV lamps and those will condition the droplets for easy collection and minimize coolant losses.

    That is actually very very clever.

  165. Max Payne says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    The end goal is to normalize the coming drop in living standards for Westerners. A westerner is willing to accept a reduction in his life style if it means staying online. To remain in that niche bubble/echo chamber. And the lure is going to get much more intense. True targeted entertainment. Beyond deepfakes, neural networks, procedural generation, and VR. Distractions of a higher order that these weak ass children of today, with their vagina-like fear over a nothing flu, will never be able to overcome.

    Look at the wealth bitcoin projects. The wholesale acceptance of illusion over reality. Making an ERC20 token is literally nothing but copy/pasting some open source script in Solidity. And with that alone you can go out there and scam someone out of hard earned cash to buy your nothing-coin. People want to believe the illusion.

    And thats all this is. Forcing the weak minded to accept illusion as reality. And its working. Soon the two minutes of hate for Putin will come after the national anthem in schools.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Thanks: Yellowface Anon
  166. AP says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    Was the 1930s German Communist Party Stalinist? That would make it no less incompatible with the Catholic Party as with the Nazi Party.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    , @rkka
  167. @Bashibuzuk

    Late reply. Finally someone who can see eye-to-eye with me, even tho I see WEF in a much worse light.
    Here is the only economic forecaster you need. https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/

    [MORE]

    Spoilers: WEF won’t make it and what they’ll be doing with the world will bring down Western civilization in a decade or two. China wins in the end.

  168. @Bashibuzuk

    I just replied to an older post with the link to Martin Armstrong’s site, and what you said in the post appears inevitable to him. He has no idea about technological level, but he implies the West falling to Third World levels of economic development, and that he blames the WEF.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  169. @Max Payne

    This is part of the WEF strategy with the added benefit of pod people having reduced resource/energy consumption.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  170. @mal

    This is incredible, thank you.

    • Agree: mal
    • Replies: @FerW
  171. @Max Payne

    I call this the digitalization of the Real. I did not mention it in my comments because I do not want to discuss it here or anywhere else. I believe it to be a highly sensitive and perhaps an outright dangerous topic.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  172. @Yellowface Anon

    Blaming the WEF is pointless. If it weren’t they, then it would be some other group of people. Our technological development has reached certain milestones and as a civilization we will have to go through certain bottlenecks.

    During the neolithic revolution, only a minority of population initially embraced agriculture. Their offspring represent today the overwhelming majority of humanity. The future belongs to those who survive and reproduce.

    If someone fails to reproduce, just because they have been too easily distracted by latest technology developments and societal trends, then they are obviously subpar on mental realization level and unfit for what is coming next. Despite what many believe, evolutionary selection is ongoing, but it is becoming more psychologically and cognitively oriented.

    We need to be unfazed to survive the current Eon.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  173. Mr. Hack says:
    @Max Payne

    Two Minutes of Hate (1984)

  174. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    digatilization of the real – worth watching!

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  175. @mal

    Thanks for this update.

    I thought nuclear power in space means thermoelectric generators using thermocouples and the heat generated by the decay of Pu 238 not miniaturized nuclear reactors as in no fission reaction takes place only radioactive decay.

    Has this changed?

    • Agree: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @mal
  176. @Dmitry

    I don’t know about the four Visegrad countries, but they had similar incidence to Romania.

    In April 2020, Romania had one of the toughest curfews imaginable, resulting in few cases. The military used helicopters and armored cars. It was just absurd:

    Now, it’s time for retribution. People won’t stay locked for another year, and immunity is nowhere near the US/UK levels.

  177. mal says:
    @Vishnugupta

    There’s nothing wrong with thermoelectric generators and indeed they are a preferred solution up to 500 kW or so based on the power/mass ratio.

    However, they are only like 5% efficient, and if you want more than 500 kW of power, conventional turbine designs are a way to go. At high power levels, weight and complexity of turbine will be worth 25%+ conversion efficiency. Megawatt+ sized reactors will need to be turbine based just like they are on Earth.

    • Replies: @Vishnugupta
  178. @mal

    Has any turbine ever generated power for a spacecraft in space?

    In addition would not the solid state design of thermoelectrics make them inherently much more reliable especially since maintenance and repair is not practically possible for deep space probes.

    Voyager is still working after almost 50 years..I doubt a turbine with zero maintenance will reliably keep producing power for so long.

    • Replies: @mal
    , @songbird
  179. mal says:
    @Vishnugupta

    Has any turbine ever generated power for a spacecraft in space?

    No, to the best of my knowledge.

    In addition would not the solid state design of thermoelectrics make them inherently much more reliable especially since maintenance and repair is not practically possible for deep space probes.

    That is correct, which is why thermoelectrics are currently the go to technology.

    Voyager is still working after almost 50 years..I doubt a turbine with zero maintenance will reliably keep producing power for so long.

    Voyager puts out on the order of 100W power. Yes, those RTGs are extremely reliable, but 100W is not good enough.

    Reliability for the turbine is the reason why TEM project is taking decades – the eager beavers at Rosatom are spinning those at 60,000 rpm to test for longevity. It is a serious roadblock to get 10 year operational life at those speeds but there are reasons to be optimistic. The payoff – 1MW+ electric power at 25%+ efficiency is well worth the effort. But yeah, its not easy, very time consuming, and a serious risk.

  180. @Mr. Hack

    Digitalisation will go beyond just ideological and political manipulation. It will blur the boundaries between the physical realm and the digital, simulated, virtual experience. This digital, simulated experience will become more important than the physical one for a great many people. People will be more attached to their online personality than their physical self. They will massively trade the hardships of physical existence for the instant gratification of the virtual world. It is already happening.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Daniel Chieh
  181. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    What exactly are you getting at? If it’s already happening, can you point to an example or two?

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    , @Bashibuzuk
  182. @Bashibuzuk

    Well, the flesh puppet could be seen as just an interface for interacting with the meatworld for the digital soul. The finger is not the mind, it is just a means of manipulating the world.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  183. @Mr. Hack

    We comment at Unz, it’s already to late for us.

    But the next generation can still be saved.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  184. @Mr. Hack

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

    As the virtual reality becomes more immersive, the problem will only increase. As a species we need to learn to become unfazed by the digital distractions. The technology is still new, we need to develop adaptative strategies to modulate its influence. For many, the period of adaptation will be painful.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  185. @Daniel Chieh

    I am well aware of the importance of information in biological systems, but all information is not created equal.

  186. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Already several years back, when visiting my local T-Mobil phone branch, they displayed virtual reality glasses, that one could try on and experience first hand. It was really a very cool experience. I didn’t like the fact that at that time, you had to download your program off of the internet. I was more interested in the ability to purchase something physical, like a disc with possibly higher quality presentation that I could use and start a library. I haven’t looked into this technology lately, but in addition to creating some strange sexual addictions for a few perverts, I can see a lot of potential great entertainment for norms too. You’re probably too young to remember the old 3-D “viewmasters” that were definitely quite the thing, back in the day. I had one as a kid and loved it. Perhaps, that’s why I like the idea of inserting a disc to be able to view a new adventure.

    Of course, the new greater immersion virtual reality viewers are several steps more advanced, I’m not sure that Big Brother will be able to conquer the world with this new gadget alone?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  187. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    …somebody would vote for and elite candidate in order to lower their own or anybody else average income

    Sure they would. If the incomes are of someone else – the younger generation and initially mostly lower-skilled workers. You would be surprised how many elderly and middle class people like cheap servant labor. (Elderly tend to be very cheap.)

    You look at it linearly, and the dynamic is more complex. People have a strong intuitive self-interest: an elderly home owner with investments and a safe job has understood all along that bringing cheaper foreign labor benefits him personally. The ones with children didn’t care that they are selling their own progeny. Now it has reached them, but it’s almost too late.

    That’s what happened: the older generation (mostly Boomers) sacrificed their own kids to live better by voting for elites who wanted cheaper labor and open borders. The time has come to pay for it, it could get ugly. I also doubt the migrant beneficiaries will show much gratitude. In a few years the cursed Boomers could be on their own: holding most assets and no tools to protect them.

    • Agree: Coconuts
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  188. Mr. Hack says:
    @Blinky Bill

    What’s too late for us? How will the next generation be saved?

  189. songbird says:
    @Vishnugupta

    Voyager is still working after almost 50 years..I doubt a turbine with zero maintenance will reliably keep producing power for so long.

    If one were going all-out in nuclear, presumably one would have a nuclear engine, cutting down the travel times significantly, assuming the turbine was built to take the acceleration/deceleration. I think this would probably make it a lot more practical for studying Kuiper belt objects, given a certain minimum lifespan (which may not have been achieved yet.) The Voyager probes have had to shut down a lot of their equipment due to radioactive decay. And New Horizons was a flyby.

    • Replies: @Vishnugupta
    , @mal
  190. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    Sure they would. If the incomes are of someone else – the younger generation and initially mostly lower-skilled workers. You would be surprised how many elderly and middle class people like cheap servant labor. (Elderly tend to be very cheap.)

    I never have, nor have I ever read or viewed or listened to any such a view on the tube, radio or in public. I really think that this your own made up opinion that you’ve somehow managed to convince yourself that holds true for a lot of boomers. Let me clarify myself. I do think that in someways all people benefit from having lower paid workers available to do physical labor type jobs, but I don’t think that most boomers think about these matters in the way that you seem to do, and vote at the ballot box with these thoughts in their mind. Would be interesting to hear other opinions on this topic from others that frequent this blog.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Beckow
  191. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    During the second half of the 20th century, America was also experiencing moral panics, and restriction of speech, but mainly focuses on the topic of communism subliminally entering the society.

    For example, an article on the “Second Red Scare (1947–57)” . https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/red-scare People with allegedly sympathetic attitudes to communism were blacklisted, and could lose their jobs; and there wasn’t significant free speech allowed in the public sphere about alternative economic systems, Marxism, etc, which is of course quite aligned with the interest of the country’s economic elite.

    “Thousands of alleged communist sympathizers saw their lives disrupted. They were hounded by law enforcement, alienated from friends and family and fired from their jobs.”

    As the external enemy of communism has ended with opening of the Soviet Union and end of the Cold War, new moral panics have seemed to organically emerge in American culture in the 1990s, such as the “Satanic ritual abuse” panic:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanic_ritual_abuse

    Content of the panics is changing across the decades, but the form seems more constant.

    I have only skimmed parts of de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America” – so I don’t know what about these topics about the taboos and moral panics in America he might have written? Tocqueville visited America in the 1830s, and supposedly things he described in the 1830s, are relevant still now.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  192. @songbird

    Nuclear rocket engines IIRC produce thrust by superheating a working gas like Hydrogen. The specific impulse is much higher than a conventional rocket engine but pales in comparison to what can be achieved by ion engines.

    You can’t use an ion engine for takeoff as it takes a very long time to achieve similar velocity but while the conventional rocket uses its fuel in a few mins an ion engine can work continuously for months even years so it is an ideal technology to power space probes

    For an ion engine powered space probe beyond Mars you need nuclear power to power the ion engine.Presently we only have thermoelectric generators and I think thermocouples which provide efficiencies up to 20% as opposed to normal 5% which have been tested in labs is a lower risk and more practical solution to explore.

    A turbine is at the end of the day a fast moving mechanical device that will require lubrication and will be subject to wear and tear ,the working gas to convert heat of a nuclear reactor to mechanical energy may leak,if powered by a fission reaction we then have to engineer for a loss of coolant incident and many other imponderables..

    There is a reason neither the US nor the USSR/Russia have yet tried to fly anything like this.

    • Replies: @mal
    , @songbird
  193. Dmitry says:
    @Europe Europa

    AstraZeneca seems to be a very profitable company, to assess based on the proportion of luxury cars in their employees’ carparks.

    And at the moment, you can visit the futurist, monumental, fascist architecture, biomedical campus they are building. There are thousands of construction workers, and enormous building being constructed.

    They are spending more than a billion dollars just to construct this one new office building for their employees.

  194. As this is an open thread, you can’t go OT.

    Ukrainian officials touted passenger high-speed trains Intercity as one of their major achievements. Six (out of nine) carriages of Ukrainian high-speed train Intercity going from Kiev to Zaporozhye derailed at 50 km from destination. Thankfully, passengers weren’t hurt (apparently, the speed was not all that high). Ukrainian railway company «Укрзалізниця» investigates this accident.

  195. @Mr. Hack

    I don’t know about low-paid, but I do know that Mexicans are necessary for the availability of decent services in the US. We never had problems finding people to trim our trees, change floors, clean pool, or paint walls in Arizona. In TN finding people willing to do any of these jobs is a major pain in the neck. We need more Mexicans here.

    Interestingly, usually the one who speaks decent English is a team leader, while English of the rest does not go beyond “Hi”. I saw exactly the same thing in Russia: these jobs are done by Tajiks or Uzbeks, and the one with fluent Russian is always the team leader.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  196. mal says:
    @Vishnugupta

    A turbine is at the end of the day a fast moving mechanical device that will require lubrication and will be subject to wear and tear ,the working gas to convert heat of a nuclear reactor to mechanical energy may leak,if powered by a fission reaction we then have to engineer for a loss of coolant incident and many other imponderables..

    You are forgetting one thing – automation. In the past, those things are problematic. But in the future, there’s no reason why you can’t automatically re-lube your turbine or whatever. Likewise, no reason why you can’t send an autonomous drone (that lives on the spacecraft) to fix a piping leak if it detects a loss of pressure.

    For small scale, i think you are correct about thermoelectrics. They are simpler and will serve better on smaller spacecraft. But for large scale, i don’t think anything can beat turbine efficiency, and once we start talking dozens of megawatts, efficiency will become critical.

    • Replies: @Vishnugupta
  197. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    It might have very well been Stalinist, BUT IF Stalin would have explicitly told them to refrain from making ANY radical demands and proposals in their coalition negotiations and instead to only focus to creating a unified anti-Nazi front, then it would have likely been easier for the Catholic Center Party to cooperate with them, especially if President Hindenburg would have maintained his previous opposition to Hitler and would have believed that he needed to be stopped from coming to power at all costs.

    It would have of course been a marriage of convenience, but it would have been good enough to stop Hitler and the Nazis–especially if it would have gotten President Hindenburg’s support.

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

    presumably one would have a nuclear engine, cutting down the travel times significantly, assuming the turbine was built to take the acceleration/deceleration.

    Acceleration/deceleration shouldn’t be a problem, assuming it can survive the liftoff from Earth.

    In space, everything is backwards, and the fastest engines accelerate so slow you won’t even notice you are going faster. Actually, going faster will make you go slower as you transfer to higher orbit. If you slow down, you will accelerate to insane speeds, especially if you are on heliocentric orbit. But generally, unless you plow into atmosphere head on, both acceleration and deceleration should be rather gentle.

    • Agree: songbird
  199. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    First of all, as I pointed out repeatedly: the oversupply of migrants is endemic in many fields, not only in lettuce-picking or washing dishes. US labor market is swamped with surplus labor used to keep incomes lower than they would be otherwise. If you don’t understand that, you don’t get math. You will find a lot of people who welcome it, esp. on this forum where most people travel and need cheap services. That’s not representative.

    I never have, nor have I ever read or viewed or listened to any such a view on the tube, radio

    Holy shit, it wasn’t on your “radio”? Or CNN? Then it must be a conspiracy. We have different views here, but one thing we generally agree on is that mainstream media doesn’t cover many things and lies about others. To highlight a generational impact of open borders would be really highly unlikely for liberal media. (By the way, I have seen discussions along these lines on Fox’s Tucker Carlson.)

    The unknown is to what extent Boomers did it consciously – voted for the elites who wanted cheap labor. It varies, some did, others were too dumb to understand what they were doing, others don’t care about the issue. So it is a continuum. My point is that as with elderly behaviour, the coming reaction from the next generations who suffer from it, is not going to be clearly motivated: they are just angry, some blame the elderly, others don’t. The result when the fury hits is almost the same.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AP
  200. @mal

    Efficiency of how much heat is converted to electricity for something nuclear powered is not all that important due to the sheer energy density of Uranium/Plutonium.

    Most commercial power plants (new build ones) have an efficiency in the low 30s.You can’t have efficiency of 50%+ as in Gas powered plants because the zirconium cladding of fuel rods begin to give way at those temperatures. So a turbine power plant in space will not have an efficiency more than 30% as it will be much much smaller than a 1500 MWe civilian power plant.

    If new generation thermoelectrics is giving 20% that is still competitive with a turbine powered powerplant which at present is strictly theoretical.

    As for the onboard drone,a signal from Pluto takes 5 hours to reach earth so we are talking about an inherent 15 hour delay of a problem being sent to Earth,an instruction being sent back and then confirmation of execution of that instruction being sent back to Earth. If there is a loss of coolant accident we will have a melt down well before the problem is even conveyed to earth.

    I don’t see how a drone in space will autonomously fix all contingencies given that much simpler predictable problems in conventional reactors have caused Fukushima type accidents.

    • Replies: @mal
  201. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Fascinating. Of course the host of this video is quick to point out all of the possible positive things that could spring from this sort of technology, all in the pursuit of “protecting our freedoms, protect our families and protect our way of life”. Of course, I understand that you probably have other less noble pursuits that could also be enhanced by using these new technologies.

    Using this sort of technology to help combat depression and anxiety issues that plague the world without the use of deleterious drugs is very encouraging. The speaker was a little too enthusiastic about the role that this technology might play in the ability to help respondents to increase their memory faculties. Not all memories are pleasant and need to be reexperienced in minute detail. Could also be used as a softer version of lobotomies, electro convulsive therapy or digital depression therapy?

    • Replies: @EldnahYm
  202. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    The unknown is to what extent Boomers did it consciously – voted for the elites who wanted cheap labor. It varies, some did, others were too dumb to understand what they were doing, others don’t care about the issue.

    I think that we’ve finally achieved some sort of consensus here. 🙂

    • Replies: @Beckow
  203. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonFromTN

    You lived in Arizona? I know that you never visited the Ukie Catholic Church here, but perhaps the small Ukrainian Orthodox church, you know, to have your Easter basket blessed once a year? (It’s good for atheists too). 🙂

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  204. songbird says:
    @Vishnugupta

    Well, I was thinking mainly of nuclear-electric propulsion. With higher magnitudes of power output, you could potentially get much higher exhaust velocities. Limited utility with regard to planets, sure, but maybe not asteroids. Of course, you’d need to be pushing that turbine, so maybe it would be too much mass, for there to be much gain.

    I think thermocouples which provide efficiencies up to 20% as opposed to normal 5% which have been tested in labs is a lower risk and more practical solution to explore.

    We are really underinvested in alternatives to chemical rockets. Too much is put in stuff like the SLS, and NASA should probably be using the money to offer prizes for different races with non-chemical engines. I’m not sure Elon’s vision of (what is it?) 7 tankers per Mars flight is realistic.

    • Replies: @Vishnugupta
  205. @songbird

    Well NASA apparently dedicated a building recently to the African American females who did some redundant calculations.Those are the organization priorities apparently.

    SLS program corruption is so blatant it is embarrassing even by US defence procurement standards which has a long and ignoble history of killing spectacular programs like the YF 23 Black Widow for reasons that have nothing to do with performance.There is ZERO new technology to be gained for the tens of billions being invested in the SLS.

    US is very lucky to have Elon Musk.Without him the US would be trailing every other major space power(Excluding India and Japan) in terms of Space Launch technology today.

    • Agree: songbird
  206. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    I fear consensus. It probably means that we are both wrong… 🙂

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
  207. @Mr. Hack

    to have your Easter basket blessed once a year? (It’s good for atheists too)

    I lived in AZ (Phoenix area) for six years, never visited any church.

    Your last remark reminds me of a joke popular among physicists.
    A friend comes to visit Niels Bohr and notices a horseshoe above the door to his office. He points to it, saying:
    – What’s this?
    – A horseshoe. It brings good luck.
    – Do you believe in this BS?
    – Of course not. But they say it brings good luck even to people who don’t believe in it.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  208. China and Iran finally signed the 25-year cooperation agreement that’s been talked about for some time. But what’s really in it? As I understand it China doesn’t entirely comply with the sanctions against Iran. But they almost do. For example, China does import oil from Iran but only in small amounts. China still seems too risk averse to entirely ignore the sanctions.

  209. AP says:
    @Beckow

    US labor market is swamped with surplus labor used to keep incomes lower than they would be otherwise.

    And yet across professions, wages in the USA are the highest in the world among major countries.

    Average salary for an electrical engineer in the USA: $76,700 per year

    Germany: $58,000
    Canada: $55,800
    France: $47,600
    Italy: $45,320
    UK: $44,600

    I can do the same for nurses, pharmacists, plumbers, etc.

    People genuinely screwed are laborers, and this is of course bad – we should take care of our native laborers, they also have the right for dignified lives.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Beckow
  210. AP says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    1. In the 1930s Stalin was clearly much worse than Hitler.

    2. How would this have been hidden? It would be the Communist Party with Stalin in charge, regardless of what local policies they said they would pursue.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    , @Mr. XYZ
    , @Philip Owen
  211. mal says:
    @Vishnugupta

    If new generation thermoelectrics is giving 20% that is still competitive with a turbine powered powerplant which at present is strictly theoretical.

    Russians have it all calculated out.

    Here is a paper called “Role and place for Electrorocket Drives in Russian Space program”.

    http://trudymai.ru/published.php?ID=35385

    On page 9-10 they say this: “Up to electric power levels on the order of 500 kW, Nuclear Energy Units based on the thermoemissive energy transformation principle have decisive advantages. At higher power levels, mass of the thermoemissive NEU will grow more intensively compared to the mass of dynamic turbomachinery nuclear installation”.

    Basically, they agree with you up to 500 kW. Also, Nuklon contract talks about turbine drive, even though Nuklon is at 480 kW which is well within thermoemissive performance envelope. But it seems like Russians are optimistic about turbines.

    Keep in mind that Russia doesn’t have super heavy launchers. Angara 5V is 37 tons to orbit. So if turbine is lighter, turbine it will be.

    I don’t see how a drone in space will autonomously fix all contingencies given that much simpler predictable problems in conventional reactors have caused Fukushima type accidents.

    Fukushima is what, 1960’s design? If you put together a modern powerplant stuffed with sensors, an neural net expert AI drone shouldn’t have too much difficulty maintaining it without the need to phone home every time. I mean, i do chemical process design and operations for a living, and i can usually tell when things can become exciting a few hours ahead of time. Fairly sure a specialist drone can be designed for that purpose too. At least for mundane stuff.

    • Thanks: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  212. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    1. Yes–for Russia. Not for Germany.

    2. It wouldn’t have to be hidden. Rather, the German Communists could say something like this: “We still believe in the eventual victory of the Communist Revolution and in the establishment of a global dictatorship of the proletariat, but we are willing to temporarily abandon our platform for the time being in order to form an anti-Nazi coalition with the other German political parties.”

    If I recall correctly, Leon Blum in France was able to cooperate with the French Communists in the 1930s, so this actually wasn’t something that was impossible to do. I’m presuming that so long as they cooperated with Blum the French Communists put their “global Communist revolution” agenda and whatnot on hold and instead focused on supporting measures that both they and more moderate French socialists could actually jointly agree on, such as better working hours and better lives for the French working-class.

    • Replies: @rkka
  213. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Well, if you ever return, even though its obvious that you didn’t make any friends in Church, please visit the small Ukrainian Orthodox church. I’m there most any Sunday. We don’t bight, as I’m sure that you don’t either. One of our oldest members is from Donbas, she seems to get along pretty well with all of the Galicians too. 🙂

    Actually, we’ve had a number of Ukrainian professionals that work in the biological sciences visit and stay here. A young family where both worked at the U of A in the sciences and left about 10 years ago. Another one is a friend of mine that currently works at a local college and teaches both biology and chemistry. I’m sure that there were others too, ones that I never got to know.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  214. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    To elaborate on my point here, Stalin was extremely bloody for Soviet citizens but not very bloody for non-Soviet citizens back in the 1930s. Hitler, in contrast, ultimately did end up being extremely bloody for German citizens. With Stalin in power but also with no Hitler in power and no Nazis in power, millions of German men and boys would not have ended up losing their lives in another World War. Stalin was highly unlikely to go to war against a non-Nazi Germany, after all; this would trigger a grand European coalition against the Soviet Union where the Soviet Union would very possibly have to fight Britain, France, Italy, and Germany at once!

