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Dictatorshipbuilding (10/09/22 10:49:33) Reply
    Some 30 years ago I started a personal study project with the goal of getting to understand how the Soviet Union was possible, backgrounded by Solzhenitsyn's Archipelag GULag. So I bought books and read. My conclusion was that it was made possible by unlimited use of violence. The money bit of it I took as incidental.

    Many years later I read Dictator's Handbook and was made aware that money was essential for the establishment of a dictatorship and a motivator and mediator for maintaining it.

    So far it was a matter of scientific facts. True enough - I have read David Irving's biography of Josef Goebbels, so I was not unaware of the role of propaganda - that it the use of lies to manipulate public opinion andgain support for major criminal activities.

    Now, with the genocidal robber campaign of Vladimir Putin I finally am able to identify three essential elements in building a dictatorship:

    First the lies. All the time the lies.
    Then the theft - nationscale or worldwide if necessary and/or possible, all the time.
    And then, depending on the level of resistance encountered, the pointed single-target murders and when necessary massive-scale murders, either directly by order, or indirectly, by letting crimes go unpunished.

    Not all dictatorships reach that end stage. Russia has.
e

Dictatorshipdismantling (10/09/22 12:11:13) Reply
    Heroic Ukrainians have turned the general marching direction of the Russian invasion force.We read about defectors in the battlefield, changing to civilian clothes and making off in stolen cars or bicycles. Elsewhere in Russia opportunist politicians are now turning against Putin. Military pro-Russian bloggers admit losses of material and land.

    So the rats are leaving the sinking ship. Slowly and almost invisibly the support of the born-again Stalin is dwindling.

    Meanwhile, on another continent, republican politicians are wooing their electorate with self-praise for securing federal money for local projects - in a package that they themselves voted against.

    This, too, is "rats leaving the sinking ship".

    In medicine we have a term "phtisis" (Latin, from Greek, from phthinein to waste away; (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phthisis)). (It's the first time I see this medical term used politically .-) ). That's in my new opinion a better term than dismantling. Dismantling of the remains come later and needs to be seen togetherwith reconstruction or neoconstruction).
e

Fission and reconstruction (12/09/22 07:50:41) Reply
    The Russian Federation will not fall apart all by herself: she will need help. All the necessary actions must be initiated in a sequence fit-for-purpose. It willbe counterproductive and possibly catastrophic if too many changes are imposed at the same time. Rapid changes always elicit resistance. The toad must be brought to a slow warmup. But all the putinists must be cleared away: there is no way they can be trusted. The first place to look could be political prisoners, exile Russians and people with Berufsverbot under the current regime.

    Then there must be a police force. The old putinpolice must be replaced with people who are able and willing to use force against putinists. There must be a rapid replacement of putinist laws with amodern democratic law system.There must be a free press, so the state monopolies must be dismantled. There must be a system of judges who can give rapid and mostly fair judgement of the putinlackeys. There must be a system of leniency, permitting people to renew their lives and rehabilitate themselves - but only on a five-to-fifteen year probation.

    Oligarch property must be split up. The previous model failed miserably by giving small shares to too many people who did not understandtheir value. Sodisseminated community ownershipmight be a better idea.

    For a start.
e

Re: Fission (12/09/22 16:27:20) Reply
    (I keep forgetting that space bar defect.)
    I keep repeating: There is an urgent need to do away with the Russian nuclear weapons. Again: turning them into reactor fuel must be a priority.

    There is an urgent need (not only in Russia) for a state-owned TV-based education system - think STEM for children and adolescents - starting from a Pokemon level. Biology. Physics. Chemistry. Maths. But also history (yes, I know. But there are honest historians too. History of science could be a start - with a dual focus: the ideas and detections, and the resistance from society or the scientific community. Think Boltzmann and Darwin,. Or Copernicus and Galilei.)

    No antireligious propaganda, just the historical and scientific facts.
e

Re: Fission and reconstruction (14/09/22 06:54:39) Reply
    An analogy: When bacteria grow and multiply there is concerted buildup of cellular contents and cell wall materials -monomers that will be polymerised into a protein-carbohydrate copolymer. Some bacteria elongate, and then split into two new bacteria in the middle of the elongated and enlarged organism, The bacterium grows when there is an impulse for growth in the medium.
    Enter a beta lactam antibiotic, for example penicillin or meropenem or whatever. If the bacterium is sensitive, the antibiotic will hinder polymerisation by inactivating the enzyme(s) responsible. Because of defective cell wall development the bacterium cannot resist osmotic forces, bursts and dies.

