Lychakov, N. I., Saprykin, D. L., & Vanteeva, N. (2020). Not Backward: Comparative Labour Productivity In British And Russian Manufacturing, Circa 1908 (WP BRP 199/HUM/2020). National Research University Higher School of Economics. (h/t @devarbol) This recent paper says that the Russian Empire, far from being in a general sense of "economic backwardness", was better viewed... Read More
This is largely an update to my 2018 post Overview of Russian Airports & Aircraft Construction. Narrow-body airliner for 211 passengers and a competitor to the Airbus 320/Boeing 727 has now made its maiden flight with the Russian-made PD-14 engines, which replaced the American Pratt & Whitney 1400G engines. This marks the biggest step forwards... Read More
I have more chilli peppers than I know what to do with (about 20 kg worth of it). Any ideas? My "Stupid People" post has been phenomenally successful, generating almost 1,000 comments and more visits than other post of mine at the UR since The Road to World War III this April. It also generated... Read More
Map of the biggest airports in Russia and the ex-USSR by 2017 passenger traffic including transit flights. Source: Seva Bashirov Moscow is clearly a central node, accounting for 89 million passengers in 2017 - up from just 19 million in 2001, near the trough of the post-Soviet collapse. Incidentally, this makes Moscow the world's 13th... Read More
Rhetoric about it being "Nigeria with snow," "Zaire with permafrost," "Upper Volta with missiles," "gas station masquerading as a country," etc., regardless, the fact of the matter is that Russia does have a respectable manufacturing base. This should be pretty obvious just from a quick perusal of the sorts of manufactures Russia produces: A vast... Read More
More info against the Department of Russia Only Produces Oil and Vodka: Here are some graphs of Russian aerospace manufacturing courtesy of the Reality vs. Myths blog. (2013 figures are projections). Total helicopter construction has now basically converged with the levels of the late RSFSR. Aircraft construction is only halfway there, but its state is... Read More
One common trope about the Russian economy is that it has virtually no manufacturing to speak of and lives off "oil rents" that can collapse any day. Whiles there is a small nugget of truth to this assertion, but by and large it is simply false. It is true that a great chunk of Russian... Read More
As I write the book, I create a lot of graphs. Here is one of them. So in manufacturing terms, as far as cars are concerned, the "deindustrialization" era is decidedly over. Of course it's also important to note that in 1985 they were producing this whereas today they are producing this as well as... Read More
By the usual standards of Guardian reporting on Russia, this one by GQ Russia editor Andrew Ryvkin is... well, about par for the course. Citing a recent PwC report that Russia will overtake Germany to become Europe's biggest economy in 2030, he asks, "Should we believe them?" Well, the PwC is just repeating predictions made... Read More
Russia has a long and proud drinking culture; according to the chronicle of its founding, the main reason it chose Christianity over Islam was the latter’s prohibition of booze. Vodka has been distilled there since at least the 12th century. As of the time of writing, it is the world’s largest spirits market by volume... Read More
I've been accused of being a "Russophile cockroach", an "amoral Putin lackey", and overall bad guy. Guilty as charged! Yes, I do like Russia and don't have much good to say about the Western media's coverage of it. Yes, I don't give much of damn for the moralistic posturing that any vapid idiot Kremlinologist can... Read More
After two hundred years of global ascendancy, the West is in rapid relative decline to (re)emerging Asia, which is mounting a steady "Great Reconvergence". Likewise, the legitimacy of today's "neoliberal internationalist" order promoted by the West is being questioned by the more statist, neo-Westphalian visions of the leaders of the Rest, the so-called BRIC's. This... Read More
Chang, Ha-Joon – Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective (2002) Category: economy; history; industrial policy; Rating: 5/5 Summary: Kicking Away the Ladder:How the Economic and Intellectual Histories of Capitalism Have Been Re-Written to Justify Neo-Liberal Capitalism (Ha-Joon Chang) Much has been said of the smug arrogance, cultural aloofness and end-of-history conceit characterizing... Read More
Scott, John – Behind the Urals: An American Worker in Russia's City of Steel (1941) Category: history, Soviet Union, Stalin; Rating: 5/5 The Great Depression of the 1930’s, with its iconic images of well-dressed bourgeoisie in soup lines and gaunt figures with hopeless eyes from the Dust Bowl, challenged the prior American consensus that their... 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.