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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  101 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: ‘We are living in hell’: Pakistan and India suffer extreme spring heatwaves

This is how Kim Stanley Robinson's latest starts, BTW.

It is, unfortunately, a terrible book so I didn't get any further than the Pakistani heat wave.





BurnTheBarricade  ·  100 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I just read that! Had trouble with the dialogue throughout, and with the pacing during the later half. He sure loves Switzerland a lot though. And some of the ideas were neat.

kleinbl00  ·  100 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I keep thinking maybe I should try again but part of that is I find myself doing horrible stuff like reading Wallerstein

BurnTheBarricade  ·  99 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Interesting. If someone tries to distill an explanation of the current structure of the world into one theory predicated on a single variable, I guess control of money is as good as any to use. Or maybe I skimmed that Wiki article too quickly lol

kleinbl00  ·  99 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's written in an academic register dripping with "you're too stupid to follow along, take my word for it." Nonetheless, some of the writers that have made the most sense to me (Graeber, Ferguson, and Harari among others) look not at tribal, cultural or regional interactions but at the underpinnings of those interactions. I've learned that most everyone's "system" as used to explain the world (particularly economics, psychology and politics) only work because they externalize everything they can't explain such that it is no longer a part of the system being discussed.

I'm reading it entirely because of this (long) thread:

b_b  ·  99 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Wow, what a magnificent thread. I wish the following was more well known:

    Lenin's plan didn't work out. Yes, Bolsheviks took over Russia, but they didn't want to take over Russia. They wanted to take over the capitalist core of the world. Immediately upon consolidating their power in Russia they launched an expedition westward. It failed.

    Communists intended to take over the industrial powerhouses of the West which, according to their theory, were advanced enough for the next stage of development - socialism. But they took over a backward country which according to the same theory was totally unprepared for it.

Lenin's original plan was to seize power in Berlin, because he thought that Germany had all the necessary prerequisites in place, from sufficient industrialization to a sympathetic population. But I think the opportunity never presented itself, or at least not in time, since in 1917 he had the opportunity to seize power somewhere, and he figured that somewhere was better than nowhere.

And of course eventually the USSR did get a bunch of Germany's industrial base in 1945. But they didn't use the opportunity to let that seed grow. They simply exported everything they could to Moscow and then crushed what was left of the bourgeoisie, thus sealing their fate on the semi-periphery (a term I wasn't familiar with but suddenly am enamored by).

kleinbl00  ·  99 days ago  ·  link  ·  

all his threads are magnificent.

I've read enough history, old and new, determinist and rationalist, to be pessimistic about the future of "Russia." It's always been a left-over periphery, it's sometimes been enough of an antagonist to influence someone else's core, but it has never been a self-sufficient cultural center.

I discovered through genealogy and old photo albums that I'm 1/4th Belarusian Jew, and that the aspect of my lineage I'm not discouraging of fled the Pale of Settlement for Moscow in the 1860s and fled Moscow for Boston in the 1880s. I also discovered that "there is insufficient evidence" to say that "beyond the pale", used to describe something so outlandish and horrible that it's considered well outside the norms of everyday civilization, originally referred to Russia.

But it feels pretty truthy.

Civilization? Prussia, Galacia, Pomerania (Austria/Germany, Turkey/Armenia, Germany/Poland). The Pale? Minsk, Kyiv (Belarus, Ukriane). Beyond The Pale?

Moscow.

BurnTheBarricade  ·  99 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I am reminded of Mackinder's Heartland theory, which talks more from a purely geopolitical standpoint and also feels a bit outdated in the modern setting.

That thread is a good read

kleinbl00  ·  99 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm really liking Galeev's analysis. It's clear he's not interested in parroting anybody but would rather put his schooling to work.

"Heartland Theory" looks like Eurocentrism at its finest. World Systems Theory, on the other hand (and I am not endorsing it) argues that capitalism cannot function if it respects borders so if you're studying capitalism you need to account for, but not disregard, borders. It is definitely a trade-centric view of the world but considering people like Zeihan can't think of any way to describe the world other than "biggest Navy wins" I'm willing to give them some rope.