Saturday, January 1, 2022

Let's Try Q & A And Whatever Else Sticky Post

Here is the post which I will try to keep sticky for people to ask questions and share their thoughts which are not on topic. This, I think is known as Open Thread. Fire away.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

A Social Contract....Of Sorts.

As I expected, most media and analysts, with some notable exceptions such as The Saker and Tired Optimist (in Russian), among few others, rushed to discuss all possible future power arrangements and possible mechanism of "keeping Putin in power", like forever, after Putin's Address to Federal Assembly. As Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol stated in the conclusion to his The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled With Ivan NikiforovichСкучно на этом свете, Господа (This world is boring (depressing), Gentleman).  Indeed, it is--same ol', same ol', who was who and what will this who be doing if to tweak Constitution this way or another way and what it all means. It is forgivable for Western "analysts" who make their living by public masturbating to political power and interpreting what influence last bowel movement by Adam Schiff may mean in the future power arrangements in D.C., after all, those "analysts" are primarily products of Western "education" in subjects which avoid speaking of particulars, other than merely power arrangements, which actually do change world. It is all akin to discussing GDP measured in US Dollars for a country which produces nothing but debt and is loosing its industry at accelerated rate. Oops, a slip of the tongue...

Putin became such a fixture of the XXI century that at this stage it is simply not necessary to discuss this man's (colossal) role in Russia and global affairs, and for anyone who didn't spent last 10 years under some stone in Tanzania (nothing personal against this fine country) it should be pretty clear that Putin is not leaving Russian and global politics and will stick around for a little while longer until new Russian elite completely emerges and takes control of a country. That much was clear well BEFORE Putin's Address. Yet, like crazy almost everyone got into "predict the new government bureaucrat" and "what it all means" game by avoiding the most important part of Putin's Address--the fact that new social contract was offered to citizens of Russia, an overwhelming majority that is of them. Hm, how this little insignificant thing escaped, say, most Western pundits remains a "mystery" but Encyclopedia Britannica defines social contract in next terms. 
Social contract, in political philosophy, an actual or hypothetical compact, or agreement, between the ruled and their rulers, defining the rights and duties of each. 
Ah, that's warmer. Now let's take a look at WHAT actually made Putin to go for the jugular of the remaining Western "liberal" economic model of Russia, including by means of removing Prime-minister Medvedev who for a long time now is associated with whatever Neo-liberal element remaining in Russia's economy. Yes, it is always, in the end, about economy. Recall Marxists' Foundation and Superstructure? While incomplete, this duality of economic activity being a foundation influencing the superstructure of culture, political system and other activities is NOT incorrect. Marxists merely failed to recognize the mutual influence of both, but the rough model is correct. Putin removed Medvedev's government because Foundation changed and changed dramatically. It changed dramatically because NEW social contract was badly needed (remember--the influence is mutual), because Russia's economy, or, speaking in broader terms, productive forces changed. They changed in a revolutionary way. 

Recall what Russia was economically in 2000. It was a devastated country. Now let me remind you a thing I pointed out to four years ago. Remember? 
I don't think Putin was doing this merely for Medvedev, the message was public and designed to be seen by Russians. They saw, that is why Putin's ratings as a head of state since 2007-08 remained extremely high.  
Even when was done by hacks. There was no denial that Russians trusted and continue to trust him. But since we are talking here about Russia, not just Putin, something tells me that this has "something to do" with Putin's evolution as a national leader in recognizing that myth of "liberal capitalism" was nothing more than myth and the only serious foundations for a new Social Contract must be only things which are tangible:

And, of course, one has to remember what happened with Russia's industrial (as in tangibles: oil, gas, processed chemicals, cars, iron, steel, refrigerators etc.) output. Because I do not want to spend another couple of weeks sifting through, often false, data about Russia's REAL economy expansion, I will merely post here the FIRST indicator of real economic growth--a production (and consumption) of energy.  Here is a note from British Petroleum which speaks volumes.
Why am I talking about it? Well, simply put, against the background of West's non-stop warfare against Russia, starting immediately after Putin famous Munich 2007 speech, Russia needed to do three major things, which were precluding any new Social Contract being brought in the open for discussion for reasons of immediate sabotage both from the outside and inside:

1. Return of strategic industries and resources back under the state's control;
2. Decoupling from the Western economies to a degree at which Russia's economic and military security is not compromised;
3. Achieving military superiority. 

