Sane Take on the Russia-Ukraine Case

Oh, come now, crimes. :) I don't see it as ironic that's all, so asked for a clarification. 

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5 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

Oh, yes, it is definite. Just like China could never be a Western European-style democracy, for pretty much the same reasons: culture and history.

Agree. Really. But Western Europe has a feudal history too... Never is a long time. 

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You know, thank you for mentioning the feudal system. I've been thinking about it lately and I'm increasingly suspecting it's the most sustainable system for humanity. The lords just change but essentially, we're still in a feudal system. Shall we make a separate thread about it, what do you think?

(The feudal system in Russia ended quite brutally and abruptly, I think, as opposed to a more gradual transition in Europe. This could be one of the factors shaping mentalities that I based my categorical view on. But I'm open to arguments, as always, I'm never completely categorical. Also, I'd like to quote a friend: huge countries like Russia, China, and the U.S. can never be democracies lie the smaller European states. She has a point, I think.)

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I would enjoy that discussion - I am definetly not a fan of Thomas Hobbes... 

As to Russia - I really only have general knowledge and interest in history. But I think it would complete the cirkel with the culture discussion to discuss the great thinkers that interestingly thougth and wrote about human nature as something universal. 

Another great topic : what is democrazy, really? 

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2 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

You know, thank you for mentioning the feudal system. I've been thinking about it lately and I'm increasingly suspecting it's the most sustainable system for humanity. The lords just change but essentially, we're still in a feudal system. Shall we make a separate thread about it, what do you think?

I am all for the benevolent dictator system, too many opinions and you go round in circles as per the horse designed by committee being a camel so have one wise and benevolent person in charge obvious problem off course is finding this person, I am however available at a week's notice. Same problem with the feudal system where do you get the honest and fair people to run it? Democracy is the only way currently that fits human nature as we can vote the lying barstewards out when the lies become too big or they totally screw things up, usually the latter.

 

2 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

(The feudal system in Russia ended quite brutally and abruptly, I think, as opposed to a more gradual transition in Europe. This could be one of the factors shaping mentalities that I based my categorical view on. But I'm open to arguments, as always, I'm never completely categorical. Also, I'd like to quote a friend: huge countries like Russia, China, and the U.S. can never be democracies lie the smaller European states. She has a point, I think.)

On a historical note France's transition was just as bad as Russia's and England's took a lot of time and bloodshed only for them to decide the new system was not as good as the old and go back! I think the biggest factor influencing the style of goevernemnt is the nature of the people. Each country is different Italy prefers the choas of corruption whereas Germany prefer everything organised to the nth degree. When you meet the people of these countries you can understand the way their government is.

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(edited)

You're right but France and England were earlier, i.e. the had a century or more to change. Russia only removed the serfdom in mid-19th century. Poor b-tards didn't have time to come to grips with the fact they were free (sort of) before the communism doctrine started spreading its tentacles. OK, I'm making a separate thread on feudalism!

Edited by Marina Schwarz
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On 11/30/2018 at 1:18 AM, Marina Schwarz said:

I feel like a lot of people living in Western Europe, particularly the UK, and the U.S. have this romantic view of Russia as a Soviet-era prison, straight out of "1984" with Putin as fill-in-the-blank-monster, with no opposition whatsoever and no critical press either, the monster bent on taking over the world.

 

The Western media, at the behest of their governments, are making the same mistake with Putin as they did with bin Laden. No, I'm not saying Putin is a terrorist. The mistake here is they are blowing him up to be some Bond-like villain who can magically wave a wand and determine outcomes ("Putin elected Trump!" they say). Western media were also the ones broadcasting bin Laden and his message to the world and jihadis rallied to him. He became bigger than ever.

It seems the incessant attacks on Putin only strengthen his popularity amongst Russians, which even the the US government has acknowledged that he is genuinely popular. Maybe a Russian member can comment on this.

 

On 11/30/2018 at 1:18 AM, Marina Schwarz said:

What annoys me is the complete lack of critical thinking in this view. Asking the simplest question of how would Russia benefit from taking over, I don't know, any of the Baltic States, for example, would yield the most logical answer, which is "It won't."

Same with Ukraine. Who needs an abscess in their backside, really? But this is why the "Putin the deranged dictator" adage is so popular, I think. It eliminates the need for asking questions that require logical answers. It doesn't hold up in the face of evidence as an accurate description of this person (Russia's doing better than before economically and geopolitically, which is the result of deliberate, rational, efforts) but it appeals to emotions.

Despite Putin lamenting the dissolution of the old Soviet empire I think Russia has learned that the old Soviet states were nothing but an albatross around Russia's neck. There is no need to annex Ukraine, Baltic, or Central Asian states to achieve probably 80-90% of what they want. If you annex these countries you must feed them.

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(edited)

If you compare for example russian wages you should always  take under consideration they have by far lowest costs for electric, natural gas or gasoline in Europe.

Additionaly 90 % of homes are private property and you need to spend a very tiny amount of money for this. In some poorer regions you even doesnt have to pay anything= maybe a quality of housing is  low but its very cheap.

You should not confuse it with rent costs= rent is quite expensive because in Moscow or other large cities only a tiny amount of houses are available for rent.

Most people in Russia or some postcommunist countries also has second home for holidays  outside the city= its called dacha in russian or działka letniskowa in Poland. They are sometimes comfortable homes where you can spend a lot of time in holidays for free and that are worth a lot

So according to some european research people in Russia and Belarus at least 90 % of them that have homes as private property  can spend the biggest part of their salaries for shopping in Europe.

You should also never forget about share of black shadow economy- in Russia it is about 30% of gdp so I suppose real average wages are also quite a lot higher than you can find in some european comparisons if you compare them for example with Western Europe or US where black economy is much smaller.

For example even now the professions like physicians or lawyers dont have to pay any taxes= really no taxes or insurance contributions  and only in next year they will have to register and start to pay rather very low amount of money for taxes for the first time. 

Its a  bit common with other post=comunist countries like my home country Poland for example even after EC accession. 

Its a reason why eastern Europe is for sure not so poor as you may think at first notice nowadays and even during communist time.

In fact a person that has in Moscow a home as private property (5 k $ for m2) or Warsaw (2 k $ per m2) would be found rather well-off in some comparisons with western realities. And about 90 % of citizens of in these 2 cities has home as private property.

For example my parents have something like 2500 euros after taxes per month. Its not a lot of money but they have also at the same time house in Warsaw worth 250.000 euros and dacha outside Warsaw = a majority of people in Western Europe doesnt have  home or dacha.

So you rather cant call them poor even according to western standards.

Edited by Tomasz

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