The Russian economy has been in the doldrums, for very good reason. And a top Russian official says that Russia may explode if things do not get better. Russians are starting to feel a bit rowdy, and are beginning to speak out. Even Russians in Crimea are beginning to regret Putin’s rash invasion of the peninsula in 2014.
But be very careful about mentioning any of this, if you happen to be a foreigner in Russia. You may find yourself being given the boot.
Russia’s Dim Future Breeds Dysphoria Among Youth
Russia’s gradual economic decline has exacerbated inequality. The 2014 annexation of Crimea came at a steep price, straining the economy with Western sanctions and hitting average Russians the hardest. As living standards deteriorate, anxiety has settled in among Russians, including young people.
Young Russians are increasingly aware that corruption and nepotism contribute to their economic uncertainty. They can’t help but notice that many top positions are distributed among Putin’s loyalists and their children. It comes as no surprise that, according to a poll conducted in December 2018, 41 percent of young Russians — a record high — say they intend to emigrate. __ https://www.msn.com/en-ie/news/indepth/opinions-how-putin-and-the-kremlin-lost-russian-youths/ar-AAD3nK4?li=BBr5KbJ
Russia’s population looks to be heading below 100 million, with a large proportion being dependents. With such a long border to defend with a poor economy and a shrinking population, Russia’s prospects as a going concern heading toward the half century mark seem dismal.
41% of Young Russians Plan to Emigrate
If 41% of young Russians plan to emigrate, it is likely that well over 80% of young Russians want to emigrate, but cannot see any way to achieve it. Young women have often been able to find men overseas to marry, facilitating a relatively quick escape from the dysphoric homeland. Young men can sometimes acquire useful skills in university or special industries, allowing for overseas employment. The foreign education of the children of Russia’s elite is so common as to be a joke in Russia.
But just as in China, there is no peaceful way for ordinary Russian people to bring about meaningful change that might bring about a willingness to innovate, work harder, raise larger families, stay home, and stop capital flight. There is no rule of law in Russia, merely a rule of whim by the powerful people such as Putin.
And so, what else can the ethnic Russians of talent, skill, and attractiveness do but make plans for egress? The people of Russia are quite tough and can take a lot of punishment from their corrupt and criminal leaders. But for how much longer?
This, along with your articles on China, brings up the more general point about the decrease of dynamism everywhere. Spengler (David Goldman) has written several pieces about the decline of entrepreneurship in the U.S. over the past 2 decades. You’ve written about the decline of activity in China, and Russia is most certainly declining as well. Its like the entire world is a like a tyre with a very slow leak in it.
I was contrasting today with the 2019 as envisioned in the 80’s and 90’s. Aside from all of the far-left fears of nuclear war in the Reagan 80’s, the most hyped dystopian scenario was the cyberpunk ones. Cyberpunk featured dystopian societies. Yet they were societies of considerable energy and dynamism, making me think that even if they came true, that I would still be able to create the life i want for myself (one’s ability to create for themselves is a direct function of the energy and dynamism of the society one is immersed in). My problem with the world today is that it seems to be loosing the energy and dynamism that characterized the cyberpunk novels of the 80’s which, in turn, represented the worse i assumed society would throw at me.
Things can always be worse.
In the west, the deterioration is coming from a widespread brainwashing of children and youth in schools and culture at large, as well as an orchestrated policy for the third-worldification of the west via immigration and a slow breakdown of the rule of law via top down corruption (as in crony energy and climate policies).
In countries such as China and Russia the corruption is built-in, as is the hyper-compartmentalisation of the societies so that innovation is unable to flow organically. That is largely what killed the USSR and it is crippling the follow-on totalitarian states across Asia to Latin America.
Russia might get lucky soon. If the US decides to go to war with Iran, oil prices will go nice and high, whilst their American rival weakens itself. Maybe they’ll use the money wisely this time, to prepare for the future.
Perhaps when the stars burn out. Russia is mafia. Mafia is about short term thuggery, not about long term wisdom.
Russia hasn’t always been like that. If they were, they would have never become an empire.
If you judged Britain by the way we are today, you would never think us capable of starting the Industrial Revolution and building the greatest empire the world has ever seen. But we did, and there’s nothing innate to us that would stop us from doing so again.