Ukraine

Silvanus

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If Putin cared about "nazism", his government and his laws would be completely different, and his network of supporters would be the opposite.
And more directly, if Putin cared about "Nazism", he wouldn't be funding them and hiring them in enormous numbers, training them on Russian Army bases, giving them Russian arms, and opening a military tech centre in the capital city for them.

The reason the Wagner Group keeps getting pointed out isn't just to point out how bad the Russian government is. Its because it demonstrates that its stated goal of deNazification in Ukraine is complete bollocks. It shows they don't care about it; they endorse and utilise Nazism, they have no principled opposition to it.

And the logical conclusion of that, is that the presence of Nazis in Ukraine had nothing to do with Russia's decision to invade. Talking about Ukrainian Nazis in relation to Russia's invasion has about as much relevance as talking about how awful terrorists are as a deflection to discussion about the USA's invasions in the Middle East.
 
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Silvanus

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A capable military in the face of various predatory capitalist empires is not exactly frivolous expenditure. But you prefer socialist experiments that are able to be (and therefore in this environment are) precipitously crushed. The faintest possibility of success is evidence of deep moral failing.
Oops, missed this bit before.

Of course, this isn't an investment in a defensive military by a socialist country, because we're not talking about the USSR. The Russian Federation is a predatory capitalist (and Christian-nationalist) empire, which is violently repressive of socialism, and whose territory has never come under threat. Throughout the Russian Federation's existence, its military has only ever been used in invasions and conflicts overseas.
 

The Rogue Wolf

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Of course, this isn't an investment in a defensive military by a socialist country, because we're not talking about the USSR. The Russian Federation is a predatory capitalist (and Christian-nationalist) empire, which is violently repressive of socialism, and whose territory has never come under threat. Throughout the Russian Federation's existence, its military has only ever been used in invasions and conflicts overseas.
Impossible! Poppa Putin is gonna resurrect the Soviet Union and it will be a glorious beacon for workers to murder their bosses the world over!
 
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Terminal Blue

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Very unlike the United States, then.
Yeah.

By most metrics, the standard living in the US for most of its history has been extremely high. This is negatively affected by the relatively high inequality in the US, but in global terms the US is still a relatively nice place to live.

Soviet economic planning placed an excessive emphasis on military and heavy industry and did not place sufficient emphasis on consumer goods availability or on measures which would improve the quality of life of the average person in Russia. The legacy of this poor decision making continues to this day. Russia is not a very attractive place to live if you have other options, which is why many of the best educated and most promising young people just leave.

Soviet investment in their armed forces-- indeed, their tanks including the (to Germans) surprisingly effective T-34-- are a vast portion of why the Allies were able to win World War 2.
So, I try to keep myself out of the war nerd debates, but this is one myth that deserves to be busted. The T34 was awful. It is a weird, horrible little encapsulation of the regime that built it. It looks impressive on paper, but in practice it was designed with no regard for the human beings who had to live in it, was extremely good at getting them killed and rarely worked as designed anyway because it was built by people who would be shot as saboteurs if they fell behind on production.

It was a tank that existed, it filled an immediate need during a desperate time, albeit at an immense cost of unfortunate humans getting sent into the meat grinder in a convenient tracked coffin. But that is basically all the positives. It did not surprise the Germans with its effectiveness, it suffered massively disproportionate losses against them basically every time it was deployed. The Germans surprised the Germans because their ideology was dumb and blitzkrieg is a stupid idea.
 
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Hades

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The history of alcohol in Russia is massively, massively fucked up.

The Tsarist government had a monopoly on the production of vodka, and this monopoly accounted for a massive proportion of government revenue. It lead to a system of social engineering where the government would produce vodka at massive scale and sell it at insanely low prices. Basically, Russian peasants lived horrible lives under a brutally cruel social system, and the state responsible for that system then sold them a solution in the form of cheap and widely available alcohol. Epidemic alcoholism was a part of many historical societies, but in Russia it was deliberately manufactured by the state as a tool of social control and a way to bolster government revenues. As long as peasants were dealing with their problems by getting drunk, they weren't causing problems for the government.

The Russo-Japanese war was a bit of a wake up call for the Russian state regarding the social costs of this system. Alcohol rations were used as an incentive in the military, and the general perception was that a huge part of Russian military's underperformance was due to everyone involved being absolutely tanked. There was an attempt to institute prohibition during the first world war, which the Soviets briefly supported, but once Stalin took over everything basically returned to normal under a communist coat of paint.

Basically, the deliberate strategy of addiction the British used to weaken China by flooding the country with cheap opium is kind of what the Russian state has historically done to its own people using alcohol. Viewed through that lens, it and the culture it has created is incredibly horrifying.

I think some Russians like to promote the perception, and some westerners are willing to buy into the perception, that apparent social problems in Russia are the result of harmless cultural differences. Unlike us soft Westerners, Russians are just down to earth people who don't care about luxuries and enjoy manly shit like getting blitzed and dancing to hardbass in a piss-stained alley. This is bullshit. Russians are like everyone else, they want the best standard of living and the best opportunities available, it's just that what's available is shit and depressing because of a long history of shitty, authoritarian governments prioritizing buying tanks (and mansions) over improving the lives of their citizens or, in the case of alcohol, deliberately encouraging people to self-medicate as a way of keeping them docile.
Russian history in general has been fucked up. Between the Tsars, the Soviets and the gangsters of the modern Kremlin its safe to say that all incarnations of the Russian state were at best aggressively disinterested in their subjects or directly out to get them at worst. The three incarnations of the Russian state knowingly pushing their citizens towards alcoholism fits very well with their other crimes against Russians such as the serf system, the gulags and the current crackdown on the Russian population.
 
