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Russian compradors vs. national bourgeoisie

News  Neoliberal Compradors and lumpenelite Recommended Links Bombing country with dollars Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism America and the Imperial Project
Russian experience in "white Revolution" of 2011-2012 The Rape of Russia NGOs in Russia Comparador battalion Gaydar Casino Capitalism Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult The Master and Margarita as anticomprador novel
Human rights activists or globalism fifth column Frustrated underachievers IntelliXencia: Corruption of Intelligensia and it usage in fifth column in Russia Nine reasons why Kreaklys do not like Russia Comparador battalion Gaydar Comprador leaders recruitment  
Creating a Favorable Climate of Investment Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Diplomacy by deception New American Militarism Corporatism Russian Fifth column Humor Etc

In Russia it is pretty powerful social strata that includes the representatives of pseudo-democratic views who received considerable wealth  during Yeltsin's reign and is now seeking to turn back "the wheel of history". For them the main thing is to secure the return of such period the degradation of Russia, in which they could continue  to plunder the country with impunity. Today, the only guarantor of their existence is the "democratic" West, mortally afraid of the revival of a powerful Eastern neighbor and ready to do whatever it costs to support corrupt comprador Russian troops. In this respect West is following a well  known cynical formula used by FDR in respect to Somoza invitation to Washington: "He may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch"

As Anatol Lieven noted (America Right or Wrong- December 21, 2004 )

Perhaps it may be more difficult these days to run such manifestly comprador systems given that, as I suggested earlier, there does tend to be more democratic pressure from below than in the 19th century. A good example is Russia, although admittedly Russia also has its tradition of Great Power status and so forth which prevents it from becoming completely subservient to America. As I wrote in a previous book on the reasons for Russia's defeat in Chechnya between 1994 and 1996, there was a real attempt by America in the 1990s, with tremendous help from the Russian elites themselves, to turn Russia into a kind of comprador state, whose elites would be subservient to America in foreign policy and would exist to export raw materials to the West and transfer money to Western bank accounts.

In the end, neither the Russian state nor the Russian people would accept that. The Yeltsin order was replaced by a kind of authoritarian, nationalist backlash under Putin. One sees the same thing in a rather different form in Venezuela, for example.

comprador vs. national bourgeoisie (Kasama Threads)

I remember the color revolutions in the Ukraine and Georgia very well. I also remember the color revolution in Kyrghyzia and also in Serbia.

Let me say again that there is NO possibility of a color revolution in Russia and the political situation in Russia is absolutely not conducive to such a revolution.

I respectfully disagree. I also remember "Orange Revolution" well :-). And I do not share your optimism for several reasons:

1. West is a really powerful force and had the brainpower and money. Like Ukraine, Russia is an oligarchic republic that is by definition susceptible to this type of coup d'état. There is always a level of discontent that can be exploited. In a way, discontent against local oligarchy is a perfect way to topple any (I mean ANY) weaker oligarchic republic by stronger oligarchic republic without direct army conflict just by using fifth column and money.  With Putin charismatic leadership Russia is rather strange oligarchic republic, much less hostile to common people, then others. But still it is an oligarchic republic, not that different from the USA or GB.  Such an aberration from "historical norm" does not last forever. As sad as it was, the economic rape of Russia under Yeltsin was more of a norm then exception.   As Mark aptly observed the meme is “There’s always money for regime change”.

This is very true because those investments can produce the best return of capital possible. Moreover acting this way is the most logical for the USA as this is the least costly way to achieve its security goals in this part of the globe. So they will never stop, just regroup and try again. In way this is a Trotsky's dream of "permanent revolution" which come true in a very perverted form. Judging from Ukraine experience those guys who are doing "color revolution" staff for living have brainpower and money to adapt so you never be sure what will be next trick and from which direction it will hit you. This story with Yushchenko  poisoning was a thing of beauty of Machiavellian politics, is not it?  In Russia they are trying to spread rumors about Putin hidden billions and palaces, but so far not with much success. They will find something else soon. BTW the fact that Medevedev awarded Gorbachov the highest medal (Order of St. Andrew) on his 80th birthday, despite the fact the Putin called dissolution of the USSR the largest socio-political catastrophe is a kick in the face of any real Russian patriot and dies not inspire too much trust in the regime.

2. The claim of "democratization" and usage of election hijacking as the mean of "regime change" suppresses the "natural immune response" of the state to the foreign invasion. Like AIDS it is difficult to treat once you get infected. And this suppression of immune response is very real in this case. For example, absence of requirements to publish exist polls results only with all necessary information about size of the sample, the questions used (this is very important) and financial backers of the efforts, etc is the blunder that Russian authorities committed. That either suggests that they never learned anything from Orange revolution or were afraid to act decisively.  IMHO iron control of NGO related to interpretation of election results is a must if country wants to survive. That should include iron rules for publication of exit polls results which should be controlled by Central Election Commission or similar authority with criminal penalty for violations. I think in view of consequences of Orange Revolution for Ukraine an article about "misinterpretation" of exit polls should be in criminal code of any state because it is just legitimate form of sedition. Otherwise their is no defense against claims like recent Levada center NGO (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levada_Center) claim of 15% vote fraud in Moscow -- direct replica of tricks Orange revolution organizers played with impunity. And I probably am not alone seeing a strong analogy of falsification of exit pools results with sedition. From Wikipedia:

The difference between sedition and treason consists primarily in the subjective ultimate object of the violation to the public peace. Sedition does not consist of levying war against a government nor of adhering to its enemies, giving enemies aid, and giving enemies comfort. Nor does it consist, in most representative democracies, of peaceful protest against a government, nor of attempting to change the government by democratic means (such as direct democracy or constitutional convention).
Sedition is the stirring up of rebellion against the government in power. Treason is the violation of allegiance to one's sovereign or state, giving aid to enemies, or levying war against one's state. Sedition is encouraging one's fellow citizens to rebel against their state, whereas treason is actually betraying one's country by aiding and abetting another state. Sedition laws somewhat equate to terrorism and public order laws.

3. Russian government was/is completely beaten/outmaneuvered in the battle for internet media. Facebook and Twitter are channels that they can't control and those are huge help for "color revolution" organizers. Help which in a way replaces old-fashioned role of newspapers. And we all know how Bolsheviks treated newspapers a century ago. In case of Russia much like was the case in Ukraine opposition also can rely on at least one TV channel (Dozhd'). So the situation with media looks similar or an exact replica of Ukrainian scenario. That means that an important precondition for color revolution is met: "fake violations amplifier" mechanism is in place.

4. Authorities look passive and brain-dead in case issue of "falsification of falsification" trick with exit polls.  Looks like they never read the book:  The Opinion Makers: An Insider Exposes the Truth Behind the Polls.  With the notable exception of Putin's brave four hour counterattack there was no efforts to counter the "falsifications of falsifications" and explain who they are and what interests they support with exit pools "falsifications of falsifications".  But even he did not stress the key mechanism of generating discontent. There was some weak noise about  "three card monte sociologists"  from Central Election Commission (http://www.electorat.info/blog/5989.html), but it was after the fact when all the initiative was completely lost. Nothing or very little was done preemptively. Authorities got into trap of reacting for claims about violations. And Putin's suggestion to put camera is IMHO questionable as it belongs to this line of thinking. Cameras are need to control how exit pools are conducted much more that in the polling stations. Again the real issue here is the control of exit polls by NGOs. This is a huge black mark for Medvedev. Was it so difficult to publish "rules of the game for exit polls" before that elections? And inspect such NGO's as Levada center for violation of rules about financing before elections to make some heads a little bit cooler and some money not available? That again proved that he is a very weak politician as the key for politician is to sniff where the danger to his power comes from and preemptively react to it. As a result, some level of destabilization was actually achieved. Again, there was no clear and well articulation message about exit polls as the key mechanism for manipulating public opinion about elections. If we in this blog can figure this out, why not those who are responsible for such things? This brain-dead treatment of the key mechanism of Orange revolution is inexcusable and suggests that repetition of "color revolution" is not unfeasible.

5. Oligarchic republic self-generates the "fifth column" of compradors who are more tied to the West then to the native country. Russia in not an exception. Compradors by definition are mainly enriching some foreign entity taking a cut for themselves so they are already pre-existing element of the "regime change".  And fifth column is usually more pronounced in capitals where the "color revolution" take place as the capital usually has stronger ties with the West. In Russia the fifth column is weaker then in Ukraine were the county is essentially split between Western and Eastern parts, but still it exists and is growing.  Especially because international finance plays more and more important role in Russian economy, after joining WTO (although the USA and Russia agreed not to use WTO terms in mutual trade at least for now). I suspect that financial oligarchy by definition represents fifth column (Khodorkovsky after all was a  prominent "Komsomol banker", the owner of Menatep bank). If this is true, then growth of power of local financial oligarchy (is not Kudrin the best friend of Putin?) and high level of interconnection between Russia financial system and global financial system increase chances for the "regime change". Also the essence of neo-colonialism is financial dependency (debt slavery) so any efforts to increase Russia external debt can also be instrumental in regime change (the USSR scenario). Also credit default swaps and other derivatives represent certain danger and probably can be used as supplementary instruments supporting the regime change. See http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/ML14Dj02.html 

6. Oil represents now a strategic resource. As such all countries with this resource are marks. And no matter what Russia do, my impression is that the West is not inclined to offer Russia an equal treatment. There is a strong, persistent, strategic determination to convert Russia to the banana republic status of supplier of cheap oil and gas, Russian population be damned, and the work is under way and money are allocated to achieve this goal one way or another. The USSR went into a trap of excessive military spending that ruined the economy and put millions into abject poverty after its collapse.  There is no guarantee that Russia will not get in some other trap.

The most dramatic recent demonstration of the power of fifth column the dissolution of the USSR and aftermath. At some point elites in the USSR grow thier power to the extent when they feel that it's time to privatize the country assets. Dissolution of the USSR was the mean to this end.  What is interesting is the composition of this new transnational elite that came to power in xUSSR space in 1991. It was broad and powerful political force which included part of old elite such as KGB brass and especially its international division (Alexander Lebedev is one example), CPSU  bonzas, etc as well as new elite such as


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[May 11, 2020] I got sent to the UK at age 9 by west leaning liberal parents. They now regret that decision because of the risk of foreigners, especially Russians and Chinese, being interned like the Japanese in WWII.

May 11, 2020 | www.unz.com

Ilya G Poimandres , says: Show Comment May 10, 2020 at 7:11 am GMT

@Cowboy A society that goes for an economy of divided labour reduces the individual away from the natural equality of aggrarian, or artisan production. A worker who screws in one bolt for a car in a production line is a slave – they are dependent on the system of manufactoring, and a level of technology, for their security.

Division of labour brings its own systemic inequality, which can only be dealt with by adjusting the system to provide each individual security from destitution – same as the city demanded the birth of the state for the provision of security from violence. This provision costs 30% of GDP now, if done universally, without all this capitalistic means testing and progressive taxation, which engorges the state monopoly. And leave that 70% of GDP to a free market regulated away from monopoly and deceit. Or even caveat emptor – so long as the people have what they need when they enter such a cold economy.

A collective responsibility for needs won't produce golems, unless you believe the psychology of 'unlimited wants' is incorrect, and people just want daily bread and shelter, to live out their pointless lives and die.

Stealing tech – so you agree with knowledge monopolies then. It's not theft – technology just filters through. What if nation A develops a touchscreen, sells it to the world. You demand no one get curious and finds out how it works by themselves? Curiosity is a key driver of human progress, denying that to people is denying them an aspect of their human nature.. How communist! Look at Edison, he stole. Einstein, he plagiarised. Israel, they got their nuclear program how? And the space programs got seeded how for the US and USSR?

You think the Chinese steal because they spend billions in US unis learning, then working for US companies, then later take know how to China? You want to lobotomised them so they can't or something? You should have treated them better. Same as the Russians. I got sent to the UK at age 9, by west leaning liberal parents (who like Putin, but didn't like where Russia was heading in the late 90s). They now regret that decision because of how the west has acted on other nations. They would say the west betrayed its advertising, and that those that leave for their birth lands do so out of disappointment at these nations. Sure some spies, but that's a thing in itself. Most are leaving with their acquired knowledge because of the risk of being interned like the Japanese in WWII.

[May 08, 2020] Avaaz and We came, we saw, he died (cackle)... Assad must go... Promoting chaos....Cui bono?

Notable quotes:
"... Avaaz supported the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya, which led to the military intervention in the country in 2011. It was criticized for its pro-intervention stance in the media and blogs. [17] ..."
"... Avaaz supported the civil uprising preceding the Syrian Civil War . This included sending $1.5 million of Internet communications equipment to protesters, and training activists. Later it used smuggling routes to send over $2 million of medical equipment into rebel-held areas of Syria. It also smuggled 34 international journalists into Syria. [10] [18] ..."
"... Yes, pilgrims, my professional deformation leads me to find pattern where there may be none. ..."
"... It would be logical for there to exist connective tissue that relates the Sorosistas, The Clintonistas, the media freaks, Tom Perez' DNC, ..."
"... And then, there is Neil Ferguson the British epidemiologist who sold #10 on the idea of a national lock-down that looks to destroy the UK economy and political system. Antonia Staats his married mistress is a major figure in AVAAZ. He broke curfew twice to get a little bit of that. Coincidence? ..."
"... Even a small amount of google searching suggests that Avaaz is simply another Zionist-funded pro-Israel controlled opposition cutout type of organization. Funded by Zionist George Soros. Main honcho Ricken Patel is associated with Zionist lobby group J Street. ..."
"... Per the commentary above, supported the regime change operation in Syria (a longstanding Zionist goal, refer to the Clean Break plan.) ..."
"... What pillow talk went on between AVAAZ agent Antonia Staats and her Imperial College of London paramour Neil Ferguson right before he briefed Trump/Pence on their corona "we are all gonna die" projections. ..."
May 08, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"Avaaz claims to unite practical idealists from around the world. [8] Director Ricken Patel said in 2011, "We have no ideology per se. Our mission is to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want. Idealists of the world unite!" [12] In practice , Avaaz often supports causes considered progressive, such as calling for global action on climate change , challenging Monsanto, and building greater global support for refugees. [13] [14] [15]

During the 2009 Iranian presidential election protests , Avaaz set up Internet proxy servers to allow protesters to upload videos onto public websites. [16]

Avaaz supported the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya, which led to the military intervention in the country in 2011. It was criticized for its pro-intervention stance in the media and blogs. [17]

Avaaz supported the civil uprising preceding the Syrian Civil War . This included sending $1.5 million of Internet communications equipment to protesters, and training activists. Later it used smuggling routes to send over $2 million of medical equipment into rebel-held areas of Syria. It also smuggled 34 international journalists into Syria. [10] [18] Avaaz coordinated the evacuation of wounded British photographer Paul Conroy from Homs . Thirteen Syrian activists died during the evacuation operation. [10] [19] Some senior members of other non-governmental organizations working in the Middle East have criticized Avaaz for taking sides in a civil war. [16] As of November 2016, Avaaz continues campaigning for no-fly zones over Syria in general and specifically Aleppo . (Gen. Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, has said that establishing a no-fly zone means going to war against Syria and Russia. [20] ) It has received criticism from parts of the political blogosphere and has a single digit percentage of its users opposing the petitions, with a number of users ultimately leaving the network. The Avaaz team responded to this criticism by issuing two statements defending their decision to campaign. wiki

----------------

Yes, pilgrims, my professional deformation leads me to find pattern where there may be none. BUT, OTOH, there may BE a pattern. It would be logical for there to exist connective tissue that relates the Sorosistas, The Clintonistas, the media freaks, Tom Perez' DNC, etc., etc., ad nauseam. ...

And then, there is Neil Ferguson the British epidemiologist who sold #10 on the idea of a national lock-down that looks to destroy the UK economy and political system. Antonia Staats his married mistress is a major figure in AVAAZ. He broke curfew twice to get a little bit of that. Coincidence? pl

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avaaz


Outrage Beyond , 07 May 2020 at 06:41 PM

Even a small amount of google searching suggests that Avaaz is simply another Zionist-funded pro-Israel controlled opposition cutout type of organization. Funded by Zionist George Soros. Main honcho Ricken Patel is associated with Zionist lobby group J Street.

Per the commentary above, supported the regime change operation in Syria (a longstanding Zionist goal, refer to the Clean Break plan.)

Bottom line: not a leftist organization. Faux leftist, controlled opposition, Zionist. Neocons are probably delighted with Avaaz.

Deap , 07 May 2020 at 06:46 PM
It was a ground hog day nightmare when I read the AVAAZ website and found all the "progressive" chestnuts, alive, well and kicking into high gear. This AVAAZ agenda fuels the politics in my state, California, so I know each element well plus how each of of them has failed us so badly. They all teeter on OPM, which the state wide corona shut down has decimated.

What pillow talk went on between AVAAZ agent Antonia Staats and her Imperial College of London paramour Neil Ferguson right before he briefed Trump/Pence on their corona "we are all gonna die" projections.

It all happened so fast - from runs on toilet paper in Australia reported on March 2 to global shutdown on March 16 due to this Imperial College model in just two weeks. Who and what communication network was behind this radical global shift that generated virtually no push back? The message quickly became one case of corona and we are all gonna die. How did that find such a willing audience?

I keep hearing that same echo in my nightmares, never let a crisis go to waste - now with this very distinct German accent on the face of a red-lipped blonde. Too weird to see this AVAAZ "global" network is so darn interested in over-turning a US Supreme Court Citizens United ruling - the old Hilary Clinton rallying cry. What is with that - they care in Malaysia?

Thank you for sunshining this very curious operation and its all too familiar cast of known characters lurking in its history, shadows, funding and leadership circle. Injecting them with Lysol is the better plan.

It is one thing to sic Barr-Durham on US government operations, but who can even explore let alone touch the world of global NGO's.

It does explain where a lot of the Bernie Sanders fervor comes from and how it sustains this energy despite defeat in the US election polls. The AVAAZ agenda winning the hearts and minds of many young people around the world. It will be their world to inherit, if they go down this path; not ours. God speed to all of them. Namaste. Dahl and naan for everyone.

Deap , 07 May 2020 at 07:04 PM
A little internet search also questions if AVAAZ is an intelligence community funded operation, linking key Obama administration players.

Good indoor fun during our national lockdowns - track AVAAZ in all its permutations and recurrent players. Samantha Powers and her hundreds of FISA unmasking requests comes to mind as well as her role in the AVAAZ games played in Syria.

Some AVAAZ fodder from a random internet search: Tinfoil hat fun times - keep digging.

......."Curiously, however, the absence of routine information on the Avaaz website -- board of directors, contact information, etc. -- raises the possibility that the organization is one of innumerable such groups created around the world by intelligence organizations with secret funding to advance hidden agendas.

This was the gist of a 2012 column by Global Research columnist Susanne Posel, headlined Avaaz: The Lobbyist that Masquerades as Online Activism. She alleged that Avaaz purports to be a global avenue for dissent, but channels reform energies on the most sensitive issues into such pro-U.S. positions as support for Israel and the Free Syrian Army......."

turcopolier , 07 May 2020 at 07:11 PM
AVAAZ

It is interesting that AVAAZ stopped accepting foundation and corporate money years ago. So, where do they get their money?

Harlan Easley , 07 May 2020 at 08:06 PM
Looking at him and her. She is out of his league. He is beta soy boy material.

You're probably right.

Fred , 07 May 2020 at 08:16 PM
Deap,

"Who and what communication network ..." ... " but who can even explore let alone touch the world of global NGO's."

Have you noticed how fast Project Veritas gets shut down, how Twitter, FB, etc silence any effective opposition to the message of the left?

"It is one thing to sic Barr-Durham on US government operations,..."
Perhaps now that FlynnFlu is evaporating in the disinfecting sunlight some sunshine should be applied to the H1B visa holders at the aformentioned social media companies and add in Google, Bing, Oath etc. and see how many Communist operatives are there, in addition to "essential employee" non-citizen lefty's pushing the anti-American propaganda. A dinner invitation to Jeff Bezos and his paramore might provide some interesting conversation on just who at Amazon might be involved in the same type of anti-western operations; compare their corporate response to distribution operations in the US vs. France as an example.
https://twitter.com/JamesOKeefeIII/status/1143127502895898625
Furthermore, observe the Google leadership team discussion of the 2016 elections.
https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2018/09/12/leaked-video-google-leaderships-dismayed-reaction-to-trump-election/
Minute 12:30 CFO Ruth Porat
Minute 27:00 Q&A Sergey Brin response on matching donations to employee causes.
Make sure to watch minute 52 on H1B visa holders. With 30,000,000 unemployed Americans just how many of those visas does Google need now? (I don't recall any organization telling China they need open borders immigration since thier hispanic/african/caucasian population percentages are effectively zero, so we might wonder who has been behind that message for the past few decades and why it is only directed at Western democracies).
And the inevitable campaign against "low information" voters and "fake news". I wonder what their take on Russian election interference is now? (Russia cyber trolling! minute 54:44.)

56:20 The inevitable arc of "progress". Make sure you join the fight for Hilary's values. That's the actual corporate leadership message. See the final round of applause at 1:01. Our new overlords know best. Too bad they don't own a mirror, or an ability to reflect on why someone can see the same data and come to a different conclusion of than these experts.

That's just a scratch on the surface. How much money flowed through the Clinton Global Initiative, which NGOs got some cleansed proceeds, which elections were influenced, professors and research sponsored, local communities "organzied". There's plenty to look at and "Isreal, Soros, Zionists" are the least of it.

J , 07 May 2020 at 09:48 PM
State sponsorship?
james , 07 May 2020 at 11:04 PM
avaaz always struck me like some intel agency psyc op... maybe israel like the poster outrage beyond implies.. either way - one could read stay away based on everything about them..
eakens , 08 May 2020 at 01:26 AM
Avaaz means change in Farsi. Interesting.
LondonBob , 08 May 2020 at 03:31 AM
A friend of a friend is a research scientist at Imperial in biology, he is as lefty as they get and I think would be happy to falsify his research to serve his political goals. Besides Imperial is a hard science uni, UCL is top in the University of London for medicine.

Soros and his organisations should be made persona non grata, as the Russians and Hungarians have. Extraordinary his influence in the EU, he has picked up where the Soviet Union left off, funding every organisation that demoralises society, from gay rights to immigration promotion to ethnic lobbies, even in Eastern European countries where there are no minorities.

CK , 08 May 2020 at 08:34 AM
An unusual thing happens once; it could be happenstance.
The thing happens again; it is Reconnaissance.
The thing happens yet again; it is war.
turcopolier , 08 May 2020 at 08:59 AM
J

That is for us to learn.

A. Pols , 08 May 2020 at 09:17 AM
We came, we saw, he died (cackle)... Assad must go...
Promoting chaos....Cui bono?
BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 08 May 2020 at 09:33 AM
eaken

Avaaz means "song" in Persian.

Diana Croissant , 08 May 2020 at 09:35 AM
The one woman standing up to a pompous judge who has called her "selfish" for wanting to earn the money it takes to feed her child is the heroine of this week's news.

Hers is the story of our Democratic Republic, born in the Age of Reason. Voltaire's Candide comes to the best conclusion for the way our elected representatives should make decisions: what works best to help INDIVIDUALS tend their own gardens is the form of government we should pursue.

It's true that young people have hearts and good intentions, but older people in most cases have brains and understand human nature better.

This older person--even when she was young--always distrusted a popular uprising or growing movement.

And if Obama and Hillary are for it, I know I am against it. (That's a more specific life lesson I've learned.)

[May 05, 2020] Is there a "6th column" trying to subvert Russia, by The Saker

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... What is often forgotten is that at the same time, the Soviet society was oppressive, the corrupt and geriatric CPSU ran everything and was mostly hated, the Russian people were afraid of the KGB and could not enjoy the freedoms folks in the US or Europe had. In truth, it was a mixed bag, but it is easy to remember only the good stuff. ..."
"... The core of this opposition is formed of Communists and Communist sympathizers who absolutely hate Putin for his (quite outspoken) anti-Communism. Let's call them "new Communists" or "Neo-Communists". And here is what makes them much more dangerous than the "liberal" opposition: the Neo-Communists are often absolutely right. ..."
"... Under Putin the Russian foreign policy has been such a success that even the Russian liberals, very reluctantly, admit that he did a pretty good job. However, the internal, many financial, policies of Russia have been a disaster. Just one example, the fact that the major Russian banks are bloated with their immense revenues, did not prevent millions of Russians from living in poverty and many hundreds of thousands of Russian small/family businesses of going under due to the very high interest rates. ..."
"... First, Russia has been in a state of war against the US+EU+NATO since at least 2015. Yes, this war is 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic. But it is a very real war nonetheless. ..."
"... The Neo-Communist Russian opposition steadfastly pretends like there is no war, like all the losses (economic and human) are only the result of corruption and incompetence. They forget that during the last war between Russia and the "United West" German tanks were at the outskirts of Moscow. ..."
"... if Putin decided to follow the advice of, say, Glaziev and his supporters, the Russian bankers would react with a "total war" against Putin. ..."
"... If you study Russian history, you will soon realize that Russia did superbly with military enemies, did very averagely with diplomatic efforts (which often negated military victories) and did terribly with what we could call the "internal opposition". ..."
"... I have always, and still do, consider that the real danger for Putin and those who share his views is the internal, often "insider", opposition in Russia. They were always the ones to present the biggest threat to any Russian ruler, from the Czars to Stalin. ..."
"... This new Neo-Communist 6th column is, however, a much more dangerous threat to the future of Russia than the pro-western 5th columnists. Some of their tactics are extremely devious. For example, one of the things you hear most often from these folks is this: "unless Putin does X, Y or Z, there is a risk of a bloody revolution". ..."
"... "Too often in our history we have seen that instead of an opposition to the government we are confronted with an opposition to Russia herself. And we know how this ends: with the destruction of the state as such". ..."
"... Now, if you think as a true patriot of Russia, you have to realize that Russia suffered from not one, but two, truly horrible revolutions: in 1917 and 1991. In each case the consequences of these revolutions (irrespective of how justified they might have appeared at the time) were absolutely horrible: both in 1917 and in 1991 Russia almost completely vanished as a country, and millions suffered terribly. I now hold is as axiomatic that nothing would be worse for Russia than *any* revolution, no matter what ideology feeds it or how bad the "regime in power" might appear to be. ..."
"... These Neo-Communists would very much disagree with me. They "warn" about a revolution, while in reality trying to create the conditions for one. ..."
"... There is a very vocal internal opposition to Putin in Russia which is most unlikely to ever get real popular support, but which could possibly unite enough of the nostalgics of the Soviet era to create a real crisis. This internal opposition clearly and objectively weakens the authority/reputation of Putin, which has been main goal of the western "alphabet soup" ever since Putin came to power. ..."
"... This internal opposition, being mostly nostalgics of the Soviet era, will get no official support from the West, but it will enjoy a maximal covert support from the western "alphabet soup". ..."
"... Finally, this Neo-Communist opposition will never seize power, but it might create a very real internal political crisis which will very much weaken Putin and the Eurasian Sovereignists. ..."
"... The bottom line is this: Putin represents something very unique and very precious: he is a true Russian patriot, but he is not one nostalgic for the days of the Soviet Union. Right now, he is the only (or one of very few) Russian politician which can claim this quality. He needs to preempt the crisis which the Neo-Communists could trigger not by silencing them, but by realizing that on some issues the Russian people do, in fact, agree with them (even if they are not willing to call for a revolution). ..."
"... That poll showing Putin on top of everybody else, tells me that he is the Single-Point-Failure. If he croaks, so does Russia. Very much like Jesus, or Nicholas the II, or Gorbachov, before him -- all obrazovanshchiki, educated past the point of their intelligence level ..."
May 05, 2020 | www.unz.com

For those of us who followed the Russian Internet there is a highly visible phenomenon taking place which is quite startling: there are a lot of anti-Putin videos posted on YouTube or its Russian equivalents. Not only that, but a flurry of channels has recently appeared which seem to have made bashing Putin or Mishustin their full-time job. Of course, there have always been anti-Putin and anti-Medvedev videos in the past, but what makes this new wave so different from the old one is that they attack Putin and Mishustin not from pro-Western positions, but from putatively Russian patriotic positions. Even the supposed (not true) "personal advisor" to Putin and national-Bolshevik (true), Alexander Dugin has joined that movement (see here if you understand Russian).

This is a new, interesting and complex phenomenon, and I will try to unpack it here.

First, we have to remember that Putin was extremely successful at destroying the pro-Western opposition which, while shown on a daily basis on Russian TV, represents something in the 3-5% of the people at most. You might ask why they are so frequent on TV, and the reason is simple: the more they talk, the more they are hated.

So far from silencing the opposition, the Kremlin not only gives it air time, it even pays opposition figures top dollars to participate in the most popular talk shows. See here and here for more details

Truly, the reputation of the pro-Western "liberal" (in the Russian sense) opposition is now roadkill in Russia. Yes, there is a core of Russophobic Russians who hate Russia with a passion (they refer to it as "Rashka") and their hatred for everything Russian is so obvious that they are universally despised all over the country (the one big exception being Moscow where there is a much stronger "liberal" opposition which gets the support of all those who had a great time pillaging Russia in the 1990s and who now hate Putin for putting an end to their malfeasance).

As for the Duma opposition, it is an opposition only in name. They make noises, they bitch here and there, they condemn this or that, but at the end of the day, they will not represent a credible opposition at all.

Why?

Well, look at this screenshot I took from a Russian polling site :

The chart is in Russian, but it is also extremely simple to understand. On the Y axis, you see the percentage of people who "totally trust" and "mostly trust" the six politicians, in order: Putin, Mishustin, Zhirinovskii, Ziuganov, Mironov and Medvedev. The the X axis you see the time frame going from July 2019 to April 2020.

The only thing which really matters is this: in spite all the objective and subjective problems of Russia, in spite of a widely unpopular pension reform, in spite of all the western sanctions and in spite of the pandemic, Putin still sits alone in a rock-solid position: he has the overwhelming support of the Russian people. This single cause pretty much explains everything else I will be talking about today.

As most of you probably remember, there were already several waves of anti-Putin PSYOPS in the past, but they all failed for very simple reasons:

Most Russians remember the horrors of the 1990s when the pro-Western "liberals" were in power. Second, the Russian people could observe how the West put bona fide rabidly russophobic Nazis in power in Kiev. The liberals expressed a great deal of sympathy for the Ukronazi regime. Few Russians doubt that if the pro-western "liberals" got to power, they would turn Russia into something very similar to today's Ukraine. Next, the Russians could follow, day after day, how the Ukraine imploded, went through a bloody civil war, underwent a almost total de-industrialization and ended up with a real buffoon as President (Zelenskii just appointed, I kid you not, Saakashvili as Vice Prime Minister of the Ukraine, that is all you need to know to get the full measure of what kind of clueless imbecile Zelenskii is!). Not only do the liberals blame Russia for what happened to this poor country, they openly support Zelenskii. Most (all?) of the pro-western "NGO" (I put that in quotation marks, because these putatively non-governmental organization were entirely financed by western governments, mostly US and UK) were legally forced to reveal their sources of financing and most of them got listed as "foreign agents". Others were simply kicked out of Russia. Thus, it became impossible for the AngloZionists to trigger what appeared to be "mass protests" under these condition. There is a solid "anti-Maidan" movement in Russia (including in Moscow!) which is ready to "pounce" (politically) in case of any Maidan-like movement in Russia. I strongly suspect that the FSB has a warm if unofficial collaboration with them. The Russian internal security services (FSB, FSO, National Guard, etc.) saw a major revival under Putin and they are now not only more powerful than in the past, but also much better organized to deal with subversion. As for the armed forces are solidly behind Putin and Shoigu. While in the 1990s Russia was basically defenseless, Russia today is a very tough nut to crack for western subversion/PSYOP operations. Last, but not least, the Russian liberals are so obviously from the class Alexander Solzhenitsyn referred to as " obrazovanshchina ", a word hard to translate but which roughly means "pretend [to be] educated": these folks have always considered themselves very superior to the vast majority of the Russian people and they simply cannot hide their contempt for the "common man" (very similar to Hillary's "deporables"). The common man fully realizes that and, quite logically, profoundly distrusts and even hates "liberals".

There came a moment when the western curators of the Russian 5th column realized that calling Putin names in the western press, or publicly accusing him of being a "bloody despot" and a "KGB killer" might work with the gullible and brainwashed western audience, but it got absolutely no traction whatsoever in Russia.

And then, somebody, somewhere (I don't know who, or where) came up with an truly brilliant idea: accusing Putin of not being a patriot and declare that he is a puppet in the hands of the AngloZionist Empire. This was nothing short of brilliant, I have to admit that.

First, they tried to sell the idea that Putin was about to "sell out" (or "trade") Novorussia. One theory was that Russia would stand by and let the Ukronazis invade Novorussia. Another one was that the US and Russia would make a secret deal and "give" Syria to Putin, if he "gave" Novorussia to the Empire. Alternatively, there was the version that Russia would "give" Syria to Trump and he would "give" Novorussia to Putin. The actual narrative does not matter. What matters, A LOT, is that Putin was not presented as the "new Hitler" who would invade Poland and the Baltics, who would poison the Skripals, who would hack DNC servers and "put Trump into power". These plain stupid fairy tales had not credibility in Russia. But Putin "selling out" Novorussia was much more credible, especially after it was clear that Russia did not allow the DNR/LNR forces to seize Mariupol.

I remain convinced that this was the correct decision. Why? Because had the DNR/LNR forces entered Mariupol their critical supply lines would have been cut off by an envelopment maneuver by the Ukrainian forces. Yes, the DNR/LNR forces did have the power needed to take Mariupol, but then they would end up surrounded by Ukronazi forces in a "cauldron/siege" kind of situation which would then have forced Russia to openly intervene to either support these forces. That was a no brainer in military terms, but in political terms this would have been a disaster for Russia and a dream come true to the AngloZionists who could (finally!) "prove" that Russia was involved all along. The folks in the Russian General Staff are clearly much smarter than the couch-generals which were accusing Russia of treason for now letting Mariupol be liberated.

Eventually, both the "sellout Syria" and the "sellout Novorussia" narratives lost their traction and the PSYOPS specialists in the West tried another good one: Putin became the obedient servant of Israel and, personally, Netanyahu. The arguments were very similar: Putin did not allow Syrians (or Russians) to shoot down Israeli aircraft over the Mediterranean or Lebanon, Putin did not use the famous S-400 to protect Syrian targets from Israeli strikes, and Putin did not land an airborne division in Syria to deal with the Takfiris. And nevermind here the fact that the officially declared Russian objectives in Syria were only to " stabilize the legitimate authority and create conditions for a political compromise " (see here for details). The simple truth is that Putin never said that he would liberate each square meter of Syrian land from the Takfiris nor did he promise to defend Syria against Israel!

Still, for a while the Internet was inundated with articles claiming that Putin and Netanyahu were closely coordinating their every step and that Putin was Israel's chum.

Eventually, this canard also lost a lot of credibility. After all, most folks are smart enough to realize that if Putin wanted to help Israel, all he had to do is well exactly *nothing*: the Takfiris would take Damascus and it would be "game over" for a civilized Syria and the Israelis would have a perfect pretext to intervene.

As I have already mentioned in a past article , these were the original Israeli goals for Syria:

Bring down a strong secular Arab state along with its political structure, armed forces and security services. Create total chaos and horror in Syria justifying the creation of a "security zone" by Israel not only in the Golan, but further north. Trigger a civil war in Lebanon by unleashing the Takfiri crazies against Hezbollah. Let the Takfiris and Hezbollah bleed each other to death, then create a "security zone", but this time in Lebanon. Prevent the creation of a Shia axis Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon. Breakup Syria along ethnic and religious lines. Create a Kurdistan which could then be used against Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. Make it possible for Israel to become the uncontested power broker in the Middle-East and forces the KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and all others to have to go to Israel for any gas or oil pipeline project. Gradually isolate, threaten, subvert and eventually attack Iran with a wide regional coalition of forces. Eliminate all center of Shia power in the Middle-East.

It is quite easy nowadays to prove the two following theses: 1) Israel dismally failed to achieve ANY of the above set goals and 2) the Russian intervention is the one single most important factor which prevented Israel from achieving these goals (the 2nd most important one was the heroic support given by Iran and Hezbollah who, quite literally, "saved the day", especially during the early phases of the Russian intervention. Only an ignorant or dishonest person could seriously claim that Russia and Israel are working together when Russia, in reality, completely defeated Israel in Syria.

Still, while the first PSYOP (Putin the new Hitler) failed, and while the second PSYOP (Putin the sellout) also failed, the PSYOP specialists in the West came up with a much more potentially dangerous and effective PSYOP operation.

But first, they did something truly brilliant: they realized that their best allies in Russia would not be the (frankly, clueless) "liberals" but that they would find a much more powerful "ally" in those nostalgic of the Soviet Union. This I have to explain in some detail.

First, there is one thing human psychology which I have observed all my life: we tend to remember the good and forget the bad. Today, most of what I remember from boot-camp (and even "survival week") sounds like fun times. The truth is that while in boot camp I hated almost every day. In a similar way, a lot of Russian have developed a kind of nostalgia for the Soviet era. I can understand that. After all, during the 50s the USSR achieved a truly miraculous rebirth, then in the 60s and 70s there were a lot of true triumphs. Finally, even in the hated 80s the USSR did achieve absolutely spectacular things (in science, technology, etc.). This is all true. What is often forgotten is that at the same time, the Soviet society was oppressive, the corrupt and geriatric CPSU ran everything and was mostly hated, the Russian people were afraid of the KGB and could not enjoy the freedoms folks in the US or Europe had. In truth, it was a mixed bag, but it is easy to remember only the good stuff.

Furthermore, a lot of folks who had high positions during the Soviet era did lose it all. And now that Russia is objectively undergoing various difficult trials, these folks have "smelled blood" and they clearly hope that by some miracle Putin will be overthrown. He won't, if only for the following very basic reasons:

The kind of state apparatus which protects Putin today can easily deal with this new, pseudo (I will explain below why I say "pseudo") patriotic opposition. In the ranks of this opposition there is absolutely no credible leader (remember the chart above!) This opposition mostly complains, but offers no real solutions.

The core of this opposition is formed of Communists and Communist sympathizers who absolutely hate Putin for his (quite outspoken) anti-Communism. Let's call them "new Communists" or "Neo-Communists". And here is what makes them much more dangerous than the "liberal" opposition: the Neo-Communists are often absolutely right.

The (in my opinion) sad reality is that, for all his immense qualities, Putin is indeed a liberal, at least an economic sense. This manifests itself in two very different ways:

Putin has still not removed all of the 5th columnists (aka "Atlantic Integrationists" aka "Washington consensus" types) from power. Yes, he did ditch Medvedev, but others (Nabiulina, Siluanov, etc.) are still there. Putin inherited a very bad system where almost all they key actors were 5th columnists. Not just a few (in)famous individuals, but an entire CLASS (in a Marxist sense of the term) of people who hate anything "social" and who support "liberal" ideas just so they can fill their pockets.

Here is the paradox: the USSR died in 1991-1993, Putin is an anti-Communist, but there STILL is a (Soviet-style) Nomenklatura in Russia, except for now they are often referred to as "oligarchs" (which is incorrect because, say, the Ukrainian oligarch truly decide the fate of the nation whereas this new Russian Nomenklatura does not decide the fate of Russia as a whole, but they have a major influence in the financial sector, which is what they care mostly about).

So we have something of a, maybe not quite "perfect", but still very dangerous storm looming over Russia. How? Consider this:

Under Putin the Russian foreign policy has been such a success that even the Russian liberals, very reluctantly, admit that he did a pretty good job. However, the internal, many financial, policies of Russia have been a disaster. Just one example, the fact that the major Russian banks are bloated with their immense revenues, did not prevent millions of Russians from living in poverty and many hundreds of thousands of Russian small/family businesses of going under due to the very high interest rates.

One key problem in Russia is that both the Central Bank and the major commercial banks only care about their profits. What Russia truly needs is a state-owed DEVELOPMENT bank whose goal would not be millions and billions for the few, but making it possible for the creativity of the Russian people to truly blossom. Today, we see the exact opposite in Russia.

So what is my beef with this social ( if not quite "Socialist") opposition?

They are so focused on their narrow complaints that they completely miss the big picture. Let me explain.

First, Russia has been in a state of war against the US+EU+NATO since at least 2015. Yes, this war is 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic. But it is a very real war nonetheless. The key characteristic of a real war is that victory is only achieved by one side, the other is fully defeated. Which means that the war between the AngloZionist Empire is an existential one: one party will win and survive, the other one will disappear and will be replaced with a qualitatively new polity/society. The Neo-Communist Russian opposition steadfastly pretends like there is no war, like all the losses (economic and human) are only the result of corruption and incompetence. They forget that during the last war between Russia and the "United West" German tanks were at the outskirts of Moscow.

Well, of course they know that. But they pretend not to. And this is why I think of them as the 6th column (as opposed to the 5th, openly "liberal" and pro-Western one).

Second, while this opposition is, in my opinion, absolutely correct in deploring Putin's apparent belief that following the advice of what I would call "IMF types" is safer than following recommendations of what could be loosely called "opposition economists" (here I think of Glaziev, whose views I personally fully support), they fail to realize the risks involved in crushing the "IMF types". The sad truth is that Russian banks are very powerful and that in many ways, the state cannot afford totally alienating them. Right now the banks support Putin only because he supports them. But if Putin decided to follow the advice of, say, Glaziev and his supporters, the Russian bankers would react with a "total war" against Putin.

If you study Russian history, you will soon realize that Russia did superbly with military enemies, did very averagely with diplomatic efforts (which often negated military victories) and did terribly with what we could call the "internal opposition".

So let me repeat it here: I do not consider NATO or the US as credible military threats to Russia, unless they decide to use nuclear weapons, at which point both Russia and the West would suffer terribly. But even in this scenario, Russia would prevail (Russia has a 10-15 year advantage against the US in both civilian and military nuclear technologies and the Russian society is far more survivable one -- if this topic is of interest to you, just read Dmitry Orlov's books who explains it all better than I ever could). I have always, and still do, consider that the real danger for Putin and those who share his views is the internal, often "insider", opposition in Russia. They were always the ones to present the biggest threat to any Russian ruler, from the Czars to Stalin.

This new Neo-Communist 6th column is, however, a much more dangerous threat to the future of Russia than the pro-western 5th columnists. Some of their tactics are extremely devious. For example, one of the things you hear most often from these folks is this: "unless Putin does X, Y or Z, there is a risk of a bloody revolution". Having listened to many tens of their videos, I can tell you with total security that far from fearing a bloody revolution, these folks in reality dream of such a revolution.

"Too often in our history we have seen that instead of an opposition to the government we are confronted with an opposition to Russia herself. And we know how this ends: with the destruction of the state as such".

Now, if you think as a true patriot of Russia, you have to realize that Russia suffered from not one, but two, truly horrible revolutions: in 1917 and 1991. In each case the consequences of these revolutions (irrespective of how justified they might have appeared at the time) were absolutely horrible: both in 1917 and in 1991 Russia almost completely vanished as a country, and millions suffered terribly. I now hold is as axiomatic that nothing would be worse for Russia than *any* revolution, no matter what ideology feeds it or how bad the "regime in power" might appear to be.

Putin is acutely aware of that (see image).

These Neo-Communists would very much disagree with me. They "warn" about a revolution, while in reality trying to create the conditions for one.

Now let me be clear: I am absolutely convinced that NO revolution (Neo-Communist or other) is possible in Russia. More accurately, while I do believe that an attempt for a revolution could happen, I believe that any coup/revolution against Putin is bound to fail. Why? The graphic above.

Even if by some (horrible) miracle, it was possible to defeat/neutralize the combined power of the FSB+FSO+National Guard+Armed forces (which I find impossible), this "success" would be limited to Moscow or, at most, the Moscow Oblast. Beyond that it is all "Putin territory". In terms of firepower, the Moscow Oblast has a lot of first-rate units, but it does not even come close to what the "rest of Russia" could engage (just the 58th Army in the south would be unstoppable). But even that is not truly crucial. The truly crucial thing following any coup/revolution would be the 70%+ of Russian people who, for the first time in centuries, truly believe that Putin stands for their interest and that he is "their man". These people will never accept any illegal attempt to remove Putin from power. That is the key reason why no successful revolution is currently possible in Russia.

But while any revolution/coup would be bound to fail, it could very much result in a bloodbath way bigger than what happened in 1993 (where the military was mostly not engaged in the events).

Now lets add it all up.

There is a very vocal internal opposition to Putin in Russia which is most unlikely to ever get real popular support, but which could possibly unite enough of the nostalgics of the Soviet era to create a real crisis. This internal opposition clearly and objectively weakens the authority/reputation of Putin, which has been main goal of the western "alphabet soup" ever since Putin came to power.

This internal opposition, being mostly nostalgics of the Soviet era, will get no official support from the West, but it will enjoy a maximal covert support from the western "alphabet soup".

Finally, this Neo-Communist opposition will never seize power, but it might create a very real internal political crisis which will very much weaken Putin and the Eurasian Sovereignists.

So what is the solution?

Putin needs to preempt any civil unrest. Removing Medvedev and replacing him by Mishustin was the correct move, but it was also too little too late. Frankly, I believe that it is high time for Putin to finally openly break with the "Washington consensus types" and listen to Glaziev who, at least, is no Communist.

Russia has always been a collectivistic society, and she needs to stop apologizing (even just mentally) for this. Instead, she should openly and fully embrace her collectivistic culture and traditions and show the "Washington consensus" types to the door.

Yes, the Moscow elites will be furious, but it is also high time to tell these folks that they don't own Russia, and that while they could make a killing prostituting themselves to the Empire, most Russian don't want to do that.

The bottom line is this: Putin represents something very unique and very precious: he is a true Russian patriot, but he is not one nostalgic for the days of the Soviet Union. Right now, he is the only (or one of very few) Russian politician which can claim this quality. He needs to preempt the crisis which the Neo-Communists could trigger not by silencing them, but by realizing that on some issues the Russian people do, in fact, agree with them (even if they are not willing to call for a revolution).

Does that sound complicated or even convoluted? If it does, it is because it is. But for all the nuances we can discern a bottom line: it is not worth prevailing (or even failing) if that weakens/threatens Russia. Right now, the Neo-Communist opposition is, objectively, a threat to the stability and prosperity of Russia. That does NOT, however, mean that these folks are always wrong. They often are spot on, 100% correct.

Putin needs to prove them wrong by listening to them and do the right thing.

Difficult? Yes. Doable? Yes. Therefore he has to do it.


anno nimus , says: Show Comment April 30, 2020 at 9:44 pm GMT

Russia needs to be strong for the sake of global civilization, human decency, religious freedom, etc, not only for her own good. going back to communism and Godlessness should be unthinkable. nor should we sell our souls for 30 kopeks of silver to become the dumping ground for western filth and surplus.
Russia has the unique position, the space and resources, an intelligent population, Orthodox tradition to show mankind that a decent, safe, compassionate, sound existence is possible.
although great leaders are a gift from Above, the state also should make every effort to identify and prepare Putin's successor while strengthening the institutions so that the people will perceive them as their own and will not be tempted to support revolutionary radicals again.
Derer , says: Show Comment April 30, 2020 at 10:49 pm GMT
First of all, Russian electorate have much better sources and the grasp of the international political scene than the American media's self-centered pseudo-trues.

Putin's obvious pros:

-Reclaimed Russian crucial energy industry from the pillaging by Yeltsin oligarchs. Now babysat by the UK and Israel. -Russian voters' motto: "We vote for a leader that is most criticized and slandered by our enemies and adversaries. Vote almost never for their selected puppet a la Kasparov." -Putin's brilliant move to reclaimed Crimea -- administratively attached to Ukraine in 1954 by a communist dictate after being centuries part of Russia -- by a democratic mean. -Western sanctions are viewed by the Russian electorate as a declaration of the "enemy status". Furthermore, they are also viewed as a sinister attempt to slow down the Russian economic progress. -NATO backstabbing expansion to Russian border. Continuation of Western military encircling Russia -- US military in Poland. -Opposing Western clumsy interference in Ukraine or in Georgia. Liberating S. Ossetia from the Georgia's lunatic who is now Ukraine deputy prime minister.
Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist , says: Website Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 1:17 am GMT
I have always seen Putin as a late, reluctant, and often only partially effective reacter to a crisis, never someone who proactively acts to defuse one before it gets bad. I will repeat what I've said many, many times: in 2014 Putin could have sent two battalions of Spetsnaz into Kiev, routed the Ukranazi coup regime, reinstated Yanukovych, and withdrawn with the warning that if there was ever again any attempt to stage another Maidan Russian troops would be back and this time to stay. Instead he got Russia blamed for an invasion he should have but did not carry out, and consequently sanctions that are still in effect to this day, not to speak of a NATO proxy thrust against the Russian heartland. (That Russia needed the sanctions and that they were good for Russia is another thing entirely; it isn't as though Putin planned them to turn out like that.)

In Syria in 2015 Putin waited until the government was in desperate straits -- similar to the final stages of the Libyan government forces' collapse in 2011 as Obama's terrorists advanced on Tripoli -- before sending in small commando detachments and the air force. And even then the failure to defend Syria, an ally of Russia, which has given Russia bases, against zionazi bombing is inexcusable. For one thing it cost Russia a valuable reconnaissance plane with priceless trained crew, after which Putin first rushed to absolve Nazinyahu of blame before even calling the crew's families. For another the refusal to use the S 400 merely gives the Amerikastanis an excuse to portray the S 400s as hyped, ineffective weapons Russia does not dare to actually use. How is showing Putin's obvious affinity to the zionazi pseudostate "anti Russian" in any way? It's the absolute and obvious truth, from Putin's own record.

This is also why Putin will do nothing about the capitalist leeches still sucking Russia dry (many of whom are zionazi citizens); he will have to be forced into it and then will try to get away with cosmetic measures, leaving as much undone as he possibly can. That he has not already eliminated the oligarchy is proof enough of that. No amount of Saker excuses is enough to hide the fact; what could the banks do to harm Putin, given the popularity the Saker keeps touting? You'll see that the Saker is very careful not to say anything about what they could, he just says that they could. You'd almost think he just made it up.

I agree about the Moscow "liberals"; I met a few of them and they're always smartly dressed, fluent in English -- with an inevitable American accent -- and they hate Russia more than anything. I recall meeting a couple in this town in late 2014 or early 2015. I remember saying that I support Russia's help to the Donbass freedom fighters. The woman's eyes went round. "But why? This is a great burden for Russia, none of our business, we should never have got involved " There is an excellent argument for shifting the capital from Moscow back to St Petersburg, or, if that's too strategically vulnerable, to Volgograd or some other city in the Russian interior.

By the way, as one of the "neo communists", as the Saker dismissively calls us -- in an obvious effort to conflate us with the neo-nazis -- let me ask a question: let's suppose everything the Saker says is correct. Well, then, is Putin immortal? No? So what happens when he dies or retires? Who will take over? Will the "pro-Putin population" switch its loyalty to a replacement from Putin's party, given that most of them are so despised that United Russia keeps losing local elections from Moscow to Vladivostok? If not, what happens but either a total change of course or .a bloody revolution?

What happens then?

Passer by , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 3:21 am GMT
I can certainly say that there are people in United Russia who quite openly work for the West and push for western liberal projects in Russia, as well as attack patriotic forces.

What kind of joke is that to have people like this in the so called ruling party and in various Duma comitees? Why is this even allowed? Why are they still there?

Art , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 6:02 am GMT
Russia needs a depositor credit union type local banking system. Only the local depositors would own the bank. The bank's functioning management would be controlled by the owners/depositors. One depositor -- one vote.

These banks would make loans only to local businesses and homeowners. They would have nothing to do with Moscow. They would build honesty and stability.

MarylinM , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 6:28 am GMT
That poll showing Putin on top of everybody else, tells me that he is the Single-Point-Failure. If he croaks, so does Russia. Very much like Jesus, or Nicholas the II, or Gorbachov, before him -- all obrazovanshchiki, educated past the point of their intelligence level . The jerk already swallowed the virus-thing, hook and sinker. He's gonna be reeled-in in no time.
Art , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 6:51 am GMT
As a citizen of one of the top ten nations on our Earth (US) -- I believe that Putin is the savviest, most stable conscientious foreign policy leader of the lot.

He handled both the Ukraine and Syria without getting into all out wars. Both a considerable achievement, considering Jews played major antagonistic roles in both confrontations.

Derer , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 6:53 am GMT
@Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist He should have annexed East Ukraine with 12 mil Russians and its historical Russian cities. When McCain and Biden's puppets were installed in Kiev they banned the Russian language -- that was the right time to act and killings would have been avoided.
Astuteobservor II , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 9:43 am GMT
1000% there is.

I am sure they are salivating at the idea of another Yeltsin or Gorbachev coming into power after Putin.

Putin's number 1 priority right now should be grooming a competent successor, or Russia could get rape again after he is gone.

John Thurloe , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 10:25 am GMT
Russia and China deeply underestimate the extent and determination of the US and toadies to have in place well funded campaigns to blacken those countries names, reputations and standing. It's awful listening to Chinese or Russian officials making ritual formal protests. And then doing nothing. Letting their country be undermined and infiltrated, allowing the minds of the public elsewhere be poisoned. This is how the Colour Revolutions get their traction.

It's the continual, weak, feeble and inept lack of action by Russia and China against the western engines of smear. And this state of affairs seriously disheartens their allies and supporters. Please stop being too reasonable, find your backbone and righteousness and FIGHT! For Pete's sake.

animalogic , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 10:54 am GMT
@Passer by Sad to say that Putin should have done more internally.
Saker 's point about a national bank is telling. Russia's Central Bank should have it's neoliberals attrited. Russia's Anglo-zionists should have also been quietly & invisibly defanged & sent into "outer-space". More actions against NGO's need to also be taken.
A nation in Russia's precarious position re: the West, can afford only so much internal treachery .
This is not to suggest any of this would be easy. However, Putin has had & still has considerable popular support -- political Capital capable of being used to take risky but "right" reforms.
ComradePuff , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 11:13 am GMT
I'm an American living in Moscow for the last 5 years. I've also had the special privilege to earn a masters degree in politics and economics at the Ministry of Foreign Affair's university, MGIMO. I can say, as someone who has viewed this situation here from virtually every angle possible as a foreigner; "Putin" has done nothing good for Russia domestically that has not been an unplanned side effect of sanctions. And don't get me wrong, the sanctions were the best thing that could have happened here. But all the official pro-Russia grandstanding on the international stage aside, there are endless news stories of Russia lobbying for readmission to the club, pleading with the US to cooperate and a return to the status-quo. The people who make the policy here and run the institutions are all holdovers from the 90's. Their overarching concern is that Russia -- ie the elites themselves -- are "treated with respect" by the Western plutocracy.

But what has changed here since 2014? An explosion in traffic cameras and fines, more restrictions (prescriptions and bans) on medicines, inflation, reforms (attacks) in pensions and healthcare, skyrocketing housing costs and an simmering education crisis from preschool to university where money increasingly buys limited space over need or merit. Now like a rotten cherry on top, there is this quarantine which seems arbitrary except when you realize the whole police force has been turned against the citizens to check QR code passes. Who is deemed essential is also arbitrary and favors the government while bankrupting everyone else. Gasterbyters, the backbone of the economy, are literally destitute. Russians also dislike seeing the government luxuriously spend resources in the form of political-point scoring coronavirus aid to the US and Italy, and then abruptly flip-flopping on the severity of the pandemic at home. On tv its is Corona Vision 24/7 here, while families with small children are forced out of work and cramped into tiny apartments in ugly neighborhoods, forbidden to walk more than 10 meters from their door, their money and sanity running out. Russians who are able, flout the quarantine at every opportunity, more concerned about being harassed by police than getting sick.

There is a lot more I could say, but I will leave it at on this note; This new wave of disillusionment is not coming from the West. The West has virtually no direct influence here anymore. This is all homegrown.

obabajko , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 12:27 pm GMT
Although I have admired President Putin for many years now, I have never agreed with his economic policies. It was sad to read that he fired S. Glazyev as an adviser. When will President Putin see that following western style economic policies is a tragedy waiting to happen for Russia. As is happening now to most of the western countries, especially the US and EU.
Old and Grumpy , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 12:27 pm GMT
@Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist Its a great mystery to me why Putin released Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Maybe there was a good reason. No clue, it just seems odd especially when you realize this freed oligarch was the power behind Browder's Magnitzky Act.
Jake , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 2:30 pm GMT
'Remembering only the good and forgetting the bad' is what every bad ruler, every bad culture, demands of those it misleads.

The Anglo-Zionist Empire has been the master of that con game for its entire existence, back to the start of English Reformation. Bolsheviks were clumsy brutes compared to Anglo-Zionists even in their early days when they lacked sophistication and finesse.

