People are different. Who knew?

There are a few snippets I’ve read over the last few days which can be tied together with a common thread. Firstly, Mikhail Khodorkovsky in the NYT:

The challenge facing democratically minded Russians therefore isn’t simply to remove Mr. Putin from power; it’s to replace the authoritarian system he personifies.

The whole piece is an American liberal’s wet dream of a country which has never seen proper democracy simply seeing the light and embracing the sort of society readers of the New York Times claim they want to see. This was the same idiotic thinking which got people believing if only we bombed the shit out of Iraq and got rid of Saddam Hussein, democracy would flourish. I don’t know if democracy and a free, tolerant society can take hold in Russia but if it does it must come from Russians themselves, preferably ones who aren’t former robber-barons who spent a decade in prison before fleeing abroad. I don’t agree with the conviction of Khodorkovsky, but I doubt he had much interest in turning Russia into a liberal, open society until he fell foul of the regime and the New York Times and their ilk started paying him to promote one. Simply stating Russia needs to move away from a centralised, authoritarian system is a bit like saying if only Israel dropped Judaism things would improve. You’d need a new population first.

The second is a comment from Bloke in North Dorset under yesterday’s post:

Going back to Tim’s point about the media, especially the BBC. Part of their problem is they have spent years carrying out the Buddhist equivalent of beatifying Aung San Suu Kyi and now she’s turned out be just like any other leader in the region who is more interested in power than human rights, especially those of minority Muslims.

There are a lot of people expressing their disappointment in Ms Suu Kyi , presumably for failing to leap to the aid of the Rohingyas. I expect those who are disappointed don’t know much about the Burmese or Asians in general, and those who do aren’t surprised in the least. I confess I don’t know much about Asians and nothing about Burmese, but in that part of the world one’s race or tribe counts for quite a lot. From what I can tell, Ms Suu Kyi’s original beef was with the ruling militia which was oppressing ordinary Burmese, and she wanted things to change – for the benefit of Burmese. Did she care about other minority groups out of adherence to some universal standards of human rights? In hindsight, obviously not. Alas, the wet lefties in the west who wrung their hands for years as Ms Suu Kyi languished under house arrest simply assumed she was just like them. Funnily enough, being Burmese and not American or European, she isn’t.

Thirdly, this news report from the BBC:

The EU’s top court has rejected a challenge by Hungary and Slovakia to a migrant relocation deal drawn up at the height of the crisis in 2015.

In asking the court to annul the deal, Hungary and Slovakia argued at the Court of Justice that there were procedural mistakes, and that quotas were not a suitable response to the crisis.

Officials say the problem is not of their making, that the policy exposes them to a risk of Islamist terrorism and that it represents a threat to their homogenous societies.

Their case was supported by Poland, where a right-wing government has come to power since the 2015 deal.

Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto was furious, calling it “appalling and irresponsible”. He vowed to use all legal means against the judgement, which he said was “the result of a political decision not the result of a legal or expert decision”.

“Politics has raped European law and European values. This decision practically and openly legitimates the power of the EU above the member states,” he said.

“The real fight starts now.”

In a milder statement, Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico said his country’s position on quotas also “does not change”.

The people and governments of Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia have made it abundantly clear that they do not want refugees from the Middle East and Africa being settled on their territory. The powers that be in Brussels deem this unacceptable, and wish to force these countries to take them.

The thread linking these three stories is the one whereby the ruling classes in the west seem to loftily assume that everyone else in the world is just like them, and if they aren’t then they should be. That western liberals are western liberals because they are products of the west’s liberal culture doesn’t seem to occur to them; they think people who are from wholly different cultures bound by very different histories and geography are the same, simply because they wish them to be.

As an attitude, it’s all rather 18th century colonial, isn’t it? Christian missionaries telling the natives to take the bone out of their nose and stop eating people would fit in well with today’s establishment classes.

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32 thoughts on “People are different. Who knew?

  1. Narrative rules : wasn’t a full blown market economy supposed to emerge in Russia post 1991? A grateful nation embrace the Americans in Afghanistan ? A liberal democracy emerge in Iraq? Expectations of outcomes are more Walt Disney than reality. Believing everyone is just the same is the end delusion of antiracism.