    Your mistake here is assuming that German Communists, if given a place in a German governing coalition, would automatically insist on mass terror, mass famines, forced collectivization, and mass murder. But if Stalin–and thus the German Communists–would have actually been sufficiently determined to stop Hitler, then they could have given up on these other parts of their agenda for the time being insofar as these parts of their agenda pertain to Germany (as opposed to, say, the Soviet Union). There’s no way in Hell that any of the other German parties–even the German Social Democrats–would have ever actually agreed to such German Communist terms, so it’s either have the German Communists temporarily abandon and give up on their agenda in regards to Germany or have Hitler and the Nazis still come to power in Germany–and in this scenario the German Communists would have likely *strongly* preferred the former over the latter.

    • Replies: @rkka
  215. @Bashibuzuk

    It’s the problem of what path civilization takes: to maximize the survival of critical components of technological civilization and to further develop it in the direction of what is deemed the best to (post)human civilizational viability by the elites, even if much of the current order and the masses are to be sacrificed (the elitist route); or arousing the masses to their own self-preservation, through some form of ideology against the said elites (the populist route).

    In both routes, the one with the greatest real power in each spheres of civilization existence will have their expectations fulfilled. Alphas will have their world, and agrarians their utopia. But the populist route means “the old normal” or stagnation at least, and collapse and regression at worst (if you take a modernizing standard). Did you read Dugin on what he recently says on the Great Reset as the terminal stage of liberalism?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  216. @Mr. Hack

    Thanks for the invitation! I know that in the US church often doubles as a social club, where you meet interesting people. Maybe due to growing up in the USSR I perceive church primarily as a place of worship, which is too “churchy” for me. I guess you can take the boy out of the ‘hood, but you cannot take the ‘hood out of the boy.

    As a crass unbeliever, I feel I might offend church-going people by my presence. I don’t want to offend anyone for no reason. I always tell my graduate students at the outset: “if you are conventionally religious, you don’t want to discuss religion with me”. I’d much prefer meeting people in a more neutral place.

  217. @AaronB

    An ideal environment must always be balanced between strife and prosperity. One needs enough prosperity to have the political grow, but one also needs some strife. It’s more a matter of by what and to what degree, I think.

    A perpetual frontier will free us all and solve the problem.

  218. Beckow says:
    @AP

    …across professions, wages in the USA are the highest in the world among major countries.

    That’s why they are trying to lower them. The salaries are substantially lower than they would be if there was no mass immigration.

    The cost of living in US is also effectively higher, for e.g. in France or Germany you get free medical and education for you children, 5 weeks of vacation, etc…

    Different people put different value on it, for a single person in their prime earning years with no school debt, US is better. For a family with kids it is about equal. And Europe is simply more fun…

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @AP
  219. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Dmitry

    During the second half of the 20th century, America was also experiencing moral panics, and restriction of speech, but mainly focuses on the topic of communism subliminally entering the society.

    In the 1950s there were also moral panics about juvenile delinquency, rock’n’roll and even comic books (which were corrupting America’s youth).

    Has there ever been a period in American history without moral panics?

    To some extent it’s an Anglo-Protestant thing. There were moral panics in Victorian England about prostitution, homosexuality (the Cleveland Street Scandal) and white slavery. As Christianity has gradually faded into virtual non-existence in other Anglosphere countries the moral panics have abated.

    But the moral panics were always much more virulent in the US and they show no sign of abating.

    • Replies: @Coconuts
  220. @Yellowface Anon

    I stopped reading Dugin many years ago. I agree with what you wrote above, that attemptung the preservation of the current standard of living for the Western middle class will lead to stagnation and eventually to collapse. I believe that in the last two generations period or so, very intelligent people have probably charted different paths for human civilization. They worked with the information they had and the understanding that they managed to develop basing on this information, which lead us to the world we live in today. They probably have a very strong conviction that the technological progress must continue, but under the most strict possible control. That human evolution has become a technobiological process. That these both aspects must be balanced against each other and against the very survival of our biosphere. Maybe what we have today is simply the best we could get, maybe not. Fact is, everyone will not make it to the Shining Tomorrows. For this boat to keep on floating, some of us must drown. For this balloon to keep on flying, some of us must drop.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  221. Coconuts says:
    @dfordoom

    I’ve always had some doubts about how useful the ‘moral panic’ concept is as a tool of analysis, and how much it was created to serve and further particular (left wing) political and social viewpoints.

    Good candidates for moral panics in the UK in recent years have revolved around:

    The ‘Rise of Populism/Fascism’, ‘epidemic of racial hate’, transphobia, Islamophobia, misogyny and ‘rape culture’ (in video games, now pervading society etc.).

    As far as I’ve been able to tell, sociologists have not been talking about these things in terms of moral panics. It is as if once identity politics and the New Left became the established religion, the need for the concept faded.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  222. FerW says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Continuing from https://www.unz.com/akarlin/war-in-donbass-update/#comment-4552343

    It’s from the phonetic implication:

    话(huà) – words
    同化(huà) – to melt, become one

    So together, “melt into the same words”

    I see, thanks. So how canonical is incorporating phonetic correlations into the presumed meaning of words?

    We heard recently (IIRC from our 三王国 romantic) how one defining virtue of the 中文 linguistic system was its capacity for unifying many (spoken) languages through a common ideographic writing system. Of course, the point would be that the meaning extracted visually would be the same regardless of how different people are accustomed to verbalise it. But then including phonetic correlations into meaning would directly undermine this quality! Furthermore, even assuming one master pronunciation, there are several more 汉字 with the same huà/huā reading, what’s so special about 话? And aren’t we missing meaning from some 同-homophone too, then?

    I know that such associations of meaning could happen regardless of overarching designs*, and although I may sound a bit like advocatus diaboli, what I’m trying to puzzle out is how standard it is that 同化 should mean “make same language” as opposed to that being your (or your collinguals) “dialectal” interpretation, and whether such phonemic->semantic process is a widespread phenomenon in 中文.

    (*) Although not really the same, an example from Japanese: AIUI, they have these words called 熟字訓 (jukujikun) whose pre-existent sound and meaning was given a written form by choosing arbitrary 漢字 exclusively for their sound (as if they were phonemes). Then, in a few cases, as time wore on, some of the meaning of the word would spill into, say, one of the (previously semantically unrelated) kanji of the jukujikun. Afterwards, new words would be created where the kanji in question is now presumed to carry the new meaning.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  223. @Beckow

    Europe is simply more fun…

    Europe was more fun before massive influx of rapefugees. I visited many European countries in the last 20+ years, and liked it. Now people say that Paris is as bad as Dakar, and UK and Germany have also deteriorated. Maybe Eastern Europe is still OK, but the places I visited so far (Hungary, Croatia) were rather depressing, looked poorer than provincial Russian cities. The only place that looked decent was Prague. Even there the profusion of classical music concerts at low prices suggested that it’s cultural heritage, that survived Soviet domination, is now dying. The world is big, so now I’d rather go to Asia, Latin America, or even some places in Africa. I was in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Peru, Mexico, and Egypt in the last few years and liked it all.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Dmitry
  224. FerW says:
    @Boswald Bollocksworth

    In any case, as an Anglo-Saxon, I find it prejudicial, in the legal sense. How can the defendant not appear guilty if he is stuck in a cage like an ape at a 19th century zoo?

    John Pilger reports as witness of Julian Assange’s extradition trial at London’s Old Bailey (October 2020):

    Q: Having watched Julian Assange’s trial first-hand, can you describe the prevailing atmosphere in the court?

    The prevailing atmosphere has been shocking. I say that without hesitation; I have sat in many courts and seldom known such a corruption of due process; this is due revenge. Putting aside the ritual associated with ‘British justice’, at times it has been evocative of a Stalinist show trial. One difference is that in the show trials, the defendant stood in the court proper. In the Assange trial, the defendant was caged behind thick glass, and had to crawl on his knees to a slit in the glass, overseen by his guard, to make contact with his lawyers. His message, whispered barely audibly through face masks, WAS then passed by post-it the length of the court to where his barristers were arguing the case against his extradition to an American hellhole.

    Consider this daily routine of Julian Assange, an Australian on trial for truth-telling journalism. He was woken at five o’clock in his cell at Belmarsh prison in the bleak southern sprawl of London. The first time I saw Julian in Belmarsh, having passed through half an hour of ‘security’ checks, including a dog’s snout in my rear, I found a painfully thin figure sitting alone wearing a yellow armband. He had lost more than 10 kilos in a matter of months; his arms had no muscle. His first words were: ‘I think I am losing my mind’.

    I tried to assure him he wasn’t. His resilience and courage are formidable, but there is a limit. That was more than a year ago. In the past three weeks, in the pre-dawn, he was strip-searched, shackled, and prepared for transport to the Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey, in a truck that his partner, Stella Moris, described as an upended coffin. It had one small window; he had to stand precariously to look out. The truck and its guards were operated by Serco, one of many politically connected companies that run much of Boris Johnson’s Britain.

    The journey to the Old Bailey took at least an hour and a half. That’s a minimum of three hours being jolted through snail-like traffic every day. He was led into his narrow cage at the back of the court, then look up, blinking, trying to make out faces in the public gallery through the reflection of the glass. He saw the courtly figure of his dad, John Shipton, and me, and our fists went up. Through the glass, he reached out to touch fingers with Stella, who is a lawyer and seated in the body of the court.

    […]

    http://johnpilger.com/articles/eyewitness-to-the-trial-and-agony-of-julian-assange

    [MORE]

    We were here for the ultimate of what the philosopher Guy Debord called The Society of the Spectacle: a man fighting for his life. Yet his crime is to have performed an epic public service: revealing that which we have a right to know: the lies of our governments and the crimes they commit in our name. His creation of WikiLeaks and its failsafe protection of sources revolutionised journalism, restoring it to the vision of its idealists. Edmund Burke’s notion of free journalism as a fourth estate is now a fifth estate that shines a light on those who diminish the very meaning of democracy with their criminal secrecy. That’s why his punishment is so extreme.

    The sheer bias in the courts I have sat in this year and last year, with Julian in the dock, blight any notion of British justice. When thuggish police dragged him from his asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy – look closely at the photo and you’ll see he is clutching a Gore Vidal book; Assange has a political humour similar to Vidal’s – a judge gave him an outrageous 50-week sentence in a maximum-security prison for mere bail infringement.

    For months, he was denied exercise and held in solitary confinement disguised as ‘heath care’. He once told me he strode the length of his cell, back and forth, back and forth, for his own half-marathon. In the next cell, the occupant screamed through the night. At first he was denied his reading glasses, left behind in the embassy brutality. He was denied the legal documents with which to prepare his case, and access to the prison library and the use of a basic laptop. Books sent to him by a friend, the journalist Charles Glass, himself a survivor of hostage-taking in Beirut, were returned. He could not call his American lawyers. He has been constantly medicated by the prison authorities. When I asked him what they were giving him, he couldn’t say. The governor of Belmarsh has been awarded the Order of the British Empire.

    At the Old Bailey, one of the expert medical witnesses, Dr Kate Humphrey, a clinical neuropsychologist at Imperial College, London, described the damage: Julian’s intellect had gone from ‘in the superior, or more likely very superior range’ to ‘significantly below’ this optimal level, to the point where he was struggling to absorb information and ‘perform in the low average range’.

    This is what the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Professor Nils Melzer, calls ‘psychological torture’, the result of a gang-like ‘mobbing’ by governments and their media shills. […]

    […]

    The plan of the US Government throughout has been to limit the information available to the public and limit the effective access to a wider public of what information is available. Thus we have seen the extreme restrictions on both physical and video access. A complicit mainstream media has ensured those of us who know what is happening are very few in the wider population.

    There are few records of the proceedings. They are: Craig Murray’s personal blog, Joe Lauria’s live reporting on Consortium News and the World Socialist Website. American journalist Kevin Gosztola’s blog, Shadowproof, funded mostly by himself, has reported more of the trial than the major US press and TV, including CNN, combined.

    In Australia, Assange’s homeland, the ‘coverage’ follows a familiar formula set overseas. The London correspondent of the Sydney Morning Herald, Latika Bourke, wrote this recently:

    The court heard Assange became depressed during the seven years he spent in the Ecuadorian embassy where he sought political asylum to escape extradition to Sweden to answer rape and sexual assault charges.

    There were no ‘rape and sexual assault charges’ in Sweden. Bourke’s lazy falsehood is not uncommon. If the Assange trial is the political trial of the century, as I believe it is, its outcome will not only seal the fate of a journalist for doing his job but intimidate the very principles of free journalism and free speech. The absence of serious mainstream reporting of the proceedings is, at the very least, self-destructive. Journalists should ask: who is next?

    How shaming it all is. A decade ago, the Guardian exploited Assange’s work, claimed its profit and prizes as well as a lucrative Hollywood deal, then turned on him with venom. Throughout the Old Bailey trial, two names have been cited by the prosecution, the Guardian’s David Leigh, now retired as ‘investigations editor’ and Luke Harding, the Russiaphobe and author of a fictional Guardian ‘scoop’ that claimed Trump adviser Paul Manafort and a group of Russians visited Assange in the Ecuadorean embassy. This never happened, and the Guardian has yet to apologise. The Harding and Leigh book on Assange – written behind their subject’s back – disclosed a secret password to a WikiLeaks file that Assange had entrusted to Leigh during the Guardian’s ‘partnership’. Why the defence has not called this pair is difficult to understand.

    Assange is quoted in their book declaring during a dinner at a London restaurant that he didn’t care if informants named in the leaks were harmed. Neither Harding nor Leigh was at the dinner. John Goetz, an investigations reporter with Der Spiegel, was at the dinner and testified that Assange said nothing of the kind. Incredibly, Judge Baraitser stopped Goetz actually saying this in court.

    However, the defence has succeeded in demonstrating the extent to which Assange sought to protect and redact names in the files released by WikiLeaks and that no credible evidence existed of individuals harmed by the leaks. The great whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg said that Assange had personally redacted 15,000 files. The renowned New Zealand investigative journalist Nicky Hager, who worked with Assange on the Afghanistan and Iraq war leaks, described how Assange took ‘extraordinary precautions in redacting names of informants’.

    […]

    Q: Having followed the story of WikiLeaks closely for a decade, how has this eyewitness experience shifted your understanding of what’s at stake with Assange’s trial?

    I have long been a critic of journalism as an echo of unaccountable power and a champion of those who are beacons. So, for me, the arrival of WikiLeaks was exciting; I admired the way Assange regarded the public with respect, that he was prepared to share his work with the ‘mainstream’ but not join their collusive club. This, and naked jealousy, made him enemies among the overpaid and under-talented, insecure in their pretensions of independence and impartiality.

    […]

    WikiLeaks, on the other hand, has allowed us to glimpse a rampant imperial march through whole societies – think of the carnage in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, to name a few, the dispossession of 37 million people and the deaths of 12 million men, women and children in the ‘war on terror’ – most of it behind a façade of deception.

    Julian Assange is a threat to these recurring horrors – that’s why he is being persecuted, why a court of law has become an instrument of oppression, why he ought to be our collective conscience: why we all should be the threat.

    The judge’s decision will be known on the 4th of January.

    The extradition was initially denied due to concerns about Assange’s health. However, he remains jailed. Under Biden USA decided to continue the prosecution.

  225. Beckow says:
    @AnonFromTN

    I wasn’t referring to tourism, that is – or not – fun in many places. I agree about large cities in Western Europe, they seem unsalvageable: menacing, dirty, unpleasant, with pockets of wealth. The oasis never spreads, a desert does, we all know where this is going.

    Outside of big cities, lives are still good. Try smaller cities in Austria, Cotswolds, or France profonde. In Eastern Europe we have temporarily peaked around 2017-18. The deep structural issues are back. Faustian bargains after 1990 are coming to collect.

    Prague is a fairy town for tourists, both appealing and annoying. Prague is also living off the massive investment in infrastructure, housing, education (music) after WWII – the damn commies built a lot of it. It has been repainted, franchised, quality (commie-)educated people cashed in, housing values sky-rocketed. Restaurants are good, but not as good as 5-10 years ago. There is a sense of an era ending, the post-WWII investment and the post-1990 cashing-in are both exhausted.

    I need to check-out “provincial Russia“, any boom-towns? (I spotted a Gypsy on a street-car few days back, and there is an Indian flag above a ugly non-descript office building, time to look for greener pastures :)…

  226. @FerW

    But then including phonetic correlations into meaning would directly undermine this quality! Furthermore, even assuming one master pronunciation, there are several more 汉字 with the same huà/huā reading, what’s so special about 话? And aren’t we missing meaning from some 同-homophone too, then?

    I think that there is, in theory, a limited range of phonetic alteration from the characters. This is likely what Qin attempted to suppress; I don’t actually know if it is completely possible to prevent meaning drift if phonetics is left completely independent and although I’m not a linguist enough to say this definitively, I believe that’s how Kanji developed and even though it often uses characters similar or identical to Chinese, meaning drift has happened.

    That said, phonetics is an important part of Chinese written language now(I notice, at least casually, that kanji seems to avoid the phonetic components). In modern Chinese, phonetic-semantic characters(also known as sound-meaning characters) are the majority(I’ve read 80%) of Chinese characters and allow some degree of ambiguity to happen. The ever simplification of phonetics has led to some interesting results:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion-Eating_Poet_in_the_Stone_Den

    The poem was written in the 1930s by the Chinese linguist Yuen Ren Chao as a linguistic demonstration. The poem is coherent and grammatical in Classical Chinese, but due to the number of Chinese homophones, it becomes difficult to understand in oral speech. In Mandarin, the poem is incomprehensible when read aloud, since only four syllables cover all the words of the poem.

    At any rate, in terms of its actual utility function, the semantic function helps with clarity and for the most part, it doesn’t get too ambiguous with the phonetic component. I’ll give an example below:

    根 is tree/plant root, or gēn. Its inherits its phonetic character from 艮, a Kangxi radical, a building block for Chinese, with a similar sound of gèn. The left radical to 根 is 木(mu) or wood, so together you have “something with the sound of gen, which is wood”, which is a “root.” Someone who did not know the sound-radical would be able to tell that it refers to plantlife, but would be less able to clarify the specific part of the plant. Usually from the context of the sentence, a reader can confirm that it is referring to “root.”

    Then, in a few cases, as time wore on, some of the meaning of the word would spill into, say, one of the (previously semantically unrelated) kanji of the jukujikun. Afterwards, new words would be created where the kanji in question is now presumed to carry the new meaning.

    Chinese language is indeed a huge collection of such meanings, clarifications, misunderstandings, etc. I did some research before on the specific characters, and I believe there are notes like “this was a sound corruption that was eventually accepted into normalized use for a new meaning.”

    • Thanks: FerW
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  227. AP says:
    @Beckow

    The cost of living in US is also effectively higher, for e.g. in France or Germany you get free medical and education for you children, 5 weeks of vacation, etc

    In addition to lower incomes, Europeans pay much higher taxes, which erases most of the advantages of free medical care and education.

    You are right about 5 weeks vacation, though. That is an undeniable advantage.

    And Europe is simply more fun

    Depends. For urban exploration, culture, and history – absolutely. And by urban I mean small cities and towns too (maybe especially). OTOH, the USA is an incredible playground for outdoor natural activities.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  228. @Beckow

    I need to check-out “provincial Russia“, any boom-towns?

    I visited Penza and Nizhni Novgorod a few years back, about a year after we spent a few days in Budapest and drove through Zagreb, spending maybe 6-8 h there. I was surprised how dignified and prosperous these provincial Russian cities look, and how pathetic Budapest and Zagreb look and feel. The shock was enhanced by the fact that back in the USSR Hungary and Yugoslavia were considered prosperous. Either we were wrong, or they deteriorated a lot after joining the EU.

    Life keeps surprising me. I remember that in 1991 the roads in the US struck me as very good, much better than in the USSR. Now the roads in Nashville, including highway I-10, are full of potholes, some repaired, many not. RF federal road from Penza to Nizhni Novgorod that I drove a few years back is in much better shape. The Empire is visibly crumbling. Alzheimer Joe may not be a sick joke, but an objective reflection of things. I saw one Empire dying, and I hate to see exactly the same things in another.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @AP
    , @Philip Owen
    , @Jazman
  229. @AP

    USA is an incredible playground for outdoor natural activities.

    Have to agree with that. The US National Parks are magnificent. What’s more, the people there are very nice and polite. Neither BLM/Antifa scum nor “liberal” billionaires ever go there (thank goodness).

    • Agree: AP
  230. songbird says:
    @Beckow

    I’d rather visit Tripoli (either one) than Paris, and I have no illusions about Tripoli (either one) not being a dump.

    If the Chinese built a 1:1 copy of Paris, and hired a few pretty French or Quebecois girls to staff the most visible locations, then I think tourism to the real one would totally collapse.

    • Agree: Coconuts
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  231. Beckow says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Entropy gets everything. US is a business proposition more than anything else: build a business, cash-in, move on. It is a relatively short cycle and there are few profits in maintenance.

    I drove across US 2 years ago and went thru Nashville – a disappointment, Vanderbilt was nice, but the “music” district was poor and dirty. The low quality of people was shocking: short, fat, unhealthy, uninteresting, badly dressed. It is simply not a stock to build an “empire” with. Or even maintain one.

    US has become by design hyper-competitive. They don’t understand that hyper-competitiveness inevitably leads to chaos and worse choices. When you have 50 or 200 possible candidates for a Harvard spot, or in other “markets”, you end up with random, political, and nepotistic decision making. Predictably that has happened.

    Old Joe fits the country, a perfect reflection: scared, sickly, unable to think on his feet, and with pre-diluvian ideology based on myths, misunderstandings and Hollywood Wakanda dreams (for white people too). As with many elderly the main driving force is to keep their comfort a bit longer, future be damned.

    The reckless idea that drives Washington is to confront everyone, preach everywhere, threaten and pout. When things go badly, simply pretend that it is not happening. When the Chinese read the riot act to US in Alaska, I noticed the hapless Blinken and his staff energetically exchanging notes on small pieces of paper: like not very bright, but earnest students. They think that their verbal skills and inane conformism to ideology will carry the day. Too late for that. They looked like former people with no idea what is happening, a sad entropy driven collapse.

  232. @Beckow

    I drove across US 2 years ago and went thru Nashville – a disappointment

    Nashville is a big (~600,000 residents) village. So, if you expect to see a city, you’d be disappointed. On the plus side, those fat uninteresting people (in the Old South they were called “white trash”) retain some horse sense. They tend to be dumb and woefully uninformed, but they are a lot more normal than mad libtards (who are also woefully uninformed, believe in most preposterous myths, and are convinced that they know everything, which is a worse thing than just lack of info).

    Old Joe fits the country, a perfect reflection: scared, sickly, unable to think on his feet, and with pre-diluvian ideology based on myths, misunderstandings and Hollywood Wakanda dreams

    Old Joe is unable to think, period. As an American joke puts it, he was always so dumb that when he went senile, his family didn’t even notice. As we see now, he is unable to climb stairs, either. Reminds me of Brezhnev in his worst years.

  233. Dmitry says:
    @songbird

    As a tourist, you would surely need to have a very low cultural level, to prefer some fake shit made by Chinese (as if American fake architecture like the buildings in Yale University or Las Vegas was not bad enough), to Paris, with all its historical layers. I would no desire to live in Paris, but if you have an afternoon to walk around a city it is one of the most stimulating ones.

    That said, Paris has been strangely marketed to tourists. The attempt to claim that a grey, noisy, decaying, stressful, city, with its struggling migrant labour, as a “romantic destination” to visit with your girlfriend, is almost a fraud.

    The reason for the mismatch is because Paris was the 19th century equivalent of Hollywood today – it’s where the world’s most significant culture industry was located, and the latest fashions and trends in media, clothing and design were artificially engineered by the creative professionals that worked in Paris.

    People naturally associate the cities which have engineered our cultural concepts of romance and ideals, must be somehow romantic and ideal themselves, while in reality they can often be the opposite.

    Culture industry can be geographically located in places which hardly match its ideals – think about Hollywood. When I visited Los Angeles as a tourist, I found it a very romantic and interesting city, but this Los Angeles has a “gothic” kind of romance that you can feel for weird, haunted nightmares, rather than anything that matches the ideals of Hollywood romantic comedies.

    • Replies: @songbird
  234. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    I was surprised how dignified and prosperous these provincial Russian cities look, and how pathetic Budapest and Zagreb look and feel

    I visited Budapest in 2019 before moving on to Austria. Your impression of Budapest matches mine. With the exception of the Castle District, the city (including the center) looked run down and dirty. The outskirts by the airport could have been the outskirts of Zhytomir, except the people had more expensive cars. Not only provincial Russian cities, but also Lviv and Kiev look less run down than Budapest. Is it the influence of the Balkans? The kids loved the baths, however. And the food was good.

