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As of this February, there is a 90% chance that the US President come 2021 will be Trump, Bernie, or Bloomberg.

  • One of whom has been branded a Russian “asset” for the past 5 years.
  • One of whom spent his honeymoon in the USSR.
  • One of whom publicly sympathized with Russia’s incorporation of Crimea back in 2015.

Seems that being an old, white man who’s been accused of working for Putin is becoming a requirement for future American Presidents.

 
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Hyperbolic much? At this point, the burden of proof surely now has to be on the optimists, who’ve been alternately barraging us with “iTs JuSt LiKe ThE fLu”, and/or “it’s not going to kill non-East Asians anyway” (not that CNN’s Sanjay Gupta will admit it).

But with epidemics, it’s usually a case of go big or go home. It’s not going home. As of the past couple of days, we can definitively state that containment has failed. The proof of this is Italy. Consider:

  • Italy has only a moderate level of air traffic with China – approximately comparable to Russia and France, lower than Germany and the UK, fivefold lower than the US.
  • Italy was the only country in Europe to ban all direct flights from China on January 31. (This appears to have actually no less hard a response than Russia’s ban on Chinese citizens on February 20, which however excluded transit and business visitors).
  • Belying stereotypes, the Italian epidemiological response has been highly competent (if by unexacting global standards), with most or all people displaying flu-like symptoms apparently being tested.

Even so, well over 200 cases in Italy have sprouted up in a matter of days, with deaths starting to tick up (seven as of the time of writing), a dozen cities under quarantine, and with no end in sight.

Coupled with the cluster in Iran, this means that COVID-19 now also meets the definition of a pandemic, even if the WHO has chosen this moment to erase this word from its lexicon.

It beggars belief that there aren’t similar or bigger clusters all over Europe, North America, and much of the world even outside East Asia.

To which one might rejoinder, why haven’t they been detected yet? Well, recall how COVID-19 works. Most cases are asymptomatic; in cases where symptoms do appear, which can happen as much as 2 weeks after infection, they are easily confounded with the flu. From the earlier days, it has been estimated – and repeatedly confirmed – that COVID-19 has only a 10% detection rate (BTW, Davide Piffer estimates it at 18%). Meanwhile, carriers need not be symptomatic to transmit. At such early stages, you are only going to identify these clusters by intensive testing, which as I understand nobody apart from Italy and South Korea is really doing yet. One might make a comparison to a tsunami. Undetectable when it’s out in the deep ocean, unless you’re specifically looking for it… until it comes to shore and crashes down on local healthcare systems.

At the global level, short of some late stage miracle, the cat is out of the bag and every country or bloc will now largely have to fend for itself. The one positive point is that China’s radical quarantine measures – now encompassing 10% of the world’s population – appear to have worked… at least going by official figures (e.g. only 11 new cases outside of Hubei this past day seems too good to be true – there have been some other oddities). Another obvious question is whether this stall will hold once the quarantines are eased and people are allowed to start going back to work – as they eventually must, if China is to avoid a full-fledged depression.

Nonetheless, there are many places in the world – probably the great majority – that are less functional and competent than China. Certainly there are very few countries with the political wherewithal to put half of their population under varying types of travel restrictions and basically implode their own economies. There are going to have their own outbreaks, time lagged ~2 months relative to China (note that the first death in Wuhan didn’t take place until January 9), and will then start catapulting the disease back into areas where it had previously been checked – at least short of a total shutdown of globalization on the Best Korea model.

At this point, probably the most efficient thing that most countries can do – bearing in mind that mortality with ventilators, drugs, doctors, etc. seems to be ~1% versus 2-3% for people left to their own devices – is to try to draw out the infections for as long as possible to prevent hospital facilities from becoming overwhelmed and so maximize the number of people who can be treated. Robin Hanson has some even more “powerful” ideas on how to minimize mortality rates, but I doubt there are any governments powerful enough to “consider controlled infection.”

***

Official China says its growth rate will be 6% in Q1 2020. Who knew that sitting at home mining gold on World of Warcraft could be so economically productive as to counterbalance the effects of a 25% reduction in coal production and CO2 emissions, a ~70% reduction in air flights, and a 90%+ (sic!) reduction in automobile sales.

Nonetheless, the absence of any corresponding commotion in the markets had started to become puzzling to me. But it appears that today the dam is finally breaking, with betting odds on a US recession jumping from 25% to 32% in just the 24 hours.

I think the odds are way worse. The global economy is already on unsteady footing – a manufacturing recession in the US, zero growth in Germany, outright -1.4% shrinkage in Japan during Q4. More generally, the American tech sector has long given off signals of being a bubble.

This is going to have some important consequences:

(1) Conventional wisdom has it that Bloomberg is much more competitive against Trump than Bernie. However, in a scenario in which COVID-19 creates a real crisis, this may no longer hold true – especially if it is handled badly. Wall or no wall, COVID-19 isn’t crawling up north through Mexico, whereas being able to see a doctor without getting slammed by massive bills is actually a good thing in an epidemic. With Trump proposing to cut 16% from the CDC’s budget for 2021 – released just a couple of weeks ago – this would not even be undeserved.

(2) In Italy, it may well be Salvini who gets a boost. He was calling for a China travel ban since early January.

(3) Geopolitically, this will turbocharge what Trump’s trade war initiated: The Great Bifurcation of the world economy between the “Blue Empire” and the Sinosphere. I’ll do this in a separate post.

(4) Global recession will also mean a collapse in oil prices. I don’t expect Russia to be particularly badly hit this time, since it has spent the 2014-19 period doing fiscal and monetary belt-tightening at the price of very low growth. On the upside, it now has the lowest breakeven oil price of any major oil-producing state. But Saudi Arabia might be worth watching out for.

***

This all sounds very gloomy and depressing. But is it really all so bad?

Although comparisons to the flu are a very “smol brain” take – a virulence differential of well more than an order of magnitude is nothing to sneeze at – it’s still, in practice, almost irrelevant to young people’s mortality profiles. Even if it increases the risk of a 20 year old’s death in that year by 50%, that would still just basically be equivalent to having to live that year as a 20 year old in the 1970s.

