The dangerous delusion: "Russia is a gas station with nukes"

in #russia10 months ago

I often hear the statement: "Russia is a gas station with nukes pretending to be a country".

This is an arrogant, ignorant and dangerous delusion.

The Berlin Wall fell the year I finished school.
The world changed ... now it is changing again.

Like any western educated child of the Cold War, I believed that Russia was a bogeyman that had been defeated in the Cold War and was weak.

It only took a short stopover to Moscow on the way to Thailand 5 years ago to make me realise that this was wrong.

The Last Empire

The truth is that Russia is the world's last undefeated Empire.
Moscow is an ancient Imperial Capital.

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It makes Washington DC look like slum (which it basically is - I lived there for a year in the 1990s).

The Russian Empire is almost 1000 years old.

  • It has the world's largest land mass.

  • It has immense natural resources and manufacturing capability.

  • It has more nuclear weapons than any other country.

  • It is the only country currently deploying hypersonic weapons (which are unstoppable carrier killers and bunker busters).

  • It defeated the strongest and (previously) most successful armies that have ever existed (Napoleon and the Nazis).

The End of the Cold War

The US did not defeat Russia in the Cold War.

Capitalism it defeated Communism, a fundamentally flawed ideology that had infected Russia.

Now Russia has recovered from this infection and is taking back control over those nearby areas which have been part of the Russian Empire for centuries. Many of those areas (like eastern Ukraine) have significant populations of ethnic Russian people.

This may not be nice, but it is the nature of the world.

The nature of international relations

Many in the West consider that the only countries allowed to invade other countries with impunity are America and its allies.

Thus Russian behaviour is a gross violation of the "global rules based order" and Putin = Hitler.

But the truth is that the reality of relations between nations was correctly expressed by Thucydides almost 2500 years ago:

Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.

Since 1989 America was the strongest power and it made the rules.

It bombed and invaded who it wanted, it overthrew despots and democratically elected governments with equal alacrity. It forced citizens of completely unrelated countries to fill in its tax forms. It criminalised journalism by non-Americans living outside America (Julian Assange).

A multi-polar world

Now the power equation is changing.

The Western "sanctions" against Russia and its citizens, which have included freezing Russia's gold and foreign currency reserves held in the West, as well as outright theft the assets of private citizens who were guilty by alleged association with Putin, have backfired.

They have catalysed a global rebellion against the US dominated world order.

Russia, China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and the entire Global South have united against the USA and its allies because they no longer trust the US dollar based financial system which has been weaponised against Russia. They rightly fear that the same thing could happen to them and so they are taking steps to neutralise the weapon.

The BRICS + Global South are creating new international financial systems and new trade routes that are immune to US sanctions. They are transacting in currencies other than the USD.

The inevitable result will be a dramatic diminishment of US power and potentially US sovereign debt default and national bankruptcy.

Just as in 1989 the world changed dramatically in a very short period, today it is happening again, and Russia is at the center of it.

The worst thing you can do is arrogantly underestimate your opponent. Such hubris presages a fall. The ancients knew this and it is no different today.

That is exactly what this popular disparagement of Russia as a gas station with nukes represents: fatal hubris.


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A great article as usual.

The worst thing you can do is arrogantly underestimate your opponent

I think that this is one of the stupid 'normalities' established (or furthered) over the last ~ 3 years. 'All enemies are stupid' is one of the dumbest things to believe in. Not even Zelensky is stupid, even though he is a leader/puppet as incompetent as most of the western leaders/puppets are (even though it is most important to know that there are very competent people behind those puppets!).

I like your observation paralleling these times to the times when the Berlin wall fell. It is tough & great to live in times of change!

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There's a new field empires are built on today. The world isn't a static rock. The biosphere coats it's surface, and the organisms comprising ecosystems cooperate to increase the volume of the ecosystems and increase the availability and fecundity of niches, while also competing for the resources. ~1mya the nature of Earth's ecosystems dramatically changed, beginning an enormous decline in large animals with simple stomachs and the rise of ruminants, with more efficient food processing stomachs.

This changed people. If you compare the landscape today with that a million years ago, the first thing you'll note is the dominance of people that control how the niches are doled out, and the absence of large herbivores that used to control the biosphere. Control of the field of battle, literally the fields on which battle was conducted and from which wealth in terms of ecosystem niches was created, has formerly been the contest that created empire. Today that is again changing, however.