All three tasks have been successfully completed. Islands of possible (resistance) sabotage and treason have been largely cleared and nation remained loyal to Russian state despite all difficulties she encountered. Russian state today sits on immense financial resources which are both "pay today" and "pay forward" for Russians within new Social Contract. Medvedev's government, while doing moderately good job of accumulating those resources, was not fit to distribute them. Moreover, in defense of Medvedev: considering who and how were educated in his government they DID have a very real, genuine, and, possibly, not entire unjustified fear of runaway inflation which in their mind would occur once gigantic funds are released into National Projects. But removing Medvedev and his government it became clear that Putin moved Russia into the state capitalism territory, Putin became softer (much softer) version of Stalin and that is what overwhelming majority of Russians wanted. In fact, Russians were eagerly anticipating it. 

So, what this new Social Contract for Russians is? OK, let' not mince words--it is partial Sovietization of the society. Yes, free higher education, free lunches for small kids, more, more, more in social sphere--kindergartens, better schools, better medicine. Do I read from the Brezhnev's report to the XXV Party Congress? One cannot escape this feeling of deja vu. Do you know that the staple of 1970s Soviet industrial vision, BAM (Baikal-Amur Rail), actually, was already largely completed? Bigger, more massive plans are already in work to expand rail to places in Russia which even Soviet Union dared not to dream about. All that, including what is a direct financial help to most needy which state takes on its shoulders directly. The only difference with USSR? Free enterprise--state has no direct business in retail, restaurants, private transportation services, real estate, unless it is provision of free or subsidized dwelling (and that expansion is in plans too), economy of other services, just to name a few. It is not wrong to let people get richer, in fact, it is desirable and there is a reason Russian liberda and so called "communists" from KPRF are hysterical--obviously Russian state is turning to be better "opposition" than they are themselves.They are hysterical, as are all kinds of trolls and bots. The new social contact is about preservation of people of Russia and I already spoke on this issue before. Let's now wait and see how new Social Contract takes shape in tangibles. 
Lomonosov: On Preservation of Russian people.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

A Bit Of Clarification.

OK, some things begin to emerge after Putin's address. So, let's do forensic experiment (I reference Leo Tolstoy on this issue of power very often) or just ask a question--what is primarily Western and, I have to admit, most of Russian analytical community (with some obvious significant exceptions--I know those exceptions) which speak out on the issues of Russian politics and is largely the copy of a Western one, talk about? Yes, they speak out in Western politics the same way--they love political power, they admire it, they crave it, many want to fondle it and penetrate it. Some of them are ready to give blowjobs for that or spread legs or buns just to be near it and feel this power inside, literally. Some, evidently, wouldn't mind whoring own wives (husbands) out for this feeling. They love to discuss who and how will be moved into one or another position within some government, what this or the other new appointment will do and how he (she) will affect TV and other ratings by giving all those "analysts" more time and space to self admire and self appreciate. 

Most of those people who talk about power are strictly concentrated on trying to predict who and how will be appointed and how this or other event or action by people holding power will affect some Constitution, constitutional law or how the power will be dispensed, who will drive what car and fly what plane, who will be screwing who and in what upscale (or road-side) hotels. People just love to talk about power and feel themselves related to it, like, ahem, in the United States where everyone on TV and in press speaks about political power non-stop in desperate attempts to try to avoid any talk on substance of America's catastrophic de-industrialization, non-stop wars, decline of the living standard and social stratification among many other things, not least drug epidemic. This is NOT what Putin's Address was about yesterday. Well, certainly, not just about power and, in fact, primarily not about it. While Western media went into overdrive trying to figure out what all this means, they somehow missed completely what MOST of his address was dedicated to--changing Russia's social landscape by opening a floodgates of immense (we don't know a full scale) investments into the well-being of people of Russia. It was expected, the issue was not IF, but When. The most important phrase in opening statement of Putin was: the state (the government) will provide for Russian people socially. Overwhelming majority of Russians wouldn't have it any other way. Russians build their state, for millennium, the rest follows. You simply cannot survive any other way in Russia. They expect their state to not only defend them but help to prosper--I know, some libertarians who read this may get an aneurysm. No worry, Russians are very much for private property and prosperity. 