The effects on boomers and older generations are going to be much worse, since COVID-19 affects them much worse. Still, even this will just be a one-time “shock”. If you look at historical charts of life expectancy, you will see that before the universalization of vaccines, antibiotics, etc. in the 20th century, life expectancy jumped wildly from year to year, spiking in tandem with the virulence of the bugs going around in that particular year (and sometimes with failed harvests). Since the late 19th century, at least in the developed world, these graphs have become smoothed out.

All manner of COVID-19’s were a mundane thing a century ago and earlier. Today, they are a freak occurrence on whose mitigation China and much of the world seems willing to sacrifice a significant proportion of their GDP. That sounds almost Pinkerian.

 
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I try to avoid cheap jokes about Ukraine is like Africa. But I do sometimes wonder.

This is how doctors and nurses at a Lvov hospital reacted to finding out that they wouldn’t be hosting potential coronavirus infectees evacuated from China. By singing the ще не вмерла.

In fairness, you’re probably safer staying at home than getting treated by that crowd.

This is after a group of 70 thugs pelted a bus carrying other evacuees with stones. Actually, scratch this, I wouldn’t even expect this in African villages.

On reading Richard Preston’s The Hot Zone during the ebola crisis that year, many things that are auto-dismissed as “superstitious African” behavior become clear to me. For instance, the suspicion of hospitals – understandable since past cases, hospitals had served as the primary transmission vector. The suspicion towards (and even murder of) medical teams – part of long (and effective!) tradition of villages self-quarantining themselves. There were even accounts of patients displaying erratic behavior (e.g. pissing on nurses), almost as if the ebola was subtly influencing the brain to propagate this gift of Nurgle. Ebola-chan was literally real! Corona is nowhere near as virulent as ebola (~1% vs. ~60% mortality rates). Yet not even African medical teams, so far as I know, were celebrating opportunities to skimp out on the Hippocratic Oath.

Of course, this didn’t stop the usual suspects from dismissing this as a Russian psyop. See also Insomniac Resurrected for some more homegrown Ukrainian examples.

In fairness, though, that’s nothing new, with the West’s Russiagate obsessives having also blaming Russia for promoting anti-vaccines propaganda and creating Ukraine’s measles epidemic (by far the largest in Europe). Even though the measles immunization rate had collapsed during the late Orange era, when the influence of America and the Baptist freaks from Western Ukraine reached a temporary maximum.

Incidentally, this does show to what extent the Ukraine has really “unified” as a country after Russian “aggression” and what Ukrainian nationalism is really worth. It’s all fun and games when larping in vyshivankas and kneeling before funeral processions of ATO soldiers, but as soon as they need to put some skin in the game, all of that instantly dissipates.

***

PS. he Ukraine handed over the operation of its railways to German state operator Deutsche Bahn for a period of ten years, with PM Alexei Goncharuk having remarked back in October 2019 Ukraine’s railway infrastructure is “practically destroyed… due to total corruption.” As far as I know, all East European countries are capable of running their own railways. Why does Ukrainian governance underperform its national IQ level of ~95 by about 1 S.D.? In fact, I think Ukraine might well be the single greatest argument against HBD.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Coronavirus, Russiagate, Svidomy, Ukraine 
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Map of the Mongol Empire at/near its territorial peak.

Map of the various variants of stuffed boiled dumplings (credit).

Exogamous communitarian family systems (in red).

The maximum territorial extent of Communism.

 
• Category: History • Tags: Communism, Cuisine, Humor, Map, Mongolia 
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Subregional map of mean ideal number of children for women (of reproductive age: 15-49) in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Source: DHS Program (map it yourself)

The UN projects that while Europe stagnates, Sub-Saharan Africa’s population will explode from ~one billion today to almost four billion souls by the end of the century. Steve Sailer famously calls this the World’s Most Important Graph.

However, the African continent is a land of marked contrasts. Which African regions are going to be especially “important” in this respect?

As usual thanks to Twitter demographer Cicerone, I discovered that something called the DHS Program has been polling almost all African countries (as well as most of the developing world) on their fertility preferences. (See previous post for global details).

At a glance, it seems that within S.S.-Africa itself, the demographic explosion in the next 100 years is going to be particularly concentrated in the west and center of the continent, while the east and south will grow more moderately. In particular, the higher quality African countries – Kenya (3.6); Rwanda (3.4); Ethiopia (5.3) – or, at least, its non-Somali areas – tend to have lower desired fertility, while the champion prospective breeders are the inland Muslim states of Chad (8.2) and Niger (9.2 ideal number of children in 2012, up from 8.2 in 1992; no wonder projections have its population rising to almost 200 million by 2100, up tenfold relative to today).

The highest populated African state at the present time, Nigeria, sets the ideal number of children at 6.1 as of 2018 (no change since 1990, when it was at 5.8). If you look at the map closely, you will see major differences between the Christian south (clustering at 4-5 children) and the Muslim north (clustering at 7-9 children).

There is a pretty good correlation between ideal and realized fertility (e.g. r=0.63 in Europe), so the above numbers should be broadly predictive of future trends.

The one bright spot is that S.S.-Africans are not immune to the demographic transition. Industrialized South Africa sets the ideal number of children at 2.6, while its real TFR is now at 2.4 children per woman.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Demographics, Fertility, Sub-Saharan Africa 
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So a couple of days ago, a group of seven Russian antifa were sentenced to jail terms ranging from 6-18 years. They are accused of having set up a terrorist cell called the Network (Set’) and having planned to commit terrorist attacks to disrupt the World Cup and Presidential elections in 2018. In the event, they don’t appear to have gotten much farther than their leader, Dmitry Pchelintsev who attempted to set a military commissariat in Penza alight with Molotov cocktails. (Incidentally, Pchelintsev shares his surname with a Tsarist-era Russian anarchist-terrorist, and the Network was allegedly set up in 2015 on the anniversary of his execution in 1907). In raids on their apartments, firearms, grenades, and a bucket of explosives precursors were discovered, as well as copies of anarchist literature and Marx’s Capital (which the based judge ordered destroyed “on account of having no value”).