  2. The sad thing is that of all these things are pretty obvious.
    It is hard to replace a dictatorship with a democracy – possible see German 1945 etc but it does involve occupation
    Also different people don’t think like us should be obvious but sadly isn’t to many people.

  3. The Russian situation for me remains the biggest unanswered question of the three, undoubtedly the rise of modern Russia and Putin’s exceptionalism will prevail and in my opinion could rise further to the extent of him becoming the defacto leader of a newly reformed UN. This champion of BRIC’s, SCO, world religion, family, Syria, Iran and lastly the Russian people certainly has an awful lot going for him.

    The question for me is whether or not he is a good or bad guy. Is he truly the new Messiah, the son of Mary and the defender of Christianity worldwide, which is the message he is giving out or don’t be stupid he is a KGB tyrant “The Man Without a Face” and truly is the godfather of the mafia clan?

    My bias would prefer that he was the former but I really cant make up my mind.
    Even his heavily scrubbed Kremlin biography reveals the he was KGB when he started his political career in Leningrad, that would normally be a “no more questions your honour” point for me, then the rapid rise to power of a relative nobody, moves to Moscow and takes over in 3.5 years, his alleged involvement in the Russian apartment bombings, heavy handedness in Chechnya and many other shady dealings.

    “After starting work at the City Hall, Putin sent in his resignation from the KGB.”

    http://eng.putin.kremlin.ru/bio

    On Khodorkovsky and Putin “I have eaten more dirt than I need to from that man”, could he being groomed as his replacement or is he just another well placed controlled opposition.

    Does anyone really know the answer?

  4. It is hard to replace a dictatorship with a democracy – possible see German 1945 etc but it does involve occupation

    And the entire, absolute destruction of the entire country, its infrastructure, economy, industry, and political class. Ditto for Japan and Korea.

  5. @LJH “wasn’t a full blown market economy supposed to emerge in Russia post 1991?”

    It did but only after the first ten years.

    The nineties were the rape of Russia as the globalists, NGO’s, oligarchs and colour revolutions exploited the former Soviet nations. Once the raping was completed and NATO advancement was stabilized then we truly witnessed one of the miracles of modern economic revivals of our time under Putin in the noughties.

    A period when every single economic metric improved dramatically as did Russians ranking on the world stage.

    I have a post above which talks a little more of Putin’s and Russia’s meteoric rise but it looks like it is stuck on the Soviet censors desk.

  6. Being “anti-racist” and ‘inclusive’ absolves you of any need to know anything about other cultures or people. It is a green light for stupendous ignorance; in fact stupendous ignorance is required in order to hold those opinions in comfort.

  7. The nineties were the rape of Russia as the globalists, NGO’s, oligarchs and colour revolutions exploited the former Soviet nations.

    Actually, it was mostly Russians doing it to one another. Putin provided the much-needed stability by ensuring that if thuggishness was going to rule, he’d be the biggest thug in town. Blaming outsiders is like blaming the wars in Africa on European mercenaries.

  8. “If we announced that we were going to start hanging capitalists tomorrow, they would be queuing up to sell us the rope.” Falsely attributed to Lenin but makes the point.

  9. Just had a squizz at this latest European refugee intake brouhaha and seen this gem.

    “Warsaw revives call for German WWII reparations”

    Fuck me, remember what happened the last time the Polish got at all nationalistic and started picking fights with the Germans.

    “The Polish government has made a practice of looking for foes since coming to power in late 2015 — and those efforts have helped consolidate the one-third of the electorate that strongly backs the ruling party. Top government officials have demonized asylum seekers, attacked Brussels over its accusations that Poland is backsliding on democratic principles and accused opposition parties of betraying the country to foreigners.

    The shift to hostility against Germany is the latest gambit for Kaczyński, who has long been suspicious of Poland’s powerful neighbor. PiS accuses Berlin of abusing its influence in Brussels to sway the ongoing debate about Poland’s infringement of EU rule of law standards, and Kaczyński is gearing up for an attack on German-owned media operations in Poland.”

    http://www.politico.eu/article/warsaw-revives-call-for-german-wwii-reparations/

  10. “We’re all libtards now” is the wearying noise from the west. Except we aren’t and many non-western people most certainly are never going to be.