    In essence: The bacterium cannot resolve the conflict between a strong growth impulse and the antibiotic-induced deficiency in cell wall building. It has a signal for attack, but is deprived of defense andcannot reconstruct.

    The aminoglycoside antibiotics act by interfering with protein synthesis in a way that gives a defective proteinof no use to the bacterium. Under normal circumstances defective proteins are broken down, and the amino acid are reutilised. But the production of defective material overwhelms the recycling machinery to a degree thatis unsustainable. So the bacterium dies.

    Antibiotic mechanisms - there are some more (but I am not in the mood for a long essay). My message is that the understanding of society and warfare could learn a good deal from studies of the mechanisms of antibiotics, and the resistance mechanisms against antibiotics.

    Putin attacked the western societies by sponsoring chaos generators - supplying societies with quarrels about emotionally loaded topics, spiced up with systematic distortions and lies.
e

Fission (14/09/22 12:08:56) Reply
    A possible starting point for a fission could be looking for fissures. Let me start simply: If I were to split Norway, I would spend some time mapping who hate each other. For example: Bergen hates Oslo. Stavanger hates Bergen.Bergen and Trondheim hate each other. Tromsø - well, there are too many immigrants from southern Norway there, so difficult. But in Finnmark they hate the southernes. I don't know the exact line, but it is rather far north. But: My parents were from Bergen; I was born somewhere in the north, and I am married to a woman from Oslo and live in Oslo. So the hate is rather shallow and more of a joke as long as there isn't a Putin breathing to the fire.

    So Russia: The first thing would be changing the constitution to enabling and permitting separatism. Then wait for ten years and watch.
e

Cracks and fissures (17/09/22 10:12:16) Reply
    We see these days that conflicts between former soviet republics are manifesting themselves as armed skirmishes. Russian troops have been present as a stabiliser. Now those soldiers are instead being sent to become torturists in Ukraine - and then cannon fodder.

    Nothing (AFAIK) has so far happened between ethnic groups in the russian federation. There is plenty of potential.

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

    But suppression for decades, even centuries, by murdering the opposition, plus merciless lies and propaganda, and a deliberately poor education system, most likely has had the effect of eradicating opposition from both the mental pool and the genetic pool of the peoples involved. Interesting, though, it will be when surviving soldiers from the Ukrainian war of aggression come home and tell their stories.

    OT

    Cracks and fissures?


    "A crack is a broken piece of countertop that is most of the time, chipped, uneven, and widely separated and is usually the result of man-made stresses. On the other hand, a fissure is a part of the stone that resembles a crack, yet it is a result of natural geological formation or mineral crystallization. However, sometimes a fissure may develop into a crack. In some cases, a fissure can affect the soundness of the stone although it’s rare.

    To spot a crack from a fissure there are a few different tests you can perform yourself to help spot the difference. One way to help distinguish between the two is by running your fingernail across your countertop. When running your fingernail across a fissure your nail should glide over it smoothly as a fissure doesn’t change the surface of your stone top. When running your fingernail over a crack, your nail will not glide smoothly as there will be a noticeable unevenness. Another way to tell if you have a crack or fissure is by looking at the stone from a low angle, a crack will have two points of reflection whereas a fissure will have one.

    Fissures are naturally occurring in stone and help to add character to your countertop, considering this, nothing should be done about them. If you notice a crack in your countertops, you should get in contact with a trained professional to restore it properly."

    (https://www.hardrockstoneworks.com/blog/20/the-difference-between-cracks--fissures)
e

Lessons from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (18/09/22 09:16:04) Reply
    Introduction: Putin cannot have read the Wikipedia article

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet%E2%80%93Afghan_War

    about the defeat of Brezhnev's Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

    "The war caused grave destruction in Afghanistan, and it has also been cited by scholars as a contributing factor to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War."

    Nether has the other side,who did not really take notice of the criminal nature of the puppet regime.

    "The repressive nature of the "Democratic Republic",[60] which vigorously suppressed opposition and executed thousands of political prisoners, led to the rise of anti-government armed groups; by April 1979, large parts of the country were in open rebellion."

    "The Soviets used their air power to deal harshly with both rebels and civilians, levelling villages to deny safe haven to the Mujahideen, destroying vital irrigation ditches, and laying millions of land mines."

    ---
    Near the end of the 1970s I read that the soviet invasion started with a command aircraft landing on a Kabul airport, directing airborne occupation forces. It seems to me that the attack on Antonov airport at the start of the invasion of Ukraine

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

    tried to follow up that success.

    But the Ukrainians had been warned, so the Russians were defeated.