Their supporters, which include Navalny, claim that the Network was a fictive organization, that their confessions were extracted by torture, and that the weapons and firearms were planted.

I obviously don’t claim to know the truth of the case. But what I did notice is the biography of one of the figurants, Arman Sagynbaev. He is like a walking antifa stereotype, and I don’t just mean the physiognomy. He has a mystery meat background – while the mother is Russian (“Elena Strigina”), his full name suggests a Kazakh/Kyrgyz father (patronymic: Dauletovich). He appears to have become an anarchist after some nationalist Chads beat him up in high school. He was a vegan and ran some kind of vegan food business in Saint-Petersburg. And he was in the third stage of HIV.

A gift that he apparently felt compelled far and wide amidst his antifa thots, one of whom, Zlata, was 14 years old during her relationship with Arman.

Six of these women even started up a website to make him more famous:

We are six women: Yasna Iskhaki, Anna Topchilova, Zhenya from Novosibirsk, Arina, Zlata and Augusta (name changed) and we decided to talk about our relationship experiences with a prisoner of the “Network case” – Arman Sagynbaev.

The purpose of our publication: to warn women about what Arman is capable of with regard to women. Now Arman communicates with a large number of women by correspondence, tries to build relationships with them, offers to become a wife and have intimacy. This means that he will be able to use violence against these women, break their fates, squeeze everything out of them, and transmit one of them HIV without her knowledge and consent (in case of marriage, but he actively proposes marriage).

We want other women to know what kind of person he is. When Arman will leave the prison, he will be in the status of a victim of the regime, which for many women automatically means full confidence in him as a person and as a partner. We want people to know not only that he suffered from the regime, but also about his victims.

If you, just like us, want to stop Arman’s violence against women, then please share the link to this site with our stories. Only information can help those with whom Arman is chatting now, not to become his next victim. We are sure that if a law against domestic violence existed in Russia, the victims of Arman would be more protected from his threats, violence, and persecution. We hope that our stories will be another argument that we need a law, we need security orders.

Trigger warning: sexual and physical violence, sadistic coercive sex, HIV infection, sex with a minor, humiliation, suicide, attempted drowning, blackmailing with homemade porn, recording porn without the consent of the partner.

In the event, he was the only one of the anarchists not to dispute the weapons charges, and also ended up getting the lightest sentence of six years.

What is however rather instructive is that none of the Western media coverage of the case mentioned these specifics about Arman Sagynbaev, the Simon Mol of Russia’s anarchists (a Cameroonian GRIDS-riddled “refugee” who sidled his way into Polish antifa/anti-racism movements and literally pozzed dozens of Polish leftists). This is something that can’t be said even for some anti-Kremlin Russian publications such as Meduza, which did cover the Sagynbaev story in a lengthy issue in November 2019 (notably, in its Russian language version, not the English one). But I suppose that all that brouhaha about “Believe Women” be damned when it interferes in the holy war against PUTLER.

OK, come to think of it, there is at least one exception. I wonder how many articles The Guardian has ever published condemning the jailing of Russian nationalists on (mostly spurious) “hate speech” offenses under Article 282, let alone describing their sentences as “monstrous”. I guess somewhere in the region of zero.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Antifa, Law, Russia 
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World map of mean ideal number of children for women (of reproductive age: 15-49).
Source: DHS Program (map it yourself)

See also my region specific posts on fertility preferences in:

This map fills in the spots elsewhere.

South America: Constricting the sample to surveys performed in the 2010s, it seems the region is converging to low 2.0’s levels, with Brazil reaching 2.3 as early as 1996 (TFR is now at less than 1.7, with whites entering outright natural decrease). Ergo for Bolivia, Peru, and Colombia as of 2010s surveys. So they can now be expected to follow in Brazil’s footsteps.

Mexico: 3.0… but its survey dates from 1987, so will surely be lower now.

Central America: Clusters around 3.0. The last demographic reservoir of migrants to the US, but it will be coming to an end in the next 2 decades, just as Mexico had exhausted its reserves by the 2010s. At which point the Hispanic population percentage in the US can be expected to reach saturation point.

Ukraine: Has an ideal fertility rate of 2.0 in 2007, which is broadly in line with East-Central Europe and Mediterranean during that period, and slightly lower than contemporaneous Russia. Nothing surprising here. I wonder if there have been any surveys of ideal fertility in the Ukraine since.

Turkey: Still a pretty vigorous 2.8 as of 2013.

Egypt: 3.0 as of 2014, unchanging since 1988 (when 2.9).

Central Asia: Only countries with 2010s surveys are Kyrgyzstan (3.9) and Tajikistan (3.4). Kyrgyzstan is virtually unchanged from 1997, when it was at 3.7. So no cause to expect a demographic transition there anytime soon.

Indonesia: 2.6 children in 2017, having declined monotonously from 3.2 children 1987.

India: Now at just 2.2 children in 2015-16 (down from 2.9 in 1992-93), i.e. in line with the Med and East-Central Europe in 2000s, but at a much lower development. I suspect Indian TFR will crash to one of the very lowest rates in the world by mid-century.

Bangladesh is at exactly the same level, with 2.2 children seen as ideal.

Pakistan is not subject to these trends: Currently at 3.9 ideal children as of 2017-18, unchanged from 4.1 in 1990-91.

Afghanistan: Ideal children at 5.6 in 2015.

Yemen: 4.3 by 2013, down from 5.4 in 1991-2.

SE Asia: Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar all in mid-2.0s, like the more fertile developed countries (e.g. Anglos, French, Scandis).

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Demographics, Fertility 
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According to phylogenetic analyses, the oldest Indo-European common story features a Smith selling his soul to the Devil in return for power, before tricking him out of his prize.

Which, as a frand observed, later came to be known as the tale of Faust. So Europe is a Faustian civilization in the most direct sense.