Agent76 , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 4:32 pm GMT
Apr 19, 2020 US corporate takeover -- Biden 2020 Today, the U.S is living through a power grab by lobbyists and moneyed interests in government -- the way Russia did after the Soviet collapse of the 1990s.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/gnfnApc6XIA?feature=oembed

Apr 2, 2020 Putin reveals KEY to political success: the poor man

Which is the bigger political influence on President Putin? Multinational corporations, filthy rich oligarchs or financial institutions? He asserts -- it is the sentiment of 'the common man' that is responsible for his popularity and long-standing political career.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/BaZCTz2id-c?feature=oembed

Mar 12, 2020 Putin: The US Made A Colony Out Of Ukraine But They Want It Sustained By Russian Money!

The 20 Questions with Vladimir Putin project is an interview with the President of Russia on the most topical subjects of social and political life in Russia and the world.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/civa7sI9TGM?feature=oembed

Cyrano , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 4:34 pm GMT
@ComradePuff If it's so bad in Russia, why don't you f ** k off back to your home country were everything works perfectly?
Cyrano , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 5:29 pm GMT
I am afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you Saker on this issue. I just can't see how a communist can be a traitor to their country. Some of the biggest patriots ever produced in history have been communists. Not just in Russia, but in other countries like North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, China. They are willing to do anything for their country. Same thing with modern communists, I don't see them betraying their country for personal gain.

My theory is like this: Patriotism is different in Capitalist countries (or as they like to call themselves democracies) than in Communist countries. First of all, Capitalism has 2 types of elites -- real ones and political elites -- who are nothing more than domestic servants, in other words nobodies. Communism usually has only one type of elites -- political. They are the only game in town.

I know that they ascribed terms such as cult of personalities to Communist leaders, but the real megalomaniacs and narcissists can really be found among the 2 types of capitalist elites. Those are the one that are really in love with themselves.

So how does patriotism work in communism vs. capitalism? Well, for one thing, patriotism means love for one's country. As we all know, a country is a collection of dead rocks, (hopefully) some arable land, few mountains and so on. Basically a country usually needs a spokesperson. That's where the elites come in. They are the spokespersons for the needs of the country.

I believe that communist elites are more honest spokespersons than capitalist ones. Why? Well for one thing all communist elites were usually 1st generation elites, meaning they were new on the job and they didn't have the span of few generations time to degenerate like the capitalist elites. Communist elites for the most could still remember the time when they were not elites but very ordinary people -- except maybe now the Kim dynasty in North Korea which is in its 3rd generation of dynastic cycle.

But still, the flow of patriotism is very similar in both "communist" and capitalist countries. Patriotism flows from the poor dumbos to the rich and powerful elites -- whether they are political or economic elites. Patriotism whose intended recipient is the fatherland always gets intercepted by the elites and then processed.

Basically, what that means is that when an ordinary person expresses love and affection for their country -- it's usually ends up being manifested as love and affection for their elites.

Remember, a country is just a pile of rocks and some other geological features, -- doesn't know how to process affection from patriots. But the elites do, and they are the usual beneficiaries of patriotism.

If love for your country is always a love for the elites, why do the stupid always fall for the same trick? Well, I guess there are not too many options left, one of them being a traitor. Still, I believe that communist elites were more honest brokers and managers of patriotic love, because the managed to pass more of the patriotism to its intended target -- the homeland, than it was ever case with capitalist elites.

Sure, Stalin had few dachas and property that he would have been hard-pressed to explain how he earned, but it was nothing compared to the spoils from patriotism that elites in capitalism receive as a payout for being spokespersons for the needs of their countries.

I just don't see a communist doing something with personal benefit in mind first, and putting the well-being of their country as a second consideration. It usually doesn't happen, and hopefully the new generation of communists in Russia will keep up with that tradition.

The Grim Joker , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 7:02 pm GMT
@Cyrano Because he is one of those chronic complainers. We dont want him here because he will change the words "Russia" and "Moscow" in his comment to "USA and Washington" and just reprint the comment again. That comrade is all puffed up, no pun intended, with his dialogue.
Ilya G Poimandres , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 7:42 pm GMT
@jbwilson24 I know what you mean, but you are splitting hairs -- a supremacist is a supremacist is a supremacist. German supremacist, Anglo-Saxon supremacist, Jewish supremacist -- it all leads to the same result.

Ukraine is dominated by supremacists. That all of Jewish supremacy, Nationalist Socialist supremacy (the rank parts of the ideology mind you), ISIS, find themselves working and cooperating in a historically alien land, shows that supremacists really don't mind working with each other, before whatever the greater enemy they attack is destroyed.. Kinda like the prelude to Highlander!

Agent76 , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 7:49 pm GMT
25.12. 2015 NATO: Seeking Russia's Destruction Since 1949

Baker told Gorbachev: "Look, if you remove your [300,000] troops [from east Germany] and allow unification of Germany in NATO, NATO will not expand one inch to the east."

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2015/12/25/nato-seeking-russia-destruction-since-1949.html

Nov 29, 2016 The Map That Shows Why Russia Fears War With US

https://www.youtube.com/embed/L6hIlfHWaGU?feature=oembed

Mustapha Mond , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 7:51 pm GMT
Saker's blind love for all things Putin, a faith in the man against all facts and logic, has continually amazed me for years.

Putin is using Syria for Russia's advantage: 1.) a Mediterranean port at Tartus and airfield at Kheimem; 2.) as a 'live fire' weapons testing and demonstration area, much as Israel uses Gaza for same. Sales of Russian armaments have soared since entering Syria.

As I recall, Putin has allowed at least two Dunkirk moments, when he had ISIS on the ropes and then agreed to a cease fire when his generals were furious at not being permitted to finish the Takfiris off, once and for all. I, too, was furious at the time, predicting they would simply re-trench, re-arm and continue to terrorize the hapless Syrians, which they did for years, and may even make a comeback from Iraq (with America and Israel's help, of course).

Same idiocy was applied, and is still being applied regarding Turkey's open and obvious arming and supporting the terrorist scum of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in Idlib, as innocent Syrians continue to suffer therefrom, and we daily read of the brave Syrian fighters' being killed and maimed by these Al-Qaeda butchers .

He has let Syria's eastern oil fields fall into the hands of the US, and allowed the Turds, excuse me, the Kurds far too much leeway in the north.

He even allows Israel to bomb Syrian territory with absolute impunity, killing countless Syrian, Hezbollah and Iranian soldiers in the process, when a few freely operated S-300 batteries would allow the Syrians to smoke the Israeli's missiles with ease, and protect their homeland from hundreds of brazen attacks by the Jews. Yet he denies the Syrians such freedom, allowing the Israelis to continue their onslaught unabated.

Why? Why does he ignore the advice of his top generals to wipe out ISIS when the opportunities arose years ago, and allow Israel to continually attack with high-precision missiles Syrian/Hezbollah/Iranian fighters, just short of allowing the Jews to directly bomb Assad and Damascus into the stone age, again, with complete impunity? Certainly, the existing partition of Syria could have been easily avoided long ago, if he simply followed his general's advice.

And why did he come out and endorse Netanyahu for PM last year, despite continually saying Russia does not stick its nose into other countries' political affairs?

I suggest that an incident from 2006 may hold a clue, and that we may simply be seeing another "Epstein" job that Mossad and friends are so good at arranging. Read this article about the incident with Putin and that young male child, Nikita Konkin, and decide for yourself: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/nikita-konkin-boy-who-vladimir-putin-kissed-on-the-stomach-speaks-about-the-spontaneous-gesture-a6829786.html

But to my mind, any world 'leader' who simply cannot control himself publicly and feels compelled to forcibly lift a small child's t-shirt and slather the tot's bare stomach with kisses, right in front of countless on-lookers and the international press, in Russia's most famous public square, and then declare to the BBC thereafter that, "I wanted to cuddle him like a kitten ", possibly reveals a great deal about why Putin seems to so frequently kiss another offensive body part publicly, that being Israel's obnoxious, murderous butt ..

vot tak , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 9:07 pm GMT
Well despite all the "well wishers" here and against saker's expert advice about what she should be doing, Russia is still somehow alive and kicking and generally getting to be a better place to live. Imagine that. While the countries the "well wishers" hail from are not becoming better places to live and rather than alive and kicking are much better described as zombiefied and twitching.
Johan , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 9:16 pm GMT
"Russia today is a very tough nut to crack for western subversion/PSYOP operations."

Correction, democratic Russia is still a tough nut to crack. But Putin cannot rule forever, and so long as Russia is a democracy, and when there is no longer a strong and charismatic leader, it is in considerable danger of subversion by the 'AngloZionists'. You bet that they are waiting for this, the current situation being a preparation, to keep the fire burning, but when and if Putin is gone, the Western trojan horses already inside will unleash their puppets of disruption, and the AngloZionists and their Western puppets outside will attack it vehemently, like a pack of wolves.

AnonFromTN , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 11:59 pm GMT
As one Russian joke puts it, lets' have cutlets separately and flies separately.

One thing is Youtube, FB, Wiki, and the rest of globohomo-controlled media. They would host anything anti-Putin, because Putin is continuously stepping on the most sensitive part of their anatomy: the wallet. If globohomo hates you, you must have done at least something good.

The other thing is the feelings of Russians who actually live in the country. They rightfully feel that oligarchs and the state that often acts as their cover are robbing them. They clearly see that education is going down from Soviet levels (although it still has a long way to go to become as dismal as the US education). They see that the best part of healthcare is the holdover from Soviet times, whereas "progressive" paid medicine is fraud and extortion. But that's exactly what "healthcare" is in the US, as current epidemic demonstrated in no uncertain terms. They also see that recent pension "reform" was designed to rob them yet again. What's more, they are at least 90% right.

So, maybe it's not the "6th column", after all? Maybe Russia is actually acquiring an opposition worth the name? Patriotic opposition, in contrast to "liberal opposition" consisting exclusively of traitors? If so, it's good, not bad, for the country. Nobody is infallible, Putin included.

Robjil , says: Show Comment May 2, 2020 at 12:07 am GMT
@Quartermaster The US invaded Ukraine with Nuland's thugs during the Sochi Olympics

Crimea went back home. It did not want be part of Nulandistan.

Donbass does not want to be a US/Israel colony. This is the reason it revolted.

Notice the recent Ukrainegate nonsense. Why would USIsrael care so much about Ukraine if Ukraine was really an independent nation? It is not, it is a USIsrael colony -- Nulandistan.

FB , says: Website Show Comment May 2, 2020 at 2:11 am GMT
@ComradePuff First I see you just parachuted into this website with this, your very first post

We usually have a welcoming ceremony for new trolls

We look at the cartoonish drivel they post and quickly point out glaring giveaways

Like 'Gasterbyters' which is not actually a word in any language

Your instructions from your troll room supervisor may have referred to the German word 'gastarbeiter' which means 'guest worker'

This expression is not a proper noun and does not get capitalized

And you're trying to tell us you have earned a master's degree from one of Moscow's most prestigious universities..?

Yeah no, I don't think so cheeseball

Guest workers are 'crucial' to Russia..?

Again total bunk the only countries where guest workers might be 'essential' is in the Gulf oil monarchies, where they often outnumber the natives

The US is not going to collapse if the Mexican workers take a beating neither will Germany nor any industrial country with foreign workers why should Russia..?

And then your main whopper NOBODY in the Putin administration is 'begging' the west for anything much less to be accepted back in some 'club'

Russia has moved on a long time ago they never cared about being in some sort of 'club' to begin with international relations isn't junior high, which one would expect a 'graduate' of international relations to know

All Russia ever cared about was having normal relations friendly if possible, but on equal footing the entire tone of your fantasy is straight out of the '90s only deluded Washington hacks still dream that we are living in the '90s

In case you haven't noticed Russia has much bigger fish to fry than to obsess over a tottering empire

The partnership with China for instance the country with the most money, plus the country with the most advanced military technology

I'd say it's not actually looking good for Exceptionalistan

Alfred , says: Show Comment May 2, 2020 at 6:00 am GMT
@Derer Georgia's lunatic who is now Ukraine deputy prime minister

I think Saakashvili has not made it yet. He is being opposed by a lot of the Jews who control this "country". Last week, the guy investigating "corruption" was sacked. His replacement was a Jew. It is just so funny. Like a theater.

Almost all the oligarchs are Jewish -- courtesy of the World Bank and (((Western))) banks. It is amazing that in a country of allegedly 42 million they cannot find an ethnic Slav to get the job. I do not use the term Ukrainian as it is not really one country.

Forget the bluster. I suspect they want to bring in Saakashvili because he can bring in more loans from the IMF. His backers are in the USA.

BTW, the new American ambassador to Ukraine is a retired US Army general. That should give you some idea as to their line of thinking. However, I suspect that he is too knowledgeable to want to start a war with Russia.

The departing ambassador is a female from the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada. A Ukrainian "Nationalist" by descent. Incapable of thinking of the interests of this unfortunate country.

[May 02, 2020] It's ironic that Navalny who is paid by the west, is proposing a plan that no country in the west would ever implement

May 02, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile April 27, 2020 at 4:36 am

Here are the bullshitter's 5 steps (5 shags!!! :-))as commented on in a Russian blog yesterday:

Вот так готовятся революции. О пяти шагах Навального

Here is how revolutions are prepared: about Navalny's Five Steps

I have read here about the five steps that Navalny is offering to Russia. All of them, I think, are already known. Articles have been read, a video watched, in which he talks about his five-step plan. Some support and approve of his plan. He believes that this is exactly what needs to be done in order to save the economy and financially support people left without work and without money during the coronavirus pandemic. Others criticize his plan, saying that this is pure populism, which has nothing to do with the real situation in the country and the financial capabilities of the state.

I have already said that I am not a professional in politics, economics, or finance. As they say, I am no college boy. If I talk about something, then I talk from the point of view of an ordinary ordinary person and from the point of view of common sense, so to speak. We are not academy graduates, but somehow we need to be determined on this or that issue. One cannot avoid this. For example, who to vote for in the election? Is it worth voting for Navalny? Or maybe a vote for the Communist Party? Or is it still better to vote for United Russia? And so on. And how do you make the right choice, make the right decision, if you are an ordinary person who does not have the necessary knowledge? And knowledgeable people often make mistakes as well.

So, looking at this Navalny plan, I as an ordinary person think that his plan is pure populism. He has not made any serious economic calculations. What the implementation of his plan will ultimately lead to, he does not know and cannot know. But some serious and responsible economists say that, given the current state of the Russian economy, this plan cannot lead to anything good. And we should not take an example from the developed countries of the West. You cannot blindly copy everything that is being done in the West. We copied it in 1991; we still cannot figure out what copy to make.

Let us quickly go over what Navalny offers us. The first step: he proposes to pay 20 thousand rubles to each adult and 10 thousand rubles to each child. This is the month of April. And then the question immediately arises: if you pay each and everyone, you will have to pay those who work and those who are left without work. Somehow, this is not very logical. If a person works, then what has changed for him? Nothing has changed for him; he receives the same salary as before. Then why and for what should the state pay him these 20 thousand?

Second step: if the quarantine is extended to May and June, the state will have to pay another 10 thousand rubles to each adult and child during those months. Well, here is the same question: why should the state pay money to workers?

Third step: the state must cancel the fee for any utilities for the period of the quarantine. This is very strange and incomprehensible. What does it mean to cancel? Take, for example, electricity. Who supplies us with electricity? A private company. Private! That is, we are buying electricity from a private company. And suddenly the state tells us that we may not pay for electricity. So who will pay the electric company? The question, as they say, is interesting. Or perhaps we will not be paying for food in the store? Why does Navalny not offer this?

Fourth step, also a bold one: the allocation 2 trillion rubles for direct gratuitous payments to small and medium-sized businesses. So take and give money to everyone in turn. And why, for example, do you need to give money to some hairdresser? Well, the hairdresser will not be working for two or three months. So what? Work will start up again. What can happen to a hairdresser in two to three months? Nothing may happen. So it is with other businesses. It will not be easy for them during quarantine, and then they will start working again. By the way, for other reasons, enterprises may be idle for some time or work on a reduced working day or week mode. Business is a risky business, and there can be all sorts of situations arising.

Fifth step: cancel for one year all taxes for small businesses (except personal income tax). The question is, why should a small business, if it works, not pay taxes? A barber, of course, will not be working. He does not work, so he does not pay taxes. Everything is clear there. But if some small business works, why should it not have to pay taxes for one year? Why such a benefit? Can anyone explain?

These are my questions about Navalny's plan. And doubts about his plan. It is with such populist plans that many revolutions begin. Distributing money is a simple matter. But to calculate what will happen next -- here you need to work very seriously and thoughtfully. Navalny did not have time to calculate everything. He hurries to take advantage of the situation in order to gratify his army of supporters. And the purpose of his plan is precisely this: his army of supporters will increase, of course. There is no doubt about that. We have a lot of freebie lovers. But Navalny's job is to rock the state boat. This is what he is busy with. And he does his job, admittedly, in quite a talented way. Only, I should warn you as regards unconditional faith in this person. Fraudsters are very talented. As, for example, was Mavrodi with his MMM. [Notorious Russian pyramid sales fraudster of the '90s -- ME]

A few words in conclusion. The state should have a reserve fund, that is, money for emergencies. And not only money, but also technical equipment and professional human resources. But each of us must have a reserve fund. We must realize that circumstances may arise where we lose our job, lose our source of income. And for such a case, on a rainy day, we must have a reserve fund. And each enterprise should also have a reserve fund. And then you will not have to beg for money from the state.

Under this article in my comments I will ask a few questions. Please answer them. I am interested to hear your opinion. If you want to personally tell me something, object to something, ask something and want to get an answer from me, then follow this link and write a comment there. This article will have number 34. On that page I posted my comments with numbers of numbered articles (not all articles are numbered) and their names. Find the comment "34. This is how revolutions are prepared. About the five steps of Navalny "and write your comment under my comment. This page structure will be more clear and understandable. Your comment on that page I will not leave unanswered. If I do not answer on the same day, I will definitely answer the next day. Well, if you want everyone to see your comment, write it under this article. I will also read them all during the first days, and perhaps somehow react to them.
I remind you and explain that likes and dislikes to my questions-comments are not approval or disapproval. They simply mean answers to the question posed.

Sounds like a clear-thinking kind of man or woman to me and not some soft Navalnyite kid with a yellow rubber duck or some liberast kreakl arsehole!

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James lake April 27, 2020 at 8:34 am
This person is spot on – individuals should always have "rainy day" money. We live in society that encourages us to live on credit and have instant gratification. The state can only do so much.

It's ironic that Navalny who is paid by the west, is proposing a plan that no country in the west would ever implement.

It's rude to say it but only naive fools, greedy opportunists and criminals would support such a plan.

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Moscow Exile April 27, 2020 at 9:54 am
That's how I was brought up. And I have never bummed money off anyone. "Never a borrower or lender be!" has always been my watchword, and when I've had neowt, I've done without. When I was young, you never got wed until you had a thousand quid in the bank: that's why you courted. My relatives all courted for 3 or 4 years before they got wed. I was lucky, in that I only married late, so I led the life of Reilly until I was in my 40s, but I have never spent what I have never had.

My wife thinks I'm a tight bastard. when I say I've never lent anybody anything and I've never asked anyone for money either.

I might start spending now what I have in the bank though, seeing as I've now turned 71.

As my granddad used to say: "There's no pockets in a shroud".

Miserable old bugger!

Glad I don't take after him!

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Mark Chapman April 27, 2020 at 11:01 am
Additionally, there is nothing to be gained by hanging on to your tax-deductible savings, either, at least not here. When you turn a certain age (I think it's 65) you must convert your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) and start drawing it down. The banks don't want you getting a tax break during your saving years and then passing that benefit on to your wastrel offspring – they want it spent while you're still here on earth.

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Mark Chapman April 27, 2020 at 10:57 am
I agree, all except for the part that no western country would ever implement such a plan. Indeed they would, under the circumstances I described. Get the vote out of the way first, to be followed by the new government cutting budgets or taking other steps to recover its outlay.

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Jen April 27, 2020 at 9:28 pm
The problem is that in many Western societies, wages and salaries have not kept up with increases in the cost of living, and this forces individuals and households to buy on credit when they should be using whatever money comes in during the week from working (after making deductions for tax or paying bills). What happens instead is that weekly incomes end up servicing past debts.

Also in countries that have killed off their manufacturing (because it was outsourced overseas), the main way in which new money circulates in the economy is through lending for property investments. The property market is turned into a casino with the result that property prices rise. People wanting to buy apartments and houses to live in end up not only having to take out huge loans and mortgages for dwellings whose prices are several times inflated beyond what they originally cost to build, but the mortgagors end up having to use more of their incomes to service the loans when the money should be used for day-to-day expenses. In some parts of Australia, people are spending at least 30% of their weekly incomes servicing mortgages and more – that is considered to be a sign of mortgage stress.
https://www.ratecity.com.au/home-loans/mortgage-news/how-much-you-have-to-earn-to-buy-in-each-capital-city

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Patient Observer April 28, 2020 at 3:00 am
There is little doubt that official inflation rate in the US is understated resulting in a steady erosion of purchasing power. Families need both spouses working just to get by. Two cars are needed as the public transit systems are generally poor. On top of that we are driven into a shopping frenzy every Christmas season. We eat out way too much. adding costs and adding fat. One version of the American Dream is steadily increasing wealth; the dream ended long ago but with easy credit, a fake dream just keeps on going.

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Mark Chapman April 27, 2020 at 10:51 am
These are the sort of policies which prevail in western countries, and it is apparent people regard the benefits as free money which will never be accounted for. You will be able to tell who these people are after the 'pandemic' has passed, who want a new bridge or a new road such as was planned before the outbreak, and are now told "There's no money" by the bewildered look on their faces. What? There's no money? How can that be? We can't go into the past, obviously, and extract money from it, so money that is being thrown around now will either come out of future budgets or will be covered by gratuitous money-printing which will only devalue the currency.

Let me give you a rundown of what we are entitled to in BC, if you lost your job – temporarily or perhaps longer-term – due to COVID 19. First, everyone, BC and otherwise, can apply for the CERB, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. That's $2000.00, straight into your account, and urgency has dictated that analysis of whether or not you qualify has been pretty cursory. There is a BC benefit, just for British Columbia residents, which pays a one-time $1000.00 under similar circumstances. There is EI, Employment Insurance (it used to be called UI, Unemployment Insurance, but progressives didn't like it, thought it sounded like people were being paid to not work, which was often a pretty accurate summation of the picture); that's based on your previous income, up to a maximum monthly amount. BC Hydro will forgive 3 months of payments for its customers who have lost their employment due to the 'pandemic', on successful application. No word at present on what they will do in cases where people give up economizing, knowing they have 3 months free electricity, and just leave everything on. The banks will hold your mortgage payments in abeyance on request, although that's not forgiven – you just pick up later and in the end will pay more because your time to pay out the full amount will have been extended for an extra couple of months of interest payments.

Many of these mirror Navalny's initiatives, just as they mirror Tymoshenko's when she was Prime Minister and wanted to give everyone a massive pay raise – the money has to come from somewhere, and western analysts on that latter occasion wrote that her plan 'flew in the face of fiscal responsibility". That meant 'Wasn't good". But programs which feature chucking handfuls of money at people are perennially popular, and few ever reason that they will be paying it back with interest down the road – they believe, instead, that they have caught you on the cusp of a momentary lapse of reason, and will be able to benefit from you having lost your mind.

Simply put, it is buying votes. The recovery of the money is delayed until after you have made your decision, and made your check-mark for the granter of the largess.

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Patient Observer April 28, 2020 at 3:09 am
Homer (no, not that Homer) has the answer:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZRBH5vHhm4c?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

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Mark Chapman April 28, 2020 at 9:34 am
Patterson had me until he said "The American people have never tolerated incompetence in their public officials; you are going to crash and burn, my fatheaded friend". The poor fool. Not only do Americans tolerate incompetence in their public officials, they expect it. I wouldn't go so far as to say they welcome it, but their disappointment at learning yet another public official is incompetent never seems to inspire a revolution such as America constantly urges on other countries when their public officials are incompetent, or even when America portrays their public officials as incompetents.

[May 02, 2020] It is the detestable habit of compradors to make use of a crisis to try to turn the public against its leaders. Sometimes it was the leaders' fault, and they deserve it, but on such occasions you usually find the compredors had either the same plan, no plan or no plan that made any sense.

May 02, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile April 28, 2020 at 6:00 am

Well boo-fucking-hoo arseholes! You should have saved some of your ill-gotten gains:

Привет из 90-х: "средний класс" в России катится в бедность

Greetings from the 90s: the "middle class" in Russia is falling into poverty
The Kremlin believes that a separate plan to save the "middle class" is not required

Timur Khasanov 04/28/2020, 14: 48

The Russian "middle class", which is fundamental for the welfare and development of the state's economy, may descend into poverty. Yaroslav Kuzminov, the founder and rector of the Higher school of Economics (HSE), made such a statement. Falling incomes of economically active Russians will lead to a new social stratification of Russian society. The Kremlin considered such statements unconvincing

[I wonder which class Kuzminov and the rest of his fellow wankers at HSE consider themselves belonging to?]

The wealthy stratum of Russians will lose some of its income because of the coronavirus pandemic, but will retain its elite status and accumulated resources, whilst the "middle class" risks falling into poverty. This was stated by HSE rector Yaroslav Kuzminov in an interview with RBC TV channel .

"Most likely, incomes will fall in all levels of society, but if the impoverished rich still remain rich, and the poor continue to be poor, then for the middle class, which is now taking the brunt, there are serious risks of sliding into poverty", Kuzminov said live on TV channel.

According to the Rector of the Higher School of Economics, the downward trend in revenue relates primarily to the services market, including those related to intellectual and "impression" services. Recently, they have created a space for the development of new creative projects. [I presume "impression services" involve the the provision of élite goods and services that impress folk, such as French wine and cheeses -- ME]

"It has been the service sector that has contracted the most. Large cities have suffered the most from COVID-19, and their economies have mostly stopped",said Kuzminov.

According to the basic scenario of the Higher School of Economics, in 2020 the unemployment rate in Russia will reach 8%. The strongest job losses will be in the unincorporated sector of the economy. "The corporate sector will lose 700 thousand employees in 2020 versus 1.5 million people in the unincorporated sector, but then recovery is faster in the unincorporated sector", said the HSE rector. However, even in this scenario, unemployment will still be higher in 2024 than in 2019, he warned.

A much more dramatic development of events would suggest a pessimistic scenario for the HSE forecast: unemployment by the end of the year will rise to 9.5%, and next year it will grow to 9.8% "and will remain at high levels throughout the forecast period because of a weak recovery in the growth of the economy".

The corporate sector of the economy in 2020 will short of 1.2 million employees, compared with 2.2 million in the unincorporated sector. Labour market recovery in both sectors is expected only in 2022. At the same time, the total number of employed citizens in 2024 will still be noticeably behind the current year. Four years later, unemployment will still be almost twice as high as in the pre-crisis year of 2019, and will amount to 8.1%.

Kuzminov noted that the coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated to the world a new reality in the global economy as regards humanitarian considerations. Many states have shown a willingness to sacrifice part of economic growth in order to save the lives of citizens.

"We have moved on to a different reality, to a different correlation of morality and economics. For the first time, the world has stopped its economy and there has been a loss of 5–7% in GDP globally so that people -- older people, sick people -- may live three to five years longer. I believe that this is a colossal moral movement", said Kuzminov.

[So why are you b;eating about the impoverishment of the middle class? -- ME]

The Kremlin reacted with skepticism to forecasts about the risks in Russia of the "middle class" sliding into poverty.

According to Dmitry Peskov, Press Secretary of the Russian President, the state is making a lot of attempts to analyze the situation, but one thing is obvious: this is not easy to do and requires a lot of coordinated work from the authorities and participants in economic life.

"It is obvious that this threat of coronavirus and the consequences that this threat has provoked for economic life is so unprecedented that for the most part, many attempts to analyze it are unlikely to hit the bull's eye", RT quotes Peskov.

The official representative of the President also stressed that it is wrong to talk about the need for a separate plan to support the middle class in the country in connection with the pandemic. According to Peskov, we are now talking about the need to soften the blow of the crisis for all segments of citizens.

The definition of the "middle class", especially in Russia, is rather vague. Neither officials nor economists can give clear parameters for it. According to the World Bank definition, such a stratum in Russia can include citizens with incomes that are at least one and a half times higher than the poverty level. Accordingly, a person's income should not be lower than the median values for a particular region of residence.

The median salary divides all salaries of Russians in half: one half of employees receive a salary above this value, the other half-below. It turns out that only the upper half can relate to the middle class. Rosstat calculates the median salary in Russia once every two years -- in April of odd years. In 2019, this figure was equal to 34.3 thousand rubles.

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Moscow Exile April 28, 2020 at 6:01 am
Economists?

I've shat 'em!

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Moscow Exile April 28, 2020 at 6:25 am
I'm well below the 2019 median salary now, but I've been in the income sump since 1984 and have got quite used to it. The middle classes, however, live in mortal fear of entering the sump whence they or their not to distant forebears slithered forth.

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Mark Chapman April 28, 2020 at 9:51 am
I stop reading as soon as I come to "the Moscow Higher School of Economics", because it is the breeding-ground of wiggy liberals. If the Russian middle class slips into poverty – and I don't think it will – the Russian government will have the best excuse in the world: western governments and their international organizations persuaded us the only way to fight the coronavirus was to shut down the economy and make all the workers except essential personnel stay home. It was always a stupid plan that smacks of collusion, and it has proven to be ineffective at stopping the spread of the virus while nearly all countries have yielded their regular commerce in the attempt. If it was working, you would not see businesses opening again while the case count is still climbing. Is it national intent to keep borders closed until the last case has recovered? If not, retreating from the lockdown policy is an admission of failure, because international infections will find fertile ground among the uninfected majorities.

It is the detestable habit of liberalism to make use of a crisis to try to turn the public against its leaders. Sometimes it was the leaders' fault, and they deserve it, but on such occasions you usually find the liberals had either the same plan, no plan or no plan that made any sense. Navalny and his hamsters are all for just opening up the treasury and handing out money until there's an echo that means it is empty. Then, of course, they would lower taxes until the state had no income, and then they would take massive loans from the IMF, and then .well, you know what would happen then.

[May 02, 2020] A tougher attitude towards the clear enemies of Russia is growing

May 02, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile April 26, 2020 at 11:00 pm

...

Либерализм с нечеловеческим лицом

Amongst the people, the demand for a tougher attitude towards the clear enemies of Russia is growing: towards all this "Echo of Moscow", "Dozhd", and other liberal Pro-Western media, as well as towards those bloggers who are carrying out obviously subversive work against the state and against Putin personally. In this regard, it does not matter at all whether one is politically coloured right or left, since either since either side of the political spectrum is clearly playing on the side of the West, which wants to eliminate Putin by any means necessary.

Russia has always been a "bone in the throat" for the West. The West has always tried to conquer and destroy Russia, from the time of Ancient Russia to the present day.

Yes, there were brief periods of a warming in relations, but they were soon followed by devastating wars.

All our history testifies to the fact that the West has always been the most ardent, implacable enemy of Russia, and thinking that the West can become a friend and partner of Russia is absurd.

Or deliberate treachery: a betrayal of Russia; a betrayal of its people. Perhaps some are sincerely mistaken in thinking that this is not so, that the West can become our friend. For those that think this, I refer them to the "Sacred '90s", when the West was our friend!

As a result of this friendship, it was only by a miracle that we did not lose our country, our Russia. And I do not believe that these bloggers and journalists who are calling on us to change the existing government or social system in Russia do not understand this!

And if they do understand this, then it means that they are consciously working for the enemies of Russia, and in this respect, they are also enemies of Russia.

And now, as Russia fights for its sovereignty and influence on the world stage, it is time to start a serious purge.

source: "Ваш опыт привел к "святым 90-м": Гаспарян дал личный совет предателю Горбачеву, позволившему себе "учить" Путина

THE RUSSIAN LIBERAST
(but he's tolerant, he's an ordinary kind of guy, he's a defender of human rights, he echoes Muscovites' thoughts, he positions himself, he's on Navalny's side and the anal and oral one as well )

His bark is heard amongst the troops and in the bazaar, beneath the very walls of the Kremlin itself, and is often searching with huge longing for fleas for dinner.

Tremble and despair ye pathetic Western fools!!!

"The Sacred '90s", refers to the Yeltsin years, and was a term used when political commentator Armen Gasparyan castigated Gorbachev on the radio: ""Ваш опыт привел к "святым 90-м" -- "Your experiment led to the 'Sacred '90s'"; he continued by saying: "And now you are trying to teach Putin!" -- ME.

et Al April 27, 2020 at 1:08 am
Limonov (late) is a 'Liberast'? I know eXile magazine had a hard on for him, but he was the leader of the national bolsevik party
Moscow Exile April 27, 2020 at 1:42 am
A man for all seasons was the late Limonov, I suspect.

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Mark Chapman April 27, 2020 at 9:42 am
Yes, he frequently took public positions which would put him in the liberal camp and seemed constantly to be crying for political change. I've noticed that's a feature of agitators worldwide, non-stop braying of "It's time for a change". Frequently it is, but unless the candidate they are supporting is elected, why, it's time for a change again with no pause for stability at all. I'm pretty confident that if 'their' candidate were elected, the cries for change would stop, at least from them.

For all of that, Limonov was one of the few I would say probably argued at least 50% of the time from the heart, and actually thought the changes he was proposing would be good for Russia. He might have taken money from the west from time to time, I don't know, but he seemed in an entirely different class from those wise-ass yappers like Ilya Yashin.

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karl1haushofer April 27, 2020 at 2:29 am
Limonov became a Putin supporter in his later years.

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Mark Chapman April 27, 2020 at 9:49 am
I don't know if I'd go that far. He might have occasionally supported positions taken by the state, and he was generally respectful of the head of state, but he usually thought things should be done a different way. Overall he wasn't a bad guy, and spoke as if he actually had some education rather than whining like that yob Navalny. Limonov grew up in Ukraine, and attended the pedagogical university there, but there's no real evidence that he distinguished himself in his academic pursuits and his on-again-off-again career as a writer seems to have been more informed by a drive to write than a natural aptitude for it.

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Moscow Exile April 27, 2020 at 10:33 am
He was an interesting writer, I believe, specializing in pornographic reminiscences of his decadent and impoverished life in New York and graphically describing his sodomistic practices, I have been led to believe. Whatever turns you on!

Limonov was only his "party name", based on the Russian slang for a hand grenade -- a "limon" [lemon]. His real name was Eduard Veniaminovich Savenko. A Ukrainian family name and a strange patronymic (to my English lugholes, at least) but he wasn't a Jew, although his first wife was and because of which he was allowed to emigrate from the USSR to Israel. He married his second wife in a Russian Orthodox church ceremony.

He lived as an impoverished writer in New York, but in the end managed to get a position as a butler of all things for some New York millionaire. And then he moved to Paris, the traditional home of starving artists in garrets, where he wowed literary circles there with his tales about his life in the Upper East Side of New York City. In the end he became a naturalised Frog, which can't be bad, I reckon.

However, when the USSR folded up, he came back home and became a Russian citizen.

He certainly was part of the liberal crowd here in the '90s, he and his gang participating in the protest marches of the time, but in the end he told the liberasts to go take a hike and became fully supportive of bringing the Crimea back into the fold and fucking the banderite Svidomites off. He was also 100% behind the Serbs during the NATO war of aggression against them.

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Mark Chapman April 27, 2020 at 9:32 am
Yeah, I just realized that a few of those featured are now no longer with us; Borya the Shagger for one. That gormless fat amorphous blob for another, I can never remember her name, used to be some kind of journalist and always had half of some kind of sweetie hanging out of her gob, under an expression that suggested she had quite recently been in contact with a live wire carrying high current. Her schtick was going up to the cops when they were providing security for another tiresome march, and demanding to be arrested. Must have heard they had ice cream at the jail.

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Moscow Exile April 27, 2020 at 10:38 am

Farewell, Valeriya! We miss you.

Novodvorskaya. They broke the mould when they made her -- thank Christ!

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Mark Chapman April 27, 2020 at 11:04 am
I don't know if they broke it, or it simply gave way under the strain.

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Jennifer Hor April 27, 2020 at 12:23 pm
Something certainly was broken at young Valeria's birth: the hospital scales used to weigh the bub. Maybe also the hospital's budgeted supply of thread needed to stitch up people after major operations. Poor old Mum must have looked and felt like the Bride of Frankenstein for a whole year.

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Moscow Exile April 27, 2020 at 12:59 pm
As a matter of fact, she looked like a normal, if not a somewhat chubby, little Soviet schoolgirl when she was a Soviet schoolgirl:

and I think she was quite pretty when a young woman:

So what happened to her?

Ate too much ice-cream, obviously.

She loathed Russia and Russians:

I cannot imagine how can anyone love a Russian for his laziness, for his lying, for his poverty, for his spinelessness, for his slavery. But maybe that's not all of his characteristics" -- Статьи и интервью В.Новодворской, фигурирующие в ее уголовном деле.

[Articles and interviews about and with V.Novodvorskaya that appeared in her criminal case.]

Our history has become malignant since the XV century, when the Golden Horde was replaced by the Moscow Horde. If we don't change our genetic code, we're finished.

The fact that we allowed Putin to make us a European garbage dump, which is shunned like a plague along with our Customs Union, is not only Putin's fault, it is the fault of the people.

The Ukraine is the Russia that stayed at home.

Source: Valeria Novodvorskaya: Immortal quotes of a fearless woman

Here's Anatole Karlin on On Liberasts and Liberasty

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Mark Chapman April 27, 2020 at 1:35 pm
Yes, it was definitely her I was thinking of, although the one who made a gimmick out of confronting the police at demonstrations and demanding to be arrested was actually Evgenia Albats. Then when she was let go, she would write up the horrors of her brutal confinement for The New Times.

Western fans are often led to believe that detention centers such as where Borya Nemtsov and Alexey Navalny regularly served their brief penances are just like prison. Ummm no. Prisons in Russia – and in fact throughout post-Soviet Eastern Europe – are for punishment, and are not remotely like Martha Stewart's Camp Cupcake. They are not meant to be fashion houses for prison chic like baggy pants that show a foot of your underwear, and make you walk as if you messed yourself. I'm sure Navalny's brother could tell you the difference; while they were being tried they were in jail, but after sentencing he went to prison, where I daresay he learned a thing or two.

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Moscow Exile April 27, 2020 at 10:38 pm
The Novodvorskaya quote below, which I have copied and pasted above, is a typical example of a translation made by a Russian into Russian-English:

"I cannot imagine how can anyone love a Russian for his laziness, for his lying, for his poverty, for his spinelessness, for his slavery. But maybe that's not all of his characteristics" .

In real English:

"I cannot imagine how anyone can love a Russian because of his laziness, his lying, his poverty, his spinelessness, his slavery. However, these may not be all of his characteristics".

Of course, "woke" native speakers of English would not use "his" above, but "their", which usage of "their", grammatically speaking, is crap.

That is my opinion, anyway.

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Mark Chapman April 28, 2020 at 8:23 am
https://www.feministcurrent.com/2020/04/13/whats-current-canadian-military-requires-all-personnel-to-stop-using-gendered-pronouns/

It was already difficult enough to write Personnel Evaluation Reports (PER's); the actual writing process occupies at least two months each year and for detached units such as ships the drafts go through multiple levels of review before they leave the unit, and every reviewer fancies himself/herself a writer so they always want a zillion changes. Now you have to use 'they' and 'their', no matter how awkward it makes the text sound, so as to conceal the preferred gender of the subject. Whenever you think, "It can't get stupider than this", you're wrong.

A PER is supposed to convey to the reader something essential about the human it is written on. But ceaseless efforts to depersonalize it result in a document that sounds as if it was written about an electric pencil-sharpener, or a hose spanner; a thing, an object. Because our leaders and supervisors of tomorrow are just products.

Thank God my time was up when it was; I had probably already stayed 10 years too long, because I had already seen a lot of stupid things I wished I hadn't. A military which is simply another PC project completely lacks that unit cohesion that comes from common purpose and shared values. And it can't fight for shit.

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Moscow Exile April 27, 2020 at 10:48 pm
Yes, I didn't wish to correct you, old chap, but Albats it was who used to beg to be arrested in the vicinity of demonstrations. She was also always pissed when she performed in that way.

I remember her once being lifted on the New Arbat after one of those "March of the Millions" had taken place, in which she did not take part, as she was seated in her car -- half-pissed. The cops made her get out of the vehicle, whereupon she began her performance.

I suspect she had been knocking them back at "French" café, where one may imbibe real Frog wine for rip-off prices, which place is (was?) much favoured by kreakly and others of the bourgeois chattering classes here. It is (was?) situated on the nearby Nikitskiy Boulevard.

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Moscow Exile April 27, 2020 at 11:11 pm
A Brave Jewish Voice in Putin's Russia
Evgenia Albats was called 'kikeface' as a kid in the Soviet Union and went on to become an intrepid reporter in Moscow. Visiting the U.S. recently, she spoke with Tablet about the state of Russian politics and what it's like for Jews there today.
BY
CATHY YOUNG
JANUARY 28, 2020


Boris Nemtsov's son Anton (second from left) and Russian journalist Yevgenia Albats during a ceremony to unveil a plaque in memory of Russian politician Boris Nemtsov in 2018

Oi vey!

Albats, who speaks accented but excellent English, talked about everything from crying when she first visited the United States in 1990 and saw black-garbed Orthodox Jews ("I had never imagined that Jews could walk about so freely and so openly") to the excellence of modern Russia's kosher supermarket chain, The Kosher Gourmet, to breaking the rules by sitting in the men's section of a Moscow shul wearing tallit and kippah.


Must be a different Russia,. Must be a different kind of Jew and Rabbi!


Moscow Choral Synagogue

About a mile from where I live.

Must be a different kind of synagogue to the ones which they have in the USA.


Must be in the Lower East Side of New York City!

The banner across Tverskaya Street (above) reads: ""Happy Independence Day to All Russian Citizens!"

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Moscow Exile April 27, 2020 at 11:13 pm
I should add that I have nothing against Jews and get on fine with the many Russian Jews whom I know and work with.

Can't stand professional whining Jews such as Albats is, though!

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Moscow Exile April 28, 2020 at 12:36 am
The "gulags" in which Navalny has been incarcerated have been local bridewells or in remand prisons, the latter known as СИЗО (Следственный изолятор [investigative isolator] SIZO ) in Russian, a pretrial detention facility that provides isolation of the following categories of suspects and accused:

-- those who are under investigation and awaiting trial
-- defendants who are on trial.
-- convicts awaiting escort or in transit to correctional colonies [camps, called "open prison" in the UK and "gulags" in the Western media; educational colonies, settlement colonies (for persons who have been sentenced to imprisonment for crimes committed through negligence , as well as persons who have committed crimes of small or medium gravity for the first time)
-- detainees awaiting extradition .

. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5e/Prison-korovniki-yar.jpg/260px-Prison-korovniki-yar.jpg
a SIZO in Yaroslavl.


a women's colony

Pre-Trial Detention Centre No. 4, Moscow


SIZO No.4, Moskva


SIZO No.2, Moskva

Putin's Russia!

Hell on earth!!!!!

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Jen April 28, 2020 at 3:26 pm
The sad fact of life for us women is that once we are past the child-bearing years and go menopausal, collagen in the body starts to break down (due to lower oestrogen levels) and muscle tone starts going down. This explains why so many women, once they are in their 50s, seem to go flabby and fat in spite of all the exercise they do (and maybe even increase).

One odd consequence of having reduced oestrogen levels for some women is that if the level goes low enough, the normal low level of testosterone, while it doesn't rise, starts to have an effect on their appearance and their voices. Some women in their 50s and beyond can look a bit masculine and have very deep voices indeed.

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Mark Chapman April 28, 2020 at 5:21 pm
Whereas men just get more virile and attractive to women of all ages.

Seriously, though, you're absolutely right; that's totally what happened to Rush Limbaugh. Once he was post-menopausal, he started to look and sound almost like a man.

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Moscow Exile April 27, 2020 at 1:32 am

Those two liberasts above are having a slanging match at the moment: Sobchak left; Sobol right.

21: 46 , 24 апреля 2020
Отвечаю Ксении Собчак про кампанию "5 шагов для России"

I reply to Ksenia Sobchak about the campaign "5 steps for Russia"

The "5 steps" are proposals given by bullshitter Navalny for the good governance of Russia.

The Russian blogoshere is now awash with praise for the conman. They all seem to have been written by children. They ask how good a president the thief would be and go on about how he had not been allowed to run for president and if he had been then blah blah blah blah.

No mention of course that the US agent could not get enough signatures to enable him to stand for election. Same happened with Sobol, and investigations were taken as regards her falsification of signatures.

A counterattack made against this inundation of blogs praising the conman has now started. The Navalny critics state that clearly the lovers of Russia and all that is good and wholesome are using criticism government policy as regards this dose of flu that is doing the rounds as means to attack the the "regime".

Navalny is standing back from this tiff between the two women pictured above..

Sobol presents herself thus in her Echo of Moscow column:

Classic PR pose: arms crossed, a woman to be taken into account.

She labels herself as "Lawyer to the Fund for the Struggle Against Corruption"

I thought Lyosha was a lawyer.

Her legal qualifications are, as are his, questionable.

As is the authenticity of Vasilyeva's dissertation for a Ph.D. in ophthalmology.

Vasilyeva could perhaps be labelled as "Doctor to the Fund for the Fight Against Corruption".

https://i.insider.com/5e750da8c4854052646f0543?width=1200&format=jpeg
Trust me!

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Moscow Exile April 27, 2020 at 1:38 am

No, trust ME!

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Moscow Exile April 27, 2020 at 3:47 am
Apart from his not amassing the required number of signatures in support of his participation in the 2018 presidential elections, the refusal of which participation the Navalnyites, who are now swamping the blogosphere with articles in support of his becoming president of Russia, simply describe as the powers-that-be not allowing him to be elected, there is the not too small matter of the shyster having been convicted not one but twice for criminal offences.

In 2013, Washington's agent in Russia was convicted of embezzlement at a state-owned enterprise and given a 5-year suspended sentence. According to the laws of the Russian Federation, a convicted person serving a sentence, be it custodial or suspended, forfeits the right to be elected to public office.

A reminder of the Kirovles affair: the fighter against corruption was engaged in illegal deforestation by means of a state-owned enterprise and then sold timber at a significantly reduced price, thereby robbing the state budget of more than 16 million rubles.

And the second conviction of the Washington agent was brought about as a result of Navalny and his brother defrauding the firm "Yves Rocher", whereby the Navalny brothers laundering illegal money fraudulently gained from the firm. For that fraud, Navalny received 3.5 years of imprisonment, and his brother went to a general prison for 4 years.

Of course, the Navalnys lodged a complaint with the ECHR in January 2015 following the "Yves Rocher" case , which court thereupon found for the dynamic duo, ruling that their conviction for fraud in 2014 had been "arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable" and ordered Russia to pay Navalny compensation.

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Mark Chapman April 27, 2020 at 8:37 am
Good to see old Alexeeva in there; I thought she had kicked the bucket. These people are an irritant, but in and of themselves they are a living argument against liberalism. Sobchak jets around, very much in the mainstream, dispensing her sarcasm, but it is plain to anyone who watches her for more than five minutes that she is a born agitator who does not have time for the boring work of governance. Look at fat, lazy Navalny, the perpetual victim, who does the occasional stretch in the jug just to prove that he's a man of the people and not simply directing the gullible on fruitless PR missions; again, five minutes observation without distractions is enough to see he has no plans of his own, and is merely the front-man for a western housecleaning operation – he complains endlessly about the way things are done, but offers no solutions, or recommends actions that would be popular in the short term (because they are giveaways) but are unsustainable without going deeply into debt. Nobody in their right mind would follow Yashin; he also is a born agitator with the typical liberal fascination for investment and wealth, the 'rising tide' that will lift all boats but somehow only ever ends up enriching the already-rich. Except in the liberal world, the rich are rich because they are purposeful; risk-takers, daring entrepreneurs, while the people are listless sludge that is just pushed this way and that way. Anyone who is content with what he's got is out of place in the liberal world. Bykhov cares only for the pursuit of pleasure, and attempts to cast him as an incisive social engineer and deep thinker are ludicrous. And people can see that.

Nobody in Russia really wants to be led by Navalny, or Sobchak or Yashin. Everyone understands that in order for individual Russians to leapfrog straight to staggering profit, control of national assets must be surrendered to wealthy international investors who will take them private and sell shares and make fortunes. Left to its own devices, Russia was making good progress toward raising the standards of living, education and health without having to depend on its western 'partners', until Obama decided to have another kick at destroying the economy in hope that angry Russians would kick out their leader and let the west have a go at social engineering. It is best to have the stuffed-shirt liberal element which currently prevails because it has no realistic chance of becoming a force in national decision-making, and is mostly just wasting the west's money.

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[May 02, 2020] The action of a coward: Navalny has refused to debate with Maria Zakharova

May 02, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile May 1, 2020 at 11:09 am

Getting too narrow up there:

Мужской поступок. Навальный отказался от дебатов с Марией Захаровой

The action of a man: Navalny has refused to debate with Maria Zakharova

Yesterday, Maria Zakharova challenged Alexei Navalny to a debate: the reason was another "sensational" investigation by Alexei. And Maria offered to meet him in order to show that he was misleading everyone.

And it seems that Mr. Navalny agreed to the debate.

When I saw this on the news, my first thought was that no debate would take place.

I shall explain why. It is one thing when Alexei exposes everyone on his channel, and another when he enters into a dispute with someone, especially if the opponent is smart and educated. As an example, I shall cite the debate that Navalny and Chubais had, when the experienced old wolf Chubais, with one straight left smashed Navalny to smithereens. Only a few feathers were left floating around. Since then, Lyosha has carefully avoided a debate every possible way he can.

However, with Maria Zakharova it was impossible to give a refusal at once, especially since a woman had challenged him to a debate, so he allegedly agreed. Well, after that, there were technical matters to be dealt with, as Maria has written: Navalny's secretary called her at first and said they would have Aleksei Pivovarov as a moderator. Okay, says Zakharova. Then a new condition appears: there should only one topic debated. "How come?" Maria exclaims, because this is a debate. How can there be only one topic? "That's how it is", they say into the phone.

Then Zakharova asks if she can talk directly with Navalny and then they will discuss everything. In response, the secretary comes out with a brilliant phrase. I really do think that this has to be included in the Anti-Corruption Foundation gold reserves:

Of course not. That is not possible. He is a free man and, accordingly, free from direct conversation.

Isn't it just wonderful how they dream up such phrases: the intellectual baggage of Navalny's team is immediately visible.

You can se now the whole scheme of these gentlemen: Zakharova says to them: "Guys, let's have a debate on any platform. I am the only woman who has challenged your chief, leader or whatever you call him. But in response, there is a lot of shuffling around: firstly, a moderator is urgently needed -- Well, OK then, she agrees; next, there is only one topic to be discussed; and finally, Navalny does not want to enter into direct communication with her.

And here, if Maria had agreed to that, then these guys would have come up with another condition for the debate. For example, Navalny would speak for an hour, and Zakharova for ten seconds. If she had agreed with that, then the debate would have ben on. However, in the end, Navalny would simply not have turned up for it and that would have been that!

As a result, Maria could not stand it any more and refused to participate in this obscure game. And rightly so: no debate on any topic would have taken place, but one can easily get bogged down with such endless discussions about procedure.

Maria Zakharova has once again demonstrated that she is a smart and bright woman. But Navalny's behavior makes you think about the value of his investigations. Although, personally, everything about them is clear to me!

Patient Observer May 1, 2020 at 11:56 am
Actually, Maria handled it very well indeed! As many have said, the liberal "opposition" is inherently repugnant to a large majority of Russians. Thus, the Russian government actively promotes opportunities for their message to be heard – Russia out of Crimea! LGBT?# values!

The Saker had a fairly good analysis of the above strategy including examples of how the Russian government provides platforms for the liberals to spout their nonsense.

Navalny knows the above hence his reluctance to engage in a debate where his numerous embarrassing utterance will be dragged out of him by a skillful and charismatic opponent.

A bad strategy would be to jail Navalny or to "silence" the opposition. Let them blather on, spend NGO money and make themselves pariahs.

Mark Chapman May 1, 2020 at 1:44 pm
Well, that's not the way he is spinning it, and every mention of his name in print is pure gold to him. He's getting free publicity and lots of it, and probably quite a few people are saying "Who's this Navalny fellow?" The state is playing Navalny's game now, to his rules, and they should stop before they do him any more favours; he can dance around like this forever, pretending open willingness. Zakharova lost her temper, and it is proving to be expensive.
Patient Observer May 1, 2020 at 4:29 pm
My take is quite different. It is more like the end game for Navalny.

An opposition is needed to show the majority that they have freedom to think what they like.

et Al May 1, 2020 at 12:07 pm
JusttheNewscom: FBI found no 'derogatory' Russia evidence on Flynn, planned to close case before leaders intervened
https://justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/fbi-found-no-derogatory-russia-evidence-flynn-planned

FBI memos show case was to be closed with a defensive briefing before a second interview with Flynn was sought.

Evidence withheld for years from Michael Flynn's defense team shows the FBI found "no derogatory" Russia evidence against the former Trump National Security Adviser and that counterintelligence agents had recommended closing down the case with a defensive briefing before the bureau's leadership intervened in January 2017

In the text messages to his team, Strzok specifically cited "the 7th floor" of FBI headquarters, where then-Director James Comey and then-Deputy Director Andrew McCane worked, as the reason he intervened.

"Hey if you haven't closed RAZOR, don't do so yet," Strzok texted on Jan. 4, 2017
####

JFC.

Remember kids, the United States is a well oiled machine that dispenses justice equitably along with free orange juce to the tune of 'One Nation Under a Groove.'

So, I think Mark asked about 'legal action', but as you can see Barr and others are going through this stuff with a fine tooth comb so it is as solid when it goes public. More importantly, it can be used as evidenec to reform such corruption and put some proper controls in place to stop it happening again at least for a few years

Like Like

Mark Chapman May 1, 2020 at 1:53 pm
And meanwhile everybody who thinks they might be in the line of fire at some future moment is destroying evidence as fast as they can make it unfindable.

Like Like

Moscow Exile May 1, 2020 at 12:33 pm
By the way, as very many here in Mordor know full well, Navalny has never had a proper business. At the beginning of his career he worked as a lawyer on a small salary.

Navalny's parents are pensioners: they receive a pension and have a small business about 20 miles beyond the Moscow beltway. Navalny would be classed by many here as coming from the middle-class.

Now get this: Navalny was able to buy himself a Mercedes GL class on this low salary that he earned as a lawyer. The vehicle was then worth about 3.5 million rubles. Not bad, despite the fact that his salary in those years was estimated to have been no more than 100 thousand rubles.

And guess what? As soon as Navalny started his "opposition" activities, he immediately sold the Merc. You see, it wouldn't have done for a popular oppositionist to be seen riding around in a Mercedes.

The Bullshitter-in-Chief now says that his present salary depends on donations, and amounts to no more than 100 thousand rubles, that he cannot afford to run a car, because he supports his wife and 2 children, one of whom now studying in the good ol' US of A.

And so Navalny's headquarters decided to rent a car for his use: not to rent when need be, but on a permanent basis. The car, by the way, is not quite a popular mark: it is a Land Rover Freelander. Moreover, the car is rented with a driver

Navalny's headquarters pays out about 240 thousand rubles per month to rent this car with a driver,.

And this money all comes from donations, they say; from people who want to eradicate corruption in what Navalny refers to as "this" country.

And below, you can see where some folk think the money for the Bullshitter's car rental really comes from.

That's the sight that greeted Navalny when he woke up one morning in Kostroma, following PARNASSUS crushing electoral defeat there. Unknown persons on a Twitter feed that had the above image posted labelled the above vehicle a "State Department combat vehicle".

Now I ask you: how many ordinary Joes here -- not that slimy BBC get who reports from Moscow and his oppo Rainsford, not the owners of "Moscow Times", not those who run RFE/RL but your regular Ivan and Natasha -- really believe that Navalny will eradicate corruption in "this" country?

[Mar 24, 2020] "Anastasia Vasilieva and her thermometer" NGO

Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Let's take a look at that last article , written by FT's Henry Foy today, and one of the more balanced (read: less PDS-afflicted) journalists doing the Russia beat (not to mention the most prominent in the above sample, having scored an exclusive interview with Putin in 2019).

"The present number of patients with coronavirus will be hidden from us," said Anastasia Vasilieva, chairman of Doctors' Alliance, a Russian lobby group affiliated with opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

Now Foy, to his credit, at least has the journalistic integrity to acknowledge that this doctors' group (which I have never heard of before now) is affiliated with Navalny, whose entire shtick is to oppose everything and anything the Kremlin does.