Many of you do not remember, but I recall it as it was yesterday: 20 years ago THE FIRST meeting of newly elected unknown young President of Russia Vladimir Putin was his meeting with...chief editors Valentin Chikin of Soviet Russia and Alexandr Prohanov of Zavtra--the most conservative and socialist papers of late 1990s. Then there was Putin's article about paternalism of Russian State and of Russian people. He was only beginning to learn then. Yesterday, he closed his circle of learning and he understood all he needed to, to turn Russia since 2008 around with unprecedented program of social revival. Did anyone hear what he was talking about when talking about young families? Did anyone hear numbers of social help to young mothers and their families. Mortgage fixed rate of 2% annually, with state effectively covering 50% of new apartments or houses. More than a million rubles of maternity capital for families with three kids, more free vacancies in higher education institutions, free meals for all kids in elementary schools. New significant monetary support across the board for teachers and doctors among many. What does it remind you of? Do I have to say it, or will you find a name for it? That was the main point of the address, the rest of it, including changes in political order are merely attributes for this, as I wrote six days ago:
So, I have a bit of disagreement with Mr. Feierstein--we are down to few years (less than decade) before the whole thing becomes irrelevant and, as much as I hate all those silly predictions, the amount of time left for US Dollar as premier global currency depends not even on successful completion of China's massive BRI project, with China's economy already dwarfing that of the US. No, this will depend on a progress of National Projects of Russia of which we will see first results by 2024. Why? Because of Russian culture and its ability to generate civilization models from which anyone can draw most attractive features. But here we are entering the issue of metaphysics, granted supported by Russia's massive "commodities", increasing manufacturing capacity and state-of-the-art military machine.    
That what all this is about. Putin took Russia 20 years ago, I am almost tempted to repeat Churchill's words about Stalin, on her knees and practically deceased as a nation, he literally revived her, brought her back from the dead, with Russian people trusting him all along. The time to give something back to them has come. By the way he spoke yesterday, by his posture, diction, emotions it was clear it was about Russian people first and foremost. I am not afraid to be accused of pathos--this is exactly what it was. The rest, the new power arrangements? Important, of course, but secondary to Russia finally getting (back) on her civilizational path as a truly social state which, no doubt, will be able to generate civilization model which will attract many, very many. As I say non-stop: Russia can exist only as a global superpower, and that implies social state, or she will not exist at all. Putin yesterday demonstrated openly that he knows that. The rest are details and things which can change.   

Putin's Address.

He spoke to Federal Assembly today and it was a dramatic address. My suggestion to you all, before more sober and lucid analysis of what just has happened in Russia (believe me it is absolutely wonderful) appears, to not read or listen to all kind of "analysis" from:

1. Western main stream media sources--none of them are knowledgeable and agenda-free ones, all of them are incompetents;

2. All kinds of Russian "communist", "opposition" and other allegedly "left" sources are currently in a deep shock and butt-hurt and Russia's nominal left, such as KPRF have very little that distinguishes them from Liberda. So, try to avoid their "analysis".

Mind you, it is merely a suggestion to a free people such as you and you are free to seek out any sources of information and expertise you want. I simply wanted to warn you about a shitstrom which already rages in media sphere after Putin and Siloviki launched the process which majority of Russians were waiting and begging for years now. The time has come and final step to the restoration of a complete sovereignty of Russia has been made. Constitution WILL BE changed. "Westernization" of Russia is over, so is globalization in its present form.  

UPDATE:   

UPDATE 1: Something about Mishustin, LOL. Netcentric Warfare, pardon me, Netcentric Tax Collection in action:


Do not forget to click Close Caption for English.

 

Monday, January 13, 2020

So, What?

As was expected, political posturing and maneuvering started after the events in Iraq and Iran and it started in earnest. Suddenly Pentagon's Chief admits what anyone with an IQ higher than room temperature knew all along:
Well, duh. Then the other "secret" (obvious from the git go) details begin to emerge:
At this stage one has to pause for a moment and ask oneself a question: how did this "warning not to retaliate so harshly that it would provoke President" look to Iranians? Right, as an open admission of weakness and lack of desire to do real fighting. Moreover, if to believe reports (and they do seem plausible):
So, what? I repeat this ad nauseam: United States doesn't handle states and people who are not afraid of her that well, to put it mildly. Obviously, Iran's violation of the sanctity of diplomatic institution such as US Embassy in 1978 is not an event to be admired, but the United States which bombed China's Embassy in Belgrade in 1999 (by "mistake", of course), among other things, not to mention having her embassies existing primarily (emphasis on primarily) for sabotage and spying activity, is in no position to complain too much. Trump, still being affected by a 41 year old event in Tehran, is a symptom of sorts, of a person who really has a very tentative grasp on the history and, especially so, geopolitics. Obviously, DJT doesn't know what US Consulate in Benghasi was actually doing. A hint, very little "diplomacy".  