    --
    To conclude: My hypothesis is that Putin only read the first chapters about the soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The pattern is similar IMHO. The Afghanistan defeat led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. May the defeat in Ukraine lead to thedissolution and nuclear disarmament of Russia.
e

Dictatorshipmaintenance-termination (21/09/22 06:50:42) Reply
    Lies, theft and murder are means for establishing power and keeping it - mainly locally. A longer-range tool is extortion - like the threat of using nuclear weapons in Europe. Typically, Putin, just like Stalin, accuses the other side of the misdeeds he himself practices regularly.

    I have no doubt that he will try to do it. I have no doubt that public opinion in Russia will look the other way. There will be new GULags for the minority that keeps on protesting.

    In civilian life the threat of extortion would lead to calling the police. There is every reason to do the same here. Letting Putin have his way will on the long term be a lot worse than the - sacrifices suffered by the huge number of victims of Putin's nukes.

    The need to splitting and disarming Russia is greater than ever.
e

The home front and passive resistance (21/09/22 08:48:27) Reply
    Mobilising 300 000 reluctant soldiers can no easy or quick task now that we know that Putin needed to go to the prisons to find "volunteers" for his disposable army. We also know, and surely the Russians too, how harshly soldiers are treated by their officers. Finally, how many experienced officers are free to train those recruits after the huge losses the Russians have had on the battlefield? There can hardly be a surplus. It seems they have trouble even with sustaining the bare minimum to hold the present positions.

    So any sensible person in the Russian "leadership" would be wise to limit the losses and admit defeat. By far the least expensive option.

    But

    I am sure Zimbabwe or North Korea would be delighted to give asylum to Putin and his people, provided they take along with them enough of the money they have stolen during their reign.
e

The lid is now off (22/09/22 07:47:58) Reply
    Russians are now protesting in the streets and are being arrested in masses.

    Making protests in the street against the owners of the police may feel good in the moment, but there isno chance of a political gain. Stalin killed people, his own people, by the millions. Putin has had a number of good starts along the same line - and there is no reason to believe that he can be persuaded to become a good guy. So, rioting is some sort of self-sacrifice. The brutal environment of Russian prisons and prison camps is likely to break people. But there is a more imminent risk that people caught rioting will be sent almost directly to the front as part of Putin's efforts to cleanse the last vestiges of oppositional DNA from the Russian gene pool.

    Meeting the police in the street like this is equivalent to going unarmed against the enemyon a battlefield.

    It would be more effective if women only went into the streets. The macho reactionaries in the russian leadership are unlikely to send women to the front.

    People drafted for war service could refuse to turn up. If the police were to forcibly fetch 300 000 reluctant strong men from their families, it would be beyond their capability and capacity. Solzhenitsyn said that if a few percent of the victims had resisted forcibly when the NKVD camefor them, then GULag would not have been possible.

    Another matter is: The munitions industry - from artillery shells to uniforms - woulddepend on a collaborating workforce. Refusal tocollaborate would be dangerous. Clumsiness, however, can still happen, specially if one becomes nervous by thinking about the war all the time.

    So - active resistance on one's home turf only,specially if one can outnumber the police and avoid shooting (where the police will always win). Passive resistance elsewhere.
e

But (23/09/22 16:47:58) Reply
    We know that the Russian military has lost many soldiers and need to be recruiting replacements. But really: We also know that they have spent thousands of panzered vehicles on wheels and belts, and large quantities of missiles. It seems that they are lacking replacements - owing to inefficient industry and lack of essential components. So what will he be using 300 000 to 1 000 000 reluctant soldiers to,now that he is lacking material for waging a war? Using them as cannon fodder at the front, to be fed into Ukrainian mechanised attack forces would be overly wasteful, even to the devil himself. That model would be reserved for his political enemies, such as people who demonstrate or protest against his war.

    To analyse what will happen, I think one needs to really internalise the institutional evil of the Lenin-Stalin-Putin succession line: If you think you have figured out the ultimate evil, then Putin will be worse. Sacrificing reluctant soldiers at the front and having them rape, torture, loot, destroy nuclear power stations, and killing defenseless people - in my prediction - is only approaching the penultimate evil.

    My fear is worse. I think those soldiers will be used as occupation forces, with the order of entering every flat and every house, mass murdering the entire local population - at least everybody suspected of not enthusiastic about the Russian presence. It will be an effective deterrent against military advances from a Ukraine that believes in basic human rights. For this the Russians need only simple weapons together with their innate brutality. We can just recall what the Waffen SS did to the Jewish population of Western Ukraine during WW2.

    It may happen within weeks.

    I can think of only one effective remedy: Give firearms to people, and instruct them how and when to shoot if the police or military tries to make arrests.