A political tilt that its chairwoman helpfully confirms:

"The value of human life for our president is nil . . . We don't want to admit to any pandemic," said Ms Vasilieva. "We know of hospitals that are completely full and nurses who are asked to sew face masks from gauze."

Dacian Julien Soros , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 2:54 pm GMT

This weaponizing of random indignation is a classic tool of the Western propaganda. In Romania, we heard for a decade how the national-populists masquerading as socialists are to blame for the lack of highways. It's been a few years since idiot Romanians gather in random cities to complain that their city is not yet hooked to the Austro-Hungarian highway system, despite the lack of traffic between their city and Austro-Hungary.

It is my understanding that, once highway construction will start, there will be protests about natural or archeological treasures presumably endangered by the construction. It has been decently working in Russia, with that Khimki forest.

Anything that can be thrown at a government threatening to leave the NWO will be used. It's even worse for governments that are already one foot out, like Russia / China, or completely out, like Iran / North Korea. Putin will be blamed for epidemics, earthquakes, tsunamis, and even eclipses. If an earthquake would kill only a few, we will hear about "failure to respond". If the earthquake doesn't kill anybody. we will be told that Putin exploited it for propaganda.

One of the ways that CIA and Soros use, in order to weaponize Romania's presumed lack of highways, is to pay some useful idiots, who call themselves "The Association for the Betterment of Highways", "The Pro-Infrastructura Brigade", and so on. Most of these NGOs consist of a single person, who posts videos of them ranting next to a construction site. Using the model that BoJo used for the upcoming marriage (three men and one dog), the more Soros/CIA-resistant types call them "The One-Incel-And-His-Drone Association".

By that same standard, I suspect we call this Doctors' Alliance "Vasilievna-and-her-thermometer Association". Whatever she says about Moscow hospitals is probably informed by her thermometer anyway. I doubt you can tell how things are in a 10-million city, especially if you are a marginal clown.

Is she an ophthalmologist, like The Part-Time Virologist Martyr of Wuhan? Dentist, perhaps?

[Feb 27, 2020] An interesting view on Russian "intelligencia" by the scientist and writer Zinoviev expressed during "perestroika" in 1991

Highly recommended!
Feb 27, 2020 | en.wikipedia.org

If intellectuals replace the current professional politicians as the leaders of society the situation would become much worse. Because they have neither the sense of reality, nor common sense. For them, the words and speeches are more important than the actual social laws and the dominant trends, the dominant social dynamics of the society. The psychological principle of the intellectuals is that we could organize everything much better, but we are not allowed to do it.

But the actual situation is as following: they could organize the life of society as they wish and plan, in the way they view is the best only if under conditions that are not present now are not feasible in the future. Therefore they are not able to act even at the level of current leaders of the society, which they despise. The actual leaders are influenced by social pressures, by the current social situation, but at least they doing something. Intellectuals are unhappy that the real stream of life they are living in. They consider it wrong. that makes them very dangerous, because they look really smart, while in reality being sophisticated professional idiots.

[Dec 04, 2019] Butina blowback: foreign agents law against Russian fifth column

Better late then never ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... That person then will land on a special list of "agents" and will be obliged to register as a company so that his or her funding is transparent to the state. A Russian journalist working for Voice of America also becomes a foreign agent under the law. ..."
"... Butina was charged under a different though similar statute , which also requires foreign agents to register with the U.S. government. Even U.S. officials sometimes confuse the regulations, and it's not easy for a layman to understand what actions make one a foreign agent under them. ..."
"... Butina, for example, was sentenced to 18 months for trying to establish contacts with Republican operatives and National Rifle Association members ..."
"... Putin was annoyed by the Butina case. "They grabbed the girl, put her behind bars, and they had nothing to show for it," he commented after her sentencing. ..."
"... Now comes the retaliation -- and as usual under Putin, mainly against Russians he sees as a Western fifth column ..."
Dec 04, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

Putin's Russia Sees Foreign Agents Everywhere by Leonid Bershidsky

... ... ...

The new law makes it possible to apply the foreign agent label to individuals, specifically to those who spread content from media or other organizations determined to be foreign agents and who receive any kind of funding from a foreign or foreign-financed source...

That person then will land on a special list of "agents" and will be obliged to register as a company so that his or her funding is transparent to the state. A Russian journalist working for Voice of America also becomes a foreign agent under the law.

... ... ...

Failure to register, open a company or mark one's stories or posts as coming from a foreign agent will be punishable by a yet-undetermined fine.

Andrei Klimov, one of the drafters of the law, recently told the government-owned daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta:

Unlike our foreign counterparts, we envisage no criminal liability. We don't grab people, we don't toss them into torture chambers, like some other countries that do it for five or fifteen years. We are capable of getting results with administrative measures.

It's clear from his comment that the Russian law is a response to the sudden prominence of foreign-agent registration, a previously obscure requirement best known to professional lobbyists, in the Donald Trump-Russia investigations of special counsel Robert Mueller. He had political operatives Paul Manafort and Rick Gates indicted for violating the Foreign Agent Registration Act of 1938, previously a laxly enforced law.

Butina was charged under a different though similar statute , which also requires foreign agents to register with the U.S. government. Even U.S. officials sometimes confuse the regulations, and it's not easy for a layman to understand what actions make one a foreign agent under them.

Butina, for example, was sentenced to 18 months for trying to establish contacts with Republican operatives and National Rifle Association members on behalf of a Russian Central Bank official who may have wanted to set up a back channel between the Kremlin and the Republican elite in the U.S.

Putin was annoyed by the Butina case. "They grabbed the girl, put her behind bars, and they had nothing to show for it," he commented after her sentencing.

Now comes the retaliation -- and as usual under Putin, mainly against Russians he sees as a Western fifth column rather than against the U.S. as such. Also as usual under Putin, the response is asymmetrical.

... ... ...

[Dec 01, 2019] Ambassador Frank G. Wisner raised his son-in-law Nicolas Sarkozy, a teenager in New York.

Dec 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Dec 2 2019 0:04 utc | 25

Walter 18:
Ambassador Frank G. Wisner raised his son-in-law Nicolas Sarkozy, a teenager in New York.

Just another ordinary coincidence. Meaningless, really./sarc

Like Jews and power (They don't have any so shut up.) ; Hillary and Benghazi (What difference does it make? None whatsoever.) ; and Trump and Epstein (He cut off relations! It just took him 10 years to tell us about it) .

Nothing to see here.

!!

[Oct 23, 2019] The treason of the intellectuals The Undoing of Thought by Roger Kimball

Highly recommended!
Supporting neoliberalism is the key treason of contemporary intellectuals eeho were instrumental in decimating the New Deal capitalism, to say nothing about neocon, who downgraded themselves into intellectual prostitutes of MIC mad try to destroy post WWII order.
Notable quotes:
"... More and more, intellectuals were abandoning their attachment to the traditional panoply of philosophical and scholarly ideals. One clear sign of the change was the attack on the Enlightenment ideal of universal humanity and the concomitant glorification of various particularisms. ..."
"... "Our age is indeed the age of the intellectual organization of political hatreds ," he wrote near the beginning of the book. "It will be one of its chief claims to notice in the moral history of humanity." There was no need to add that its place in moral history would be as a cautionary tale. In little more than a decade, Benda's prediction that, because of the "great betrayal" of the intellectuals, humanity was "heading for the greatest and most perfect war ever seen in the world," would achieve a terrifying corroboration. ..."
"... In Plato's Gorgias , for instance, the sophist Callicles expresses his contempt for Socrates' devotion to philosophy: "I feel toward philosophers very much as I do toward those who lisp and play the child." Callicles taunts Socrates with the idea that "the more powerful, the better, and the stronger" are simply different words for the same thing. Successfully pursued, he insists, "luxury and intemperance are virtue and happiness, and all the rest is tinsel." How contemporary Callicles sounds! ..."
"... In Benda's formula, this boils down to the conviction that "politics decides morality." To be sure, the cynicism that Callicles espoused is perennial: like the poor, it will be always with us. What Benda found novel was the accreditation of such cynicism by intellectuals. "It is true indeed that these new 'clerks' declare that they do not know what is meant by justice, truth, and other 'metaphysical fogs,' that for them the true is determined by the useful, the just by circumstances," he noted. "All these things were taught by Callicles, but with this difference; he revolted all the important thinkers of his time." ..."
"... In other words, the real treason of the intellectuals was not that they countenanced Callicles but that they championed him. ..."
"... His doctrine of "the will to power," his contempt for the "slave morality" of Christianity, his plea for an ethic "beyond good and evil," his infatuation with violence -- all epitomize the disastrous "pragmatism" that marks the intellectual's "treason." The real problem was not the unattainability but the disintegration of ideals, an event that Nietzsche hailed as the "transvaluation of all values." "Formerly," Benda observed, "leaders of States practiced realism, but did not honor it; With them morality was violated but moral notions remained intact, and that is why, in spite of all their violence, they did not disturb civilization ." ..."
"... From the savage flowering of ethnic hatreds in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to the mendacious demands for political correctness and multiculturalism on college campuses across America and Europe, the treason of the intellectuals continues to play out its unedifying drama. Benda spoke of "a cataclysm in the moral notions of those who educate the world." That cataclysm is erupting in every corner of cultural life today. ..."
"... Finkielkraut catalogues several prominent strategies that contemporary intellectuals have employed to retreat from the universal. A frequent point of reference is the eighteenth-century German Romantic philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder. "From the beginning, or to be more precise, from the time of Plato until that of Voltaire," he writes, "human diversity had come before the tribunal of universal values; with Herder the eternal values were condemned by the court of diversity." ..."
"... Finkielkraut focuses especially on Herder's definitively anti-Enlightenment idea of the Volksgeist or "national spirit." ..."
"... Nevertheless, the multiculturalists' obsession with "diversity" and ethnic origins is in many ways a contemporary redaction of Herder's elevation of racial particularism over the universalizing mandate of reason ..."
"... In Goethe's words, "A generalized tolerance will be best achieved if we leave undisturbed whatever it is which constitutes the special character of particular individuals and peoples, whilst at the same time we retain the conviction that the distinctive worth of anything with true merit lies in its belonging to all humanity." ..."
"... The geography of intellectual betrayal has changed dramatically in the last sixty-odd years. In 1927, intellectuals still had something definite to betray. In today's "postmodernist" world, the terrain is far mushier: the claims of tradition are much attenuated and betrayal is often only a matter of acquiescence. ..."
"... In the broadest terms, The Undoing of Thought is a brief for the principles of the Enlightenment. Among other things, this means that it is a brief for the idea that mankind is united by a common humanity that transcends ethnic, racial, and sexual divisions ..."
"... Granted, the belief that there is "Jewish thinking" or "Soviet science" or "Aryan art" is no longer as widespread as it once was. But the dispersal of these particular chimeras has provided no inoculation against kindred fabrications: "African knowledge," "female language," "Eurocentric science": these are among today's talismanic fetishes. ..."
"... Then, too, one finds a stunning array of anti-Enlightenment phantasmagoria congregated under the banner of "anti-positivism." The idea that history is a "myth," that the truths of science are merely "fictions" dressed up in forbidding clothes, that reason and language are powerless to discover the truth -- more, that truth itself is a deceitful ideological construct: these and other absurdities are now part of the standard intellectual diet of Western intellectuals. The Frankfurt School Marxists Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno gave an exemplary but by no means uncharacteristic demonstration of one strain of this brand of anti-rational animus in the mid-1940s. ..."
"... Historically, the Enlightenment arose as a deeply anti-clerical and, perforce, anti-traditional movement. Its goal, in Kant's famous phrase, was to release man from his "self-imposed immaturity." ..."
"... The process of disintegration has lately become an explicit attack on culture. This is not simply to say that there are many anti-intellectual elements in society: that has always been the case. "Non-thought," in Finkielkraut's phrase, has always co-existed with the life of the mind. The innovation of contemporary culture is to have obliterated the distinction between the two. ..."
"... There are many sides to this phenomenon. What Finkielkraut has given us is not a systematic dissection but a kind of pathologist's scrapbook. He reminds us, for example, that the multiculturalists' demand for "diversity" requires the eclipse of the individual in favor of the group ..."
"... To a large extent, the abdication of reason demanded by multiculturalism has been the result of what we might call the subjection of culture to anthropology. ..."
"... In describing this process of leveling, Finkielkraut distinguishes between those who wish to obliterate distinctions in the name of politics and those who do so out of a kind of narcissism. The multiculturalists wave the standard of radical politics and say (in the words of a nineteenth-century Russian populist slogan that Finkielkraut quotes): "A pair of boots is worth more than Shakespeare." ..."
"... The upshot is not only that Shakespeare is downgraded, but also that the bootmaker is elevated. "It is not just that high culture must be demystified; sport, fashion and leisure now lay claim to high cultural status." A grotesque fantasy? ..."
"... . Finkielkraut notes that the rhetoric of postmodernism is in some ways similar to the rhetoric of Enlightenment. Both look forward to releasing man from his "self-imposed immaturity." But there is this difference: Enlightenment looks to culture as a repository of values that transcend the self, postmodernism looks to the fleeting desires of the isolated self as the only legitimate source of value ..."
"... The products of culture are valuable only as a source of amusement or distraction. In order to realize the freedom that postmodernism promises, culture must be transformed into a field of arbitrary "options." "The post-modern individual," Finkielkraut writes, "is a free and easy bundle of fleeting and contingent appetites. He has forgotten that liberty involves more than the ability to change one's chains, and that culture itself is more than a satiated whim." ..."
"... "'All cultures are equally legitimate and everything is cultural,' is the common cry of affluent society's spoiled children and of the detractors of the West. ..."
"... There is another, perhaps even darker, result of the undoing of thought. The disintegration of faith in reason and common humanity leads not only to a destruction of standards, but also involves a crisis of courage. ..."
"... As the impassioned proponents of "diversity" meet the postmodern apostles of acquiescence, fanaticism mixes with apathy to challenge the commitment required to preserve freedom. ..."
"... Communism may have been effectively discredited. But "what is dying along with it is not the totalitarian cast of mind, but the idea of a world common to all men." ..."
Dec 01, 1992 | www.moonofalabama.org

On the abandonment of Enlightenment intellectualism, and the emergence of a new form of Volksgeist.

When hatred of culture becomes itself a part of culture, the life of the mind loses all meaning. -- Alain Finkielkraut, The Undoing of Thought

Today we are trying to spread knowledge everywhere. Who knows if in centuries to come there will not be universities for re-establishing our former ignorance? -- Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799)

I n 1927, the French essayist Julien Benda published his famous attack on the intellectual corruption of the age, La Trahison des clercs. I said "famous," but perhaps "once famous" would have been more accurate. For today, in the United States anyway, only the title of the book, not its argument, enjoys much currency. "La trahison des clercs": it is one of those memorable phrases that bristles with hints and associations without stating anything definite. Benda tells us that he uses the term "clerc" in "the medieval sense," i.e., to mean "scribe," someone we would now call a member of the intelligentsia. Academics and journalists, pundits, moralists, and pontificators of all varieties are in this sense clercs . The English translation, The Treason of the Intellectuals , 1 sums it up neatly.

The "treason" in question was the betrayal by the "clerks" of their vocation as intellectuals. From the time of the pre-Socratics, intellectuals, considered in their role as intellectuals, had been a breed apart. In Benda's terms, they were understood to be "all those whose activity essentially is not the pursuit of practical aims, all those who seek their joy in the practice of an art or a science or a metaphysical speculation, in short in the possession of non-material advantages." Thanks to such men, Benda wrote, "humanity did evil for two thousand years, but honored good. This contradiction was an honor to the human species, and formed the rift whereby civilization slipped into the world."

According to Benda, however, this situation was changing. More and more, intellectuals were abandoning their attachment to the traditional panoply of philosophical and scholarly ideals. One clear sign of the change was the attack on the Enlightenment ideal of universal humanity and the concomitant glorification of various particularisms. The attack on the universal went forward in social and political life as well as in the refined precincts of epistemology and metaphysics: "Those who for centuries had exhorted men, at least theoretically, to deaden the feeling of their differences have now come to praise them, according to where the sermon is given, for their 'fidelity to the French soul,' 'the immutability of their German consciousness,' for the 'fervor of their Italian hearts.'" In short, intellectuals began to immerse themselves in the unsettlingly practical and material world of political passions: precisely those passions, Benda observed, "owing to which men rise up against other men, the chief of which are racial passions, class passions and national passions." The "rift" into which civilization had been wont to slip narrowed and threatened to close altogether.

Writing at a moment when ethnic and nationalistic hatreds were beginning to tear Europe asunder, Benda's diagnosis assumed the lineaments of a prophecy -- a prophecy that continues to have deep resonance today. "Our age is indeed the age of the intellectual organization of political hatreds ," he wrote near the beginning of the book. "It will be one of its chief claims to notice in the moral history of humanity." There was no need to add that its place in moral history would be as a cautionary tale. In little more than a decade, Benda's prediction that, because of the "great betrayal" of the intellectuals, humanity was "heading for the greatest and most perfect war ever seen in the world," would achieve a terrifying corroboration.

J ulien Benda was not so naïve as to believe that intellectuals as a class had ever entirely abstained from political involvement, or, indeed, from involvement in the realm of practical affairs. Nor did he believe that intellectuals, as citizens, necessarily should abstain from political commitment or practical affairs. The "treason" or betrayal he sought to publish concerned the way that intellectuals had lately allowed political commitment to insinuate itself into their understanding of the intellectual vocation as such. Increasingly, Benda claimed, politics was "mingled with their work as artists, as men of learning, as philosophers." The ideal of disinterestedness, the universality of truth: such guiding principles were contemptuously deployed as masks when they were not jettisoned altogether. It was in this sense that he castigated the " desire to abase the values of knowledge before the values of action ."

In its crassest but perhaps also most powerful form, this desire led to that familiar phenomenon Benda dubbed "the cult of success." It is summed up, he writes, in "the teaching that says that when a will is successful that fact alone gives it a moral value, whereas the will which fails is for that reason alone deserving of contempt." In itself, this idea is hardly novel, as history from the Greek sophists on down reminds us. In Plato's Gorgias , for instance, the sophist Callicles expresses his contempt for Socrates' devotion to philosophy: "I feel toward philosophers very much as I do toward those who lisp and play the child." Callicles taunts Socrates with the idea that "the more powerful, the better, and the stronger" are simply different words for the same thing. Successfully pursued, he insists, "luxury and intemperance are virtue and happiness, and all the rest is tinsel." How contemporary Callicles sounds!

In Benda's formula, this boils down to the conviction that "politics decides morality." To be sure, the cynicism that Callicles espoused is perennial: like the poor, it will be always with us. What Benda found novel was the accreditation of such cynicism by intellectuals. "It is true indeed that these new 'clerks' declare that they do not know what is meant by justice, truth, and other 'metaphysical fogs,' that for them the true is determined by the useful, the just by circumstances," he noted. "All these things were taught by Callicles, but with this difference; he revolted all the important thinkers of his time."

In other words, the real treason of the intellectuals was not that they countenanced Callicles but that they championed him. To appreciate the force of Benda's thesis one need only think of that most influential modern Callicles, Friedrich Nietzsche. His doctrine of "the will to power," his contempt for the "slave morality" of Christianity, his plea for an ethic "beyond good and evil," his infatuation with violence -- all epitomize the disastrous "pragmatism" that marks the intellectual's "treason." The real problem was not the unattainability but the disintegration of ideals, an event that Nietzsche hailed as the "transvaluation of all values." "Formerly," Benda observed, "leaders of States practiced realism, but did not honor it; With them morality was violated but moral notions remained intact, and that is why, in spite of all their violence, they did not disturb civilization ."

Benda understood that the stakes were high: the treason of the intellectuals signaled not simply the corruption of a bunch of scribblers but a fundamental betrayal of culture. By embracing the ethic of Callicles, intellectuals had, Benda reckoned, precipitated "one of the most remarkable turning points in the moral history of the human species. It is impossible," he continued,

to exaggerate the importance of a movement whereby those who for twenty centuries taught Man that the criterion of the morality of an act is its disinterestedness, that good is a decree of his reason insofar as it is universal, that his will is only moral if it seeks its law outside its objects, should begin to teach him that the moral act is the act whereby he secures his existence against an environment which disputes it, that his will is moral insofar as it is a will "to power," that the part of his soul which determines what is good is its "will to live" wherein it is most "hostile to all reason," that the morality of an act is measured by its adaptation to its end, and that the only morality is the morality of circumstances. The educators of the human mind now take sides with Callicles against Socrates, a revolution which I dare to say seems to me more important than all political upheavals.

T he Treason of the Intellectuals is an energetic hodgepodge of a book. The philosopher Jean-François Revel recently described it as "one of the fussiest pleas on behalf of the necessary independence of intellectuals." Certainly it is rich, quirky, erudite, digressive, and polemical: more an exclamation than an analysis. Partisan in its claims for disinterestedness, it is ruthless in its defense of intellectual high-mindedness. Yet given the horrific events that unfolded in the decades following its publication, Benda's unremitting attack on the politicization of the intellect and ethnic separatism cannot but strike us as prescient. And given the continuing echo in our own time of the problems he anatomized, the relevance of his observations to our situation can hardly be doubted. From the savage flowering of ethnic hatreds in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to the mendacious demands for political correctness and multiculturalism on college campuses across America and Europe, the treason of the intellectuals continues to play out its unedifying drama. Benda spoke of "a cataclysm in the moral notions of those who educate the world." That cataclysm is erupting in every corner of cultural life today.

In 1988, the young French philosopher and cultural critic Alain Finkielkraut took up where Benda left off, producing a brief but searching inventory of our contemporary cataclysms. Entitled La Défaite de la pensée 2 ("The 'Defeat' or 'Undoing' of Thought"), his essay is in part an updated taxonomy of intellectual betrayals. In this sense, the book is a trahison des clercs for the post-Communist world, a world dominated as much by the leveling imperatives of pop culture as by resurgent nationalism and ethnic separatism. Beginning with Benda, Finkielkraut catalogues several prominent strategies that contemporary intellectuals have employed to retreat from the universal. A frequent point of reference is the eighteenth-century German Romantic philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder. "From the beginning, or to be more precise, from the time of Plato until that of Voltaire," he writes, "human diversity had come before the tribunal of universal values; with Herder the eternal values were condemned by the court of diversity."

Finkielkraut focuses especially on Herder's definitively anti-Enlightenment idea of the Volksgeist or "national spirit." Quoting the French historian Joseph Renan, he describes the idea as "the most dangerous explosive of modern times." "Nothing," he writes, "can stop a state that has become prey to the Volksgeist ." It is one of Finkielkraut's leitmotifs that today's multiculturalists are in many respects Herder's (generally unwitting) heirs.

True, Herder's emphasis on history and language did much to temper the tendency to abstraction that one finds in some expressions of the Enlightenment. Ernst Cassirer even remarked that "Herder's achievement is one of the greatest intellectual triumphs of the philosophy of the Enlightenment."

Nevertheless, the multiculturalists' obsession with "diversity" and ethnic origins is in many ways a contemporary redaction of Herder's elevation of racial particularism over the universalizing mandate of reason. Finkielkraut opposes this just as the mature Goethe once took issue with Herder's adoration of the Volksgeist. Finkielkraut concedes that we all "relate to a particular tradition" and are "shaped by our national identity." But, unlike the multiculturalists, he soberly insists that "this reality merit[s] some recognition, not idolatry."

In Goethe's words, "A generalized tolerance will be best achieved if we leave undisturbed whatever it is which constitutes the special character of particular individuals and peoples, whilst at the same time we retain the conviction that the distinctive worth of anything with true merit lies in its belonging to all humanity."

The Undoing of Thought resembles The Treason of the Intellectuals stylistically as well as thematically. Both books are sometimes breathless congeries of sources and aperçus. And Finkielkraut, like Benda (and, indeed, like Montaigne), tends to proceed more by collage than by demonstration. But he does not simply recapitulate Benda's argument.

The geography of intellectual betrayal has changed dramatically in the last sixty-odd years. In 1927, intellectuals still had something definite to betray. In today's "postmodernist" world, the terrain is far mushier: the claims of tradition are much attenuated and betrayal is often only a matter of acquiescence. Finkielkraut's distinctive contribution is to have taken the measure of the cultural swamp that surrounds us, to have delineated the links joining the politicization of the intellect and its current forms of debasement.

In the broadest terms, The Undoing of Thought is a brief for the principles of the Enlightenment. Among other things, this means that it is a brief for the idea that mankind is united by a common humanity that transcends ethnic, racial, and sexual divisions.

The humanizing "reason" that Enlightenment champions is a universal reason, sharable, in principle, by all. Such ideals have not fared well in the twentieth century: Herder's progeny have labored hard to discredit them. Granted, the belief that there is "Jewish thinking" or "Soviet science" or "Aryan art" is no longer as widespread as it once was. But the dispersal of these particular chimeras has provided no inoculation against kindred fabrications: "African knowledge," "female language," "Eurocentric science": these are among today's talismanic fetishes.

Then, too, one finds a stunning array of anti-Enlightenment phantasmagoria congregated under the banner of "anti-positivism." The idea that history is a "myth," that the truths of science are merely "fictions" dressed up in forbidding clothes, that reason and language are powerless to discover the truth -- more, that truth itself is a deceitful ideological construct: these and other absurdities are now part of the standard intellectual diet of Western intellectuals. The Frankfurt School Marxists Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno gave an exemplary but by no means uncharacteristic demonstration of one strain of this brand of anti-rational animus in the mid-1940s.

Safely ensconced in Los Angeles, these refugees from Hitler's Reich published an influential essay on the concept of Enlightenment. Among much else, they assured readers that "Enlightenment is totalitarian." Never mind that at that very moment the Nazi war machine -- what one might be forgiven for calling real totalitarianism -- was busy liquidating millions of people in order to fulfill another set of anti-Enlightenment fantasies inspired by devotion to the Volksgeist .

The diatribe that Horkheimer and Adorno mounted against the concept of Enlightenment reminds us of an important peculiarity about the history of Enlightenment: namely, that it is a movement of thought that began as a reaction against tradition and has now emerged as one of tradition's most important safeguards. Historically, the Enlightenment arose as a deeply anti-clerical and, perforce, anti-traditional movement. Its goal, in Kant's famous phrase, was to release man from his "self-imposed immaturity."

The chief enemy of Enlightenment was "superstition," an omnibus term that included all manner of religious, philosophical, and moral ideas. But as the sociologist Edward Shils has noted, although the Enlightenment was in important respects "antithetical to tradition" in its origins, its success was due in large part "to the fact that it was promulgated and pursued in a society in which substantive traditions were rather strong." "It was successful against its enemies," Shils notes in his book Tradition (1981),

because the enemies were strong enough to resist its complete victory over them. Living on a soil of substantive traditionality, the ideas of the Enlightenment advanced without undoing themselves. As long as respect for authority on the one side and self-confidence in those exercising authority on the other persisted, the Enlightenment's ideal of emancipation through the exercise of reason went forward. It did not ravage society as it would have done had society lost all legitimacy.

It is this mature form of Enlightenment, championing reason but respectful of tradition, that Finkielkraut holds up as an ideal.

W hat Finkielkraut calls "the undoing of thought" flows from the widespread disintegration of a faith. At the center of that faith is the assumption that the life of thought is "the higher life" and that culture -- what the Germans call Bildung -- is its end or goal.

The process of disintegration has lately become an explicit attack on culture. This is not simply to say that there are many anti-intellectual elements in society: that has always been the case. "Non-thought," in Finkielkraut's phrase, has always co-existed with the life of the mind. The innovation of contemporary culture is to have obliterated the distinction between the two. "It is," he writes, "the first time in European history that non-thought has donned the same label and enjoyed the same status as thought itself, and the first time that those who, in the name of 'high culture,' dare to call this non-thought by its name, are dismissed as racists and reactionaries." The attack is perpetrated not from outside, by uncomprehending barbarians, but chiefly from inside, by a new class of barbarians, the self-made barbarians of the intelligentsia. This is the undoing of thought. This is the new "treason of the intellectuals."

There are many sides to this phenomenon. What Finkielkraut has given us is not a systematic dissection but a kind of pathologist's scrapbook. He reminds us, for example, that the multiculturalists' demand for "diversity" requires the eclipse of the individual in favor of the group . "Their most extraordinary feat," he observes, "is to have put forward as the ultimate individual liberty the unconditional primacy of the collective." Western rationalism and individualism are rejected in the name of a more "authentic" cult.

One example: Finkielkraut quotes a champion of multiculturalism who maintains that "to help immigrants means first of all respecting them for what they are, respecting whatever they aspire to in their national life, in their distinctive culture and in their attachment to their spiritual and religious roots." Would this, Finkielkraut asks, include "respecting" those religious codes which demanded that the barren woman be cast out and the adulteress be punished with death?

What about those cultures in which the testimony of one man counts for that of two women? In which female circumcision is practiced? In which slavery flourishes? In which mixed marriages are forbidden and polygamy encouraged? Multiculturalism, as Finkielkraut points out, requires that we respect such practices. To criticize them is to be dismissed as "racist" and "ethnocentric." In this secular age, "cultural identity" steps in where the transcendent once was: "Fanaticism is indefensible when it appeals to heaven, but beyond reproach when it is grounded in antiquity and cultural distinctiveness."

To a large extent, the abdication of reason demanded by multiculturalism has been the result of what we might call the subjection of culture to anthropology. Finkielkraut speaks in this context of a "cheerful confusion which raises everyday anthropological practices to the pinnacle of the human race's greatest achievements." This process began in the nineteenth century, but it has been greatly accelerated in our own age. One thinks, for example, of the tireless campaigning of that great anthropological leveler, Claude Lévi-Strauss. Lévi-Strauss is assuredly a brilliant writer, but he has also been an extraordinarily baneful influence. Already in the early 1950s, when he was pontificating for UNESCO , he was urging all and sundry to "fight against ranking cultural differences hierarchically." In La Pensée sauvage (1961), he warned against the "false antinomy between logical and prelogical mentality" and was careful in his descriptions of natives to refer to "so-called primitive thought." "So-called" indeed. In a famous article on race and history, Lévi-Strauss maintained that the barbarian was not the opposite of the civilized man but "first of all the man who believes there is such a thing as barbarism." That of course is good to know. It helps one to appreciate Lévi-Strauss's claim, in Tristes Tropiques (1955), that the "true purpose of civilization" is to produce "inertia." As one ruminates on the proposition that cultures should not be ranked hierarchically, it is also well to consider what Lévi-Strauss coyly refers to as "the positive forms of cannibalism." For Lévi-Strauss, cannibalism has been unfairly stigmatized in the "so-called" civilized West. In fact, he explains, cannibalism was "often observed with great discretion, the vital mouthful being made up of a small quantity of organic matter mixed, on occasion, with other forms of food." What, merely a "vital mouthful"? Not to worry! Only an ignoramus who believed that there were important distinctions, qualitative distinctions, between the barbarian and the civilized man could possibly think of objecting.

Of course, the attack on distinctions that Finkielkraut castigates takes place not only among cultures but also within a given culture. Here again, the anthropological imperative has played a major role. "Under the equalizing eye of social science," he writes,

hierarchies are abolished, and all the criteria of taste are exposed as arbitrary. From now on no rigid division separates masterpieces from run-of-the mill works. The same fundamental structure, the same general and elemental traits are common to the "great" novels (whose excellence will henceforth be demystified by the accompanying quotation marks) and plebian types of narrative activity.

F or confirmation of this, one need only glance at the pronouncements of our critics. Whether working in the academy or other cultural institutions, they bring us the same news: there is "no such thing" as intrinsic merit, "quality" is an only ideological construction, aesthetic value is a distillation of social power, etc., etc.

In describing this process of leveling, Finkielkraut distinguishes between those who wish to obliterate distinctions in the name of politics and those who do so out of a kind of narcissism. The multiculturalists wave the standard of radical politics and say (in the words of a nineteenth-century Russian populist slogan that Finkielkraut quotes): "A pair of boots is worth more than Shakespeare."

Those whom Finkielkraut calls "postmodernists," waving the standard of radical chic, declare that Shakespeare is no better than the latest fashion -- no better, say, than the newest item offered by Calvin Klein. The litany that Finkielkraut recites is familiar:

A comic which combines exciting intrigue and some pretty pictures is just as good as a Nabokov novel. What little Lolitas read is as good as Lolita . An effective publicity slogan counts for as much as a poem by Apollinaire or Francis Ponge . The footballer and the choreographer, the painter and the couturier, the writer and the ad-man, the musician and the rock-and-roller, are all the same: creators. We must scrap the prejudice which restricts that title to certain people and regards others as sub-cultural.

The upshot is not only that Shakespeare is downgraded, but also that the bootmaker is elevated. "It is not just that high culture must be demystified; sport, fashion and leisure now lay claim to high cultural status." A grotesque fantasy? Anyone who thinks so should take a moment to recall the major exhibition called "High & Low: Modern Art and Popular Culture" that the Museum of Modern Art mounted a few years ago: it might have been called "Krazy Kat Meets Picasso." Few events can have so consummately summed up the corrosive trivialization of culture now perpetrated by those entrusted with preserving it. Among other things, that exhibition demonstrated the extent to which the apotheosis of popular culture undermines the very possibility of appreciating high art on its own terms.

When the distinction between culture and entertainment is obliterated, high art is orphaned, exiled from the only context in which its distinctive meaning can manifest itself: Picasso becomes a kind of cartoon. This, more than any elitism or obscurity, is the real threat to culture today. As Hannah Arendt once observed, "there are many great authors of the past who have survived centuries of oblivion and neglect, but it is still an open question whether they will be able to survive an entertaining version of what they have to say."

And this brings us to the question of freedom. Finkielkraut notes that the rhetoric of postmodernism is in some ways similar to the rhetoric of Enlightenment. Both look forward to releasing man from his "self-imposed immaturity." But there is this difference: Enlightenment looks to culture as a repository of values that transcend the self, postmodernism looks to the fleeting desires of the isolated self as the only legitimate source of value.

For the postmodernist, then, "culture is no longer seen as a means of emancipation, but as one of the élitist obstacles to this." The products of culture are valuable only as a source of amusement or distraction. In order to realize the freedom that postmodernism promises, culture must be transformed into a field of arbitrary "options." "The post-modern individual," Finkielkraut writes, "is a free and easy bundle of fleeting and contingent appetites. He has forgotten that liberty involves more than the ability to change one's chains, and that culture itself is more than a satiated whim."

What Finkielkraut has understood with admirable clarity is that modern attacks on elitism represent not the extension but the destruction of culture. "Democracy," he writes, "once implied access to culture for everybody. From now on it is going to mean everyone's right to the culture of his choice." This may sound marvelous -- it is after all the slogan one hears shouted in academic and cultural institutions across the country -- but the result is precisely the opposite of what was intended.

"'All cultures are equally legitimate and everything is cultural,' is the common cry of affluent society's spoiled children and of the detractors of the West." The irony, alas, is that by removing standards and declaring that "anything goes," one does not get more culture, one gets more and more debased imitations of culture. This fraud is the dirty secret that our cultural commissars refuse to acknowledge.

There is another, perhaps even darker, result of the undoing of thought. The disintegration of faith in reason and common humanity leads not only to a destruction of standards, but also involves a crisis of courage. "A careless indifference to grand causes," Finkielkraut warns, "has its counterpart in abdication in the face of force." As the impassioned proponents of "diversity" meet the postmodern apostles of acquiescence, fanaticism mixes with apathy to challenge the commitment required to preserve freedom.

Communism may have been effectively discredited. But "what is dying along with it is not the totalitarian cast of mind, but the idea of a world common to all men."

Julien Benda took his epigraph for La Trahison des clercs from the nineteenth-century French philosopher Charles Renouvier: Le monde souffre du manque de foi en une vérité transcendante : "The world suffers from lack of faith in a transcendent truth." Without some such faith, we are powerless against the depredations of intellectuals who have embraced the nihilism of Callicles as their truth.

1 The Treason of the Intellectuals, by Julien Benda, translated by Richard Aldington, was first published in 1928. This translation is still in print from Norton.

2 La Défaite de la pensée , by Alain Finkielkraut; Gallimard, 162 pages, 72 FF . It is available in English, in a translation by Dennis O'Keeffe, as The Undoing of Thought (The Claridge Press [London], 133 pages, £6.95 paper).

Roger Kimball is Editor and Publisher of The New Criterion and President and Publisher of Encounter Books. His latest book is The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia (St. Augustine's Press)

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[Sep 12, 2019] Nina Khrushcheva -- miserable and incompetent

Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

J.T. September 7, 2019 at 6:29 pm

During the time I am away, KS does both a book review and coverage of Nina Khrushcheva? ))

Dr. Khrushcheva maintains a WordPress blog , which also doubles as her official webpage for the New School. It is amusing?

Once, still in grad school and a misanthropic Russian to boot (given our totalitarian history most Russians are unhappy), I wrote a very sad novel Small World, published in Moscow and quickly out of print. But that was a fluke, living in New York I am much happier now. And all in all, my favorite theme is political culture in Russia and America. Politicians lie all the time, but culture never lies about politics. Culture and politics are symbiotically linked like the famous double-headed Russian eagle that used to be on the front of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow and now is rotting in the backyard of the city's museum of architecture. It is the perfect symbol of Russia's former political and cultural grandeur and current decay. American eagle is just one-headed, of course, yet this country is no less interesting in its own idiosyncratic relations between culture and politics.

( source )

I (with the architect colleague Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss) have curated an exhibition titled Romancing True Power: D20. It ran February 12-26, 2015 at Parsons The New School for Design, 66 Fifth Avenue (between 12th and 13th St). In the meantime my amazing research assistant and student Yiqing Wang (who really should be running not-a-small country) and I have produced a supplement to the exhibition, a D20 Journal, in which we put together thoughts on true power, dicktatroship, dicktatorial fashion, economics, philosophy, body count and other stats.
D20 (modeled on G20, group of most industrialized nations) is a selective list of leaders from present and recent past across continents and different political systems. Romancing True Power investigates an idea of power: autocratic, authoritarian and dictatorial. This type of power–the Dick power–could be found in both dictatorships and democracies. The exhibition looks at dicktatorial construct, its typology and trappings. What constitutes a "strong leader"? Why does the public often prefer one? Since everyone's list of dicktators is subjective, at the show visitors were invited to PYOD (Pick Your Own Dick). For the Dick winners and more information check out the D20 Facebook page.
Other topics I am fond of include politics, and mostly Russian politics, and, of course, movies. But whatever I do, all fits neatly into the last line of Billy Wilder's 1959 classic Some Like it Hot, the best ever, "Nobody's perfect."

(source: see hyperlink above)

I do not intend to slam the IMO legitimate topic – only the content and tone of this "analysis." You have a PhD in Comp Lit (Princeton, 1998). You shouldn't be writing like a second-year undergrad.

Mark Chapman September 7, 2019 at 7:26 pm
Hey, JT – welcome back, where you been? Yes, that attitude is familiar among the emigre Russian Jews, the too-smart-to-believe Ashkenazim that make American jaws drop with their brilliance: Russians in Russia are miserable and always unhappy, but put them in America and they shine like diamonds, they're so fucking hap-hap-happy you'd better just get out of the way. I don't believe Khrushchev was Jewish, but the complaining sounds just like all the Jewish 'refugees' like Miriam Elder and Julia Ioffe; Russia was a drag, man – but New Yawk, Dahling, now there's a city! It's almost as if they feel denigrating the country of their birth is the price of acceptance. Perhaps it is – for a people who snap to attention whenever they see the American flag, Americans are awfully smitten with Russians who dump on Russia, as if it affirms their own beliefs.

Khrushcheva seems very stuck on herself, but perhaps she simply believes all the hype. For my part, I find her mean-spirited and shallow, prone to go for the cheap laugh, and most comfortable in a crowd of like-minded 'free thinkers'. It amazes me that anyone who classified him/herself as a free thinker could see American-style democracy as the last word in human development, but perhaps I'm just thick.

J.T. September 8, 2019 at 5:55 am
Between a lecture Dr. Khruscheva gave at my university a year or so ago and an attempted reading of her book, In Putin's Footsteps , I have concluded that she is the kind of writer who takes advantage of an absence of consistent critical voices to let her opinions run wild, untethered from factual backing, theory, or academic standards.

She lectured at my university with the backing of some powerful people within "Russia-Watching" (quite literally in this case, as one sat behind her while she lectured). Although she made her argument sloppily, painting in broad brushstrokes, no one challenged the argument during Q&A.
Read the preview of In Putin's Footsteps on A'zon. It's ridiculous. The same generalizing commentary as before but sprinkled on what reads like an extended TripAdvisor review.

For whatever reason, academia and editors give her a free pass. The resulting writing, while insightful re: how she thinks, is not useful [to me] in any professional sense.

--

Hey, JT – welcome back, where you been?

Haha I've been doing the blog equivalent of breathing into a brown paper bag. Now that I'm back at uni with a capstone/distinction project, Russia Reviewed will hopefully regain its previous sense of direction.

moscowexile September 8, 2019 at 1:25 am
Yes, Russians are so miserable, never smile and are permanently depressed at thought of their misfortune of having been born in Russia and, therefore, condemned to a life of woe under an authoritarian regime.

I mean, just look at all those sad bastards who have been celebrating "Moskva Day" since Thursday, 5 September this year.

I wish I could send you some clips that my permanently depressed because he is a Russian son sent me late yesterday evening from Red Square: a big firework display and sad looking Russians pretending to be enjoying themselves.

Most of them, I am sure, had been ordered to go to Tversksya Street and walk down to Red Square.

Tverskaya has been closed to traffic since Thursday (the bogus celebrations end this evening) and along its length are the usual Soviet-style distractions that the oppressed multitudes pretend are so much fun.

Since 5 September until the 8th inclusive the city is celebrating the founding of Moskva in 1147.

Well, not its founding, really, but the earliest date that they have a written record of a place called "Moskva" – in a letter from the Prince of the city of Vladimir, Yuri Dolgoruki, to his brother, inviting him to visit him in Moskva. (Remember, this was when Kiev was the centre of world civilisation.)

It was during the first of these "Moskva Day" celebrations, held 22 years ago, when on 7 September 1997 I asked Mrs. Exile if she wished to marry me.

It was our first date.

I don't like to waste time over important matters.

She jumped at the offer, of course.

No holding her back!

Luckiest break she's ever had, I reckon, for my ebullient presence in her life has most certainly rescued her from the pit of permanent gloom that would most certainly have accompanied her living under this regime and from the likelihood of her being wed to a brute of a balalaika strumming, vodka swilling Russian husband.

Limp-wristed, tea sipping Englishmen are much more preferable!

[Sep 12, 2019] If Wishes Were Horses: Nina Khrushcheva's Regime-Change Dream.

Notable quotes:
"... A kreakl is a Russian liberal, often the child or grandchild of Soviet-era intellectuals who believed they knew better than anyone else how the country should be run. ..."
"... "Continuing street protests in Hong Kong and Moscow have no doubt spooked the authoritarian duo of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Moscow protests, the largest in many years, must be keeping Mr. Putin up at night, or they wouldn't be dispersed with such unabated brutality." ..."
"... "This loss of nuclear competence is being cited by nuclear and national security experts in both the U.S. and in Europe's nuclear weapons states as a threat to their military nuclear programs. The White House cited this nuclear nexus in a May memo instructing Rick Perry, the Secretary of Energy, to force utilities to buy power from unprofitable nuclear and coal plants. The memo states that the "entire US nuclear enterprise" including nuclear weapons and naval propulsion, "depends on a robust civilian nuclear industry." ..."
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Nina Khrushcheva is a kreakl. We use that word here a lot, and perhaps not all the readers know what it means. It is a portmanteau of "Creative Class", but makes use of the letter 'k', because the letter 'c' in Russian has a soft 's' sound, so we use the hard 'k'. The Creative Class, or so they styled themselves, were the intelligentsia of Soviet times; the free-thinking liberals who were convinced Russia's best course lay in accommodating the west no matter its demands, in hope that it would then bless Russia with its secrets for prosperity and all the fruits of the American Dream.

A kreakl is a Russian liberal, often the child or grandchild of Soviet-era intellectuals who believed they knew better than anyone else how the country should be run. They express their disapproval of the current government in the most contemptuous way, interpret its defense of family values as homophobia, and consider its leadership – uniformly described by the west as 'authoritarian' – to be stifling their freedom. My position is that their often privileged upbringing insulates them from appreciating the value of hard work, and lets them sneer at patriotism, as they often consider themselves global citizens with a worldly grasp of foreign affairs far greater that of their groveling, sweaty countrymen. Their university educations allow them to rub shoulders with other pampered scions of post-Soviet affluence, and even worse are those who are sent abroad to attend western universities, where they internalize the notion that everyone in America and the UK lives like Skip and Buffy and their other college friends.

Not everyone who attends university or college turns out a snobbish brat, of course, and in Russia, at least, not everyone who gets the benefit of a superior education comes from wealth. A significant number are on scholarships, as both my nieces were. Some western students are in university or college on scholarships as well, and there are a good many in both places who are higher-education students because it was their parents dream that they would be, and they saved all their lives to make it happen.

But many of the Russian loudmouths are those who learned at their daddy's knee that he coulda been a contendah, if only the money-grubbing, soulless monsters in the government hadn't kept him down – could have been wealthy if it were not for the money pit of communism, could have taken a leadership role which would have moved the country forward had the leader who usurped power not filled all the seats with his cronies and sycophants.

Khrushcheva is somewhat an exception to the rule there, because her grandpa actually was the leader of the Soviet Union – First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev. It was he who oversaw the transfer of Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954, the same year the Soviet Union applied to join NATO . Some references consider Khrushchev her grandfather, and some her great-grandfather; it's complicated. Julia – Khrushcheva's mother – was the daughter of Leonid, who was a fighter pilot in World War II and the son of Khrushchev. When he was shot down in the war and did not return, Khrushchev adopted Julia. Nina Khrushcheva is therefore his biological great-granddaughter, but his adoptive granddaughter.

Now, she's Professor of International Affairs at The New School, New York, USA, and a Senior Fellow of the World Policy Institute, New York. As you might imagine, The New School is a hotbed of liberal intellectualism; as its Wiki entry announces, " dedicated to academic freedom and intellectual inquiry and a home for progressive thinkers". So let's see what a liberal and progressive thinker thinks about the current state of affairs vis-a-vis Russia and China, and their western opponents.

You sort of get an early feel for it from the title: " Putin and Xi are Gambling with their Countries' Futures ". I sort of suspected, even before I read it, that it was not going to be a story about what a great job Putin and Xi are doing as leaders of their respective countries.

Just before we get into that a little deeper – what is the purpose of an 'Opinion' section in a newspaper? If it was 'Facts', then it would be news, because the reporter could substantiate it. As I best understand it, people read newspapers to learn about news – things that happened, to who, and where, when and why, documented by someone who either saw them happen, interviewed someone who did, or otherwise has researched the issue. 'Opinion' sections, then, allow partisans for various philosophies to present their conclusions as if they were facts, or to introduce disputed incidents from a standpoint which implies they are resolved and that the author's view represents fact.

Well, hey; here's an example, in the first paragraph – "Continuing street protests in Hong Kong and Moscow have no doubt spooked the authoritarian duo of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Moscow protests, the largest in many years, must be keeping Mr. Putin up at night, or they wouldn't be dispersed with such unabated brutality."

I suppose they have their fingers on the world's pulse at The New School, but I haven't seen any indication at all, anywhere, that either Mr. Putin or Mr. Xi are 'spooked' about anything. The protests in Hong Kong appear to be instigated at the urging of the USA – as usual – with reports that the protesters are receiving western funding , and photographs showing protest leaders apparently meeting with the US Consul-General . Nonetheless, despite the aggressive violence displayed by the protesters, who are certainly not peaceful, the issue seems to be mostly confined to Hong Kong, and there have been no indications I have seen that Beijing is 'spooked' about it at all. In fact, the position of the Chinese government seems fairly reasonable – it does not want to see Chinese criminals escape justice by fleeing to Hong Kong.

As to whether either protests are representative of a large number of people, it is difficult to say: organizers of the Hong Kong protests claim almost 2 million, while the police – responsible for crowd control – say there were no more than a tenth of that number. And if the Moscow protests really were the largest in years, those hoping to see Putin overthrown might want to keep quiet about that; organizers claim about 50,000 people, and organizers usually overestimate the crowd for their own reasons. Moscow is a city of over 13 million just within the city limits. So the massive crowd represents less than half of one percent of the city's population. Polling of the protest crowd suggested more than half of them were from outside Moscow, where who is on the city council is no concern of theirs, since they cannot vote. And in an echo of the iconic Tahrir Square protests, an element of the 'Arab Spring' – probably the first mass demonstrations managed by social media – the Moscow protests appear to be managed and directed via social media links, where it is possible to exercise disproportionate influence on a targeted crowd of restless youth who have little or no personal investment in the country, and just want to be part of what's cool.

Let's move on. According to Khrushcheva, the protests are 'being dispersed with unabated brutality'. That so? Show me. Bear in mind that all these protests are unauthorized, and those participating in them are breaking the law and in breach of the public peace. Flash violence is an objective of the demonstrations, because otherwise their numbers are insignificant, and if they play it by the book nobody pays them any mind. I've seen loads of pictures of the protesters in Moscow being hauled away to the paddywagons, and nobody is bloody or has their clothing ripped. Here are some examples (thanks, Moscow Exile).

https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2019/08/03/16/Moscow-protests-15.jpg https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2019/08/03/16/Moscow-protests-12.jpg https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2019/08/03/16/Moscow-protests-4.jpg

None of those adolescents looks old enough to vote. A video clip of a Chinese policeman using his beanbag gun to disperse protesters has been edited to omit the part where he was swarmed by protesters who were punching him. No citizens who are in high dudgeon at what they are being told is 'unabated brutality' would tolerate unauthorized protests by young hooligans in their own towns for a second, and would scorn any suggestion that they are pursuing noble goals such as freedom and democracy. Fellow demonstrators in these photos seem far more interested in capturing every bit of the action on their phones than in assisting their captured co-demonstrators.

By way of contrast, check out this clip of US police officers in New Jersey arresting a young woman on the beach because there was alcohol – apparently unopened – on the same beach blanket, which she claimed belonged to her aunt. A pretty small-potatoes issue, you would think, compared with the fearless defense of freedom and democracy. Yet the police officers, viewed here on their own body cameras, throw her to the ground and punch her in front of her child although she is obviously not drunk and their breathalyzer test does not register any alcohol on her breath. Bystanders gratuitously and repeatedly advise her, "Stop resisting". People who complain about the way the girl is being handled are told, "Back off, or you'll be locked up, too". For what? Which of these looks like a police state, to you? Nina Lvovna? I'm talking to you.

The demonstrations, we are told, are a poignant sign of Putin's declining popularity. Yes, poor old chap. In fact, Putin's approval rating in 2019 was 64%; it was 70% in 2000, nearly 20 years ago. Just for info, Donald Trump, the Leader Of The Free World, had an approval rating with his own voters of 44% in 2018, and Macron was even worse at 26%. I guess a little Macron goes a long way – his current approval rating is only 28%. His fortunes have not improved much, you might say. Boris Johnson has not yet even properly taken the reins in the UK, but his people do not appear optimistic; about 35% speculate he is or will be a capable leader , while only 23% rate him more honest than most politicians. Enjoy those, BoJo; they represent a zenith born of unreasonable hope – The Economist describes these ratings as 'surprisingly high'. In 2018, the Netherlands' Mark Rutte had only 10% approval – and that was the highest of the ministers – while 34% disapproved. Apparently about half just didn't care.

Look; Khrushcheva is talking out her ass. There just is no way to sugar-coat it. In 2015, Vladimir Putin was the most popular leader in the world with national voters. I daresay he is now, as well; with the state of the world, I find it hard to imagine any other leader has an approval rating higher than 64%. But feel free to look. Polling agencies carefully parse their questions so as to push the results in the direction they'd like to see, but when the question is reduced to a basic "Do you trust Putin? Yes or No?", his approval rating goes higher than it is right now. Please note, that's the reference supplied by Khrushcheva to substantiate her statement that fewer and fewer Russians now conflate their nation with its leader.

I don't personally recall Putin ever saying he hoped Trump would improve relations with Russia, although it would not be an unreasonable wish had he said it. I think he was probably glad Hillary Clinton did not win, considering her shrill Russophobic rhetoric and fondness for military solutions to all problems, but Khrushcheva makes him sound like a doddering old fool who barely knows what century he is living in. I think Russia always hoped for better relations with America, because when any country's relations with America are very bad, that country would be wise to prepare for war. Because that's how America solves its problems with other countries. Washington already had a go at strangling Russia economically, and it failed spectacularly, and we're getting down to the bottom of the toolbox.

Next, Khrushcheva informs us that Russia is in as weak a position to defeat the USA in a nuclear war as it was when it was the USSR. That's true, in a roundabout way. For one, there would be no victors or defeated in a nuclear war. It would quickly escalate to a full-on exchange, and much of the planet would become uninhabitable. For another, Russia was always in a pretty good position to wax America's ass in a nuclear exchange and it still is. Russia still has about 6,800 nuclear weapons to the USA's 6,500 , and has continued to modernize and update its nuclear arsenal through the years. A Russian strike would be concentrated on a country about a third its size. If I were a betting man, I wouldn't like those odds. Mind you, if I were a free-thinking liberal professor who did not have a clue what I was talking about, I would laugh at the odds – ignorance seasoned with a superiority complex tends to make you act that way. Just as well that betting men mostly run the world, and not jackhole liberal professors.

The recent explosion at what was believed to be development of a new nuclear weapon in Russia is assessed by Khrushcheva to be a clear sign of incompetence, which is quite a diagnosis considering no investigation has even started yet. Somehow she missed the dramatic explosion of Elon Musk's SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, together with its multi-million-dollar satellite payload, back in 2016. Oh, never mind – Musk quickly explained that it was 'an anomaly'. Well, that clears it all up. Must have; the US government has continued to throw money at Musk as if he were embarrassingly naked or something, and nobody seems prepared to suggest it was incompetent. While we're on that subject, the whole reason SpaceX even exists is because the USA continues to use Russian RD-180 rockets developed in the 1960s to launch its satellites and space packages into orbit, because it doesn't have anything better. I'd be careful where I tossed that 'incompetent' word around. Cheer up, though the news isn't all bad: just a bit more than a year ago, the most advanced commercial reactor designs from Europe and the United States just delivered their first megawatt-hours of electricity within one day of each other. Oh, wait. It is bad news. Because that took place in China . You know, that place where Xi in his unabated brutality is trampling upon the fair face of democracy. In fact, according to nuclear energy consultant Mycle Schneider, principal author of the annual World Nuclear Industry Status Report, "The Chinese have a very large workforce that they move from one project to another, so their skills are actually getting better, whereas European and North American companies haven't completed reactors in decades".

Is that bad? Gee; it might be. "This loss of nuclear competence is being cited by nuclear and national security experts in both the U.S. and in Europe's nuclear weapons states as a threat to their military nuclear programs. The White House cited this nuclear nexus in a May memo instructing Rick Perry, the Secretary of Energy, to force utilities to buy power from unprofitable nuclear and coal plants. The memo states that the "entire US nuclear enterprise" including nuclear weapons and naval propulsion, "depends on a robust civilian nuclear industry." You see, Ninushka, competence in nuclear weapons is directly related to competence in nuclear engineering as a whole.

I hope she knows more about Russia than she does about China – in a single paragraph she has the Chinese government threatening to send in the army to crush protests, and standing aside while thugs beat up protesters – and both are bad. And of course, this threatened action/inaction had to have been sanctioned by Xi's government. Why? Well, because everyone in Hong Kong knows it. Much of the rest of her reasoning – free thinking, I guess I should call it – on China is what Xi 'might be contemplating' or 'could be considering'. Supported by nothing, apparently, except the liberal free-thinker's gift of clairvoyance.

Hong Kong was always Chinese. The Qing dynasty ceded it to the British Empire in the Treaty of Nanjing, and it became a British Crown Colony. Britain was back for Kowloon in 1860, and leased what came to be known as The New Territories for 99 years, ending in 1997. Time's up. The people of Hong Kong are Chinese; it's not like they are some different and precious race that China aims to extinguish. I was there a decade after it returned to Chinese control, and it was largely independent; it had its own flag, the British street names were retained, and you can probably still stop on Gloucester Road and buy a Jaguar, if you have that kind of money. To a very large degree, China left it alone and minded its own business, but like I said; it's Chinese. These ridiculous western attempts to split it off and make an independent nation of it are only making trouble for the people of Hong Kong and, as usual, appeal mostly to students who have never run anything much bigger than a bake sale, and 'free-thinking liberals'.