 
• Category: History • Tags: Europe, Linguistics, Paper Review 
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I don’t have much original to say about it, and what I do have to say has already been said at greater length (e.g. Guillaume Durocher), but still, as the second most important happening last month, it behoves me to make at least a few brief comments.

* There should not be any delusions that the Tories are going to steer Britain in a genuinely nationalist direction e.g. Based BoJo has proclaimed that African immigration will become easier (I’m assuming he isn’t talking about the Boers).

Though given what passes for British nationalism, perhaps that is not such a great tragedy.

* Brexit is nonetheless an important milestone in a people voting no confidence in an elite globalist project (cosmopolitan London and Scots earnestly opposed Brexit, Deep England boomers Russian trolls supported it) and actually having their wishes honored.

* An added benefit is that it annoys all the right people: Brussels bureaucrats, SJWs, Guardianistas, globalists from Obama to Soros, East European welfare leeches, Russian liberals…

The only shame is that we won’t see Farage trolling the Eurocrats any more:

* There’s a good chance that Scotland will now agitate for a second independent referendum, which the pro-independence forces are now projected to narrowly win. If that happens, then Northern Ireland’s continued presence in the UK would no longer make much sense either. Nonetheless, I certainly don’t expect BoJo to sanction a second Scottish referendum, so if it goes through anytime soon it will presumably have a purely consultative character.

* Brexit is undoubtedly good for Russia. The EU will lose one of its most stridently anti-Russian voices, and certainly its most powerful one. Even Russian-British relations might improve, considering that the UK will want to avoid falling into too tight into a dependency on the US after its exit from Europe. For instance, it recently okayed Huawei’s participation in building up its 5G infrastructure. Similar considerations may also catalyze a rapprochement with Russia (incidentally, Wizzair recently started up $50 London-Moscow flights).

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Brexit, United Kingdom 
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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 of documents proving ownership from before 1918, when Montenegro joined the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (the predecessor of Yugoslavia). This Orwellian-named “Law on Religious Freedom is aimed against the Serbian Orthodox Church, which owns dozens of churches in Montenegro, many of them dating back to the Middle Ages, and which continues to be the church of identification for 70% of Montenegro’s Eastern Orthodox community. The primary beneficiary would be the Montenegrin Orthodox Church, which is considered schismatic in the wider Orthodox world (even so far as Istanbul Bart is concerned – for now, anyway).

Montenegrins are one of the fakest nationalities on the planet. In the words of one friend, Montenegro “is a Serbian Belarus, except imagine that 50% of Moscow comes from Belarus 3 generations back.” The movement to join Serbia in 1918 was Serbian nationalist to its core, even though Montenegro’s current elites now portray it as a Serbian “occupation.” Their separate nationality identity was created under Tito, which accelerated in the 1990s as the local nomenklatura – enabled by Milosevic’s sovok insistence on maintaining the Yugoslav federal structure – switched skins from Yugoslav federalism to local nationalism. Even today, the numbers of self-identifying “Montenegrins” fluctuates from census to census depending on the current level of svidomist propaganda that they are subjected to.

Incidentally, Montenegro has been de facto ruled by a guy called Milo Đukanović since 1989. The son of an apparatchik and protege of Milosevic, he began as pro-Serb, pro-Russian, and anti-NATO before flip flopping on all those stances. So, your typical post-commie opportunist. He has amassed a huge fortune despite having spent his entire life in politics, has brutally quelled protests against his authoritarian rule, boasted of disregarding public opinion (e.g. joining NATO without a referendum despite 72% of Montenegrin citizens wanting one), and pulled stunts like the absurdly fake Russian assassination plot to remain in power. Meanwhile, he remains the West’s best friend, who studiously avoid mentioning his democratist credentials so long as he maintains the correct geopolitical course (anti-Serb, anti-Russian).

These protests may be Serbia’s last chance to keep alive the hope of one day reversing the violent fracturing of their nation. But with history being rewritten to portray Montenegro as its own autochthonous civilization descended from the Principality of Duklja, a Montenegrin “language” being promoted that is indistinguishable from Serbo-Croatian apart from the usage of the Latin alphabet, intense integration into Western economic and security structures, the Atlanticist orientations of the people around Đukanović, the propaganda dominance of Montenegrin svidomists and their Muslim and Albanian allies (who constitute 20% of the Montenegrin population), the Serbian Orthodox Church is the last remaining barrier to Montenegro permanently drifting away from Serbia. They are Montenegro’s last faithful ones.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Color Revolution, Orthodoxy, Serbia 
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There are millions of Gastarbeiters from Central Asia and the Caucasus in Russia. But contra /pol/ wignats and Ukrainian svidomy, it really doesn’t seem like the Kremlin intends for them to stay.

At least that’s the general gist of this Bloomberg article by Henry Meyer and Ilya Khrennikov: Putin Sticks to ‘Russia First’ Even as Workforce Shrinks. Which is more or less factual. Except that what they see as very bad, most Russians would see as good.

Vladimir Putin is taking a page from Donald Trump’s tough-on-immigration playbook. That’s bad for people like Umed and the millions of migrants from other former Soviet republics who have flocked to Russia in search of work. The 29-year-old Tajikistan native, who declined to give his full name, had been working as a delivery driver in Russia when he was deported in 2015. “They don’t want Muslims to live in the country,” says Umed, who now resides in Kazakhstan.

Immigrants are Russia’s best hope to replenish a 75-million-strong workforce that’s shrinking by 800,000 people a year. Yet their numbers are barely growing as Putin’s government has tightened regulations, largely in an attempt to curb the influx from Central Asia. This is a major headache for Russian companies, many of which are struggling to fill jobs even though the economy is stagnant.

Akshually, the process of immigrating to Russia for work is very easy for Central Asians. Once their time limit for being in Russia comes up, they take a couple of days off, renew their documents at a facility on the Kazakh-Russian border, and they’re good to go for another couple of years. At least, that’s how one taxi driver from Osh, Kyrgyzstan explained it to me. The only way to get deported for good as in the case of this Umed is to break some law or overstay your work visa.

