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).
I visited it sometime in the early 2000s. Too young to remember any details, but I'm sure it was a nice place. I translated an article by Egor Kholmogorov back in 2013: Europe's Week of Human Sacrifice. (Incidentally, this was my blog's first ever Kholmogorov translation). TBH, I can't be bothered being as Christian and... Read More
Commenter Swedish Family on BHL and Houellebecq on Russia: Seeing Bernard-Henri Lévy's name here made me dig out an old book of his, Public Enemies, a book of Lévy's mail correspondence with novelist Michel Houellebecq in the spring of 2008 (so after Putin's Munich speech but half a year before Lehman Brothers and the war... Read More
In my coverage of the French elections, I've been vaccilating between optimism and pessimism. Obviously, Le Pen's result - 34% of the vote - was unprecedentedly good, and her popularity seemed to be especially strong amongst French youth. On the other hand, it was perhaps not as good a result as could have been expected,... Read More
An n=8,200 Ipsos poll from May 5 gave Emmanual Macron 63% to Le Pen's 37%. She needs a miracle. The betting markets are likewise gloomy. Macron is 87% favorites on PredictIt, which is bad but not hopeless for Le Pen. However, the picture becomes much worse for the French nationalists when you lo
I haven't been able to locate any international surveys on Macron vs. Le pen like there were for Trump, unsurprisingly so, since France is after all less important than the US. Still, I have been able to find polls from Germany, Russia, and the UK. ***
One of the reasons that I consider the results of these elections to have been strongly disappointing for the Front National is that it represents not just a stunting but a reversal of their upwards trend since the late 2000s. For instance, back in December 2015, the Front National almost doubled their share of the... Read More
Marine Le Pen got just 4.0% of the vote in the 11th arrondissement of Paris in the first round of the French Presidential elections. Emmanuel Macron, who said that terrorism will be part of our daily lives for years to come (echoing London Mayor Sadiq Khan's sentiment that this is just "part and parcel of"... Read More
François Hollande, widely considered to be a failure with single digit approval ratings, has - unusually for French politics - decided not to run for a second term. The polls are now split almost evenly between four canditates: The neoliberal Emmanuel Macron; the hard left Jean-Luc Mélenchon; the conservative François Fillon; and the nationalist Marine... Read More
An absolute majority - 51.5% - of French policemen and soldiers planned to vote for the Front National in the recent regional elections, according to a poll by CEVIPOF. This is far more impressive than the oft quoted 20% of Greek policemen who support Golden Dawn (though to be sure Golden Dawn is far more... Read More
It is very easy to be pessimistic about the results of the just concluded regional French elections, in which the Front National failed to win a single region. Thanks to the Socialists throwing multiple regions in Houellebecqian manner, the obvious big victor were The Republicans of Nicolas "Le Métissage Obligatoire" Sarkozy. Surely in the wake... Read More
A Cruel French Lesson, by Egor Kholmogorov appeared in the November 14 issue of Komsomolskaya Pravda, one of the leading Russian dailies. It outlines what is pretty much the standard right-wing conservative Russian position on the #ParisAttacks. Some context: After the terrorist strikes, many outspoken Russian liberals rushed to wrap their digital selves in the... Read More
Charlie Hebdo had a hearty response to the terrorist downing of KGL9268: "The dangers of low-cost Russian airlines," "I should have taken Air Cocaine," "Daesh: Russian aviation intensifies the bombing." So drôle!
I am too tired right now to compile all this into something more elegant than a point-by-point rant, so here goes: Some preliminary thoughts on the latest terrorist attacks that have claimed 128+ lives in Paris. (1) The usual cucks have wasted no time in making political hay of this tragedy Ezra Klein: "This tragedy... Read More
Title got your attention? No, it's not going to be... that. Read on. While the rest of the world (or a few Europeans, anyway) is obsessed with yet another "Polish death camps" episode, this time on CNN, a somewhat more significant historical scandal brewed between Poland and Russia. Explaining away Poroshenko's status as a guest... Read More
A couple of Islamist terrorists, the brothers Kouachi, murdered a bunch of cartoonists. Another terrorist, Coulibaly, went on a rampage. All three ended up taking hostages. Counter-terrorists win! Within minutes, everyone had become an expert on Charlie Hebdo's work, and the typical and inevitably dreary debate began. Some said Charlie's cartoons were clearly, stridently Islamophobic,... Read More
I am back to writing for the US-Russia.org Expert Discussion Panel, which since my hiatus has found an additional home at Voice of Russia. The latest topic was on whether Russia, China, and the West could find a common approach to the challenges of the Arab Spring. My response is pessimistic, as in my view... Read More
I had great fun observing the fallout over Depardieu's "defection" to Russia. The reason for the apostrophes is of course because it had nothing to do with it. It was Depardieu trolling Hollande and the French "Socialists", and Putin trolling Westerners and his own homegrown "democratic journalists." (Or maybe not? In any case, I for... Read More
Le Nouvel Observateur recently compiled opinions on Russian democracy from each of the ten French Presidential candidates. While the Left is highly critical of the authoritarian Putin regime, the Right is more favorably disposed to the Russian President-elect. On the eve of the first round of the French Presidential elections, I provide a translation of... Read More
Apart from direct falsifications, which were extensively discussed here, the other really big criticism of the Russian elections process is that it isn't a level playing field. As said by an OSCE bureaucrat, "The point of elections is that the outcome should be uncertain. This was not the case in Russia." Well wait a second.... Read More
In the wake of Putin's article on national security for Rossiyskaya Gazeta, there has been renewed interest in Russia's ambitious military modernization plans for the next decade. I am not a specialist in this (unlike Dmitry Gorenberg and Mark Galeotti, whom I highly recommend), but I do think I can bring much-needed facts and good... Read More
In terms of new cars, they now are. According to 2011 statistics, Russians bought 17.6 new automobiles per 1000 people. This indicator is still quite a bit below most of Western Europe, such as Germany's 38.5, France's 33.4, Britain's 31.9, Italy's 30.1, and Spain's 20.0. However, it has already overtaken most of East-Central Europe, whose... Read More
I have long noted Russia's resurgence back into the ranks of the leading Great Powers; I predicted that the global economic crisis will not have a long-term retarding impact on the Russian economy; and within the past year I have bought into Stratfor's idea that the defining narrative now in play in Eurasia is Russia's... Read More
On the 70th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of non-aggression between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, signed on August 23, 1939 (also my birthday!), historians, ideologues and everyone in between inevitably fall into a game of recriminations, revisionism and relativism. The anti-Soviet side maintains that the Pact gave Germany a free hand in the... Read More
After its long pre-modern stint as Europe's most populated nation, France started transitioning to lower birth rates from the Napoleonic era, about a century in advance of the rest of Europe. On the eve of the First World War, its stagnant population made a stark contrast to German youth and virility. Considering the disparity in... Read More
The classic Marxist argument holds than an emerging bourgeois class, its wealth based on commerce, industry and capital accumulation, was constrained and frustrated in its political ambitions by the nobility. France was divided into Three Estates, the Third Estate which bore the taille (the main direct tax), the nobility (subject only to the capitation poll... 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.