Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Rearguard of the Proletariat

Is Russia done collapsing?

Although I read not to long ago that Russia's demographic collapse might be reversing, this article says Russia could still see a population collapse:

Russia is dying. The once-mighty Russian state is undergoing a catastrophic post-Soviet societal decline. Health standards are abysmal, and life expectancy in Russia is nothing like it is in the West — just age 60 for men (less than in Botswana and Madagascar) and 73 for women, roughly the same as in Saudi Arabia. ...

In all, the country is contracting by close to half-a-million souls every year owing to both death and the emigration of its citizens (to Europe and beyond). At this rate, according to the Kremlin’s own estimates, Russia could lose a quarter of its population by the middle of this century. ...

Russia is also transforming. The country is experiencing a radical change in its ethnic and religious composition. Today, Russia’s roughly 21 million Muslims are still a distinct minority. Comparatively robust birthrates have put Muslims on track to account for a fifth of the country’s population by the end of this decade, and possibly a majority by midcentury.

I haven't assumed that the collapse of the Soviet empire and then the fragmentation of the Soviet Union itself is the end of the break-up process.

The article also mentions the possible vulnerability to Chinese domination (and reclamation if their lost provinces become "core interests"?).

Of course, as ethnic Russians die off and hostile Moslems increase their numbers, might Russia decide to knock off a chunk of Slavs in Ukraine to keep the Moslems in the minority?

Or even just the ethnic Russians of eastern Ukraine? If Georgia was the remilitarization of the Rhineland, could Ukraine be the Sudetenland?

That leaves Belarus as Austria, of course.

Sigh. Russia drives me nuts. The defeat of communism there could have meant Russia joined the West. Instead, they indulge in paranoia as if it is the national sport and alienate the people they need to defend their depopulating, Islamicizing nation way too close to China for anyone's comfort.

I'm not sure how Lenin would have answered the question today of what is to be done, but today's Russia has to be doing pretty much the opposite of a sane response.