Getting permanent residency in Russia is far harder for these people. As the article later notes:

While nationals from Central Asia make up the bulk of migrant workers in Russia, strict controls block most from acquiring citizenship or even residency papers—and the rules have been tightening for the past five years.

This is important. If you are on time-limited labor contracts in a foreign country, where ~80% of your compatriots are men, you are not going to much in the way of setting down roots or family formation. So essentially, the current immigration arrangement between Russia and the Central Asia states involve Russia getting cheap (if low quality) labor for Yandex.Taxi and construction sites, while the Central Asian polities get to enjoy massive remittances and offload part of their politically volatile youth bulge abroad. While there are costs to this for Russia as well – in particular, these guest workers depress native wages in low-skilled sectors, and make it harder for provincial Russians to migrate to Moscow and the millionik cities – permanent and significant changes to the country’s demographics are not on the cards. At least so long as guest work doesn’t go into “family reunification” territory.

“Migration should be the top priority,” says Anatoly Vishnevsky, director of the Institute of Demography at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. … The demographic situation could be “turned around if the authorities didn’t worry about a backlash,” Vishnevsky says.

Anatoly Vishnevsky is a professor at the Higher School of Economics. Now he’s a good demographer and I have a high opinion of his professional work (even if at times his ideological predilections have colored his judgments, e.g. his skepticism about the efficacy of the maternal capital program). But on politics he is toxic, at least so far as his blank slate views on immigration are concerned. But it will be people like him will be the people who acquire more influence in the event of a color revolution or soft internal coup that brings liberals/crypto-liberals to power.

Meanwhile:

In an interview with the Financial Times last year, Putin slammed German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to admit more than a million refugees in 2015, mostly from war-torn Syria, as a “cardinal mistake.” He also said he understood Trump’s campaign pledge to build a wall between Mexico and the U.S. The influx of migrants from Central Asia provokes “irritation among the local population” because of cultural differences, Putin said at a press conference in December.

During a meeting with human-rights activists in 2013, Putin bluntly stated his views on what kind of migrants he would like to see. Svetlana Gannushkina, a leading campaigner for immigrant rights, says Putin told her in a private exchange that Russia needs “people of Slavic appearance, of reproductive age, and with a good education.”

Good to see he is reading my blog.

HAIL PUTLER!

Vyacheslav Postavnin, a former deputy head of the Federal Migration Service, says the government should be doing more to ensure migrants from non-Slavic cultures integrate successfully. But nothing has been done despite a mass outbreak of nationalist riots targeting Muslim immigrants in Moscow six years ago. “Migrants still live in a parallel universe,” he says.

This is bad if the long-term goal is integration. But it is very good if there are no such plans.

Russia’s largest internet company, Yandex, whose food delivery service employs many migrants as couriers, is resorting to automation to cope with a shortage of prospective hires. It’s rolling out a suitcase-size robot that will be able to take orders to apartment building entrances.

Yandex also thinks it will be able to start introducing self-driving cars in Moscow in around 2022-23. This would constitute another major reduction in the demand for migrant labor.

***

In other immigration-related news, work to simplify Russian immigration law for high quality human capital is apparently in the final stages.

I first wrote about it in October 2018 when these proposals were first made public:

In addition to the proposed law, there is also a new “concept” for reforming Russian immigration policy by 2025, which mostly centers around simplifying naturalization for certain categories of foreign professionals. One concrete suggestion that’s known to be included is dropping the requirement to disavow existing citizenships upon getting a Russian citizenship. Hungary, Romania, and Poland are cited as examples to emulate.

As I also wrote back then, I consider this to be a very good idea:

Dropping the requirement to disavow old citizenships upon naturalization is a very good idea that I have long advocated. This is a very stupid law that inhibits the growth of human capital in Russia, and which needs to be abolished ASAP. Qualified foreigners without a criminal record. who have some level of proficiency with the Russian language, should be allowed to become citizens without giving up their old citizenships. But the occasional extremely Russophile and/or idealist aside, a Finnish, Austrian, or even American citizenship are too valuable to just toss away, even with the best will in the world.

I know several expats in Moscow who speak fluent Russian (more or less) and would love to get Russian citizenship, but are held back from doing so by these rules. One is the long-term partner of a Russian citizen. Another is a descendant of Tsarist generals. Another is the descendant of a famous Russian composer part of whose family became White emigres. Another is a scientist at a prestigious Russian university. This is just off the top of my head. Any of these are much better candidates than some of the people whom Russia takes in.

The only downside I can think of is that this might annoy the very few individuals who actually have given up Western citizenships for a Russian one.

Kommersant now reports that a corresponding law is in the final stages and may be introduced to the State Duma this month.

It is also reported that there will no be a need to register 5 years of uninterrupted residency in Russia and proof of income. The law is primarily aimed at countrymen abroad: “This will allow us to passportize our diaspora abroad. They want to get Russian citizenship, but they can’t, because then they’d have to abandon their own country’s citizenship. Millions of Russians live abroad and want to become citizens,” says the deputy Konstantin Zatulin.

Very notably, he used the word “russkie” [ethnic Russians], which at least until recently was a bit of a taboo in Russian officialese.

According to an earlier interview in Izvestia with another bureaucrat involved in these immigration reforms, the government maintains its goal of simplifying immigration procedures for residents of Moldova, Kazakhstan, the Ukraine, and Belorussia. “These are our neighbors, and the numbers of residents of these countries who want to get Russian citizenship are steadily growing,” said Valentina Kazakova.

Once again, this constitutes iron proof that PUTLER! reads my blog, as I have long advocated for doing just that with respect to the Ukraine and other countries in the Near Abroad.

***

So what we have, in effect, is that Russian immigration policy seems to be steadily drifting towards:

  • Cognitive elitism with respect to cultural foreigners.
  • Ethnic particularism with respect to ethnic Russians and other peoples who may be considered to be part of the cultural “Russian World.”

I have long predicted that based on Russian opinion polls “if/when competitive politics return to Russia, the result will be an Orban, a Zeman, a Netanyahu, a Salvini, not some Sorosite cuck that neoliberalism.txt hopes for.