    Wishing everyone to be lefty and caring ‘n’ sharing doesn’t make it happen however much the half-educated rabble here demand. Indeed, the west’s propensity for poncing about doesn’t travel well.

  11. @Anon,

    Germany in 1989 is possibly a better example – both the allied-installed regimes lasted until then, partly because of the threat from the other side. Without that threat either or both could plausibly have collapsed. Tim has the other reasons. They could have installed Coco the Clown as absolute monarch and we would still be a clownocracy.

    Democracy has come from different sources in different places. In Eastern Europe (including the DDR) it was absolutely demanded by grassroots rebellion, people exposed to incontrovertible evidence of which was the superior system. No government can put down civil disobedience on that scale – or perhaps more importantly, the loss of confidence of 90% of the people, rioters or not. It was remarkably swift and bloodless. That era seems characterised by despots who saw the light and chose the right side of history. In that context, another contemporary, FW DeKlerk comes to mind.

    And in Europe, it is still working, notwithstanding the total lunatics currently in charge of Poland. In the USA as well – working in spite of the lunatic in charge there. There will always be another election soon.

    So, democracy can be revolutionary, or imposed on a defeated enemy (not Iraq or Afghanistan model – where you let the old guard run amok in the cities and let criminal gangs take over the countryside), but it can also evolve, as in the USA or UK. And that evolution took centuries, and is arguably still ongoing. Since no one is going to fight Russia to depose Putin, and it’s unlikely there will be a domestic revolution, we can just hope that the current setup is the early stages of evolution of democracy. I’m not optimistic. It will be very interesting when Putin finally does retire. Is he too hubristic to groom a successor? Let’s hope so.

  12. @Tim Newman
    “And the entire, absolute destruction of the entire country, its infrastructure, economy, industry, and political class. Ditto for Japan and Korea.”
    Panama is one good example of a democracy being installed from abroad – sadly the one I can think in the last 50 years.

  13. @Bloke in Germany
    “And in Europe, it is still working, notwithstanding the total lunatics currently in charge of Poland.”
    As Poland seems more likely to win the next cricket world cup than to have a Barcelona/Westminster etc type attack I think they are non lunatics in Europe (apart from Hungary). Saying that I am not a great fan of their proposals to fell old forests.

  14. Saying that I am not a great fan of their proposals to fell old forests.

    We could do with a clear-out of some old wood.

  15. @”We could do with a clear-out of some old wood.”
    Very droll
    I wonder why some people look at an old forest and it’s biodiversity and “think we should preserve this” but look at European culture and not think it is equally valuable of preservation. (Or vice a versa).
    Sadly I am a minority as I want to preserve both.

  16. Pingback: The Rohyinga situation. Is there another narrative and another more humane solution to the crisis? – Fahrenheit211

  17. I wish I could find it (I’ll go and scout for it later), but there’s some great stuff by academics about what causes democracy and the big thing is the shift in the balance of power from landowners to industrial wealth. And it pretty much works everywhere. Spain, Korea, Britain, Chile. They all democratised after a period when there was greater industrialisation. The places that haven’t or struggle with democracy are places like Africa, Afghanistan, The Middle East, Russia and Venezeula. The last 3 are about balance of power – lots of oil wealth, not so much of the making iPhones wealth.

    It’s why Zimbabwe’s democracy failed. Even if you introduce democracy, without the industrialisation, it goes back to landowners. Iraq’s democracy is now corrupt and eventually, it’ll be either ruled by theocrats or a dictator who likes to surround himself with bling like Saddam Hussein.

  18. @Anon, IIRC at least one Pole was murdered by a Jihadist in the Berlin attack – the truck driver, when his truck was stolen (possibly in Poland).

    The redirection of “refugees” to places like Poland and other countries in which no one would voluntarily live, is a quick fix to discourage people from crossing the Med. If it’s a lottery and you could find your first choice of central Stockholm changed to a wooden shack in a field in Lesser Zogdravia, some people will choose not to make the trip. I would actually be in favour of setting up camps, which is what happens with refugees in every other part of the world (because you can assume anyone prepared to live in one really is in serious trouble back home, and thus dispense with the whole bureacuracy shit), but apparently legislation in Europe means you have to stand them a flat in central Stockholm instead.