The New Kremlin Stooge

China is not 'isolated diplomatically'. Beijing is host city to 167 foreign embassies . There are only 10 more in Washington, which considers itself the Center of the Universe. Lately China has been spreading itself a little, muscling into Latin America , right in Uncle Sam's backyard. Foreign Direct Investment into China increased 3.6 percent year-on-year to $78.8 billion USD in January-July 2019, and has increased steadily since that time, when it fell dramatically owing to Trump's trade war. That has proved far more disastrous to the USA than to China, which is rapidly sourcing its imports from other suppliers and establishing new trading relationships which exclude the United States, probably for the long term. "China is isolated diplomatically" is precisely the sort of inane bibble-babble liberal free-thinkers tell each other because they want to believe it is true. It is not. Similarly – and, I would have thought, obviously – China is also not 'increasingly regarded as an international pariah'. That's another place she's thinking of.

There is nothing Russia or China could do to please the United States and its increasingly lunatic governing administration, short of plucking out its eye and offering it for a bauble, like Benton Wolf in The Age of Miracles. The type of 'reforms' demanded by the US State Department suggest its current state is delusion, since they are patently designed to weaken the government and empower dissident groups – is that the essence of democracy? It sure as fuck is not. You can kind of tell by the way Washington pounces on its own dissident groups like Mike Pompeo on a jelly roll; the FBI investigated the Occupy Wall Street movement as a terrorist threat. Russia got a prescient preview of the kind of treatment it could expect from the west when it applied to join NATO, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post. The acceptance of the Soviet Union "would be incompatible with its democratic and defensive aims."

So as most ordinary thinkers could have told you would happen, America's hold-my-beer-and-watch-this hillbilly moves to split Russia and China apart have succeeded in driving them closer together; the world's manufacturing and commercial giant and a major energy producer – a great mix, unless you are the enemy. The rest of the world is kind of watching America with its pants around its ankles, wondering what it will do next. It failed to wreck the Russian economy, failed to depose and replace Bashar al-Assad in Syria, failed to depose and replace Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, and it will fail to prevent a Sino-Russian axis which will reshape global trade to its own advantage at the expense of America. Because whenever it has an opportunity to seize upon a lucid moment, to turn away from its destructive course, it chooses instead to bullshit itself some more. To whisper what it wishes were true into its own ear.

And if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

[Aug 27, 2019] House Niggers Mutiny by Israel Shamir

Highly recommended!
Aug 27, 2019 | www.unz.com

Slavery had some good aspects for those chaps who had it rather good. A colonial setup is the next best thing to slavery, and it also holds its attraction for people who knew how to place themselves just below the sahibs and above the run-of-the-mill natives. The Hong Kong revolt is the mutiny of wannabe house niggers who feel that the gap between them and the natives is rapidly vanishing. Once, a HK resident was head and shoulders above the miserable mainland coolies; he spoke English, he had smart devices, he had his place in the tentacle sucking wealth out of the mainland, and some of that wealth stuck to his sweaty hands. But now he has no advantage compared to the people of Shanghai or Beijing. There is huge swelling of wealth in the big cities of Red China. The Chinese dress well, travel abroad, and they do not need HK mediation for dealing with the West. Beijing had offered HK a fair deal of [relative] equality; nothing would be taken from them, but the shrinking gap is not only unavoidable, but desirable, too.

However, HK had been the imperial bridgehead in China for too long. Its people were complicit, nay, willing partners in every Western crime against China, beginning with dumping opium and sucking out Chinese wealth. Millions of opium addicts, of ruined families and households nearly destroyed the Middle Kingdom, and each of them added to HK prosperity. The blood, sweat and labour of all China abundantly supplied the island. HK was the first of the Treaty Ports, and the last to return home. Its populace was not thoroughly detoxed; they weren't ideologically prepared for a new life as equals.

Chairman Mao harboured hard suspicions against comprador cities, the cities and the people who prospered due to their collaboration with the imperialist enemy. He cleansed them with communist and patriotic re-education; recalcitrant compradors were sent to help peasants in far-away villages in order to reconnect with the people. Mao's successors had a strong if misplaced belief in Chinese nationalism as a universal remedy; they thought the Chinese of HK, Macau and Taiwan would join them the moment the colonial yoke failed. This was an over-optimistic assessment. The imperialist forces didn't give up on their former house slaves, and the moment they needed to activate them against independent China they knew where to look.

Their time came as the trade conflict between the US and China warmed up. The secret government of the West aka Deep State came to the conclusion that China is getting way too big for its boots. It is not satisfied with making cheap gadgets for Walmart customers. It is producing state-of-art devices that compete with American goods and, what's worse, their devices are not accessible for NSA surveillance. The Chinese company Huawei came under attack; sanctions and custom duties followed in train. When the Yuan eased under the strain, the Chinese were accused of manipulating their currency. It is a strong charge: when Japan was attacked by the West in the 1990s and the Yen had eased as expected, this claim forced Tokyo to keep the Yen high and take Japan into a twenty-year-long slump. But China did not retreat.

Then the supreme power unleashed its well-practiced weapon: they turned to foment unrest in China and gave it a lot of space in the media. At first, they played up the fate of the Uygur Islamists, but it had little success. The Uygur are not numerous, they are not even a majority in their traditional area; their influence in China is limited. Despite headlines in the liberal Western media proclaiming that millions of Uygur are locked up in concentration camps, the impact was nil. No important Muslim state took up this cause.

The anniversary of Tiananmen came (in beginning of June) and went without a hitch. For good reason: the alleged 'massacre' is a myth, as the Chinese always knew and we know now for certain thanks to publication of a relevant US Embassy cable by Wikileaks. There were no thousands of students flattened by tanks. A very few died fighting the army, but China had evaded the bitter fate of the USSR. In China proper the event had been almost forgotten. A few participants retell of their experiences to Western audiences, but the desired turmoil did not materialise.

And then came the time for HK. It is an autonomous part of China; it had not been re-educated; there are enough people who remember the good days of colonial slavery. The actual spark for the mutiny, the planned extradition treaty, was exceedingly weak. For the last decade, HK became the chosen place of refuge for mainland criminals, for HK had extradition treaties with the US and Britain, but not with the mainland. This had to be remedied.

[The extradition treaty had played an important role in the Snowden case. An ex-CIA spy Edward Snowden decided to reveal to the world the extent of the NSA surveillance we all are subjects of. He chose the Guardian newspaper for his revelations, probably because of the Wikileaks precedent. When he gave an extended interview to the Guardian in HK, his identity had been revealed. The arrival of the US extradition request was imminent. The Chinese authorities told Snowden that they would have to send him to a US jail, to torture and death; that the extradition treaty left them no option in his case. Only the fast footwork of Julian Assange's brave assistant Sarah Harrison prevented this grim finale and delivered Snowden to safe Moscow.]

ORDER IT NOW

While HK authorities were obliged to extradite Snowden, they weren't and couldn't extradite numerous criminals from the mainland. This was an obvious wrong that had to be urgently corrected, in the face of rising tension. And then the sleeping agents of the West woke up and activated their networks. They had practically unlimited funds, not only from the West, but also from the criminals who weren't particularly impecunious and were afraid of extradition. After the demonstrations started, the Western media gave them maximum coverage, magnifying and encouraging the mutineers.

Hundreds of articles, leading stories and editorials in important newspapers cheered and encouraged the HK rebels. The People's War Is Coming in Hong Kong , editorialised the New York Times today. An amazing fact (that is if you are a fresh arrival from Mars): the same newspaper and its numerous sisters paid no attention to the real People's War raging in France, where the Gilets Jaunes have continued to fight for forty weeks against the austerity-imposing Macron regime. 11 people were killed and 2,500 injured in France, but the Western media just mumbled about the GJ antisemitism. Nothing new, indeed. The same media did not notice the one-million-strong demonstration against the US war on Iraq, paid little attention to Occupy Wall Street, disregarded protests against US wars and interventions. One hundred thousand people marching in New York would get no coverage if their purpose did not agree with the desires of the Real Government; and alternatively, three thousand protesters in Moscow with its 12 million population would be presented as the voice of the people challenging Vlad the Tyrant.

In its peculiar way, the media fulfills its purpose of keeping us informed. If mainstream media reports on something, it usually lies; but if media keeps mum, you can bet it is important and you are not encouraged to learn of it. It is especially true in case of popular protests. How do you know they are lying? – Their lips are moving.

The biggest lie is calling the HK rebels marching under the Union Jack, "pro-democracy". These guys wish to restore colonial rule, to be governed by their strict but fair round-eyed overlords. It could be a bad or a good idea, but democracy it ain't. The second biggest lie is the slogan Make Hong Kong Great Britain Again.

Hong Kong was never a part of Great Britain. This was never on offer, so it can't become that again. Even the most adventure- and diversity-prone British politician won't make seven million Chinese in a far-away territory British citizens with full rights, members of an imperfect but real British democracy. HK was a colony; this is what the marchers aspire to, to make HK colony again.

With all these differences taken into account, this is as true for Moscow demos as well. Moscow protesters dream of a Russia occupied by NATO forces, not of democracy. They believe that they, pro-Western, educated, entrepreneurial, would form the comprador class and prosper at the expense of hoi polloi. Mercifully, they aren't plentiful: the Russians already tried to live under benign Western occupation between 1991 and 2000, when the IMF directed their finances and American advisers from Harvard ran the state machinery. Smart and ruthless Jews like Bill Browder , Boris Berezovsky, Roman Abramovich made their fortunes, but Russia was ruined and its people were reduced to poverty.

Not many Russians would like to return to the Roaring Nineties, but some would. It is a matter for the majority to prevent this aspiring minority to achieve its aspirations. Those who can't take it will flee to Israel, as young Mr Yablonsky who discovered his Jewish roots after two nights of police detention. He landed in jail for violently fighting erection of a church in his town.

The Chinese will likewise sort out their HK affliction. It can be done if the government does not promise to restrict its counteractions to painless and bloodless measures. Only the real and imminent threat of painful and bloody suppression can make such measures unnecessary. Likewise, only the imminent threat of no-deal Brexit could bring some sense into the stubborn heads of the EU leaders. A state that is not ready to use force will necessarily fail, as did the Ukrainian state under Mr Yanukowych in 2014. Blood will be shed and the state will be ruined, if its rulers are too squeamish to stop the rebellion.

We can distinguish a real people's rising and foreign-inspired interventions on behalf of the compradors. The first one will be silenced while the second will be glorified by the New York Times. It is that simple.

I would not worry overmuch for China. The Chinese leaders knew how to deal with Tiananmen, they knew how to deal with minority unrest, without unnecessary cruelty and without hesitation and prevarication. They weren't dilly-dallying when the US tried to send to HK its warships , but flatly denied them the pleasure. They will overcome.

You may read Israel Shamir on China here http://www.unz.com/ishamir/yeti-riots/


Priss Factor , says: Website August 22, 2019 at 4:39 pm GMT

China should do a 'Kashmir' on Hong Kong. Open it fully to all the Chinese. Let Chinese go there and march against Hong Kong snobs and wanna-be-whites.

That said, let's cut the Anglos some slack. Brit empire did lots of bad things but also lots of good things. While HK was set up as colonial outpost and cooperated in terrible opium trade, it was also a center of innovation and change that introduced all of China to new ideas. Also, the trajectory of Chinese history since the 80s shows that it had much to learn from Hong Kong and Singapore. Maoism was a disaster, and it also spawned Khmer Rouge that was worse than French imperialism(that wasn't so bad). Also, back then, it was obvious that the West was indeed far freer and saner than communist China. HK and Singapore set the template for big China to follow.

But that was then, this is now. West is free? UK imprisons people for tweets. The West is sane? France and UK welcome African invaders while banning people like Jared Taylor who stand for survival of the West. Also, the West, under Jewish power, has moved into neo-imperialist mode against Russia, Iran, and Middle East. And US media are not free. It is controlled by Zionist oligarchs who impose a certain narrative, even utterly bogus ones like Russia Collusion while working with other monopoly capitalists to shut down alternative news sites.
And when globo-homo-mania is the highest 'spiritual' expression of the current West, it is now crazy land.

This is why China must now crush Hong Kong. Don't send in the tanks. Just open the gates and send 10 million mainlanders to march down the streets accusing HK snobs of being comprador a-holes. That will do the trick. Turn Hong Kong into No-Bull House.

And what happened to Taiwan under globo-homo regime? It has 'gay marriage'. Chinese need to go there and use maximum force to wipe out the decadent scum.

Some in the West complain about China's social credit system, and I agree it's bad, but we got the same shit here. Ask Laura Loomer and Jared Taylor. 1/4 of corporations will not hire people based on their support of Trump. Also, Chinese term for people with bad social credit is mild compared to what Jewish elites call dissident Americans: 'deplorables', 'white supremacist scum', 'white trash', 'neo nazi', etc. It's all very ironic since globalist Jews are the new nazis who spread wars for Israel to destroy millions of lives.

Ronnie , says: August 22, 2019 at 7:07 pm GMT
I saw Bannon on TV recently around the time of the Tiananmen anniversary. He said that 75,000 people were killed in the Tiananmen incident. This tells you something about his lack of sophistication or credibility. I was a Visiting Professor at the Peking Union Medical College in 1989 and I always assumed that the numbers of dead and injured were greatly exaggerated. I asked many fellow Professors and students in Beijing for their opinions over the years. Many of these were working in the local hospitals at the time. On average the response to me was between 300-500 dead and injured. I have never had any reason to question this estimate. The Wikileaks memo confirms this.
Ron Unz , says: August 22, 2019 at 7:50 pm GMT
@Ronnie

I saw Bannon on TV recently around the time of the Tiananmen anniversary. He said that 75,000 people were killed in the Tiananmen incident. This tells you something about his lack of sophistication or credibility.

Actually, the dishonesty or incompetence of our MSM is *vastly* greater than you're making it out to be.

Over twenty years ago, the Beijing bureau chief of the Washington Post published a long piece in the Columbia Journalism Review publicly admitted that the supposed "Tiananmen Square Massacre" was just a media hoax/error, and that the claims of the PRC government were probably correct:

https://archives.cjr.org/behind_the_news/the_myth_of_tiananmen.php

Under the circumstances, it's difficult to believe that most MSM journalists interested in the subject aren't well aware of the truth, and I've noticed that they usually choose their words very carefully to avoid outright lies, but still implying something that is totally incorrect. I'd assume that these implied falsehoods are then wildly exaggerated by ignorant demagogues such as Bannon.

It's really astonishing that our MSM still continues to promote this "Big Lie" more than two decades after the CJR admission ran.

Everyone knows that large numbers of people, including some PRC soldiers, were killed or injured in the violent urban riots elsewhere in Beijing. I think the official death toll claimed by the PRC government at the time was something like 300 killed, which seems pretty plausible to me.

Carlton Meyer , says: Website August 22, 2019 at 7:59 pm GMT
Few Americans are aware of the history of American imperialism in China, with the Yangtze patrols, opium trading, and treaty ports.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/sKgrb0oggfE?feature=oembed

getaclue , says: August 22, 2019 at 11:15 pm GMT
So if I'm reading this article right–Communist China so gooooood– how about those 65,000,000 Mao and his "Leaders" er, basically sort of er, murdered? Lets hear what they have to say about the great China "leaders"? Oh yeah, we can't they killed them . Is this the take away quote from Mr. Shamir?: "I would not worry overmuch for China. The Chinese leaders knew how to deal with Tiananmen, they knew how to deal with minority unrest, without unnecessary cruelty and without hesitation and prevarication." Yes, they do know "how to deal with minority unrest" historically–65,000, 000 corpses is some real "dealing" -- no "unnecessary cruelty"? (I also read recently of the sexual torture of Falun Gong practitioners–brutal gang rapes and with instruments of torture–this is recent and well, happening now I read– Is this also how to deal with "minority unrest"–Do we cheer on China for this too? No "unnecessary cruelty" at work here either? I mean you could point out that yes, there is definitely some of the Colonial backlash he cites as to Hong Kong at work without praising how great China is at "dealing with minorites" I think, that would have played a bit better, to me anyway . https://www.heritage.org/asia/commentary/the-legacy-mao-zedong-mass-murder
https://www.theepochtimes.com/sexual-torture-of-detained-falun-dafa-adherents-rampant-rights-lawyer_2807772.html
Daemon , says: August 23, 2019 at 1:46 am GMT
@peterAUS China doesn't have to be good. It just doesnt have to be evil like your side.
That's all there is to it.
Dutch Boy , says: August 23, 2019 at 3:23 am GMT
Interviews of actual Hong Kongers suggest that their principal objection to extradition is that residents of HK would then be subject to People's Courts rather than to the British style courts of HK with all the legal trappings of the Foreign Devils (presumption of innocence, rules of evidence, no hearsay, no secret trials, no anonymous accusers – all that folderol).
Corvinus , says: August 23, 2019 at 5:02 am GMT
@Hippopotamusdrome "Slavery had some good aspects for those chaps "

No. They lost their freedom.

"a HK resident was head and shoulders above the miserable mainland coolies"

According to Who/Whom?

"the cities and the people who prospered due to their collaboration with the imperialist"

It was the imperialist who prospered.

"These guys wish to restore colonial rule"

No, they want to restore home rule.

"this is what the marchers aspire to, to make HK colony again"

No, they want to be free from the shackles of China.

Jason Liu , says: August 23, 2019 at 6:04 am GMT
@getaclue China's not a communist country except in name. The Epoch Times is a Falun Gong mouthpiece that makes stuff up. I don't support Mao but he is irrelevant today.
Jason Liu , says: August 23, 2019 at 6:14 am GMT
The reasons you list might motivate some of the protesters, but it can't be responsible for this many of them. There IS a homegrown problem here and China would be foolish to ignore it.

The protester's motivations and their implications, as I see it:

1. Loss of prestige – Irrelevant, they'll get used to it

2. Colonial nostalgia – Dead end, open to mockery

3. Housing/economic issues – Manageable with subsidies and regulations, but HK will have to give up some autonomy

4. Regional tribalism/xenophobia – Manageable, not unique to HK

5. US intervention – Dangerous but manageable with better PR & soft power

6. Genuine belief in liberal democracy – Very dangerous, will cause national decline similar to the West

Half-Jap , says: August 23, 2019 at 6:49 am GMT
@Brabantian They are the ideal rat traps.
Even if Wikileaks wasn't a set-up, undoubtably they would be under close surveillance and/or be infiltrated and compromised.
Snowden has been suspect in my mind when he purportedly left so much info to just one journalist belonging to a sketchy outfit, and only a trickle of info came forth, while he's celebrated all over. Many of us already knew about such program from good people like William Binney.
As you say, there are real whisleblowers, and they are ignored, jailed or dead.
Vedic Hyperborean , says: August 23, 2019 at 7:36 am GMT
Goddamn Israel, this is an excellent piece of writing. You hit every nail on the head when it comes to explaining why the troublemakers in Hong Kong are a bunch of useful idiots being used by imperialist powers. These bastards really are house niggers, the kind of people who would side with a distant foreign power over their own countrymen. Hats off to you good sir, thank you for your clarity of thought.
Digital Samizdat , says: August 23, 2019 at 9:21 am GMT
@Commentator Mike Exactly. The Chinese use the deep state to keep order and suppress crime; Washington uses it to spread disorder (Antifa) and protect crime (BLM). There is a difference, you see!
Realist , says: August 23, 2019 at 9:28 am GMT
@Jason Liu

Genuine belief in liberal democracy – Very dangerous, will cause national decline similar to the West

That is for sure.

xvart , says: August 23, 2019 at 9:58 am GMT
I see no real difference between the English colonies and the previous Chinese colonies in Asia this would be "the pot calling the kettle black", just the usual hypocrisy of state actors.

The local HK people who live on the edge of these power structures are not the seeming profiteers of any of this they exist in frameworks they can neither control nor escape escape from so blaming them for being in a place not of their choosing is being disingenuous.

All I read is someone blaming children for the sins of the father.

The Alarmist , says: August 23, 2019 at 12:53 pm GMT
@Ron Unz

It's really astonishing that our MSM still continues to promote this "Big Lie" more than two decades after the CJR admission ran.

No, it is not astonishing. Your homework for tonight is to re-read chapter five of The Iron Curtain Over America

Anon [367] Disclaimer , says: August 25, 2019 at 11:00 am GMT
On HK riots, there are some interesting writers giving some insight into US gov, CIA, UK gov, MI6, Canada, Germany involvement in collabration with treason HKies.

https://www.quora.com/profile/Robin-Daverman

https://www.quora.com/profile/Jamie-Wang-45

https://www.quora.com/profile/Roy-Tong-10

Our China expert, Godfree Roberts.
https://www.quora.com/profile/Godfree-Roberts

The ZUS has started to purge & shut down pro-China-Russia Truth teller in FB, tweeters, Google,

Those can read HKies Cantonese writing, here's one site where these HK rioters recruit, organize & discuss where to meet, how to attack police, activities, and payment.
https://lihkg.com/category/1?order=now

This is the truth of white shirt(local residents West called mobsters) vs black shirt(rioters West called peaceful protestors). The residents of Yuan Lan district demanded the rioters not to mess up their place. The black shirt challenge white shirt for fight by spraying fire host and hurling vulgarity, ended get beaten up.

But West never show the whole video.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/uxNowgZ9a1I?feature=oembed

Any way, I was permanent banned from Quora, FB, even I am not related to China, just because I exposed some of ZUS-India axis evils & lies with evidences in other topics. Censorship is fully in placed.

Bardon Kaldian , says: August 25, 2019 at 1:07 pm GMT

HK was a colony; this is what the marchers aspire to, to make HK colony again.

I haven't followed this closely, but – why? Why would so many Chinese want that? I understand a couple of tycoons, but why would ethnic Chinese want a foreign rule?

Perhaps they- just speculating – don't care about full democracy, but are scared of China's Big Brother policy of complete surveillance & a zombie slavery society. No one with a functioning mind- and the Chinese, whatever one thinks of their hyper-nationalism & a streak of robotic- groupthink- conformist culture – wants to live in a chaos; but also, no one wants to live in a dystopian nightmare which is the fundamental social project of the new China.

peterAUS , says: August 25, 2019 at 8:57 pm GMT
The latest, apaprently, from The Mouth (Sauron .):

.Four police officers were filmed drawing their guns after demonstrators were seen chasing them with metal pipes .

.senior police officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said this week that officers had been targeted and exposed online even while there was temporary peace on the streets. The police said officers' personal data, contact information, home addresses, and more had been shared online, and accused protesters of threatening officers' families .

Is anyone there thinking that as soon as they "neutralize" the LOCAL police force SOMETHING else will come into the fray?
Probably not. Feels good.

This time it won't be Communist era conscripts of the regular Army.

I'd say good luck to those protesters but really can't. Wouldn't make any sense.

Chinaman , says: August 25, 2019 at 10:31 pm GMT

A state that is not ready to use force will necessarily fail, as did the Ukrainian state under Mr Yanukowych in 2014. Blood will be shed and the state will be ruined, if its rulers are too squeamish to stop the rebellion.

Thank you, Me Shamir.

Your analogy of the house nigger is spot on and a accurate portrayal of the slave mentality held by these protestors. It is the epitome of shamelessness and insanity to beg to be enslaved. As a Hker, I am happy to say none of the people I associate with support the protestors and these British house niggers are the filth of HK society.

You are absolutely right to point out a state that is not ready to use force will fail and I think the situation have reached a critical point where some blood must be shed and some examples to be made. There is a Chinese saying " People don't cry until they see the coffin." Time to bring it on.

I never understood Mao and why he had to kill all those millions of people, I do now

Wally , says: August 26, 2019 at 5:13 am GMT
@Corvinus said:
"No, they want to be free from the shackles of China."

HK was taken from China, China has the right to take it back.

Richard B , says: August 26, 2019 at 6:25 am GMT
@The Alarmist "No, it is not astonishing. Your homework for tonight is to re-read chapter five of The Iron Curtain Over America"

One of the must reads in The TUR library.

Richard B , says: August 26, 2019 at 6:30 am GMT
@Brabantian Spot on!

You know who the hostile elite really fears?

People they frame and jail, or kill.

Like Schaeffer Cox and LaVoy.

TKK , says: August 26, 2019 at 7:21 am GMT
The protests are also driven by personal autonomy desires.

Look at the micro level. My sister teaches English in Chengdu. Google, Gmail, You Tube, What's App and Facebook are all blocked in China.

You have to download a VPN before you land to use any of these sites.

Everything online in China is done by WeChat. *Everything* . From video calls to pay your utilities to banking. It's an open joke that WeChat is heavily monitored by the Party. It's the meat of your social credit score- WeChat data.

However, in HK, there are servers where you can hop on FB, Google products and the like.

HK has a more laisse faire vibe that huge enormous China. If you have never been, that point can't be overstated. To make blanket statements about anything in China is misleading.

Because China is another planet. HK was/ is a cosmopolitan outpost that had its own identity- It does not want to be swallowed up by clodhopper spitting burping mainlanders completely.

Bardon Kaldian , says: August 26, 2019 at 8:29 am GMT
Most comments are idiotic (as is the article). True, Western players certainly have fomented much of this; true, many (most?) protesters are violent & obnoxius; true, Chinese national identity planners want to unify, step by step, all mainland (and not only them) Han Chinese under one rule, fearing of some disintegration in the future.

But, having in mind what kind of society mainland China was & has become, Wittfogel's remark on oriental despotism becomes pertinent .

The good citizens of classical Greece drew strength from the determination of two of their countrymen, Sperthias and Bulis, to resist the lure of total power. On their way to Suza, the Spartan envoys were met by Hydarnes, a high Persian official, who offered to make them mighty in their homeland, if only they would attach themselves to the Great King, his despotic master. To the benefit of Greece-and to the benefit of all free men-Herodotus has preserved their answer. "Hydarnes," they said, "thou art a one-sided counselor. Thou hast experience of half the matter; but the other half is beyond thy knowledge. A slave's life thou understandest; but, never having tasted liberty, thou canst not tell whether it be sweet or no. Ah! hadst thou known what freedom is, thou wouldst have bidden us fight for it, not with the spear only. but with the battle-axe."

George , says: August 26, 2019 at 11:09 am GMT
"Once, a HK resident was head and shoulders above the miserable mainland coolies; he spoke English, he had smart devices, he had his place in the tentacle sucking wealth out of the mainland, and some of that wealth stuck to his sweaty hands."

HK is having trouble competing with it's closest peer competitor Singapore. Some of the reason for that is a legal framework that disadvantages HK. The basis of HK real estate market attractiveness over other locations in China and the world is a legal framework separate from China. While the extraction treaty seems reasonable at first, remember HK's extradition treaties have to compete with Singaporean, Taiwanese, and Australian extradition treaties. A curiosity of the extradition treaty is HK is already in China, so why the need to extradite people to somewhere else in China?

China might or might not be able to industrialize its economy through central planning. But one industry they have not been able to centrally plan is movies and entertainment. How is it that in the past with nothing HK had a top tier movie industry, Bruce Lee, but now seems to have nothing.

IMO, mainland Chinese authorities just don't understand the HK economy and are mostly chosing policies they consider convenient.

Jake , says: August 26, 2019 at 11:41 am GMT
"Smart and ruthless Jews like Bill Browder, Boris Berezovsky, Roman Abramovich made their fortunes, but Russia was ruined and its people were reduced to poverty."

That is the way the WASP Empire, the Anglo-Zionist Empire, provides freedom.

Send your money to VDARE so it can call for more WASP Empire – which the WASP and Jewish Elites will fill with as many non-whites as they can entice in order to smash the white trash down forever, so that even more Jews become multi-billionaires. And we all can delight in speaking English, the language of international Jewry since WW2.

onebornfree , says: Website August 26, 2019 at 11:46 am GMT
@Wally "HK was taken from China, China has the right to take it back."

Yes, but not until 2047, apparently:

"One country, two systems" is a constitutional principle formulated by Deng Xiaoping, the Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China (PRC), for the reunification of China during the early 1980s. He suggested that there would be only one China, but distinct Chinese regions such as Hong Kong and Macau could retain their own economic and administrative systems, while the rest of the PRC (or "Mainland China") uses the socialism with Chinese characteristics system. Under the principle, each of the two regions could continue to have its own governmental system, legal, economic and financial affairs, including trade relations with foreign countries, all of which are independent from those of the Mainland ."

" .Hong Kong was a colony of the United Kingdom, ruled by a governor appointed by the monarchy of the United Kingdom, for 156 years from 1841 (except for four years of Japanese occupation during WWII) until 1997, when it was returned to Chinese sovereignty. China agreed to accept some conditions, as is stipulated in the Sino-British Joint Declaration, such as the drafting and adoption of Hong Kong's "mini-constitution" Basic Law before its return. The Hong Kong Basic Law ensured that Hong Kong will retain its capitalist economic system and own currency (the Hong Kong Dollar), legal system, legislative system, and people's rights and freedom for fifty years, as a special administrative region (SAR) of China for 50 years. Set to expire in 2047, the current arrangement has permitted Hong Kong to function as its own entity under the name "Hong Kong, China" in many international settings ."

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_country,_two_systems

Its, "interesting" that[ unless I somehow missed it], this important detail was completely omitted from this very poorly written article, and from [at least] the first 56 comments in the thread.

Regards, onebornfree

Ghan-buri-Ghan , says: August 26, 2019 at 12:57 pm GMT
From the comments so far, I notice that the usual Zionist, pro-Jewish, pro-Israeli crew around here (PeterAUS, Corvinus, Bardon Kaldian, TKK) also all happen to be virulently anti-China.

Quite an interesting correlation. It seems to suggest something

Rurik , says: August 26, 2019 at 2:04 pm GMT

We can distinguish a real people's rising and foreign-inspired interventions on behalf of the compradors. The first one will be silenced while the second will be glorified by the New York Times. It is that simple.

Well put Sir.

And spot on true.

It is really the perfect metric for understanding the underlying motivations and relative merit, (or lack there of) for any geopolitical event or movement.

Should the people of Crimea be able to determine their own destiny?

Just look to the NYT to understand the nuances of that region and conflict. If they say Crimea is foundering under Russian tyranny, then you can be 100% certain the opposite is the truth.

Did the US foment democracy in (Yats is the guy) Ukraine? Read the NYT, and it all gets spelled out. Assad's chemical attacks, moderate rebels.. From MH17 to 'Russian aggression', you can find 'all the truth that's fit to print'. Only inversed.

Hong Kong, Donbas, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Charlottesville, Yellow Vests, Gaza, Russian hacking and collusion.. and on and on and on. It's an invaluable tool for understanding our times and the motivations and principles (or lack there of) being brought to bear.

And as you mention, for the really salient things, (like serial aggressive wars based on lies, treasonous atrocities writ large, and assorted war crimes, DNC corruption, GOP corruption, et al ad nauseam), one must listen to the crickets, who speak thunderously of these things, with their telling silence.

Rampant white supremacists shooting people right and left, are bull-horned by the screeching -silence over every POC who's a mass-shooter'.

By carefully not reporting some things, and outright lies and distortions with others, the NYT has become an invaluable tool for glimmering the ((moral abomination)) of our times.

We should all be very grateful for their solid and predictable efforts.

Wally , says: August 26, 2019 at 2:08 pm GMT
@onebornfree So what?

– That agreement does not give complete independence & sovereignty to HK.
– That agreement does not allow rioters to engage in destructive, disruptive, violent actions.
– That agreement mandates that the HK administration maintain order, which heretofore they have not.
– Therefore that agreement has been violated, invalidated by the HK administration.

China has the right & responsibility to maintain order in HK. HK is theirs, they are rightfully taking it back.

[Jun 17, 2019] Student Loan Debt Is the Enemy of Meritocracy

In 1980, the states subsidized 70% of the cost per student. Today it is less than 30% and the amount of grants and scholarships has likewise declined. Tax cuts for rich people and conservative hatred for education are the biggest problem.
Notable quotes:
"... "easy" student loans are a subsidy to colleges, ..."
"... 1965 median family income was $6900, more than 200% of the cost of a year at NU. Current median family income is about 75% of a year at NU. ..."
"... Allowing young adults to avoid challenging and uncomfortable and difficult subjects under the guise of compassion is the enemy of meritocracy. Financial illiteracy is the enemy of meritocracy. ..."
"... The specific market dynamics of health care expenditures are obviously different, but as categories of expenses they have some things in common. First, both are very expensive relative to most other household expenditures. Second, unlike consumer merchandise, neither lends itself very well to cost reduction via offshoring or automation. So in an economy where many consumer prices are held down through a corresponding suppression of real wage growth, they consume a correspondingly larger chunk of the household budget. ..."
"... JUST HAD AN IDEA THAT MIGHT LIMIT THE DAMAGE OF THESE PHONEY ONLINE COLLEGES (pardon shouting, but I think it's justified): ..."
"... of-paying) IF a built for that purpose government agency APPROVES said loan. What do you think? ..."
"... Kaplan Ed is among the worst of the worst of internet federal loan and grant sucking diploma mills. ..."
"... Because every event in today's economy is the wish of the wealthy. Do you see why they suddenly wish to deeply educate the proles? ..."
economistsview.typepad.com
Thomas Piketty on a theme I've been hammering lately, student debt is too damn high!:
Student Loan Debt Is the Enemy of Meritocracy in the US: ...the amount of household debt and even more recently of student debt in the U.S. is something that is really troublesome and it reflects the very large rise in tuition in the U.S. a very large inequality in access to education. I think if we really want to promote more equal opportunity and redistribute chances in access to education we should do something about student debt. And it's not possible to have such a large group of the population entering the labor force with such a big debt behind them. This exemplifies a particular problem with inequality in the United States, which is very high inequality and access to higher education. So in other countries in the developed world you don't have such massive student debt because you have more public support to higher education. I think the plan that was proposed earlier this year in 2015 by President Obama to increase public funding to public universities and community college is exactly justified.
This is really the key for higher growth in the future and also for a more equitable growth..., you have the official discourse about meritocracy, equal opportunity and mobility, and then you have the reality. And the gap between the two can be quite troublesome. So this is like you have a problem like this and there's a lot of hypocrisy about meritocracy in every country, not only in the U.S., but there is evidence suggesting that this has become particularly extreme in the United States. ... So this is a situation that is very troublesome and should rank very highly in the policy agenda in the future in the U.S.

DrDick -> Jeff R Carter:

"college is heavily subsidized"

Bwahahahahahahaha! *gasp*

In 1980, the states subsidized 70% of the cost per student. Today it is less than 30% and the amount of grants and scholarships has likewise declined. Tax cuts for rich people and conservative hatred for education are the biggest problem.

cm -> to DrDick...

I don't know what Jeff meant, but "easy" student loans are a subsidy to colleges, don't you think? Subsidies don't have to be paid directly to the recipient. The people who are getting the student loans don't get to keep the money (but they do get to keep the debt).

DrDick -> to cm...

No I do not agree. If anything, they are a subsidy to the finance industry (since you cannot default on them). More basically, they do not make college more affordable or accessible (his point).

cm -> to DrDick...

Well, what is a subsidy? Most economic entities don't get to keep the money they receive, but it ends up with somebody else or circulates. If I run a business and somebody sends people with money my way (or pays me by customer served), that looks like a subsidy to me - even though I don't get to keep the money, much of it paid for operational expenses not to forget salaries and other perks.

Just because it is not prearranged and no-strings (?) funding doesn't mean it cannot be a subsidy.

The financial system is involved, and benefits, whenever money is sloshing around.

Pinkybum -> to cm...

I think DrDick has this the right way around. Surely one should think of subsidies as to who the payment is directly helping. Subsidies to students would lower the barrier of entry into college. Subsidies to colleges help colleges hire better professors, offer more classes, reduce the cost of classes etc. Student loans are no subsidy at all except to the finance industry because they cannot be defaulted on and even then some may never be paid back because of bankruptcies.

However, that is always the risk of doing business as a loan provider. It might be interesting to assess the return on student loans compared to other loan instruments.

mrrunangun -> to Jeff R Carter...

The cost of higher education has risen relative to the earning power of the student and/or the student's family unless that family is in the top 10-20% wealth or income groups.

50 years ago it was possible for a lower middle class student to pay all expenses for Northwestern University with his/her own earnings. Tuition was $1500 and room + board c $1000/year. The State of Illinois had a scholarship grant program and all you needed was a 28 or 29 on the ACT to qualify for a grant that paid 80% of that tuition. A male student could make $2000 in a summer construction job, such as were plentiful during those booming 60s. That plus a low wage job waiting tables, night security, work-study etc could cover the remaining tuition and expense burden.

The annual nut now is in excess of $40,000 at NU and not much outside the $40,000-50,000 range at other second tier or elite schools.

The state schools used to produce the bedrock educated upper middle class of business and professional people in most states west of the seaboard. Tuition there 50 years ago was about $1200/year and room and board about $600-800 here in the midwest. Again you could put yourself through college waiting tables part-time. It wasn't easy but it was possible.

No way a kid who doesn't already possess an education can make the tuition and expenses of a private school today. I don't know what the median annual family income was in 1965 but I feel confident that it was well above the annual nut for a private college. Now it's about equal to it.

mrrunangun -> to mrrunangun...

1965 median family income was $6900, more than 200% of the cost of a year at NU. Current median family income is about 75% of a year at NU.

anne -> to 400 ppm CO2...

Linking for:

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Presentation-National-Debt.png

Click on "Share" under the graph that is initially constructed and copy the "Link" that appears:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=13Ew

March 22, 2015

Federal debt, 1966-2014

This allows a reader to understand how the graph was constructed and to work with the graph.

ilsm:

The US spends half the money the entire world spends on war, that is success!

Massive student debt, huge doses poverty, scores of thousands [of annual neglect related] deaths from the wretched health care system etc are not failure!

tew:

Poor education is the enemy of meritocracy. Costly, bloated administrations full of non-educators there to pamper and pander to every possible complaint and special interest - that is the enemy of meritocracy.

Convincing kids to simple "follow their dreams" regardless of education cost and career potential is the enemy of meritocracy. Allowing young adults to avoid challenging and uncomfortable and difficult subjects under the guise of compassion is the enemy of meritocracy. Financial illiteracy is the enemy of meritocracy.

Manageable student debt is no great enemy of meritocracy.

cm -> to tew...

This misses the point, aside frm the victim blaming. Few people embark on college degrees to "follow their dream", unless the dream is getting admission to the middle class job market.

When I was in elementary/middle school, the admonitions were of the sort "if you are not good in school you will end up sweeping streets" - from a generation who still saw street cleaning as manual labor, in my days it was already mechanized.

I estimate that about 15% or so of every cohort went to high school and then college, most went to a combined vocational/high school track, and some of those then later also went college, often from work.

This was before the big automation and globalization waves, when there were still enough jobs for everybody, and there was no pretense that you needed a fancy title to do standard issue work or as a social signal of some sort.

Richard H. Serlin:

Student loans and college get the bulk of the education inequality attention, and it's not nearly enough attention, but it's so much more. The early years are so crucial, as Nobel economist James Heckman has shown so well. Some children get no schooling or educational/developmental day care until almost age 6, when it should start in the first year, with preschool starting at 3. Others get high quality Montessori, and have had 3 years of it by the time they enter kindergarten, when others have had zero of any kind of education when they enter kindergarten.

Some children spend summers in high quality summer school and educational programs; others spend three months digressing and learning nothing. Some children get SAT prep programs costing thousands, and high end educational afterschool programs; others get nothing after school.

All these things should be available in high quality to any child; it's not 1810 anymore Republicans, the good old days of life expectancy in the 30s and dirt poverty for the vast majority. We need just a little more education in the modern world. But this also makes for hugely unequal opportunity.

Observer -> to Observer...

Data on degree by year ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educational_attainment_in_the_United_States

Observer -> to Syaloch...

One needs to differentiate between costs (total dollars spent per student credit hour or degree, or whatever the appropriate metric is) and price (what fraction of the cost is allocated to the the end-user student).

Note that the level of state funding impacts price, not cost; that discussion is usually about cost shifting, not cost reduction.

I'd say that the rate of increase in costs is, more or less, independent of the percent of costs borne by the state. You can indeed see this in the increase in private schools, the state funding is small/nil (particularly in schools without material endowments, where actual annual fees (prices) must closely actual match annual costs). Price discounts and federal funding may both complicate this analysis.

I think much more effort should be spent on understanding and controlling costs. As with health care, just saying "spend more money" is probably not the wise or even sustainable path in the long term.

Costs were discussed at some length here a year(?) or so ago. There is at least one fairly comprehensive published analysis of higher education costs drivers. IIRC, their conclusion was that there were a number of drivers - its not just food courts or more administrators. Sorry, don't recall the link.

Syaloch -> to cm...

Actually for my first job out of college at BLS, I basically was hired for my "rounded personality" combined with a general understanding of economic principles, not for any specific job-related skills. I had no prior experience working with Laspeyres price indexes, those skills were acquired through on-the-job training. Similarly in software development there is no degree that can make you a qualified professional developer; the best a degree can do is to show you are somewhat literate in X development language and that you have a good understanding of general software development principles. Most of the specific skills you'll need to be effective will be learned on the job.

The problem is that employers increasingly want to avoid any responsibility for training and mentoring, and to shift this burden onto schools. These institutions respond by jettisoning courses in areas deemed unnecessary for short-term vocational purposes, even though what you learn in many of these courses is probably more valuable and durable in the long run than the skills obtained through job-specific training, which often have a remarkably short shelf-life. (How valuable to you now is all that COBOL training you had back in the day?)

I guess the question then is, is the sole purpose of higher education to provide people with entry-level job skills for some narrowly-defined job description which may not even exist in a decade? A lot of people these days seem to feel that way. But I believe that in the long run it's a recipe for disaster at both the individual and the societal level.

Richard H. Serlin -> to Observer...

"Observer"

The research is just not on you side, as Heckman has shown very well. Early education and development makes a huge difference, and at age 5-7 (kindergarten) children are much better off with more schooling than morning to noon. This is why educated parents who can afford it pay a lot of money for a full day -- with afterschool and weekened programs on top.

Yes, we're more educated than 1810, but I use 1810 because that's the kind of small government, little spending on education (you want your children educated you pay for it.) that the Republican Party would love to return us to if they thought they could get away with it. And we've become little more educated in the last 50 years even though the world has become much more technologically advanced.

anne:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=14T9

January 30, 2015

Student Loans Outstanding as a share of Gross Domestic Product, 2007-2014


http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=14Ta

January 30, 2015

Student Loans Outstanding, 2007-2014

(Percent change)

anne:

As to increasing college costs, would there be an analogy to healthcare costs?

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/25/why-markets-cant-cure-healthcare/

July 25, 2009

Why Markets Can't Cure Healthcare
By Paul Krugman

Judging both from comments on this blog and from some of my mail, a significant number of Americans believe that the answer to our health care problems - indeed, the only answer - is to rely on the free market. Quite a few seem to believe that this view reflects the lessons of economic theory.

Not so. One of the most influential economic papers of the postwar era was Kenneth Arrow's "Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Health Care," * which demonstrated - decisively, I and many others believe - that health care can't be marketed like bread or TVs. Let me offer my own version of Arrow's argument.

There are two strongly distinctive aspects of health care. One is that you don't know when or whether you'll need care - but if you do, the care can be extremely expensive. The big bucks are in triple coronary bypass surgery, not routine visits to the doctor's office; and very, very few people can afford to pay major medical costs out of pocket.

This tells you right away that health care can't be sold like bread. It must be largely paid for by some kind of insurance. And this in turn means that someone other than the patient ends up making decisions about what to buy. Consumer choice is nonsense when it comes to health care. And you can't just trust insurance companies either - they're not in business for their health, or yours.

This problem is made worse by the fact that actually paying for your health care is a loss from an insurers' point of view - they actually refer to it as "medical costs." This means both that insurers try to deny as many claims as possible, and that they try to avoid covering people who are actually likely to need care. Both of these strategies use a lot of resources, which is why private insurance has much higher administrative costs than single-payer systems. And since there's a widespread sense that our fellow citizens should get the care we need - not everyone agrees, but most do - this means that private insurance basically spends a lot of money on socially destructive activities.

The second thing about health care is that it's complicated, and you can't rely on experience or comparison shopping. ("I hear they've got a real deal on stents over at St. Mary's!") That's why doctors are supposed to follow an ethical code, why we expect more from them than from bakers or grocery store owners.

You could rely on a health maintenance organization to make the hard choices and do the cost management, and to some extent we do. But HMOs have been highly limited in their ability to achieve cost-effectiveness because people don't trust them - they're profit-making institutions, and your treatment is their cost.

Between those two factors, health care just doesn't work as a standard market story.

All of this doesn't necessarily mean that socialized medicine, or even single-payer, is the only way to go. There are a number of successful healthcare systems, at least as measured by pretty good care much cheaper than here, and they are quite different from each other. There are, however, no examples of successful health care based on the principles of the free market, for one simple reason: in health care, the free market just doesn't work. And people who say that the market is the answer are flying in the face of both theory and overwhelming evidence.

* http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/82/2/PHCBP.pdf

anne -> to anne...

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CUUR0000SEEB01?output_view=pct_12mths

January 30, 2015

College tuition and fees, 1980–2015

(Percentage change)

1980 ( 9.4)
1981 ( 12.4) Reagan
1982 ( 13.4)
1983 ( 10.4)
1984 ( 10.2)

1985 ( 9.1)
1986 ( 8.1)
1987 ( 7.6)
1988 ( 7.6) Bush
1989 ( 7.9)

1990 ( 8.1)
1991 ( 10.2)
1992 ( 10.7) Clinton
1993 ( 9.4)
1994 ( 7.0)

1995 ( 6.0)
1996 ( 5.7)
1997 ( 5.1)
1998 ( 4.2)
1999 ( 4.0)

2000 ( 4.1)
2001 ( 5.1) Bush
2002 ( 6.8)
2003 ( 8.4)
2004 ( 9.5)

2005 ( 7.5)
2006 ( 6.7)
2007 ( 6.2)
2008 ( 6.2)
2009 ( 6.0) Obama

2010 ( 5.2)
2011 ( 5.0)
2012 ( 4.8)
2013 ( 4.2)
2014 ( 3.7)

January

2015 ( 3.6)


Syaloch -> to anne...

I believe so, as I noted above. The specific market dynamics of health care expenditures are obviously different, but as categories of expenses they have some things in common. First, both are very expensive relative to most other household expenditures. Second, unlike consumer merchandise, neither lends itself very well to cost reduction via offshoring or automation. So in an economy where many consumer prices are held down through a corresponding suppression of real wage growth, they consume a correspondingly larger chunk of the household budget.

Another interesting feature of both health care and college education is that there are many proffered explanations as to why their cost is rising so much relative to other areas, but a surprising lack of a really authoritative explanation based on solid evidence.

anne -> to Syaloch...

Another interesting feature of both health care and college education is that there are many proffered explanations as to why their cost is rising so much relative to other areas, but a surprising lack of a really authoritative explanation based on solid evidence.

[ Look to the paper by Kenneth Arrow, which I cannot copy, for what is to me a convincing explanation as to the market defeating factors of healthcare. However, I have no proper explanation about education costs and am only speculating or looking for an analogy. ]

anne -> to Syaloch...

The specific market dynamics of health care expenditures are obviously different, but as categories of expenses they have some things in common. First, both are very expensive relative to most other household expenditures. Second, unlike consumer merchandise, neither lends itself very well to cost reduction via offshoring or automation. So in an economy where many consumer prices are held down through a corresponding suppression of real wage growth, they consume a correspondingly larger chunk of the household budget.

[ Nicely expressed. ]

Peter K. -> to anne...

"As to increasing college costs, would there be an analogy to healthcare costs?"

Yes, exactly. They aren't normal markets. There should be heavy government regulation.

Denis Drew:

JUST HAD AN IDEA THAT MIGHT LIMIT THE DAMAGE OF THESE PHONEY ONLINE COLLEGES (pardon shouting, but I think it's justified):

Only allow government guaranteed loans (and the accompanying you-can-never-get-out-of-paying) IF a built for that purpose government agency APPROVES said loan. What do you think?

Denis Drew -> to cm...

A big reason we had the real estate bubble was actually the mad Republican relaxation of loan requirements -- relying on the "free market." So, thanks for coming up with a good comparison.

By definition, for the most part, people taking out student loans are shall we say new to the world and more vulnerable to the pirates.
* * * * * * * * * *
[cut and paste from my comment on AB]
Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post.

According to an article in the Huffington Post At Kaplan University, 'Guerrilla Registration' Leaves Students Deep In Debt, Kaplan Ed is among the worst of the worst of internet federal loan and grant sucking diploma mills. Going so far as to falsely pad bills $5000 or so dollars at diploma time - pay up immediately or you will never get your sheepskin; you wasted your time. No gov agency will act.

According to a lovely graph which I wish I could patch in here the Post may actually be currently be kept afloat only by purloined cash from Kaplan:

earnings before corporate overhead

2002 - Kaplan ed, $10 mil; Kaplan test prep, $45 mil: WaPo, $100 mil
2005 - Kaplan ed, $55 mil; Kaplan test prep, $100 mil; WaPo, $105 mil
2009 - Kaplan ed, $255 mil; Kaplan test prep, $5 mil; WaPo negative $175 mil

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/22/kaplan-university-guerilla-registration_n_799741.html

Wonder if billionaire Bezos will reach out to make Kaplan Ed victims whole. Will he really continue to use Kaplan's pirated money to keep WaPo whole -- if that is what is going on?

Johannes Y O Highness:

"theme I've been hammering lately, student debt is too damn high!: "

Too damn high
but why?

Because! Because every event in today's economy is the wish of the wealthy. Do you see why they suddenly wish to deeply educate the proles?

Opportunity cost! The burden of the intelligentsia, the brain work can by carried by robots or humans. Choice of the wealthy? Humans, hands down. Can you see the historical background?

Railroad was the first robot. According to Devon's Paradox, it was overused because of its increment of efficiency. Later, excessive roadbeds were disassembled. Rails were sold as scrap.

The new robots are not heavy lifters. New robots are there to do the work of the brain trust. As first robots replaced lower caste jokers, so shall new robots replace upper caste jokers. Do you see the fear developing inside the huddle of high rollers? Rollers now calling the play?

High rollers plan to educate small time hoods to do the work of the new robots, then kill the new robots before the newbie 'bot discovers how to kill the wealthy, to kill, to replace them forever.

Terrifying fear
strikes

Observer:

Good bit of data on education costs here

http://centerforcollegeaffordability.org/

This chart shows state spending per student and tuition ...

" overall perhaps the best description of the data is something along the lines of "sometimes state appropriations go up and sometimes they go down, but tuition always goes up." "

http://centerforcollegeaffordability.org/2012/12/04/chart-of-the-week-state-appropriations-and-public-tuitions/

[Mar 20, 2019] Bankrupt British Empire Keeps Pushing To Overthrow Putin

This is anold, 2015 article that is still rrrelenet today. Well written overview of British policies toward Russia
Notable quotes:
"... Lyndon LaRouche has observed that anybody acting according to this British agenda with the intention of coming out on top is a fool, since the British financial-political empire is bankrupt and its entire system is coming down. ..."
"... EU: British imperial interests are intent on destroying Prime Minister Putin's bid for the Presidency, and throwing Russia into deadly political turmoil. ..."
"... In her testimony, Diuk came off like a reincarnation of a 1950s Cold Warrior, raving against the Russian government as "authoritarian," "dictators," and so forth. She said, "The trend lines for freedom and democracy in Russia have been unremittingly negative since Vladimir Putin took power and set about the systematic construction of a representation of their interests within the state." She announced at that point that the elections would be illegitimate: "[T]he current regime will likely use the upcoming parliamentary elections in December 2011 and presidential election in March 2012 with the inevitable falsifications and manipulations, to claim the continued legitimacy of its rule." ..."
"... The British-educated Nadia Diuk is vice president of the National Endowment for Democracy, from which perch she has spread "Cold War" venom against Putin and the Russian government. ..."
"... Rafal Rohozinski and Ronald Deibert, two top profilers of the Russian Internet, noted that the Runet grew five times faster than the next fastest growing Internet region, the Middle East, in 2000-08. ..."
"... NED grant money has gone to Alexei Navalny (inset), the online "anti-corruption" activist and cult figure of the December demonstrations. Addressing crowds on the street, Navalny sounds more like Mussolini than a proponent of democracy. A Russian columnist found him reminiscent of either Hitler, or Catalina, who conspired against the Roman Republic. Shown: the Dec. 24 demonstration in Moscow. ..."
Jan 09, 2012 | http://schillerinstitute.org/russia/2012/0122_overthrow_putin.html
This article appears in the January 20, 2012 issue of Executive Intelligence Review and is reprinted with permission.

[PDF version of this article]

January 9, 2012 -Organizers of the December 2011 "anti-vote-fraud" demonstrations in Moscow have announced Feb. 4 as the date of their next street action, planned as a march around the city's Garden Ring Road on the 22nd anniversary of a mass demonstration which paved the way to the end of the Soviet Union. While there is a fluid situation within both the Russian extraparliamentary opposition layers, and the ruling circles and other Duma parties, including a process of "dialogue" between them, in which ex-Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin is playing a role, it is clear that British imperial interests are intent on-if not actually destroying Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's bid for reelection as Russia's President in the March 4 elections-casting Russia into ongoing, destructive political turmoil.

Lyndon LaRouche has observed that anybody acting according to this British agenda with the intention of coming out on top is a fool, since the British financial-political empire is bankrupt and its entire system is coming down.

Review of the events leading up to the Dec. 4, 2011 Duma elections, which the street demonstrators demanded be cancelled for fraud, shows that not only agent-of-British-influence Mikhail Gorbachov, the ex-Soviet President, but also the vast Project Democracy apparatus inside the United States, exposed by EIR in the 1980s as part of an unconstitutional "secret government,"[1] have been on full mobilization to block the current Russian leadership from continuing in power.

Project Democracy

Typical is the testimony of Nadia Diuk, vice president of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), before the Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs last July 26. The NED is the umbrella of Project Democracy; it functions, inclusively, through the International Republican Institute (IRI, linked with the Republican Party) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI, linked with the Democratic Party, and currently headed by Madeleine Albright).

Diuk was educated at the U.K.'s Unversity of Sussex Russian studies program, and then taught at Oxford University, before coming to the U.S.A. to head up the NED's programs in Eastern Europe and Russia beginning 1990. She is married to her frequent co-author, Adrian Karatnycky of the Atlantic Institute, who headed up the private intelligence outfit Freedom House[2] for 12 years. Her role is typical of British outsourcing of key strategic operations to U.S. institutions.

EU: British imperial interests are intent on destroying Prime Minister Putin's bid for the Presidency, and throwing Russia into deadly political turmoil.

In her testimony, Diuk came off like a reincarnation of a 1950s Cold Warrior, raving against the Russian government as "authoritarian," "dictators," and so forth. She said, "The trend lines for freedom and democracy in Russia have been unremittingly negative since Vladimir Putin took power and set about the systematic construction of a representation of their interests within the state." She announced at that point that the elections would be illegitimate: "[T]he current regime will likely use the upcoming parliamentary elections in December 2011 and presidential election in March 2012 with the inevitable falsifications and manipulations, to claim the continued legitimacy of its rule."

Diuk expressed renewed hope that the disastrous 2004 Orange Revolution experiment in Ukraine could be replicated in Russia, claiming that "when the protests against authoritarian rule during Ukraine's Orange Revolution brought down the government in 2004, Russian citizens saw a vision across the border of an alternative future for themselves as a Slavic nation." She then detailed what she claimed were the Kremlin's reactions to the events in Ukraine, charging that "the leaders in the Kremlin-always the most creative innovators in the club of authoritarians-have also taken active measures to promote support of the government and undermine the democratic opposition...."

Holos Ameryky

The British-educated Nadia Diuk is vice president of the National Endowment for Democracy, from which perch she has spread "Cold War" venom against Putin and the Russian government.

While lauding "the democratic breakthroughs in the Middle East" in 2011, Diuk called on the Congress to "look to [Eastern Europe] as the source of a great wealth of experience on how the enemies of freedom are ever on the alert to assert their dominance, but also how the forces for freedom and democracy will always find a way to push back in a struggle that demands our support."

In September, Diuk chaired an NED event featuring a representative of the NED-funded Levada Center Russian polling organization, who gave an overview of the then-upcoming December 4 Duma election. Also speaking there was Russian liberal politician Vladimir Kara-Murza, who predicted in the nastiest tones that Putin will suffer the fate of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. In this same September period, Mikhail Gorbachov, too, was already forecasting voting irregularities and a challenge to Putin's dominance.

The NED, which has an annual budget of $100 million, sponsors dozens of "civil society" groups in Russia. Golos, the supposedly independent vote-monitoring group that declared there would be vote fraud even before the elections took place, has received NED money through the NDI since 2000. Golos had a piecework program, paying its observers a set amount of money for each reported voting irregularity. NED grant money has gone to Alexei Navalny-the online anti-corruption activist and cult figure of the December demonstrations-since 2006, when he and Maria Gaidar (daughter of the late London-trained shock therapy Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar) launched a youth debating project called "DA!" (meaning "Yes!" or standing for "Democratic Alternative"). Gorbachov's close ally Vladimir Ryzhkov, currently negotiating with Kudrin on terms of a "dialogue between the authorities and the opposition," also received NED grants to his World Movement for Democracy.