    Austria in contrast was a paradise.

  235. Dmitry says:
    @AnonFromTN

    In all the years I have visited Paris (from beginning 2000s to 2015), I think it has become more renovated and bourgeois than the first time I remember the city.

    It is a city of Arab and African labour – but it was like this the first time I visited. This is not recent. My first impression of Paris when I visited as child, was that I was in Africa.

    Even the problems like Arab terrorists running around in Paris killing people is not that new, and was endemic in Paris in the 1980s – there were terrorist IEDs firing all over the city in the 1980s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1985%E2%80%9386_Paris_attacks

    As a tourist, my impression is the Arab tourist sector workers in Paris, at least can be more friendly to tourists, than some of the native French workers. Arab workers in the hotel always seemed responsive, but the native French woman my parents have hired a house from in a another city in France, has shouted at us because we did something wrong with a window.

    As for other problems of Paris like the decaying metro, dirty streets and the traffic pollution. My impression that they have renovated parts of the city and that it seems cleaner than it was in the early 2000s. It seems like the city has become more bourgeois, touristic, but lost more of its charm more as the tourist numbers had doubled in the last twenty years.

  236. @AP

    Austria in contrast was a paradise.

    We drove to Budapest from Vienna. We spent a few days in Vienna, went to the opera there, to their art museum (Klimt, who the whole world has heard of, is just one of many interesting Vienna painters), and generally enjoyed ourselves. Vienna feels a bit outsized for the capital of puny Austria, but it was the capital of a lot more consequential country a bit over a century ago. We also spent a few days in Budapest, where their metro and cable car to the Castle district still work, being built by Franz Josef early in the twentieth century, unlike cable car in Zagreb, which did not work (had a sign “Ne vozi”).

    What struck us in Budapest was a huge difference in prices between touristy places and places where locals live (we booked hotel in a native place, to see how people actually live, and used metro to get to downtown) – a typical sign of third world. Local grocery stores have a lot of cheap shit and had only small pieces of more expensive decent quality sausage, of the kinds that were plentiful even in DDR before the wall came down. We drove from Budapest via north side of Balaton, Croatia, and a small piece of Slovenia to Austria. After Hungary and Croatia, Austria indeed looked like a paradise: clean, well maintained, prosperous. I hope rapefugees did not spoil it: I hear they channeled most of those dregs to Germany.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Jazman
    , @Thulean Friend
  237. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    I’ve never been to Budapest, so have no idea about it (except I read they are removing the historical trams).

    But is there something intrinsically bad about city being “run down”, for a tourist? If I could trade between “run down city” and clean touristic cities, I much more enjoyed to be a tourist in e.g. “run down” Napoli, than in ultra-clean and overly renovated Sorrento.

    For city tourism in Europe, I generally feel like I want to visit the places which have not been too renovated and turned into tourist traps.. Cities which are trying too much to “make a good impression”, can lose their historical atmosphere and authenticity. Napoli is still an unspoilt city, with all its interesting decaying and dirty streets, but Sorrento has become too shiny, touristic and I didn’t feel anything in my soul when I visited such an inauthentic place.

    On the other hand, if you are a long-term resident of city, I can see that graffitied buildings, and dirty building facades, that charms visitors to cities like Napoli, could become annoying after some weeks.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
  238. @Daniel Chieh

    I believe that’s how Kanji developed and even though it often uses characters similar or identical to Chinese, meaning drift has happened.

    I recollected some memory like this as well and found one – the meaning drift is minimal, but its still there. 鬼 in Japanese is oni, a specific type of demon, typically portrayed as troll-like creatures.

    They are typically portrayed as hulking figures with one or more horns growing out of their heads. Stereotypically, they are conceived of as red, blue or white-colored, wearing loincloths of tiger pelt, and carrying iron kanabō clubs. This is a symbol of the dark side.

    – Wikia

    In Chinse, 鬼 is gui and is a generic term for spirit but is typically translated into “ghost” or a spectral figure. So there’s meaning drift, though its not so drastic that one can’t envision how it came about.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  239. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    As a tourist, you would surely need to have a very low cultural level, to prefer some fake shit made by Chinese

    Well, I think it depends on a the execution: if it is paper mache or concrete, then that is not desirable. Is it real limestone, skilled craftwork? Where are you flying from? Would the Chinese show an appreciation for French ethnicity and culture, even on a small scale? (In contrast to the real France which has an ideology against it) If so, I think it is philosophically possible to have a more authentic and more pleasant experience in a simulacrum.

    [MORE]

    In fact, I think it it might be an overlooked economic model, to try to build a city for tourism that countersignals diversity, on whatever level, and reaches for some authentic culture, even on a small scale.

    The reason for the mismatch is because Paris was the 19th century equivalent of Hollywood today

    No question that there is a massive historical legacy, when it comes to the reputation of cities, on a global level, especially NYC, London, and Paris, that functions semi-independently of current observations and comparisons.

    Hollywood was originally chosen because it was a good place for using natural light in film, but, on the other hand, that made it closer to Mexico and Mexicans, and as the technology has moved on, the movie industry has in large part moved away and the term “Hollywood” is mainly used in a legacy sense to signify “American cultural production.” Now, the original reason for setting up studios there, the natural light, helps one to espy the excrement of derelicts and to avoid stepping in it.

    Speaking of Hollywood, they often try to make American cities a lot more romantic than they are in actuality. I often wonder if it is a subversion, a personal love of cities, or rather a constraint of filming scenes that makes them seem more natural in a city than the suburbs. For example, showing a rush-hour commute from a suburb is not romantic. But, even so, I wonder about the negative effects of romanticizing American cities.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Thulean Friend
  240. @Dmitry

    For city tourism in Europe, I generally feel like I want to visit the places which have not been too renovated and turned into tourist traps.

    There is a huge difference between creating fakes for tourists and proper maintenance of the city. Say, St. Petersburg did not lose its authenticity because it was washed and renovated, it just became a nice place both to visit and to live in. Same with Moscow, that now is clean and looks magnificent, but retains its authenticity (which is, admittedly, eclectic, as it always was). Unter den Linden in Berlin is also clean and well maintained (at least it was a few years ago, before the flood of rapefugees), which does not reduce its authenticity. Napoli would have been just as authentic if it were cleaned, like downtown Milano. Now you have to get to its artistic gems via dirty streets.

    • Agree: AP, Blinky Bill
  241. @Daniel Chieh

    Isn’t Oni just a Japanese version of Rakshasa or Pisacha? So many different types of demons and ghosts in our scriptures…

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  242. @Bashibuzuk

    You strongly overestimate the effects on “human-kind” – that is if you only see “humankind” as the West. Will the West be shattered? Yes. Will war throughout Europe erupt as it did in the period of the Hundred Years War? Yes. Will the rest of the world be significantly affected? Probably not. China has about 13% of its GDP coming from exports. With its recent emphasis on the dual circulation policy and a commitment to a reduction in reliance on foreign markets and suppliers, it becomes easier for China to weather a US collapse. Furthermore a US collapse would only be of great benefit to China as it will be able to fill the vacuum by acting as a mediator to warring nations and to those suffering immensly from the collapse of the dollar. It will put itself in a much similar situation the US after WW2, where it will act to stabilize and rebuild countries.

    I personally believe that a collapse of the US will be a net positive to the world and mankind at large.

    • Agree: dfordoom
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @AnonFromTN
  243. @Beckow

    America cannot stop immigration, if it does its population will enter a downwards spiral starting from 2044

  244. @Beckow

    America cannot stop immigration, if it does its population will enter a downwards spiral starting from 2044

  245. @Xi-Jinping

    I personally believe that a collapse of the US will be a net positive to the world and mankind at large.

    Couldn’t agree anymore, but collapse is not enough…

    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
  246. Somewhat related to our discussion about the possible outcomes of the Westerstroika:

    Getting Hyperinflation Right

    Handled properly, hyperinflation can provide numerous other benefits. Gone will be negative terms such as federal budget deficit and federal debt. Normalized over the past 12 months, the US federal government took in $283.8 billion in revenues and spent $552 billion. That is, it overspent its revenues by 194%. Rounding up just a bit, it is safe to say that the US spends twice its revenues, borrowing as much as it earns. The cumulative result of this borrowing currently stands somewhere north of $28 trillion and—here comes the interesting part—the amount of that debt that needs to be rolled over over the next 12 months comes to $7.4 trillion and has grown by $2.7 trillion (that is, by more than a third) in just the past year. Debt that can never be repaid is not really debt at all and continuing to call it that is psychologically damaging. Hyperinflation will make it go away, easing everyone’s mind.

    ……

    And then will come a brave new world in which the government issues money, hands it out, it circulates for a bit before losing of its value, and then the government issues more money. Obviously, the government, no longer being good for much, would do well to let the tech giants—Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and, last but not least, Twitter—take over the money-issuing function. New smartphone-based banking and payment systems will not only make it possible to take these changes in stride but will make hyperinflation fun for everyone.

    In this brave new world, gone will be the terrible problem of usury, since nobody will be willing to lend any money at all, at any rate of interest, there being a great danger of total loss. Gone will be the vexatious problems of attempting to exercise fiscal restraint and of having to justify to taxpayers how their tax money is being misappropriated and mishandled. The benefits of hyperinflation are too many to mention here, but perhaps the most important one will be in allowing people, rich and poor alike, to make a gradual transition to life without any money at all. To paraphrase Klaus Schwab, you will be broke and you will be miserable, but at least you’ll have fun getting there… playing with your smartphone while waiting for deliveries… until the internet goes down… or the lights go out and the battery runs down.

    http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2021/03/getting-hyperinflation-right.html?m=1#more

    I am under the impression that Dmitry Orlov does not believe in MMT much…

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    , @mal
  247. @Xi-Jinping

    I personally believe that a collapse of the US will be a net positive to the world and mankind at large.

    That is true only if the collapse does not trigger WWIII. If it does, RIP mankind.

    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
  248. @AnonFromTN

    Unlikely.

    The US is not willing to accept the mass casualties it will need to be able to accept to use nukes.

    Coincidentally, this is why it will not be able to win a war against a near peer competitor. Too many soldiers dying will lead to an insane backlash in society. The US does NOT have the stomach for casualties…imagine German level WW2 level casualties to US troops against say China…US concern for ‘public opinion’ is ironically what will crimp its ability to fight

  249. @AP

    Gareth Jones, the journalist I sometimes refer to for his reports on Ukraine, also covered Germany. Indeed he scored a major scoop when invited to fly with Hitler from Berlin to Frankfurt just after Hitler’s election. He was the foreign journalist to interview Hitler. From the time Hitler became chancellor, Jones discusses work camps and concentration camps – places to concentrate people. Initially not for Jews although the Jews were being very badly treated. Socialists were the first to go in according to Jones’s reports. Jones’s mother, a governess, during her time in the Donbass also commented on very poor conditions for Jews in Russia.

  250. The Furniture is 75% scale in size so everything looks more spacious than it is.

    LOL. Sounds retarded. Maybe it works in a video but it in real life it doesn’t.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  251. @mal

    So an energy storage appliance would be part of the payload to offset the lighter turbine. What would you monitor? vibration, pressure drops, electrical output, temperature. It might be easier on the payload to switch to a backup turbine rather than attempt the complexities of repair. Spare parts might amount to the same payload anyway.

    Triplex even.

    • Replies: @mal
  252. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    After Hungary and Croatia, Austria indeed looked like a paradise: clean, well maintained, prosperous. I hope rapefugees did not spoil it: I hear they channeled most of those dregs to Germany.

    This is true. In 2019 I only saw two refugees in Austria, both in Vienna. They were sad rather than frightful, one was begging outside of Saint Stephen’s before the police drove him away. The second was dirty, malnourished, in rags, meekly saying “bitte” on a pedestrian shopping street. I felt sorry for him and gave him a piece of sausage (they sell delicious street sausages in Vienna) which he ate.

    Overall Vienna was about as non-European as Moscow (perhaps 10-15%), nothing like Paris or London. There were tons of Russian tourists. I think Russians have decided that if they want to be in a major Western European city with its charms and its museums, Vienna is the place to go to avoid being in the Third World instead. Outside Vienna, in smaller cities there were a lot of Croats, Serbs and a few Bosnians.

    • Replies: @Gerard-Mandela
    , @Mr. XYZ
  253. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    But is there something intrinsically bad about city being “run down”, for a tourist? If I could trade between “run down city” and clean touristic cities, I much more enjoyed to be a tourist in e.g. “run down” Napoli, than in ultra-clean and overly renovated Sorrento.

    Well, Moscow is a very clean non-touristic city. It is much nicer now than it was in the early 2000s when it was run down. There are Austrian towns that are not loaded with tourists, that are clean and tidy. Galician villages tend to be clean and tidy, and have zero tourists. They are more pleasant than run down ones in Russia (I mean no offence to Russians here).

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  254. @AnonFromTN

    I’ve been to Penza a few times. The centre is very decent by the standards of most other Russian provincial cities I know. The main street rising uphill narrowing as it approaches the cathedral pulls the architecture together.

    I have also been out and about in the factory areas. The whole place is better than the cities along the Volga because there is a lot less dust and grit blown in from the riverbank and steppe. The dust makes places like Ulyanosk and Saratov look dirty and dusty. Some of the dustiness and gritiness is down to poor quality road and pavement (sidewalk) construction and maintenance. The muck collects in the potholes. Farming, food processing (especially confectionery) and food distribution are the modern boom businesses.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  255. EldnahYm says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    From an economic and geopolitical perspective, “the West” is not a useful analytical framework. The United States is a category of its own, and Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are all in a different position compared to Europe, itself a broad category(my definition of “Europe” here would not include Russia). For Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, look at those countries resource bases, who their primary trading partners are, and what location they are in. You will find they are not like the integrated trading economics of western Europe. When people speak of “the West” collapsing, unless their theory is based on something like a cultural collapse(caused by wokeism or something) or a world war that particularly damages both Europe and North America, it’s probably better not to lump so many countries together. They are in different positions. There is a strong case to be made, at least from an economic and geopolitical angle, that what we call “the West” is really just a Cold War alliance system that could be dismantled at any time without causing drastic changes in all of the countries.

    Personally I think “great reset” is more marketing term than reality. To the extent elites actually believe it, I take that as further evidence their incompetence has reached the point that they believe their own bullshit. “Fourth Industrial Revolution” is an old idea, and a half-baked idea about how to deal with declining TFR across the world. All signs point to slow progress in automation(although as always, there are fields which will be exceptional). Green technologies are dubious from an environmental and engineering standpoint, and what declines in carbon emissions that occur because of them will be more than offset by economic growth and the resulting increases in consumption around the world(and in case it needs to be said, if you want to deal with environmental problems like species extinctions for example, fighting carbon emissions is one of the least effective methods). Efforts at “better” governance metrics, equitability, world government, etc. are pure bullshit which no strong country would have any incentive to abide by. My conclusion is that the great reset is either bullshit or it’s the system eating itself.

    It’s true that many interests want to push the idea that people should accept inferior living standards. But this is nothing new, and it remains to be seen how far this idea can be pushed without damaging the elites themselves and bringing about a reverse of policy. If living standards decline massively, the cause will likely either be a destructive war or technological stagnation rather than an engineered policy.

    • Thanks: Bashibuzuk, AltanBakshi
  256. @Philip Owen

    I’ve been to Penza a few times. The centre is very decent by the standards of most other Russian provincial cities I know.

    That’s all true. But what impressed me even more is the abundance of places to eat in downtown, pretty much like in many European cities (at least before Europe admitted millions of savages incompatible with civilized life). The same was true about Nizhni Novgorod. There we did all normal touristy staff, visited their Kremlin (most Westerners seem to believe that only Moscow has Kremlin, and a number of other preposterous things about Russia), saw a number of their churches, houses where Peter the Great partied and spent the night on his voyage down Volga, visited their historic bank building (constructed under tsars), took their cable car to the other side of Volga river, etc. I was surprised how many locals took obvious pride in their city. Nothing like that ever happened in Soviet times.

    In Penza I was also impressed by the existence of many theaters, big and small, and difficulty in getting tickets to them, which were mostly sold in advance (we were there for just a few days, so our tickets were acquired by locals weeks in advance). People going to all these eateries and theaters are clearly not poor. Stats say that Penza is an average provincial city in Russia by most parameters, including income. Having seen that and the magnificence of Moscow, which today beats Paris, London, or Berlin hands down, I am beginning to believe that much of the official propaganda about the revival of Russia has solid foundation in reality. This is a new thing for me, as both in the USSR and the US I’ve learned to assume that everything propaganda claims is a lie.

    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
    , @Philip Owen
  257. @Shortsword

    LOL. Sounds retarded. Maybe it works in a video but it in real life it doesn’t.

    I can confirm Chinese on average are only 75% the size of Westerners. So it all works out in the end! 😉

  258. @EldnahYm

    What is meant by ‘collapse’ is a general economic decline that eventually corresponds to cultural and military decline.

    And NATO/US cold war blocs will never be dismantled because the many countries in them are essentially feudal vassals of the US and were forced to adopt their political system and have been convinced that maintaining these systems is in their interests. This also means that these countries feel like they are ‘sovereign’ when they are really not.

    Canada is essentially USA LITE.

    Australia’s no 1. trading partner is China. However, Australia cannot move closer towards China due to the political implications that will cause from the USA.

    • Agree: dfordoom, AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @EldnahYm
  259. @AnonFromTN

    On the contrary – I’d say people were far more patriotic during Soviet times. It is troubling to see how many Russians try to buy into woke (amongst the youth especially) because they think it is a necessity to become more ‘prosperous’. They say “The USA is prosperous because it is a democracy ergo we need more democracy/wokeism/lgbt).

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  260. EldnahYm says:
    @Max Payne

    All of this sounds eugenic.

  261. Mikel says:
    @Boswald Bollocksworth

    Naming the defendant is nothing compared to publicly shaming people that have only been arrested by the police by publishing their mugshots in the press before any trial has even begun.

    Many people’s lives must have been ruined through this practice, especially when they were arrested for supposedly taking part in nefarious crimes that later on it turned out they never committed.

    As Dmitry has often pointed out, the US retains many aspects of a Wild West, frontier society, combined, I would say, with strong Puritanical tendencies.

    Contrary to many commenters here, I prefer life in the US to Europe in almost all aspects, even though I’m European by birth, but I’m afraid there are things I ‘ll never be able to identify with.

  262. Dmitry says:
    @songbird

    Have you noticed that New York film culture is quite different from the Hollywood film culture, already from the 1960s?

    For example, New York film directors like Sidney Lumet, Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee, are much more culturally influenced by postwar European films, and highlight usually the most antiglamorous and alienated aspects of their city.

    That said, Hollywood was also making mostly dark and depressing films until the 1950s.

    it is paper mache or concrete, then that is not desirable. Is it real limestone, skilled craftwork? Where are you flying from? Would the Chinese show an appreciation for French

    I think it would only be interesting, from the point of view of experiencing Chinese culture. And modern Chinese building, is not exactly known for skill.

    The traditional parts of Chinese cities look much more beautiful and interesting, while the modern parts appear mostly dystopian and boring (although practical for modern life).

    Hopefully China will be able to preserve the traditional historical areas of cities, avoiding both the “Charybdis” of allowing the dystopian modern city to demolish them, and also the “Scylla” of turning them into gentrified/hipster tourist traps.

    It looks like traditional areas in Shanghai currently still has hard working, normal people living there.

    • Replies: @songbird
  263. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    Napoli is one of the run down cities you can visit, and one of the coolest and most authentic character.

    Perhaps if you were a longterm resident of Napoli, you might feel annoyed about the dirt and lack of garbage collection, and wish that you lived in Austria or Switzerland

    But from the subjective perspective of tourist, its decay is only increasing the city’s historical, Latin atmosphere, and to me emphasizes the sterility of certain neighbouring too clean and renovated for tourists places (i.e. Sorrento).

    • Replies: @AP
  264. Dmitry says:

    Is anyone (well I mean AaronB, if you’re reading) watching Season 3 of Shtisel on Netflix? It had very bad reviews in the Israeli media, but I’m still tempted to start to watch it, as long it will be better than the second season.

    My assessment of the deterioration of Shtisel’s quality from the excellent season 1 to the mediocre 2, was like:

    Season 1 – as if has television could be written by 19th century novelist.

    Season 2- starting to feel less like 19th century literature, more like a Mexican telenovela with a gimmick of Haredi Jews as the source content

    • Thanks: AP
  265. @Xi-jinping

    I’d say people were far more patriotic during Soviet times.

    I was young during Soviet times, so I have first-hand knowledge. There was more show “patriotism” required by the authorities, but deep down people did not believe a word of Soviet propaganda. Now I know that quite a bit of it was true. As Russians joke now, they told us a lot of lies about socialism, but everything they said about capitalism turned out to be true.

    The pride we saw was genuine, you can easily tell (especially with Soviet training), and no official was around. People talked about their Nizhni with obvious pride. I was pleasantly surprised.

    Yes, some Russian youth believe globohomo lies, but I don’t think it’s the majority even in that age group. Besides, as Russians say, being young is a flaw that goes away with age.

    Russians, including young ones, have a visceral repulsion to sexual deviations. The word meaning gay (педераст in Russian, from French pederast; there are many shorter forms) is a dirty swearword in Russian, expressing utter contempt. LGBT, zoophilia, necrophilia, and the like have no support there, even among people who believe imperial lies.

    • Agree: Jazman
    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
  266. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    I haven’t been to Italy so I cannot compare. But I can compare Moscow from 1999 or 2002 to Moscow in 2019 and I prefer the cleaner and more lavishly developed one. I agree it would be different if it were somehow fake, a tourist showcase. For this reason since I didn’t have time to see both, I chose to explore Innsbruck rather than Salzburg 2 summers ago even though Salzburg is more beautiful. Both, of course, have plenty of tourists but I’ve heard that Salzburg had become a Mozart themepark for Chinese and other visitors.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @AnonfromTN
    , @Dmitry
  267. EldnahYm says:
    @Xi-jinping

    What is meant by ‘collapse’ is a general economic decline that eventually corresponds to cultural and military decline.

    My point is that North American as well as Australia and New Zealand aren’t that interconnected, and that an economic decline in Europe does not spell the same for those countries.

    And NATO/US cold war blocs will never be dismantled because the many countries in them are essentially feudal vassals of the US and were forced to adopt their political system and have been convinced that maintaining these systems is in their interests. This also means that these countries feel like they are ‘sovereign’ when they are really not.

    None of this means the U.S. couldn’t dismantle the alliance systems if it wanted.

    Australia’s no 1. trading partner is China. However, Australia cannot move closer towards China due to the political implications that will cause from the USA.

    What China’s trading relationship will be with the Anglosphere and Europe over time remains to be seen, it’s probably one of the more interesting political topics right now. However, Australia doesn’t necessarily need to expand its relationship with China for more growth. Southeast Asia and some other places are growing markets.

    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
  268. AP says:
    @AP

    An exception though is Tsarytsyno. The palace was very cool when it was still in ruins, with trees growing through what had once been a ballroom. The restoration looks rather faker, and destroyed its charm.

  269. EldnahYm says:
    @AaronB

    Competition can also lead to destructive behaviors. Think of the tragedy of the commons. Or think about what would happen if you allowed multiple competing parasites to infect you(my model for the impact of ethnic minorities). You wouldn’t become stronger from this, instead the competition between the organisms would select for greater virulence.

    Nevertheless I actually agree with you that society needs a certain amount of strife. I even agree when you apply the idea to conservatives and conclude they are fearful. Conservatives are dumb conformists on the whole.

    • Agree: Jatt Aryaa
    • Replies: @Beckow
  270. @AP

    As a matter of fact, Salzburg is pretty authentic. There aren’t too many tourists, Chinese or otherwise (my info is ~5 years old, though). Vienna is more Mozart theme-parkish than Salzburg. Salzburg castle is quite impressive. In addition, there is a cave nearby with thick ice year round (you need warm clothes for it).

    Interestingly, that cave was where I heard “hende hoh” for the first time since I watched WWII movies in the USSR. The group was large, and the guide decided to figure out what language to use, so he asked those who speak German to raise their hands (hende hoh). It turned out that about half of the group speaks German, and the other half English, so he ended up repeating everything twice in two languages.

