What Remains of Russia if Moscow Disintegrates in a Cloud of Toxic Gas?

What is England without London? France without Paris? Argentina without Buenos Aires? Mexico without Mexico City? Russia without Moscow? Would these countries cease to exist without their capital cities? Quite possibly — at least they would cease to exist in many ways that they currently exist.

Russian emergency services on Monday warned Muscovites to stay indoors and seal off access to fresh air amid reports of toxic chemical fumes permeating the city. _Moscow Engulfed


Russia’s identity is overwhelmingly concentrated within one city — Moscow. The national seat of power, the focus of the national mystique, Moscow is crucial to the survival of Russia as a nation. And Moscow is a very dirty place. It is also quite corrupt, decadent, violent, and oppressive.

When a nation’s importance is excessively concentrated within one or two large cities, it is in many ways an inflated city-state. The greater the degree of central control, and the larger the land area, the more unstable the inflated city-state becomes. What becomes of Rome, when Rome falls? What becomes of Russia, when Moscow falls?

The history of empires parallels the history of city-states. When the central city-state fell, so fell the empire. Some empires had enough human capital and other resources so that when one focal point of empire fell, others rose to take its place. But other empires developed too closely around one central focal point. When that city fell, the empire fell.

China may be more resilient than Russia, due to its more distributed nature. China can survive — even thrive — without Beijing. Or China may break up into warring fiefdoms without Beijing. Nothing is certain about such empires which historically break up, then reform, in cyclic fashion.

Other than the UK, most Anglospheric nations are more distributed than the great nations of Europe. Without Canberra, Australia is still Australia. Without Ottawa, Canada survives — and even improves. The same is true of the US without Washington DC. New Zealand without Wellington might likewise be a better country.

Nations need the vitality, innovation, capital formation, and organisational skills of thriving cities. And it is very easy — even natural — for most of a nation’s mental, cultural, and capital resources to concentrate in one central location. But if a nation’s centres of control and innovation become too centralised, the nation is vulnerable to a decapitation attack — the removal or disconnection of the central city-state from the nation.

In the modern age, more and more means of decapitating or lobotomising excessively centralised nations are being developed. Moscow is already in decay, but there are so many different ways in which a city’s critical functions can fail, that once the mind starts conjuring up mechanisms of municipal dissolution, it may be difficult to shut the conjuring process down. Images of “Bhopal on the Moscow” may serve as an opening to a mind-flood of ideas of national decapitation, although in this case, it is Moscow that is gassing itself.

Here is a short list of critical infrastructure from Wikipedia:


Several of Russia’s critical infrastructures are already in serious decay or under extreme pressure from inside and outside the country. This decay will increase exponentially as Russia comes to lean more and more heavily on China to supply the growing number of critical items and services that Russia can no longer provide for itself.

Empires come and go, rise and fall, grow and decay. That is the natural state of change. The more vulnerable the empire makes itself to decapitation or lobotomisation, the more tenuous its ability to occupy the world stage.

Beyond the “oil price problem”

Putin’s Ukrainian adventure escalates

Not enough healthy sons of Russian mothers to waste them in Putin’s war

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4 Responses to What Remains of Russia if Moscow Disintegrates in a Cloud of Toxic Gas?

  1. jabowery says:

    Good observations that could benefit by taking into account my theory of the evolution of Jewish virulence — a theory which, properly understood, explains my relatively friendly posture toward Israel:

    Given civilization’s tendency toward centralization at the expense of resilience, it makes perfect sense that group organisms would arise to exploit this tendency. Centralization makes critical resources more easily harvestable. Particularly if they can be converted to a transportable form, the evolutionary pressure is to occupy critical positions that can access the transportable forms (say, gold, diamonds, etc. or, in the extreme, electronic foreign exchange funds transfers) so that at the point of collapse, they can be taken and moved to a human ecology at a lower stage of centralization. This can be repeated and become highly profitable. Note, at this stage of evolutionary adaptation no contribution to pathological centralization is necessary as the centralization is a natural process occurring of its own accord. It is merely an adaptation to the nature of things. However, once the evolutionary strategy is adopted, it is optimized by contributing to the pathological centralization and even detecting, then neutralizing, forces that may be attempting to render civilization more resilient. It is in this adaptation that we see Jewish virulence take form. And, again, a platform is set for a new stage of evolutionary sophistication — this time in response to the “antisemitism” that eventually starts to break out as the various human ecologies start to detect the source of the virulence. This response is to basically use the antisemitic victimization of Jews that are not as virulent as a kind of social debt that must be paid — although the debt isn’t paid to the Jews that were victimized but rather to the virulent Jews in the form of increased “tolerance” of their activities, “owed” to them by the human ecologies to which they have absconded with the transportable wealth. In its ultimate form we have a religious indoctrination regime involving mass media and academia that can take the place of, say, Christianity with its icon of Jesus as the ultimate innocent victim of an evil world to whom we all owe our eternal souls.

    Israel, by contrast, is a nation of by and for Jews, so to exploit _that_ nation becomes an exercise in evolutionary futility for virulent Jews. Say what you will about Israel’s virulent political influence via the United States and other countries in the diaspora, it is not Israel’s _existence_ that is responsible for that virulence — rather it represents the hope that Jews can not only find a more benign way of relating to other nations, but that they may apply their skills in exploiting civilization’s weaknesses to constructing cures therefore — and that hope may bring Jews to their potential, as promulgated by their mythology, as a “light unto the nations” — though not in the sense many of their more supremacist factions may currently believe.

  2. Hans says:

    Dmitry Orlov argues that the US is less prepared for collapse than the Soviet Union was, because the US is more centralized and less resilient. According to him, Russia’s inefficiencies make it more resilient. Whereas the US sort of has the worst of both worlds with highly centralized public and private spheres.


    I hope that I didn’t make it sound as if the Soviet collapse was a walk in the park, because it was really quite awful in many ways. The point that I do want to stress is that when this economy collapses, it is bound to be much worse. Another point I would like to stress is that collapse here is likely to be permanent. The factors that allowed Russia and the other former Soviet republics to recover are not present here.

    • alfin2101 says:

      By those standards, a “huts in the jungle” society is more resilient because it has less distance to fall, and less trauma to recover from. Having high murder rates, high suicide rates, high alcohol consumption, and corruption from head to toe should also make Russia more resilient.

      A “one-trick pony” economy based upon natural resources is also proving resilient as energy prices dip lower. .

      Russia has essentially two cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg. Its few seaports can easily freeze in winter. Russia was dependent upon Ukraine for critical military and technical materials and expertise until Putin rashly cut those strings. Now Russia will be dependent on China for almost everything it needs, perhaps even troops in Eastern Europe.

      Russia is a fat pig rather than a bear, trussed for the butchering. But who will be the butcher, China? Most likely, but there are other candidates . . .

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