Underreported in the Western media, in the past few weeks there have been massive protests in Montenegro, involving as many as 150,000 people (that is, a quarter of its population). What are they protesting about? Late last December, the Montenegrin parliament approved an EU-supported law allowing the state to seize church property in the absence... Read More
Some people on here and Twitter were sure they'd succeed. But they seem to have vanished off the radar in the past couple of days. Few news stories, no updates on /r/worldnews. What happened? In reality, as I pointed out, they were almost certain to fail. To get a color revolution going, you need a... Read More
To do a color revolution, you generally need: Significant proportion of the population going out into the streets (not just university students and office plankton). Some degree of elite defection. Trump's bombast regardless - congratulations to him on learning Farsi and becoming an Iran expert in the past 48 hours - I don't see either... Read More
The mean wage in Hong Kong not much more than $2,000 per month (a Croatian acquaintance who works there cited the same numbers half a year ago). Its surprising come to think of it, but that means that Muscovites - where salaries are $1,500 per month but multiplied by almost twice - are substantially more... Read More
So apparently the Hong Kong authorities have had the Galaxy Brain idea of unleashing their equivalent of titushki against the Hong Kong demonstrators. It is extremely bad optics. An article about the assaults is the top headline on /r/worldnews, probably the world's single biggest international politics forum. A pregnant woman had a miscarriage as a... Read More
I suppose we will now see whether the failings of half-assed socialism and the tried and tested techniques of color revolution by way of Uncle Sam will win out over Cuban intelligence officers and a nascent social credit system by way of Uncle Chang. Idiot Sechin has trouble getting back money even now (unlike the... Read More
1. There were no more than 2,000-3,000 people protesting in Moscow about the raising of the retirement age (at most). This is the definition of "storm in a teacup." 2. Navalny bandwagoning on this issue is particularly implausible, since he is an economic neoliberal. Which, to be sure, is one of the exceeding few good... Read More
Freedom in the World 2018 is out now: "Democracy in Crisis." This makes the deep state neocon goons who run that outfit very sad. My prediction from 2017: Last minute misgivings aside, this has indeed happened. While FH still thinks Civil Rights in the US are at 1/7 (where 1 is best and 7 is... Read More
Commenter German_reader summarizes an anonymous Iranian journalist about the protests there. Hilarious if true. And it just might be: Comment from an Iranian on Patrick Lang's blog: Evidently, the protests were initiated by political enemies of Rouhani in Mashhad. That city is referred to in Iran as a "hizbollahi city" - "Party of God City".... Read More
Epistemic status: Low. I don't know Farsi. I don't particularly follow Iran. That said, I am hardly alone in this. Bryan MacDonald: "Even I’m kinda astonished by how many American “Russian experts” have suddenly become “Iran experts” in the past 48 hours. молодцы товарищи!! #ачтивмеасурес" 1. Widely divergent reports about how many people are protesting.... Read More
The American Interest's Karina Orlova writes: (Original). His protestations of his "innocence" in the police van went unheeded. Predictably, this video evokes a gushing flood of Schadenfreude amongst anti-Putinists, while pro-Putinists experience a jittery "there but for the grace of God go I" feeling. But from a neutral perspective, how exactly does this reflect badly... Read More
The Russia wide protests organized by Navalny on June 12 were a flop. This was not unexpected, given the lack of enthusiasm on social networks - in Moscow, there were 20% fewer people expressing interest in going to this event relative to the March 26th protest on Facebook. The earlier event had translated into 8,000... Read More
Navalny has just moved the planned June 12 protest from Prospekt Sakharova, a fairly central and very spacious location, to Tverskaya, which is minutes away from the Kremlin, at the last minute. The former event was officially sanctioned by the city authorities. The new one is *not*. Navalny claims that this was done because the... Read More
There have been three significant political protests in Moscow in the past few months, and each in their own way - and in their relation to each other - say a lot about the state of Russia today. It's not that great for the Kremlin. But not for the reasons the Western media would have... Read More
With a bit less than a year left to Russia's Presidential elections in 2018, the general contours of this cycle's protest movement against Putin are already coalescing. Alexey Navalny has called a march for tomorrow along Tverskaya Street, a central boulevard that leads to the Kremlin. The Moscow mayoralty refused to allow it, and Navalny... Read More
Russian human rights lawyer Matthew Tszen speculates: I still think it was organized largely after the fact by a panicking Soros, but this is an interesting theory. It would tie in well with my speculations that a great deal of fireworks - both literal and figurative - were painstakingly choreographed to go off on Hillary... Read More
... Well, it doesn't have quite the ring of the better known poem that, having once landed Erdogan in jail, has now ensured his survival. So people are now asking: Without Erdogan's closer ties to a religion far more passionary than Orthodox Christianity, without his allegedly superior democratic credentials, would anyone actually bother out to... Read More
Turkey has a proud and rich history of military coups. As analysts tirelessly point out, they are even sanctioned by the Constitution as a means of preserving secularism. However, those days have come to an end. The abortive coup of the past few days was in all likelihood the dying gasp of 20th century Turkey.... Read More
Three hours after this story began to break it's increasingly clear that we are seeing the biggest Happening of 2016 to date, far overshading the Nice terrorist attacks yesterday. As Lenin purportedly said, "Sometimes decades pass and nothing happens; and then sometimes weeks pass and decades happen." The initial regime response was to blame the... Read More
In recent days, some Armenians have been up in arms over increases in electricity tariffs by the evil Russian-owned electricity monopoly that will bring them up to... well, a level slightly higher than in Russia and about 2-3x lower than in most EU countries (don't you love comparative context?). Discourse in both Russia and the... Read More
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.