    • Thanks: AP
  271. @AltanBakshi

    I honestly have no idea. Being rather physical, they do sound like rakshasa, with the hosts of yokai being the more generic term for various spirits.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  272. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    Have you noticed that New York film culture is quite different from the Hollywood film culture, already from the 1960s? For example, New York film directors like Sidney Lumet, Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee, are much more culturally influenced by postwar European films

    I guess I haven’t seen too many European films besides some number of German ones. Though, I think you are right about NYC having a darker trend. I think it also shows up in TV and in the books of authors born there.

    It looks like traditional areas in Shanghai

    Remarkable, I didn’t realize so much of the old city survived.

    watching Season 3 of Shtisel on Netflix

    That is interesting. If I understand correctly: a show about Haredi that the Haredi can’t or mostly won’t watch themselves. I wonder if it was conceived as propaganda to ease the social tensions from the growing Haredi community.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  273. @EldnahYm

    Europe will not decline economically until US declines. The US props up European economies/South Korea and Japan. It will be interesting to see what happens to the “Asian tigers” when the US withdraws.

    Australia/New Zealand do not depend on what happens in Europe. They do depend on what happens to USA or China.

    And the US would never wilfully dismantle its alliances unless it was forced to

    • Replies: @EldnahYm
  274. @AnonfromTN

    I remember my grandfather studied/worked in the USSR and he tells me of how people genuinely talked with pride about their country. So perhaps you met mostly people who were natural skeptics or something.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  275. EldnahYm says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Could also be used as a softer version of lobotomies, electro convulsive therapy or digital depression therapy?

    This sounds like a realistic vision of future dystopia. Just imagine what gifts the Sacklers would bestow upon humanity with this technology.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  276. @Xi-jinping

    Unless he was there in Stalin’s time, when there were many true believers, he might have misinterpreted what he saw. In our dorm in the late 1970s were two Cuban guys, who lived in a room with two Russians. Brezhnev for Russians was the favorite subject of jokes. As a joke, Russian guys attached Brezhnev’s portrait to the wall. Cubans took it seriously and attached Castro portrait.

    • Replies: @Xi-Jinping
  277. EldnahYm says:
    @Xi-jinping

    Europe is arguably already in radical decline, certainly parts of southern Europe have not done well the last decade and a half.

    Uncle Sam’s alliances are a giant cost with little benefits. Europe is aging into oblivion and the U.S. trade with them is a small percentage of GDP. Militarily speaking, European countries are weak and a more multipolar world actually makes them weaker relatively. Since there is little gain from the current alliances, I see no reason to assume the U.S. will never withdraw from these countries. Radical policy changes do sometimes happen, and the U.S. reliably betrays its partners.

    Australia/New Zealand do not depend on what happens in Europe. They do depend on what happens to USA or China.

    That’s true. But in a scenario where USA and China both decline, the whole world declines, not just Australia or New Zealand.

    New Zealand’s agricultural industry by the way is kicking ass and taking names all over the place. They eventually will face constraints, they don’t have the same land mass as the United States, but in the meantime I expect New Zealand agricultural exports to continue their expansion.

    • Replies: @songbird
  278. songbird says:
    @EldnahYm

    Agricultural gains often result in the importation of agricultural workers. See: Chile and Haitians. I do not see it as a boon.

    • Agree: EldnahYm
  279. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Coconuts

    I’ve always had some doubts about how useful the ‘moral panic’ concept is as a tool of analysis, and how much it was created to serve and further particular (left wing) political and social viewpoints.

    Good candidates for moral panics in the UK in recent years have revolved around:

    The ‘Rise of Populism/Fascism’, ‘epidemic of racial hate’, transphobia, Islamophobia, misogyny and ‘rape culture’ (in video games, now pervading society etc.).

    The point is that the psychology is exactly the same, whether it’s the Right or the Left pushing a particular moral panic. In both cases it’s an attempt to frame the issue in terms of morality. Seeing every single political issue and every single aspect of human behaviour as a moral issue is weird and destructive but it seems to be an Anglo-Protestant thing. The “Left” in Anglosphere countries is just as permeated by Anglo-Protestant weirdness and moralising as the Right.

    And whether it’s the Right or the Left pushing the moral panic it’s a symptom of paranoia and hysteria. It’s a sign of a fundamentally deranged society.

  280. Mr. Hack says:
    @EldnahYm

    I’m not really sure? If these new technologies can help people deal with or remedy their depression without the use of harmful drugs (anti-depresants,anti-anxiety drugs), and not destroy brain cells as does the treatment including lobotomies, it could be a great boon for humanity. I was hoping that Bashibuzuk would continue this discussion, but either he didn’t see my comment or for whatever reason decided to exit the dialogue….?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  281. Jazman says:
    @AnonFromTN

    C mon man when you going to visit Serbia 🙂
    You have to try ” Leskovacka pljeskavica” it is local version of hamburger but much better taste and quality or “chevapi” from Sarajevo

  282. Jazman says:
    @AnonFromTN

    I have impression in future Russia will be favorite immigration country even now it is second place in the world

  283. @Daniel Chieh

    Yokai is just preta or bhuta in Japanese. People think that this stuff is distinctly Japanese, maybe aesthetics wise, but idea wise they have their origins in Buddhist literature. There are thousands of different types of ghosts, spirits, demons etc in old Buddhist texts.

  284. @Mr. Hack

    EdnahYm and Max Payne have hinted at what might go wrong with this technology. Add to this that it is developed by DARPA (among others) – the advanced R&D arm of the Pentagon, and you get a quite sinister picture. It is basically the possibility to interact directly with the nervous system, while bypassing the senses. Those who will control this technology might eventually project different kinds of illusions directly into human brains. It will be on a whole different level than mere propaganda and manipulation. And it will be on a completely different level of addictive than the internet and the videogames. But that is just part of the problem: they hope that they will also be able to read human thoughts and be able to monitor our minds.

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  285. @Bashibuzuk

    The obvious alternatives are Dugin’s and Hudson’s, like in the recent dialog with Escobar.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  286. @Yellowface Anon

    The obvious alternative would have been Russia or a nuclear capable Islamic Ummah staying clear from this madness on religious grounds. But both Russian and Islamic elites are already linked to the globalist interests. So there is no alternative. China is evolving in a similar direction. It will be either the Western version or the Chinese, the results will be similar on the global scale. As a species we are entering the bottleneck, a few generations later our numbers will drastically fall and our nature will drastically change. Perhaps we will not even make it out as a civilization. Interesting times…

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
  287. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    I understand what you’re saying, but on the flipside do you know whether these technologies may offer safer methods to combat the ill effects of depression safely, that destroys the lives of countless millions of our fellow human beings throughout the world?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  288. @Mr. Hack

    We don’t know yet ot these technologies can be indeed implemented on a large scale to combat depression. We know that they would allow manipulating mental processes. The risks in my opinion outweigh the potential benefits of their use.

    These technologies will be developed and implemented all the same because they correlate perfectly with the direction of technological progress and social change envisioned by those who (attempt to) control the technological progress. They want a society that they will be able to control and steer in the direction that they consider the most approximate. Technologies allowing for a direct influence on human consciousness are obviously very useful in that sense.

    OTOH, social changes and non-invasive methods that would allow for the decrease in depression and other forms of mental illness will not be implemented because they would run opposite to the technological progress and the societal reforms envisioned by the elites. These positive social changes and healthy non invasive practices would not be useful from the point of view of an increased societal control.

  289. @Bashibuzuk

    Can’t you read the last part of your quote? He’s more like “letting the whole edifice burn down and see what will come of it”.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  290. @EldnahYm

    Enough damage can be done with misguided policies to cause systemic failure. Take a look at Stalinism and Great Leap Forward.

  291. @Bashibuzuk

    Maybe sooner if you take Martin Armstrong’s words. I really encourage you to read his blog and maybe make a paid subscription.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  292. @Yellowface Anon

    Orlov was being sarcastic and so was I.

  293. A dose of politically incorrect Russian humor.

    First wave of pandemic: doctors try to convince people that covid exists.
    Second wave of pandemic: people try to convince doctors that other diseases also exist.

  294. mal says:
    @Philip Owen

    My long term vision is 3D printing the spare parts. Now, high quality 3D printing requires colossal amount of energy (think aircraft grade printers that use lasers to melt titanium together). And thats where TEM comes in.

    A couple of 40MW Transport Energy Modules should be able to just print whatever mechanical components they need for each other. They would only need to stop by every decade or so to refill their titanium powder cargo bays or whatever.

  295. mal says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    While I have my own quibbles with MMT, it’s kinda a reality already and has been for a long time, can’t do much about it.

    Hyperinflation is extremely unlikely as it would require US to lose a major war or do something crazy like nationalize all industries, which is completely out of American character and ruling oligarchy won’t allow it anyway.

    Otherwise hyperinflation is impossible in the US because hyperinflation requires people to have money (in order for bread in US to cost $1,000,0000 per loaf somebody has to have $1,000,000 to pay that price) and nobody in US has any. There are exceptions of course such as drug cartels and maybe Warren Buffet but those are marginal in the grand scheme of things.

    Majority of Americans don’t even have a few $1,000 for emergencies. Nevermind paying millions of dollars for stuff. Ruling oligarchy will not raise wages to $1,000,000/hr, they will automate instead. So the poors are safe from hyperinflation in consumer goods.

    And rich people don’t have any money either. What they have is bank deposits, and those bank deposits belong to the banks. Or sure, rich think they have the money, but all they can legally get is like $250,000 per FDIC insured account. If financial system is threatened (and it most certainly will be in a hyperinflationary scenario), banks will simply confiscate the deposits. See Cyprus bail in in 2013.

    Cash use has been in decline and pandemic certainly accelerated the trend.

    Basically, money and debt are just imaginary numbers in an accounting ledger. MMT has that part correct.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  296. Beckow says:
    @EldnahYm

    …Conservatives are dumb conformists on the whole.

    I almost wish they would be, but they are usually smarter and more adaptable than liberals. They don’t conserve anything, their goal seems to be to restore (partially) the situation circa 2015, big f..ing deal. Most of the time conservatives are trying to protect what they have, their ideology and greed combining. With most, the greed is all that’s left – the libertarian “get me out of here” misanthropes.

    Competition helps in manageable quantities. But massive, chaotic competition of all against all, with few boundaries and an insider referee class, leads to collapse. It is the capitalism equivalent of “abolish money” communist fantasy. In an uber-market situation other non-economic forces take over: power, connections, or corruption determine outcomes because the playing field is too crowded and chaotic.

    Today’s conservatives don’t understand that wealth can only exist in a society. You can have assets in a market paradise, but there will be no wealth. Any wealth has to be validated by a society. The anti-social instincts undermine what conservatives presumably value. It is also a political loser, by numbers you can never prevail in the long run with anti-social policies and keep the “wealth”.

  297. @mal

    Basically, money and debt are just imaginary numbers in an accounting ledger. MMT has that part correct.

    Agree with that. That is also what Orlov is writing about. But he also believes that the US debt and deficit can only be taken care of through hyperinflation and MMT. Of course he is being flippant about it and having fun, but I agree that debt and deficit are a a serious problem.

    • Replies: @A123
  298. A123 says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    The great weakness of traditional, Austerity monetary theory was the need to raise money (e.g. bonds) before spending money. This leads to avoidable painful declines. The events in Greece were a classic example of brutality via German school, Austerity monetary theory.

    The strength of MMT is the ability to spend money, then pull excess out of circulation on the back-end. In essence, it seems like MMT is already official policy with “Quantitative Easing”. The professionals are just dancing to avoid the term MMT.

    PEACE 😇

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk, mal
    • Replies: @mal
    , @Blinky Bill
    , @EldnahYm
  299. @Beckow

    I need to check-out “provincial Russia“, any boom-towns? (I spotted a Gypsy on a street-car few days back, and there is an Indian flag above a ugly non-descript office building, time to look for greener pastures :)…

    AP usually talks of Slovaks as a bunch of cowards who fold at the slightest tip of the hat but I never took him seriously. Maybe I should. At any rate, why would someone panic just because of more Indian immigration? Great food, great music, and great architecture. My sole complaint is that Indians often assimilate too much and their 2nd gen kids because too westernised. I want more of this in my country:

  300. @AnonFromTN

    I visited Prague and Budapest during the summer of 2017. Prague was a giant Disneyland, but the city was in a good condition. I took care to visit outside the usual touristy areas and the core districts and there was no major degradation.

    I concur with the consensus of Budapest that it was a bit runned down, coming from Stockholm the metro experience was pretty shocking. Far more squalor and some hilarious old traincarts (must’ve been 1950s or earlier).

    That said, I did not have as negative impression as your or AP. For one thing, I really enjoy wide boulewards and Budapest has plenty. The city had also not nearly been as overrun with tourists as Prague, at least when I visited. Hungarian wages are the lowest in the V4 so it will take for infrastructure to catch up, but I assume they will.

    One thing I did notice is that there far more turks in Budapest than in Prague. Hungarians themselves are also noticably darker than Czechs. I prefer brunettes, so this was not a negative to me, but in that sense, Czechia felt more Scandinavian whereas in Budapest you always got the sense you were in an upscale part of the Balkans.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  301. @songbird

    China has built a number of replicas of European villages. Huawei’s new corporate HQ is a giant ode to that architectual legacy. Judge for yourself:

    In addition, Shanghai has “Thames Town”. It’s a bit kitsch, but it certainly beats glass-and-steel monotone.

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Dmitry
  302. @Thulean Friend

    I did not have as negative impression as your or AP.

    I can name my two positive impressions of Budapest. One, when you get out of touristy areas, everything, including food, is dirt cheap. Two, we failed to get tickets to their operetta online (their system is totally non-functional, even though it pretends to function), so we bought them right there just a day in advance, and they were surprisingly cheap. The theater was full, and when the performance started many people sang along. My only complaint is that they sang in Hungarian and had only German subtitles, so I didn’t understand a thing. Not a big problem: all Hungarian operettas were translated and performed in Russian in the USSR, so I knew the plot.

    Prague is a Disneyland only if you stick to the touristy places. Our hotel was in the residential area far from downtown, about 20 min walk from Vaclav square (Václavské náměstí), so we saw real Prague and how Czechs live. We even got a chance to use their streetcars (you have to buy a ticket before you board, like in Austria). I also liked their classical music concerts in many churches, also outside of the most touristy areas. Czech classical musicians are clearly having hard times, so the tickets aren’t expensive. One negative I noticed is that waiters in most restaurants pretend that your credit card does not work and want cash. You get used to it, though. Virtually all waiters in Prague speak sufficient German, English, and Russian to serve customers.

    • Thanks: Thulean Friend
    • Replies: @Gerard-Mandela
  303. mal says:
    @A123

    Generally correct.

    MMT has two flaws.

    1. It assumes money can be pulled back via tax policy. That never happened before and will never happen in the future. US political economy is centered at 19% GDP revenue to the Federal Government. It doesn’t matter if your tax rate is 90% or whatever – you will always pay 19% GDP in tax. If your tax payment is higher than 19%, you need a better accountant or a lobbyst. There’s even a name for it – Hausers Law.

    So when left wing screams “tax the rich” they are wrong. No you won’t. You can set your tax rate to a 1,000% but the rich will pay whatever they feel like normally paying. And same for the right wing, they are also wrong. Nobody is going to raise your taxes because it is literally impossible. If your personal experience differs, get a lobbyist, but 19% is about what you will end up paying.

    However, what taxes can’t accomplish, interest rates can. We use interest rates with far greater effect than taxes to manage money supply and demand. And in the future, once banks are nationalized and converted into Federal Reserve branches, we will simply lock money into some kind of crypto token. It will be even faster and more responsive than interest rates. It will be something like Federal Reserve Digital Coin.

    2. MMT doesn’t talk much about private sector money creation. Especially shadow banking system where various ‘wealth management’ agencies create money for themselves by creating assets/collateral and then have commercial banks lend against it. It is a major source of money supply, bigger than the government. And it is its own thing, so whatever government policy may be with respect to MMT, outcomes will be dictated by the actions of the shadow banking system rather than government policy.

    But otherwise, when it comes to government operations, MMT is right on.

    • Replies: @A123
  304. @A123

    a classic example of brutality via German school

    😉

    • LOL: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @mal
  305. mal says:
    @Blinky Bill

    Anschluss, my beautiful Anschluss!

    🙂

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  306. A123 says:
    @mal

    However, what taxes can’t accomplish, interest rates can.

    That only works on the positive side of the ledger. Negative interest rates encourage holding physical currency that cannot be penalized by the negative interest tax.

    Not unsurprisingly, Mutti Merkel leads currency destruction via Negative Rates. She is the most regressive leader in Europe.

    Apparently, she is also a leader in mandatory digital money. That prevents avoidance of the negative interest tax. And, opens the door to new types of authoritarian brutality.

    PEACE 😇
     

  307. The state of indology in the West is truly decrepit. I read Richard M. Eaton’s “India in the Persinate Age” this past week. The author begins by thanking noted Hinduphobes like Audrey Truschke (married to a Christian evangelical) and a random assortment of Pakistanis. He then spends the rest of the book hectoring the reader that one shouldn’t think in religious terms.

    The author suggests that the Islamic invaders shouldn’t be thought of Islamic at all but rather “turkics”. That the contemporary chroniclers were all describing events through a distinct religious lens – often laced with anti-Hindu animus – is handwaved away by the excuse that this was isolated bigotry and not necessarily representative of the social dynamics on the ground. But the author never makes a convincing case why these chroniclers in the Mughal and the Delhi Sultanate court were outliers. Put differently, why wouldn’t they be marinated in the same social bigotries as other elites?

    This is what passes for elite Western scholarship, it’s completely and thoroughly politicised. One shudders when thinking what other fields they have infiltrated and poisoned from within.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
  308. Beckow says:
    @Thulean Friend

    …I want more of this in my country

    Take them all, about 1.5-2 billion will come. You have displayed foolishness here before, so I suspect that you are yourself an Indian, or related.

    Regarding taking my joke about a streetcar and an Indian flag seriously, ouch, how dense. On second thought you could be a Scandinavian, they famously lack a sense of humour.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  309. As usual,

    cherchez la femme

    and you will find a lot of interesting things.

    [MORE]

    The mistress of the Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov, 33-year-old Olga Khromchenko, received shares in projects related to large-scale government funding (allocated without a competition). Among other things, she was involved in the construction of toll roads, of a cargo port and the production of hemp pulp. Khromchenko herself denies that these investments are somehow connected with the minister, and Siluanov did not comment on the conflict of interest. Coincidentally, members of the Khromchenko family were in the past listed in the company that carried out multi-million dollar embezzlement scams.

    https://theins.ru/korrupciya/239287

    When it comes to women, Siluanov clearly has a good taste. And they look like a nice couple. L’amour est enfant de bohème, il n’a jamais connu de lois…

    🙂

  310. songbird says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Hadn’t heard about the Huawei campus.

    There was also a Holland Village with windwills near Shenyang, but it was demolished. I think Xi banned the construction of these duplicate villages. I can understand wanting to fight kitsch and cultural contamination, but I could see a certain strategic space for the construction of areas that could have a dual use as movie sets – to recreate scenes in Europe, without going through the expense of location shooting there.

    IMO, there is a pretty big distortion in the Chinese housing market. Might be an idea for China to adopt Singapore’s housing model – at least in certain, limited areas.

    BTW, aren’t you worried that emigration is eroding India’s taxbase? I heard that in 2016, only 27 million Indians paid taxes. Or do you think a diaspora is worth more?

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  311. @AnonFromTN

    It is difficult to compare living standards.

    Peoples flats are smaller than even terraced houses in the UK. However, this is useful to reduce winter heating bills. Utility costs are very low. Rental levels are low. Many people have dachas. So in the summer they have more living space and a garden in a rural location. Babushka comes along too. What is the living space of such a family? When Babushka dies, someone inherits her flat. (Everyone was given their flat). So there is some capital.

    Certainly far fewer people have cars.

    So, less living space (but the middle sort have dachas) and no cars. Thus a lower standard of living. On the other hand, that leaves more to spend on clothes (it shows with the young women) and gadgets and outings. I also see more people going to theatres than in the UK. In city centres and shopping malls, people eat out. The coffee shop boom may be over but showing yourself off in the window of a coffee shop or eating in an expensive restaurant is normal for the fashionable or the successful. People work fewer hours and commute less so they have time to do it.

    I do not regard my Russian friends as worse off than me in their personal lives. Where the UK scores, massively, is public infrastructure. Reliable electricity and phone lines, roads, street cleaning, car parking, hospitals, health services, ambulances, fire & police, libraries and any public service you can mention including schools. Former poverty is not an excuse. Living in flats mean 5000 tax payers occupy the land of 500 in the UK. Providing good city roads and utilities should cost far less in Russia. As goes the UK, so goes the EU. The US not so much.

  312. Dmitry says:
    @songbird

    “Shtisel” was a telenovela made for the mainstream Israeli television audiences, with the writers using Haredi characters as their source material.

    The focus on romance is like a normal telenovelas, but the writers are also developing more interesting philosophical and complex themes.

    Another advantage of the series, is that it has non-goodlooking, non-wealthy, non-glamorous, characters. This makes it relaxing to watch, compared to normal telenovelas, as you feel less of the materialist pressure and envy that television normally creates in us.

    Normally telenovelas use wealthy, good looking and glamorous characters, and it creates materialist and envious emotions in us. But Shtisel goes in the opposite direction, and uses unattractive and poor characters.

    Because it’s about a quiet, repressed nonverbal community, the sexuality of the characters also has to be communicated in more novel ways, than the normal romance scenes.

    So, for example, the beginning of romantic feeling, is shown by the heater at 2:30

    I wonder if it was conceived as propaganda to ease the social tensions from the growing Haredi community.

    The material for the stories use lot of negative things about the Haredi Jews, including anti-patriotism, low social responsible, bullying of children by parents, and child abandonment.

    They also choose to portray the story among an anti-Israel Haredi community. So one of the episode is about Israel Independence Day, and the character of the show are hating Israel, while some of the children are secretly trying to watch the military airforce parade.

    It also shows the characters as egoistical and hypocritical as the series develops. Moreover, everything is shown as poor and unattractive.

    But on top of this, they graft very passionate love stories, typical of a Mexican telenovela.

    It’s a very effective combination.

    NYC having a darker trend. I think it also shows up in TV and in the books of authors born there.

    My impression of New York films after 1960s, is that they are less originally American than Hollywood ones, and more influenced by European films.

    For example, Hollywood Western, is an original American invention, with no precedent in European culture.(Although the best Westerns were later made in Italy).

    On the other hand, “Mean Streets” by the New York director Martin Scorsese, is feels just like a mix of French and Italian 1950s films, except using violent gangsters as the characters.

    I guess this is possible for New York residents before the internet, because of the immigrant neighbourhoods, was importing and showing European films. So New York resident could be immersed in European films, shown in immigrants’ cinemas, while in other areas of America you would not so easily see those Italian films in pre-internet days.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @songbird
  313. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    I studied German for a couple weeks in Saltzburg when I was teenager and it was not a bad place to walk around in those days (although I didn’t learn much of the German language). Besides, aside from this perhaps too perfect beauty of the city architecture, there is an incredible natural beauty in the hills and lakes surrounding the city.

    Music is a real living (not only historical) industry there, and you can hear opera singers singing scales in morning in neighbouring apartments – there it is more of living tradition, and not only a kitsch Mozart kuchen.

    But perhaps it could become annoying in certain months when too many of the wealthy upper class opera fans invade the city from New York.

    I was studying there I think in early July and it seemed not too overtouristy. But the music festivals is happening more in August, and I guess that’s when it will be flooded with too many thousands of old millionaire tourists from New York, and perhaps the local residents are escaping the city.

    • Replies: @AP
  314. Dmitry says:
    @Thulean Friend

    It looks like the “German villages” they build in Japan, but as many things in China, makes us think of a low quality and less humourful attempt to copy Japan. Japan has been building fake German villages since last century.

    But it’s impossible not to forgive Japanese, as they might make such fake mockeries of European architecture tolerable by adding a more sophisticated irony and Dadaist sense of humour.

    E.g. the surreal humour of those German villages starts to make sense, when you are circulating dancing schoolgirl Jazz bands through them.

  315. @AnonFromTN

    No offense…..but are you sure you are not confusing Bucharest with Budapest?

    Ok, we can all have different opinions, but I struggle to accept this one .Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in the world –

    Easily superior to Berlin and Copenhagen, it’s got spectacular architecture, great culture, clean streets, the same excellent public transport as in all the main classical european cities, just as you say – great cheap food (particularly on the Pest side) and high quality restaurants, shops, entertainment, history.