    The long-term fix is fortifying the Mediterranean frontier, something in which Poland has very special, albeit dated, expertise.

  19. @Anon “I wonder why some people look at an old forest and it’s biodiversity and “think we should preserve this” but look at European culture and not think it is equally valuable of preservation.”

    Its an interesting question as the Polish and Germans valued both in the past, with the Germans probably leading in environmental preservation at that time. Now we have the odd situation where the Poles are trying to preserve their race and Germany isn’t and true ecological preservation and the benefits of biodiversity is a thing of the past and its all about the carbon menace these days.

    Did you listen to Trumps recent speech in Warsaw, it was certainly rousing in its patriotism, the Poles get that, I did as well and it was one of those rare moments that you think that maybe Trump is a good un after all. Now contrast that to Obama’s speech to 200,000 giggling girly boy Berliners, his call to arms, reducing carbon!

  20. Not a single mention of Alexey Navalny’s movement in Khodorkovsky’s op-ed, nor of the municipal elections held this last Sunday. And yet the message is, don’t let Navalny get elected because he’s going to be a dictator.

  21. @Bloke in Germany
    “Anon, IIRC at least one Pole was murdered by a Jihadist in the Berlin attack – the truck driver, when his truck was stolen (possibly in Poland). ”
    Do you think it was in Poland? I have not seen that anywhere.

  22. Indeed, the west’s propensity for poncing about doesn’t travel well.

    No, it doesn’t, thankfully.

  23. And yet the message is, don’t let Navalny get elected because he’s going to be a dictator.

    Aaahh. Interesting, I didn’t spot that subtext.

  24. @anon,

    There were reports to that effect at the time,, based on the last contact between the driver and his boss, but it appears the truck was stolen in germany. Berlin is very close to the polish border.

    I think the terror thing is a red herring Islam is having a chilling effect on European culture, mass migration from Africa would as well. A little spice is a good thing, too much is indigestible.

  25. @Bloke in Germany
    “There were reports to that effect at the time,, based on the last contact between the driver and his boss, but it appears the truck was stolen in germany”
    So I should rephrase my remarks to
    “As Poland (apart from the bits near Germany) seems more likely to win the next cricket world cup than to have a Barcelona/Westminster etc type attack I think they are non lunatics in Europe (apart from Hungary).

    I still wish our Government was more like theirs – apart from the foresting bit.

  26. I admit to knowing something about Burma (my first degree was in South East Asian Studies). The thing that irritates me most about the situation there is the view that it is one: 1) New, and 2) Anything to do with religion.

    There are perhaps half a million refugees from Burma’s persecution of minorities. A minority of these refugees are Bengali Muslims (Rohingya). The rest are from other minorities – Shan, Chin, Karen, Meo, Mon (from memory there are about 100 different minorities). They have suffered for at least fifty years (the military coup and a government based on The Burmese Path to Socialism was on 2 March 1962) and arguably since independence in 1948. The larger numbers of refugees are in camps in NW Thailand or unsupported camps in Malaysia.

    Burman rule is entho-nationalist and Suu Kyi is no exception. I’ve always felt that Burman arrogance was a main reason for them becoming a colony (unlike Siam which did a deal – Bowring Treaty 1855 – to retain independence). That arrogance was reflected again by newly independent Burma refusing to join the Commonwealth.

  27. Bardon:

    “The question for me is whether or not he is a good or bad guy.”

    This must be some very subtle sarcasm. A prominent member of “Tambovskaya” organized crime group who was stealing from an “oil for food” program when the majority in his native Leningrad was very much struggling to put any food on the table. And it’s all downhill from there. That anyone could have any doubts about this guy is a testament to the truly satanic power of Russian propaganda.

  28. @Ivan

    Cheers for the link, but still no smoking gun, this is my point.

    I have said on numerous occasions that I think Putin is being groomed for leadership of the reformatted UN. I have also indicated that I am very much of the view that the human spirit is best expressed by the individual as opposed to through the State and that I see no benefit for society in any form of state including the Western form, so my position is clear.

    Russian propaganda is arguably the best, they have completely usurped the West as we can see by its demoralization. So by extension does that not now mean that Russian propaganda is actually Globalist propaganda and to call it Russian is falling into their Hegelian trap.

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