But reality seems to be outperforming projection with PUTLER! moving to implement implicitly ethnonationalist policies under his own watch.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Cognitive Elitism, Immigration, Law, Russia 
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In my old post on the WQ, I noted that there are many more women in Russian nationalism than there are in the Alt Right in the US.

While the American Alt Right is pretty much entirely male (when I met up with Richard Spencer & Co. in 2016, there were just one or two women out of fifty people, as I recall), in an equivalent gathering of Russian nationalists they’d constitute perhaps 20%. Which is about reflective of default male/female interest in politics, anyway.

Anecdotal examples: In my IQ/dysgenics talk in Saint-Petersburg in November 2019 (peak optics), almost a third of the audience were women. Perhaps 20%-25% at the “Russian Meeting” (Русское Собрание) on the following day. Similar ratio at an IQ talk I did in Saint-Petersburg in 2017.

Curiously enough, Polish nationalists gave me similar demographic statistics. The large male-female gap in support for PiS(cuck)* regardless, they also constitute a quarter of Polish nationalists.

I assume this is on account of a number of factors:

(1) I assume that, as in Russia, this is a function of nationalism being less taboo than in the US. This is relevant since women are more conformist than men.

(2) Relatedly, women lean – by default – to conservatism. In the early 20th century, that was religious traditionalism. Today, in the West, “conservatism” is pozzed liberal globalism.

(3) You don’t really have any of the overt misogyny – as distinct from sex realism – that one often encounters in the Alt Right, e.g. the Daily Stormer.

It’s probably safe to say that all three of these feed into each other.

***

* All actual Polish nationalists vote for Konfederacja.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Nationalism, Poland, Russia, Women 
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This is according to the latest data by criminologist Matt Ashby.

This is a stunning reversal from a century ago, where contemporary “Core Europe” (Britain, France, Germany, the Low Countries, and Scandinavia) had homicide rates of 1-2/100,000 vs. around 5/100,000 in places like Italy, Finland, Japan, and Russia.

The one good thing about this is that this is making certain political-demographic decisions made by Western Europe over the past few decades much less attractive to East Europeans, thus acting as a counterweight to pro-multicultural propaganda campaigns. Even though they are still poorer, on most beans-counting measures of economic progress, it has simply become nicer to to live there as Western countries falls into dysfunction.

Incidentally, as concerns Russia, I think this is a very true observation by Vile Varangian:

When Russians visit Western Europe, all the 👨🏿 and 🧕 and 🏳️‍🌈 are like a slap to the face that draws attention from everything else. Whereas places like Czechia or Poland seem more like Russia might look like in another decade.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Crime, Europe, Homicide 
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This January has been Moscow’s warmest by a significant margin since records began, clocking in at stunning +0.1C; in all likelihood, it is the first time it has slipped above zero since at least the Medieval Warm Period. The previous maximum was -1.6C just a bit more than a decade ago, in 2007.

Saint-Petersburg likewise broke its record, registering an average temperature of +1.5C. Its previous highest was -0.5C in 1925.

Anyhow, here it is graphed. The black line represents Moscow’s 5 year moving average.

At least during this year, Moscow’s climate has basically turned East-Central European, and by all indications it will continue through February as well.

Here’s a typical street scene from what should be the snowy depths of winter:

I for one am looking forwards to this becoming the norm over the course of the next few decades. In Soviet times, central planners sent masses of people to remote cities in the Far North and deep Siberia that are economically unviable under market conditions. This continues to impose great costs on the Russian budget and economy to this date, while relocating them all back south is too expensive and impractical. But now we have the prospect of warmer weather coming to them instead. In this sense, global warming is highly fortuitous for Russia.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Climate Change, Moscow, Russia, Tropical Hyperborea 
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Many readers will be familiar with soaring polarization in American politics, a phenomenon that first received mass attention in 2014 and has since become known as the “Great Awokening.”

These trends are also reflected in popular culture, such as movies and video games. In recent years, it seems that there has been a growing gulf between the ratings given by professional reviewers and ordinary users. Cultural conservatives have claimed that reviewers give bad products good ratings based on both venal motives (e.g. maintaining positive relations with directors and producers; retaining premier access to video games) and as a result of living in a cultural bubble (e.g. privileging things such as forced diversity and woke signalling, over minor elements like story, immersion, gameplay, and even graphics).

Mass Effect: Andromeda (Amerikwa) vs. Witcher 3 (Polska).

(Perhaps the ur-example of this, and familiar to the greatest amount of people, would be the drama around Star Wars: the Last Jedi, which got an 8.5 rating from critics on Metacritic vs. a 4.5 user users. A discrepancy that those same journalists ascribed to Russian trolls.)

In the video game sphere, this led to that energetic but ultimately ineffectual gamer uprising known as Gamergate, which incidentally also kicked off in 2014. But were they right to rebel against “ethics in video games journalism” in general?

We may finally have a definitive answer thanks to video games blogger/programmer Shamus Young, who scraped Metacritic for all video game user and critic reviews since 1995.

What he found is that user and critic reviews tended to track each other up until around 2014, with the difference between the two breaking past 5 points (out of 100) just twice in the period from 2001, when Metacritic was launched, to 2014.

But then this indicator exploded, rising to above 10 points by 2018 and 2019.

And here are the combined absolute scores for users and critics in one chart:

This does make intuitive sense looking through some major titles over the past few years. E.g., Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (critics: 86, users: 67) and Far Cry 5 (critics: 78, users: 61) both featured more or less overt political attacks on Trump’s redneck (racist, backwards, religious nutjob) base while apparently featuring mediocre gameplay (I can’t personally confirm, not having played either). Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (critics: 83, users: 67) paid prominent homage to Black Lives Matter, but otherwise featured an uninspired and unfinished story and was infested with microtransactions. Fallout 4 (critics: 84, users: 55) was much weaker in both content and gameplay than its immediate predecessor Fallout: New Vegas, but it did loudly riff on a Underground Railroad theme. But while all this might have left a glowing impression on journalists, it would not have made a difference to ordinary gamers who just wanted to have fun playing a game.