    We stayed the last time in the old Jewish quarter – which was very nice and could hear some great piano playing in the morning from the Lizst academy, or whatever the music establishment it is named after him, in one of the buildings adjacent.

    I feel it also keeps plenty of the very aesthetic Communist features in the metro and around the city in addition to the obviously great classical architecture that defines great European cities…….this is different to idiot Berlin, which keeps some of the the residential Communist building/features deliberately as if is like Grudinin’s mill being preserved from the Battle of Stalingrad or relics in general. It ( in Berlin, not in Volgograd), serves no purposes at all – ugly, dead, empty buildings wasting space with no purpose other than propaganda against communism.
    Beautiful churches ( and the synagogue)in Budapest………no stray dogs also!
    Danube through there is a beautiful setting – different to other cities along that river where it doesn’t create good aesthetics…and a million times better than the ugliness that is the Thames river in London.

    Budapest also doesn’t have the weirdo men sunbathing naked in the parks , as seems to be very regular in Berlin.

    Everybody I know who has gone to New York ( including 3 couples who had their honeymoon there)…..said what a dirty uncomfortable sh*thole it was – a massive disappointment.
    Budapest to me seems perfect as a place to take the wife, or propose, have a honeymoon( without the problems that Paris and Rome can give), go with the boys for a “non-educational” weekend, go as University students for a few days or week for fun…or take the kids to explore the city ( and nice places outside the city) for a few days.

    Going back to Budapest – it easily deserves to be praised like Amsterdam, Prague, Vienna, Paris etc.

  316. Dmitry says:
    @Gerard-Mandela

    I haven’t been in Budapest

    But I recently read with about they are removing the historical trams. Until recently, Budapest trams were these beautiful works of art: These are locally designed by the Hungarian company Ganz works.


    And now they are replacing them with these ugly, generic, globalized Siemens ones. It’s disappointing that Orban is allowing this to happen to one of the main historical beauties of a city (its trams), as a supposed conservative.

    • Agree: Gerard-Mandela
  317. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Besides, aside from this perhaps too perfect beauty of the city architecture, there is an incredible natural beauty in the hills and lakes surrounding the city.

    My Austrian cousins have a cottage on one of those lakes (1 hour away from Salzburg) beneath the mountain, the town was very charming, some villagers catch fish, sprinkle it with salt and fry it right away.

    If I am there again I will be sure to visit Salzburg.

  318. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Why do you think the girl needing the heater isn’t attractive? She is cute (at least, in that scene).

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  319. Dmitry says:

    Vienna is also nowadays replacing its historical trams, which was an aesthetic masterwork from an Austrian company, with such another one from Siemens.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  320. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    Another advantage of the series, is that it has non-goodlooking, non-wealthy, non-glamorous, characters.

    I think a lot of people like to see elderly characters on screen because they remind them of their grandparents. (even though few are shown) There was a character like that on Downton Abbey.

    Used to watch a bit of Mexican TV for my Spanish. Definitely a lot of plastic surgery. I wonder if it could be more significant than on SK TV.

    For example, Hollywood Western, is an original American invention, with no precedent in European culture.

    I don’t say that there was an Irish influence on Westerns (at least, not counting John Ford), but I think it is impossible to miss a certain thematic similarity to ancient Ireland. Going on cattle raids was a strong component of Irish culture from ancient times, into or even past the late middle ages. It was considered a normal part of life, even in more peaceful times – though still dangerous. There was a related poetic tradition which is exemplified in the story of the Irish hero Cú Chulainn.

    In the Táin Bó Cúailnge (the Cattle Raid of Cooley), Queen Medb sends an army into Ulster to capture a certain prized bull so that her herd will be superior to her husband’s and his prized bull.

    While drunk, the king of Ulster forces a heavily pregnant woman (really a goddess) to race his chariot, and, after winning the race, she puts a curse on the men of Ulster so that they experience terrible pains rendering them useless for weeks, and leaving the young Cú Chulainn (a demi-god) to essentially face the invading army alone, which he does partly through invoking the right of single combat at fords. While fighting the men, he must also face another goddess, who is irate since he spurned her love, when she was in disguise. She tries to trip him up by turning into various animals, like an eel in the stream, that snakes around his legs, or a wolf that sends a stampede of cattle across the ford.

    The story concludes with the two bulls fighting it out. In the nationalist version, Cú Chulainn, wounded, dies on his feet after tying himself to a standing stone. His enemies are afraid to approach him until a raven perches on his shoulder. It is an important iconography in Ireland.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  321. Mikel says:

    Very unsurprisingly, some Western media are already portraying the increasing tension in Donbass as “recent escalations of Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine”:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-usa-security/russian-and-u-s-military-chiefs-of-staff-hold-phone-call-idUSKBN2BN2EE?il=0

    Unfortunately, AK’s sources may prove to be right and AK himself has a very good track record with his predictions.

    Based on previous experience, Ukraine’s possible attack in Donbass would not materialize without the Western public being convinced first that it was the Russians who started the hostilities and that may have already begun.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  322. @Philip Owen

    street cleaning,

    What? 20 chewing-gum piece per square millimetre on UK streets is considered “street cleaning”?….or maybe a UNESCO world heritage “treasure”? That’s my impression of UK streets.

    I assumed you would have just said road maintenance and left the pavements out of this issue

    I would be VERY surprised also if the libraries in the UK are superior to those in Russia. No idea, although I severely doubt that the education system in UK is better than in Russia. Mathematics, science, IT, sport, all the arts, literature? No possible way any country is better than us – Russians certainly know more or at least equal on Shakespeare and other british writers and scientists than most Britains do.

    There are some good, non-cretin points in your post here Phil, but temperature and much bigger cities are factors you’re neglecting . I also think our police and law enforcement in general are about 1 million times better than a decade before- particularly on traffic-related issues. Icicles and heavy snow that accumulate on roofs and fall – injuring and killing many people every year in Russia are situations that just don’t have to be bothered about in Europe. UK physically don’t have these situations, so it’s unfair to make comparisons on certain things.

    Some of these tragedies occur because of municipal/regional incompetence and or corruption, but I think the authorities in general do serious work ( and much improved over the years) to stop that particular type of tragedies from ice/snow occurring as best as possible. Too many extreme events with lifts in flats are occurring though,

    BTW- I think it was PWC that made a study that rated Moscow ambulance service as the best of any major city on the planet – although there is no doubt that the attitude of other drivers on the road to ambulances is nowhere near as good as they are in western Europe & UK.

  323. @Dmitry

    I was lucky, I rode those historical trams in Vienna. It is stupid of them to replace this piece of history, rather than upgrade their engines. Then again, it’s probably cheaper to replace than to upgrade.

  324. @Gerard-Mandela

    I never was in Bucharest, so I can’t confuse them.

    I am not saying that Budapest is not beautiful in some places, like castle district, or the historic parliament building (which Soviet soldiers spared in 1945 by not using firearms there, at the price of many more casualties). Danube is spectacular, especially viewed from bridges between Buda and Pest.

    The flat part (Pest) is quite rundown, though, except for the area right next to Danube and the bridge leading to the funicular to the castle district. The extremely shallow metro in Pest, as well as that funicular, was built by Austrians under Franz Josef, and both still work.

    Hungarians appear quite poor, hence dirt-cheap prices outside of touristy areas. We stayed in Budapest three days, and enjoyed ourselves, but I cannot help feeling sorry for the locals. Most of the streets they live in, while showing former glory, look unkempt. Their grocery stores are small and have very few good quality foods (apparently, no demand for more expensive things). We bought the last piece of good sausage in one of these stores in Budapest, and then did exactly the same thing in a grocery story in one of the small towns near Balaton (don’t remember the name) where we spent the night on our drive back to Austria.

    Compare this to the squeaky-clean Moscow (which occupies the area not much smaller than the whole Hungary, and has greater population than Hungary), where every building is in good repair, and historic and monumental buildings are highlighted at night. The contrast is huge, especially considering that in the USSR we used to think of Hungary as a well-off country.

    • Agree: AP
  325. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    Yes she is in real life, and this is one of the secret recipes for the anti-glamour effects, and in my opinion part of genius of the television series.

    This is Ayelet Zurer – when she was young, she was an actor in Hollywood, in Steven Spielberg’s film Munich.

    But for this series “Shtisel”, she is in the cheap wig, poor clothes, and carrying a children around.

    So, mixed with a lot of naturally ugly actors, they also include one actress who is beautiful in real life, – but artificially made to look more unattractive for the series, and to fit in with the other actors.

    As an audience of the television series, you sense like there might be an attractive woman, but she also seems authentically part of an oppressive and unattractive Haredi Jewish cultic life, that feels halfway like you are watching a documentary.

    So the television directors selected a “high class”, looking actress

    But for the series make her look tired, shave her hair, replace with wig, and dress like a pensioner, and carrying a child on her shoulders

    Similarly, the real life appearance of the young actor, makes us think of a confident wealthy hipster that sits in the cafe in North Tel Aviv, living from the wealth of his parents’ stock market investments.

    But the series, is able to make him believable as an unconfident, untidy, spartan lost soul of the family.

    Television producers were able to create this balance and authentic atmosphere, by mixing normal secular actors that the audience is sympathizing to, with other actors who look almost inbred and which can really be from this community.

  326. @Philip Owen

    I never lived in the UK. We once visited one of our University classmates who lived in Oxford (not too far from Tolkien’s house there), visited Edinburgh for a few days, London for three days, plus I gave a talk at Cambridge once and attended 2-3 scientific meetings in the UK. Frankly, it did not impress me much. The fact than bars and supermarkets don’t work on Sundays is downright ridiculous, as is the fact that trains and buses don’t work on Christmas (ridiculous from both Russian and American viewpoint).

    As far as electricity and phone service go, both are a lot more reliable in Russian Penza than in Nashville, TN. The quality of roads in the US deteriorated dramatically, now many Russian roads are better kept. I drove once ~2 weeks in the UK (we had a vacation in the West England proper, near Wales). The roads did not impress me at all, but maybe that’s because I had to always think what I am doing, as Brits drive on the wrong side of the road.

    Judging by English literature, the school system in the UK used to teach, like in Russia, but now it is evolving towards American model, meaning that children come to school ignorant and leave it many years later just as ignorant. Don’t know much about libraries, police, and fire service, but Russian ambulance service is certainly better than British or American.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  327. @AnonfromTN

    Interesting. We shall have to agree to disagree!

    Regarding the metro – I was not talking about the engineering when referring to the communist features – but about features like the ticket barriers, some of the ticket offices and machines, escalators, seats and other features of the metro that keep charming parts of the communist legacy – minor things but all nice to keep as part of the heritage.

    It’s a bit like the buildings for politicians in ex USSR countries – if you look at the scumbag FM of Ukraine doing a conference or press interview – then it’s in rooms with identical architecture and interior decor,…….. as the ones Lavrov will do his events in. Same thing with clown Zelensky and those rooms and offices he uses- completely the same as Putin. From Kiev to Moscow, same as Yerevan to Moscow or Minsk to Moscow.

    They keep the beautiful legacy of these communist-era halls and rooms ( although the styles themselves are not typically communist)

    In 404’s case this is particularly rat-like behaviour – desovietisation “conveniently” does not apply to these rooms, as these clowns are speaking to the country in rooms with identical backgrounds to Russian politicians.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  328. @Gerard-Mandela

    these clowns are speaking to the country in rooms with identical backgrounds to Russian politicians

    As former dissident Natan Sharansky once said, Poroshenko should change his last name to Putin, then people would treat him as a serious person.

    • Replies: @Gerard-Mandela
  329. @AP

    LOL – If a garbage fantasist as you went to Budapest or Austria in 2019……then I went to the moon in 1972.

    You’re a compulsive liar and I suspect that the tactics for a fantasist like you are identical to how a paedophile on the internet conducts himself to recruit 11 year olds with all your obsessively fake stories. All part of the delusions of Khokhols being germanic, so an idiot like you can claim to be connected to and fan of Austria – maybe this then leading to the bizarreland idiotically self-discrediting “typical Galician culture” video

    have been the outskirts of Zhytomir………but also Lviv and Kiev look less

    FFS – still going with this nonsense. There is your infamous nonsense describing the roads,infrastructure and general living in Lvov. So I know Lvov and I know the difference between a clown like you being a shill . and you being an outright liar and fantasist. No possible way you could have gone there , or Zhitomir or Kiev you cretin. LOL

    Which hotel in Budapest did stay? Forget it – waste of time, I will check what the first name on google says and assume that is where you will BS as where you “stayed”……or maybe claim your “cousin” owns the Hungarian Parliament building, and allowed you to stay in a room inside the dome

    • Replies: @AP
  330. @Beckow

    On the issue of nepotism – I didn’t realise that Biden’s son ( now dead) was the Attorney General for Delaware. OK , it’s elected position- but electing him on what?

    In no other western country could Biden have run to be leader , if a similar him-Hunter Biden-Burisma thing had occurred. But to be generous – I think all the congressmen in the US do this with their families and easily coerced companies of foreign countries.

  331. @Beckow

    I guarantee that if Slovakia ever becomes 5% non-white, Beckow will be the first to flee. And he will be honoring a long-standing Slovakian tradition of giving up the fight before it barely started. But why flee in the first place? Can anyone seriously claim Slovakian cuisine, drab and forgettable, is better than Indian? Not even the most hardline Slovak could get away with such a claim.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @AP
  332. @AnonfromTN

    Compare this to the squeaky-clean Moscow (which occupies the area not much smaller than the whole Hungary, and has greater population than Hungary), where every building is in good repair, and historic and monumental buildings are highlighted at night. The contrast is huge, especially considering that in the USSR we used to think of Hungary as a well-off country.

    Since I haven’t been to Moscow, I will defer to you on its qualities. Still, is this is a fair comparison? Moscow’s wages are ~100% higher than the Russian average. Budapest’s wages are ~20% higher than Hungary’s.

    In short, there is a huge and unequal focus on Moscow within Russia, far more than is typically the case for capital regions. So using the capitals of the two countries as proxies for overall living standards among the general population would be mildly misleading, no?

    • Replies: @AP
    , @AnonFromTN
  333. @Gerard-Mandela

    Budapest being prettier than Copenhagen is not exactly a major accomplishment. I’ve visited four of the five major Nordic capitals – Reykjavik remains to be visited. Oslo, Helsinki and Stockholm all have plenty of greenery. I prefer Stockholm because it has the combination of Oslo’s elevated topography combined with even more extensive waterways than Helsinki.

    Copenhagen has neither. It is a surprisingly barren for a Northern European city. When I visited, I would enter street after street with barely a tree in sight, a thoroughly depressing sight. It’s flat and boring. The one area where I will praise it is the focus on bicycling network, but that is largely a function of its flatness. At any rate, it is still far behind Amsterdam on bicycling infrastructure.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjzzV2Akyds

    • Agree: Gerard-Mandela
  334. @songbird

    IMO, there is a pretty big distortion in the Chinese housing market. Might be an idea for China to adopt Singapore’s housing model – at least in certain, limited areas.

    I would be in favour of that everywhere.

    BTW, aren’t you worried that emigration is eroding India’s taxbase? I heard that in 2016, only 27 million Indians paid taxes. Or do you think a diaspora is worth more?

    Yes, braindrain is a huge issue. Around 50% of India’s top scholars are settled abroad within a few decades of graduation. But, that is different from overall emigration. India has a major employment challenge of the working-classes, since India’s economic model has been capital- and skill-intensive.

    For this reason, it makes sense for India to export its low-skill labour abroad and then receive remittances back. This is the Gulf model but should be expanded to the rest of the world. It’s a win-win. The aging West receives an economic boost and a more colorful cultural palette to choose from. India gets to ameliorate its vexing employment issue. Only bigots and racists can oppose this.

    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @songbird
  335. Beckow says:
    @Thulean Friend

    You can’t guarantee anything about places you know nothing about or people you don’t know. Your rants here are very infantile – as if your anger at me for not caring for a massive Indian migration to Europe got better of you. If you like Indians so much, move to London. We have no interest in them: a failed swarthy non-European civilization.

    Why does that bother you? I am not moving to India and they are not moving to my country, what’s wrong with that? And who the hell cares about curry, whatever that is?

  336. Dmitry says:
    @songbird

    Mexican TV for my Spanish. Definitely a lot of plastic

    Mexican media looks like that, and it is one of the main problems of much of Latin media of recent decades, in my opinion – too much obsession for physical beauty, and hiring actresses on that basis.

    Even Polish director Kieslowski was victim to it, when he started to make films in France.

    In his Polish television series “Decalogue”, he hires only ordinary Polish actresses, and their non-beauty creates a sense of realism.

    Then he emigrated from Poland to France, and started to hire too beautiful French actresses like Irene Jacob, and parts of his films began to resemble fashion photography, rather than realism.

    Unrealistically beautiful French actresses like Irene Jacob and Juliette Binoche, are hypnotizing Kieslowski , who is adding regularly long close ups of their beautiful faces, without those necessarily adding any value to the films.

    And even the marketing of his films becomes based on the beauty of the French actresses.

    I still like the latin films of Kieslowski, but I’m not sure they wouldn’t have been more focused, and less pretentious, if he had continued with the Polish actresses of “Decalogue”

    Aside from Irene Jacob, maybe the strongest example of the latin culture’s beauty obsession is in films centred on Isabelle Adjani.

    If you’ve seen “La Reine Margot”? It is a good film, but it’s also like a parody of the excesses of the French culture, that converted Bartholomew’s night massacre, into a stylish fashion parade for their country’s most beautiful woman.

    Irish influence on Westerns

    Ireland is a gentle and collectivist culture though, and without much of outback, and Catholic religion. While Western films focuses a lot on stoicism, protestant individualism, violence, and vast outbacks and open, unconquered lands.

    But it is a funny irony of fate that the most visually impressive Westerns, were made later on by 1960s Italians, who converted the Western films, into a kind of Italian opera genre.

    • Replies: @songbird
  337. rkka says:
    @AP

    That would make it no less incompatible with the Catholic Party as with the Nazi Party.

    You do recall that Zentrum politicians were important to persuading Hindenburg to make Adolf chancellor, and voted for the Enabling Act, don’t you?

    And if the Commies & Socialists team up vs Adolf, the Catholics probably run to Adolf even sooner.

    • Replies: @AP
  338. rkka says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    If I recall correctly, Leon Blum in France was able to cooperate with the French Communists in the 1930s

    And what did French Catholics think of that, hm? They vituperated Blum, despite his constant effort to conciliate. A unified Socialist/Communist coalition in Germany front forms the Enabling Act coalition even sooner.

  339. @AnonfromTN

    I have great respect for the pious Christian ,Poroshenko. Particularly after he made a holy pilgrimage during Christmas this year, to that most holy of Christian sites………….the Galapagos Islands!

    Strangely, Ecuador appears to be the one place in South America, and maybe even in all the world where Ukrainians travel there in similar numbers to Russians – no idea why this is. It’s only a few thousands, but still strange – and is the only reason he was exposed, because some other Banderatard was making the same journey to Ecuador ( N.B, apart from the Christmas issue for the “christian” – it was a time of coronavirus and that trip has to be a 4 or 5 leg journey, both ways, during time of excessive travel delays and probably passengers only going in-transit through a country still subjected to quarantine procedures)

  340. Last year a Chechen woman and a Kazakh martial artist (both Russian citizens) attacked a Chechen opposition blogger (pro-Ichkeria, anti-Kadyrov/Daudov) called Abu-Saddam Shishani, also a Russian citizen.

    He had sought refuge in Sweden after leaving Germany as German police had found various Caucasian Emirate paraphernalia at the place he was staying and threatened to deport him back.

    Anyway, the Kazakh had been promised an €11k reward, the Chechen woman who helped set Shishani up for the hit was apparently in on it due to the blood feud.

    The attack failed and both were sent to Swedish jail.

    All of this is like meh, typical Caucasus to me, but reading Swedish news on it is still kind of annoying. It is consistently framed as “Chechen blogger” vs “Russians from Moscow” (as both the Chechen woman the Kazakh had lived there). Everything that complicates that narrative has been airbrushed out of the reporting.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  341. @Anonymous lurker

    Sweden needs some Vainakh action, why leave it to just France and Germany ? Sweeden needs new blood and the stylish Vainakh men dating the beautiful Swedish women will probably produce better offspring than even Vladislav Surkov’s type. I say move as much Chechens as possible to Sweden. Hadji Ramzan, if you sometimes read this blog, as president Putin supposedky does, this is my friendly advice to the proud Nokhchi nation : make Sweden your second home.

    Incha’Allah wal fathu qareeb!

    Ameen brothers, Ameen!

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  342. EldnahYm says:
    @A123

    In essence, it seems like MMT is already official policy with “Quantitative Easing”. The professionals are just dancing to avoid the term MMT.

    No it isn’t. Quantitative easing is an old idea Keynes suggested in 1930 in Chapter 37 of his Treatise on Money:

    My remedy in the event of the obstinate persistence of a slump would consist, therefore, in the purchase of securities by the central bank until the long-term market rate of interest has been brought down to the limiting point, which we shall have to admit a few paragraphs further on. It should not be beyond the power of a central bank (international complications apart) to bring down the long-term market rate of interest to any figure at which it is itself prepared to buy long-term securities. For the bearishness of the capitalist public is never very obstinate, and when the rate of interest on savings deposits is next door to nothing the saturation point can fairly soon be reached. If the central bank supplies the member banks with more funds than they can lend at short term, in the first place the short-term rate of interest will decline towards zero, and in the second place the member banks will soon begin, if only to maintain their profits, to second the efforts of the central bank by themselves buying securities. This means that the price of bonds will rise unless there are many persons to be found who, as they see the prices of long-term bonds rising, prefer to sell them and hold the proceeds liquid at a very low rate of interest…If the effect of such measures is to raise the price of ‘equities’ (e.g. ordinary shares) more than the price of bonds, no harm in a time of slump will result from this; for investment can be stimulated by its being unusually easy to raise resources by the sale of ordinary shares as well as by high bond prices. Moreover, a very excessive price for equities is not likely to occur at a time of depression and business losses.

    Thus I see small reason to doubt that the central bank can produce a large effect on the cost of raising new resources for long-term investment, if it is prepared to persist with its open-market policy far enough.

    He later discovered that an increase in share prices would not necessarily lead to investment, which he explained by liquidity preference in his 1936 General Theory:

    For whilst an increase in the quantity of money may be expected, cet. par., to reduce the rate of interest, this will not happen if the liquidity-preferences of the public are increasing more than the quantity of money; and whilst a decline in the rate of interest may be expected, cet. par., to increase the volume of investment, this will not happen if the schedule of the marginal efficiency of capital is falling more rapidly than the rate of interest; and whilst an increase in the volume of investment may be expected, cet. par., to increase employment, this may not happen if the propensity to consume is falling off.

    Needless to say, despite being one of the most famous economists, almost no one has learned anything from Keynes work.

    Quantitative easing is an asset swap to banks of central bank reserves for other securities. It has nothing to do with MMT, as MMT people do not believe governments need to issue debt at all. See here: http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=31715

    To drive the point home, I will quote from Ben Bernanke himself(all of this I’m stealing from Jan Kregel*) about the purpose of quantitative easing:

    The monetary authorities can issue as much money as they like. Hence, if the price level were truly independent of money issuance, then the monetary authorities could use the money they create to acquire indefinite quantities of goods and assets. This is manifestly impossible in equilibrium. Therefore money issuance must ultimately raise the price level, even if nominal interest rates are bounded at zero

    None of this is MMT. Bernanke’s argument is from a Quantity Theory of Money perspective(the same one Keynes used in 1930, and later rejected in his General Theory) and he is also assuming equilibrium. MMT rejects general equilibrium or similar ideas and believes in endogenous money.

    * http://www.levyinstitute.org/conferences/minsky2013/D2_S6_Kregel.pdf are Kregel’s slides from his presentation and

    is the actual talk

    • Thanks: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @mal
  343. AP says:
    @rkka

    Correct. In the 1930s, Communists were orders of magnitude more vile than Nazis so that would have been the correct thing to do for someone who wasn’t a time traveler.

    • Replies: @rkka
  344. AP says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Budapest is more drab and run down than provincial Russian cities, not only Moscow, and more drab and run down than places like Lviv or Kiev in Ukraine (actually these places don’t look drab or run down, unlike most of Budapest).