Besides George Soros's Open Society Foundations (formerly, Open Society Institute, OSI), the biggest source of funds for this meddling, including funding which was channeled through the NDI and the IRI, is the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Officially, USAID has spent $2.6 billion on programs in Russia since 1992. The current acknowledged level is around $70 million annually, of which nearly half is for "Governing Justly & Democratically" programs, another 30% for "Information" programs, and only a small fraction for things like combatting HIV and TB. On Dec. 15, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon announced that the Obama Administration would seek Congressional approval to step up this funding, with "an initiative to create a new fund to support Russian non-governmental organizations that are committed to a more pluralistic and open society."

Awaiting McFaul

White House/Pete Souza

The impending arrival in Moscow of Michael McFaul (shown here with his boss in the Oval Office), as U.S. Ambassador to Russia, is seen by many there as an escalation of Project Democracy efforts to destabilize the country.

People from various parts of the political spectrum in Russia see the impending arrival of Michael McFaul as U.S. Ambassador to Russia as an escalation in Project Democracy efforts to destabilize Russia. McFaul, who has been Barack Obama's National Security Council official for Russia, has been working this beat since the early 1990s, when he represented the NDI in Russia at the end of the Soviet period, and headed its office there.

As a Russia specialist at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Hoover Institution, as well as the Carnegie Endowment, and an array of other Russian studies think tanks, McFaul has stuck closely to the Project Democracy agenda. Financing for his research has come from the NED, the OSI, and the Smith-Richardson Foundation (another notorious agency of financier interests within the U.S. establishment). He was an editor of the 2006 book Revolution in Orange: The Origins of Ukraine's Democratic Breakthrough, containing chapters by Diuk and Karatnycky.

In his own contribution to a 2010 book titled After Putin's Russia,[3] McFaul hailed the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine-which was notoriously funded and manipulated from abroad-as a triumph of "people's political power from below to resist and eventually overturn a fraudulent election."

Before coming to the NSC, one of McFaul's many positions at Stanford was co-director of the Iran Democracy Project. He has also been active in such projects as the British Henry Jackson Society which is active in the drive to overthrow the government of Syria.

The Internet Dimension

The December 2011 street demonstrations in Moscow were organized largely online. Participation rose from a few hundred on Dec. 5, the day after the election, to an estimated 20,000 people on Bolotnaya Square Dec. 10, and somewhere in the wide range of 30,000 to 120,000 on Academician Sakharov Prospect Dec. 24.

Headlong expansion of Internet access and online social networking over the past three to five years has opened up a new dimension of political-cultural warfare in Russia. An EIR investigation finds that British intelligence agencies involved in the current attempts to destabilize Russia and, in their maximum version, overthrow Putin, have been working intensively to profile online activity in Russia and find ways to expand and exploit it. Some of these projects are outsourced to think tanks in the U.S.A. and Canada, but their center is Cambridge University in the U.K.-the heart of the British Empire, home of Bertrand Russell's systems analysis and related ventures of the Cambridge Apostles.[4]

The scope of the projects goes beyond profiling, as can be seen in the Cambridge-centered network's interaction with Russian anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, a central figure in the December protest rallies.

While George Soros and his OSI prioritized building Internet access in the former Soviet Union starting two decades ago, as recently as in 2008 British cyberspace specialists were complaining that the Internet was not yet efficient for political purposes in Russia. Oxford University's Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism produced a Soros-funded report in 2008, titled "The Web that Failed: How opposition politics and independent initiatives are failing on the Internet in Russia." The Oxford-Reuters authors regretted that processes like the Orange Revolution, in which online connections were crucial, had not gotten a toehold in Russia. But they quoted a 2007 report by Andrew Kuchins of the Moscow Carnegie Center, who found reason for optimism in the seven-fold increase in Russian Internet (Runet) use from 2000 to 2007. They also cited Robert Orttung of American University and the Resource Security Institute, on how Russian blogs were reaching "the most dynamic members of the youth generation" and could be used by "members of civil society" to mobilize "liberal opposition groups and nationalists."

Scarcely a year later, a report by the digital marketing firm comScore crowed that booming Internet access had led to Russia's having "the world's most engaged social networking audience." Russian Facebook use rose by 277% from 2008 to 2009. The Russia-based social networking outfit Vkontakte.ru (like Facebook) had 14.3 million visitors in 2009; Odnoklassniki.ru (like Classmates.com) had 7.8 million; and Mail.ru-My World had 6.3 million. All three of these social networking sites are part of the Mail.ru/Digital Sky Technologies empire of Yuri Milner,[5] with the individual companies registered in the British Virgin Islands and other offshore locations.

The Cambridge Security Programme

Rafal Rohozinski and Ronald Deibert, two top profilers of the Russian Internet, noted that the Runet grew five times faster than the next fastest growing Internet region, the Middle East, in 2000-08.

Two top profilers of the Runet are Ronald Deibert and Rafal Rohozinski, who assessed its status in their essay "Control and Subversion in Russian Cyberspace."[6] At the University of Toronto, Deibert is a colleague of Barry Wellman, co-founder of the International Network of Social Network Analysis (INSNA).[7] Rohozinski is a cyber-warfare specialist who ran the Advanced Network Research Group of the Cambridge Security Programme (CSP) at Cambridge University in 2002-07. Nominally ending its work, the CSP handed off its projects to an array of organizations in the OpenNet Initiative (ONI), including Rohozinski's SecDev Group consulting firm, which issues the Information Warfare Monitor.

The ONI, formally dedicated to mapping and circumventing Internet surveillance and filtering by governments, is a joint project of Cambridge (Rohozinski), the Oxford Internet Institute, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, and the University of Toronto.

Deibert and Rohozinski noted that the Runet grew five times faster than the next fastest growing Internet region, the Middle East, in 2000-08. They cited official estimates that 38 million Russians were going online as of 2010, of whom 60 had broadband access from home; the forecast number of Russia-based Runet users by 2012 was 80 million, out of a population of 140 million. Qualitatively, the ONI authors welcomed what they called "the rise of the Internet to the center of Russian culture and politics." On the political side, they asserted that "the Internet has eclipsed all the mass media in terms of its reach, readership, and especially in the degree of free speech and opportunity to mobilize that it provides."

This notion of an Internet-savvy core of the population becoming the focal point of Russian society is now being hyped by those who want to push the December demonstrations into a full-scale political crisis. Such writers call this segment of the population "the creative class," or "the active creative minority," which can override an inert majority of the population. The Dec. 30 issue of Vedomosti, a financial daily co-owned by the Financial Times of London, featured an article by sociologist Natalya Zubarevich, which was then publicized in "Window on Eurasia" by Paul Goble, a State Department veteran who has concentrated for decades on the potential for Russia to split along ethnic or other lines.

Zubarevich proposed that the 31% of the Russian population living in the 14 largest cities, of which 9 have undergone "post-industrial transformation," constitute a special, influential class, as against the inhabitants of rural areas (38%) and mid-sized industrial cities with an uncertain future (25%). Goble defined the big-city population as a target: "It is in this Russia that the 35 million domestic users of the Internet and those who want a more open society are concentrated."

The Case of Alexei Navalny

In the "The Web that Failed" study, Oxford-Reuters authors Floriana Fossato, John Lloyd, and Alexander Verkhovsky delved into the missing elements, in their view, of the Russian Internet. What would it take, they asked, for Runet participants to be able to "orchestrate motivation and meaningful commitments"? They quoted Julia Minder of the Russian portal Rambler, who said about the potential for "mobilization": "Blogs are at the moment the answer, but the issue is how to find a leading blogger who wants to meet people on the Internet several hours per day. Leading bloggers need to be entertaining.... The potential is there, but more often than not it is not used."

NED grant money has gone to Alexei Navalny (inset), the online "anti-corruption" activist and cult figure of the December demonstrations. Addressing crowds on the street, Navalny sounds more like Mussolini than a proponent of democracy. A Russian columnist found him reminiscent of either Hitler, or Catalina, who conspired against the Roman Republic. Shown: the Dec. 24 demonstration in Moscow.

It is difficult not to wonder if Alexei Navalny is a test-tube creation intended to fill the missing niche. This would not be the first time in recent Russian history that such a thing happened. In 1990, future neoliberal "young reformers" Anatoli Chubais and Sergei Vasilyev wrote a paper under International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) auspices, on the priorities for reform in the Soviet Union. They stated that a certain personality was missing on the Soviet scene at that time: the wealthy businessman. In their IIASA paper, Chubais and Vasilyev wrote: "We now see a figure, arising from historical non-existence: the figure of a businessman-entrepreneur, who has enough capital to bear the investment responsibility, and enough technological knowledge and willingness to support innovation."[8]

This type of person was subsequently brought into existence through the corrupt post-Soviet privatization process in Russia, becoming known as "the oligarchs." Was Navalny, similarly, synthesized as a charismatic blogger to fill the British subversive need for "mobilization"?

Online celebrity Navalny's arrest in Moscow on Dec. 5, and his speech at the Academician Sakharov Prospect rally on Dec. 24 were highlights of last month's turmoil in the Russian capital. Now 35 years old, Navalny grew up in a Soviet/Russian military family and was educated as a lawyer. In 2006, he began to be financed by NED for the DA! project (see above). Along the way-maybe through doing online day-trading, as some biographies suggest, or maybe from unknown benefactors-Navalny acquired enough money to be able to spend $40,000 (his figure) on a few shares in each of several major Russian companies with a high percentage of state ownership. This gave him minority-shareholder status, as a platform for his anti-corruption probes.

It must be understood that the web of "corruption" in Russia is the system of managing cash flows through payoffs, string-pulling, and criminal extortion, which arose out of the boost that Gorbachov's perestroika policy gave to pre-existing Soviet criminal networks in the 1980s. It then experienced a boom under darlings of London like Gaidar, who oversaw the privatization process known as the Great Criminal Revolution in the 1990s. As Russia has been integrated into an international financial order, which itself relies on criminal money flows from the dope trade and strategically motivated scams like Britain's BAE operations in the Persian Gulf, the preponderance of shady activity in the Russian economy has only increased.

Putin's governments inherited this system, and it can be ended when the commitment to monetarism, which LaRouche has identified as a fatal flaw even among genuinely pro-development Russians, is broken in Russia and worldwide. The current bankruptcy of the Trans-Atlantic City of London-Eurozone-Wall Street system means that now is the time for this to happen!

Yale Fellows

In 2010, Navalny was accepted to the Yale World Fellows Program, as one of fewer than 20 approved candidates out of over a thousand applicants. As EIR has reported, the Yale Fellows are instructed by the likes of British Foreign Office veteran Lord Mark Malloch-Brown and representatives of Soros's Open Society Foundations.[9] What's more, the World Fellows Program is funded by The Starr Foundation of Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg, former chairman and CEO of insurance giant American International Group (AIG), the recipient of enormous Bush Jr.-Obama bailout largesse in 2008-09; Greenberg and his C.V. Starr company have a long record of facilitating "regime change" (aka coups), going back to the 1986 overthrow of President Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines. Navalny reports that Maria Gaidar told him to try for the program, and he enjoyed recommendations from top professors at the New Economic School in Moscow, a hotbed of neoliberalism and mathematical economics. It was from New Haven that Navalny launched his anti-corruption campaign against Transneft, the Russian national oil pipeline company, specifically in relation to money movements around the new East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline. The ESPO has just finished the first year of operation of its spur supplying Russian oil to China.

Navalny presents a split personality to the public. Online he is "Mr. Openness." He posts the full legal documentation of his corruption exposés. When his e-mail account was hacked, and his correspondence with U.S. Embassy and NED officials about funding him was made public, Navalny acknowledged that the e-mails were genuine. He tries to disarm interviewers with questions like, "Do you think I'm an American project, or a Kremlin one?"

During the early-January 2012 holiday lull in Russia, Navalny engaged in a lengthy, oh-so-civilized dialogue in Live Journal with Boris Akunin (real name, Grigori Chkhartishvili), a famous detective-story author and liberal activist who was another leader of the December demonstrations, about whether Navalny's commitment to the slogan "Russia for the Russians" marks him as a bigot who is unfit to lead. Addressing crowds on the street, however, Navalny sounds like Mussolini. Prominent Russian columnist Maxim Sokolov, writing in Izvestia, found him reminiscent of either Hitler, or Catalina, who conspired against the Roman Republic.

Navalny may well end up being expendable in the view of his sponsors. In the meantime, it is clear that he is working from the playbook of Gene Sharp, whose neurolinguistic programming and advertising techniques were employed in Ukraine's Orange Revolution in 2004.[10] Sharp, a veteran of "advanced studies" at Oxford and 30 years at Harvard's Center for International Affairs, is the author of The Politics of Nonviolent Action: Power and Struggle, which advises the use of symbolic colors, short slogans, and so forth.

While at Yale, Navalny also served as an informant and advisor for a two-year study conducted at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, one of the institutions participating in the OpenNet Initiative, launched out of Cambridge University in the U.K. The study produced a profile titled "Mapping the Russian Blogosphere," which detailed the different sections of the Runet: liberal, nationalist, cultural, foreign-based, etc., looking at their potential social impact.

Allen Douglas, Gabrielle Peut, David Christie, and Dorothea Bunnell did research for this article.


Related pages:

schiller@schillerinstitute.org

The Schiller Institute, PO BOX 20244, Washington, DC 20041-0244, 703-771-8390

[Jan 19, 2019] Russia has to thank the British for sending a great message to her traitors and gangsters

Jan 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

Vojkan , says: April 10, 2018 at 1:48 pm GMT

Actually, I think that in the end Russia has to thank the British for sending a great message to her traitors and gangsters. Apart from the Skripal case, the UK seems up to confiscate the wealth Russian expats in the UK looted back home. On the one hand, it's ~ $10bn worth that will be definitely lost for Russia, on the other if the UK's treatment of Skripal and runaway oligarchs won't heal Russian traitors and gangsters from their blissful enamourment with England's climate, I don't know what will.
anonymous [107] Disclaimer , says: April 10, 2018 at 1:50 pm GMT
@Mike P I can't find the comment because the comment archive is down -- I think it was annamaria who reported that the British were holding assets of Russian oligarchs and that Russia wanted the funds back. The speculation was that Teresa May would take possession of the assets.

As these two articles state, most of the Russian billionaire oligarchs are Jewish

So at least (conspiracy theory) part of the Skripal scheme is for Teresa May to be an angel and return their assets to the Jewish billionaires who stole Russian wealth fair and square.

[Dec 24, 2018] Zapadniki in Russia

Dec 24, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

which is loosely translated as 'western oriented' always have been a minority.


After Ukraine and sanctions of 2014 they are like albinos

Колян Реалов 10 days ago ,

Who from Russian elite look west? Can you tell names? Who in Russian elite speak English except for Minister of foreign affair? Putin doesn't speak English. Some rich Russians have houses in foreign countries though it is 6th or 7th houses after few houses in Russia. If you speak about modern European culture than it has nothing similar with Russian culture. I have seen that Americans don't know Russia at all again.

R. Arandas Колян Реалов 8 days ago ,

Russia is meant to be part of the greater European nation though...it is its destiny.

dorotea R. Arandas 8 days ago ,

Not really. Google up the eternal 'zapadniki' vs 'slavophiles' split among Russian cultural elites. This argument is about 2 centuries old, if you start counting from Pushkin times - i.e. early 1800's. It never gets resolved, but the 'zapadniki' which is loosely translated as 'western oriented' always have been a minority. And with China's geopolitical star rising as quickly as it is, I see no reason for our 'zapadniki' not to become 'vostochniki'.

franciscoalmeida_br Колян Реалов 9 days ago ,

google "russian atlanticists".

Колян Реалов franciscoalmeida_br 9 days ago ,

Russian atlanticists are something like African albinos.

Vic Колян Реалов 9 days ago ,

Yes, if african albinois owned media, had access to billions upon billions of dollars and the full support of the entire NATO propaganda apparatus and used to rule Russia with an iron fist driving it into the mud.

Колян Реалов Vic 9 days ago ,

Pro-western parties have no 5% supporting for being in Russian parliament. Moreover they have no 3%. Russian media regularly show western russophobs. Then more disgusting their lie about Russia in western media than less Russians like west. They can spend any money while westerners lie about Russia, Russian atlantists are like albinos.

I had an account in a Russian bank (MosOblBank). The owner of the bank ran to UK with money of depositors. He has announced that he was under political pressure and UK don't give him to Russia though he is a just thief. I returned my money because it was insured by the government. What could I and few dozen of thousands depositors think about UK after it? A guy like this one is not Russian elite. It is Russian garbage. Majority of Russians consider that Russians living in London are thieves or LGBT.

[Nov 22, 2018] On Thanksgiving eve some Russian oppositionists decided to personally thank the US authorities for the sanctions against Russia.

Nov 21, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Vesti News

Published on 21 Nov 2018

On Thanksgiving eve some Russian oppositionists decided to personally thank the US authorities for the sanctions against Russia. They met them in Washington, but instead of the traditional turkey, the guests offered senators and State Department officials to check out their lists of Russians who deserve to be sanctioned.

https://youtu.be/0WDKEmF0kQ4

yalensis November 21, 2018 at 4:34 pm

Interesting list of names on the Opps hitlist, which these narcs presented to their American overlords.

Note also the names of Zeman, Dodon, Burzhanadze, Maria Le Pen, Graham Phillips, Kedmi, and a few others whom I don't recognize

What a bunch of dirty rats and slimy "stukachi", are these Opps!

[Nov 22, 2018] The New Times has dodged almost certain closure this week by crowdfunding some 25 million rubles to pay off a government fine after an unprecedented show of support.

Nov 22, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile November 16, 2018 at 5:16 am

Oh look! What an amazing surprise!!!

The New Times has dodged almost certain closure this week by crowdfunding some 25 million rubles to pay off a government fine after an unprecedented show of support.

The online magazine was handed a crippling fine in late October by the Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor for failing to disclose foreign financing.

"Russian people are very sensitive to injustice, we are a nation of survivors", the magazine's chief editor Yevgenia Albats said.

So despite the fact that nobody reads it, 20 thousand people, according to another Western organ that nobody reads (see link below), stumped up the dosh for Albat's electronic rag.

Nov. 13 2018 – 17:11
20K People Donate to Russian Liberal Outlet to Pay Government Fine

i wonder where the money really came from?

Probably from the same place that funds her publication and which she hasn't revealed for the past 2 years, something that she legally has to, her electronic publication being classed as an NGO.

That's why she got whacked with a fine.

Political persecution, I call it!

Off to the ECHR with you, Yevgenia! You know they'll find in your favour.

[Nov 22, 2018] Navalny has demanded off his regional staff more fake investigations

Nov 22, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile, November 16, 2018 at 8:13 am

Навальный потребовал от региональных штабов больше фейковых расследований

A few days ago, it became known that the notorious blogger Aleksei Navalny had set the bar higher for the heads of his regional headquarters as regards number of "anti-corruption investigations" they were to undertake and if they were not undertaken, then the headquarters would be deprived of funding.

Well, taking into account the fact that until today the video clips from the regional offices have been filled with, to put it mildly, a lot of inconsistencies and unreliable facts: so far, nothing good has come out of this.

Suffice it to recall how the staff of the Omsk headquarters once made a false accusation of corruption against the superintendant of the Soviet District of Omsk tax Inspectorate, Anatoly Chekmaryov. The investigation said that for a person not of the highest position, the official had a very luxurious house, which, according to them, was not on the land register, meaning that Chekmaryov allegedly did not pay property tax on it. As it turned out, the information was refuted, and the Navalny headquarters staff had to make a public apology to the official.

A similar story happened in Volgograd, where the "Navalnyites" tried to slander the local authorities, accusing them of buying too expensive cars. However, the auction, on the basis of which this "investigation" was built, had not taken place, and accordingly, no procurement had been made.

In Ivanovo, "The City of Brides" [a textile town with a large female population, hence its nickname -- ME] , the staff of the Navalny headquarters have also distinguished themselves. There, the entire city administration was immediately accused of corruption, which, in the opinion of the Navalny HQ staff, spent too much money on the purchase of software for state institutions. In the end it turned out that the prices were fully consistent with market prices

The number of false accusations made by the Navalnyites can go on endlessly because they have never really bothered to double-check the facts and search for proof. Obviously, following their being put under such pressure by Aleksei, the quality of these "investigations" made by his HQ staff will not only not improve, but vice versa. For the sake of fulfilling the plan and maintaining their salaries, HQ staffs will simply make up new accusations, which even a naive schoolchild would hardly believe. And all in order to help Navalny organize hype around himself and to create some sort of illusion about his popularity.

Mark Chapman says: November 16, 2018 at 12:49 pm
It's really little wonder that Washington is so paternally fond of Navalny and considers him such a stout chap; their methods are similar. Make a nuisance of yourself until the other fellow swings for you, and then there will be a big fight and it's all his fault because he swung first – you were therefore only defending yourself against aggression. It is in this manner that Navalny tries to get noticed and become such a pain in the ass that the authorities must recognize him and talk about him. That's probably why Putin's refusal to name him in public generates such a buzz of excitement among the hamsters. Alexei's tactics are working!!! In much the same fashion, Washington hopes that its sanctions will so damage and complicate the life of ordinary Russians that they must acknowledge it is a great and mighty power, and beg for relief from their torment. Both are fantasizing about what a big noise they are.

[Jul 18, 2018] The USA and Russia: Two Sides of the Same Neoliberal Coin

Notable quotes:
"... There are many modern myths. One of them is about the events of 1989 as being the culmination of a grand historical struggle for freedom and liberty. Nothing could be farther from the truth. For years prior to 1989 the West through a combination of both legal business and criminal activity had interpenetrated the Communist elites with lucrative deals and promises of all kinds. ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org
The USA and Russia: Two Sides of the Same Criminal Corporate Coin by Dan Corjescu

Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonorable graves.

-- Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar"

There are many modern myths. One of them is about the events of 1989 as being the culmination of a grand historical struggle for freedom and liberty. Nothing could be farther from the truth. For years prior to 1989 the West through a combination of both legal business and criminal activity had interpenetrated the Communist elites with lucrative deals and promises of all kinds.

This situation was even more pronounced in "non-aligned" Yugoslavia who for years had maintained CIA and American and West European business contacts.

In effect, the "cold war" witnessed a rapid convergence between the economic and power interests of both Western and Communist elites.

The "Communists" (in name only of course) quickly realized the economic benefits available to them through at times open at times clandestine cooperation with Western business/criminal interests.

Eventually, Communist elites realized that they had an unprecedented economic opportunity on their hands: state privatization made possible, in part, with active Western participation.

For them, "Freedom" meant the freedom to get rich beyond their wildest dreams.

And the 1990's were just that. A paradise for thieving on an unimaginable scale all under the rubric of the rebirth of "capitalism and freedom".

The true outcome of that decade was that the old communist elites not only retained their social and political power behind the scenes; they also were able to enrich themselves beyond anything the communist dictatorships could ever hope to offer them in the past.

Yes, the price was to give up imperial, national, and ideological ambitions. But it was a very small price to pay; since the East European elites had ceased to believe in any of those things years earlier.

The only firm belief they still held was the economic betterment of themselves and their families through the acquisition by any means of as many asset classes as possible. In effect, they became the mirror image of their "enemy" the "imperialist capitalist West".

This was not a case of historical dialectics but historical convergence. What appeared as a world divided was actually a world waiting to be made whole through the basest of criminal business activity.

But being clever thieves they knew how to hide themselves and their doings behind superficially morally impeccable figures such as Vaclav Havel and Lech Wałęsa, to name just a few. These "dissidents" would be the faces they would use to make a good part of the world believe that 1989 was a narrative of freedom and not outright pubic theft which it was.

Yes, people in the east, even in Russia, are freer now than they were. But it should never be forgotten that the events of 1989/1990 were not even remotely about those revolutionary dreams.

It was about something much more mundane and sordid. It was about greed. It was about the maintenance of power. And finally it was about money.

How deep has the Western nexus of power and wealth gone into the heart of the East? So far indeed that one can easily question to what extent a country like Russia is truly a "national" state anymore and rather just a territory open to exploitation by both local and global elites.

For that matter, we can ask the same question about the USA.

... ... ...

[Jul 06, 2018] Russian "neoliberals" both grant-supported and ones that are not is a separate animal altogether

Jul 06, 2018 | www.unz.com

Andrei Martyanov , Website June 15, 2018 at 6:00 pm GMT

@AnonFromTN

Quite a few grant-eating "liberals" inside Russia speak the language, but this does not make them any more competent. Basically, they illustrate the saying that "he, who pays the musicians, calls the tune". The same applies to "Russia scholars" residing in the US, regardless of their language proficiency.

Here, I have to politely disagree since Russian "liberals" both grant-supported and ones that are not is a separate animal altogether. Firs, most of them, grants or no grants, are the real deal, they got grants because they are the real deal, not the other way around, and causality in this case really matters. I don't need even to know if Mr. Nekrasov or Gozman are grant-eaters, their hatred of everything Russian is palpable. The only weaker feeling than hatred they have is contempt. This cannot be hidden -- it shines through. They do it for the idea and grants are just a bonus. It all goes back to Russian "Westerners" and liberals about whom Tyutchev (IIRC) left a profound paragraph.

AnonFromTN , June 15, 2018 at 6:31 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

I guess we have to agree to disagree on this. My point is, all these "ideological Russia-haters" eat at least three times a day, and they are used to eating well (no McDonalds burgers for them, they prefer filet mignon). Yes, there is a long history of fights between "Westerners" and "Slavophiles" in Russia, going even before Tyutchev. However, being a "Westerner" one does not have to be a traitor. For example, Peter the Great was a "Westerner", yet he was clearly a Russian patriot (even though he was not quite Russian by blood). Whereas all this scum are traitors. In the US they would be compelled by the law to register as foreign agents.

Andrei Martyanov , Website June 15, 2018 at 8:02 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

We are talking about the same thing with different words. My point is simply that there are whores who do it for money and there are whores who do it for both money and pleasure.

[Jul 03, 2018] No Fifth Column in the Kremlin Think again by The Saker

The problem is that there is no clear alternative to neoliberalism. Russian foreign policy is clearly anti-neoliberal. So in a way, Russia represent another example of National neoliberalism along with Trump "national neoliberalism".
Notable quotes:
"... I believe most of the confusing and seemingly contradictory actions of Putin can be explained if we assume Putin himself as a neo-liberal. It appears he genuinely believes that he can both retain Russian sovereignty and integrate with the west on a neo-liberal framework. My view is that his reluctance with purging Kremlin's 5th column operators come from his belief that their differences are not reconcilable and that a grand bargain with the western elites is possible where they would consider Russia's elites as equal partners. ..."
Jun 29, 2018 | www.unz.com

Following the re-appointment of Medvedev and his more or less reshuffled government, the public opinion in Russia and abroad was split on whether this was a good sign of continuity and unity amongst the Russian leadership or whether this was a confirmation that there was a 5 th column inside the Kremlin working against President Putin and trying to impose neo-liberal and pro-western policies on the Russian people. Today I want to take a quick look at what is taking place inside Russia because I believe that the Russian foreign policy is still predominantly controlled by what I call the "Eurasian Sovereignists" and that to detect the activities of the "Atlantic Integrationist" types we need to look at what is taking place inside Russia.

The Russian 5 th column and its typical operations

First, I want to begin by sharing with you a short video translated by the Saker Community of one of the most astute Russian analysts, Ruslan Ostashko, who wonders how it is that a rabidly pro-western and vociferously anti-Putin radio station named "Ekho Moskvy" manages not only to elude normal Russian legislation, but even gets money from the gaz giant Gazprom, which is majority owned by the Russian state. Ekho Moskvy is also so pro-Israeli that it has earned the nickname "Ekho Matsy" (Ekho Moskvy means "Echo of Moscow" whereas "Ekho Matsy" means "Echo of the Matzo"). Needless to say, that radio has the unwavering and total support of the US Embassy. It would not be an exaggeration to say Ekho Moskvy serves as in incubator for russophobic journalists and that most the liberal pro-western reporters in the Russian media have been, at one time or another, associated with this propaganda outfit. In spite of this or, more accurately, because of this, Ekho Moskvy has been bankrupt for quite a while already, and yet – it continues to exist. Just listen to Ostashko's explanations ( and make sure to press the 'cc' button to see the English language captions):

Interesting, no? The state giant Gazprom is doing all it can to keep Ekho Moskvy afloat and above the law. In fact, Gazprom has been financing Ekho Moskvy for years! According to the hyper-politically-correct Wikipedia , "As of 2005 Echo of Moscow was majority owned by Gazprom Media which holds 66% of its shares". If Gazprom is majority owned by the Russian state, and Ekho Moskvy is majority owned by Gazprom, then does that not mean that Ekho Moskvy is basically financed by the Kremlin? The reality is even worse, as Ostashko point out, Ekho Moskvy is the most visible case, but there are are quite a few pro-western media outlets in Russia which are financed, directly and indirectly, by the Russian state.

So let me ask you a simple question: do you really think that Ostashko is better informed than the Russian authorities, including Putin himself?

Of course not! So what is going on here?

Before attempting to answer this question, let's look at another interesting news item from Russia, the recent article " Pension reform as a fifth column tool to overthrow Putin " (original title "About a fair pension system") by Mikhail Khazin translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard from the Stalker Zone blog (and cross-posted here and here ). Please read the full article as it sheds a very interesting light on what the Medvedev government has been up to since it was reappointed. What I want to quote here are Mikhail Khazin's conclusions: (emphasis added)

In other words, all of this reform is frank poppycock, a political joke aimed at destroying relations between the People (society) and the Authorities. The specific aim of this is to overthrow Putin, as our liberals are commanded to do by their senior partners from the "Western" global project . And it is precisely like this that we should treat this reform. It has no relation to economic reforms – neither good, nor bad. It not an economic reform, but a political plot! And it is from here that we have to proceed.

Having explained what is really going on, Khazin then goes on the openly state how such an operation is even possible:

Now concerning the media. It should be understood that at the end of the 90's-beginning of the 2000's practically all non-liberal media died. Completely. And of course, practically all non-liberal journalists definitely died (only a few dozen mastodons from the times of socialism remain). And the youth that grew from the faculty of journalism are in general totally liberal. They were a little bit suppressed in the middle of the 2000's, but after Medvedev's arrival to the president's post they again blossomed. But then the attack of the State on everything that doesn't reflect "the policies of the party and the government" began.

And then it so happened that now there are many "patriotic" publications in Russia that employ mainly liberal journalists. An enchanting sight. These journalists (in full accordance with the ideas of Lenin that they didn't read) see their main task as supporting "theirs" – i.e., liberal-financiers, Nemtsov, Navalny and, so on, and to sully the "bloody KayGeeBee"! And it is this that they are involved in, meaning that, propagandising as much as possible the policies of the government, they optimally irritate the population by using Putin personally. There is just a need every time to act out some disgusting story (how an elderly man died on the way to the polyclinic or hospital, how children were taken away from a large family, how an official or a priest hit a pregnant woman and/or juvenile children with their chic car), to explain that this isn't just the result of the policies of the liberal power, but the concrete fault of the President, who put on their posts the very ministers and law enforcement officers who encourage all of this.

Amazing, no? This is an attempt to overthrow Putin and it is covered-up by the (pseudo) patriotic press. What about Putin himself? Why does he not take action? Khazin even explains that:

Of course, the President is guilty, first of all, because he understands that if he starts to cleanse this "Augean stable", then he will be obliged to shed blood , because they won't voluntarily give back their privileges . But the most important thing, and this is the essence: the liberal Russian elite today set for itself the political task of removing Putin. Why it decided to do this is an interesting question: if Putin himself and a liberal are flesh from flesh, then this task is stupid and senseless. Not to mention suicidal. But if he isn't a liberal (it is probably correct to say not a political liberal) then, of course, this activity makes sense . But at the same time, for purely propaganda reasons – because people hate liberals, there is a need to hang the label of political liberal on him.

Now let's connect all the dots: there is a pro-western (in realty, western-controlled) faction inside the government which is financing those who are attempting to overthrow Putin by making him unpopular with the Russian general public (which overwhelmingly opposes "liberal" economic policies and which despises the Russian liberal elites) by constantly forcing him into liberal economic policies which he clearly does not like ( he declared himself categorically opposed to such policies in 2005 ) and the so-called "patriotic media" is covering it all up. And Putin cannot change this without shedding blood.

ORDER IT NOW

But let us assume, for argument's sake, that Putin is really a liberal at heart, that he believes in " Washington Consensus " type of economics. Even if this was the case, surely he must be aware that 92% of Russians oppose this so-called "reform" . And while the President's spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, declared that Putin himself was not associated with this plan , the truth is that this process does also hurt his political image with the Russian people and political movements. As a direct result from these plans, the Communist Party of Russia is launching a referendum against this project while the "Just Russia" Party is now collecting signatures to dismiss the entire government . Clearly, a political struggle of monumental proportions is in the making and the traditionally rather lame internal opposition to Putin (I am talking about the major political movements and parties, not tiny CIA-supported and/or Soros-funded "NGOs") is now transforming itself into a much more determined kind of opposition. I predicted that about a month ago when I wrote that:

"it is quite clear to me that a new type of Russian opposition is slowly forming. Well, it always existed, really – I am talking about people who supported Putin and the Russian foreign policy and who disliked Medvedev and the Russian internal policies. Now the voice of those who say that Putin is way too soft in his stance towards the Empire will only get stronger. As will the voices of those who speak of a truly toxic degree of nepotism and patronage in the Kremlin (again, Mutko being the perfect example). When such accusations came from rabid pro-western liberals, they had very little traction, but when they come from patriotic and even nationalist politicians (Nikolai Starikov for example) they start taking on a different dimension. For example, while the court jester Zhirinovskii and his LDPR party loyally supported Medvedev, the Communist and the Just Russia parties did not. Unless the political tension around figures like Kudrin and Medvedev is somehow resolved (maybe a timely scandal?), we might witness the growth of a real opposition movement in Russia, and not one run by the Empire. It will be interesting to see if Putin's personal ratings will begin to go down and what he will have to do in order to react to the emergence of such a real opposition"

Those who vehemently denied that there as a real 5 th column problem inside the Kremlin are going to have a painful wake-up call when they realize that thanks to the actions of these "liberals" a patriotic opposition is gradually emerging, not so much against Putin himself as against the policies of the Medvedev government. Why not against Putin?

Because most Russian instinctively feel what is going on and understand not only the anti-Putin dynamics at work, but also how and why this situation was created. Furthermore, unlike most westerners, most Russians remember what took place in the crucial and formative 1990s.

The historical roots of the problem (very rough summary)

It all began in the late 1980s when the Soviet elites realized that they were losing control of the situation and that something had to be done. To really summarize what they did, I would say that these elites first broke up the country into 15 individual fiefdoms each run by gang/clan composed of these Soviet elites, then they mercilessly grabbed everything of any value, became overnight billionaires and concealed their money in the West. Being fabulously rich in a completely ruined country gave them fantastic political power and influence to further exploit and rob the country of all its resources. Russia herself (and the other 14 ex-Soviet republics) suffered an unspeakable nightmare comparable to a major war and by the 1990s Russia almost broke-up into many more even smaller pieces (Chechnia, Tatarstan, etc.). By then, Russia was subserviently executing all the economic policies recommended by a myriad of US 'advisors' (hundreds of them with offices inside the offices of many key ministries and various state agencies, just like today in the Ukraine), she adopted a Constitution drafted by pro-US elements and all the key positions in the state were occupied by what I can only call western agents. At the very top, President Eltisn was mostly drunk while the country was run by 7 bankers the so-called "oligarchs" (6 of which were Jews): the " Semibankirshchina ".

This is the time when the Russian security services successfully tricked these oligarchs into believing that Putin, who has a law degree and who had worked for the (very liberal) Mayor of Saint Petersburg (Anatolii Sobchack) was just a petty bureaucrat who would restore a semblance of order while not presenting any real threat to the oligarchs. The ploy worked, but the business elites demanded that "their" guy, Medvedev, be put in charge of the government so as to preserve their interests. What they overlooked was two things: Putin was a truly brilliant officer of the very elite First Chief Directorate (Foreign Intelligence) of the KGB and a real patriot. Furthermore, the Constitution which was passed to support the Eltsin regime could now be used by Putin. But more than anything else, they never predicted that a little guy in an ill-fitting suit would transform himself into one of the most popular leaders on the planet. As I have written many times, while the initial power base of Putin was in the security services and the armed forces and while his legal authority stems from the Constitution, is real power comes from the immense support he has from the Russian people who, for the first time in very long time felt that the man at the top truly represented their interests.

Putin then did what Donald Trump could have done as soon as he entered the White House: he cleaned house. He began by immediately tackling the oligarchs, he put an end to the Semibankirshchina , and he stopped the massive export of money and resources out of Russia. The then proceeded to rebuilt the "vertical of power" (the Kremlin's control over the country) and began rebuilding all of Russia from the foundations (regions) up. But while Putin was tremendously successful, he simply could not fight on all the fronts and the same time and win.

Truth be told, he did eventually win most of the battles which he chose to fight, but some battles he simply could not wage not because of a lack of courage or will on his part, but because the objective reality is that Putin inherited and extremely bad system fully controlled by some extremely dangerous foes . Remember the words of Khazin above: " if he starts to cleanse this "Augean stable", then he will be obliged to shed blood, because they won't voluntarily give back their privileges". So, in a typically Putin fashion, he made a number of deals.

For example, those oligarchs who agreed to stop meddling in Russian politics and who would, from now on, pay taxes and generally abide by the law were not be jailed or expropriated: those who got the message were allowed to continue to work as normal businessmen (Oleg Deripaska) and those who did not were either jailed or exiled (Khodorkovski, Berezovski). But if we look just below the level of these well-known and notorious oligarchs, what we find as a much deeper "swamp" (to use the US expression): an entire class of people who made their fortunes in the 1990s, who are now extremely influential and control most of the key positions in the economy, finance and business and who absolutely hate and fear Putin. They even have their agents inside the armed forces and security services because their weapon of choice is, of course, corruption and influence. And, of course, they have people representing their interests inside the Russian government: pretty much the entire "economic block" of the Medvedev government.

Is it really any surprise at all that these people also have their paid representatives inside the Russian media, including the so-called "pro-Russian" or "patriotic" media? (I have been warning about this since at least 2015)

Just like in the West, in Russia the media depends first and foremost on money and big financial interests are very good at using the media to promote their agenda, deny or obfuscate some topics while pushing others. This is why you often see the Russian media backing WTO/WB/IMF/etc policies to the hilt while never criticizing Israel or, God forbid, rabidly pro-Israeli propagandists on mainstream TV (guys like Vladimir Soloviev, Evgenii Satanovsky, Iakov Kedmi, Avigdor Eskin and many others). This is the same media which will gladly criticize Iran and Hezbollah but never wonder why the Russian main TV stations are spewing pro-Israeli propaganda on a daily basis.

And, of course, they will all mantrically repeat the same chant: "there is no 5 th column in Russia!! None!! Never!!"

This is no different than the paid for corporate media in the US which denies the existence of a "deep state" or the US "Israel Lobby".

And yet, many (most?) people in the US and Russia realize at an almost gut-level that they are being lied to and that, in reality, a hostile power is ruling over them.

Putin's options and possible outcomes

Sadly, in the US, Trump proved to be a disaster who totally caved in to the Neocons and their demands. In Russia, the situation is far more complex. So far, Putin has very skillfully avoided associating himself with the Atlantic Integrationists. Furthermore, the biggest crises of the past decade or so were all associated with foreign policy issues and those are still controlled by the Eurasian Sovereignists. Finally, while the Russian government clearly committed some mistakes or promoted some unpopular policies (such has healthcare reform for example), they also had their undeniable successes. As for Putin, he continued to consolidate his power and he gradually removed some of the most notorious individuals from their positions. In theory, Putin could probably have most top Atlantic Integrationists arrested on corruption charges, but short of engaging in a massive and bloody purge, he cannot get rid of an entire social class which is not only large but powerful.

Some of my contacts in Russia expected a purge of Atlantic Integrationists right after the election, the logic here was "enough is enough" and that once Putin got a strong mandate from the people, he would finally kick Medvedev and his gang out of the Kremlin and replace them with popular patriots. That obviously did not happen. But if this pension reform program continues to further trigger protests or if a major war blows up in the Middle-East or in the Ukraine, then the pro-western forces inside the Kremlin will come under great pressure to further yield control of the country to Eurasian Sovereignists.

Putin is an exceedingly patient man and, at least so far, he won most, if not all, of his battles. I don't believe that anybody can predict for sure how things will play out, but what is certain is that trying to understand Russia without being aware of the internal conflicts and the interests groups fighting for power is futile. In her 1000 year long history, internal enemies have always been far more dangerous for Russia than external ones. This is unlikely to change in the future.


mikkkkas , June 29, 2018 at 8:36 am GMT

Since "The Saker" does not approve difference of opinion or dissent on his own site i will post my response here.

This is yet another episode of "doom & gloom" articles of his in a series that started almost a year ago. If you have read one, you have read them all. Since then a quite 180 degree different and depression-ridden "The Saker" or whatever is hiding under that name has produced articles to the effect that "Putin has surrendered", "the end is nigh" or "it's all over". Hi's sudden embrace of "Paul Craig Roberts" views of all things Russian further confirms that.

The content aren't necessarily wrong and incorrect but the message is very far from what the author initially conveyed. The impression is now that things definitely doesn't bode well for Russia and there's nothing Russians or anyone can do about it, move on. "The Saker" is now using the encouraging confidence he built up with his "community",that has grown significantly over the years, to tear it apart it seems.

Where have we seen that before?

Isabella , June 29, 2018 at 8:48 am GMT
President Putin has himself categorically stated that "there is no such thing as any "5th column". When asked about the presence of Kudrin and a few like him, VP said, "it's useful to hear different points of view, but to suggest they are some sort of 5th column is nonsense"
I think I would trust his word – he has never been known to lie and he has no reason to do so.
He gave his reasons for retaining Medvedev plus a few others – good solid rational reasons. No-body in Russia is doubting them.
Can it be forgotten by this writer, that Medvedev is an appointed position – by the President. Putin can remove him in an instant any time he likes: he holds the strings, and is under thrall to no-one.
As for the article the writer refers to in "The Saker", the provenance of the authors shows how much value to put on it.
The writer – not mentioned here – is one Vadim Potapenko who gives details of himself as living in Cyprus, and working as a Development Manager – Slotegrator : Gambling & Casinos.!!
What a young man working in the ethically questionable world of casinos knows about pension reform and retirement age needs I dont know. He does deal in risk analysis of simplistic systems I guess, but an expert in the complexities of Government policy he can't be.
The second author is Mikhail Khazin – a man who claims to an economist and publicist, and states that "Putin is following the ideas of Andropov. They didn t' work then and they dont now: Putin by his very personality has polarised views in Russia, because some love him and some hate him"
This about a President with an 80% approval rating, a 77% voter return rate, and who is so far from any USSR person it's unbelievable. The mans' complete inability to understand the first thing about Putin, who he is, what he believes in, and the route he is following shows he is the last person whose views should be even listened to.
This brings me to the finale – more and more it seems "The Saker" wants people to believe that there are dark forces at work in the Kremlin, that Putin is either too weak and stupid to deal with them or even worse, is working in with them. In other words, he effects to support the Russian President but calls him a weakling or a traitor!!
Better to read work by qualified people and investigate Russia for yourself – dont be led into thinking Russia would be a cakewalk for anyone thinking of invading and making war on her, because she has a weak and divided leadership. She doesn't have – and waging war on Russia would have only one end, and it's not pretty.
kemerd , June 29, 2018 at 3:54 pm GMT
I believe most of the confusing and seemingly contradictory actions of Putin can be explained if we assume Putin himself as a neo-liberal. It appears he genuinely believes that he can both retain Russian sovereignty and integrate with the west on a neo-liberal framework. My view is that his reluctance with purging Kremlin's 5th column operators come from his belief that their differences are not reconcilable and that a grand bargain with the western elites is possible where they would consider Russia's elites as equal partners.

I think this is not a sustainable position, even if western elites were willing to play ball with Putin and Russia's elites. Because in a neo-liberal world nations cannot retain their sovereignty and that an international cabal of ultra-rich treat the peoples of the world as properties of their own. The best that could have happened would be that Russian elites would be partying with their western fellow billionaires on the corpses of the poor nations of the world. That part, I am convinced, is not acceptable for Putin (i.e. giving up sovereignty in return for a seat on the dinner table but I have serious doubts about anti-imperialism part)

Fortunately for Russia, the same cabal still cannot get over the fact that they lost the opportunity to rape Russia ad infinitum and still looking for holes in the Russian resolve. This will force Russia to take a clear anti-imperialist stand sooner or later, and on a war footing will have to purge all of the (would be) collaborators.

On a second note, it is indeed possible that Putin might have decided to postpone the decision for the purge after the world cup but I will not believe before I see Medvedev and Nabiullina be fired.

Anatoly Karlin , Website June 29, 2018 at 5:56 pm GMT

Of course not! So what is going on here?

The Kremlin is financing the craziest knee-jerk Russophobes to discredit liberalism. The two exist in a comfy symbiotic relationship. What is so difficult about that?

Now let's connect all the dots: there is a pro-western (in realty, western-controlled) faction inside the government which is financing those who are attempting to overthrow Putin by making him unpopular with the Russian general public (which overwhelmingly opposes "liberal" economic policies and which despises the Russian liberal elites) by constantly forcing him into liberal economic policies which he clearly does not like (he declared himself categorically opposed to such policies in 2005) and the so-called "patriotic media" is covering it all up.

The same "fifth column" that has over the past 18 years also forced Putin into adopting a flat tax, liberalizing land sales, monetizing benefits, and now pensions reform.

If Putin still hasn't managed to get rid of them, then what the hell is he good for?

At least, that's would I'd be asking – if I was the sort to rail against neoliberal fifth columns.

Reality is, all of those were great successes. Putin is an economic neoliberal and that is a good thing .

Even if this was the case, surely he must be aware that 92% of Russians oppose this so-called "reform".

Where on Earth do people support raising the pension age? Thankfully, many countries (including Russia) have safeguards against demotic idiocy.

As a direct result from these plans, the Communist Party of Russia is launching a referendum against this project while the "Just Russia" Party is now collecting signatures to dismiss the entire government.

The business elites are not in a position to demand anything. Medvedev is there as a whipping boy to protect Putin's ratings. He is very good at that, and that, too, is a good thing.

This is the same media which will gladly criticize Iran and Hezbollah but never wonder why the Russian main TV stations are spewing pro-Israeli propaganda on a daily basis.

The author's anti-Israel crusade is not Russia's. That Russia is not to Iran, Palestine, or Hezbollah what the US is to Israel (a slavish sponsor) is also a good thing.

Andrei Martyanov , Website June 29, 2018 at 7:36 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

Karlin,

The same "fifth column" that has over the past 18 years also forced Putin into adopting a flat tax, liberalizing land sales, monetizing benefits, and now pensions reform.
If Putin still hasn't managed to get rid of them, then what the hell is he good for? Reality is, all of those were great successes. Putin is an economic neoliberal and that is a good thing .

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-06-07/putin-s-under-the-radar-nationalization-of-russia-s-private-banks

Even if Bershidsky gets it, however in the field which doesn't require any serious skills, except for good accounting. Now, you don't want me to refer to Russia's actual industries, especially hi-tech, which are nationalized, do you? Does the title Rostec ring a bell? What is remarkable, founding of Rostec somehow coincided with Putin's Munich Speech–both events are hardly any evidence of neoliberalism. Is Putin a liberal? Yes, but to a degree and political mostly–his progression from liberal economic model to a mixed model since 2014 is visible to people with even rudimentary knowledge of Russia. This is not to mention that Russia, quoting even Wiki:

Russia has an upper-middle income mixed economy with state ownership in strategic areas of the economy.

Some private bank is not a "strategic" area, nor is "liberalization" of land sales, resources and real hi-tech sector, however, together with agriculture, are. Since the start of Putin's tenure, Russia re-nationalized, that is returned to the state control or ownership, an enormous number of truly strategic companies. In fact, whole industries. Putin recently himself clearly stated that, especially pointing out a bonanza Russian State got from 2008 collapse and from sanctions. These are hardly signs of neoliberalism, not to mention that Russia, rightly so, is considered one of the most protectionist nations in the world. This is if to discount all this theoretical and metaphysical mambo-jumbo on the obvious fact that neoliberalism is dead, together with its founding Free Trade gospel, and stinks to heaven, poisoning surroundings. And, yes, I am sure Russian State has no control over Novatek (it is a bad joke).

FKA Max , Website June 29, 2018 at 8:21 pm GMT

At the very top, President Eltisn was mostly drunk while the country was run by 7 bankers the so-called "oligarchs" ( 6 of which were Jews ): the "Semibankirshchina".

I think Putin today is in a similar situation as Stalin was in the late 1940s regarding Jewish political activism and assertiveness, etc.

Despite Stalin's willingness to support Israel early on, various historians suppose that antisemitism in the late 1940s and early 1950s was motivated by Stalin's possible perception of Jews as a potential "fifth column" in light of a pro-Western Israel in the Middle East.
[...]
I think increasing the Jewish (and general) death toll in World War II and decreasing the "official" Jewish population of the Soviet Union served two purposes for Stalin.

Firstly, for propaganda purposes against the Germans higher death tolls were useful, and secondly lower "official" numbers of Jews in the Soviet Union were likely intended to discourage and prevent Jewish empowerment and organizing
[...]
Jeffrey Veidlinger writes that "By October 1948, it was obvious that Mikhoels was by no means the sole advocate of Zionism among Soviet Jews. The revival of Jewish cultural expression during the war had fostered a general sense of boldness among the Jewish masses.

http://www.unz.com/article/against-david-irvings-view-of-hitler/#comment-2396013

This is slightly off-topic, but I just commented on this subject matter in another comments thread, which has to do with the fact that many more persons of Jewish origin live in Russia and the former Soviet states than is commonly known or reported:

Here the original in Russian: http://tavrio.ru/index.php/politics/nazpol/42-skolko-evreev-pf Archived link: http://archive.is/EDYeZ
[...]
And I believe that today, after a great aliyah, the number of halachic Jews in the countries of the former USSR is about four million. And six million more are those who know about their Jewish origin.
[...]
Half of the top 25 billionaires in Russia, I believe, come from a Jewish background. I know strong Jewish ethnic and religious networking, nepotism, etc. exists, but to achieve such a high billionaire density even the Jewish population has to be at least 2% of the Russian population (about 3 million at least out of the 150 million Russian population) like it is the case in the U.S. (about 6 million Jews out of a 300 million U.S. population).

Not just 400,000 (which would be 0.3% of the Russian population) or even lower estimates, like some sources claim. Wikipedia for example puts the number of Jews in Russia, at the moment, at a laughable: 179,500
[...]
, which would be about o.15% of the Russian population, but Jews are half of the top 25 billionaires in Russia?

Something does not quite compute here, to put it mildly

http://www.unz.com/article/against-david-irvings-view-of-hitler/#comment-2394694

Putin might know how many Jews really died in the Holocaust and in World War II, and this is his way of telegraphing it and signalling to the Jewish Russian community that they should not get too uppity and bold?

'Holocaust on ice' dance by wife of Putin official causes uproar

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/27/wife-of-putin-official-performs-in-concentration-camp-ice-dance

Holocaust-themed ice dance sparks outrage

Verymuchalive , June 29, 2018 at 8:54 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

Putin has ensured that foreign interests have been prevented from taking over vital Russian industries such as Oil,Gas, Minerals, Banking and Defence. At best, foreign companies can only get limited concessions under conditions that suit the Russian State, eg BP.
Putin isn't a Neoliberal, he's a pragmatist. This is a very good thing.

Andrei Martyanov , Website June 29, 2018 at 9:28 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

But you are of course correct. Russia is of course not neoliberal so far as Putin's kleptocratic chums are concerned.

Exactly, nor do you have any qualifications nor skills to write about Russia since, and I quote Margo Simonyan describing your kind.

Maybe you will finally understand that you do not believe us not because we lie, but because you know horseradish (dick) about surrounding world, because you are badly educated, do not read much and when do, do not read what is needed, you visit all the wrong places and communicate with the same small bunch of prejudiced and/or mental people, who only reinforce your condescending ignorance.

https://ria.ru/analytics/20180625/1523351567.html?referrer_block=index_only_ria_1

I guess we have an overwhelming empirical evidence supporting these claims, don't we?

Philip Owen , June 29, 2018 at 10:12 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

The picture is mixed. The Federal Antimonopoly Service has been given real teeth since its humiliation by the Customs Service under Medvedev. It goes beyond antimonopoly. For example, it reviews incoming foreign investment in the 42 strategic industries. This was originally a protectionist committee. It gave Pepsico a hard time for buying Wimm-Bill-Dann, clearly a military asset. These days its approach to foreigners is "how can I help you? Do you want money?" It is frequently chaired by Putin.

Kudrin's audit committee looks like being FAS Mark 2. He has been given the tools to take Sechin and other state moguls apart. Will he get to the Rotenbergs/Gazprom? Their behaviour is outrageous. Certainly not the kind of corporate governance required for a competitive market. e.g. Gazprom Bank has a Rotenberg son in charge of loans. Gazprom lent another Rotenberg son the money to build Aviapark. No Rotenberg capital at risk during the whole process. Now a $1 Bn asset. Kudrin has a target rich environment. Will he settle out of court or make some high level examples?

Daniel Rich , June 29, 2018 at 10:23 pm GMT
@Isabella

@ Isabella,

I judge a wo/man not on his/her words, but his/her deeds. Suffice to say, the difference between Russia in 2000 and Russia today, speaks volumes all by itself and is fully self explanatory as well.

One day the world will realize how close we've come to WW III in the period between 2015/2020. An extended version of the Cuban missile crisis, if you will, but this time with only one statesman participating in this conundrum, the president of the Russian Federation, H.E. Mr. V.V. Putin.

Much blood has been shed in Syria, including Russian, so it would be unfair to single out one particular country, but I know if it hand't been for Russia stepping up to the plate in 2015, the political landscape [in the M.E. and beyond] would be littered with the corpses of liberty, freedom and unity and the dust wouldn't settle down for decades to come.

The Russian military went in, turned the tide and most of the temporary influx is retreating back to the motherland as we speak. That's how a 'job' is done properly.

Andrei Martyanov , Website June 30, 2018 at 12:39 am GMT
@Philip Owen

Kudrin has a target rich environment. Will he settle out of court or make some high level examples?

Read by letters: F-S-B (Operational Technical Departments–Operativno-Technicheskie Otdely). And then there is always G(R)U. Sure, those boys such as Ulyukaev or Kudrin who saw so "much" in their lives are real "contenders". I am sure Naryshkin knows what color of stool Siluanov is having every day. The same goes for Kudrin. But he is a smart boy–he knows the routine. You obviously missed the revelation of the actual Putin's position in KGB/SVR–it was all over Russia's TV. Other than that–I agree, it is a "target rich" environment and yes, Kudrin is perfect for this job.

Isabella , June 30, 2018 at 1:09 am GMT
@Daniel Rich

Hi Daniel – so good to see you again, I was wondering recently where you might be.

I agree with you – the "proof of the pudding" says it all. One has only to look at the last 18 years, at where Russia and Russians were back then, and look at her now, all under Putins' direction and overall management. You do that, then read this sort of stuff and wonder just what is going on in some people's minds. It makes less than no sense – which means one has to start looking at premises one would not like to think about.
As for expecting some publicist who thinks Putin is a follower of Andropov as a person worth printing and quoting – words fail me.
Good to hear from you Daniel – take care mi amigo.

Isabella , June 30, 2018 at 1:16 am GMT
@mikkkkas

"Since "The Saker" does not approve difference of opinion or dissent on his own site i will post my response here."

Exactly what brought me here to comment, not on The Saker's own site.
Because I am being critical of the articles' thesis, and because I have criticised the provenance of the two writers of the article on pension reform, I knew it would not be published on his site.
I even had a comment I made, refusing to accept a pathetic reference for supposedly "proving" that V.V. promised to never raise the retirement age, redacted. There's an unfortunate aspect to the Saker site that puts one off making useful critical comment – the "mods" can redact your work – or even ditch the entire piece – and leave a vague comment insulting to your own probity, leaving it looking as though you are some foul mouthed abuser, yet because you wont be published you can't defend yourself.

I do have to commend "Unz" for it's freedom of expression.
Oh – I agree with your take on the article too – so much of Saker has become a doom laden cry that denigrates and decries Putin – which seems very odd.

FKA Max , Website June 30, 2018 at 1:27 am GMT
@FKA Max

Some more background information on how the Soviet internal passport registration system worked, for anyone interested:

In the Soviet Union, when someone with parents of two nationalities received identity papers at age 16, he could pick which nationality to list. A child of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother could put down "Jew [ or not ]." The religious principle of matrilineal descent was irrelevant.
[...]
Persecution of Jews in the Soviet Union started with a policy Joseph Stalin initiated in 1937. Every Soviet citizen was required to carry an internal passport and under "nationality," Jews were required to list "Jewish." Beckerman says this policy actually may have been a tough decision for Stalin.