Note that Young suggests caution in interpreting these results:

This chart is basically the green chart minus the red one. Or, how many points higher are critic scores than user scores? We could see this as an indication of the diverging opinions between the people and the press, but this spike at the end could also be the result of games that didn’t turn on their aggressive monetization systems until after the review scores were set. This pissed people off and led to review bombing. So maybe it’s not a measure of the difference between critics and users, but the difference in quality between launch day, and the day the cash shop opens.

OTOH, do also note that this graph merely shows the difference between average user and average critic scores, whereas a true measure of polarization would calculate the average of the individual difference in scores for each individual game per year. After all, there are games that are the opposite of those mentioned above, games that users like relatively more than the critics. For instance, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, a Czech game that happened to receive some wrath from professional SJWs for refusing to include Blacks in medieval Bohemia, got 76 points from critics but 81 points from users (whereas the critic gave the average game 11 more points than the average user during that year). But KCD would have had the effect of reducing the gap between critics and users in 2018.

I’d imagine that a true measure of polarization, derived as suggested above, would show an even sharper divergence between professional critics and users from around 2014.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: SJWs, The Great Awokening, Video Games 
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From Steve’s recent post highlighting an attempt by the Global Party Survey to map out all the parties in OECD countries on a graph where the vertical axis stands for sociopolitical liberalism (bottom) vs. conservatism (top), and the horizontal axis stands for economic leftism (left) vs. free markets (right).

Notice something? About the V4 in particular: Czechia; Hungary; Poland; Slovakia?

That’s right, there, liberalism tends to go with free markets, while conservatism goes with economic leftism. This is actually a long observed phenomenon that includes Russia, e.g. see Regt, Sabrina de, Dimitri Mortelmans, and Tim Smits. 2011. “Left-Wing Authoritarianism Is Not a Myth, but a Worrisome Reality. Evidence from 13 Eastern European Countries.Communist and Post-Communist Studies 44 (4): 299–308.

Now the HBD people have made a great deal of it, ascribing hereditary characteristics to this “left-wing authoritarianism” in Eastern Europe.

However, in this case, they would also have to explain how come it’s more or less the same picture in China. You would have the same sort of graph there, if the Chinese had party politics, e.g. see Pan, Jennifer, and Yiqing Xu. 2018. “China’s Ideological Spectrum.” The Journal of Politics 80 (1): 254–73.

More banal explanation: “Conservatism”, due to its extreme normative nature, is not really an ideology as such – unlike liberalism, Communism, or nationalism, which actually stand for more context-independent values and priorities – but a state of mind that’s formed by the national context, like a sort of ideological center of gravity. So even as 1980s conservatism in the Anglosphere came to be represented by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, in 1990s Russia it was the Communist Party that was the “conservative” electoral choice. Even today, from Warsaw to Beijing, conservatism “loads” on more socialistic outlooks, while liberalism presupposes further intensification of market reforms. You don’t need (heritable) behavioral traits specific to EE (and China) to explain it; their history is more than sufficient.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Communism, Conservatism, Human Biodiversity 
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For years the now defunct Iron March forum was widely regarded as the most hardcore Neo-Nazi hangout on the Internet. It spawned the “Atomwaffen Division”, which subscribed to a sort of Far Right Posadism that promoted race war through the cleansing fires of nuclear destruction. Its members wracked up five murders, a most impressive tally given its membership of less than a hundred, though a considerable part of it was amongst themselves such as that one Florida Man who converted to Islam and then offed a couple of his former comrades for disrespecting the Prophet (PBUH). Well, we all have our minor faults.

So who was the founding Fuhrer of this fearsome organization?

Lenta reports:

Russian BBC journalists found out that Alisher [Mukhitdinov] comes from an influential Uzbek family, his relative on the patrilineal side headed the Uzbek SSR, and then became a member of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party, was an ambassador to Syria. His mother was a sports journalist. His father is a businessman, sponsor of MGIMO (university that trains Russia’s diplomats), and head of a foundation that helps labor migrants. On the site, Alexander wrote that he is half Russian, and is “OK” even by the laws of Nazi Germany.

The Le 56% Face memes just write themselves.

Based in Russia, there is of course no chance that the KGB FSB is not behind him, at least according to our friends at PropOrNot.

Because PUTLER only picks the very best people.

Until 2013 he was in an internet relationship with Lindsay Kantha Souvannarath, a half-Laotian half-Slav living in Illinois. The following shows what goes on in the depths of the Uzbek’s troubled mind:

3/30/2012 3:25:44 PM Silent Sugartits the Impaler (Alisher) you can’t imagine a SECOND of your life go by without it ravaging you
3/30/2012 3:25:52 PM Silent Sugartits the Impaler sending you closer and closer to the abyss of pleasure and pain
3/31/2012 9:52:00 AM Silent Sugartits the Impaler and I’d grab onto the headpost and start fucking you even faster, slamming down on you, my cock splitting your walls open, ravaging you mercilessly, you’d be in a sea of pleasure and pain, it would coat you, fill you, make you sing with pure lust and desire as you experience my cock inside you and focus on it’s shape, it’s details, how it throbs hard, painfuly so

[10/6/2013 2:44:54 AM] spooky skeleton (Lindsay): Have I ever told you about how I’d watch Slavros masturbating on webcam
[10/6/2013 2:45:30 AM] neptune: NO
[10/6/2013 2:46:14 AM] spooky skeleton: because he’d do that
[10/6/2013 2:47:01 AM] neptune: whyyy
[10/6/2013 2:47:04 AM] spooky skeleton: and I’d listen to him groaning and talking about his fantasies in that weird-ass accent of his

Incidentally, this chick is apparently quite the lolcow herself and is now doing a life prison sentence for plotting to shoot up some boomers at a mall or something like that.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Humor, Minorities, Neo-Nazis, Russia, Uzbekistan 
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Egor Kholmogorov has noted that Constitution of Bashkortostan, where Bashkirs only make up 36% of the population, proudly announces that Bashkortan is for Bashkirs:

The Bashkir people voluntarily joined Russia in the 16th century… [in 1919] as a result of the realization of the Bashkir people towards self-determination the Bashkir Autonomous Republic was formed as part of the RSFSR… The Republic of Bashkortostan guarantees the preservation and defense of the historic and cultural legacy and the further development of the culture of the Bashkir people and that of other peoples living on the territory of the Republic of Bashkortostan.