    So 3-4 million people. Maybe one million families. So 500 000 to 1 000 000 pistols, 50 million cartridges. And they need to be distributed quickly to occupied territory. So it is a very difficult job.

    Of course it will unnecessary if Ukraine manages to reconquer the lost territories within the next few months.
e

omg (23/09/22 17:23:24) Reply
    i wanted to answer to the previous post earlier but... priorities...

    now i was still working on ebmb related stuff and i see this, but i dont have the strength to reply right now.

    you are half wrong ( or right :) ). i WILL post tomorrow. i promise.
jm

some random thoughts (24/09/22 10:26:43) Reply
    Communist countries (and former ones) are hard to grok for most people.

    People appreciate (and want) "strong leaders"[1] and yet on the other hand they complain that they are oppressed.
    They also strongly believe that no matter who is in power, nothing will change.
    Due to their history and the mass indoctrination, they also believe that they have been wronged by "the west" and that "they" are out to get them. An inferiority complex of sorts.

    So it all boils down to, don't fuck our lives too much and we will let you(Putin) have carte blanche for whatever external adventure you want to embark on (hey, strong leaders protect their country from external threats right?)
    In fact, we shall support you loudly even if we actually think you are a fool.
    As long as we are alive (and have hopes for the future, be it by fleeing or cheating or milking the system) and as long as economical situation isn't deteriorating too fast[2], we keep quiet.

    About "Clumsiness" and "Passive resistance"
    It wasn't an uncommon thing in Romania to see groups of young men sitting on the sidewalk drinking a few beers in the middle of the day. On their brake of course.
    The joke was that they were "building socialism" one beer(brick) at the time, and working hard at it :)
    Do not underestimate the power of laziness and lack of motivation/moral.

    Ok, back to topic. but do keep in mind my first two paragraphs.

    Some patterns:

    Criticism of this "operation" is heard more and more from former military people and other notable Russians that sill reside there.
    The thing to notice is, the criticism isn't against Putin but against his advisors or ministers or generals that all gave him bad advice/intelligence reports.
    I predict an in fighting amongst the ranks. Who knows, maybe a coup d'etat. But i highly doubt it.

    Blaming the Ukrainian army for using human shields.
    As opposed to the Israeli army that at least half the times also provides proof for this, Russia has yet to present any.
    Which makes you wonder, is this a bad joke or is he flipping us the bird sending a message?

    Veiled and overt threats of using nuclear weapons.
    Have you noticed that the only countries using such threats are in the far east?
    Everybody knows that such threats are meaningless, so what's the point then.
    Obviously, these countries have an inferiority complex.
    They have nukes but cant use them and despite having nukes their seat at the table is not guarantied.
    And with that, they are left with waving Roosevelt's big stick. Perhaps speaking softly is the key?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_blackmail -- this list is lacking!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_stick_ideology (Allowing Putin to save face in defeat may prove tricky)

    A few more words:

    After Yeltsin, Putin made Russia great again. He introduced order in a country in chaos.
    He made sure the ruble is stable and that people wont face completely empty shelves.
    But the real catch was to restore the sense of national pride. No more feeling inferior (and it didn't matter that people were falling out windows now and then)
    He really did have high approval ratings (remember my first two paragraphs)

    I am betting that the Russian population would have endured even greater sanctions knowing that Russia has enough natural resources and that Putin will keep the economy running. Whats a little hardship considering their past ones.
    But mass mobilization?
    Besides the lack of motivation, the brain drain and fleeing population... https://www.google.com/finance/quote/RUB-USD?sa=X
    Look at this at different resolutions, from 1D up to MAX. How do you suppose that is?
    I am no economist, but I'll bet you that there are a lot manipulations done to keep the economy running (and not one beer at the time)
    But at the end, these little tricks and reserves will run out. For how long do you think Putin can keep the shelves from emptying?
    With the help of China and Iran, for quite some time. without at least China helping out, not that much.
    Considering winter is coming, the logistics and cost of keeping such large troops in Ukraine will be felt even more, putting more strains on a failing system.
    Consider the impact such a mobilization will have on the work force too. The impact on family income as well (and increased spending)
    It is becoming apparent now that Putin and his generals didn't think this through and didn't have any master plan here.
    What happened in Ukraine resembles what Israel did in Lebanon, that is, unknowingly entering a swamp without any long term plans.
    Can't go forward, can't retreat without appearing weak.
    His best bet is holding to what he has so far and annex it.

    I give this crazy adventure (and maybe Putin too) no more than 2 years max. Lets see what winter will bring...

