Yesterday, something much more important than Brexit took place. It was the 30 year anniversary of McDonald's opening its first restaurant in the USSR and selling Big Mac Meals for three rubles to massive throngs of famished Soviet citizens.
In the modern world, being a victim gives you status points. So "owning" the Holocaust is like a jackpot - the Germans gave the Jews lemons in 1941-45, and then the Jews made lemonade. Unfortunately, not all Jews are partial to sharing the lemonade stand:
I have long advocated that Russian political historiography should de-emphasize combatting the Visegrad/Baltic assault on the Soviet interpretation of history ("we liberated Eastern Europe") and move towards counter-guilt tripping them. It's probably not going to happen soon, because Russian officialese is too invested in its WW2 narrative. That is because Victory is the main legitimizing... Read More
Some comments are so good that shouldn't be allowed to sink in remote discussions threads. Commenter Vendetta writes on China vs. Japan in the late 19th century: *** The British did not provide any of this assistance for free. Japan had to pay for every weapon and every warship supplied by British yards. Its ability... Read More
Spolaore, Enrico, and Romain Wacziarg. 2019. “Fertility and Modernity.” Working Paper Series. National Bureau of Economic Research. As hbd*chick points out, this suggests that the fertility transition in Europe was substantially independent of the Industrial Revolution, and was a process of cultural diffusion that emanated from France (where it began before 1830).
Ok, actually they did do quite a few things wrong - e.g., most things under Maoism - but they did absolutely nothing wrong specifically 30 years ago. It's an artificial outrage drummed up as part of America's Sinophobia campaign. There was no such big outrage or sanctions when South Korea killed thousands of protesters in... Read More
Steve Sailer has just posted Michael Woodley of Menie's lecture (hosted on Edward Dutton's YouTube) on the cognitive archeogenetics of ancient and modern Greeks at this year's Psychology Conference. Explaining the cultural/intellectual decline of Classical Greece is one of the major puzzles of history. One HBD-realistic approach is to approach it from the point of... Read More
A reader pointed out to me that my argument on animal rights vs. slavery: ... was brought up by Audacious Epigone back in 2012: One of my favorite rhetorical devices to use on those who cast moral aspersions on the actions of historical figures involves a thought experiment about the consumption of meat, or more... Read More
One of the most memorable anecdotes from Stephen Cohen's Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives is where he recounts a visit by Egor Ligachev, probably the second man after Gorbachev in the late 1980s USSR, to New York, in which he amazed his interlocutors by repeatedly asking who was responsible for organizing the food supply to... Read More
I have long been in the Krivosheev camp, but this sounds like very plausible: *** The casualty estimates of Overmans and Krivosheev are off by significant amounts. On the German side, the first estimate of military losses was produced by Gregory Frumkin of the, editor of the Yearbook of the League of Nations, unlikely to... Read More
Greg Cochran's recent post on the topic reminded me of a post I began writing but then abandoned ages ago (like in 2012). I can't find whatever I wrote (no big loss; there wasn't much) but I did come across this graph I had quickly and messily compiled back then: As you can see, it... Read More
There have been some recent debates on this blog's comments threads about human capital in Poland, Russia, and the West Russian lands while they were under Polish rule. While there is a consensus that Poland was more intellectually advanced than Russia, at least during the 17th century, the relative position of the Ukraine and Belorussia... Read More
One question people sometimes ask is how the intellectual/cultural/scientific output of the Byzantine Empire compared to Western Europe and/or Italy, its most advanced major region for most of the medieval period. How do we answer this? Quantify! Quantify! Quantify! In this post, I will attempt to provide a short "cliometrics"-based answer. Buringh, Eltjo, and Jan... Read More
Cool, useful resource here: Границы России 1462-2018 гг Associated video below: Couple of infographics to go along with that: Territories gained/lost by each ruler. Biggest gainz: Mikhail Romanov & Alexey Mikhailovich (Siberia). Biggest losers: Gorbachev, Lenin
The reason that I maintain that svidomy are a subset of sovoks is because they don't just topple mass produced monuments to Lenin - they seek to rewrite their entire Russian imperial heritage. For instance, this is what the Maidanists and their Western supporters refer to as "de-Communization". Bolsheviks toppling a monument to Admiral Nakhimov... Read More
From Everyday Life in Moscow during the Stalin Period by Georgy Andreevsky. Whoever penned this was arrested in 1939: Кто кричал «вся власть Советам!», / All you who shouted "All power to the Soviets!", Кто стрелял по юнкерам, / You who fired at the Junkers, Кто по Зимнему при этом / You who bombarded Winter... Read More
While I have read quite a few books on WW1, only a couple really "stand out": Niall Ferguson (1998) - The Pity of War: Explaining World War I [download] does justice to its subtitle, boldly reinterpreting most of the standard narrative through vivid statistical argumentation. For instance, the claims that there was widespread enthusiasm for... Read More
Almost none of Romania's celebrity intellectuals have yet been translated into English (presumably, the fact that most of them - Eminescu, Iorga, Eliade, Cioran, Țuțea - are reactionaries or fascists of some stripe or another played a role in that). Hopefully, this may yet change, at least with respect to Țuțea. This post features a... Read More
From Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford. I am certainly not claiming that the ketogenic diet explained Mongol military success. But this would have given them a plain physical advantage over the rice-eating bugman conscript peasants. In addition to their other advantages, both physical (e.g. probably greater genotypic strength,... Read More
Ron Unz writes: The demographic argument with regard to Europe’s Jewish population is obviously an important one, as I mentioned in my article. Basically, before the war, there were millions of Jews living in Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe, and after the war they’d mostly vanished, so where did they go, except into... Read More
This is essentially a short history of the 20th century from the point of view of HBD realism and the maxim that "population is power." This century turned out to be an "American Century." But it wasn't obvious that it was going to be that way - while the United States was almost predestined to... Read More
The Russian Empire, like most European countries, had very liberal gun laws, with no significant restrictions on sales, possession, or open carry. Russian Gun Shop Poster (1917) The Soviets began confiscating private weaponry from 1918. Pistols and revolvers were restricted to Communist Party members, as befits the nomenklatura caste society, and would only be allowed... Read More
Can the Ukrainians really be trusted? Andreev, E. et al (2013) - Comparing alcohol mortality in Tsarist and contemporary Russia: is the current situation historically unique? This is the question that arose on finding that paper. Probably not! Fig. 1. The rate of sudden male deaths due to drunkenness in the Russian provinces in 1870–1894... Read More
The idea that the pomp and pageantry around the annual festivities commemorating Victory in the Great Patriotic War constitute a sort of foundational myth of the Russian state is a popular one. There are any number of articles on the Internet making this argument, mostly from the last few years, though come to think of... Read More
Share of human accomplishment by race: Consequently: 1. Dark Ages were definitely a real thing (in Europe), recent attempts to revise this regardless. 2. The age of Asian predominance lasted from the Crisis of the Third Century, when the Roman Empire fell into intellectual as well as political decline (Tainter: "increase in mysticism, and knowledge... Read More
The number of horses in the Russian Empire peaked in in 1913 and was around 35 million in 1916 (the US had about 20 million horses in 1915, and the two countries accounted for half the global equine population). At the time, they were almost all used in agriculture.
I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.
One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.
Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.