  345. @Bashibuzuk

    Btw Bashi, do you know how big are circles of Russians converted to Islam? Often you seem to know lots of small details about Muslims, maybe you know how many Russians have become apostates.
    (Buryatian Sayid, a traitor)

    Btw AP isn’t it true that from a Christian perspective it’s better that one’s son, if one’s son is lost and confused, converts to radical Islam like Salafi or Wahhabism, than to atheist Communism?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @AP
  346. AP says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Slovaks submit, rather than flee. If in some parallel universe Indian elites would settle and take over much of Slovakia rather than Silicon Valley, he would simply make the best of the situation and discover a love of Curry and gypsy music and express contempt for those such as Poles who might resist such an influx. It’s the clever thing to do, you know. But in our reality, Russia is stronger, India is not, the instincts are pointed in another direction.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
    , @Beckow
  347. @AltanBakshi

    Yes there are some Russian converts to Islam, but not that much, usually women who become spouses to Muslims. Proportionally less important than the conversion in the West.

    I remembered reading about this Buriat convert who became a mullah for Emirat Kaukaz. IIRC he had studied to become a Lama, then read the Qur’an and abandoned the Dharma to become a terrorist then he got killed. A logical evolution.

    Chechens are an interesting bunch.

    Lively people…

    🙂

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  348. rkka says:
    @AP

    As long as you don’t pretend that Adolf was anything other than a creature of the German center-right, whose path to power was paved by Bruning’s “Austerity” economics and whose dictatorial power was handed to him by pretty much the same folks.

    • LOL: AP
  349. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Btw AP isn’t it true that from a Christian perspective it’s better that one’s son, if one’s son is lost and confused, converts to radical Islam like Salafi or Wahhabism, than to atheist Communism

    I’m no expect on Islam, but it seems that Allah is not the same as God, whereas Godless Communism is some kind of post-Christian heresy with Christian elements. It would be hard to say which is worse. A mild Euro-Communist, retaining his culture that had been deeply infused with Christianity, would be better than an ISIS terrorist, but a destructive nihilistic Chekist would be equally bad.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @A123
  350. rkka says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    Your mistake is believing that the German Catholics would respond the way you think to even the meekest KPD acting as you suggest at Stalin’s dictate. The German Socialists & Communists teaming up with the most conciliatory platform would have no other effect than to form the Enabling Act coalition much sooner. Blum in France tried conciliating his opponents, and utterly failed to ameliorate the hatred towards him & the French Socialists one iota.

  351. @AP

    Allah = YHWH. Most Muslims and Jews do not disagree about this.

    • LOL: A123
  352. AP says:
    @Gerard-Mandela

    There is your infamous nonsense describing the roads,infrastructure and general living in Lvov. So I know Lvov

    No you don’t, and when you describe Budapest as not being shabby you either have not been there or are from some place in Russia that itself is run down so you don’t know the difference. I’ve only been to one provincial Russian city (the one where locals refer to strawberries as “viktorias”, you can guess) and it was not run down at all, better than Budapest. I heard that the Volga region is kind of shabby though.

    Actually one city in Ukraine is about as run down as Budapest: Ternopil.

    Which hotel in Budapest did stay?

    Hilton in Pest. It had very nice food. Here is a picture I took from the terrace:

    I did not bother taking photos of the run down street-level Pest.

  353. A123 says:
    @AP

    I’m no expect on Islam, but it seems that Allah is not the same as God

    It is well known that Allah is the Enemy of God. In Christian tradition (written before 600 A.D.), Allah is commonly known as Lucifer or Satan. Allah sent his spawn the Anti-Christ Muhammad to bring Jihad (Murder) upon all Infidels, primarily the followers of Jesus.

    The Muslim tradition requires lying, known as Taqiyya (1):

    There are several forms of lying to non-believers that are permitted under certain circumstances, the best known being taqiyya (the Shia name). These circumstances are typically those that advance the cause of Islam – in some cases by gaining the trust of non-believers in order to draw out their vulnerability and defeat them.

    Among the most common Taqiyya lies Muslims try to foist on unsuspecting Christians are:
    — Islam is a religion of peace — The core value of Islam is Jihad (violence, murder).
    — Christianity and Judaism are religions of “The Book” — The only book relevant to Islam is the Quran which calls for the death of Infidels (Jews & Christians)

    If you want to survive, remember all Muslims *must* lie. Taqiyya is a pillar of their faith in Lucifer/Allah/Satan.

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    (1) https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/taqiyya.aspx

    • LOL: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @rkka
  354. @AP

    he would simply make the best of the situation and discover a love of Curry and gypsy music

    That would certainly be an improvement. In light of the rampant antiziganist sentiments expressed by this community, we’re all overdue for some wonderful gypsy music.

  355. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    I would appreciate knowing how exactly you managed to get one of your own digital photos printed within your comment? Thanks!

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  356. @AP

    What is bad about Budapest? Looks like a beautiful central European town to me.

    • Replies: @AP
  357. @A123

    Pope Francis is urging Iraq’s Muslim and Christian religious leaders to put aside animosities and work together for peace and unity during an interfaith meeting in the traditional birthplace of the Prophet Abraham, father of their faiths.

    …. ….

    He said: “From this place, where faith was born, from the land of our father Abraham, let us affirm that God is merciful and that the greatest blasphemy is to profane his name by hating our brothers and sisters. Hostility, extremism and violence are not born of a religious heart: they are betrayals of religion.”

    https://www.arabnews.com/node/1820746/middle-east

    Jews, Christians and Muslims have Buddha Nature. Yeshua / Issa was a great Bodhisattva. I wish to the followers of all the religious traditions born from Abraham’s spiritual experience a long-lasting Peace and true Enlightenment.

    Svaha!

    • Replies: @A123
  358. @Mr. Hack

    I believe he took a photo and uploaded it via the “intertubes” to a “website” known as imgur, and then utilizes the “metatext” function included with all Unz posts that converts the first image link to an embedded image.

    • Agree: AP
    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
  359. A123 says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Thank you for providing evidence to support my position.

    The IslamoPope, Francis Muhammad, is indeed part of the problem. His selection as Pope & lies about Christianity show how far modern day Catholics have gone to reject Jesus and embrace Satan/Allah/Lucifer.

    PEACE 😇

  360. rkka says:
    @A123

    — Islam is a religion of peace — The core value of Islam is Jihad (violence, murder).

    Most of the present “Islamist” violence derives from the perversion of Islam cooked up by ZBiggy Brzezinsky & the House of Saud in ’79. The big ones for killing are:
    AQ & its offshoots
    Islamic State
    Al Shabab

    Their main victims are other Muslims who disagree with the Wahabi interpretation of Islamic law.

    Shi’ite groups don’t make it into the top 20, for instance.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @A123
  361. A123 says:
    @rkka

    Shi’ite groups don’t make it into the top 20, for instance.

    Violent Shia funded groups like Iranian al’Hezbollah, Iranian al’Hamas, and Palestinian Iranian Jihad [PIJ] are in the Top 20. You can try to make some sort of hyper-technical distinction between “Shia funded” and “Shi’ite”, but we all know the score.

    Sociopath Khameni is even willing to fund some AQ & ISIS offshoots. Which says something about how flexible the Sunni/Shia divide really is.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  362. songbird says:
    @Thulean Friend

    I thought the Gulf model was to import Muslims which would ruin it for the rest of Indians? But, maybe, not if they are kept as sex-segregated helots, like they are in the Gulf?

  363. mal says:
    @EldnahYm

    No it isn’t. Quantitative easing is an old idea Keynes suggested in 1930 in Chapter 37 of his Treatise on Money:

    Keynes wrote about running government budget deficit in bad times and surplus in good times. We are never running a surplus, and we are never going to reduce Federal Reserve balance sheet. Federal Reserve balance sheet represents direct monetization of government debt, which is basically what MMT describes. Congress authorizes spending, Treasury funds it via banking system and ultimately the Fed.

    Quantitative easing is an asset swap to banks of central bank reserves for other securities. It has nothing to do with MMT, as MMT people do not believe governments need to issue debt at all.

    Debt held by the Federal Reserve isn’t really debt. By law, Fed returns excess profits (such as interest on bonds) to US Treasury. Its a weird situation where US Gov is paying itself to borrow. It is true that our definitions haven’t caught up yet and we still call US government debt a ‘debt’. But it really isn’t anymore – nobody buys 10 year bond for glorious 1% yield guaranteed to lose money in real terms. People buy 10 year bonds as capital stock, betting on price appreciation (further yield decline).

    Basically US Government issues stocks to absorb excess liquidity and throttle down inflation. Same as any other financial asset creation. Thinking about this process as ‘debt’, that is, something to be repaid (as per Keynes) is no longer valid. MMT is a better description for what’s going on i think.

    Basically QE provides end demand for US Government ‘debt’ that nobody would buy otherwise, at least not at interest rate US government requires to survive. Without QE US Gov would run out of money due to interest on debt skyrocketing and US economy would collapse in a crisis that would be worse than Great Depression.

    • Thanks: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Mikel
    , @EldnahYm
  364. @Thulean Friend

    So using the capitals of the two countries as proxies for overall living standards among the general population would be mildly misleading, no?

    This is true as a general statement. However, there are two things people often overlook. One, Moscow has <10% of Russian population, which is much smaller percentage than, say, France, Mexico, or Egypt, but much greater fraction than Hungary. Two, Moscow is very large, with the population a lot greater than the whole population of Hungary. More than 12 million people live in Moscow, so it represents a sizable chunk of RF. Besides, two provincial cities, Penza and Nizhni Novgorod, I visited in 2019 along with Moscow, look an order of magnitude better than they ever did in the USSR.

    Several things impressed me in Moscow. One, the area that is well maintained and remarkably clean: it’s huge, not just a small part of the city, as in Budapest. Two, Moscow metro, that is being expanded at breakneck pace, is more beautiful than any metro I saw in numerous countries (I always use metro in cities that have it; I even tried it in Cairo; the only one I didn’t dare try was in Beijing, as everything there is written in hieroglyphs that I can’t read). There are more stations in Moscow metro that are the works of art than in the rest of the world combined. Three, there are lots of places to eat all over the city, and there are lots of people in them. Four, the number and variety of theaters: only London can compare, no other city even comes close. Five, the number and variety of bookstores and the abundance of customers in them. Everything suggests that the majority of the residents have a comfortable life, feel safe, and are enjoying themselves.

    I haven’t lived in Moscow since 1985 (the end of my grad school). Last time I visited it was in 1998. Back then it looked depressing, dirty and unkempt, much worse than in the USSR. So, the contrast with 2019 was huge. Based on this comparison alone I quite understand why so many Russians are enthusiastic about Putin, and why Russian libtards have such a high negative and ridiculously low positive rating.

  365. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    It is often remarked how Hollywood would traditionally look for male leads, who would be some golden mean of youth and maturity, so they could be used for years. Men, like Jimmy Stewart and Carry Grant.

    Perhaps, there has been some similar but different strategy with women – to find the really stunning women, who will still look exceptionally good into their 30s or even 40s. There is one, her name escapes me, but, years ago, people where posting her bikini pics when she was in her 60s, to refute the idea that it wasn’t the natural progression of time that had aged Carrie Fischer, but drugs and hard-living. Anyway, being in her 60s, the woman was gross to me, but, for her age, no doubt very good-looking.

    Modern Hollywood is probably more of a fleshpot, and these strategies have doubtlessly changed to a certain extent. With women now, I feel like they often choose weird-looking women, either for their novelty, or for the purposes of political correctness. Like Kristen Stewart or Anne Hathaway. Perhaps, the new strategy is to get women who will continue to look weird, as they age, and so be recognizable that way.

    But I have always felt that they were missing something on screen – the women who would not be considered to have movie star looks, but still be quite attractive in real life – it is like they skipped those women to go for the weird-looking ones.

    If you’ve seen “La Reine Margot”?

    I regret to say that other than Amélie, I have only seen one French film – at least part way – deep into my youth. Some tragic story about a man seeking water by digging a well, if I recall it. Struck me as being very arty, fringe, and boring, but I was only about 7 or so. In America, French films are stereotyped as being all for art students.

  366. @AnonFromTN

    Moscow has improved enormously while many major Western urban centers have deteriorated considerably.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  367. @AnonFromTN

    Has the Russian brain drain stopped? The last time I visited Stanford it was crawling with very-high-perfomance Russians who would be expected to be big monkeys in Moscow if they had chosen that route.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  368. @Morton's toes

    Has the Russian brain drain stopped?

    That I don’t know. I read that a lot of Russians repatriate now, but I am not sure those are the smartest ones.

    who would be expected to be big monkeys in Moscow if they had chosen that route.

    I wouldn’t bet my money on that. As far as I am concerned, I won’t go that route. Both my publication and citation records are much more impressive than that of most Russian Academy of sciences members in my field. That would cause a lot of envy and bad feelings, with the result that if I return, I would be pushed aside under some pretext, to the benefit of local scientific midgets. I would not return to Russia as long as I am willing to work. After full retirement is a different matter: Russia has numerous advantages. Just to list the most obvious: no BLM bandits, no Antifa scum, no LGBT freaks.

  369. Beckow says:

    …but much greater fraction than Hungary.

    Actually, Budapest is 20% of Hungary’s population, a structural issue. Budapest had a few great decades around fin-de-siecle, after 1918 it is oversized for Hungary. That explains the beauty and grandeur in the centre and a run-down periphery. Hungary is potentially a very rich country – resources, people, location – but they made some bad choices in the past.

    I also use metro when I can, it says a lot about a country. Budapest is dismal reflecting old glory and a certain local pettiness. Vienna-Prague are superb, functional, pleasant. Stockholm was very disappointing, both the run-down parts and demographics. The worst metro I have seen is in Boston – it is incomprehensibly bad, line D is a nightmare from the Victorian era.

    The last year upended the world order, suddenly Shanghai or Moscow have skyrocketed and West is unable to cope. Trends always last longer than a few years, we are seeing a massive global re-engineering. West is going thru the usual phases: denial, anger…they know if the trends go on 5-10 years the quality of life ranking will shift away from the West. Power will follow. Some think that a war – or a threat of war – could slow it down. Anger talking.

    Short of a blow-up West can only slow down China-Russia by a few years The underlying reality will stay the same: resources, making stuff and demographics are with China-Russia. West did a number of Faustian bargains to get through the post-WWII existential crisis. The worst one was to pacify the Third World by allowing mass migration from, often connected to elites there, but not lately. That worked in the short-run – people forget that around 1965 most of non-Western world looked on trajectory to side with Soviets-China – but it literally destroyed over time Western cohesion, labor markets, economies, etc… You can’t reverse that and it is impossible to even slow down the process.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  370. AP says:
    @Shortsword

    It has beautiful architecture but is very shabby and run down. In complete contrast to other former Hapsburg cities like Vienna, Krakow, even Lviv.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  371. Beckow says:
    @AP

    You already seem to be living in a parallel universe where emotions reign.

    In the last 100 years, Slovaks almost tripled their population, homogenized the country (90%+), built two large cities with Bratislava one of the most pleasant mid-size cities in Europe, an industrial economy – great weapons and #1 EU producer of cars/capita. Mountains, skiing, spas and tourism that are often better than Switzerland, less crowded, more laid-back. In the process Slovakia lost at most 50k people (WWII).

    Poland lost millions, the population has barely recovered and the largest % in Europe has emigrated. Poland is still substantially poorer than either Czechia or Slovakia, and the infrastructure is a generation behind.

    I judge strategies by results. What do you do? Number of monuments? Or poetry? I am not sure we are that clever, but overall we have it good. Finally, we will keep the Indians and others where they belong – not our culture, we are not interested. All you and that fool Thulean have left is lame barking at what you cannot have.

    • Replies: @AP
  372. Beckow says:
    @AP

    Aaah? I will give you Vienna and I have never been to Lviv. But Krakow? For god’s sake it’s quite shabby and run-down. Don’t get me wrong, I like Krakow’s history and geo-setting, but it’s not a good-looking, clean city. The infrastructure is sub-par.

    Try to be objective, Budapest in many ways for all its issues is a more grandeur city.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  373. @A123

    Here is a nuanced view of the Elohim/Allah differences vs. similarities.

    https://churchlifejournal.nd.edu/articles/is-the-quranic-god-the-same-god-as-the-biblical-god/

    Anyone who has read both the Old Testament and Qur’an will easily find for himself that the similarities are overwhelming, while the difference are few if any.

    Gospels are a different matter, the Heavenly Father in the Gospels is described by Jesus as quite different from Elohim/YHWH Sabaoth in the Torah and Allah in the Qur’an.

    [MORE]

    Why the mainstream Christian denominations have chosen to identify the Heavenly Father of Jesus Christ with YHWH is completely beyond me. It was the choice they made that ruined the most beautiful aspects of the teachings of Jesus and eventually opened up the gates to the Islamic reformation of the Abrahamic Creed, Jihad, Crusades, Inquisition, Protestant reformation and religious wars etc.

    Speaking of which, the author of the article above defames Marcion, which is not surprising coming from a mainstream Christian. Marcion has clearly divided the G-d of the Torah from the Heavenly Father of the Gospels. If the Marcionite version of Christian theology would have prevaled, there would nowadays be no questions to be asked about the identity or lack thereof between Allah and the God of the Gospels. They would be completely, utterly and irreconcilably different.

    My point of view is that YHWH and Allah are the same entity, while the Heavenly Father of Jesus is someone different. This is of course a heretical interpretation, for which I would have been stoned by Jews, flogged and crucified by Muslims, burned by the Catholic and the Protestant and drowned by the Russian Orthodox. How lucky am I to be a Zen Buddhist living in an era when all these Abrahamic sects have somewhat lost their power to impart suffering upon the spiritual dissidents.

    Allhamdu’liLah/Glory to God that I can quietly read my scriptures and practice my meditation without having to fear some Rabbinic tribunal, Inquisition or Al Mihna coming through my door. Meanwhile, I wish all the good followers of Abrahamic creeds Peace and a life conducive to the ultimate Liberation from suffering through Enlightenment.

    As Prophet Mohammad has aptly put it : “You have your Religion, while we have ours” !

    🙂

    • Replies: @A123
  374. @Beckow

    Budapest is 20% of Hungary’s population

    I did not know that. So, only France, Mexico, and Egypt have a graver structural problem with their oversized capitals than Hungary. Poor Orban.

  375. @AnonFromTN

    Moscow may have a smaller population share, but that could also just mean a higher concentration of elites. A country like Denmark houses something like 30% of its total population in the Greater Copenhagen area. You’re bound to get more representative the higher up the percentages you go.

    I will say that despite the expansion of the metro, it is clearly not enough. Moscow has horrific traffic jams. By some counts, the worst congested city on earth. That is not what high quality city planning would achieve. I’m sure it has improved from the 1990s, but it’s clearly insufficient since lack of proper planning lead to such congestion “achievements”. I also wonder what the state of their bicycling infrastructure – a true sign of civilisation – is. I would wager it is probably quite meager. A few rent-a-bike stations and some sloppily colored lines on heavily trafficked streets is far from sufficient to receive a passing grade in 2021.

    Moscow would profit from the ideas of someone like Ilya Varlamov, who has written
    at length over urban renewal, such as decreasing space for car-centric NIMBY:ism. Perhaps that will be the work of a new mayor since the current one has failed in this. Only then can Moscow move into a truly enlightened state such as Amsterdam.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Dmitry
  376. Mikel says:
    @mal

    I know that you’re not particularly interested in learning anything from conventional economics and that you are absolutely certain that your economic recipes are correct but I think I’ll go ahead and tell you a couple of things nonetheless.

    One of the things you neo printing machine advocates forget is that central banks are… banks, as should be obvious from their name. This means that they have, like all banks, a balance sheet that must obey the assets=liabilities+equity equation.

    In particular, on the asset side of their balance sheet central banks have private and public securities that they have purchased, gold and capital. On the liabilities side they have reserves from associated banks, capital and currency in circulation. When one side of their balance sheet increases or declines so must the other.

    The other thing that too many people are forgetting today is that the main purpose of central banks, unlike private banks, is not to make profits but to maintain the value of the currency, ie keep price stability.

    Central banks only have the ability to maintain price stability when they have the means to influence the market, such as through open market operations. If the quality of their assets is poor they won’t be able to perform their main duty and they might even be unable to confront their liabilities.

    It doesn’t matter that right now the prospects of inflation are small or high. Central banks can only acquire “unlimited” amounts of debt if they’re willing to sacrifice their ability to accomplish their main statutory goal.

    • Replies: @mal
    , @EldnahYm
  377. @Thulean Friend

    Moscow has horrific traffic jams.

    Sure. Central Moscow was built before cars, so it has the same problem as central London, where (quoting late Douglas Adams) “traffic jam started in the mid-1960s and shows no sign of abating”. In my view, the historic parts of all major cities should be pedestrian areas. Even public transportation, like buses, should be limited to few routes. Cars in all downtowns should be only allowed on specially built elevated roads (like a mega-bridge across Cairo, or highways in some American cities). This problem is real, but it’s hardly unique for Moscow. BTW, the residents know that if you want to get somewhere on time, you are better off using metro. There are also excellent trains from metro stations to all major airports, I used them in 2015 when I flew via Moscow to Crimea, and in 2019.

  378. Since AP graciously shared a photo I intended to go through my stack and see what I had from Budapest. I am a poor photographer, either nothing at all or too little. It seems there were no photos that I could find.

    I did find a whole lot from Beijing, photos taken by yours truly when I was a teenager. If you ever consider visiting China, I strongly recommend visiting Beijing at least for a few days. The photos were made on a smartphone so camera quality back then was not terrific to say the least, but I’ve picked the better photos.

    Here’s the gallery.

    • Thanks: AP, Blinky Bill
  379. AP says:
    @Beckow

    You are just bragging that submission and service to whoever has been stronger has been good for your people. Sure. The Soviet POW who accepted the offer to work in a concentration camp was more likely to survive and leave behind children than one who didn’t. What would you think of him as he sneers at the one stupid enough not to comply with the new master’s wishes?

    Poland is still substantially poorer than either Czechia or Slovakia

    It’s eastern parts inherited from Russia have always been behind. But you are wrong as usual.

    Average monthly wage in Poland is €880 and in Slovakia €897. Not close to being a “substantial” difference. Moreover, adjusted for cost of living, Poland is a little wealthier than Slovakia:

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

    It’s a similar story with nominal vs per capita GDP.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  380. AP says:
    @Beckow

    Aaah? I will give you Vienna and I have never been to Lviv. But Krakow? For god’s sake it’s quite shabby and run-down

    Not compared to Budapest (other than the castle district).

  381. mal says:
    @Mikel

    I know that you’re not particularly interested in learning anything from conventional economics and that you are absolutely certain that your economic recipes are correct but I think I’ll go ahead and tell you a couple of things nonetheless.

    Conventional economics is outdated, world doesn’t work like that anymore. Even microeconomics is getting increasingly outdated i think. When majority of your economy increasingly consists of veblen goods and status seeking becomes key economic activity, textbook laws of supply and demand no longer offer satisfactory explanations.

    In particular, on the asset side of their balance sheet central banks have private and public securities that they have purchased, gold and capital. On the liabilities side they have reserves from associated banks, capital and currency in circulation. When one side of their balance sheet increases or declines so must the other.

    The Fed asset side consists of US Gov debt and mortgage derivatives, but they can buy used toilet paper if they wanted to. They create ‘reserves’ out of thin air which banks then use to create money out thin air, and since 2008 there is no real difference because banks operate in ‘excess reserve’ regime meaning Fed gave them $trillions more than they need and today reserve requirement is 0% which basically means banks are free to print as much money out of thin air as they want to. And yet they still fail. Banks may think they own Federal Reserve, but Fed will end up consuming them all as banks have become worse than useless.

    The other thing that too many people are forgetting today is that the main purpose of central banks, unlike private banks, is not to make profits but to maintain the value of the currency, ie keep price stability.

    Price stability is certainly NOT the purpose of Central Banks, doesn’t matter what textbook says. Just listen to Bank officials themselves – they WANT 2% inflation and will be happy with more. And they are correct. That is absolutely NOT price stability.

    Central banks only have the ability to maintain price stability when they have the means to influence the market, such as through open market operations. If the quality of their assets is poor they won’t be able to perform their main duty and they might even be unable to confront their liabilities.

    Central Banks set the quality of assets. If they say used toilet paper is worth $1,000,000, then it will be worth $1,000,000. Amazing thing they won’t even have to buy it, just wink and promise to. Dumb ‘free market’ will. If Fed declares it will buy Mikel’s used toilet paper at whatever price, you will always have a buyer for it secure in the hope to flip it to the Fed. And of course, Fed will buy it eventually like the mortgage backed securities.