"On the one hand, he followed this Leninist principle [that] all Soviet citizens should just melt into one general populace that doesn't have any distinctions for nationality," he says. " But on the other hand, he wanted to control this population and Jews always had kind of a strange place in the Russian society psyche, so he wanted to know who the Jews were. "

http://www.unz.com/article/against-david-irvings-view-of-hitler/#comment-2395070

here:

Data on the offspring of mixed couples in the Soviet Union show that they tended formally to affiliate with the nationality of the non-Jewish parent.

http://www.unz.com/article/against-david-irvings-view-of-hitler/#comment-2394826

and here:

Following the firsthand account of discrimination experienced by Jews in the Soviet Union due to having their "nationality" registered as Jewish in their internal passports. I believe this lends credence to the assumption that most (half-)Jews with just one Jewish parent likely opted to be identified/registered by the nationality of their non-Jewish parent, and further strengthens my hypothesis that Holocaust and Jewish World War II casualties might have been significantly lower than what is generally accepted by mainstream and anti-revisionist Holocaust and World War II historians and researchers

http://www.unz.com/article/against-david-irvings-view-of-hitler/#comment-2395136

Soviet Passport Line #5

mikkkkas , June 30, 2018 at 7:28 am GMT
@Isabella

Nailed it, well done!

Anon [172] Disclaimer , June 30, 2018 at 5:40 pm GMT

Andrei Martyanov , Website June 30, 2018 at 5:55 pm GMT

@FKA Max

National identity in USSR was important. Well, it is always important and yes, there was latent antisemitism (or whatever it is called) in some spheres of Soviet life. Not as big, though, as Jewish dissidents love to present to those who are ready to listen.

anon [228] Disclaimer , June 30, 2018 at 6:58 pm GMT
@FKA Max

So what was the result of this policy?

Did anybody get shafted ? Did anybody lose ?

FKA Max , Website June 30, 2018 at 7:17 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

Not as big, though, as Jewish dissidents love to present to those who are ready to listen.

Hahahaha I agree

Do you happen to know if Andrey Illarionov comes from a Jewish background? I know he is a dissident now, but I'm not sure whether he is ethnically Jewish or not.

Auschwitz joke angers Jewish groups

Andrei Illarionov, an economic adviser to the president, made the comparison during a visit to St Petersburg. He has recommended that Russia should not sign the protocol.
[...]
"Then we realised Gosplan was much more humane and we ought to call the Kyoto Protocol an international gulag. In the Gulag, though, you got the same ration daily and it didn't get smaller day by day. In the end, we had to call the Kyoto Protocol an international Auschwitz."

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/1459350/Auschwitz-joke-angers-Jewish-groups.html

ATBOTL , June 30, 2018 at 8:53 pm GMT
@Quartermaster

What is this dispensationalist neocon garbage? Have Freepers found Unz?

Philip Owen , June 30, 2018 at 11:48 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

I missed the revelation. I tend to focus on business rather than politics. Expert is the only journal I try to read regularly. (I am not fluent but I can usually manage if I focus).

jilles dykstra , July 1, 2018 at 6:57 am GMT
Soros's newspaper still appears in Russia.
A few days after MH17 the front page text something like 'Sorry, Netherlands', in Dutch.
Just imagine a few days after Sept 11 a USA newspaper with headlines, something like 'sorry, we had to kill a few thousand Americans in order te get an excuse for wars against Afghanistan and Iraq' ?
jilles dykstra , July 1, 2018 at 6:59 am GMT
@Daniel Rich

" One day the world will realize how close we've come to WW III in the period between 2015/2020. "

You suppose WWIII will not come.
Hope you're right.
If not, there will be nobody left to realise anthing

mcohen , July 1, 2018 at 7:29 am GMT
After what happened in the groves at jisr al shughour russia stepped up and did what was right.in that time in the syrian war they stood the moral high ground.the rest is history.bear in mind that 100 km away live over million russians and that does not include cyprus.most support likud.
EOLAWKI , July 1, 2018 at 9:19 am GMT
Well spoken. Analysts like the Saker would have us believe that what is happening in Russia is not really happening but something else is happening – something hidden, something powerful, all-pervasive, eating away at Putin's power base and destroying him behind the scenes – like the john Birch Society – A communist under every bed! From what I can see, and I do not believe I am alone by any means, is that if there are dark forces at work in the Kremlin and elsewhere in the media for example, they are profoundly weak and ineffective in Russia at this point. And whilst they might exist, there is little outward evidence of their workings except the odd Navalny incident, or the constant drippings from Western oriented media like the Moscow Times. If you want to see the effects of a REAL, persistent, powerful, pervasive 5th column, you need look any further than the USA with its Zionist lobby and MIC influence on politics and policy. Or the EU with its incredibly powerful bureaucracy and its link to Soros and his ilk. Those are real 5th columns, and by comparison, Russia has little to worry about.

I have followed the Saker for years now, and I too have seen this gradual transformation from top notch analyst to conspiracy theorist. His website has become almost cult-like. He has a few 'moderators' who operate anonymously behind the scenes to filter out unflattering content – not just the crazy insults and freaks that websites like his attract, but honest content that seeks to criticise, sometimes sharply, his views. If you read the comment section, it reads like a religious cult at times, most comments prefaced by the seemingly obligatory preface like "Great analysis, Saker!" "Well said, Saker!" And always there are the comments both on the part of the Saker and his 'community' that praises that community for being 'special', unlike the rubbish of other sites, insightful, and more knowledgeable than others – heaping praise on themselves at the expense of other site with comments to the effect of "We should be proud that we are not like other sites.".

I fear the Saker has over time fallen prey to the old devil's trick of taking oneself too seriously. Someone who is constant the object of unquestioned praise can easily fall into that trap.

Isabella , July 1, 2018 at 9:27 am GMT
@mikkkkas

Thank you Mikkkkas.

Anon [335] Disclaimer , July 1, 2018 at 9:45 am GMT

quasi_verbatim , July 1, 2018 at 10:17 am GMT

Good to see that freedom of thought and freedom of expression is thriving in Russia. They have fortunately a long way to go in MSM herd-think before they achieve our oppressive anti-human intellectual conformity.

And good luck in overthrowing Putin.

Fatima Manoubia , July 1, 2018 at 11:20 am GMT
@Isabella

I agree in that presenting Mr. Putin and Russia as weak seems to encourage military action, or a coup, against it, just "NOW", when the US is trying ( or simply, pretending ) an intend of approach ..This has nothing to do with suppossed "depressive" mood of The Saker himself ..this is a plan .

Thus I agree with you both in the general tone and confussing meddley of articles at Saker´s site, and as well with your impression on the last "generation" of mods ( to my view part of the real staff of this project, The Saker ) who, not only were put in charge of getting rid ( by using the most dirty tricks ) from the genuine former regular commenters/moderators who had a very personal view on what a good moderation and avoiding of harsh censure was, but also have displayed a shameful dictatorial censure and editing which not only amputates genuine and legitimate oppinions but also, as you notice, try, at the same time, to discredit you as commenter for the rest, by implying you were being rude and offensive and moreover denying the right to make things clear by allowing you a response to such a clear outrage, according with most probably direct guidelines from the people who lead The Saker from behind .

This tactic, of obliterating your comment and answering you by implying that you were being offensive, ( and even denigrating ) towards somebody ( mainly the author/ owner of the site and/or his relatives, coleagues and friends ), is common with other sites, like Pat Lang´s SST. This is why I think these two sites are "closely" related .being their paterns so similar also both have military ( more concretely counterintelligence ) background .have a harsh anti-communist stance . and have a team of attack dogs who try to get you giving up on posting when what you say is of no convenience for them ( or their editorial line ) .Then, they use the alibi on your comment not being "intelligent", but then you have there the ubiquitous one-liner sycophant who says nothing all over these two places permanently .who are never summoned .

But, Isabella, what you so confidently say about Mr. Andropov´s policies, intrigates me, since I wonder what idea you have on what the ideas, strategies, tactics and future plans of Mr. Andropov could be to state that VVP is not following them ..I think it is impossible for you, or even for Mr. Khazin, to know what the plans of Mr. Andropov would be, since he was, at different times in the USSR, at the helms of secret security agency and foreign policy, whose main directives were for sure secret, and not at the hand/knowledge of anybody but a few under/of his "umbrella"/confidence call them "siloviki" or whatever you want .

Thus, in spite of that VVP moves seem to confirm he is a liberal playing the same play than the capitalist West, we do not know nothing for sure, since, if this would be obvious for all us, somebody would not be doing its work rightly, as certain senior strategist told me at Fort Russ .
The worst side of this secrecy, obviously needed for strategic purposes, is that common people, as happens to me, could start feeling dissapointed with VVP and discouraged of continuing supporting him .thus some signs from time to time would be neccessary for the people to continue trusting .

Jake , July 1, 2018 at 11:32 am GMT
Of course there is a 5th column inside the Kremlin and Russia. The Anglo-Zionist Empire has paid for it.
Medvedev , July 1, 2018 at 11:39 am GMT

managed to effectively put its #1 liberal critic , Boris Nemtsov

When was he ever relevant?

ploni almoni , July 1, 2018 at 12:01 pm GMT
@Anon

Deep.

The Scalpel , Website July 1, 2018 at 12:35 pm GMT
@Anon

Fascinating. What is the source?

DESERT FOX , July 1, 2018 at 1:28 pm GMT
Zionists are Satanists and undermine governments everywhere that they get a foothold and they already created a holocaust in Russia with the 1917 overthrow of the czar and the resulting murder of some 60 million Russians and are now trying to undermine the Russian government again, this is no surprise as this is what Zionists do ie they are killers and wreckers of governments and are trying to do the same here in America.
Vojkan , July 1, 2018 at 1:59 pm GMT
One thing noticeable regarding people who comment Putin's policies from abroad, not from within Russia: much projection of own prejudices and a lot of wishful thinking.
One thing noticeable regarding Putin's policies: no prejudice, no wishful thinking, just Russian self-consciousness and pragmatism.
Order is restored. Russia's military might is restored. The economy and the living standard have improved. Russia masters her destiny. So far, what he does works. What else?
bj , July 1, 2018 at 2:33 pm GMT
@Anon

The ladies got a great interview with Aleksandr Dugin–

"Aleksandr Dugin on Millennials, Modernity and Religion"

bj , July 1, 2018 at 2:50 pm GMT
The ladies got a great interview with Alexandr Dugin–

Aleksandr Dugin on Millennials, Modernity and Religion

Dagon Shield , July 1, 2018 at 3:18 pm GMT
The article is written by Saker without any doubt for it has his imprimatur of length for readers like me, matzo ball radio says it all. Finally, it seems that Jews and Russians have a sado masochistic arrangements; one can't do without the other. Qui bono?
Svigor , July 1, 2018 at 3:58 pm GMT
So, America is trying to do to Russia what Russia has been trying to do to America for 100 years.

Great story, bro.

mike k , July 1, 2018 at 4:13 pm GMT
There seems to be unanimity on this site condemning the Saker, and those commenting on his blog. But what if he is simply correct in his suspicions about a fifth column in Russia? Is that really so strange? Do you really think the Atlantacists and their ilk are nonexistent? I notice no real proof of the inaccuracy of the Saker's contentions, but a lot of ad hominem critique of his "mood". Maybe he is dead wrong in all his ideas about Putin's Russia – but where's the proof?? The commenters here seem in danger of falling into the same baseless contentions trap they accuse the Saker of.
tyrone , July 1, 2018 at 4:25 pm GMT
@ATBOTL

They want the same democratic utopia for Russia they gave to Iraq,Libya ,Ukraine ,Syria etc. etc. etc.

Wally , July 1, 2018 at 4:31 pm GMT
@FKA Max

said:
"Putin might know how many Jews really died in the Holocaust "

Please preset proof that any Jews died in 'the holocau$t' as alleged.

Revisionists are just the messengers, the absurd impossibility of the 'holocaust' storyline is the message.

The '6M Jews, 5M others, & gas chambers' are scientifically impossible frauds.
see the 'holocaust' scam debunked here: http://codoh.com
No name calling, level playing field debate here: http://forum.codoh.com

Anon [425] Disclaimer , July 1, 2018 at 5:09 pm GMT

Philip Owen , July 1, 2018 at 5:23 pm GMT

@mike k

To think about "Atlanticists" as some kind of coherent group is to submit to Saker's paranoia. Such paranoia is normal in nationalism. Shades of the John Birch society. If you look for evidence of conspiracy X you will always find it.

Blackdawg , July 1, 2018 at 6:22 pm GMT
Very well written synopsis of the current situation, and how Russia came to be in this place at this time. I appreciate the recap of the history from Yeltsin moving forward.
Svigor , July 1, 2018 at 6:46 pm GMT
@anonymous

Saker's a clown.

hyperbola , July 1, 2018 at 7:14 pm GMT
The "atlanticists" are a rampant fifth column throughout Europe. Germany is particularly badly infested and in need of a thorough cleaning out. Russians will be better off if they can keep them mostly out of their country.

Die Zeit Die Anstalt Netzwerke Think Tank Josef Joffe

Tyrion 2 , Website July 1, 2018 at 7:16 pm GMT
Given Russian life expectancy, Russian pension age was too low. Naturally, raising it temporarily lowered Putin's popularity, but taking that hit is the essence of forward-thinking leadership.
Milton , July 1, 2018 at 8:24 pm GMT
@Quartermaster

You Israeli-First traitors love citing Ezekiel 38 and Isaiah 17 to justify your wicked warmongering, but in your malice you have been blinded to the fact that Isaiah 17 describes not only the destruction of Damascus but also the destruction of a wicked faction in Israel: the Baal-worshipping Zionists whom you think are beyond God's reach.

Johnny Rico , July 1, 2018 at 9:40 pm GMT
You guys getting excited? That false flag and/or "Ukro-Nazi" attack by the "Anglo-Zionist" Empire is still happening right?

During the World Cup. Remember?

Anybody want to bet on the exact date?

Ya think the refs throwing the game to the Russians today is all part of the master plan?

obwandiyag , July 1, 2018 at 10:44 pm GMT
These are the people who murdered millions and millions under Yeltsin. By "privatizing" and other wonderful "conservative" "capitalist" policies. Getting rid of Communism by killing all the people who benefit by it. Brilliant.

So I guess that makes these "5th columnists" good, right? By your lights, anyway.

Wally , July 1, 2018 at 11:17 pm GMT
@obwandiyag

Except those who 'benefited from Communism' are the ones who got rid of Communism.

paullllllllllll , July 1, 2018 at 11:44 pm GMT
I think it's clear at this point that Putin serves the globalist elites. He is in the process of serving Syria and Iran to them on a dish.
FKA Max , Website July 2, 2018 at 1:11 am GMT
@FKA Max

I'm still puzzled as to why Illarionov https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrey_Illarionov made that Kyoto Protocol-Auschwitz comparison, and I am still not sure if he is ethnically Jewish or not. I found some new indicators that point to him having Jewish roots, though.

Either he made the comment in sincerity and not as a joke, or someone (Putin?) told him to say it that way for propaganda purposes. Maybe being asked/forced to make that comparison also contributed to him quitting his job some months later?

In a 2005 interview after his resignation from his economic advisory post, he says the following, which could indicate that the Kyoto Protocol-Auschwitz comparison was not of his own making, but a talking point given to him by the Kremlin public relations and propaganda department:

This (gas) war was the last drop in my decision to resign. I was offered to take part in it as a propagandist who would explain why the price hike and everything else that is being done in our bilateral relations are liberal economic policies. However, the factors that led to this decision have nothing in common with liberal economic policies.

http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1145192,00.html

Now to the point why I believe that Andrey (or Andrei, I don't know which spelling is the correct one) Illarionov might come from a Jewish background. He worked under/with "Young Turks" economist https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1992/02/09/yeltsins-inner-circle-of-young-turks/3ab11a79-fcdb-4dd0-a14e-da71cee520ee/ Yegor Gaidar https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yegor_Gaidar who apparently was of Jewish extraction. This, in my opinion, increases the likelihood that Illarionvo is too. According to some Russian nationalists Medvedev is as well.

Having outlined all of the problems with the country, he announced who was responsible – the Jews. "[Yegor] Gaidar [in charge of privatisation under Yeltsin] – he is a Jew. What good has come in the last 17 years?" He continued, "We are international communists. Our fight is not with the Chechens or the Georgians. It is with the Jews!"
[...]
The Jewish community in Moscow were equally concerned about Medvedev's ethnicity. One local Jewish leader was quoted as saying, "I pray it isn't true, because it would only make trouble, for him and for us".

During his presidency, Vladimir Putin built his popularity on the traditional ground of national pride and defence of Russia from ill-willed foreigners, but, to his credit, he has a record of speaking out against antisemitism. His comments that he was "ashamed" of antisemitism in Russia when he visited Auschwitz in 2005 were seen as groundbreaking here.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/may/22/russiasoldenmity

Putin seems to send mixed messages on and to the Jewish community. One to please his domestic audience of voters who, understandably, are overwhelmingly counter-semitic, because they blame predominately-Jewish economists and bankers and their radical and failed economic policies for the many millions of premature deaths during the 1990s economic crisis in Russia.

An extra 2.5-3 million Russian adults died in middle age in the period 1992-2001 than would have been expected based on 1991 mortality.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC259165/

And one philo-semitic or semitic-sympathique message to his predominately-Jewish billionaire/oligarch financial backers to assure them and clam them down that they are safe with him, unless they turn on him or try to undermine his authority.

Here a video of Illarionov talking about the Russian economy. By the way, he considers himself to be a libertarian, which could be another indicator that he is Jewish, since libertarianism is very popular with Jews https://fee.org/articles/libertarianism-rejects-anti-semitism/

Economics in Russia – Andrei Illarionov | Rhodes 2016

JamesinNewMexico , July 2, 2018 at 2:01 am GMT
@mikkkkas

The important question: does the truth matter? Most people want the answer they want, not the truth and should be forced to truthfully answer why. One day that will happen.

AnonFromTN , July 2, 2018 at 2:19 am GMT
With all due respect, I think that seeing Russian politics as eternal fight between Eurasian Sovereignists (used to be called Slavyanophiles under tsars) and Atlantic Integrationists (used to be called Westerners in tsarist times) is naïve, maybe even childish. Not to mention that this does not explain why China is where it is now, and many other obvious things.

I'd propose an alternative theory. Russian and Chinese elites include people who are OK being second- or even third-rate in the world elites, and those who want to be first-rate. The latter are patriotic, because you cannot be first-rate unless you have a strong truly sovereign country behind you. Apparently, Putin, Xi, and many Russian and Chinese oligarchs supporting them, want to be seen as first-rate, equals among equals, in contrast to pathetic nonentities like Ukrainian "president" Poroshenko, most Ukrainian oligarchs, Polish elites, or elites of vaudeville Baltic statelets.

Thing is, if your country is a poodle of the US, you are second-rate at best (e.g., EU elites), but when your country is a poodle of the EU, you are no better than third-rate. So, the whole intrigue in Russian and Chinese politics is essentially the struggle between ambitious members of the elites (they call themselves patriots, thereby wooing the support of the populace), and weaker-spirited members, who would rather be third-rate than fight for a better position (pro-US, or generally pro-Western forces). So far proud patriots are winning in both Russia and China, but lower grade pro-Western forces won't concede and keep fighting. As far as pension reform in Russia goes, robbing the public to enrich the elites is in the interests of both factions. However, I won't be surprised if the patriotic faction blames it all on pro-Western forces, which Russian and Chinese people do sincerely despise.

AnonFromTN , July 2, 2018 at 2:29 am GMT
@Quartermaster

That's what Ukies hope for. They were always wrong (Mazepa serving Sweden, some scum serving Austro-Hungarian Empire, some scum serving Hitler, "holier-than-thou" communists serving USSR, etc.). They are wrong again. But it's inhumane to say this: you don't want to shatter pipe dreams of people who have nothing else, and never will.

AnonFromTN , July 2, 2018 at 2:45 am GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

Lots of people pretended to be persecuted just to get freebees in the US and elsewhere. Antisemitsm was by ~90% the myth created by these people. One example I know first-hand: in my year at the school of Biology in the best and most privileged Moscow State University about 20-25% of students were Jewish or half-Jewish, whereas Jews constituted 2-3% of the USSR population.

AnonFromTN , July 2, 2018 at 3:11 am GMT
@AnonFromTN

A note for those who know stats: this was a representative sampling: ~ 250 people graduated from MSU School of Biology in my year, and the picture was pretty much the same in subsequent years.

Bill spence , July 2, 2018 at 3:30 am GMT
@mikkkkas

A 5th column in the Kremlin won't do anything. You need one in the security service or in the army.

Saker likes to waste our time when he spins fantasies.

FKA Max , Website July 2, 2018 at 3:51 am GMT
@FKA Max

Dmitry Medvedev denies having any Jewish roots/ancestry: https://www.rferl.org/a/1079677.html

The following source claims his mother is Jewish, but I don't know how reliable he is:

As a sidenote, Medvedev's visit is all the more interesting given that he is a Jew, the son of a Jewish mother and the first Jew to become President of Russia, much less enter the Kremlin in any capacity besides the following: doctor, scientist, military hero, foreigner.

I've personally confirmed Medvedev's Jewish identity with former Muscovites, who say that Medvedev's mother regularly attended the main synagogue in Moscow. The subject has not been broached much in Russian media, as Medvedev is Putin's man, and, well, Russian journalists know what's good for them, or they have an accident – there is freedom of choice in Russia. I wonder if anyone's bothered to tell the Arabs.

http://victorshikhman.blogspot.com/2010/11/lieberman-for-win.html Archived link : http://archive.is/Fi1Rn

Anonymous [116] Disclaimer , July 2, 2018 at 3:58 am GMT
@Isabella

You will notice that the comments section at that site is infested with leftist dinosaurs. Maybe they have a certain influence on the analyses.
Ozymandias

CrownLeaf , July 2, 2018 at 5:00 am GMT
@mikkkkas

You are spot on. I, too, have noticed a change toward the negative on The Saker's part. A bit befuddling. Seems that Russia and Putin have been doing well on numerous fronts, in spite of Western attempts to the contrary. Difficulties may often exist, but I just don't see 5th column doom and gloom.

Putin is perhaps the most rational, level headed, intelligent leader whom I've seen in my lifetime. Wish we had his equivalent in the USA.

[May 27, 2018] America's Fifth Column Will Destroy Russia by Paul Craig Roberts

Highly recommended!
Paul Craig Roberts is right about dominance of neoliberal economics in Russia. But what is the alternative?
Notable quotes:
"... If the neoconservatives had self-restraint, they would sit back and let America's Fifth Column -- Neoliberal Economics -- finish off Russia for them. Russia is doomed, because the country's economists were brainwashed during the Yeltsin years by American neoliberal economists. It was easy enough for the Americans to do. Communist economics had come to naught, the Russian economy was broken, Russians were experiencing widespread hardship, and successful America was there with a helping hand. ..."
"... For example, neoliberal economics exposes Russia's currency to speculation, manipulation, and destabilization. Capital inflows can be used to drive up the value of the ruble, and then at the opportune time, the capital can be pulled out, dropping the ruble's value and driving up domestic inflation with higher import prices, delivering a hit to Russian living standards. Washington has always used these kind of manipulations to destabilize governments. ..."
"... Neo-liberal economics has also brainwashed the Russian central bank with the belief that Russian economic development depends on foreign investment in Russia. This erroneous belief threatens the very sovereignty of Russia. The Russian central bank could easily finance all internal economic development by creating money, but the brainwashed central bank does not realize this. The bank thinks that if the bank finances internal development the result would be inflation and depreciation of the ruble. So the central bank is guided by American neoliberal economics to borrow abroad money it does not need in order to burden Russia with foreign debt that requires a diversion of Russian resources into interest payments to the West. ..."
"... As Michael Hudson and I explained to the Russians two years ago, when Russia borrows from the West, the US for example, and in flow the dollars, what happens to the dollars? Russia cannot spend them domestically to finance development projects, so where do the dollars go? They go into Russia's foreign exchange holdings and accrue interest for the lender. The central bank then creates the ruble equivalent of the borrowed and idle dollars and finances the project. So why borrow the dollars? The only possible reason is so the US can use the dollar debt to exercise control over Russian decision making. In other words, Russia delivers herself into the hands of her enemies. ..."
"... Putin is struggling to have Russia integrated into the Western economic system while retaining Russia's sovereignty (an unrealistic goal), because Putin has been convinced by the element in the Russian elite, which had rather be Western than Russian, that Russia's economic development depends on being integrated into the Western economy. As the neoliberal economic elite control Russia's economic and financial policy, Putin believes that he has to accept Western provocations or forfeit his hopes for Russian economic development. ..."
May 25, 2018 | www.paulcraigroberts.org

This is the lecture I would have given if I had been able to accept the invitation to address the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia this weekend.

Executive Summary:

From the standpoint of Russia's dilemma, this is an important column. Putin's partial impotence via-a-vis Washington is due to the grip that neoliberal economics exercises over the Russian government. Putin cannot break with the West, because he believes that Russian economic development is dependent on Russia's integration within the Western economy. That is what neoliberal economics tells the Russian economic and financial establishment.

Everyone should understand that I am not a pro-Russian anti-American. I am anti-war, especially nuclear war. My concern is that the inability of the Russian government to put its foot down is due to its belief that Russian development, despite all the talk about the Eurasian partnership and the Silk Road, is dependent on being integrated with the West. This totally erroneous belief prevents the Russian government from any decisive break with the West. Consequently, Putin continues to accept provocations in order to avoid a decisive break that would cut Russia off from the West. In Washington and the UK this is interpreted as a lack of resolve on Putin's part and encourages an escalation in provocations that will intensify until Russia's only option is surrender or war.

If the Russian government did not believe that it needed the West, the government could give stronger responses to provocations that would make clear that there are limits to what Russia will tolerate. It would also make Europe aware that its existence hangs in the balance. The combination of Trump abusing Europe and Europe's recognition of the threat to its own existence of its alignment with an aggressive Washington would break the Western alliance and NATO. But Putin cannot bring this about because he erroneously believes that Russia needs the West.

If the neoconservatives had self-restraint, they would sit back and let America's Fifth Column -- Neoliberal Economics -- finish off Russia for them. Russia is doomed, because the country's economists were brainwashed during the Yeltsin years by American neoliberal economists. It was easy enough for the Americans to do. Communist economics had come to naught, the Russian economy was broken, Russians were experiencing widespread hardship, and successful America was there with a helping hand.

In reality the helping hand was a grasping hand. The hand grasped Russian resources through privatization and gave control to American-friendly oligarchs. Russian economists had no clue about how financial capitalism in its neoliberal guise strips economies of their assets while loading them up with debt.

But worse happened. Russia's economists were brainwashed into an economic way of thinking that serves Western imperialism.

For example, neoliberal economics exposes Russia's currency to speculation, manipulation, and destabilization. Capital inflows can be used to drive up the value of the ruble, and then at the opportune time, the capital can be pulled out, dropping the ruble's value and driving up domestic inflation with higher import prices, delivering a hit to Russian living standards. Washington has always used these kind of manipulations to destabilize governments.

Neo-liberal economics has also brainwashed the Russian central bank with the belief that Russian economic development depends on foreign investment in Russia. This erroneous belief threatens the very sovereignty of Russia. The Russian central bank could easily finance all internal economic development by creating money, but the brainwashed central bank does not realize this. The bank thinks that if the bank finances internal development the result would be inflation and depreciation of the ruble. So the central bank is guided by American neoliberal economics to borrow abroad money it does not need in order to burden Russia with foreign debt that requires a diversion of Russian resources into interest payments to the West.

As Michael Hudson and I explained to the Russians two years ago, when Russia borrows from the West, the US for example, and in flow the dollars, what happens to the dollars? Russia cannot spend them domestically to finance development projects, so where do the dollars go? They go into Russia's foreign exchange holdings and accrue interest for the lender. The central bank then creates the ruble equivalent of the borrowed and idle dollars and finances the project. So why borrow the dollars? The only possible reason is so the US can use the dollar debt to exercise control over Russian decision making. In other words, Russia delivers herself into the hands of her enemies.

Indeed, it is the Russian government's mistaken belief that Russian economic development is dependent on Russia being included as part of the West that has caused Putin to accept the provocations and humiliations that the West has heaped upon Russia. The lack of response to these provocations will eventually cause the Russian government to lose the support of the nationalist elements in Russia.

Putin is struggling to have Russia integrated into the Western economic system while retaining Russia's sovereignty (an unrealistic goal), because Putin has been convinced by the element in the Russian elite, which had rather be Western than Russian, that Russia's economic development depends on being integrated into the Western economy. As the neoliberal economic elite control Russia's economic and financial policy, Putin believes that he has to accept Western provocations or forfeit his hopes for Russian economic development.

Russian economists are so indoctrinated with neoliberal economics that they cannot even look to America to see how a once great economy has been completely destroyed by neoliberal economics.

The US has the largest public debt of any country in history. The US has the largest trade and budget deficits of any country in history. The US has 22 percent unemployment, which it hides by not counting among the unemployed millions of discouraged workers who, unable to find jobs, ceased looking for jobs and are arbitrarily excluded from the measure of unemployment. The US has a retired class that has been stripped of any interest payment on their savings for a decade, because it was more important to the Federal Reserve to bail out the bad loans of a handful of "banks too big to fail," banks that became too big to fail because of the deregulation fostered by neoliberal economics. By misrepresenting "free trade" and "globalism," neoliberal economics sent America's manufacturing and tradeable professional skill jobs abroad where wages were lower, thus boosting the incomes of owners at the expense of the incomes of US wage-earners, leaving Americans with the lowly paid domestic service jobs of a Third World country. Real median family income in the US has been stagnant for decades. The Federal Reserve recently reported that Americans are so poor that 41 percent of the population cannot raise $400 without selling personal possessions.

Young Americans, if they have university educations, begin life as debt slaves. Currently there are 44,200,000 Americans with student loan debt totalling $1,048,000,000,000 -- $1.48 trillion! https://studentloanhero.com/student-loan-debt-statistics/

In the US all 50 states have publicly supported universities where tuition is supposed to be nominal in order to encourage education. When I went to Georgia Tech, a premier engineering school, my annual tuition was less than $500. Loans were not needed and did not exist.

What happened? Financial capitalism discovered how to turn university students into indentured servants, and the university administrations cooperated. Tuitions rose and rose and were increasingly allocated to administration, the cost of which exploded. Today many university administrations absorb 75% of the annual budget, leaving little for professors' pay and student aid. An obedient Congress created a loan program that ensnares young American men and women into huge debt in order to acquire an university education. With so many of the well-paying jobs moved offshore by neoliberal economics, the jobs available cannot service the student loan debts. A large percentage of Americans aged 24-34 live at home with parents, because their jobs do not pay enough to service their student loan debt and pay an apartment rent. Debt prevents them from living an independent existence.

In America the indebtedness of the population produced by neoliberal economics -- privatize, privatize, deregulate, deregulate, indebt, indebt -- prevents any economic growth as the American public has no discretionary income after debt service to drive the economy. In America the way cars, trucks, and SUVs are sold is via zero downpayment and seven years of loans. From the minute a vehicle is purchased, the loan obligation exceeds the value of the vehicle.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Mike Meru, a dentist earning $225,000 annually, has $1,060,945.42 in student loan debt. He pays $1,589.97 monthly, which is not enough to cover the interest, much less reduce the principal. Consequently, his debt from seven years at the University of Southern California grows by $130 per day. In two decades, his loan balance will be $2 million. https://www.wsj.com/articles/mike-meru-has-1-million-in-student-loans-how-did-that-happen-1527252975

If neoliberal economics does not work for America, why will it work for Russia? Neoliberal economics only works for oligarchs and their institutions, such as Goldman Sachs, who are bankrolled by the central bank to keep the economy partially afloat. Washington will agree to Russia being integrated into the Western system when Putin agrees to resurrect the Yeltsin-era practice of permitting Western financial institutions to strip Russia of her assets while loading her up with debt.

I could continue at length about the junk economics, to use Michael Hudson's term, that is neoliberal economics. The United States is failing because of it, and so will Russia.

John Bolton and the neocons should just relax. Neoliberal economics, which has the Russian financial interests, the Russian government and apparently Putin himself in its grip, will destroy Russia without war.

[Feb 15, 2018] The US Has Just The structure of Russian neoliberal fifth column

Notable quotes:
"... Atlantic Integrationists ..."
"... Eurasian Sovereignists ..."
"... What can we do? ..."
"... very approximate translation ..."
"... if your enemy slaps you in your face, you have to immediately slap him back lest you look weak ..."
"... if your enemy slaps you in the face you step back and plan how to bring him down in the long run because what matters is not the short-lived posturing, which can be even dangerous and counter-productive, but playing the long run and winning ..."
"... good luck to the Americans trying get anything major done on the planet without our support ..."
"... the Russian spy chief behind 2016 election hacking campaign ..."
"... you need us a heck of a lot more than we need you because you need to work with us or else you won't get anything done, we are still willing to work with you, but if you go crazy then your global interests will suffer much more than our ours; for all your hot air, you have been working with us all along and if you go overboard with the nonsense we will first reveal the extend of our collaboration and, if that is not enough to cool you down, we will terminate it ..."
"... what is the Russian share of the gross world product, how many aircraft carriers does Russia have and what is the Russian weight in international financial institutions? And how is your vodka-soaked Ruble doing anyway, buddy?! ..."
"... when is the last time you got anything successfully done, you dumb pompous ass ..."
Feb 15, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Two things are noteworthy: first, this list completely ignores one of the most important realities of Russian politics: that the real, dangerous, opposition to Putin is not from the people (who support him at anywhere between 60% to 80%+) or from the Russian media (which, while often critical, does not represent a real threat to him) or even the Duma (whose opposition parties are critical of the Kremlin, but who are very careful about criticizing Putin himself lest they lose support from the people) . For years now I have been explaining that the real opposition to Putin is a) inside the ruling elites, including the Presidential Administration and the Government and b) big money: banks, oligarchs, etc.

I call this (informal) opposition the " Atlantic Integrationists " because what these pro-western globalists want is for the AngloZionist Empire to accept Russia as an equal partner and to have Russia fully integrate the US-controlled international financial and security structures: WTO, NATO, EU, G7/8, etc. Very roughly speaking you could them of them as the "Medvedev people" (but you could also say that the Ministers in charge of the Russian economy all fall into this category, as do almost all the heads of Russian banks).

Eurasian Sovereignists ". These are the folks who see the future of Russia in the South, East and even North, who want to pull Russia out of the AngloZionist international financial and security structures and who want a truly sovereign Russia to contribute to a new truly multi-polar world in collaboration with countries like China or the other BRICS countries. Very roughly you could call these people the "Putin people" (but you could also say that figures such as Ivanov, Rogozin, Shoigu and a few others are key personalities).

This is important because the this list of (potentially sanctioned) people makes absolutely no distinctions between these two groups. Check out this article on RT entitled " Major Russian bank will no longer service defense industry over US sanctions fears ". It quotes the Alfa Bank CEO Mikhail Fridman whose net worth is estimated at $16.2 billion by Forbes, as saying that the magazine that Alfa-Bank was cutting ties with the Russia's defense industry, adding, " What can we do? ". Now look at the list, Appendix II, entry #23. Do you see who is there? Yup, the very same Mikhail Fridman!

Now let me add this: in the current political climate in Russia, to have bank accounts in the West is considered shameful and unpatriotic and that is something which even most dishonest and hypocritical Eurasian Sovereignists can hardly afford for political reasons (that does not mean that some don't try, they do, but at a great political risk). In contrast, among Atlantic Integrationists, whose power and influence does not depend on public opinion, having assets abroad is much less dangerous and, therefore, much more common.

Now that the the US Treasury has released this "list of marked individuals" (and their families, relatives or associated corporate entities) for potential, unspecified, future sanction, who do you think will freak out most, the Eurasian Sovereignists or the Atlantic Integrationists? Then look a step further and forget about the US for a second: Russia is trying hard to work with the Europeans in many join projects. What do you think the creation of such a list will have on joint ventures between EU and Russian businessmen? I predict two things:

  1. It will place a great deal of pressure on EU corporations not to do business when the Russians and, therefore, it will further place the EU and the US on a collision course.
  2. It will hurt the Atlantic Integrationists were it hurts them the most: in their financial interests.

Frankly, if I was paid to think long and hard about how to come up with the dumbest and most self-defeating foreign policy decision for the USA I could never do better than what the Trump Administration and Congress have just done. This is, by the way, something which all Russian analysts agree with. What they don't agree with are the reasons for that seemingly completely and terminally stupid move. Here are the various schools of thought in Russia on that account:

Group One: "the slap in the face of Russia":

They believe that the sole intention was to insult and humiliate Russia by basically declaring that all the top Russian people are gangsters. According to them, there ain't much the US can do to Russia other than to continue a petty war of insults and harassment (like the expulsion of Russian diplomats and the seizure of Russian consular buildings in the USA).

Group Two: "it's all internal US politics":

That groups says that this has nothing to do with Russia at all. According to them, the US economy is doing well under Trump, the Democrats have nothing to use against him so all they do is continue to hammer the "Russian threat" fairytale to which Trump responds with deliberately ineffective and totally symbolic actions which make it look like he is anti-Russian when in reality he is quietly sabotaging the Democrats' attempts at truly worsening relations with Russia and preventing the Democrats from playing the "Russian threat" card against Trump.

Group Three: "Трамп Наш" (Тrump is ours):

Some even go as far as saying that this list is most damaging to the people opposed to Putin and that it gives him a pretext to fire them all after the Presidential elections in Russia. Far from considering Trump a bumbling idiot, this group sees him as a consummate politician who is actually creating the circumstances to really hurt his (real) enemies and help his (real) friends.

Group Four: "Наших бьют!" (Our people are under attack!):

This is the group which doesn't care at all why the US is doing this or that, no matter how clumsy. All they care about is that this is yet another attack on "our people" (meaning Russian individuals or corporate entities) and that means that Russians should "circle the wagons" and come to the rescue of those thus attacked. This group most vociferously demands retaliatory steps from the Kremlin. They are a vocal minority.

Group Five: "Филькина Грамота" (Botched document produced by clueless idiots [ very approximate translation !]) This is the group which basically says that it is all much more simple and no complex explanations are needed: the Trump Administration and Congress is composed of clueless idiots who have no idea what the hell they are doing and who just like to produce some policy decisions just to look like they still matter in world where they really don't. Putin himself seems to be in this last group as he officially called this latest US document " complete stupidity ".

Frankly, in my experience the decision making process in the USA is almost never the result of a efforts of single actor. In fact, US political decisions are the "sum vector" of the effect of many different vectors acting together to produce a sum vector which sometimes looks nonsensical but which is still the logical result from the joint effect of all the vectors which determined it. In other words, all the explanations above could be right, albeit to various degrees. This being said, I strongly favor the last one as, like Putin, I have come to the conclusion that the Empire is run by stupid, ignorant ideologues who live in a world totally detached from reality.

What is absolutely certain is that this latest move by the USA is, again, a dream come true for Putin and his supporters, especially right before the elections.

First and foremost, this is clearly an attack on "our guy" and even on "all of us" and this triggers a very strong reaction of support from the people. Furthermore, it separates all Russians into basically two camps: first, Putin supporters and, second, those who are so totally sold out to the USA (like Ksenia Sobchak) that they would even hand back Crimea just in order to be friends with the West. The first group must roughly include, oh, let's say 95%-98% of the population, the 2nd one about 2%-5%.

Second, it is now clear that every Russian oligarch (along with his family members and colleagues) has a big bullseye painted on his back and that he now should hurry to place his assets in the only location were the Empire cannot seize them: inside Russia.

To sum it all up: the latest move is a true blessing for Putin and Russia in both economic and political terms and the only ones really hurt by all this are the Atlantic Sovereignists (who are really going through some very bad times anyway).

The paradox: US sanctions – a blessing in disguise?

Let's think about what the USA has been doing over the past couple of years. Officially, the USA has been trying to "isolate" Russia. But isolate from exactly what? From Peru? Or maybe from cultural exchanges with Morocco? Hardly. When the USA says that it wants to isolate Russia it means cut Russia off the western markets (trade), the western financial system (credit) and the western political elites (fora).

These sanctions were supposed to hurt Russia precisely because Russia was, at least in part, dependent on trade with the EU, credits from western financial institution and her participation in G8 (now G7) type of events.

Putin predicted that it would take 2 years for Russia to recover from these sanctions (and the concomitant drop in energy prices) and he was right: Russia not only created new trade ties, but also finally began investing in her internal market, she found credits elsewhere (China) and in terms of fora, it really turned out that the G7 without Russia was more or less like the Council of Europe or, for that matter, the UN Security Council: useless. Instead, world leaders began booking flight and visiting Moscow.

Now the latest US sanctions are putting an immense amount of pressure on Russian oligarchs to bring their money back home. It sure looks to me that US sanctions made it possible for Putin to do something he might never have been able to do without them: to seriously begin reforming Russia (which badly needed such reforms). Remember, Eurasian Sovereignists are just that – sovereignists; whereas Atlantic Integrationists are just that – integrationists. By "cutting off Russia from the West" – whose agenda did the USA really hurt, the integrationists or the sovereignists? Could it be that Putin owes his immense popularity, and Russia her success, at least in part to US sanctions?

The fundamental theory of deterrence hold that "deterrence is in the eye of the beholder". In other words, I cannot assume that what would deter me would also deter you. In order to deter you I need to understand what your goals and values are. I submit that when the US elites decided to sanction Russia (putatively to deter her from further resisting the Empire) they made a fundamentally wrong assumption: that Russia was ruled by Atlantic Integrationist types who would be horrified and deterred.

Instead, these sanctions ended being a blessing for the Eurasian Sovereignists who used these sanctions to paralyze the Atlantic Sovereignists, to push through much needed reforms and basically eliminate the pro-Western opposition. In so many ways Russia is still a mess and a struggling country, but thanks to US sanctions none of that will have any impact at all on the next Presidential elections in Russia and the Eurasian Sovereignists are more powerful than ever before. Thank you, Uncle Shmuel!

Possible Russian reactions:

Whatever the reasons for all this nonsense, this does beg some kind of reaction from Russia and I think that judging by all the similar situation in the recent past, the Russian reaction is fairly easy to predict.

First, there will be no grandiose gesture or loud hyperbolic statements out of the Kremlin. Putin jokingly deplored that his own name was no on the list, Peskov said that this was a hostile act, a few Russian Duma members canceled planned trip to the USA and Russian commentators expressed various degrees of dismay and disgust. But, all in all, this is very, very little.

As usual, this will be completely misunderstood in the West where the culture is roughly " if your enemy slaps you in your face, you have to immediately slap him back lest you look weak ". In most of Asia (and the Middle-East, by the way), the norm is totally different: " if your enemy slaps you in the face you step back and plan how to bring him down in the long run because what matters is not the short-lived posturing, which can be even dangerous and counter-productive, but playing the long run and winning ".

You could say that in the West the attention span and long-term planning is counted in days or weeks, while in Asia and the Middle-East it is counted in years and decades. So while there might not be anything particularly photogenic or quote-worthy coming out of the Kremlin, a few Russians did drop hints of what the Russian policy will be: " good luck to the Americans trying get anything major done on the planet without our support ".

And just to make that point clear to those who can connect the dots, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, speaking on the Russian TV channel Rossiya One, declared that the Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergei Naryshkin, recently traveled to the USA and met with some high level US personalities (including, according to US sources , CIA Director Mike Pompeo).

As Newsweek wrote , Naryshkin would be " the Russian spy chief behind 2016 election hacking campaign " which various nutcases even called an act of war. He is on the very top of all these sanctions list, but there he is, traveling inside the USA and meeting with top US officials.

Why did Antonov leak this? Simply to show that for all the huffing and puffing and hyperbolic grandstanding from the USA, the reality is that the USA and Russia are still very much working together because they really cannot afford not doing so (as I write these words I got a link to a WaPo article now saying that Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and even Colonel-General Korobov, the head of the Main Directorate of the General Stuff (GU GSh), the military intelligence service (ex-GRU) also took part in this trip to the USA.)

So that is the real Russian message to the USA: you need us a heck of a lot more than we need you because you need to work with us or else you won't get anything done, we are still willing to work with you, but if you go crazy then your global interests will suffer much more than our ours; for all your hot air, you have been working with us all along and if you go overboard with the nonsense we will first reveal the extend of our collaboration and, if that is not enough to cool you down, we will terminate it .

There is no doubt in my mind that for most inhabitants of the AngloZionist Empire the notion of the almighty USA needing the struggling (and economically comparatively small) Russia more than Russia needs the USA is laughable. These folks would say something like that: " what is the Russian share of the gross world product, how many aircraft carriers does Russia have and what is the Russian weight in international financial institutions? And how is your vodka-soaked Ruble doing anyway, buddy?! "

The Russians wouldn't reply much of anything, most would just smile in contempt and think something along the lines of " when is the last time you got anything successfully done, you dumb pompous ass ". That's fundamentally fine since this message is really not destined to ideological drones but to those in power in the USA who are aware of the real scorecard of Uncle Sam and who realize that right now it is the Empire, not Russia, which is almost completely paralyzed, and isolated (oh irony!) on all levels.

Conclusion one: the Empire's main export is hot air

Many of my friends and readers send me various articles with all sorts of quotes by US officials and I have a really hard time explaining to them that they should stop listening to this endless bombastic verbiage. Not only because the vast majority of officials making these statements are both stupid and ignorant, but because the main export of the AngloZionist Empire nowadays is hot air.

We saw that recently with the grand statements about Kurdistan or, for that matter, the plans "A", "B", "C" and "D" about Syria: all delivered with the same final gravitas. This is counter-intuitive, I will admit that.

After all, when the President of the nuclear superpower, a three star general or any other senior official takes the floor to make an official statement, we automatically tend to assume that what they say matters, especially if they are surrounded by flags and many exited reporters. But it really doesn't. Especially not when the "other guy" (the Russians and the Chinese) come from a culture which frowns upon loudmouthed histrionics: "make my day, punk" is just not an (Eur-)Asian way of delivering threats.

I don't mean to suggest that we should ignore the Empire, most definitely not, but we should look at what the Empire actually does and more or less ignore it's constantly running narcissistic commentary. When the Empire promises to do something right, it usually lies. When it promises to do something wrong, these are usually empty threats. So what's the point of paying so much attention to these promises?

Conclusion two: learning optimism and caution from history

If we look at world history we can always see the same phenomenon taking place: when things to well, the elites are united, but as soon as things go south, the elites turn on each other. The reason for this is quite simple: elites are never as united as they pretend to be.

In reality Empires, and any big country, really, are run by a coalition of elites who all benefit from the established order. They can hate each other, sometimes even kill each other (SA vs SS, Trotskyists vs Stalinists, etc.), but they will work together just like crime families do in the mob. But when a real, profound, crisis becomes undeniably apparent, these ruling elites typically turn on each other and when that happens, nobody is really in charge until, eventually, the entire system comes tumbling down or a new main ruler/group emerges.

Right now the AngloZionists elites are locked into a huge struggle which is likely to last for the foreseeable future. However, we need to be aware that such a situation can also be used be a previously less visible party to make a move and seize power. That is exactly how Putin came to power, pushed by the Russian security services even while Eltsin was still the nominal head of state.

This also fully applies to the Ukraine which is also run by a group of people whose main current contribution to the world scene is hot air. But that could change very, very fast. This is why while I recommend more or less ignoring the hot air coming out of the top US (or Ukie) officials, I would keep an attentive eye on the level right below them, especially the US (or Ukie) military.

Finally, we should never confuse the inability to get anything done with the inability to make things worse: the latter does not flow from the former. Nazi Germany was basically defeated in Stalingrad (Feb 1943) but that did not prevent it from murdering millions more people for another two and a half years before two Soviet soldiers placed the Soviet flag on top of the Reichstag. We are still far away from such a "Reichstag flag" moment, but we sure are witnessing the AngloZionist "Stalingrad" taking place before our eyes.

[Feb 05, 2018] Korybko The US Deep State And The Democrats Are The Problem, Not The Solution Zero Hedge

Looks like Mr. Kortunov completely forgot about Obama administration actions in Ukraine ;-). Which IMHO makes this "deep thinker" a babbling idiot. .
Feb 05, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Andrew Korybko via Oriental Review,

The latest policy recommendations by the influential Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), one of the most well-respected and listened-to experts in Russia – to say nothing of the entire former Soviet space – is causing quite a stir by waxing nostalgically about the Obama years and even suggesting that Moscow should embrace the American "deep state".

Mr. Kortunov's Case For Russia's "Deep State"-Democrat Partnership

Mr. Andrey Kortunov is one of the most brilliant minds in Russia and earned his place as the Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), and his words accordingly carry much weight for the fact that they set the tone for countless other analysts in the country and even an untold number of policymakers who look to him for guidance.

That's why it caused quite a stir when he published his latest recommendation earlier this week at the famous Valdai Club titled " Russian Approaches to the United States: Algorithm Change Is Overdue ", in which he waxed nostalgically about the Obama years and even suggested that Moscow should embrace the American "deep state".

So as not to put words in his mouth, the relevant passages are republished in their entirety below:

"First, it is better to avoid demonizing the Deep State, which is perceived by many in Moscow as the center of world evil and the stronghold of the pathological haters of Russia. Of course, most of the State Department or the CIA officials, the Congress staff, experts from the main think tanks are not Vladimir Putin's fans. But these people, at least, have considerable experience of interaction with Moscow and can hardly be considered stubborn paranoids, exalted conspiracy theorists or genetic Russophobes. Deep State consists of rationally thinking professionals, who are always easier to deal with than romantic amateurs are. With all its shortcomings, it is the Deep State that limits Donald Trump's most exotic and potentially most dangerous foreign policy oddities.

Second, it's time to change the attitude toward the Demcratic Party leadership. For some reason (probably because of inertia) the Barack Obama administration is constantly remembered in Russia in the worst possible way, with the two latest presidents constantly juxtaposed. How is Obama bad, and Trump is good? The stubborn facts show otherwise. For example, Obama pursued a consistent policy of rapprochement with Iran, and Trump returned to the most severe pressure on Tehran. Obama followed the international consensus on the status of Jerusalem, and Trump destroyed this consensus. Obama did not resort to direct military action against Bashar Assad, and Trump did not hesitate to give an order to launch missiles against the Syrian Al- Shayrat airbase. Well, who after all created more problems for Russia -- Democrats or Republicans?"

Mr. Kortunov did indeed talk about other aspects of US-Russian relations, including the need for a bottom-up approach to improving his country's soft power in America, but none of those proposals are controversial, at least not when compared to what he wrote about above.

A diversity of respectful views in any discourse is symptomatic of a healthy democracy, and Russian society is no different in this respect, which is why the dialogue on this topic would be greatly enriched by presenting some counterpoints to Mr. Kortunov's article.

Deciphering The "Deep State"

The first is that the US' military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies ("deep state") are experienced and rational like Mr. Kortunov describes them as, but that they nevertheless bear primary responsibility for the deterioration in US-Russian relations under both the Obama and Trump Presidencies because the bulk of these professional bureaucrats always retain their jobs between leadership transitions in the country.

The President is supposed to determine the broad trajectory of their work in consultation with his closest advisors, some of whom are handpicked by him and approved by Congress to lead the relevant institutions of the "deep state" while others are more informal, but the rank-and-file members of the "deep state" are still largely more responsible for the execution of policy in practice than anyone else.

Unprecedentedly, many of them oppose President Trump's stated desire to improve relations with Russia and have worked to unconstitutionally offset his plans, and the pressure that they've put on him to this end explains why he's undertaken decisively anti-Russian policies during his first year in office despite his campaign pledge to do the opposite.

Seeing as how most of these "deep state" individuals naturally remained in the same positions that they had during the Obama Administration and would have probably still retained their jobs under Hillary's Presidency, it's inaccurate to attribute the deterioration of Russian-American ties to President Trump personally while overlooking the actions of the "deep state" that he's still trying to reform to the best of his ability.

The "deep state" is rational – too rational, it can be argued – because it embraces a Neo-Realist paradigm of International Relations that sometimes correlates with Trump's own views on certain topics but other times contradicts them like in the case of Russia, and the internal power struggle between Trump and the "deep state" is what's really to blame for the worsening of bilateral relations, not the "amateur" President's "romanticism" like Mr. Kortunov insists.

For these reasons, it can be argued that Mr. Kortunov's belief that the "deep state" "can hardly be considered stubborn paranoids, exalted conspiracy theorists or genetic Russophobes" isn't exactly accurate, since it's indeed full of "stubborn paranoids" under the dual influence of the neoconservatives' Neo-Realism and the Obama-Clinton worldview of "militant liberalism".

That said, the "conspiracy theories" that he references are just a "deep state" infowar distraction to deceive the voting masses while the assertion that such a thing as a "genetic Russophobe" exists wrongly implies that an individual's political views are irreversibly predetermined by their DNA.

To flip around Mr. Kortunov's last comment on the matter, it's more realistic to assert that "with all his shortcomings, it is Donald Trump that limits the Deep State's most exotic and potentially most dangerous foreign policy oddities."

Debunking The Dreams Of Democrat Rule

Relatedly, Mr. Kortunov's views on the "deep state" clearly influence his attitude towards the Democrats and specifically the Obama Administration, which he thinks is unfairly "remembered in Russia in the worst possible way" because "the stubborn facts show otherwise" and apparently disprove the prevailing notion that "Obama (is) bad, and Trump is good."

Mr. Kortunov thinks that Obama had pure intentions in signing the nuclear agreement with Iran, though it can cynically be argued that his "deep state" was in fact trying to co-opt the Islamic Republic's "moderate/reformist" ruling elite in a bid to tip the scales to their favor in the country's own "deep state" competition for influence with the "conservative/principalist" military-security faction, the failure of which would explain why Trump was tasked with "returning to the most severe pressure on Tehran."

The enduring presence of most of the "deep state's" personnel between presidential administrations doesn't preclude the US from pivoting between policies but actually allows such moves to be more smoothly executed, as can be seen from the example of Nixon's rapprochement with China in spite of Johnson's antagonism towards it; Bush Sr. "betraying" Iraq even though Reagan aligned with it; Obama signing the nuclear deal against the former Bush Jr. Administration's wishes; and Trump dismantling his predecessor's plans.

Although the President might set the tone for the overall direction that each respective policy should go in and this sometimes reverses what the previous administration did, it's ultimately the "deep state" that puts these ideas into practice and is able to maintain a degree of strategic continuity that advances America's national interests regardless, though the case of Trump's vision for US-Russia relations also shows that this same "deep state" can also conspire to obstruct the President's will.

Another "stubborn fact" at variance with Mr. Kortunov's nostalgia for Democrat rule is the practical significance of Obama "following the international consensus on the status of Jerusalem" and Trump "destroying" it since it inaccurately hints that the former was somehow 'pro-Palestinian' and that the latter's announcement tangibly changed something on the ground, neither of which are true because Obama was actually very pro-Israel and Trump's decision only stands to affect foreign aid recipients who voted against the US and the UN.

Looking beyond Obama's highly publicized personal rivalry with Netanyahu and his populist rhetoric on the Palestinian issue, nothing that he did during his two terms had any influence on Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem and unilateral claim to the entirety of the city being its capital; likewise, Trump's words didn't change any of this reality either and only resulted in word games being played at the UN and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation , neither of which did anything other than attempt to comfort the Palestinians.

As for Mr. Kortunov's juxtaposition of Obama's refusal to "resort to direct military action against Bashar Assad" with Trump "not hesitating to give an order to launch missiles against the Syrian Al- Shayrat airbase", he's totally overlooking the 44 th President's responsibility for the theater-wide "Arab Spring" Color Revolutions and the resultant Hybrid War of Terror on Syria which dealt incomparably more damage to Syria and its democratically elected President's standing that Trump's handful of one-off missiles.

In addition, Trump only ordered the attack because he was under intense "deep state" pressure to do so after having been caught in a Catch-22 trap where he was forced to "put his money where his mouth is" and respond to the false-flag chemical weapons attack that violated his "red line", but truthfully speaking, what Mr. Kortunov might really resent is that it only took a few million dollars' worth of missiles to call President Putin's bluff in hinting at a military response to the exact same scenario in 2013 that got Obama to back down at the time.

To respond to Mr.Kortunov's rhetorical question of "who after all created more problems for Russia -- Democrats or Republicans?", the reader should be reminded that the Obama Administration presided over or was outright responsible for the "Arab Spring" and its attendant regime changes , the War on Syria , the 2011-12 anti-government unrest in Moscow, EuroMaidan and the Ukrainian Civil War, the anti-Russian sanctions, and the fake news scheme of "Kremlin interference" in order to suppress Russia's publicly funded international media outlets and harass their employees, among many other examples.