Today the battle is waged psychologically. A paradigm has been developed in which covert agencies advance NGOs that push specific derangements, and capital management firms (Larry Fink, et al.) take advantage of financial opportunities created by NGOs and political derangement to dominate financial niches. This is why the WEF is advanced by ESG, why fiat is being hyperinflated and will be deprecated in favor of Unicoin CBDC.

The human mind has become the primary field of battle today, because that controls the actual fields of the biosphere that create fecundity. The war ongoing for control of our hearts and minds is necessarily covert, because if we're aware of the contest we are absolutely able to rationally determine our mental landscape, which disables covert influence. People that are nudged and deranged into beliefs that are insuperable rationally are ongoing battles for profit.

Knowing who and what we are is the meaningful victory we can achieve in our personal lives. If we want to be victorious on the global scale, we will have to promote rational ideologies that prevent derangement on which corporate capital management companies (Larry Fink et al.) today dominate the field of battle.

Thanks!

US sovereign debt default and national bankruptcy.

Practically speaking, what does this look like?

A short and pessimistic answer is: Argentina.
A slightly longer optimistic answer is: withdrawal from global hegemony and return to 1790 and The Constitution.

Basically the US can only afford to have such a huge debt because the reserve currency status of the USD creates huge demand for USD debt instruments (Treasuries).

If substantial parts of the world economy stop using USD for trade then demand for US Treasuries will drop and the interest rates the US has to pay will rise.

Because the debt is so enormous the US will not be able to afford to pay if interest rates rise, even to normal 8-10% levels. Sovereign debt default is then inevitable.

But Exceptionalism is a deeply rooted poison. None sees their empire as “whited sepulchre” with double standards.

Alas, the sands of time goes on.

True words, but my hope from it all is that the world will see that it cannot depend of one country resources too much and it will push for technology evolution and discovery of new source of power or what else the world needs. Probably this is a dream, but that's what I hope will steer the world to.

Russia at present is an autocracy layered over an oligarchy.

Putin has been very effective at consolidating power by virtue of enabling those below him to enrich themselves.
This has been an effective strategy.

A difficulty is if you are percieved to disagree with him. Those who find themselves in this position have found themselves deprived of at least one of the following: wealth, liberty, life.

Can he continue?

My read is he is already on borrowed time.

While US presidents come and go at the electorate's nominal whim, Russia's premier has tied himself to the control he exerts.
When that diminishes, he goes.

If Putin is replaced it will be be someone more aggressive and brutal.

The main opposition in Russia is from Putin's right. Almost all those on his left have left.

The US also prosecutes political opponents on trumped up charges and persecutes those who disagree with the establishment line.
Russia is just more obvious about it.

That is a very interesting post and there's a lot going on in this comment section too :)

Trotsky and Lenin were bankrolled by Jewish bankers from Wall St.
I had asssumed the plan was to create a space to act as a fake space for people to escape capitalism, to give the impression that no alternative can work. I still think that was part of the goal, but maybe another goal was to deliberately weaken Russia.

There are prominent Jews on both sides of every major ideological conflict for the last 3000 years.

But Jews are always only a very small percentage of the supporters and activists of any particular ideology (other than Judaism itself).

So focussing on Jewish support rather than looking at the whole picture is both intellectually wrong and borders on anti-semitism.

I am not saying that 'jews are bad' or jews are 'anything' - I just briefly mentioned something about them because the people in question were jews and I don't know if you are aware of their involvement or not (most people aren't) - similar people also bankrolled Hitler, yes.

I could turn it round and say that focussing on anti-Semitism here is missing the point that part of Russia's animosity with the US probably stems from the US involvement with the long term disruption of Russia - which by now I'm sure the Russians understand well.

Of course, there are the books/theories which present the idea that the support of Hitler and Russia was partially motivated by a longer term plot to form Israel, but I don't know the full truth of that either way. If anything, my usual goal is to pick apart the puzzle pieces to find deeper causes to world problems so that they can be healed and we aren't all vaporised in a bright flash. Underneath nearly all of these problems is the denied fear that motivates deception and manipulation in the name of self protection - which is a problem that pervades the majority of social groups on Earth at this time and which leads to anger taking over to 'protect' the people from what they are frightened of. The lack of love involved in the average person's thought process then eventually leads to violence.

Amen to not being vaporised in a bright flash.