    >> Solzhenitsyn said that if a few percent of the victims had resisted forcibly when the NKVD camefor them, then GULag would not have been possible.

    I doubt it.
    I used to be naive enough to believe that once. Active resistance means taking the chance of being "vanguard" and risking being left alone to suffer the consequences. (remember the conformity test)
    Not to mention it also means taking responsibility (and blame) and nobody whats that burden. Better pass the "responsibility" to someone else.
    Sadly, even i have learned to practice this after getting burned too many times. And if this is the case, reaching critical mass (pun intended) is nearly impossible.

    reminds me of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kronstadt_rebellion [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-wing_uprisings_against_the_Bolsheviks ]

    >> My fear is worse. I think those soldiers will be used as occupation forces, with the order of entering every flat and every house, mass murdering the entire local population - at least everybody suspected of not enthusiastic about the Russian presence.
    >> Sacrificing reluctant soldiers at the front and having them rape, torture, loot, destroy nuclear power stations, and killing defenseless people - in my prediction - is only approaching the penultimate evil.

    Reluctant soldiers will not loot and rape imo.
    I have pretty detailed accounts from my grandparents of encounters with both Nazi soldiers/officers and Russian ones.
    The accounts don't differ much between the Jewish side and the non-Jewish side.
    German were polite, duh, but demanding.
    Russians were rough, loud, drunk with a great sense of _superiority_. I'll stop the description here (there is more)
    But, one thing to keep in mind. These soldiers were not reluctant, they've seen the German army reach the outskirts of Moscow, the same army that massacred quite a lot of Russians/Ukrainians.
    No, these were motivated soldiers that fought from door to door and street by street to defend their home while (at least in their mind) the rest of the world did nothing to help them.
    Their inferiority complex contributed a lot to motivate them to win. Their victory meant a lot to them and in their mind, they were the true heroes of WWII.
    I believe the present day Russian soldiers has no such motivation and the inferiority complex shifted to other areas.
    They may have had such motivation in the height of the cold war, but not now imo.
    The risks are high, the gain - almost none (besides "saving face", or more accurately, saving Putin's face)
    An occupied Ukraine will not produce riches for its oppressor. They will revert to building socialism all over again, one beer at a time.

    And since i mentioned the outskirts of Moscow... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_occupation_of_Moscow <- now that IS motivation.

    >> For this the Russians need only simple weapons together with their innate brutality.

    And numbers. A whole lot of people. How many were used as cannon fodder during WWII?
    For simple weapons you need an industry. Russia is dependent on more than a few countries. Could be a breaking point if some countries used their cards right.
    For brutality (which i beg to differ is innate) you need highly motivated soldiers that really believe Ukrainians are evil. Or soldiers that have a lot to lose, such as their homes. I don't see neither. All i see is people fleeing.

    >> We can just recall what the Waffen SS did to the Jewish population of Western Ukraine during WW2.

    Again, i don't see how this could happen these days. One you-tube or tiktok clip and...

    >> if Ukraine manages to reconquer the lost territories within the next few months.

    Not likely. But possible. I'm betting on a long term stalemate. another year or two.
    Something will crack. Either with Iran or China. Or something else.



    It is possible that my attempt at analysis here is complete shit. meh...

    ~~~

    Notes, mainly for myself:

    [1] Third letter by Mihai Eminescu.

    [2] https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/74/Nicolae_Tonitza_-_Coada_la_paine.jpg [Queuing for bread, oil on canvass - Nicolae Tonitza 1920]
    One of my favorite paintings. I should expand on that.

    ~~~

    ps.
    i wonder what +f would have to say
jm

Re: some random thoughts (27/09/22 06:45:26) Reply
    Wonderful that you took the effort of correcting me, specially regarding soldier mentality.

    Building socialism one beer at the time - hilarious. In the old days in Norway, beer was sold in 0,35 and 0,7 liter bottles. The big one was occasionally nicknamed "en murer" - a bricklayer. The tight connection between alcohol and some sorts of popular socialism was not only in Romania.

    As to brutality: It may be that there is a fundamental difference between foreign invasion soldiers and more local quislings.
e

test (21/09/22 16:27:41) Reply
    test
jm

sigh. so broken... (n/t) (21/09/22 16:28:14) Reply
jm

I'm sure the glass is more than 80 percent full. (n/t) (22/09/22 07:48:54) Reply
e

have you received my mails? (22/09/22 16:48:41) Reply
    i wanted to compare the preview function to the new one but when pressing preview here it just posts :(

    anyway, check mail and let me know what you think.
jm

Tested and responded locally. (smiley) (n/t) (23/09/22 09:50:21) Reply
e


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