In comparison, Trump merely continued most of the policy trajectories that Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton first initiated, and even then he's tried to resist some of the "deep state's" pressure when it comes to Russia, so as bad as he's been for Moscow's interests, one should wonder how much worse Hillary would have been she entered into the Presidency and allowed the "deep state" to do as it pleases.

Concluding Thoughts

Mr. Kortunov seems to have wanted to spark a serious conversation about how Russia's "deep state" should respond to the disappointment that it experienced throughout Trump's first year in office, and if that was his intention, then he remarkably succeeded by controversially reinterpreting the Obama years as something to apparently be nostalgic about and boldly suggesting that his government reconsider its negative attitude to Trump's "deep state" foes.

In the spirit of dialogue that Mr. Kortunov implicitly encouraged by publishing such a provocative piece, it's only fitting that a rebuttal be presented to challenge his premise that the Democrats and their "deep state" handlers are supposedly more preferable to Russia than Trump is, especially seeing as how he selectively pointed to a few decontextualized examples that were presumably cherry-picked in order to promote his argument.

With all due respect to this prestigious gentleman, his entire notion is flat-out wrong and shows that he doesn't at all understand Trump's " Kraken "-like leadership and his never-ending struggle to survive the "deep state's" permanent Clintonian Counter-Revolution that's being waged in trying to undermine the Second American Revolution that the President is trying to carry out in America's domestic and foreign affairs.

Instead of ignoring the plethora of evidence proving the Obama Administration's hostility to Russia and its international interests, Mr. Kortunov should have at least made a superficial reference to it because this glaring omission implies a deliberate partiality towards that political faction and the "deep state" in general, which is fine to have in principle but nevertheless casts doubt on how effective his proposals would be in the overall sense of things if they were ever put into practice.

Mr. Kortunov is evidently unaware that the same "deep state" that he finds attractive in contrast to Trump had a controlling influence in determining the Obama Administration's anti-Russian policies that the 44 th President's Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ended up implementing with ruinous consequences for Moscow's grand strategic interests, and that she would have given the "deep state" free rein to do whatever it wanted had she won unlike Trump's willingness to challenge its most extreme tendencies (though with mixed results).

Having said that, pragmatic working relations between Russia and the US' "deep states" are inevitable because there isn't any alternative to interacting with any national counterpart's collection of military, intelligence, and diplomatic figures no matter how much one may disagree with their policies unless ties between the two sides are formally suspended, which isn't foreseeable but would in any case still allow for the existence of communication backchannels.

What Mr. Kortunov is lobbying for is something altogether different because he wants Russian decision makers to reconceptualize the American "deep state" as a 'positive', 'moderating', and 'responsible' force against what he characterizes as Trump's "romantic", "amateurish", "most exotic and potentially most dangerous foreign policy oddities", which is ironically a very "romantic" and "exotic" view to have of the US' most dangerous anti-Russian institutional forces.

In all actuality, however, the "deep state" and its Democrat allies are the real reason why Trump hasn't been able to succeed in his pledge to improve Russian-American relations, and these two problems shouldn't ever be confused as part of the solution that's needed to reverse this downward spiral, nor should a tactical partnership with these two actors ever be considered if Moscow hopes to maintain the upper hand in the New Cold War . Vote up! 23 Vote down! 0


TeamDepends Feb 4, 2018 10:18 PM Permalink

Andrey clearly old school bolshevik, yes?

DownWithYogaPants -> TeamDepends Feb 4, 2018 10:25 PM Permalink

The US Deep State is a scorpion and it will eventually sting you Russia.

Ride on the Trump Train. oh oo ahh ahh

Get on the Trump Train.

--- Mohamed Bin CatStevens

stizazz -> InjectTheVenom Feb 4, 2018 10:41 PM Permalink

The DEEP STATE controls both D & R.

Perimetr -> TeamDepends Feb 4, 2018 10:26 PM Permalink

Andrey is CIA asset, the storyline here is worthy of Voice of America.

thisandthat -> Perimetr Feb 5, 2018 12:30 AM Permalink

If anyone needed any proof of the existence of a fifth column in Russia, here it is, personified: a true (((russian))) "presstitute".

Koba the Dread -> Perimetr Feb 5, 2018 12:43 AM Permalink

He is certainly what The Sakar calls a Russian Atlanticist. And quite a fool at that!

Hey, ZH? Whydja publish this tripe. I like your articles about how Yellowstone geyser is going to boil New York City or the giant meteor heading for us is made of tapioca pudding. You've spent the last three weeks diddling us about memo, mome, meme, momo, mmmm,oooo and Yunez, whonez. And it's all just a diddle. Just as this article is a diddle.

If there any news these days, you know, where an actual person does an actual deed and their are consequences from that deed? Or is it just diddle, diddle, diddle, diddle, diddle, diddle, diddle, diddle, diddle?

Forgetdaboutit! It's just all diddle, isn't it?

thisandthat -> Koba the Dread Feb 5, 2018 2:16 AM Permalink

(((Atlanticist))) -- another name for cocksucker

HRClinton -> Perimetr Feb 5, 2018 12:59 AM Permalink

Agree. Either Andrey Kortunov is a CIA 5th-Column asset, or has had too much " Amerikanski Burbon".

To present the False Choice Paradigm of Demoncrats v. Repugnicants, is the height of political folly or the depth of a compromised player.

Hell, even most ZHers don't fall for that "Bait for suckers".

We all know that both (privately owned) Parties, the Deep State and the Surveillance-Military-Industrial Complex (SMIC) are only possible with the full backing of the Financial Predator Class, whose Global-Lust appetites and ambitions will not be satiated until all the world's resources and markets are under their thumb.

All wars are Global-Lust wars.

Rikky Feb 4, 2018 10:28 PM Permalink

history will judge the Mueller investigation into Trump russian collusion as the biggest witch hunt in American History. you just watch cause in the end pomp, duck and circumstance <> actual facts to back up assertions.

Oldwood Feb 4, 2018 10:37 PM Permalink

Andrey is much like the Democrats constantly offering suggestions to Republicans as to how to win an election.

Nations of the world only seek allies if there is something in it for them. Russia is in their Glory days watching as America tears itself apart.

I'm sure Andrey enjoys being "helpful".

BabaLooey -> BobEore Feb 5, 2018 12:24 AM Permalink

Trump got C.I.A."glazed" during the interim post election and swearing in.....

They all do, and have.

Plus, Trump's gushing love for the Chosenites....BiBi ReBOZOHoo

Post Truman? No no...the newly formed M.I.C., fresh off WW deax....and the O.S.SsssssC.I.Yeah....?

It's been "I Like Ike" and whoops...Dallas....and since then...one after the other....shit....

Ain't NO body foisted in office that HASN'T gone back on sumptin....Trump is just the latest....

simulkra -> nuerocaster Feb 5, 2018 1:05 AM Permalink

Yes. The walking brain dead. Obama sucked up to Iran because he was told to by Brezinsky, who is a Pole who hates Russia. This is old school neocon, the real enemy is your most powerful adversary, especially if its Russia and you are a Pole. The strategy is to isolate Russia so it can be crushed. Creating a wedge between Russia and Iran would be a major win for them.

Trump seems to be following the Israel uber alles regional dominance strategy, which is bad strategy for the neos, as it drives Iran into the arms (pun intended) of Russia.

Why would a Russian think the crush Russia strategy is good? Brain dead or part of the globalist bolshevik deep state.

MEFOBILLS Feb 4, 2018 10:54 PM Permalink

assertion that such a thing as a "genetic Russophobe" (Quote from article suggesting that there is no such thing as a genetic Russophobe.)

It is genetic Russophobe's . Even policy makers such as Kortunov are emitting hypnosis at variance with facts.

These genetic Russophobes emigrated to the U.S. from Eastern Europe and Russia. (Another reason not to immigrate.)

http://russia-insider.com/en/russia-insider-names-jew/ri22217

quote:

The most vitriolic and obsessive Russia-bashing journalists in the media are mostly Jewish. The publications which push these writers most energetically are ALL Jewish-owned, and as a publisher, I know very well, that is where the buck stops.

On the policy side, the neo-conservative movement, Russia's harshest foe, was conceived of, is led by, and consists mostly of, Jews. And their trouble-making extends far beyond Russia – they are responsible for America's disastrous debacle in the Middle East over the last 20 years – where their crimes have been stymied by precisely one country – Russia. The psychotically anti-Russian recent UN ambassadors, Nikki Haley and Samantha Power, were put there by the Israel lobby, and given an independent brief, in other words, they answer not to their presidents, rather to their Jewish sponsors.


In Congress the biggest Russia-Gate tub-thumpers are noticeably Jewish – Schiff, Schumer, Blumenthal, Franken (although not as overwhelmingly as in the media). The Israel lobby routinely enforces legislation hostile to Russia. Bill Browder with his Magnitsky Sanctions – is Jewish.

Facts are Facts, and it cannot be ignored that those who are aiming their daggers at Russia are Jews.

Betrayed -> MEFOBILLS Feb 4, 2018 11:19 PM Permalink

Sadly if your objective Trump will have to be included with that bunch. He's shown himself to be Zionist first. MIGA!

DCFusor Feb 4, 2018 10:54 PM Permalink

LMAO!

Deep state trying to unseat Trump because the Russians "like him" and "helped him into office".

If they now "like" the deep state...implications are hilarious. It'll have to go like that old Star Trek where Kirk convinces the AI probe (Nomad) it is imperfect and must be destroyed....so it blows itself up.

Hey, I can dream, can't I?

Of course, back in real life, the deep state has shown an ability to survive deep cognitive dissonance and even total internal contradiction. (No, not you, Cog).

We should shout this to the rooftops instead of trying to discredit it...however would they spin the Russians preferring the Dems and Deep State?

I want to see their heads exploding!

[Aug 09, 2017] Force Multipliers and 21st Century Imperial Warfare Practice and Propaganda by Maximilian C. Forte

Highly recommended!
Highly recommended --
The full book can be downloaded here (for free) .
Notable quotes:
"... What is a force multiplier? ..."
Nov 08, 2015 | zeroanthropology.net

If the present provides a hint of what it is to come, the nastiest, ugliest, and bloodiest wars to be fought this century will be between states opposed to continued US dominance, and the force multipliers of US dominance. We see the outline of sovereign self-defense programs that take diverse forms, from the banning of foreign funding for NGOs operating in a state's territory, controlling the mass media, arresting protesters, shutting down CIA-funded political parties, curtailing foreign student exchanges, denying visas to foreign academic researchers, terminating USAID operations, to expelling US ambassadors, and so forth. In extreme cases, this includes open warfare between governments and armed rebels backed by the US, or more indirectly (as the force multiplier principle mandates) backed by US allies. US intervention will provoke and heighten paranoia, stoking repression, and create the illusion of a self-fulfilling prophecy that US interventionists can further manipulate, using logic of this kind: they are serial human rights abusers; we therefore need to intervene in the name of humanity. There will be no discussion, let alone admission, that US covert intervention helped to provoke repression, and that the US knowingly placed its "force multipliers" on the front line. "Force multipliers" also requires us to understand the full depth and scope of US imperialism comprising, among other things: entertainment, food, drink, software, agriculture, arms sales, media, and so on.

Yet, in the end, we are still left with a basic question: What is a force multiplier? There are even more answers to this question than there are persons answering it. Beyond the most basic definition in physics, we see a proliferation of examples of force multipliers, reflecting a weak pseudo-science that reifies actual policies, offering mixed results in practice. Given the scientistic and positivist approach that achieved hegemony during the Cold War in US universities and the military, the conceptualization of force multipliers reveals familiar problems arising from the naturalization of social phenomena, of "man" as "molecule" of society. As an impoverished form of political science, one that is formulaic, mechanical, utilitarian, and ideologically-driven, the force multiplier idea nonetheless poses difficult anthropological questions about the agency of others.

My hope was that military writers did not choose to write "force multipliers" because candidly calling them "quislings," "shills," "dupes," "pawns" or "suckers" would have been too "politically incorrect," or would have validated older, Cold War-era accusations of the US supporting "stooges," "lackeys," "cronies," "henchmen," "running dogs," or "lap dogs". In other words, my hope was that this was not yet another imperial euphemism. Regardless of the intentions behind the terminology, whether conscious or not, the basic idea of using humans as a form of drone , one that is less expensive yet more precise and in less need of constant guidance, seems to be the persisting feature of the force multiplier concept.

If the concept is not a mere euphemism, then there is still an absence of sound theorization of force multipliers on the part of the Pentagon, and by that I mean that while an inchoate lexical infrastructure exists consisting of nested synonyms derived from the natural sciences, there is little more than crude utilitarianism and functionalism to hold the terms together. Some may wish to retort, "then that is the theory" by noting the presence of functionalist assumptions and premises derived from rational-choice theories. However, the presence of theory should also involve the process of theorization, which entails questioning, revising, and exposing one's assumptions to a dialogue with other theories and with facts that appear to challenge the validity of the theory.

There may be a lot of real-world destruction by the US military and intelligence apparatus, but there is no winning as such!the absence of theorization is killing the imperial political and security structures, but their exposure to critical theories will only hasten their defeat. No wonder then that so many right-wing "pro-military" columnists in the US routinely scoff at and dismiss "post-colonialism"!theirs is a hegemony in trouble, turned narcissistic: unable to find their mirror image in many sectors of the social sciences and humanities, they resort to angry triumphalism and cyclical repetition of the same failed "solutions," repeated over and over again. On the other hand, they can find their mirror-image in academia, and particularly anthropology, in other ways: many US anthropologists' convoluted (meta)theoretical fumblings, obfuscated by pretentious language whose deliberate lack of clarity masks deep confusion and bewilderment, stands out particularly in the cases of topics which are "new," such as democracy or globalization. In this sense, both the US military and US anthropology in some quarters share in common a proliferation of theoretical-sounding rhetoric and a lack of scientific theory. Not coincidentally, both also share an apparent aversion to even saying the word "imperialism". One might detect a certain decadence in imperial intellectual life, of which the force multiplier theoretical pretense is but one small example.

Clearly there are numerous examples of agents serving as "force multipliers," and almost as clear is the absence of theorization, let alone reason for imperial elites to feel confident about success when the political, economic, and cultural projects they represent are domestically bankrupt and alienating. Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan and Iraq, and "winning hearts and minds," certainly did happen in some places and to some extent, which gives partial weight to the "force multiplier" idea at the core of these processes. However, on the whole, counterinsurgency programs have been defeated in Afghanistan just as in Vietnam before.

[Jul 16, 2017] The Russian neoliberals that Western trolls consider "patriots of Russia" resort to usual Russian compradors resort to standard demagoguery "we are not against Russia, we are against State/Media" which serves as an excuse for betraying the interests of Russian people in favor of interests of multinationals

Notable quotes:
"... "Kovalev makes no secret of his own agenda, either. "I despise [Margarita] Simonyan [chief editor of RT and Rossiya Segodnya] for what she did to RIA," he says. "After all, my name is on the website, and now it's filled with all kinds of shit. And it's really shameful to see my name next to some stupid story about how Obama is a bad dancer. If that kind of story appeared on RIA a couple of years ago, the editor would have been fired." ..."
"... "When confronted with a deluge of information, people instinctively cling to just one source (however biased it may be) just because it's "ours." There is a certain degree of doublethink in Russia. How much contradiction can Russians absorb without going crazy? At any point in time, they believe two opposite things. For instance, there are no Russian troops in Ukraine, but we are winning the war. Because we cannot lose. Because Russians can never lose. But there are no Russian troops in Ukraine. So whatever is broadcast, they will believe, because it's instinctive. Even if it's lies, we'll believe them because it's our guys who are telling the lies. Because everyone is lying, and we're going to stick to our lies. ..."
Jul 16, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Lyttenburgh , July 15, 2017 at 2:07 am

And about those whom fat Western trolls consider "patriots of Russia". Their usual demagogery aka "we are not against Russia, we are against State/Media" serves only as the excuse for all would be traitors. Nazis did the same thing with their "политрук лжёт" leaflets. Tiresome, useless and uneffective. To repeat this faily tactic now? What a mess, what a mess! Gevalt-gevalt!

https://globalvoices.org/2015/11/03/one-mans-revenge-against-russian-propaganda/

"Kovalev makes no secret of his own agenda, either. "I despise [Margarita] Simonyan [chief editor of RT and Rossiya Segodnya] for what she did to RIA," he says. "After all, my name is on the website, and now it's filled with all kinds of shit. And it's really shameful to see my name next to some stupid story about how Obama is a bad dancer. If that kind of story appeared on RIA a couple of years ago, the editor would have been fired."

[ ]

"When confronted with a deluge of information, people instinctively cling to just one source (however biased it may be) just because it's "ours." There is a certain degree of doublethink in Russia. How much contradiction can Russians absorb without going crazy? At any point in time, they believe two opposite things. For instance, there are no Russian troops in Ukraine, but we are winning the war. Because we cannot lose. Because Russians can never lose. But there are no Russian troops in Ukraine. So whatever is broadcast, they will believe, because it's instinctive. Even if it's lies, we'll believe them because it's our guys who are telling the lies. Because everyone is lying, and we're going to stick to our lies. "

My, what a patriot of Russia! How high he thinks about his fellow people! Oh, and dissing Graham Phillips for his work in "occupied" Donbass – how more pro-Russian can they ever become?! Oh, I know – how about whoring for OpenDemocracy , which, I remind you, is funded by NED and Soros.

The meaty part? Kovalyov was editor in The Moscow Times , which fired recently its entire crew and stopped running as printed edition. Poor Kovalyov – how can he survive without panhandling and whoring himself even more to the Western press!

Btw, where is their server situated, oh self-less Patriots of True Russia? Why, in Murika , where else! It's net trust level? Negligible .

kirill , July 15, 2017 at 5:01 am
The Duma should get off its lazy ass an legislate a ban on all newsmedia purporting to be "Russian" having its computer servers stationed abroad. I do not mean blocking foreign media, I mean the "Moscow Times" and similar. This is a variation on the foreign agent theme and it seems the Russian law is too crappy to properly act against offshoring of information sources (i.e. propaganda sources).
marknesop , July 15, 2017 at 10:54 am
Russia has no need to block the Moscow Times; it is such a ridiculous nitpicking parody of actual life in Russia – going on week-long rants because Russia is not receptive to the introduction of crass western 'holidays' like Hallowe'en, for example, in which kids stuff themselves with candy until they throw up – that it actually fulfills a valuable service in Russia. It reminds those few Russians who read it and are not kreakl ponces that while it is wise to embrace those western concepts which are beneficial (medical and technological research, for example, which are still traded fairly freely on the world market), it is never wise to get down on the floor and roll in it.
moscowexile , July 15, 2017 at 11:19 am
On the site Quora , in answer to the question "How credible is the Moscow Times?", there are two replies.

The first is from a kreakl -- a professional photojournalist, publishing designer, TV cameraman and EN/RU translator, he says -- who thinks MT is top hole and gives a list of 5 other arsewipes that he holds in reverence:

There are five credible Russian media: Vedomosti, Kommersant, RBC, Лента.Ру and Meduza. All of them not without mishaps, but at least more or less readable (between the lines at least). Everything else Don't go there.

The second comment is bang on, in my humble opinion as an insignificant Englishman resident in Moscow for almost a quarter of a century:

Don't get me started. It's really, really bad, almost a cartoon of a propaganda mill.

It operates as a project to give bonuses to superannuated Radio Free Europe hacks who write articles on yesterday's news filled with quotes from people who have been dead for years.

Just one more example of how Putin controls the news.

For those who "don't do irony", the last sentence in the second of the above quotes has been written in irony.

The op-eds in MT are really over the top. Latynina often did them. (She might still do: it is several years since I picked up a freebie MT.) And then, just to let the readers believe there is a sense of balance at MT, there appears maybe two or three times a year an op-ed that is more positive about Russia.

That British rag the Guardian used to do the same in its risibly named feature "Comment Is Free".

Those 2 answers to the Quora question appeared in 2016, by the way.

The kreakl got one "like", the "useful idiot" got 5.

Two replies since March 2016!

[Apr 02, 2017] With the emergence of globalization, the term comprador denote trading groups and classes in the developing world that benefit and prefer subordinate relationships with metropolitan capital

Apr 02, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
libezkova -> pgl... , April 01, 2017 at 01:55 PM
"Trump is Yeltsin American style."

Nothing can be more wrong that this statement. This is an absurd statement to say the least.

Yeltsin was a comprador, member of Russian "lumpen elite". Trump is more of economic nationalist.

See

Rise of the lumpen elite: is this really what we fought for? Published on openDemocracy

https://opendemocracy.net/printpdf/62166

Yeltsin sold Russian industry to foreigh interests for pennies on a dollar. Gave up natural resposes for peanuts, on essentially colonial terms. That how Us oil companies got to Sakhalin island.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakhalin-II

The first ever Russian production sharing agreement was signed in the framework of the Sakhalin-2 project in 1994.

In foreign policy Yeltsin behaves like a drunk puppet of Clinton. His foreign minister Kozirev ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrei_Kozyrev ) was nicknamed by US press "Mister Yes".

anne -> libezkova... , April 01, 2017 at 02:14 PM
"Trump is Yeltsin American style."

Nothing can be more wrong that this statement. This is an absurd statement to say the least.

Yeltsin was a comprador, member of Russian "lumpen elite".

[ Do explain this further when possible. ]

anne -> anne... , April 01, 2017 at 02:15 PM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comprador

A comprador is a "person who acts as an agent for foreign organizations engaged in investment, trade, or economic or political exploitation". A comprador is a native manager of European business houses in East and South East Asia, and, by extension, social groups that play broadly similar roles in other parts of the world.

anne -> libezkova... , April 01, 2017 at 02:20 PM
The use of emotionally laden jargon would not seem necessary if the point is to allow understanding.

Lumpen-this and Lumpen-that, such terms are of no interest to me.

anne -> anne... , April 01, 2017 at 02:21 PM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumpenbourgeoisie

Lumpenbourgeoisie is a term used primarily in the context of colonial and neocolonial elites in Latin America, which became heavily dependent on and supportive of the neocolonial powers.

libezkova -> anne... , April 01, 2017 at 03:52 PM
"Lumpenbourgeoisie" is a more correct term as for Yeltsin entourage then "lumpen elite". Sorry about that.

But "comprador" also is a legitimate term for describing this phenomena. It originated in Marxism and means "groups and classes in the developing world in subordinate to imperial power interests"

== quote from Wikipedia ==

In Marxism, the term comprador bourgeoisie was later applied to similar trading-class in regions outside of East Asia.[5][6][7][8]

With the emergence (or re-emergence) of globalization, the term comprador has reentered the lexicon to denote trading groups and classes in the developing world in subordinate but mutually advantageous relationships with metropolitan capital. The Egyptian Marxist Samir Amin has discussed the role of compradors in the contemporary global economy in his recent work.[9] In addition, the Indian economist, Ashok Mitra, has accused the owners and managers of firms attached to the Indian software industry of being compradors.[10] Growing identification of the software industry in India with comprador 'qualities' has led to the labeling of certain persons associated with the industry as 'dot.compradors'.[11]

== end of quote ==


But meaning all those terms is essentially the same -- part of the elite acting not in interests of the county, but some imperial foreign powers and content with neo-colonial role of their country.

In some sense neoliberal governments also can be called "lumpen elite" as they are subservient to transnational corporations, not so much interests of their own country population.

pgl -> libezkova... , April 01, 2017 at 03:09 PM
Yeltsin sold Russian industry to foreigh interests for pennies on a dollar.

True but me thinks Trump will do the same.

libezkova -> pgl... , April 01, 2017 at 04:40 PM
Future is unpredictable by definition.

But I would draw analogies between Weimar government and Yeltsin regime. In both case countries faced huge financial outflows (reparations in one case, "economic rape" in another), hyperinflation, mass impoverishment of population, disappearance of middle class, and high unemployment.

To a certain extent that was true about Obama regime in 2008-2010.

Yeltin Russia was really a "failed country". Government employees and government workers were not paid for many months, average longevity for males dropped below 60. And Russian neoliberals (such as Yegor Gaidar( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yegor_Gaidar an object of loathing among ordinary Russians who lost everything during the neoliberal privatization, Anatoly Chubais -- the most hated person in Russia, oligarchs such as Berezovsky, Gusinsky ) who came to power with Yeltsin tried to ally with foreign powers in order to secure what they stole from Russian people. Rephrasing Obama, only the USA stand between them and pitchforks. BTW Chubais is (or was) a member of the Advisory Council for JPMorgan.

It rather funny and tragic that criminals that stole money from Russians and than managed to escape to the West with their money already in Western banks instantly become fighters for democracy -- I would call this "Classic Neoliberal Metamorphose" (CMM). Berezovsky is one example here. Very convenient, useful for the pressure on Russian government, and you do not return the money :-)

A very interesting variant of the "rule of law".

In a sense Trump is more similar to Putin than Yeltsin. Both accidentally came to power on the wave of dis-illusion of the mass of population in previous administration and dramatic loss of "good" jobs.

ilsm -> libezkova... , April 01, 2017 at 03:53 PM
Libezkova you should follow David Warsh who runs Economic Principals blog which Professor Thoma links from here.

Warsh is writing a history of the US delegation, many from Harvard, who plundered Russia's attempt to build a stock exchange, etc.

[Oct 06, 2016] Kasparov never has a chance to become president of RU, especially after he became an obvious puppet of the West

Notable quotes:
"... Even with the outside help, even if all US Department Of State budget will be spent on Kasparov's campaign, even with the help of 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions, chances of Kasparov becoming PM or President of Russia are approaching zero. ..."
"... Unless ofc US manages coup in Russia like in Ukraine and elsewhere, which is nearly impossible at this point. ..."
"... He never had those chances in the first place and it has very little to do with his support from the West. Western "liberalism" in the form it is preached by Kasparov or his ilk simply has no chances in Russia, period. And it is all for the better. Basically what is known as Russian "westernizing" liberalism is dead. Good riddance. ..."
www.moonofalabama.org

SmoothieX12 | Oct 3, 2016 11:49:13 AM | 57

@Carl D, 55
What do you think of Kasparov? Can he ever be PM or President of the Russian Federation without outside Help?

Even with the outside help, even if all US Department Of State budget will be spent on Kasparov's campaign, even with the help of 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions, chances of Kasparov becoming PM or President of Russia are approaching zero.

Harry | Oct 3, 2016 12:02:39 PM | 58
Kasparov ruined his chances to become president of RU by being an obvious puppet of the West, much like nobody in Syria would vote for whatever "opposition president" for the day is. Unless ofc US manages coup in Russia like in Ukraine and elsewhere, which is nearly impossible at this point.

SmoothieX12 | Oct 3, 2016 12:37:02 PM | 59
@58, Harry
Kasparov ruined his chances to become president of RU by being an obvious puppet of the West

He never had those chances in the first place and it has very little to do with his support from the West. Western "liberalism" in the form it is preached by Kasparov or his ilk simply has no chances in Russia, period. And it is all for the better. Basically what is known as Russian "westernizing" liberalism is dead. Good riddance.

CarlD | Oct 3, 2016 1:41:30 PM | 63
Re Kasparov

I believe the Duma should strip him of Russian citizenship. In the debate of reference, he is siding with enemies of Russia and shows no patriotism at all. Ambition blinds him.

SmoothieX12 | Oct 3, 2016 3:05:09 PM | 66
@63, CarlD.
I believe the Duma should strip him of Russian citizenship.

No, it shouldn't. He has to be regularly shown on TV and has his views propagated. Not that he wasn't a freak before, let him completely discredit himself (I wonder if it is even possible) and meanwhile complete a cycle of immunization of Russians against "values" he preaches.

[Oct 04, 2016] Neoliberal intelligencia as neoliberal compradors

Notable quotes:
"... First of all, for all extents and purposes they *are* the governing class, and they aren't simply failing to be subversive, they are defending their class interest. I know that this will cue any number of remarks about how someone is a college professor and isn't governing anything - as if someone in corporate upper management somewhere is really governing anything either - but what holds the neoliberal order in place is that it serves the interests of the managerial class, which includes professionals and other symbolic-manipulation people as its lower tier. ..."
"... I'm not sure about the merits of the whole Manufacturing Consent line of critique, but defending elite opinion as the only respectable opinion sort of is accomplishing something ..."
"... A side note: there was some conversation above about the interests of an aristocracy, which of course prompted the idea that the aristocracy is long gone. But meritocracy is a kind of aristocracy. ..."
"... Look at how much effort people put into ensuring that their children are high-status, degreed, good job holders just like themselves, and how successful that generally is. ..."
"... ...Rich: to the extent that the people parroting this line are professional-class hangers -- on of the global financial elite and neoliberalism serves their class interests ( at least until academic/media sinecures are next in line for outsourcing ), their aversion to subversive radical politics makes perfect sense as a simple matter of vested interest. ..."
Oct 04, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

Rich Puchalsky 10.03.16 at 7:31 pm 370

Will G-R: "The point of this facade isn't what the lemming-like hordes of Clinton defenders (or Putin defenders, if they're Russian) are actually accomplishing, which is essentially nothing; the point is what they're not accomplishing, which is any meaningfully subversive reflection about how ruling-class power works in general and how the governed classes might effectively counter it."

Not quite right, I think. First of all, for all extents and purposes they *are* the governing class, and they aren't simply failing to be subversive, they are defending their class interest. I know that this will cue any number of remarks about how someone is a college professor and isn't governing anything - as if someone in corporate upper management somewhere is really governing anything either - but what holds the neoliberal order in place is that it serves the interests of the managerial class, which includes professionals and other symbolic-manipulation people as its lower tier.

Second, I'm not sure about the merits of the whole Manufacturing Consent line of critique, but defending elite opinion as the only respectable opinion sort of is accomplishing something .

Sure, individual votes are meaningless, and any one person's contribution negligible. But there is a recurring trope of people wondering whether someone is a paid troll because people are actually paid - whether by David Brooks or by Putin - to do exactly this kind of thing. And they are paid to do it because it works, or at any rate people think that it works. Even better if people do it on a volunteer basis.

Rich Puchalsky 10.03.16 at 7:52 pm 371
A side note: there was some conversation above about the interests of an aristocracy, which of course prompted the idea that the aristocracy is long gone. But meritocracy is a kind of aristocracy.

Look at how much effort people put into ensuring that their children are high-status, degreed, good job holders just like themselves, and how successful that generally is.

I'll quote wiki:

"One study […] found that of nine developed countries, the United States and United Kingdom had the lowest intergenerational vertical social mobility with about half of the advantages of having a parent with a high income passed on to the next generation."

That's not perfect, but it's getting better.

Will G-R 10.03.16 at 9:33 pm 373
...Rich: to the extent that the people parroting this line are professional-class hangers -- on of the global financial elite and neoliberalism serves their class interests ( at least until academic/media sinecures are next in line for outsourcing ), their aversion to subversive radical politics makes perfect sense as a simple matter of vested interest.

[Sep 21, 2016] An interesting view on Russian intelligencia by the scientist and writer Zinoviev expressed during perestroika in 1991

The intelligentsia (Latin: intellegentia, Polish: inteligencja, Russian: интеллигенция; IPA: [ɪntʲɪlʲɪˈɡʲentsɨjə]) is a social class of people engaged in complex mental labor aimed at guiding or critiquing, or otherwise playing a leadership role in shaping a society's culture and politics.[1] This therefore might include everyone from artists to school teachers, as well as academics, writers, journalists, and other hommes de lettres (men of letters) more usually thought of as being the main constituents of the intelligentsia.
Intelligentsia is the subject of active polemics concerning its own role in the development of modern society not always positive historically, often contributing to higher degree of progress, but also to its backward movement.[2]... In pre-revolutionary Russia the term was first used to describe people possessing cultural and political initiative.[3] It was commonly used by those individuals themselves to create an apparent distance from the masses, and generally retained that narrow self-definition. [citation needed]
en.wikipedia.org

If intellectuals replace the current professional politicians as the leaders of society the situation would become much worse. Because they have neither the sense of reality, nor common sense. For them, the words and speeches are more important than the actual social laws and the dominant trends, the dominant social dynamics of the society. The psychological principle of the intellectuals is that we could organize everything much better, but we are not allowed to do it.

But the actual situation is as following: they could organize the life of society as they wish and plan, in the way they view is the best only if under conditions that are not present now are not feasible in the future. Therefore they are not able to act even at the level of current leaders of the society, which they despise. The actual leaders are influenced by social pressures, by the current social situation, but at least they doing something. Intellectuals are unhappy that the real stream of life they are living in. They consider it wrong. that makes them very dangerous, because they look really smart, while in reality being sophisticated professional idiots.

[Sep 21, 2016] There are still a lot of "handshakable" (created by kreacks for kreakls) mass media outlets in Russia despite cries of neoliberal MSM about absence of "free press" in Russia

"Handshakable" is Soviet dissidents times term meaning a person not too in bed with "despicable" regime. Now used mainly in satical sense with the meaning almost identical to kreakls" -- useless person with strong opinions about everything and very active on the Internet.
Lyttenburgh, July 21, 2015 at 2:39 am

I've found this little gem 2 days ago and I'm still… "overjoyed" by it.

Despite Manichean claims of the Free and Independent ™ Western Media that in Russia "there are no free press", that everything is controlled by Kremlin and Putin, and only [Radio] Ekho Moskvy, Novaya Gazeta [Newspaper] and Dozhd [TV] are the few remaining honest sources of truth and independent journalism ™, there are still a lot of "handshakable" outlets created for kreakls by kreakls.

In one such handshakeble paper, the "Snob" [well, at least they are honest with themselves and their readers] recently was published this interview with another extremely handshakable, ah, "person", who used to be the Chief Editor of the "KommmersantЪ" paper in it's [even more] handshakable heyday. This particular excerpt seems especially "meaty" (translation is mine):

Snob: And when do you think the era of the "rich cooperators'" of the 90s came to an end?

AV: I think it happened when they arrested Khodorkovsky. Then not only the era of cooperators came to an end, the society in this country was finished also.

Snob: Why is society so easily reconciled with this and it's own end?

AV: And because it could not be otherwise! Because there are no such country – Russia! This is a huge geopolitical mistake … I do not know whose, Lord God's or Darwin's. This country never existed, don't exist now and never will be. This country is bad.

Snob: Even if it is so bad, it does not mean that it doesn't exist.

AV: Well, fuck with it! Here's my answer. Fuck with it, that it exists! I wish it to be healthy! But this is not interesting for me. It is a cancer on the body of the world! What, should I fight with it? I'm not a professor Pirogov, I will not cut out this tumor, I just do not know how. Honestly, I don't know how.

Snob: What are the symptoms of this cancer?

AV: There are two evidences of this cancer. Never in my life Russia and its people had any other national ideas then "we are surrounded by enemies" and "Russia for the Russians!". With such two fundamental attributes there can't be country. This is just savagery. Can you give me somw other Russian national ideas?

Snob: Empire from sea to sea.

AV: This is just "We are surrounded by enemies" and "Russia for the Russians!" in other words. It's just combined in a beautiful word "empire". Nothing else! And with such fundamental principles country of course, some country might even exist, but who needs it? I do not! It is necessary to those inside.

Needless to say, Andrey Vasiliev now is a proud and free emigre.

So, after reading this little interview I got a proverbial train of thoughts going in my head at a top speed,finally arriving to it's destination. Now I can say that I "understand" (as in "understand what makes them tic") all of them – liberasts, Byelarussian zmagars, Ukrainian svidomites, pint-sized Baltic patriots, sausage emigrants forming Brighton Beach Bitching Brigade etc.

But that's the topic for another post

ThatJ, July 21, 2015 at 2:50 am

Does Andrey Vasiliev live in Brighton Beach now?

yalensis, July 21, 2015 at 3:24 am

No, Vasiliev lives in Geneva, Switzerland.

And, no, he is not Jewish, in case that's what you are trying to get at.

He is of Russian ethnicity.

yalensis, July 21, 2015 at 3:27 am

Dear Lyttenburgh:

Thanks for this find.

These Fifth Columnists are all the same, aren't they?

For them, the true litmus test was, and always has been, Khodorkovsky.

They longed for a world in which Khodorkovsky owned every single thing in Russia that wasn't nailed down; and everybody else, including these kreakls, just getting crumbs from his table.

But the kreakls receiving bigger crumbs, plus an honored place at the master's side.

Moscow Exile, July 21, 2015 at 3:35 am
I regularly ask Russians – ordinary work-a-day Russians, be they of the working or the professional classes – if they could imagine leaving Russia forever, if they could consider emigrating, never intending to return. They all say they couldn't. They say they'd like to travel, but they always feel they would want to come "home".

I have never yet met one Russian person who speaks as does Vasiliev, no one who says "I hate this place and my fellow countrymen so much: it's a shithole; it's a dump; it's full of morons etc., etc….", though I often hear them speaking loudly and clearly in that way from afar through the bullhorn of the Western mass media.

I ask my children regularly if they would like to live in England. I get a resounding "No!" off them. They speak English fluently now (except the youngest) and say they like visiting the place, that it's "cool" and, curiously enough, all their pals think it's "cool" that they are "half-English". My children do as well, not least because I suspect they can already sense the great advantage that their bilingualism has given them – but they categorically state they are Russian and that Russia is their Motherland, their rodina, the land that "bore" them, their "Mother Russia".

My wife is the same.

None of them are nationalistic, but they are very, very patriotic.

People such as Vasiliev are a small yet vociferous minority that, I suspect, suffers from some psychological aberration.

I am so glad that many of them leap at the first opportunity to fuck off away from here.

Pavlo Svolochenko, July 21, 2015 at 3:46 am
The type is not unique to Russia.

America has a whole university set aside for people who hate America. A sort of open-air loonybin.

Your Russian anti-patriots can be corralled and stowed out of sight in the same way, if you wish. Market it right, and they'll do it entirely of their own accord.

yalensis, July 21, 2015 at 3:55 am
Dear Pavlo: Which open-air university is that? Berkeley?? :)
Pavlo Svolochenko, July 21, 2015 at 4:11 am
Naturally.
Moscow Exile, July 21, 2015 at 4:19 am
Why is Berkeley "open-air"?
Pavlo Svolochenko, July 21, 2015 at 4:23 am
In that nothing prevents the inmates from escaping but fear of employment.
Moscow Exile , July 21, 2015 at 4:28 am
I should add that I know many who have chosen to leave Russia in search of fame and fortune, education, a better standard of living etc., but none of them left because they loathe the land and its people.

I also have over the years come across a few who have returned: some because, having achieved success, they preferred to live out the rest of their lives in their Mother Russia; others because they could not adapt to an alien culture ("No 'soul' in the USA!" I have often heard such folk say; and others simply because they were homesick.

Interestingly, and unbeknownst to me, my sister emailed my wife last week when I was in the UK and told her that I was clearly "homesick".

I was: for Russia and my wife and children

Home is where the heart is.

[Feb 29, 2016] LiveJournal

www.livejournal.com
http://pravdoiskatel77.livejournal.com/12040016.html


Опубликованная в "Новой газете" моя статья "Нормальные герои всегда идут в обход", рассказывает о коррумпированном экс-премьере и ныне оппозиционере Михаиле "Два Процента" Касьянове. Нет, нет. Я не ошибся. Журналистское расследование о махинациях, жульничестве и миллионах долларов нынешнего главы "Парнас" Михаила Касьянова опубликовано именно в "Новой газете". Вот ЗДЕСЬ .

Только статья датирована 28 февраля 2000 года. То есть, ровно 16 лет назад. Что, впрочем, ничего не меняет. Ни один факт, из приведенных мною в "Новой газете" в 2000 году, не был опровергнут ни самой "Новой газетой", ни Михаилом Касьяновым.

Привожу свое расследование, опубликованное " Новой газетой ", полностью.

" Нормальные герои всегда идут в обход


Неизвестные факты из жизни Михаила Касьянова

Стране нужны новые герои. Надоели Березовский и Абрамович. На них и без нас уже пробы негде ставить. Я кинул взгляд окрест Кремля и Белого дома и обнаружил в пыли Министерства финансов настоящий бриллиант из короны будущего президента - это не кто иной, как второй человек в государстве Российском, вице-премьер Михаил Касьянов. Начав изучение жизни своего "героя", я вскоре понял, что этот на первый взгляд скромный переговорщик с МВФ - просто находка для журналистского расследования. За тихим и внешне приятным Михаилом Михайловичем тянутся весьма и весьма странные следы... Итак, несколько историй из жизни нового "героя" России Михаила Касьянова

ИЗ НАШЕГО ДОСЬЕ.

Касьянов Михаил Михайлович родился 8 декабря 1957 года в Солнцеве, окончил Московский автодорожный институт. С 1981 по 1990 год работал в Госплане РСФСР, специализируясь на внешнеэкономических связях. С 1990 по 1993 год Касьянов трудился в Министерстве экономики, где также отвечал за внешнеэкономические вопросы. В 1993 году перешел в Министерство финансов, где возглавил департамент иностранных кредитов и внешнего долга. В 1995 году Михаил Михайлович назначен заместителем министра финансов РФ, а 25 мая 1999 года наш "герой" занял пост министра. В настоящее время Касьянов - первый вице-премьер, министр финансов и практически исполняет обязанности главы кабинета министров Владимира Путина.

Касьянов и "Мабетекс"

Перед нами - удивительный документ периода расцвета скандала под названием "Мабетекс". Помните? В этой весьма откровенной бумаге, именуемой "Разрешением № 1972 от 2.08.1995", говорится следующее: "Министерство финансов РФ разрешает перечислить... двадцать три миллиона шестьсот пять тысяч восемьсот девяносто долларов на оплату оборудования и выполнения комплекса работ по реконструкции Московского Кремля, производимого фирмой "Мабетекс" (Швейцария). Внешторгбанку РФ перечисления рублевого покрытия не контролировать".

Вот такое знатное разрешение было выдано Минфином России, и почти 24 миллиона долларов утекло скандально известному "Мабетексу", но при этом никакого рублевого покрытия в российский бюджет не поступило. Письмо подписали замминистра финансов А. Головатый и казначей В. Волков. Но, как мне стало известно, на этом документе Головатый всего лишь поставил свою закорючку, а подлинным автором индульгенции был не кто иной, как нынешний первый вице-премьер Михаил Касьянов. Именно Михаил Михайлович в 1995 году являлся заместителем министра финансов и единолично ведал всеми валютными операциями Минфина РФ и соответственно всеми проплатами по "Мабетексу". Ну а конкретно это разрешение на оплату услуг господина Пакколи оформлял и готовил лично Касьянов, и в архиве Минфина имеются документы по этим 24 миллионам за подписью нынешнего первого вице-премьера. По информации нашего источника, работавшего в 1995-1996 годах в ближайшем окружении Касьянова, все финансовые расчеты с "Мабетексом", "Меркатой" и другими компаниями, "уводившими" бюджетные деньги через управление делами президента, готовились лично Михаилом Касьяновым. И, кстати, в уголовном деле по "Мабетексу", которое ведет швейцарская прокуратура кантона Женева, имеются еще три таких же разрешения на оплату по 20 миллионов долларов каждое. И к каждому из них самое прямое отношение имел Касьянов, а на многих документах, подшитых в том же уголовном деле, присутствует аккуратный росчерк нынешнего первого вице-премьера.


Касьянов и долги

Есть такое понятие, как коммерческие долги государства. Сейчас много говорят и пишут о том, что Россия должна миллиарды различным странам, фондам и фирмам. И вот как раз этими долгами последние четыре года и ведает не кто иной, как Михаил Касьянов. Тут-то и начинает действовать уникальная схема игры, придуманная Касьяновым и его ближайшим партнером Александром Мамутом. Суть в следующем.

Долг России какой-либо фирме или фонду составляет, предположим, сотни миллионов долларов. Касьянов на международном уровне сообщает, что мы не можем вернуть долг, и тут же банки, "аффилиированные" с господином Мамутом (МДМ-Банк, Собинбанк и другие), скупают за бесценок российские долговые обязательства, платя за них примерно 25-30 процентов стоимости. Как известно, отчаявшийся кредитор зачастую идет на все, лишь бы получить хоть часть долга.

А в обязанности Михаила Касьянова последние годы входит составление списка первоочередных долгов России, которые нужно срочно погашать. Эта бумага впоследствии ложится на стол премьер-министру. И вот тут-то в "ежемесячный список Касьянова" в обязательном порядке попадают те долги, которые приобрел господин Мамут. И государство выплачивает компаньону Касьянова практически полную сумму долга. И разница в размере 60-70 процентов остается в структурах Мамута. Далее мамутовско-касьяновские деньги перечисляются в дочерние компании, принадлежащие компаньонам, а оттуда миллионы долларов уходят через корсчета то в "Бэнк оф Нью-Йорк", то в оффшорные зоны.
О масштабе сумм, проходящих через схему Касьянова - Мамута, свидетельствует ряд документов. Приведем один из них. Перед нами - платежное поручение, в котором "Компания проектного финансирования", принадлежащая Мамуту, перечисляет двенадцать миллионов долларов США через "Бэнк оф Нью-Йорк" в оффшорную фирму, зарегистрированную на Барбадосе. Документ датирован 18 апреля 1996 года. Незадолго до этого Россия погасила целый ряд долгов крупным западным табачным компаниям. И, кстати, именно в то время заместителем министра финансов, курирующим внешние коммерческие долги и выплаты по ним, был... Михаил Касьянов. Но, как свидетельствуют очевидцы, приведенная нами сумма в 12 миллионов долларов - это лишь маленькая часть денег, "прокрученных" дуэтом Касьянов - Мамут.


Касьянов и кредит

Помните 1998 год - то сладкое время, когда МВФ еще давал России большие кредиты? Именно тогда наше отечество получило очередной кредит в размере 4 миллиарда 800 миллионов долларов на стабилизацию курса рубля. Эти немалые деньги поступили на счет Минфина в федеральном резерве Центробанка. После чего Михаил Касьянов распорядился перевести миллиарды на зарубежные корсчета уполномоченных банков (СБС-Агро, Менатеп, Инком, Объединенный банк и проч.) для того, чтобы эти банки перечислили в российский бюджет рубли на эквивалентную сумму и тем самым стабилизировали отечественную валюту. Так думали различные чиновники, включая и МВФ. Но Касьянов наверняка так не думал, являясь организатором и мозговым центром всей этой операции.

А суть в том, что банки, получив 4 миллиарда долларов, вместо живых рублей вручили любимому государству гособлигации ГКО и ОФЗ, которые к тому времени превратились в никчемные бумажки и могли использоваться только в качестве обоев. И тут же все крупные банки, провернувшие аферу с кредитом МВФ, начали моментально банкротиться, переводя капиталы в свои более мелкие структуры. Помните: сначала Инком, потом СБС-Агро... То есть никто в обиде не остался - разумеется, кроме российского бюджета и "лохов" из МВФ.

И еще один не менее увлекательный эпизод из истории с кредитом МВФ. В 1998 году большинство российских банков, получивших кредитные деньги, держали свои зарубежные корсчета в "Нейшнл Рипаблик Бэнк оф Нью-Йорк", владельцем которого был ныне покойный банкир-миллионер Эдмон Сафра. Так вот, Сафра, будучи человеком неглупым, увидел, что через его банк российскими банкирами и Минфином прокручивается многомиллиардная афера. Наивный бизнесмен пожелал сообщить в ФБР о том, куда делся кредит МВФ. И вот тут-то у Сафры и случились неприятности. А начались они с того момента, как к нему на Лазурный Берег летом 1999 года прибыл некий эмиссар российских финансистов по имени Борис Березовский, который, кстати, является хозяином Объединенного банка - одного из тех, что получили кредитные деньги. О чем беседовали Березовский и Сафра, остается тайной за семью печатями. Известно только, что после разговора Сафра в срочном порядке переехал в свою резиденцию в Монако, где имелись усиленная охрана и даже бункер на случай ядерной войны. Но перепуганному банкиру не помогла надежная охрана - через три месяца он был убит...

Я, конечно, не утверждаю, что в гибели Сафры, пожелавшего раскрыть ФБР историю аферы с кредитом, виновны Березовский или Касьянов, который к тому времени уже поднялся до уровня министра финансов России. Но уж очень много странных совпадений!

Перед вами - лишь три истории из жизни второго человека в Российском государстве Михаила Михайловича Касьянова. Но на этом наше расследование жизненного пути первого вице-премьера не заканчивается. Продолжение следует.


Олег ЛУРЬЕ
28.02.2000".


PS . Надеюсь, что коллеги не станут в срочном порядке чистить свои архивы, где упоминается имя "видного оппозиционера" Михаила Касьянова.


[Dec 23, 2015] The antipathy the Russian kreakly bear toward Matthew Lee

Notable quotes:
"... the antipathy the Russian kreakly ..."
"... the Russian intelligentsia ..."
marknesop.wordpress.com
Moscow Exile, December 20, 2015 at 3:09 am
Russian "oppositionist" tweets – don't you just love 'em?

Colonel Matt Lee receiving instructions from his superiors

No doubt the person who posted the above tweet thinks Psaki, Harf, Trudeau, Rear-Admiral Kirby et al. have all been unfairly tested by this Russian FSB colonel Matt Lee and he should not have been allowed to take part in the Dept. of State press briefings because he is an agent of the Dark Lord, whilst the above mentioned Dept. of State spokespersons are all on the side of righteousness.

marknesop , December 20, 2015 at 11:38 am
I do love them, actually. For anyone who is not stupid, the antipathy the Russian kreakly bear toward Matthew Lee and anyone like him who questions the pat and Manichean State Department narrative bespeaks an admiration for the way the United States government operates. Quite apart for an unhealthy devotion to 'Murkan nationalism and a clear belief that when America seizes something, it should be grateful because it is a compliment if America wants it, it is a preview of how they would govern if they had power. Russia's 'intellectuals' are great admirers of the disinformation and manipulation of the public consciousness with which the State Department gets about its daily work.

It is noteworthy that Matt Lee has never at any time expressed any gratuitous admiration for Russia or Putin or the way Russia conducts global affairs. He merely questions the State Department when its lies get too big or when it purports something as incontestable fact which it has gleaned from social media and Syrian activists. But the Russian intelligentsia view him as an impediment to a unipolar world ruled by America The Great And Good.

[Dec 23, 2015] The antipathy the Russian kreakly bear toward Matthew Lee

Notable quotes:
"... the antipathy the Russian kreakly ..."
"... the Russian intelligentsia ..."
marknesop.wordpress.com
Moscow Exile, December 20, 2015 at 3:09 am
Russian "oppositionist" tweets – don't you just love 'em?

Colonel Matt Lee receiving instructions from his superiors

No doubt the person who posted the above tweet thinks Psaki, Harf, Trudeau, Rear-Admiral Kirby et al. have all been unfairly tested by this Russian FSB colonel Matt Lee and he should not have been allowed to take part in the Dept. of State press briefings because he is an agent of the Dark Lord, whilst the above mentioned Dept. of State spokespersons are all on the side of righteousness.

marknesop , December 20, 2015 at 11:38 am
I do love them, actually. For anyone who is not stupid, the antipathy the Russian kreakly bear toward Matthew Lee and anyone like him who questions the pat and Manichean State Department narrative bespeaks an admiration for the way the United States government operates. Quite apart for an unhealthy devotion to 'Murkan nationalism and a clear belief that when America seizes something, it should be grateful because it is a compliment if America wants it, it is a preview of how they would govern if they had power. Russia's 'intellectuals' are great admirers of the disinformation and manipulation of the public consciousness with which the State Department gets about its daily work.

It is noteworthy that Matt Lee has never at any time expressed any gratuitous admiration for Russia or Putin or the way Russia conducts global affairs. He merely questions the State Department when its lies get too big or when it purports something as incontestable fact which it has gleaned from social media and Syrian activists. But the Russian intelligentsia view him as an impediment to a unipolar world ruled by America The Great And Good.

[Nov 16, 2015] Bankrupt British Empire Keeps Pushing To Overthrow Putin

Notable quotes:
"... Lyndon LaRouche has observed that anybody acting according to this British agenda with the intention of coming out on top is a fool, since the British financial-political empire is bankrupt and its entire system is coming down. ..."
"... EU: British imperial interests are intent on destroying Prime Minister Putins bid for the Presidency, and throwing Russia into deadly political turmoil. ..."
"... In her testimony, Diuk came off like a reincarnation of a 1950s Cold Warrior, raving against the Russian government as authoritarian, dictators, and so forth. She said, The trend lines for freedom and democracy in Russia have been unremittingly negative since Vladimir Putin took power and set about the systematic construction of a representation of their interests within the state. She announced at that point that the elections would be illegitimate: [T]he current regime will likely use the upcoming parliamentary elections in December 2011 and presidential election in March 2012 with the inevitable falsifications and manipulations, to claim the continued legitimacy of its rule. ..."
"... The British-educated Nadia Diuk is vice president of the National Endowment for Democracy, from which perch she has spread Cold War venom against Putin and the Russian government. ..."
"... Rafal Rohozinski and Ronald Deibert, two top profilers of the Russian Internet, noted that the Runet grew five times faster than the next fastest growing Internet region, the Middle East, in 2000-08. ..."
"... NED grant money has gone to Alexei Navalny (inset), the online anti-corruption activist and cult figure of the December demonstrations. Addressing crowds on the street, Navalny sounds more like Mussolini than a proponent of democracy. A Russian columnist found him reminiscent of either Hitler, or Catalina, who conspired against the Roman Republic. Shown: the Dec. 24 demonstration in Moscow. ..."
January 1, 2012 | http://schillerinstitute.org/russia/2012/0122_overthrow_putin.html
This article appears in the January 20, 2012 issue of Executive Intelligence Review and is reprinted with permission.

[PDF version of this article]

January 9, 2012 -Organizers of the December 2011 "anti-vote-fraud" demonstrations in Moscow have announced Feb. 4 as the date of their next street action, planned as a march around the city's Garden Ring Road on the 22nd anniversary of a mass demonstration which paved the way to the end of the Soviet Union. While there is a fluid situation within both the Russian extraparliamentary opposition layers, and the ruling circles and other Duma parties, including a process of "dialogue" between them, in which ex-Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin is playing a role, it is clear that British imperial interests are intent on-if not actually destroying Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's bid for reelection as Russia's President in the March 4 elections-casting Russia into ongoing, destructive political turmoil.

Lyndon LaRouche has observed that anybody acting according to this British agenda with the intention of coming out on top is a fool, since the British financial-political empire is bankrupt and its entire system is coming down.

Review of the events leading up to the Dec. 4, 2011 Duma elections, which the street demonstrators demanded be cancelled for fraud, shows that not only agent-of-British-influence Mikhail Gorbachov, the ex-Soviet President, but also the vast Project Democracy apparatus inside the United States, exposed by EIR in the 1980s as part of an unconstitutional "secret government,"[1] have been on full mobilization to block the current Russian leadership from continuing in power.

Project Democracy

Typical is the testimony of Nadia Diuk, vice president of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), before the Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs last July 26. The NED is the umbrella of Project Democracy; it functions, inclusively, through the International Republican Institute (IRI, linked with the Republican Party) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI, linked with the Democratic Party, and currently headed by Madeleine Albright).

Diuk was educated at the U.K.'s Unversity of Sussex Russian studies program, and then taught at Oxford University, before coming to the U.S.A. to head up the NED's programs in Eastern Europe and Russia beginning 1990. She is married to her frequent co-author, Adrian Karatnycky of the Atlantic Institute, who headed up the private intelligence outfit Freedom House[2] for 12 years. Her role is typical of British outsourcing of key strategic operations to U.S. institutions.

EU: British imperial interests are intent on destroying Prime Minister Putin's bid for the Presidency, and throwing Russia into deadly political turmoil.

In her testimony, Diuk came off like a reincarnation of a 1950s Cold Warrior, raving against the Russian government as "authoritarian," "dictators," and so forth. She said, "The trend lines for freedom and democracy in Russia have been unremittingly negative since Vladimir Putin took power and set about the systematic construction of a representation of their interests within the state." She announced at that point that the elections would be illegitimate: "[T]he current regime will likely use the upcoming parliamentary elections in December 2011 and presidential election in March 2012 with the inevitable falsifications and manipulations, to claim the continued legitimacy of its rule."

Diuk expressed renewed hope that the disastrous 2004 Orange Revolution experiment in Ukraine could be replicated in Russia, claiming that "when the protests against authoritarian rule during Ukraine's Orange Revolution brought down the government in 2004, Russian citizens saw a vision across the border of an alternative future for themselves as a Slavic nation." She then detailed what she claimed were the Kremlin's reactions to the events in Ukraine, charging that "the leaders in the Kremlin-always the most creative innovators in the club of authoritarians-have also taken active measures to promote support of the government and undermine the democratic opposition...."

Holos Ameryky

The British-educated Nadia Diuk is vice president of the National Endowment for Democracy, from which perch she has spread "Cold War" venom against Putin and the Russian government.

While lauding "the democratic breakthroughs in the Middle East" in 2011, Diuk called on the Congress to "look to [Eastern Europe] as the source of a great wealth of experience on how the enemies of freedom are ever on the alert to assert their dominance, but also how the forces for freedom and democracy will always find a way to push back in a struggle that demands our support."