On looking it up, I found that the preamble of the Constitution of Tatarstan, where Tatars constitute a bare minority at 53%, has similar phrasing:

This Constitution, expressing the will of the multinational people of the Republic of Tatarstan and of the Tatar people, …

So we have Bashkortostan for the Bashkirs. Tatarstan for the Tatars. Israel for the Jews. Skyrim for the Nords. So why not Russia for Russians?

Why are Russian nationalists supposed to be so evil and demented – if not paid off by the CIA, according to at least one commenter – to want the Constitution of the Russian Federation to actually mention (ethnic) Russians for a change?

Note that the changes that Russian nationalists are tentatively proposing would merely make it into more or less a carbon copy of the Constitutions of the national republics of the two largest non-Slavic minorities in Russia, which make mention of the rights extended to other peoples on their territories:

All Russians [russkie], as well as members of Russia’s other indigenous peoples, independent of their place of birth or residency, have the right to expedited citizenship of the Russian Federation.

Incidentally, even Gennady Zyuganov, the head of the Communist Party, has expressed support for mentioning ethnic Russians as the state-forming people in the Russian Constitution. So I guess that makes him a CIA flunky as well.

In a famous article, Yury Slezkine described the USSR as a communal apartment, where each major nationality had a room to itself except Russians who had to make do with squatting in the common areas. This undermined Russian emotional investment into the Soviet project, and this played at least some role in its eventual collapse. The present day Russia merely recreates that situation in miniature. As of today, what do ethnic Russians formally owe their loyalty to? Some entity called the the RSFSR RF which has no formal obligations to them. Why would anyone want to serve it, at least in a non-mercenary capacity? At least Americans get to pledge loyalty to some abstract ideas of “liberty” and the “pursuit of happiness.” The Russian Federation doesn’t even have that.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Minorities, Nationalism, Politics, Russia 
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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.

That was the price that your average samogon-swilling sovok was willing to sell away the country to America for: 3 rubles.

Which is pretty rational, to be sure. The Mackie D beats Marx. That one fast food chain generated more soft power than several decades’ worth of Communist agitprop. And it paid off. In 1990, there was one McDonald’s in Moscow, and a Big Mac Meal cost 3/250 rubles = ~1.2% of the average Soviet salary. Now there are almost a thousand McDonald’s in Russia, and a Big Mac Meal costs just 185 ($3)/45,000 rubles = ~0.4% of the average Russian salary.

Was a threefold reduction in real Big Mac Meal prices worth the socio-economic turmoil, demographic collapse, geopolitical humiliation, and fragmentation of the Russian people that accompanied the collapse of the USSR? I believe it was, yes. After all, it was a polity that its own people sold away for a Mackie D sandwich and a pair of jeans. It is important to respect one’s elders and their choices.

***

Here is the same scene 30 years later. Along with thousands of other McDonald’s respecting Muscovites, I paid a pilgrimage to this sacred site yesterday.

They were supposed to recreate the original price, selling Big Mac meals for 3 rubles (=5 cents). In the event, the goyim were fooled (again), with the deal being canceled at the last minute due to coronavirus fears.

But at least I got this pic and a plastic McDonald’s flag out of it. It was worth it. HAIL MCDONALD’S!

***

 
• Category: History • Tags: Fast Food, Humor, McDonald's, Moscow, Russia, Soviet Union, Sovok, The AK 
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One of the nicest sites on the Internet for data freaks is Max Roser’s Our World in Data, which produces lavishly illustrated graphs on a wide variety of political, economics, and society-related topics.

The links to the original data sources are also very useful.

I found something similar (if much smaller scale) for Russia at Our Country in Data. The authors also have a series of Russia maps showing different statistics across time here.

Here are some of the most interesting finds, let me know if you discover anything interesting:

***

1. Demographics: Russia’s (Second) Demographic Transition

Average age of mother at birth of first child (red).

2. Living Standards: Interactive Graph of Salaries by Region/Sector

3. Geography: Map of All Russian Cities

4. Geography: Map of Russia by Train Travel Time

5. Politics: History of Putin’s Approval Ratings

VCIOM polls are red, Levada polls are blue, FOM polls are yellow. Note that the link also has an interactive version, with further links to raw data; I hadn’t found a VCIOM series going back to 2006 until now!

(Note that I have my own version).

6. Economics: Living Standards 2012-18

Measure of living standards across each of Russia’s regions in the past 6 years.

7. Economics: Structure of National Projects Financing

I wrote about the 13 national projects, budgeted at 25 trillion rubles (~= $400 billion), for 2019-24 here. Here we have all that data, but in graphical format.

Infrastructure – orange; roads – Red; ecology – lilac; green – demographics; blue – healthcare; digital technologies – turquoise; housing – yellow; exports – brown; education – magenta; science – cyan; entrepreneurship – light green; culture – purple; labor productivity – pink.

8. Economics: Russian Budget

Income as %GDP – red; Spending as %GDP – blue.

Even I hadn’t realized the fiscal tightening was that severe – absolute spending (as per the second graph in the link) even in 2018 was lower than the absolute peak attained in 2013.

Coupled with monetary tightening, no wonder the Russian economy has underperformed since 2014.

9. History: Largest Cities in Russian Empire, USSR, and Russian Federation 1840-2019

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There’s also a nice direct comparison of Moscow vs. Saint-Petersburg, amongst other things.

Note that swapping of places around the time of the Civil War.

10. Demographics: Time that Russia Is All Emigrating to Moscow

That’s happening, but in reality, what’s happening is that Russians are emigrating to bigger regional cities in general, while the countryside continues to empty out (this is a global phenomenon).

 
Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

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.