Yet, this all also demonstrates an appalling level of competency, or, rather, lack thereof, at which National Security teams operate in the White House. Trump is not really a new phenomenon in this respect; of course, we all recall, completely fake and "cooked", "intelligence" which lead to the invasion of Iraq, we know what a stream of liquid dung called "intelligence" was poured into the White House prior to gang rape of Serbia, in the end, these were all those "intelligence" and "diplomacy" people who convinced Obama to unleash a suicidal events in Ukraine in 2013-14. And the system continues to operate like that in D.C. Trump might be more unhinged and illiterate than previous residents of the White House, but he really differs very little in his delusion from them. He is merely a symptom of a much more serious illness which afflicts US political class, "deep state", "elite", what have you--feel free to call it anyway you want. 

Assassination of General Soleimani and what followed is just the latest in a folly which replicates itself non-stop at the US political top. Sure, "warnings" sent to Iranians do not look that good and do not add to the American prestige in the region and around the globe, but the again--what did? As I write non-stop, the problem is systemic: it is one of a complete lack of knowledge and understanding of the outside world it is also a very low, if any, level of self-awareness. To make a point: try as one might, one will be hard-pressed to find any competent and at least partially correct geopolitical forecast which emerged from the deep recesses of US national security and political "science" think-tankdom. When being consistently wrong in forecasts and calculating consequences of own actions becomes the only outcome system produces, it is the sign of a system which is completely broken. It is broken. But if some delirium from white board geopolitical "academe" has an impact which measures in years, such as purely risible pseudo-scientific treatises of "The End of History" or "The Grand Chessboard" on the level of POTUS justifications as such are simply inadmissible:
US President Donald Trump has lashed out against the “fake news media” and their “Democrat partners” over criticism of his administration’s decision to assassinate Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.The president claimed in tweets marred with misspellings that it does not matter if Soleimani presented an imminent threat to the US, something he had said previously to defend the assassination, because of the general’s “horrible past.”
Yes, "horrible past" such as cooperating with the United States in fighting ISIS in Syria and Afghanistan. Anyone wonders then why the US is non-agreement capable? But if DJT is a New York real estate shyster who was able, due to his entertainment industry experience, to deliver sound and attractive ideas written for him by Stephen Miller convincingly, one should not forget that in this sense Obama or Clinton (Bill), let alone W were just slightly more polished on the outside liars and incompetents. I will parrot myself yet again here: US political class is incapable to produce real statesmen, but even in that, bad as it is, it also lost, due to corruption and the death of meritocracy, any ability to produce any sort of competence. Enough to take a look at US Congress who work night and day to parade the United States globally as a freak show and do all in their power to NOT address real serious, some of them actually dangerous, problems facing the United States.

Recent events in Iran and Iraq are just another, however very significant, symptoms of Empire's decay and departure. I want, however, to clarify one thing. While Iran is a very important regional state and not for once I praised Iranians' courage and dedication, I am completely aware of the fact, of which I wrote not for once, that Iran is her own "thing". Russia may, in the words of Patrushev, declare Iran Russia's ally, for Iran, however, Russia is not an ally at all and Russia will remain just another state which could be used for Iran's own purposes. Nothing wrong with that--everyone is doing this, but Iran is not Russia's ally, whatever that means. So, Russian-Iranian relations are complex and we are yet to see how the potential of these relations could be realized. Especially since Russian and Iranian visions of the Middle East differ. Moreover, while Middle East IS the battle-space between US and Iran, this battle-space is just another theater of war the United States wages against Russia and China. We MUST NOT lose the sight of this important fact--the fate of the world depends on global realignment and shift of power poles (in progress), of which Iran provided yet another indication, and the way increasingly irrational Empire and her suicidal-homicidal tendencies can be kept in check.       

Friday, January 10, 2020

Oh, No!!

Neal Peart of Rush, one of the greatest drummers of all time across any genre is dead at 67!! It is a loss, and then one has to know what Neal endured when losing his whole family, daughter and then wife, in a span of less than 10 months. I am heartbroken. Rest In Peace, Neal.