In September, Diuk chaired an NED event featuring a representative of the NED-funded Levada Center Russian polling organization, who gave an overview of the then-upcoming December 4 Duma election. Also speaking there was Russian liberal politician Vladimir Kara-Murza, who predicted in the nastiest tones that Putin will suffer the fate of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. In this same September period, Mikhail Gorbachov, too, was already forecasting voting irregularities and a challenge to Putin's dominance.

The NED, which has an annual budget of $100 million, sponsors dozens of "civil society" groups in Russia. Golos, the supposedly independent vote-monitoring group that declared there would be vote fraud even before the elections took place, has received NED money through the NDI since 2000. Golos had a piecework program, paying its observers a set amount of money for each reported voting irregularity. NED grant money has gone to Alexei Navalny-the online anti-corruption activist and cult figure of the December demonstrations-since 2006, when he and Maria Gaidar (daughter of the late London-trained shock therapy Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar) launched a youth debating project called "DA!" (meaning "Yes!" or standing for "Democratic Alternative"). Gorbachov's close ally Vladimir Ryzhkov, currently negotiating with Kudrin on terms of a "dialogue between the authorities and the opposition," also received NED grants to his World Movement for Democracy.

Besides George Soros's Open Society Foundations (formerly, Open Society Institute, OSI), the biggest source of funds for this meddling, including funding which was channeled through the NDI and the IRI, is the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Officially, USAID has spent $2.6 billion on programs in Russia since 1992. The current acknowledged level is around $70 million annually, of which nearly half is for "Governing Justly & Democratically" programs, another 30% for "Information" programs, and only a small fraction for things like combatting HIV and TB. On Dec. 15, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon announced that the Obama Administration would seek Congressional approval to step up this funding, with "an initiative to create a new fund to support Russian non-governmental organizations that are committed to a more pluralistic and open society."

Awaiting McFaul

White House/Pete Souza

The impending arrival in Moscow of Michael McFaul (shown here with his boss in the Oval Office), as U.S. Ambassador to Russia, is seen by many there as an escalation of Project Democracy efforts to destabilize the country.

People from various parts of the political spectrum in Russia see the impending arrival of Michael McFaul as U.S. Ambassador to Russia as an escalation in Project Democracy efforts to destabilize Russia. McFaul, who has been Barack Obama's National Security Council official for Russia, has been working this beat since the early 1990s, when he represented the NDI in Russia at the end of the Soviet period, and headed its office there.

As a Russia specialist at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Hoover Institution, as well as the Carnegie Endowment, and an array of other Russian studies think tanks, McFaul has stuck closely to the Project Democracy agenda. Financing for his research has come from the NED, the OSI, and the Smith-Richardson Foundation (another notorious agency of financier interests within the U.S. establishment). He was an editor of the 2006 book Revolution in Orange: The Origins of Ukraine's Democratic Breakthrough, containing chapters by Diuk and Karatnycky.

In his own contribution to a 2010 book titled After Putin's Russia,[3] McFaul hailed the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine-which was notoriously funded and manipulated from abroad-as a triumph of "people's political power from below to resist and eventually overturn a fraudulent election."

Before coming to the NSC, one of McFaul's many positions at Stanford was co-director of the Iran Democracy Project. He has also been active in such projects as the British Henry Jackson Society which is active in the drive to overthrow the government of Syria.

The Internet Dimension

The December 2011 street demonstrations in Moscow were organized largely online. Participation rose from a few hundred on Dec. 5, the day after the election, to an estimated 20,000 people on Bolotnaya Square Dec. 10, and somewhere in the wide range of 30,000 to 120,000 on Academician Sakharov Prospect Dec. 24.

Headlong expansion of Internet access and online social networking over the past three to five years has opened up a new dimension of political-cultural warfare in Russia. An EIR investigation finds that British intelligence agencies involved in the current attempts to destabilize Russia and, in their maximum version, overthrow Putin, have been working intensively to profile online activity in Russia and find ways to expand and exploit it. Some of these projects are outsourced to think tanks in the U.S.A. and Canada, but their center is Cambridge University in the U.K.-the heart of the British Empire, home of Bertrand Russell's systems analysis and related ventures of the Cambridge Apostles.[4]

The scope of the projects goes beyond profiling, as can be seen in the Cambridge-centered network's interaction with Russian anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, a central figure in the December protest rallies.

While George Soros and his OSI prioritized building Internet access in the former Soviet Union starting two decades ago, as recently as in 2008 British cyberspace specialists were complaining that the Internet was not yet efficient for political purposes in Russia. Oxford University's Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism produced a Soros-funded report in 2008, titled "The Web that Failed: How opposition politics and independent initiatives are failing on the Internet in Russia." The Oxford-Reuters authors regretted that processes like the Orange Revolution, in which online connections were crucial, had not gotten a toehold in Russia. But they quoted a 2007 report by Andrew Kuchins of the Moscow Carnegie Center, who found reason for optimism in the seven-fold increase in Russian Internet (Runet) use from 2000 to 2007. They also cited Robert Orttung of American University and the Resource Security Institute, on how Russian blogs were reaching "the most dynamic members of the youth generation" and could be used by "members of civil society" to mobilize "liberal opposition groups and nationalists."

Scarcely a year later, a report by the digital marketing firm comScore crowed that booming Internet access had led to Russia's having "the world's most engaged social networking audience." Russian Facebook use rose by 277% from 2008 to 2009. The Russia-based social networking outfit Vkontakte.ru (like Facebook) had 14.3 million visitors in 2009; Odnoklassniki.ru (like Classmates.com) had 7.8 million; and Mail.ru-My World had 6.3 million. All three of these social networking sites are part of the Mail.ru/Digital Sky Technologies empire of Yuri Milner,[5] with the individual companies registered in the British Virgin Islands and other offshore locations.

The Cambridge Security Programme

Rafal Rohozinski and Ronald Deibert, two top profilers of the Russian Internet, noted that the Runet grew five times faster than the next fastest growing Internet region, the Middle East, in 2000-08.

Two top profilers of the Runet are Ronald Deibert and Rafal Rohozinski, who assessed its status in their essay "Control and Subversion in Russian Cyberspace."[6] At the University of Toronto, Deibert is a colleague of Barry Wellman, co-founder of the International Network of Social Network Analysis (INSNA).[7] Rohozinski is a cyber-warfare specialist who ran the Advanced Network Research Group of the Cambridge Security Programme (CSP) at Cambridge University in 2002-07. Nominally ending its work, the CSP handed off its projects to an array of organizations in the OpenNet Initiative (ONI), including Rohozinski's SecDev Group consulting firm, which issues the Information Warfare Monitor.

The ONI, formally dedicated to mapping and circumventing Internet surveillance and filtering by governments, is a joint project of Cambridge (Rohozinski), the Oxford Internet Institute, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, and the University of Toronto.

Deibert and Rohozinski noted that the Runet grew five times faster than the next fastest growing Internet region, the Middle East, in 2000-08. They cited official estimates that 38 million Russians were going online as of 2010, of whom 60 had broadband access from home; the forecast number of Russia-based Runet users by 2012 was 80 million, out of a population of 140 million. Qualitatively, the ONI authors welcomed what they called "the rise of the Internet to the center of Russian culture and politics." On the political side, they asserted that "the Internet has eclipsed all the mass media in terms of its reach, readership, and especially in the degree of free speech and opportunity to mobilize that it provides."

This notion of an Internet-savvy core of the population becoming the focal point of Russian society is now being hyped by those who want to push the December demonstrations into a full-scale political crisis. Such writers call this segment of the population "the creative class," or "the active creative minority," which can override an inert majority of the population. The Dec. 30 issue of Vedomosti, a financial daily co-owned by the Financial Times of London, featured an article by sociologist Natalya Zubarevich, which was then publicized in "Window on Eurasia" by Paul Goble, a State Department veteran who has concentrated for decades on the potential for Russia to split along ethnic or other lines.

Zubarevich proposed that the 31% of the Russian population living in the 14 largest cities, of which 9 have undergone "post-industrial transformation," constitute a special, influential class, as against the inhabitants of rural areas (38%) and mid-sized industrial cities with an uncertain future (25%). Goble defined the big-city population as a target: "It is in this Russia that the 35 million domestic users of the Internet and those who want a more open society are concentrated."

The Case of Alexei Navalny

In the "The Web that Failed" study, Oxford-Reuters authors Floriana Fossato, John Lloyd, and Alexander Verkhovsky delved into the missing elements, in their view, of the Russian Internet. What would it take, they asked, for Runet participants to be able to "orchestrate motivation and meaningful commitments"? They quoted Julia Minder of the Russian portal Rambler, who said about the potential for "mobilization": "Blogs are at the moment the answer, but the issue is how to find a leading blogger who wants to meet people on the Internet several hours per day. Leading bloggers need to be entertaining.... The potential is there, but more often than not it is not used."


Creative Commons
Creative Commons/Bogomolov.PL

NED grant money has gone to Alexei Navalny (inset), the online "anti-corruption" activist and cult figure of the December demonstrations. Addressing crowds on the street, Navalny sounds more like Mussolini than a proponent of democracy. A Russian columnist found him reminiscent of either Hitler, or Catalina, who conspired against the Roman Republic. Shown: the Dec. 24 demonstration in Moscow.

It is difficult not to wonder if Alexei Navalny is a test-tube creation intended to fill the missing niche. This would not be the first time in recent Russian history that such a thing happened. In 1990, future neoliberal "young reformers" Anatoli Chubais and Sergei Vasilyev wrote a paper under International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) auspices, on the priorities for reform in the Soviet Union. They stated that a certain personality was missing on the Soviet scene at that time: the wealthy businessman. In their IIASA paper, Chubais and Vasilyev wrote: "We now see a figure, arising from historical non-existence: the figure of a businessman-entrepreneur, who has enough capital to bear the investment responsibility, and enough technological knowledge and willingness to support innovation."[8]

This type of person was subsequently brought into existence through the corrupt post-Soviet privatization process in Russia, becoming known as "the oligarchs." Was Navalny, similarly, synthesized as a charismatic blogger to fill the British subversive need for "mobilization"?

Online celebrity Navalny's arrest in Moscow on Dec. 5, and his speech at the Academician Sakharov Prospect rally on Dec. 24 were highlights of last month's turmoil in the Russian capital. Now 35 years old, Navalny grew up in a Soviet/Russian military family and was educated as a lawyer. In 2006, he began to be financed by NED for the DA! project (see above). Along the way-maybe through doing online day-trading, as some biographies suggest, or maybe from unknown benefactors-Navalny acquired enough money to be able to spend $40,000 (his figure) on a few shares in each of several major Russian companies with a high percentage of state ownership. This gave him minority-shareholder status, as a platform for his anti-corruption probes.

It must be understood that the web of "corruption" in Russia is the system of managing cash flows through payoffs, string-pulling, and criminal extortion, which arose out of the boost that Gorbachov's perestroika policy gave to pre-existing Soviet criminal networks in the 1980s. It then experienced a boom under darlings of London like Gaidar, who oversaw the privatization process known as the Great Criminal Revolution in the 1990s. As Russia has been integrated into an international financial order, which itself relies on criminal money flows from the dope trade and strategically motivated scams like Britain's BAE operations in the Persian Gulf, the preponderance of shady activity in the Russian economy has only increased.

Putin's governments inherited this system, and it can be ended when the commitment to monetarism, which LaRouche has identified as a fatal flaw even among genuinely pro-development Russians, is broken in Russia and worldwide. The current bankruptcy of the Trans-Atlantic City of London-Eurozone-Wall Street system means that now is the time for this to happen!

Yale Fellows

In 2010, Navalny was accepted to the Yale World Fellows Program, as one of fewer than 20 approved candidates out of over a thousand applicants. As EIR has reported, the Yale Fellows are instructed by the likes of British Foreign Office veteran Lord Mark Malloch-Brown and representatives of Soros's Open Society Foundations.[9] What's more, the World Fellows Program is funded by The Starr Foundation of Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg, former chairman and CEO of insurance giant American International Group (AIG), the recipient of enormous Bush Jr.-Obama bailout largesse in 2008-09; Greenberg and his C.V. Starr company have a long record of facilitating "regime change" (aka coups), going back to the 1986 overthrow of President Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines. Navalny reports that Maria Gaidar told him to try for the program, and he enjoyed recommendations from top professors at the New Economic School in Moscow, a hotbed of neoliberalism and mathematical economics. It was from New Haven that Navalny launched his anti-corruption campaign against Transneft, the Russian national oil pipeline company, specifically in relation to money movements around the new East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline. The ESPO has just finished the first year of operation of its spur supplying Russian oil to China.

Navalny presents a split personality to the public. Online he is "Mr. Openness." He posts the full legal documentation of his corruption exposés. When his e-mail account was hacked, and his correspondence with U.S. Embassy and NED officials about funding him was made public, Navalny acknowledged that the e-mails were genuine. He tries to disarm interviewers with questions like, "Do you think I'm an American project, or a Kremlin one?"

During the early-January 2012 holiday lull in Russia, Navalny engaged in a lengthy, oh-so-civilized dialogue in Live Journal with Boris Akunin (real name, Grigori Chkhartishvili), a famous detective-story author and liberal activist who was another leader of the December demonstrations, about whether Navalny's commitment to the slogan "Russia for the Russians" marks him as a bigot who is unfit to lead. Addressing crowds on the street, however, Navalny sounds like Mussolini. Prominent Russian columnist Maxim Sokolov, writing in Izvestia, found him reminiscent of either Hitler, or Catalina, who conspired against the Roman Republic.

Navalny may well end up being expendable in the view of his sponsors. In the meantime, it is clear that he is working from the playbook of Gene Sharp, whose neurolinguistic programming and advertising techniques were employed in Ukraine's Orange Revolution in 2004.[10] Sharp, a veteran of "advanced studies" at Oxford and 30 years at Harvard's Center for International Affairs, is the author of The Politics of Nonviolent Action: Power and Struggle, which advises the use of symbolic colors, short slogans, and so forth.

While at Yale, Navalny also served as an informant and advisor for a two-year study conducted at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, one of the institutions participating in the OpenNet Initiative, launched out of Cambridge University in the U.K. The study produced a profile titled "Mapping the Russian Blogosphere," which detailed the different sections of the Runet: liberal, nationalist, cultural, foreign-based, etc., looking at their potential social impact.

Allen Douglas, Gabrielle Peut, David Christie, and Dorothea Bunnell did research for this article.


Related pages:

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[Nov 15, 2015] The New Brand of Authoritarianism

Notable quotes:
"... Political Institutions under Dictatorship ..."
"... Competitive authoritarianism: hybrid regimes after the cold war ..."
"... Journal of Economic Perspectives ..."
"... Political Science Quarterly ..."
"... The Pinochet Effect: Transnational Justice in the Age of Human Rights ..."
"... the US needs to only be mildly interventionist, since moneyed interests will own the megaphones and censor their own workers; and since the one-sidedness of information is no threat to the regime. ..."
"... In light of the New American Police State, post 9-11, it is clear to me that the United States has undergone a coup d'etat. ..."
"... Most of us back Chavez, Morales, or Correa for the policies they have followed in their own countries to the benefit of the great masses of the poor and their refusal to put the interests of international capital ahead of their people. ..."
economistsview.typepad.com
From Vox EU:

The new authoritarianism, by Sergei Guriev, Daniel Treisman, Vox EU: The changing dictatorships Dictatorships are not what they used to be. The totalitarian tyrants of the past – such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot – employed terror, indoctrination, and isolation to monopolize power. Although less ideological, many 20th-century military regimes also relied on mass violence to intimidate dissidents. Pinochet's agents, for instance, are thought to have tortured and killed tens of thousands of Chileans (Roht-Arriaza 2005).

However, in recent decades new types of authoritarianism have emerged that seem better adapted to a world of open borders, global media, and knowledge-based economies. From the Peru of Alberto Fujimori to the Hungary of Viktor Orban, illiberal regimes have managed to consolidate power without fencing off their countries or resorting to mass murder. Some bloody military regimes and totalitarian states remain – such as Syria and North Korea – but the balance has shifted.

The new autocracies often simulate democracy, holding elections that the incumbents almost always win, bribing and censoring the private press rather than abolishing it, and replacing comprehensive political ideologies with an amorphous resentment of the West (Gandhi 2008, Levitsky and Way 2010). Their leaders often enjoy genuine popularity – at least after eliminating any plausible rivals. State propaganda aims not to 'engineer human souls' but to boost the dictator's ratings. Political opponents are harassed and defamed, charged with fabricated crimes, and encouraged to emigrate, rather than being murdered en masse.

Dictatorships and information

In a recent paper, we argue that the distinctive feature of such new dictatorships is a preoccupation with information (Guriev and Treisman 2015). Although they do use violence at times, they maintain power less by terrorizing victims than by manipulating beliefs. Of course, surveillance and propaganda were important to the old-style dictatorships, too. But violence came first. "Words are fine things, but muskets are even better," Mussolini quipped. Compare that to the confession of Fujimori's security chief, Vladimir Montesinos: "The addiction to information is like an addiction to drugs". Killing members of the elite struck Montesinos as foolish: "Remember why Pinochet had his problems. We will not be so clumsy" (McMillan and Zoido 2004).

We study the logic of a dictatorship in which the leader survives by manipulating information. Our key assumption is that citizens care about effective government and economic prosperity; first and foremost, they want to select a competent rather than incompetent ruler. However, the general public does not know the competence of the ruler; only the dictator himself and members of an 'informed elite' observe this directly. Ordinary citizens make what inferences they can, based on their living standards – which depend in part on the leader's competence – and on messages sent by the state and independent media. The latter carry reports on the leader's quality sent by the informed elite. If a sufficient number of citizens come to believe their ruler is incompetent, they revolt and overthrow him.

The challenge for an incompetent dictator is, then, to fool the public into thinking he is competent. He chooses from among a repertoire of tools – propaganda, repression of protests, co-optation of the elite, and censorship of their messages. All such tools cost money, which must come from taxing the citizens, depressing their living standards, and indirectly lowering their estimate of the dictator's competence. Hence the trade-off.

Certain findings emerge from the logic of this game.

Repression is not necessary if mass beliefs can be manipulated sufficiently. Dictators win a confidence game rather than an armed combat. Indeed, since in our model repression is only used if equilibria based on non-violent methods no longer exist, violence can signal to opposition forces that the regime is vulnerable.

Since both bribing the elite and censoring the media are ways of preventing the sending of embarrassing messages, they serve as substitutes. Propaganda, by contrast, complements all the other tools.

Propaganda and a leader's competency

Why does anyone believe such propaganda? Given the dictator's obvious incentive to lie, this is a perennial puzzle of authoritarian regimes. We offer an answer. We think of propaganda as consisting of claims by the ruler that he is competent. Of course, genuinely competent rulers also make such claims. However, backing them up with convincing evidence is costlier for the incompetent dictators – who have to manufacture such evidence – than for their competent counterparts, who can simply reveal their true characteristics. Since faking the evidence is costly, incompetent dictators sometimes choose to spend their resources on other things. It follows that the public, observing credible claims that the ruler is competent, rationally increases its estimate that he really is.

Moreover, if incompetent dictators survive, they may over time acquire a reputation for competence, as a result of Bayesian updating by the citizens. Such reputations can withstand temporary economic downturns if these are not too large. This helps to explain why some clearly inept authoritarian leaders nevertheless hold on to power – and even popularity – for extended periods (cf. Hugo Chavez). While a major economic crisis results in their overthrow, more gradual deteriorations may fail to tarnish their reputations significantly.

A final implication is that regimes that focus on censorship and propaganda may boost relative spending on these as the economy crashes. As Turkey's growth rate fell from 7.8% in 2010 to 0.8% in 2012, the number of journalists in jail increased from four to 49. Declines in press freedom were also witnessed after the Global Crisis in countries such as Hungary and Russia. Conversely, although this may be changing now, in both Singapore and China during the recent decades of rapid growth, the regime's information control strategy shifted from one of more overt intimidation to one that often used economic incentives and legal penalties to encourage self-censorship (Esarey 2005, Rodan 1998).

The kind of information-based dictatorship we identify is more compatible with a modernized setting than with the rural underpinnings of totalitarianism in Asia or the traditional societies in which monarchs retain legitimacy. Yet, modernization ultimately undermines the informational equilibria on which such dictators rely. As education and information spread to broader segments of the population, it becomes harder to control how this informed elite communicates with the masses. This may be a key mechanism explaining the long-noted tendency for richer countries to open up politically.

References

Esarey, A (2005), "Cornering the market: state strategies for controlling China's commercial media", Asian Perspective 29(4): 37-83.

Gandhi, J (2008), Political Institutions under Dictatorship, New York: Cambridge University Press.

Guriev, S and D Treisman (2015), "How Modern Dictators Survive: Cooptation, Censorship, Propaganda, and Repression", CEPR Discussion Paper, DP10454.

Levitsky, S, and L A Way (2010), Competitive authoritarianism: hybrid regimes after the cold war, New York: Cambridge University Press.

McMillan, J, and P Zoido (2004), "How to subvert democracy: Montesinos in Peru", Journal of Economic Perspectives 18(4): 69-92.

Rodan, G (1998), "The Internet and political control in Singapore", Political Science Quarterly 113(1): 63-89.

Roht-Arriaza, N (2005), The Pinochet Effect: Transnational Justice in the Age of Human Rights, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.


Peter K. said...

"A final implication is that regimes that focus on censorship and propaganda may boost relative spending on these as the economy crashes."

Instead of military Keynesianism, it's "police state" Keynesianism.

More social spending coupled with more social control.

ilsm said...

The corporation runs the governors.....

"Investor State Dispute Settlement" is a new twist where the actions of government, like investor "losses" from shuttering frackers would be compensated by a standing unelected nor appointed by the locals "board" filled with corporate cronies to take sovereignty from governments when foreign investors are denied pillaging "rights".

"Investor State Dispute Settlement" is why you should oppose TPP fast track.

The kleptocarcy is well advanced in the US!

GeorgeK said...

..."This helps to explain why some clearly inept authoritarian leaders nevertheless hold on to power – and even popularity – for extended periods (cf. Hugo Chavez"...

Guess your definition of authoritarian leaders depends on who's Ox is being gored. If you were wealthy or upper middle class Chavez was a failure, if you were poor or indigenous he was a savior.

..."Chávez maintains that unlike other global financial organizations, the Bank of the South will be managed and funded by the countries of the region with the intention of funding social and economic development without any political conditions on that funding.[262] The project is endorsed by Nobel Prize–winning, former World Bank economist Joseph Stiglitz, who said: "One of the advantages of having a Bank of the South is that it would reflect the perspectives of those in the south," and that "It is a good thing to have competition in most markets, including the market for development lending."[263]"...
Guess nobody told Stiglitz about Chavez's authoritarian incompetence.

Julio said in reply to anne...

Seems clear enough to me. Consider "freedom of the press": the US needs to only be mildly interventionist, since moneyed interests will own the megaphones and censor their own workers; and since the one-sidedness of information is no threat to the regime.

But in a government attempting left-wing reforms, and where the government is less stable, there is less room for the government to accept the unanimity and hostility of the press; it may need to intervene more strongly to defend itself. Take e.g. Ecuador where Correa has been accused of suppressing press liberties along these very lines.

anne said in reply to Julio...

Seems clear enough to me. Consider "freedom of the press": the US needs to only be mildly interventionist, since moneyed interests will own the megaphones and censor their own workers; and since the one-sidedness of information is no threat to the regime....

[ Thinking further, I realize that the United States is wildly aggressive with governments of countries considered strategic and does not hesitate to use media in those countries when our "needs" do not seem met. I am thinking even of the effort to keep allied governments, even the UK, France and Germany, from agreeing to become members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank that China has begun. ]

Peter K. said in reply to GeorgeK...

"Guess your definition of authoritarian leaders depends on who's Ox is being gored."

This is how I see it. There are no objective standards.

Lefties criticize Obama for going after whistle blowers. Snowden is treated as a hero. Then guys like Paine and Kervack defend the behaviro of a Putin or Chavez because the U.S. doesn't like them.

Peter K. said in reply to Peter K....

I think a lot of the older left is stuck in a Cold War mind set.

Opposing America is good because you're opposing multinational capitalism. So they'll provide rhetorical support to any nutjob who opposes the West no matter how badly he mistreats his people.

Peter K. said in reply to Peter K....

It's the flipside to the Dick Cheney-Security State rationalizations of torture and police state tactics like warrantless surveillence.

It's okay if we do it, because they're trying to destroy us.

The ends justify the means.

hyperpolarizer said in reply to Peter K....

I am the older left (born right after WW II). I grew up with the cold war, but -- despite its poisonous legacy (particularly the linking of the domestic labor movement to international communism)-- I have assuredly left it behind.

In light of the New American Police State, post 9-11, it is clear to me that the United States has undergone a coup d'etat.

Roger Gathmann said in reply to anne...

Defending Chavez doesn't seem like a bad thing to do. So, Peter K., do you defend, say, Uribe? Let's see - amended constitution so he could run again - Chavez, check, Uribe check. Associated with paramilitaries, Uribe, check, Chavez, demi-check. Loved by the US, Uribe, check, Chavez, non-check. Funny how chavez figures in these things, and Uribe doesn't.
https://www.citizen.org/documents/TalkingPointsApril08.pdf

Peter K. said in reply to Roger Gathmann...

I never said a thing about Uribe. I said there should be single standards across the board for Uribe, America, Chavez, Putin, China, etc...

Roger Gathmann said in reply to Peter K....

Right. Double standard. That is what I am talking about. The double standard that allows US tax dollars to go into supporting a right wing dictator like Uribe. I don't have to piss off. You can piss off. I doubt you will. I certainly won't. It is adolescent gestures like that which make me wonder about your age.

Are you going to slam the door next and saY I hate you I hate you I hate you?
You need to get a little pillow that you can mash. Maybe with a hello kitty sewed on it.

Nietil said in reply to Roger Gathmann...

I don't see how any of these criteria has anything to do with being an autocrat.

Autocracy is an answer to the question of the source of legitimacy (democratic, autocratic, or theocratic). It has nothing to do with either the definition of the sovereign space (feudal, racial or national) or with the number of people running the said government (anarchy, monarchy, oligarchy).

The UK for example was a national and democratic monarchy for a long, long time. Now it's more of a national and democratic oligarchy. And it can still change in the future.

DrDick said in reply to Peter K....

I really do not think that is at all accurate. While there are certainly some like that, it is far from the majority. Most of us back Chavez, Morales, or Correa for the policies they have followed in their own countries to the benefit of the great masses of the poor and their refusal to put the interests of international capital ahead of their people.

Much of that support is also conditional and qualified, for reasons that have been mentioned here. All evaluations of current leaders is conditioned by both past history in the country and region, as well as the available alternatives. By those standards, all of the men I mentioned look pretty good, if far from perfect.

anne said...

http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=10454

March, 2015

How Modern Dictators Survive: Cooptation, Censorship, Propaganda, and Repression
By Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treisman

We develop an informational theory of dictatorship. Dictators survive not because of their use of force or ideology but because they convince the public--rightly or wrongly--that they are competent. Citizens do not observe the dictator's type but infer it from signals inherent in their living standards, state propaganda, and messages sent by an informed elite via independent media. If citizens conclude the dictator is incompetent, they overthrow him in a revolution. The dictator can invest in making convincing state propaganda, censoring independent media, co-opting the elite, or equipping police to repress attempted uprisings -- but he must finance such spending with taxes that depress the public's living standards. We show that incompetent dictators can survive as long as economic shocks are not too large. Moreover, their reputations for competence may grow over time. Censorship and co-optation of the elite are substitutes, but both are complements of propaganda. Repression of protests is a substitute for all the other techniques. In some equilibria the ruler uses propaganda and co-opts the elite; in others, propaganda is combined with censorship. The multiplicity of equilibria emerges due to coordination failure among members of the elite. We show that repression is used against ordinary citizens only as a last resort when the opportunities to survive through co-optation, censorship, and propaganda are exhausted. In the equilibrium with censorship, difficult economic times prompt higher relative spending on censorship and propaganda. The results illuminate tradeoffs faced by various recent dictatorships.

[ This is the discussion paper, which I find more coherent than the summary essay. ]

JayR said...

Wow quite a few countries, maybe even the US with Obama's war on whistle blowers, could fit this articles definition if the authors actually though more about it.

Roger Gathmann said in reply to Peter K....

Yes, the people of Greece can vote to leave the Eurozone, just like the people of Crimea can vote to leave the Ukraine, or the people of Kosovo could vote to leave Serbia. There are many ways, though, of looking at soft dictatorship. I think the EU bureaucrats have been busy inventing new ones, with new and ever more onerous chains. To say Greece can vote to leave the EU is like saying the merchant can always defy the mafioso, or the moneylender. It isn't that easy.

Roger Gathmann said...

and then of course there are the death squads:
https://nsarchive.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/wikileaks-on-colombia-uribe-%E2%80%9Cviews-military-success-in-terms-of-kills%E2%80%9D-army-commander-ospina-tried-to-initimidate-witnesses-to-extrajudicial-executions/

[Oct 04, 2015] Yuri N. Afanasyev, Historian Who Repudiated Communism, Dies at 81 By SOPHIA KISHKOVSKYOCT

Those people tried to find alternative to communism in neoliberalism and when thay understood that their choice is as rotten as the old one they have no corage to admit it. So sfrom dissentent they instance converted themselves into fifth column. Into neoliberal creacles. Afanasyev was pretty aggressive creakle BTW.
Oct 1, 2015 | The New York Times

MOSCOW - Yuri N. Afanasyev, a Russian historian and former Communist loyalist who became a leading democratic politician in the late Soviet era and founded a liberal arts university that, together with the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, introduced Russia's first academic Jewish studies program, died Sept. 14 at his home in Moscow. He was 81.

The cause was a heart attack, said a spokeswoman for the Russian State University for the Humanities, which Mr. Afanasyev founded in 1991. His son-in-law, Viktor Prichesnyaev, told the radio station Ekho Moskvy that Mr. Afanasyev had diabetes.

Mr. Afanasyev's life traced an unpredictable arc that began under Stalin's harsh rule in the 1930s, carried him as a boy through the hardships of World War II and brought him stature and privileges as a dedicated Communist, only to lead him away from the very political system that had nurtured him.

By the end of his life he had embraced democratic principles, laid bare the sins of Russian history as a scholar and spoken out against his country's leaders, from Soviet party chiefs to Mikhail S. Gorbachev to, most pointedly, Vladimir V. Putin.

Yuri Nikolaevich Afanasyev was born on Sept. 5, 1934, in the Volga River region of Ulyanovsk. His father, Nikolai, was a laborer; his mother, Anna, taught at a village school.

Mr. Afanasyev rose in Soviet academic and political circles during the thick of the Cold War. He earned a degree in history at Moscow State University, served as secretary of the Komsomol youth organization at a Siberian hydroelectric power plant, and became a senior researcher at the Soviet Academy of Sciences and rector of the Historical Archives Institute in Moscow.

But by the 1980s he had begun to turn from Soviet orthodoxy, thanks in part to the Soviet authorities themselves. Allowed by the state to travel to Paris in the 1970s and to do academic research at the Sorbonne, Mr. Afanasyev stumbled on the work of Soviet dissidents, including the poet Anna Akhmatova and the nuclear physicist Andrei D. Sakharov. He began questioning his party loyalties.

"I was pro-regime," he said in a 1991 interview with Dialog, a Moscow magazine, "and sincerely believed that our system is the best in the world, and since I believed this, I worked in government structures. To say that now I curse myself in every possible way for what I was then - is to say nothing."

He became an editor, in 1983, of Kommunist, the Communist Party's flagship journal, and caused a furor two years later when, in an article titled "The Past and Us," he suggested that the Soviet authorities distorted history. --[ that fact alone suggests that KGB brass and part of Politburo at this time fully switched to neoliberal camp]

"Badly understood history is an extremely dangerous thing," he wrote.

He went on, in 1988, to edit "There Is No Other Way," a seminal collection of essays by leading thinkers of the time about the necessity of reform. He wrote the introduction.

In 1989, Mr. Afanasyev helped found Memorial, an organization dedicated to exposing Stalin's atrocities and commemorating the victims.

That year he also joined the Soviet Union's first freely elected parliamentary body, the Congress of People's Deputies, which was created under Mr. Gorbachev's reforms. But he grew disenchanted, doubting that its unwieldy mix of Stalinists, democrats and Communist Party functionaries could bring about change, and denouncing both its "aggressively obedient majority" and Mr. Gorbachev.

"They did not send us here to be graceful but to drastically change the situation in the country," Mr. Afanasyev said.

He quit the Communist Party in 1990 and helped found the Democratic Russia political movement, an opposition faction. He gave speeches at pro-democracy rallies that drew hundreds of thousands of protesters in the prelude to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The journalist David Remnick, in "Lenin's Tomb," his 1993 account of that era, called Mr. Afanasyev "the democratic movement's master of ceremonies."

Equally disappointed in Mr. Gorbachev's successor, Boris N. Yeltsin, Mr. Afanasyev withdrew from politics and turned to education, founding the Russian State University for the Humanities, an outgrowth of the Historical Archives Institute that today enrolls more than 21,000 students.

In his book "Russia in Search of Itself" (2004), James Billington, the librarian of Congress and a historian of Russia, described the university as possibly "the most vibrant new large institution of higher learning in post-Communist Russia."

The university created its Jewish studies program, Russia's first, in 1991 as a joint effort with the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in Manhattan. Mr. Afanasyev was not Jewish but had denounced many Russian nationalists as anti-Semites and received threats because of it.

In 1996 the university granted an honorary doctorate to Dr. Ismar Schorsch, who was the seminary's chancellor at the time.

"The study of religion in any systematic fashion was taboo" in Soviet Russia, Dr. Schorsch said in an interview with The New York Times that year, "and he told us" - referring to Mr. Afanasyev - "'You can't study the history of religion without studying the history of Judaism.'"

Mr. Afanasyev continued his own research on the history of Russia. In the 1990s he edited a multivolume work covering the nation's 20th century. In 2001, in his book "Dangerous Russia," he argued that Russia had been poisoned by its past.

As the title of one chapter, "Putin's Reconstruction of the Russian State," suggests, Mr. Afanasyev's concerns extended to present-day Russia. In a 1999 essay, he projected a scenario in which Russia, in 2015, "will end up in the trap of imperial nationalism," fueled by economic depression.

He was rector of the university until 2003 and retired as its president in 2006. Though his health was failing, he continued to write and speak about his country.

In May, at a conference in Poland marking 70 years since the end of World War II in Europe and attended by European leaders, Mr. Afanasyev warned of a new form of Stalinism growing in Russia and called the country under Mr. Putin "criminal from the bottom up."

Mr. Afanasyev's wife, Ninel, died in 2008. He is survived by a son, Andrei; a daughter, Marina; and four grandchildren.

[Jul 14, 2015] Пятиминутка интеллигенции

Jul 14, 2015 | matveychev_oleg

Без комментариев, тут и так все понятно.

Я вдруг понял, как настоящего интеллигента отличить от быдла вроде меня. Мы, быдло, можем быть сколь угодно начитанными и умненькими, а они, интеллигенты, сколь угодно необразованными и тупыми - но нас не спутать, мы различаемся на первых же опознавательных кодах. Мы, быдло, можем быть даже оппозиционерами, а они, интеллигенты, даже лоялистами - но мы расходимся на первых же цифрах после запятой.
Штука вся в том, что у нас, быдла, и у них, интеллигентов, совершенно по-разному устроен русский язык. Мы используем совершенно разные словари понятий для основных сфер жизни.

Настоящий интеллигент, когда пишет о Родине, всегда пишет о жратве и бытовухе. О чём бы он ни писал - он всегда составляет свою мысль из котлет, макарон, макияжа, кнопок в лифте, потных подмышек, желудочных газов, гарнитуров, ковров на стене, истошных соседкиных собачек и как его толкнули в трамвае. Он всегда помнит, когда и где как ели и что носили и чем обставлялись. Он вспоминает это, даже когда пишет об искусстве. Его тексты о каком-нибудь отечественном творце - это всегда тексты о том, как он, интеллигент, пробирался на концерт/фильм/выставку творца и порвал себе колготки.

А когда он начинает писать о чём-нибудь горнем, нездешнем - то грубый материализм покидает интеллигента, и даже если он пишет про чьи-то ужасы, вонь и подмышки, вся его сварливость сразу куда-то девается. Всё превращается в Высокий Слог. И он поэтично задвигает что-то типа "у Пазолини внутренний мир экстериоризуется, исходит вовне, рывком обнажая содержание".

Я случайно нашёл сейчас такого интеллигента. Вот он пишет про горнее: "Великое мифологическое ничто у Фасбиндера всегда содержит ничто человеческое - простейшую животную особь. Его герои, явившиеся на свет после конца, рождены с неизбывным чувством краха. Они - недоноски, бастарды, полулюди. Не зная ни любви, ни понимания, они не в силах осмысленно жить и с толком, с чувством умереть. У них нет не только истории, у них нет биографии. Они - фантомы. Но причастность к другому, большему фантому, делает их великими".

А вот спустя пару абзацев про Родину:

"Но полицейское государство блокирует любые меньшинства, само это понятие; вместо недоносков, бастардов и полулюдей всегда в ассортименте номенклатурные герои - настоящие мужики, скромные и скорбные, и Варвара краса-накладная коса в штопаной кофточке, с духовностью во взоре. Не было народа-преступника, ставшего народом-фантомом, были герои, совершавшие перманентный подвиг. Иногда среди них попадались жертвы, с этим, кряхтя и пердя, пока соглашаются".

Почувствуйте разницу. Как всё сразу материализовалось-то. Накладная коса, штопаная кофточка, кряхтение и пердение. Это твой интеллигент, Родина. Он так тебя видит, слышит, обоняет.

У того же чубзика, кстати, дальше три поста про колготки и почему в интеллигентных домах обувь не снимали - "советский человек был лишён прайвеси, и а интеллигенты не принуждали друг друга к коллективистским тапкам".

...А мы, быдло, описываем мир так, будто он один, общий для всех людей. Для нас обои всего лишь обои, а котлеты всего лишь котлеты одинаково в Самаре и Берлине. А режиссёр И. Бергман для нас такой же живой рассказчик, как С. Бондарчук - первого мы не превращаем в астральную сущность, второго мысленно не обряжаем в тапки, спецпаёк и волгу с занавесочками. Мы возмутительно терпимо относимся к жратве и бытовухе, они нам не мешают любоваться Врубелем, Гогеном и закатом. Для нас состояние уборных в Версале и Петергофе - это одно, а Пуссен и Куинджи - это другое.

Из-за этого мы всё время забываем, где нужно ныть, а где воспарять. Быдло может написать статью про "Гамлета" Козинцева, ни разу не упомянув перловку и перманент, - а интеллигент не может. Зато интеллигент, когда смотрит какую-нибудь пальмоносную порнушку вроде "жизни Адель", видит там сплошь Нарушения Табу, Страстность и Фактурность, а не как быдло - непрерывно что-то едящих и долго совокупляющихся крашеных лесби.

via
Виктор Мараховский

Маленькая б Сергея Гуриева Блог Марины Юденич

http://yudenich.ru/content/malenkaya-b-sergeya-gurieva

Вчера в Австрии началось заседание Билдербергского клуба.

Некоторая часть интересующейся общественность числит эту организацию мировым правительством, международным политбюро, современной масонской ложей и говорит о том, что её влияние на мировую политику безгранично.

Другая - значительно более малочисленная, но, похоже, более осведомленная - утверждает, что это всего лишь посиделки старых лоббистов, немало усилий прилагающих для того, чтобы прослыть всемогущими.

Истина - полагаю - как обычно кроется где-то посередине.

Не суть.

В этом году на заседание клуба позвали Сергея Гуриева. В подробности его биографии вдаваться не станем, поскольку роль, отведённую Гуриеву, мог сыграть кто угодно - и Ходорковский, и Касьянов, и даже бывший политик Навальный.

Но полагаю, в случае с первым сыграла роль информация, которой наверняка обладают члены "теневого". Касается она и деятельности "ЮКОСА" в России, и тех обязательств которые МБХ принял на себя, оказавшись на Западе. Наёмных работников на господские посиделки, как правило, не зовут.

Пресловутые 2%, проще говоря, мощная коррупционная составляющая публичной биографии Касьянова, вероятно, закрыли ему двери любого общества, которое претендует на то, чтобы называться приличным. Политические демарши конгрессменов и сенаторов США, понятно, не в счёт.

В случае с третьим персонажем - можно ограничиться одной фразой - "нос не дорос". И уже всем и везде очевидно, что не дорастёт никогда.

Гуриев - в этих обстоятельствах - фигура волпне себе компромиссная. В лучших традициях отдела пропаганды ЦК КПСС персонажу, который должен предстать пред светлы очи членов политбрю, обеспечили короткую, но мощную PR компанию, в частности - полосу The Washington Post, где наш герой подробно объяснил, что и как нужно делать, дабы сместить действующую российскую власть. Г-н Гуриев - как и подобает представителю революционной интеллигенции - пространно ответил на два исконных вопроса : "кто виноват?" и "что делать?"

Виновата, разумеется, нынешняя российская власть ( читай - лично Президент Путин ). И вот почему:

Вывод: Кремль сосредоточен исключительно на собственном выживании и - стало быть - наступило время действовать.

Ответ на вопрос "что делать?" экс-директор ВКШ даёт вполне определённый.

Иными словами, необходимо любой ценой вывести народ на улицы, добиться массовых протестных акций ( революции, восстания, мятежа) в результате которых Путин вынужден будет уйти в отставку.

Далее формируется "переходное правительство". Поскольку никакого "переходного правительства" Конституция РФ не предусматривает, речь здесь идёт о том, что страна покидает правовое поле и погружается в режим "революционной целесообразности", в рамках которого и пройдут "свободные демократические выборы" ( ну, мы же помним, как свободно и демократично выбирали Б.Н.Е со товарищи?)

Далее двери страны широко распахиваются для "освободителей", у которых - как и в начале 90-х - есть план.

Занавес.

И - знаете что? - вся эта история может стать хорошим тестом для Билдербергского клуба.

Потому как "мировая закулиска" - если таковая действительно существует - должна быть хорошо осведомлена о настрое российского народа сегодня.

Ещё более она должна быть осведомлена о том, who is mr. Putin.

Это к вопросу о численности революционных масс и о том, что "Путин будет вынужден".

В обратном случае, мы можем с полной уверенностью говорить о клубе бывших лоббистов, которым до сей поры удавалось убедительно надувать щёки.

И последнее.

Про маленькую "б"

Это не метафора ни разу.

Прибывающих сегодня в Австрию членов клуба (не суть, на частном самолёте прибыл гость или на обычном), организаторы встречали с табличками.

Для постоянных членов это была табличка с большой буквой "Б". Для приглашённых - с маленькой. Всё просто.

About the 'self-hating Russian'

"...the kreakly delight in caricaturing Russia, both because it makes them feel clever and because it brings instant adulation from the western media, which likes to maintain a stable of tame Russia-hating Russians for credibility. I often think what makes a kreakl is a sense that one does not fit in, does not belong. It is the easiest thing to assume that one must be smarter than his fellows, otherwise he would think and feel as they do. "

PaulR, May 11, 2015 at 4:56 pm

I thought that this was a particularly bad New York Times op-ed (by novelist Mikhail Shishkin – has anybody read any of his books?), http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/05/09/opinion/mikhail-shishkin-how-russians-lost-the-war.html?referrer=, and so I have written a response here, about the 'self-hating Russian': https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/the-self-hating-russian/
Warren, May 11, 2015 at 5:58 pm
Perhaps Shishkin believes Russians are a primitive people, that the Germans would have civilised the unwashed, ignorant and blighted Russian masses. Germany's defeat in World War 2 prevented this from happening; perhaps this is the source of Shishkin's resentment? Russian liberals and Russian right-wing racists such as Misanthropic Division and Dmitry Demushkin all seek to emulate West in one form or another, and see Russians as somehow defective.

Shishkin reminds me of anther self-hating liberal from an enemy state – a Chinese liberal that is praised in the West; Liu Xiaobo, who also echoes the West's prejudices.

In a well-known statement of 1988, Liu said:

It took Hong Kong 100 years to become what it is. Given the size of China, certainly it would need 300 years of colonisation for it to become like what Hong Kong is today. I even doubt whether 300 years would be enough.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/dec/15/nobel-winner-liu-xiaobo-chinese-dissident

Warren, May 11, 2015 at 5:59 pm
Warren, May 11, 2015 at 6:02 pm
marknesop, May 11, 2015 at 7:30 pm
Has an American or British political dissident, opposed to the policies of his own government, ever won a Nobel Prize? They are reserved for handing out to foreign political dissidents who lick the west's boots and yammer about how great their former country will be when the west liberates it and overthrows their government. Westerners who act like that are traitors, and certainly not Nobel Prize material.

If a "protest art" group in New York painted a 30-foot dick on the Brooklyn Bridge, I find it hard to imagine they would get an art prize from the U.S. government.

astabada , May 11, 2015 at 8:46 pm
Has an American or British political dissident, opposed to the policies of his own government, ever won a Nobel Prize?

I don't know whether you can consider Pintor a political dissident. However he certainly did not approve the policies of his own government, as clearly stated in his beautiful Nobel Prize lecture.

The trick there was the usual one, namely not to silence dissent but to drown it in noise.

marknesop , May 11, 2015 at 9:46 pm
Great find; I had never heard of Harold Pinter – shows what an uncultured Philistine I am. The lecture is indeed a thing of beauty, and one paragraph of it may be perfect for my next post, which is in the works. Thanks!!
astabada , May 11, 2015 at 10:56 pm
shows what an uncultured Philistine I am

I could lecture you for hours on this topic, if I wasn't myself an uncultured monkey much more than you are, and if I had not been introduced to it by an article from the journalist John Pilger.

yalensis , May 12, 2015 at 2:37 am
Dear Paul:

I never heard of Shishkin before, let alone read anything by him; but that says something only me and how out of touch I am with contemporary "Russian" literature. (Shishkin apparently lives in exile, in Switzerland, but presumably he still writes in Russian.)

According to his biograpy, Mikhail Shishkin is half Russian, half Ukrainian (on his mother's side); Shishkin's grandfather was repressed in Stalin times; Shishkin's father was a decorated war veteran (as per his op-ed). By the time Shishkin was born, it was already a broken family, with the father leaving the family, and the boy raised by his grandmother.

The boy became ideologically anti-Soviet and engaged in samizdat and tamizdat activities typical of Soviet dissidents. His Ukrainian mother also appears to be a political dissident, and it sounds like there was a mother-son political bond, against the absent (possibly abusive) father. At one point (all this in the wiki bio) Mikhail's mother was fired from her job at the school because she allowed the boy to attend "Vysotsky parties".

In other words, if I may indulge in some amateur Freudian psychiatry, it sounds like Shishkin has a lot of "daddy" issues, identified his loathed father with the Soviet state; later with Putin; idealized his mother, which he associates with all good things: Vysotsky, dissidents, the West, etc.

And by the way, this is an enduring theme of the Russian intelligentsia: Just about every Soviet dissident and modern contemporary kreakl was a Vysotsky fan. Vysotsky was some kind of catalyst for this generation.

Anyhow, A few years back, Shishkin emigrated to Switzerland and considers himself to be a political emigre. He publishes on average one book every five years and appears to be able to make a good living from his writing.

According to the wiki entry (which sounds like it was written by Shishkin himself), Shishkin is the greatest Russian writer of our times, a veritable combination of Chekhov, Tolstoy, Nabokov, Bunin and James Royce, all rolled into one. His works are translated into innumerable languages, and even turned into plays.

yalensis , May 12, 2015 at 2:56 am
P.S.
Dear Paul:

Here is a suggested dissertation topic for one of your students:

"The Role of Vysotsky in the birth of the Kreakl Generation".

Warren , May 12, 2015 at 3:44 am
Vladimir Vysotsky seems to be a bit of a character with his husky singing voice:

PaulR, May 12, 2015 at 5:21 am
I never got what the big deal was about Vysotsky. I guess it was one of those things that you had to be there at the right time to understand. When it comes to Soviet bards, I prefer Okudzhava.
Moscow Exile , May 12, 2015 at 5:32 am
I spent a full academic year at Voronezh University listening to that bugger howling. My three Russian room-mates played Vysotsky almost non-stop daily. At first, I used to think it was a drunkard singing, which was right, in a way, because booze eventually killed him. In the end I asked them what it was all about, and told them I thought it was crap. They said I had to be a Russian to understand.
Moscow Exile , May 12, 2015 at 5:40 am
Oh yeah, and he had his revenge on me! After I had got wed, Mrs. Exile took me to see her parents' and grandparents'graves, which are in the Vagankovskoe cemetery, a place where many famous folk are pushing up the daisies, including Vysotsky. And as we approached, I heard his howling again. I thought I was hearing things, but there, next to the gates was a big kiosk flogging off souvenirs of the great crooner, including audio cassettes of his complete works, examples of which were constantly being blasted out from speakers hanging from the frontage of the shop.
Moscow Exile , May 12, 2015 at 5:46 am

Vysotsky's grave. It's always covered with flower tributes whenever I pass it. I was there the other week for a spring clean-upof my wife's folks' plot.

Moscow Exile, May 12, 2015 at 6:23 am
It was ever thus with Russian self-hating liberals.

Nineteenth-century Russia had some of the most radically "self-hating" liberals ever. They were called Zapadniki, or "Westerners". The social gulf between traditional-minded Russian masses and the small Western-educated elite was huge: in the 18th century it was even greater: the elite didn't even speak Russian most of the time and the only contact they had with members of the great unwashed was with their house servants – sort of like "house niggers" in the glory days of the US South. This 19th century Russian elite had nothing but contempt towards the Russian past and with an almost colonial subject's servility adopted all the newest progressive fads invented in Western Europe.

Here is an extract from a letter written by Dostoevsky in 1867, in which he describes his visit to Turgenev, who was then living as an expatriate in Germany:

Frankly, I never could have imagined that anyone could so naively and clumsily display all the wounds in his vanity, as Turgenev did that day; and these people go about boasting that they are atheists. He told me that he was an uncompromising atheist. My God! It is to Deism that we owe the Saviour - that is to say, the conception of a man so noble that one cannot grasp it without a sense of awe - a conception of which one cannot doubt that it represents the undying ideal of mankind. And what do we owe to these gentry - Turgenev, Herzen, Utin, Tchernychevsky? In place of that loftiest divine beauty on which they spit, we behold in them such ugly vanity, such unashamed susceptibility, such ludicrous arrogance, that it is simply impossible to guess what it is that they hope for, and who shall take them as guides. He frightfully abused Russia and the Russians. But I have noticed this: all those Liberals and Progressives who derive chiefly from Bielinsky's school, find their pleasure and satisfaction in abusing Russia. The difference is that the adherents of Tchernychevsky merely abuse, and in so many words desire that Russia should disappear from the face of the earth {that, first of all!). But the others declare, in the same breath, that they love Russia. And yet they hate everything that is native to the soil, they delight in caricaturing it, and were one to oppose them with some fact that they could not explain away or caricature, - any fact with which they were obliged to reckon - they would, I believe, be profoundly unhappy, annoyed, even distraught. And I've noticed that Turgenev - and for that matter all who live long abroad - have no conception of the true facts (though they do read the newspapers), and have so utterly lost all affection and understanding for Russia that even those quite ordinary matters which in Russia the very Nihilists no longer deny, but only as it were caricature after their manner - these fellows cannot so much as grasp. Amongst other things he told me that we are bound to crawl in the dust before the Germans, that there is but one universal and irrefutable way - that of civilization, and that all attempts to create an independent Russian culture are but folly and pigheadedness. He said that he was writing a long article against the Russophils and Slavophils. I advised him to order a telescope from Paris for his better convenience. " What do you mean?" he asked. "The distance is somewhat great," I replied; "direct the telescope on Russia, and then you will be able to observe us; otherwise you can't really see anything at all." He flew into a rage.

And take a look at these extracts from Dostoevsky's "The idiot":

"I can but thank you", he said, in a tone too respectful to be sincere, "for your kindness in letting me speak, for I have often noticed that our Liberals never allow other people to have an opinion of their own, and immediately answer their opponents with abuse, if they do not have recourse to arguments of a still more unpleasant nature".

"Excuse me", continued Evgenie Pavlovitch hotly, "I don't say a word against liberalism. Liberalism is not a sin, it is a necessary part of a great whole, which whole would collapse and fall to pieces without it. Liberalism has just as much right to exist as has the most moral conservatism; but I am attacking RUSSIAN liberalism; and I attack it for the simple reason that a Russian liberal is not a Russian liberal, he is a non-Russian liberal. Show me a real Russian liberal, and I'll kiss him before you all, with pleasure".

"In the first place, what is liberalism, speaking generally, but an attack (whether mistaken or reasonable, is quite another question) upon the existing order of things? Is this so? Yes. Very well. Then my 'fact' consists in this, that RUSSIAN liberalism is not an attack upon the existing order of things, but an attack upon the very essence of things themselves–indeed, on the things themselves; not an attack on the Russian order of things, but on Russia itself. My Russian liberal goes so far as to reject Russia; that is, he hates and strikes his own mother. Every misfortune and mishap of the mother-country fills him with mirth, and even with ecstasy. He hates the national customs, Russian history, and everything. If he has a justification, it is that he does not know what he is doing, and believes that his hatred of Russia is the grandest and most profitable kind of liberalism. (You will often find a liberal who is applauded and esteemed by his fellows, but who is in reality the dreariest, blindest, dullest of conservatives, and is not aware of the fact.) This hatred for Russia has been mistaken by some of our 'Russian liberals' for sincere love of their country, and they boast that they see better than their neighbours what real love of one's country should consist in. But of late they have grown, more candid and are ashamed of the expression 'love of country,' and have annihilated the very spirit of the words as something injurious and petty and undignified. This is the truth, and I hold by it; but at the same time it is a phenomenon which has not been repeated at any other time or place; and therefore, though I hold to it as a fact, yet I recognize that it is an accidental phenomenon, and may likely enough pass away. There can be no such thing anywhere else as a liberal who really hates his country; and how is this fact to be explained among US? By my original statement that a Russian liberal is NOT a RUSSIAN liberal–that's the only explanation that I can see".

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

PaulR , May 12, 2015 at 7:55 am
Nice quotes. Thanks.
marknesop, May 12, 2015 at 10:18 am
Exactly: as he says, the kreakly delight in caricaturing Russia, both because it makes them feel clever and because it brings instant adulation from the western media, which likes to maintain a stable of tame Russia-hating Russians for credibility. I often think what makes a kreakl is a sense that one does not fit in, does not belong. It is the easiest thing to assume that one must be smarter than his fellows, otherwise he would think and feel as they do.
Oddlots , May 11, 2015 at 9:28 pm
Beautiful piece of observation that you picked out the moment of peak mendacity:

'Each one of Hitler's victories was a defeat for Germany. And the final rout of Nazi Germany was a victory for the Germans themselves, who demonstrated how a nation can rise up and live like human beings without the delirium of war in their heads.'

That is a sickening bit of tautological "reasoning" and bombast.

So it was all worth it. Awwww!

james, May 11, 2015 at 10:59 pm
paul.. thanks for your article.. i thought it was well written and well said.. instead of deconstructing the same tired bullshit the mainstream western media -this example from the nyt in the form of mikhail shishkin's comments – you'd be better to try to deconstruct just why the constant onslaught against russia in the same predictable way? that is what is happening here, regardless of the changing representatives from russia or with some dubious connection to russia that wish to support the msm in it's take down of russia.. forget details on his bullshit.. it is the bigger attempt on the part of the western msm to take down russia.. any propaganda and fodder will do in this ceaseless goal of the western msm.. it is not a free fucking press.. it is a bullshit agenda for war 24/7… that's how i see it..

after shishkins comments, it will be some other similar minded doofus unwilling to see russia in any light other then the one that capitalism run amok wants to see and define it as.. war=money.. that is the game being played and we are the suckers being played on..

astabada , May 11, 2015 at 11:04 pm
The contradiction inherent to his view did not dawn on Shishkin.

If every defeat for the Nazis was a victory for the German people, and conversely (as he implies) every victory for the Soviets was a defeat for the Soviet people, we obtain again that only one power could have "won" the war, either the Soviets with the fall of Moscow or the Germans (as it happened) with the fall of Berlin.

What one has to really bring home from his article is that no matter how lunatic you are, if you are a "house negro", as a Russian demoting Russia is, you will always find space in the Free World © This is a despicable form of discrimination, where Russia-hating Russians have an unfair advantage over the rest of the Russia-hating scum.

Pavlo Svolochenko , May 12, 2015 at 12:59 am
One of the loudest and most obnoxious Latvian Nazis is an ethnic Russian named Igor Shishkin. Not suggesting any relation, but they would find much to agree on.

[May 13, 2015] How Russias opposition united to finish Nemtsovs report on Ukraine

May 13, 2015 |