The 1990s Are Gone

People keep asking why Putin is bringing more troops to the border with Ukraine.

The answer is: because oil prices are up. He was always going to do it but after the oil prices collapsed in 2014, he couldn’t afford it.

As Putin always says, the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the twentieth century was the end of the USSR. He’s trying to bring the USSR back.

By the way, next week I’m giving a talk about the post-Soviet 1990s and what a beautiful time it was.

Who else here misses the 1990s? The music has totally gone to the dogs since then.

The Pesky Workers

Since Marx’s times, a huge problem for the Left was that the proletariat (the workers and the peasants) had absolutely no use for the Left’s ideas. The most progressive classes and the deliciously downtrodden victims just didn’t want to be saved.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, the Left’s confusion was huge. It retreated but that was a strategic retreat which helped the Left to figure out the solution to its working class problem. The working class was now going to be declared the biggest enemy. This would allow to attract Big Business to the Left’s cause, and the two would happily wage a war together against the workers.

Great Interview

I highly recommend Tucker’s long interview with JD Vance on his new daytime show. Everything Vance is saying – uncontrolled and unlimited corporate power is bad, free marketeering slogans are idiotic, etc – is what I have believed my entire adult life. Twenty years ago, it was called “the Left.” Now, the only people who say “let’s limit corporate power! Let’s stop fawning over Goldman Sachs because they recited correct diversity slogans” are all on the Right.

No Conversation

So I’m in a conference (yes, against, sucks to be me). It’s day 2. Today’s speakers finish their presentations, a discussion begins, and it’s going really well. People have a lot to say.

Then, our time is up, and Zoom kicks us out automatically. This would totally happen in a real-life conference. At a large event, you get kicked out of a room the second your time is up. But in real life, do you know what happens then? We all walk to a small place down the street where we continue to debate over coffee or drinks until we are hoarse in the throat. And that’s the whole point of a conference, to have those conversations. Without that, it turns into a reading exercise.

One more conference day tomorrow, and then I’m out of this madhouse of online conferences for at least two years.

The Extremes

In the US, people who are born very poor and people who are born very rich have a very similar attitude towards life. They are passive, addiction-prone, have no impulse control, completely incapable of sustained effort, despise striving, have disordered personal lives and poor hygiene, and feel extremely sorry for themselves.

In short, the lumpen and the ultra-rich both fail to socialize their children even into the most basic maturity.

Government Talk

“When will the government stop forcing people to wear masks?” Klara asked me in the park today, and I almost choked on my Perrier.

I am absolutely 100% sure she didn’t hear the word “government” or this entire idea at home. We don’t watch TV around her unless it’s my telenovela. If we want to discuss politics, we speak in Russian where “government” sounds completely different.

I was not planning on discussing the concept of government with her for the next few years, so I was unprepared.