    It doesn’t matter that right now the prospects of inflation are small or high. Central banks can only acquire “unlimited” amounts of debt if they’re willing to sacrifice their ability to accomplish their main statutory goal.

    Central Bank main goal is to ensure smooth government operation in order to prevent economic and social collapse. All other goals are immaterial. They will buy whatever in unlimited quantity in order to accomplish it.

    • Replies: @EldnahYm
    , @Mikel
  382. EldnahYm says:
    @mal

    Keynes wrote about running government budget deficit in bad times and surplus in good times.

    He did. Just not in any of the passages I quoted, as Keynes’ ideas about cyclical fiscal policy are irrelevant to his point about monetary policy setting interest rates to zero.

    We are never running a surplus, and we are never going to reduce Federal Reserve balance sheet.

    Well, for example, the Federal Reserve balance sheet was reduced(slightly) last June, so your claim that it will never be reduced is surely false. To say the Federal Reserve balance sheet shows a long-term trend of increase is not the same as saying it will never decrease, nor does it necessarily mean the balance sheet must be at x rate to sustain such and such levels of economic growth or living standards.

    Federal Reserve balance sheet represents direct monetization of government debt, which is basically what MMT describes. Congress authorizes spending, Treasury funds it via banking system and ultimately the Fed.

    You can think of it that way, but the operating word here is “basically.” QE is not permanent, bonds issued to private banking that pay out interest can be re-instated at any time. Also, the current laborious process of creating new “debt” (scare quotes for your benefit) instruments which are then swapped creates a lot of unnecessary makework. A system of overt monetary financing would eliminate this. So there is a difference, although it can be argued that it’s insignificant.

    Debt held by the Federal Reserve isn’t really debt. By law, Fed returns excess profits (such as interest on bonds) to US Treasury. Its a weird situation where US Gov is paying itself to borrow. It is true that our definitions haven’t caught up yet and we still call US government debt a ‘debt’. But it really isn’t anymore – nobody buys 10 year bond for glorious 1% yield guaranteed to lose money in real terms. People buy 10 year bonds as capital stock, betting on price appreciation (further yield decline).

    The first sentence is playing around with definitions. I can accept one definition of debt, you can accept another, or we can agree to a definition, but no new information is revealed either way. Personally, the only difference I see is that in one scenario the government chooses to go for corporate welfare in the form of paying interest to private institutions, in the other, it does not. In neither scenario is it the case that the U.S. government is being financed by the private sector.

    Basically US Government issues stocks to absorb excess liquidity and throttle down inflation. Same as any other financial asset creation. Thinking about this process as ‘debt’, that is, something to be repaid (as per Keynes) is no longer valid. MMT is a better description for what’s going on i think.

    Ideas have changed since 1930, and so has the financial system. For example, Britain was technically still on the gold standard in 1930, they would abandon it the next year(with Keynes’ support). In the MMT account of things, “debt” just represents an accounting relationship. The key distinction is between issues of currency and users of currency.

    Basically QE provides end demand for US Government ‘debt’ that nobody would buy otherwise, at least not at interest rate US government requires to survive. Without QE US Gov would run out of money due to interest on debt skyrocketing and US economy would collapse in a crisis that would be worse than Great Depression.

    The Federal Reserve sets the federal funds rate, which is sufficient to control interest rates. Demand for money is also controlled by the federal government, by the requirement of its use to settle federal transactions(most crucially tax payment) and by setting reserve requirements. Not only is the above paragraph incorrect, the view it espouses is literally the opposite of MMT:

    http://moslereconomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/The-Natural-Rate-of-Interest-is-Zero.pdf
    https://modernmoneynetwork.org/sites/default/files/biblio/Setting%20Interest%20Rates%20in%20the%20Modern%20Era.pdf

    • Replies: @mal
  383. EldnahYm says:
    @Mikel

    An assets = liabilities + equation is not a rule central banks must follow, it’s just an identity which describes what happens when central banks carry out some operation. Central bank assets and liabilities are creations of central banks. The equation just describes what happens when a particular account is credited or debited.

    • Replies: @Mikel
  384. EldnahYm says:
    @mal

    Conventional economics is outdated, world doesn’t work like that anymore.

    Conventional economics was never correct.

    The Fed asset side consists of US Gov debt and mortgage derivatives, but they can buy used toilet paper if they wanted to. They create ‘reserves’ out of thin air which banks then use to create money out thin air, and since 2008 there is no real difference because banks operate in ‘excess reserve’ regime meaning Fed gave them $trillions more than they need and today reserve requirement is 0% which basically means banks are free to print as much money out of thin air as they want to.

    Banks do not use reserves to create money. Banks create money out of thin air first to meet demand, then find ways to fund it. When bank loans are paid off or go into default, the money the banks created is thereby removed from the economy. The demand for loans and the bank’s willingness to lend are the important variables, if these are unchanged and you get increased reserves, excess reserves is the result.

    • Replies: @mal
  385. Beckow says:
    @AP

    No it is not, not even close and noone familiar with the region would claim it.

    Your geography is way off: large parts of eastern Poland were part of the Habsburg Empire, is that what made them poor?

    Tame your braggadocio: the truth is in details, and the truth about character is also in details. Poland has fought, let’s see: Russia, again Russia, Czechoslovakia, then as cannon fodder for the British Empire, again Russia, and for a short 2-3 weeks war Germany.

    You are basically bragging about a history of fighting Russia – mostly for land that was not Polish by ethnicity or religion, and being massively slaughtered by Germans. I mean millions murdered. Quite a heroic path.

    Today, Poland is proudly lined up to fight Russia again. With their mass-murder German allies, and their lords in Washington and London. And you call that heroism? Most people would call it simple stupidity – being used by others to die for them…

    • Replies: @AP
  386. AP says:
    @Beckow

    No it is not, not even close and noone familiar with the region would claim it.

    We have the claims of Beckow, whose numbers never match reality, versus reality (I posted wages and see Worldbank for GDP nominal and PPP per capita).

    Your geography is way off: large parts of eastern Poland were part of the Habsburg Empire, is that what made them poor?

    The poorest parts of Poland mostly are those in the east inherited from the Russian Empire (other than Warsaw of course):

    Tame your braggadocio: the truth is in details, and the truth about character is also in details. Poland has fought, let’s see: Russia, again Russia, Czechoslovakia, then as cannon fodder for the British Empire, again Russia, and for a short 2-3 weeks war Germany

    Lie about 2-3 week war. But yes, while Poland fought Nazis and Communists, Slovakia served Nazis and Communists. So devotedly that it apparently paid to send its own Jews to Nazi concentration camps, as a way of endearing itself to Europe’s master at the time.

    Hey, it worked out well, as you brag.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  387. mal says:
    @EldnahYm

    Well, for example, the Federal Reserve balance sheet was reduced(slightly) last June, so your claim that it will never be reduced is surely false. To say the Federal Reserve balance sheet shows a long-term trend of increase is not the same as saying it will never decrease, nor does it necessarily mean the balance sheet must be at x rate to sustain such and such levels of economic growth or living standards.

    That’s nitpicking. So what if got reduced slightly after expanding by $trillions. They tried reducing the balance sheet in 2018 by a few hundred $billion and stock market tanked and economy started going off the rails. The overall trend is going to be up.

    You can think of it that way, but the operating word here is “basically.” QE is not permanent, bonds issued to private banking that pay out interest can be re-instated at any time. Also, the current laborious process of creating new “debt” (scare quotes for your benefit) instruments which are then swapped creates a lot of unnecessary makework. A system of overt monetary financing would eliminate this. So there is a difference, although it can be argued that it’s insignificant.

    With the amount of financing US Gov will require going forward, QE will have to become permanent. I agree that the current system contains a lot of unnecessary makework.

    In neither scenario is it the case that the U.S. government is being financed by the private sector.

    I think we are in agreement here as well.

    The Federal Reserve sets the federal funds rate, which is sufficient to control interest rates. Demand for money is also controlled by the federal government, by the requirement of its use to settle federal transactions(most crucially tax payment) and by setting reserve requirements. Not only is the above paragraph incorrect, the view it espouses is literally the opposite of MMT:

    Federal Reserve sets whatever it wants to. Normally its overnight rates but if it wants to, it will do ‘Operation Twist’ or ‘Yield Curve Control’ (rate control for longer term securities) or even ‘SPV’ (special purpose vehicle for corporate bond purchase). If it wants to, Fed will price used toilet paper.

    As for QE mechanics, it withdraws assets (such as government debt) from the market thus raising the price of the remaining assets and lowering interest rates. Even with QE, interest expense has become one of the largest items in Federal Government budget. Without QE, interest payments would consume most of the budget and US government would be unable to meet its obligations. Or it would have to issue substantially more paper, far more than private market would be able to absorb. Interest payments to the Fed are a different story.

    • Replies: @EldnahYm
  388. mal says:
    @EldnahYm

    Banks do not use reserves to create money.

    True, but they need reserves for regulatory requirements. Of course, with excess reserves its kinda a moot point, or at least supposed to be in theory (see 2019 repo crisis).

    All i have to say about that is banks are extremely lucky that pandemic happened exactly when it did. They were running out of room rolling over those 42 day ‘overnight’ (LOL) repos.

  389. A123 says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    The most critical parts of the Old Testament, such as the Ten Commandments, are shared between Christianity and Judaism. Thus we can be fairly confident that the Christian God and the Jewish YHWH are the same.

    The Quran overwrites and repudiates much of the Old Testament. Thus, there is no reason to believe that Allah and YHWH are the same. The persistent attempts by the followers of Allah to kill Christians is why I rationally view the followers of Allah as a foes.

    Perhaps I would feel differently if Islamic lands and Infidel populations were 100% separate along with their religions. A few merchants travelling back and forth, but no migration or intermarriage permitted either direction. If there were no Muslims in Christian Europe, there would be no violent Muslim rape-ugees threatening underage Christian girls.

    We are at the far end of the pendulum swing with current pro-migration SJW extremists. It will take decades, but the pendulum will swing the other way. Those in Christian lands will have to:
    -1- Fully assimilate and become Christian.
    -2- Quietly assimilate and integrate, mostly private observances, no attempts to force non-Christian rituals & beliefs on public places, etc.
    -3- De-migrate back to their religious homelands.

    [MORE]

    #2 used to be part of the Jewish tradition, in essence wanting to be good guests. One of the unfortunate reasons why U.S. relations between Christians and Jews declined is that Jews were tricked. They were badly misused by secularists wanting to drive religion from the public square. Winning lawsuits to include largely compatible Judeo-Christian beliefs opened the door to wacky cults. This forced Christian governments into an untenable position allowing in the offensive -or- keeping everything out to bar the offensive. You can see the secularists exposed in their hatred nowdays as they stand against Christian monuments in public spaces. (1)
    ____

    Despite being Christian, the ecclesiastical metaphysics requiring the complexity of the Trinity has always seemed excessive to me. I would be content with The Father & The Son, no Holy Spirit required. I have no concrete objections to The Holy Spirit, so I am more than willing to go along even though I do not have a deep personal connection with the concept. Also selfishly, it avoids charges of apostasy, ostracization, and the associated stoning.

    Various Bibles are best efforts of flawed humans with only the knowledge of their age attempting to record glimpses of the divine. It is no secret that the King James (1611, v1) was produced to promulgate an English language Bible more friendly to the Monarchy than the Gutenberg Bible (~1455). That stories in parts of the King James (1769, v2) Bible are unclear, and in some cases contradictory, is a reflection of the fallibility and mortality of the authors and editors.

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    (1) https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2018/july/how-the-condemning-of-this-cross-shaped-monument-could-doom-others-across-the-us

    • Thanks: Bashibuzuk
  390. Mikel says:
    @mal

    Sorry, there are so many blatantly wrong statements in your reply that I don’t have the time to correct them. Maybe some other time.

    In general, you appear to have come of age in the post Great Recession era and believe that the only economic realities are the ones you have personally experienced.

    One of the worst mistakes any economic authority could make is believing that the current realities are permanent and will not change. That’s precisely what caught them unprepared for the GR, as had often happened before.

    • Replies: @mal
  391. Mikel says:
    @EldnahYm

    The a=l+e equation (identity if you prefer) holds always. It doesn’t matter that central banks have legal power to alter the magnitude of both sides.

    • Replies: @EldnahYm
  392. mal says:
    @Mikel

    Well, Great Recession did change how financial system works. Old rules don’t really apply anymore.

    One of the worst mistakes any economic authority could make is believing that the current realities are permanent and will not change. That’s precisely what caught them unprepared for the GR, as had often happened before.

    Current realities will change as well. With US budget deficits running in the $trillion+ range, we will likely transition to Federal Reserve Digital dollar of some sort and bypass the existing banking system by and large. But return to the old times is impossible. Kinda like when we left gold standard.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Mikel
  393. Mikel says:
    @mal

    Old rules don’t really apply anymore.

    Yes sure, that’s also what economists thought in the 50s and 60s and then stagflation hit them like a ton of bricks.

    I don’t think that economic and monetary authorities in the major economies really know too well what they are doing but fortunately they don’t believe in cure-all medicines as much as you do. QE and its equivalents elsewhere were in fact an ad hoc experiment under circumstances they were not prepared for.

    • Replies: @mal
    , @EldnahYm
  394. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    If we ignore the problem of most cities being raped by cars – the economically top (“alpha world”) cities in Western Europe seem to be improving from what I saw.

    I don’t remember ever saying “this capital city is worse than when I visited before” in Europe (excluding the horrible situation of cars). Even in economically slow countries like Spain, the capital city Madrid looks like it is still in a boom. (Areas like Lavapies of Madrid probably have absorbed problems when they were flooded with illegal immigrants – as a tourist I still kind of like those parts)

    I think the most booming major city in Europe, is London, if we ignore the air pollution from cars and metro (which the Mayor is promising to remove, but not much really removing it).

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  395. Beckow says:
    @AP

    …The poorest parts of Poland mostly are those in the east inherited from the Russian Empire

    Simply not true: the northeast was in Germany as East Prussia until 1945! Southeast was in the Habsburg Empire. Only the middle part of eastern Poland was in Russia, most of it around Warsaw and Lodz is today the richest part of Poland. You are both geographically illiterate and an ideological fanatic.

    Poland fought Nazis and Communists

    Poland fought Nazis exactly for 3 weeks (at best) and managed to lose 4-6 million people in WWII. They fought communists once, in 1920. All the other times Poland fought fellow Slavs on behalf of Western powers or for its territorial aggrandisement. Looks like they are ready to do it again. Proud of it?

    I am not a fan of WWII Czechia or Slovakia, so you are barking up the wrong tree. The best one can say for it is that it kept victims to minimum, but it was not pretty and I never endorse it.

    • Replies: @Gerard-Mandela
    , @AP
  396. mal says:
    @Mikel

    Yes sure, that’s also what economists thought in the 50s and 60s and then stagflation hit them like a ton of bricks.

    And what did they do in response? Printed a bunch of money of course. Everybody focuses on rate hikes but that’s a silly lesson. Rate hikes were done for two reasons:

    1. Destroy American family and middle class by destroying American industry and thereby destroying labor union power. All so that Wall Street Bond Kings could have more money to buy cocaine. It was a stunning success as finance capital became all powerful (and cocaine powdered) and middle class wages have stagnated ever since.

    Madonna’s song ‘Material Girl’ was a requiem for American Dream.

    2. Attract global capital to Wall Street to loot it and buy even more cocaine.

    But how did US deal with the consequences of those actions? Debt of course! US went from strong creditor and industrial power to a twin debtor. Both Government and trade deficits skyrocketed under Reagan/Volker rule.

    They were money printing charlatans just like everybody else. It was so bad that by 1991 US dollar plunged to something like 41% as a share of reserve currencies.

    It was idiot Gorbachev who saved American Empire by allowing Eastern European and Russian capital to save the USD. If USSR held out for literally 5 more years, USD share as world reserve currency would plunge into 30% range at which point US would become as unglued as the USSR. This is also why modern US seeks to beat Russia into submission to US capital. Purely old habits.

    Anyway, in 2019 US deficit was around $1 trillion. Going forward, it will be $2 trillion+. No amount of global capital can finance this. We will need new China every year (their forex holdings are in $1-2 trillion range). American labor has been destroyed, you can’t milk much more from the middle class. Their wages and wealth went nowhere since Reagan/Volker.

    So rate hikes will accomplish absolutely nothing except allow interest on debt to consume the entire Fed Gov budget. And we can’t have that.

    So we will do exactly what Reagan/Volker did – drive trade and government deficits through the roof. But we won’t hike rates as there’s no point in it anymore. No point in beating Russia into submission for that matter either as Russian money won’t help where we are going.

  397. Dmitry says:
    @Thulean Friend

    The problem isn’t traffic jams, but rather the fact that people are allowed to drive in the central part of cities.

    Most of the cities are being raped by the increasing numbers of cars, and central Saint-Peterburg has the same noisy multilane roads in the centre of city, although at least they didn’t cancel the trolleybus.

    For various reasons, I find it difficult to be enthusiastic about “renovated building facades” and “tidier underground power cable”; but mainly if the number of cars of the city is increasing, and so the unpleasant air and noise pollution that negatively effects mood when you are walking in a city.

    When you walk in the city, who cares if the building facades are dirty, compared to if the air is dirty? You don’t have to breathe the city’s facades, but the city’s air goes straight in your lungs, and could potentially damage your long term health.

    Moreover, roads are physical obstacles, that are rather more annoying than faded paint and overhead cables that only have practical negative impacts on postcards or Instagram photos.

    Moscow has horrific traffic jams.

    The problem is not traffic jams. The problem is that city planners in Moscow added multilane roads in central parts of city, to try to improve the traffic flow.

    Traffic jams help to disincentivize people from driving in the city, and reduce the demand for driving. If you try to solve the traffic jams, by increasing road capacity, the result is that the disincentive is reduced, and the equilibrium is moving to one in which there are traffic jams again, at the high road capacity.

    It would be better strategy to try to stop driving cars in the city, and converted multilane roads, into two lane roads for service vehicles – i.e. reducing traffic flow, rather than increasing it.

    There would be a transition shock, with popular discontent. But the long term situation in the city will become a much more healthy one.

  398. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    I think the most booming major city in Europe, is London, if we ignore the air pollution from cars and metro (which the Mayor is promising to remove, but not much really removing it).

    I mean if “we ignore the air pollution from cars, and the problem of the metro”. Main problem of London’s metro, is that it is crazily expensive. It’s shabby and overcrowded as well, but you wouldn’t care about that if was a ticket for a ride was a normal price, rather than 5 or 6 times higher than what it cost not only in Russia, but even in Western European capital cities like Madrid.

  399. @Beckow

    I am not a fan of WWII Czechia or Slovakia, so you are barking up the wrong tree.

    Beckow, when annexation of Czechoslovakia takes much longer than Nazi invasion against Poland – you know that only a serious maniac ( and scumbag) would try to take the false argument positions as this freakshow AP account is doing ( who BTW claims to be Polish on other blogs that he stalks – in addition to the sociopathic 60-80 c0mments out of 300 this sick loser has done on one of Karlin’s recent blogs).

    I don’t see how they can be criticised for it. All the big powers. except USSR were dictating to them to dissect their territory. What could they do? They at least showed serious effort and initiative in WW1 to establish the state of Czechoslovakia anyway – Poland got established pathetically by default only when the Armistice was signed

    On WW2, this is different to imbecilic Poland which initiated war under the dumb and false hope that the west would fight for them…..got annihilated in embarrassingly quick time ( even Belgium managed to do better!!???) and actually surrendered IMMEDIATELY after it became definite that the west would not help them ( though their government had heroically ran to a different country before then anyway)

    To get a understanding of the psychopathy we are dealing with from this fantasist loser – I can assure you that nobody in Poland, irrelevant of how they view USSR or WW2 are making the “arguments ” this instantaneous BS generating tramp is making about Poland in WW2, or his bizarre, and again amazingly self-discrediting claims about the former territories of those lands and living standards.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  400. Beckow says:
    @Gerard-Mandela

    My grandfather and a other relatives were in Sudetenland on the border with Germany when Munich happened in 1938. They were betrayed by the West – and by Poland and Hungary shortly after. USSR offered help, but there was no common border and Poland refused to allow transit. Then Poland grabbed a few districts as Hitler’s ally. The army was demobilised, there wasn’t much to be done.

    So far so good, but what happened next was not. Czechs passively submitted and worked the factories – 20% of German ammunition came from Czechia. Slovaks had autonomy, but did things that are hard to justify: joined Barbarossa, sold Jews to Germany – the official reason for payments was “transportation costs”, and made some bad choices. The saving grace for us is the relative lack of casualties compared to the surrounding states. But nobody would embrace it.

    Poland is no position to preach to anyone, AP is a relentless autistic lier always prevaricating, cherrypicking and omitting context. I hope he is not representative of Poland, but he might be. His pathological hatreds illuminate how Poles got into all the trouble in the past – they can’t think straight, are overcome with bravado and emotions, and simply cannot resist brown-nosing to the Anglos. A lethal combination.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @AnonFromTN
  401. AP says:
    @Beckow

    Simply not true: the northeast was in Germany as East Prussia until 1945

    Bialystok was part of East Prussia? Lol.

    I wrote that the poorest parts if Poland had mostly been part of Russia. Indeed 3 if the 5 poor provinces were. As can be seen on the map I helpfully posted. Can you read maps?

    Poland fought Nazis exactly for 3 weeks (at best)

    You had earlier claimed 2 weeks, now you are making progress but are still dishonest. Last battle between Poland and Germany occurred over a month after Germany invaded:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kock_(1939)

    They fought communists once, in 1920

    Another dishonesty. They fought Communists in 1939 also. This struggle lasted about 3 weeks.

    And to be clear, in 1920 Poland blocked a major Communist attempt at incursion into Western Europe.

    All the other times Poland fought fellow Slavs on behalf of Western powers or for its territorial aggrandisement

    Under the pressure of local Rus princes the PLC attempted to unify the Polish and Eastern Slavs. On behalf of what Western powers do you think this was done?

  402. AP says:
    @Beckow

    AP is a relentless autistic lier always prevaricating

    As we have seen, you are the one writing falsehoods. Only in this comment section you lied about Slovakia being “substantially” wealthier than Poland, Poland only fighting against at Germany for 2-3 weeks, Poland only fighting against Communists in 1920, majority of the poor Polish provinces not having been inherited from the Russian Empire.

    I hope he is not representative of Poland, but he might be

    I’m not a Pole and never claimed to be one, anywhere. So now you are adding an implicitly dishonest claim to your many explicit ones.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  403. @Beckow

    In terms of being hopeless losers, i.e., consistently making wrong choices, suffering for it, blaming others for their suffering and never looking at their actions rationally, Poles are firmly in the third place, right after Kurds and Ukrainians. Hardly something to be proud of. Current Polish leadership steadfastly continues their tradition of loserdom. The Poles I know are perfectly normal and despise Polish leadership, but my sample is not representative, every Pole I know is a scientist.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  404. Beckow says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Most Poles I know are rational, intelligent, often funny people. With attitude that all politicians are nuts and normal people have minimal chance to influence it. Then occasionally a weird side pops up: out of nowhere they start emotional talk about “polska”, suffering, “rusiani za Uralom”, something about connecting sees, whatever. Often that happens when they get inebriated.

    The loserdom Poland embraced is caused by the low self-esteem about their own country. That leads to pathetic brown-nosing to anyone they consider their betters: French, Habsburgs, today Anglos. To deny the obvious historical reality of Poland acting as a useful cannon-fodder for anyone attacking east, they create teary-eyed myths, anything from “carrying a cross for Rome” to inane Sarmatism, and now a pathological Anglo worship. (AP being of some screwed-up exile descend reflects this confusion well.) It is sad that many Ukrainians have adopted similar self-defeating attitudes.

  405. Beckow says:
    @AP

    Whoever you are, you don’t seem to know the region well. I pointed out to you that Poland annexed a large part of its northeast from Germany after WWII – it used to be the southern part of East Prussia – and you responded with “Bialystok”. Warsaw and Lodz were the main cities in Russia’s part of Poland. The poorest regions today? I think not.

    Polish government left Poland on Sep 16, 1939, after – let’s see 16-17 days of fighting? That was it, end of the war. Or would you consider a few resisting German troops after May 8-9 still a war? You are alone in that, but whatever.