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Silvanus

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Soviet economic planning placed an excessive emphasis on military and heavy industry and did not place sufficient emphasis on consumer goods availability or on measures which would improve the quality of life of the average person in Russia.
There's some solid justification for an outsized focus on heavy industry and defence during the early few decades of the USSR's existence-- it was perpetually threatened by external destruction, and in dire need of industrial modernisation on a scale almost unheard of.

Of course, Stalin had no interest in sharing what little there was to to around, and his successors never bothered to improve quality of life even when it was more feasible.
 
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Absent

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Wagner recruiters are disseminating messages on social media platforms calling for individuals aged 21 to 35 years old with a “gaming background” to join Wagner as UAV specialists.
Let me guess. In order to save game journalism?
 

Trunkage

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There's some solid justification for an outsized focus on heavy industry and defence during the early few decades of the USSR's existence-- it was perpetually threatened by external destruction, and in dire need of industrial modernisation on a scale almost unheard of.

Of course, Stalin had no interest in sharing what little there was to to around, and his successors never bothered to improve quality of life even when it was more feasible.
I would note that Stalin was pretty parsimonious on himself and he did that to others

That being said, without any real market, there is no real way to gather needs from that many people. And markets aren't that great at delivering that information
 

Ag3ma

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... and his successors never bothered to improve quality of life even when it was more feasible.
I think, to be fair, Stalin's successors put a great deal of effort into improving quality of life, at least in terms of economic and material development (but not, for instance, social and political freedoms).

The problem was more that they were profoundly unable to do even that after the 60s, and the USSR became stagnant in absolutely every sense.
 
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Def

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By most metrics, the standard living in the US for most of its history has been extremely high. <...> but in global terms the US is still a relatively nice place to live. <...> Russia is not a very attractive place to live if you have other options, which is why many of the best educated and most promising young people just leave.
Education and promising are not the only metrics for personality quality. Brave, principled, self-disciplined, faithful, moral, patriotic stoics are more attractive for society than selfish, mercantile, immoral, cowardly nerds and geeks.


Half of the Russian nerds and geeks who emigrated are returning. Because all their friends stay in Russia. Friendship is much more valuable than a good job.
 

The Rogue Wolf

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"High quality people"?
What is with the spartan fetish?
Oh right, fascists.
"We have to protect children from being groomed by liberals who want to rape them!"

Also:

"We revere a society that was among the first to formalize pederasty!"
 

Absent

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"High quality people"?
What is with the spartan fetish?
Oh right, fascists.
Yup.


A greek neonazi (golden dawn supporter, regularly rambling about subhuman races of migrants) was using that as an avatar on gog forums. No problem with the mods, of course, because gog. But yeah. Fascists identify to ancient Sparta - for good reasons.
 

Elijin

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Yup.


A greek neonazi (golden dawn supporter, regularly rambling about subhuman races of migrants) was using that as an avatar on gog forums. No problem with the mods, of course, because gog. But yeah. Fascists identify to ancient Sparta - for good reasons.
Or because the majority of people only know the swastika and SS logo. That thing looks like any shield in any ancient greek setting. For a second Ieven mistook it for the Overwatch symbol.

People who get deep into this stuff forget that the average person cannot identify 90% of nazi iconography. Rightfully so, because they used a lot, much of which was stolen and/or generic.
 

Ag3ma

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Well, interesting issue there.

The Spartans controlled a substantial chunk of the Peloponnese, ruling over a bunch of non-citizen freemen (perioiki) and a load of slaves (helots) that significantly outnumbered them. Each Spartan had a land grant, on which these sub-classes did the work to keep them fed, housed and equipped. That lovely and expensive arms and armour those guys are wearing in that picture? The Spartans didn't make that, the perioiki did. The Spartans were forbidden money for a long time and eschewed ostentatious wealth, but they were in practice very privileged, with their land, plenty of possessions supplied by their lower classes, status, and freedom to do as they pleased much of the time. They were not some sort of poor and grim ascetics, they were a wealthy warrior aristocracy, akin to medieval knights or Japanese samurai.
 
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Absent

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Or because the majority of people only know the swastika and SS logo. That thing looks like any shield in any ancient greek setting. For a second Ieven mistook it for the Overwatch symbol.

People who get deep into this stuff forget that the average person cannot identify 90% of nazi iconography. Rightfully so, because they used a lot, much of which was stolen and/or generic.
But the thing had been pointed out, with references, and with the context of that guy's discourses. So mod ignorance was not an excuse - even without considering that such awareness should be expected from a mod in the first place.

Anyway, it was mostly during the peak of gog community's gamergatish trumputinism. Recently gog started moderating that sort of discourse (yay) before becoming a shop/community of proud apologists of pedophile rape simulators (gah), at which point I bailed out. I now don't think the place will ever cease stinking one way or the other. Am not even curious to check its latest trends.