    • Replies: @AP
  406. AP says:
    @Beckow

    I pointed out to you that Poland annexed a large part of its northeast from Germany after WWII

    Don’t lie: you wrote exactly “the northeast was in Germany as East Prussia until 1945.” One need only scroll upward.

    The northeasternmost province was part of Russia.

    Warsaw and Lodz were the main cities in Russia’s part of Poland. The poorest regions today

    I specifically excluded Warsaw. 3 of the 5 poor provinces were Russian.

    Polish government left Poland on Sep 16, 1939, after – let’s see 16-17 days of fighting

    Fighting ended weeks after the government fled. Last battle was fought in October.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  407. Beckow says:
    @AP

    Let’s say your categoric statement that today’s poorer Poland was only a part of Russia’ Empire is incorrect. I am not going to quibble with your evasive autistic lying and cherry-picking.

    Fighting ended weeks after the government fled. Last battle was fought in October.

    By that standard you could say that fighting in WWII only ended when the last Japanese in the Papua jungle surrendered. Right. “Fighting” is not a war, once the government left it was over. No more war, just desperate fighting.

    It matters: Soviets patiently waited until the Polish government collapsed and run away before they re-united (occupied?) western Belarus and western Ukraine. So the Polish revisionist talk is nonsense. By the way, Poles are very quick to argue that when Yanukovitch “run away” in 2014, that meant there was no more government and anything could be done. It is the same principle but I doubt you can comprehend objective principles.

    • Replies: @AP
  408. AP says:
    @Beckow

    Let’s say your categoric statement that today’s poorer Poland was only a part of Russia’ Empire is incorrect.

    Now you lie about what I wrote. My words:

    “The poorest parts of Poland mostly are those in the east inherited from the Russian Empire (other than Warsaw of course)”

    Most of today’s poorer Poland had been part of the Russian Empire, exactly as I wrote. 3 of the 5 poor provinces were. Remember the map I helpfully posted. Furthermore, the majority of the former Russian provinces are poor (three are, the ones with Łódź and Warsaw are not). However only 1 each of the former German and Austrian ones are.

    I am not going to quibble with your evasive autistic lying and cherry-picking.

    No, you will simply lie, as you do with the statement above.

    “Fighting ended weeks after the government fled. Last battle was fought in October.”

    By that standard you could say that fighting in WWII only ended when the last Japanese in the Papua jungle surrendered

    No, because I mentioned a battle. Battle of Kock fought on October 2-5 involved about 50,000 soldiers total, between forces led by a General on each side:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kock_(1939)

    You dare to compare this to one last soldier somewhere and call it “the same standard.”

    As we see, when you are cornered your lies escalate.

    “Fighting” is not a war, once the government left it was over

    Like the “same standard”, right? Was there an end to hostilities? A formal surrender? Neither of these.

    By the way, Poles are very quick to argue that when Yanukovitch “run away” in 2014, that meant there was no more government and anything could be done

    Not only did he leave but no one was left in the country who fought for him, no regions declared for him. So the situations were different than Poland on September 17th.

    As you know, but are too dishonest to admit.

  409. @AP

    It’s a well-established that you are a liar, fantasist and disturbed weirdo – so I simply dont believe you took the photo.

    BTW – can anybody actually locate this photo location? LOL – look at the roofs and tell me this POS isn’t faking again.

    • Replies: @AP
  410. AP says:
    @Gerard-Mandela

    I didn’t post that for your benefit, and what you claim to believe is irrelevant.

    • Replies: @Gerard.Gerard
  411. @AnonfromTN

    He was there in late 60s early 70s. He talks about how people were genuinely proud of being Soviet and talked about how they were Советский Человек”.

    Also what you describe seems less hate for the country but more towards the leader – similar to what we see now towards Joe Biden being seen as weak and senile in the US

  412. @AP

    “didn’t post for my benefit”

    It was a reply to my post, and my accusation you idiot.

    Once again ( and I will take non-answer as proof that you have lied again, in addition to your Polish alter-ego and many others) ….. how could that possibly be taken from the Hilton Hotel, Budapest?

    Look at the roofs, photo makes it appear that the Hilton and the buildings on the other side of the road are parallel to each other, when they are not. Yandex maps and Google maps (closer satellite image zoom) show nothing that align with your BS.
    I was only checking to see if there was a Hilton there, as inexplicably I didn’t notice it when I visited the church ( probably because I always think of Hilton hotels as normally the tallest buildings in their immediate area – and after looking, I also think hotels shouldnt be placed directly on historic sites as this)

    I assume with a loser like you, that you were trying to showoff ( and use the first line of Google LOL) by claiming to have stayed at the Hilton as you are “wealthy” – this even though you are such sociopathic vermin, that I view the Congolese boy in the early 1900s with his hand chopped-off by King Leopold of Belgium’s orders, or someone in the poorest tribe in Papua new Guinea….. as having much superior quality of life compared to human garbage like you.

    What you should have done in your lie is at least provide a photo claiming your room was on thie side directly facing the beautiful Mattius Church, or facing the Danube and the fortress.

    • Replies: @AP
  413. @Beckow

    Depends where you want to go. For central Russia, I would recommend Veliky Novgorod for the history (though it is rather rundown), Yaroslavl also has history and everyone (including myself) remarks how nice it is, Nizhny Novgorod was run down but is now rapidly improving. Just outside Moscow, I’d recommend Sergiev Posad (not just the Lavda, but the less known but just as interesting Abramtsevo Estate a short train ride away), also Kolomna (has a nice Kremlin and pastila factory-museum, center is renovated and owners are required to keep them that way) – though I’m a bit biased since our dacha is close by.

  414. @AP

    I visited Budapest in 2019 before moving on to Austria. Your impression of Budapest matches mine.

    Austrian citizen friend who knows Austria, Czechia, and Hungary well also described Budapest as a dump. Interesting to see the impression confirmed across multiple ideological lines, must be accurate.

  415. @Dmitry

    … I can see that graffitied buildings, and dirty building facades, that charms visitors to cities like Napoli, could become annoying after some weeks.

    It doesn’t charm me, it suggests to me that the denizens of these places dgaf about their surroundings.

    • Agree: AP
  416. @AnonFromTN

    Recent comment of mine on this topic:

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  417. @Beckow

    But Krakow? For god’s sake it’s quite shabby and run-down.

    This may have been true a decade ago, but it is certainly not true now.

  418. @AP

    So devotedly that it apparently paid to send its own Jews to Nazi concentration camps, as a way of endearing itself to Europe’s master at the time.

    Hey, it worked out well, as you brag.

    Well, in fairness, it did.

    I think criticizing Czechs and Slovaks for rolling over is a bit unfair. They were ready to fight in 1938. After losing the Sudetenland with their heavy fortifications, thanks to Western appeasement and Polish unwillingness to countenance Soviet troops transiting its territory, it became a pointless enterprise. Might as well try to save your own skin at that point.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Mr. XYZ
  419. AP says:
    @Gerard.Gerard

    It was a reply to my post, and my accusation

    It was not for your benefit. Do you imagine you are the only one reading? Lol.

    how could that possibly be taken from Hilton Hotel, Budapest?

    There are two Hiltons in Budapest. You wasted so much time in your detective work trying to prove my photo couldn’t have been made from the wrong one and it was all for nothing, because you didn’t know this simple fact. Lol.

    Look at the roofs, photo makes it appear that the Hilton and the buildings on the other side of the road are parallel to each other, when they are not

    Lol, moron is looking at the wrong Hilton and studying roofs.

    How much time did you waste to prove that I didn’t stay at the Hilton I never claimed to stay in?

    I assume with a loser like you, that you were trying to showoff ( and use the first line of Google LOL) by claiming to have stayed at the Hilton as you a

    re “wealthy

    Only for a cheap Sovok like you is Hilton in Eastern Europe considered to “wealthy.” The ones in Eastern Europe are nice but cheap.

    at least provide a photo claiming your room was on thie side directly facing the beautiful Mattius Church

    Lol, talking about the wrong Hilton.

    • Replies: @Gerard.Gerard
  420. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Sure, from the perspective of surviving and prospering they did the right thing; from the same perspective the Soviet POW who volunteered to work the concentration camps in exchange for food and safety also did the right thing.

    But it’s unseemly to brag about such choices and about how clever one has been in comparison to those who behaved more honourably only to suffer for their choice not to serve.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  421. EldnahYm says:
    @Mikel

    Thanks for confirming what I said.

  422. EldnahYm says:
    @mal

    That’s nitpicking. So what if got reduced slightly after expanding by $trillions. They tried reducing the balance sheet in 2018 by a few hundred $billion and stock market tanked and economy started going off the rails. The overall trend is going to be up.

    It might be nitpicking, but I don’t see any reason to say something won’t or can’t happen. Are you just trying to use more rhetorically assertive language to be convincing? Why not just say “the overall trend is going to be up” at the beginning? Otherwise it sounds like you have some theory about why the Central Bank balance sheet cannot got down, when it can in fact go down(whether that would be desirable is a different discussion).

    As for QE mechanics, it withdraws assets (such as government debt) from the market thus raising the price of the remaining assets and lowering interest rates.

    Reducing interest payments to the private sector from the largest interest payer in the economy, namely the U.S. government, is deflationary. What I am saying here is the standard line from MMT people. Example: http://moslereconomics.com/2014/10/13/there-is-no-right-time-for-the-fed-to-raise-rates/

    It is true that lower borrowing costs combined with low aggregate demand often leads to asset price inflation(but not inflation elsewhere). This is an indirect effect of quantitative easing.

    Even with QE, interest expense has become one of the largest items in Federal Government budget. Without QE, interest payments would consume most of the budget and US government would be unable to meet its obligations. Or it would have to issue substantially more paper, far more than private market would be able to absorb. Interest payments to the Fed are a different story.

    Interest outlays are 5% of the budget. In any case, why would the U.S. government be unable to meet its obligations, whatever the number?

    To bring the topic back to the question of expanding debt, a Keynesian argument would be that the increased federal debt, low growth rates, and low inflation are a symptom of decreased aggregate demand. In a situation where aggregate demand is increased, tax receipts also increase while the economy grows, and debt need not grow. One might argue that many of the general symptoms you are describing(and seem to be interpreting as the “cost” of maintaining growth) are the result of overemphasis on monetary policy and not enough fiscal. If this is not the case, and there is something “structural” (whatever that means) preventing the economy from growing much, then perhaps we shouldn’t be targeting GDP growth anymore.

  423. EldnahYm says:
    @Mikel

    I don’t think that economic and monetary authorities in the major economies really know too well what they are doing

    On this you are certainly right.

  424. @AP

    LMAO-the next BS is that there is now two hilton hotels in the same Castle District? You truly are a mentally sick, pitiful loser.

    What about the one built 3km directly underground the Pest Hilton? or the other Hilton floating on the Danube? …. or the 50000 room airship Hilton permanently hovering above the Hungarian parliament, where Elvis lives?

    As improbable that there are 2 Hilton in that location, the other Hilton is near the Parliament…..on the Buda side. You stupidly committed in your fantasist BS to claiming to be in the Pest side, although the problem of linking where the photo is would still have exposed you anyway.

    You wasted so much time

    It took 30 seconds, I was interested in where the Hilton is in Budapest, and the looking was made easier & quicker because I was ( correctly) working with the assumption that you’re a compulsive liar and POS.

    I could be generous to a tramp like you, by considering there is a Hilton subsidiary or sister Hotel in Budapest, that doesn’t necessarily use the Hilton name, and that you were only guilty of mild exaggeration…… but then the fact I work on the assumption that the photo location doesn’t even show that…. and human garbage as yourself does not even have a international passport.

    Was it Hilton Detroit?

    Although this is bad- it still does not compare to the ignorance and sociopathy of living on Wikipedia but STILL not knowing basic things like the ultra short time of the Nazi successful invasion of Poland followed by an avalanche of instantaneous BS to try and coverup this, the total BS about Lvov and Lvov “infrastructure”, claiming snowed in streets as clean streets and plenty other of self-discrediting BS.

    LOL – what a freakshow.

    • Replies: @AP
  425. AP says:
    @Gerard.Gerard

    LMAO-the next BS is that there is now two hilton hotels in the same Castle District

    Who said they were both in the district?

    other Hilton is near the Parliament…..on the Buda side

    Ok so I confused the names Buda and Pest.

    Anyone can look at the buildings in the photo and confirm location.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  426. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    How to German cities compare in regards to this relative to Vienna, Paris, and London?

  427. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Deporting its Jews was completely unnecessary, though. Finland, for instance, managed to be a Nazi ally without actually doing this.

    And as for Poles refusing to allow Soviet troops to transit through their territory, can you REALLY blame them considering that the Soviet Union forcibly tried to take over Poland less than twenty years earlier? The Poles suspected–quite correctly, given their post-World War II experience–that once the Red Army ends up on Polish soil, they might never actually leave afterwards–let least not for decades.

  428. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Poland’s honorable behavior in 1939 unfortunately didn’t produce very good results for its Jewish population. Though a part of the blame for this can be laid at the feet of the Anglo-French, since it was the Fall of France in 1940 that allowed Hitler to launch Operation Barbarossa and thus to murder the Jews of eastern Poland. Without the Fall of France, at least eastern Polish Jewry would have survived the Holocaust unscathed. The fate of western Polish Jewry would have depended on just how long the Nazi regime would have held onto power; as in, would there have actually been a successful internal anti-Nazi coup in Germany? Or would the Nazis have held onto power in Germany up to the bitter end, as was the case in real life?

  429. @AnonfromTN

    As something of a Calvinist myself, I regret the opening up of the British Sunday to commercial exploitation. If the Sabbath is broken, if may be followed by blasphemy and worse.

    Libraries.
    For a time, I went to a conversational class in English at the main library for Saratov city as the native English speaker for the class to emulate. It was big but the last subscriptions to the Economist and Scientific American expired in 1992 along with the rest of their English/Foreign language collection. The situation wasn’t much better with Russian books and periodicals (this was 2008-2012 so there was money, libraries were just low on the priority list). That said, the separate children’s library was in much better state. It is clear that in the Soviet era, the library system had been in much better shape.

    Emergency Services
    I have at various times been involved in selling search and rescue drones, emergency respirators and non lethal weapons to various Russian emergency services at federal or provincial level. Step 1, get them included in tenders. The Ministry of Emergency Situations seemed to me to be a good solution for a large sparsely populated country with the potential for large scale weather and geological disasters. Concentrating equipment and expertise is a good idea. Big countries like the US, Australia, Canada, India should have one if they don’t already. In the UK, the same job is done by the local fire service. They also internationally. For example, in Bridgend, there is a team of 6 firemen who volunteer to attend international emergencies. Most of my interaction was in Saratov. I found that Russian Emergency Services were less well equipped and trained than in the UK. (I know most about the Fire Service where my Aunt worked). The police were very concerned to let me know that their job was to protect the public. Ambulance drivers are not medically trained nor are they trained in driving techniques. In the UK ambulance drivers recieve paramedical training and training as drivers. Russian ambulances usually carry a nurse or a feldsher usually both but they learn emergency medicine on the job. Their training is not rigorous. UK ambulance crews are usually two paramedics who have been trained in emergency medicine with a doctor or additional paramedic expert in emergency medicine arriving by separate vehicle (the exact arrangements vary locally).

    I agree that compared to, say road building, the Russian Emergency Services are not too bad in terms of comparison to elsewhere in Europe. If I was to have a medical emergency, I would prefer to have it anywhere in Russia to many parts of the US. Producing evidence of medical insurance as the first priority after an accident seems an outrage.

  430. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    The woman near Ramzan is an actual Chechen? What’s her name?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  431. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Off-topic question, but:

    What if Russia would have thrown Serbia under the bus in 1914? Specifically, I am thinking of Russia tell Serbia to fully and unconditionally accept the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum, however humiliating it might be, or, alternatively, to fight Austria-Hungary itself if it will refuse to fully accept Austria-Hungary’s ultimatum to it. Granted, such a move might have been a bit out of character for Russian Tsar Nicholas II, but nevertheless AFAIK Russia had no legally binding treaty of alliance with Serbia like it had with France and Nicholas, in a rare moment of sanity, could have concluded that the Russo-Japanese War hasn’t exactly worked out very well for him (sparking a Russian Revolution in 1905 after Russia lost this war) and that thus it would NOT be either wise or prudent for Russia to fight another war so soon after losing the last one, especially against a more powerful adversary in Germany, even if it will have France and possibly Britain as its allies by its side this time around.

    Such a Russian move would have clearly hurt Russia’s reputation and prestige, no doubt about that, but would this damage have been any worse than, say, a hypothetical decision on the part of the US to fully withdraw from South Vietnam in 1965 and thus to abandon South Vietnam to the Communists? If the US would have been capable of seeing its credibility and reputation eventually recover after this, why exactly would the same not have been true for Russia if/after it would have abandoned Serbia in 1914? Russia could, after all–like the Cold War-era US–claim that a *genuine* Great Power requires freedom of maneuver in regards to its actions and decisions, including choosing where and when to pick its fights.

    I also wonder what the consequences of this would have been. Serbia might have very well drifted out of the pro-Russian orbit and into a more neutral or even pro-Austro-Hungarian position, feeling that its friendship with Russia isn’t worth very much. At the same time, though, Russia can reacquire Bulgaria as an ally and of course can continue focusing on pulling Romania out of the Germano-Austro-Hungarian orbit, which should become easier to do after King Carol’s death in late 1914. I’m not sure whether Austria-Hungary or Russia would have actually had more influence in Greece. But Yeah, a Russia that pulls Bulgaria and Romania into its own orbit while continuing to put pressure on the Ottoman Empire would be in a pretty good position in the Black Sea. Austria-Hungary could, of course, take joy in the fact that it will solidly dominate the Adriatic region together with Italy, who might become a maritime rival of sorts to Austria-Hungary.

    Anyway, which additional triggers for World War I might there eventually be in this scenario, and when exactly?

    • Replies: @AP
  432. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    So, Russia outside of Moscow and St. Pete’s is no longer a “giant West Virginia”? 🙂

  433. AP says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    Any negative consequence of not aiding Serbia (loss of prestige, etc.) would be nothing in comparison to what happened as a result of aiding Serbia (loss of throne, implosion of the nation, etc.).

    Of course without a war involving Serbia, there would be a possibility of a sometime revival of the Holy Alliance between Russia, Austria-Hungary and Germany, the three European monarchies with monarchs who had power.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  434. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Any negative consequence of not aiding Serbia (loss of prestige, etc.) would be nothing in comparison to what happened as a result of aiding Serbia (loss of throne, implosion of the nation, etc.).

    Completely agreed. World War I was astronomically worse for Russia than the Vietnam War was for the U.S. (and the Vietnam War was pretty bad for the U.S.)–possibly by even a factor of 100 or more in regards to the excess suffering and/or demographic losses.

    Of course without a war involving Serbia, there would be a possibility of a sometime revival of the Holy Alliance between Russia, Austria-Hungary and Germany, the three European monarchies with monarchs who had power.

    Russia would have to annul its treaty of alliance with France in order to make this happen, since I don’t see France actually being willing to ally with Austria-Hungary and especially with Germany without a reconsideration of the Alsace-Lorraine question, which Germany is HIGHLY unlikely to actually agree to. I don’t actually see either the Russian Duma or the Russian people actually being willing to end Russia’s alliance with France just like that; Russian Tsar Nicholas II flirted with doing just this in 1905-1906 but quickly backtracked after criticism from his advisers and whatnot:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Bj%C3%B6rk%C3%B6

    So, Yeah, it does look like, barring something unexpected, Russia will be stuck with its alliance with France for a long time. Which isn’t necessarily that bad for Russia considering that it could get a lot of French loans and investments and also considering that France wasn’t exactly trigger-happy in the early 20th century, at least not in regards to Europe.

    Still, there’s no reason as to why even a Russia that’s allied with France cannot maintain reasonably amicable ties with both Germany and Austria-Hungary. Giving Austria-Hungary a win in Serbia in 1914 might make Germany and Austria-Hungary a bit less fearful about Russia’s impending rise. (Russia’s Great Military Program was scheduled for completion by 1917, and demographics in general were on Russia’s side.) Really, it does appear like it might have made sense for Russia to give its opponents small victories and/or small concessions from time to time in order to calm them down a bit in regards to its (as in, Russia’s) impending rise.

    • Replies: @AP
  435. AP says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    Russia would have to annul its treaty of alliance with France in order to make this happen, since I don’t see France actually being willing to ally with Austria-Hungary and especially with Germany without a reconsideration of the Alsace-Lorraine question, which Germany is HIGHLY unlikely to actually agree to.

    If the French alliance were to end it would have ended decades from 1914.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    , @Mr. XYZ
  436. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    If you’re thinking decades into the future after 1914, well, within the next several decades, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia might have all significantly changed. For instance, significant liberalization could have occurred in some or all of these countries by then even without a World War. Heck, even without a World War, Russia could have still eventually experienced some kind of revolution–albeit without the Bolsheviks ever actually triumphing. Eventual revolutions in Germany and Austria-Hungary would have probably been less likely, of course–though there would be the risk of an eventual Austro-Hungarian breakup if Austria-Hungary is ever turned into a federal state. Such a breakup would likely occur during a time of crisis if at all. Similar to the Soviet breakup occurring after decades of stagnation and economic malaise.

  437. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Also, to clarify–by decades from 1914 you mean decades after 1914 as opposed to decades before 1914, correct?

    • Replies: @AP
  438. AP says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    Yes, after. If the countries manage to avoid war then it would certainly be possible that they would come to an arrangement, given that they were all relatively conservative monarchies. Though who really knows.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  439. @Mr. XYZ

    IIRC she’s a Russian journalist. Don’t recall her name, she’s not someone important.

  440. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Yeah, I just think that things might have significantly changed in the several decades after 1914–similar to how the US of 1974 was A LOT different from the US of 1914. Certainly MUCH more liberal and internationalist!

    By the way, off-topic, but had Galicia and Volhynia remained a part of Poland after 1939 (for instance, no Nazi rise to power in Germany and thus no World War II at all), do you think that if there would have still eventually been a Soviet collapse in this scenario, then Russia would have eventually pulled Ukraine back into its orbit and created a new Soviet Union equivalent (but without Communism, of course)? On the one hand, someone like Yanukovych would have a more solid hold on power in Ukraine in such a scenario, without all of those pro-Western voters in Galicia and Volhynia (and Bukovina, and Subcarpathian Ruthenia). On the other hand, though, the fact that Yanukovych’s (or whoever is going to be his equivalent in this scenario, due to the butterfly effect) position is going to be more secure in this scenario might make him less dependent on Putin, with him concluding that even with a significant financial crisis he can still win reelection (through vote-rigging on an extremely massive scale, if necessary) while still being able to hold onto power afterwards, just like Lukashenko did in Belarus last year in real life. Though Lukashenko did join the Eurasian Economic Union–not sign an Association Agreement with the European Union like Yanukovych wanted to do in real life.

    • Replies: @AP
  441. AP says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    Gross simplification:

    With respect to Russia, Galicia and Volhynia are like the Baltics, Donbas/Kharkiv/Odessa are like Belarus, and the center is in between (with Kiev City a bit closer to the Baltics). So without Galicia and Volhynia, Ukraine would be a country that would be about half Belarus, half mildly anti-Russian.

    Such a Ukraine would prefer Eurasia over EU, but would be not as close to Russia as Belarus is.

    Potential caveat: western Ukraine would integrate with the EU and be about as rich as Slovakia or Poland – that is, richer than Russia or Belarus. It would be pretty nationalist. This might exert a strong westward pull on the rest of Ukraine (certainly the central parts).

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  442. @AP

    Ukraine would be a country that would be about half Belarus, half mildly anti-Russian.

    No, more like 2/3 like Belarus, Ukraine proper has or had less people than Donbass, Kharkov and Odessa regions(south and east of the country). So without Galicia and Volhynia Ukraine would be slightly less close with Russia than Belarus, maybe it would be like Kazakhstan with it’s relations with Russia. Closely affiliated with Russia, but very conscious about being an independent and separate state.

    • Replies: @AP
  443. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    No, more like 2/3 like Belarus, Ukraine proper has or had less people than Donbass, Kharkov and Odessa regions(south and east of the country).

    True, but in terms of nuances Kharkiv and Odessa are mildly but perceptibly less pro-Russian than Belarus/Donbas.

    So without Galicia and Volhynia Ukraine would be slightly less close with Russia than Belarus, maybe it would be like Kazakhstan with it’s relations with Russia. Closely affiliated with Russia, but very conscious about being an independent and separate state.

    Agree 100%.

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