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OT: World Politics

MindzEye

Wayward Ditch Pig

I look forward to all of the "Are autocracies on the run" think pieces that should be due shortly, given that I had to read about the weakness of western democracy for the last 6-7 years with the reasons given being Chinese ascendence, Russian military superiority in Europe, Iran being the nexus of assymetric political power in the ME, etc, etc.

- China is fucking crumbling under the weight of party corruption and operational paralysis (One guy can't micro manage a society with 1.5 billion people, but Xi is going to try).
- Russia was a paper tiger created by a complicit western media who knows that scaring it's readers gets more engagement, so thusly ate up every scrap of Russian propaganda about their military modernization without asking a single fucking question as to whether it was legit.
- Tehran is cruising towards a revolution and has looked vulnerable to one for a few years now.
- The EU is cracking the whip on Orban and he was just forced to enact a bunch of democratic reforms: https://www.rferl.org/a/hungary-reforms-eu-commitments-funds/32064412.html
- Recent elections in the US & Brazil reaffirmed the lack of popular taste for populist strongmen
- Italy's right wing tilt seems to still support the shit out of Ukrainian democracy

Basically, everywhere we've been told that democracy is weak and authoritarians are strong over the last ~5 years, has turned out backwards. With a few strokes of the pen and cracking of the bank vaults, the world's most powerful autocracies started gushing blood and money. The West had to refocus for 6 months to undo 15 years of international authoritarian gain.
 

axlsalinger

Well-known member

I look forward to all of the "Are autocracies on the run" think pieces that should be due shortly, given that I had to read about the weakness of western democracy for the last 6-7 years with the reasons given being Chinese ascendence, Russian military superiority in Europe, Iran being the nexus of assymetric political power in the ME, etc, etc.

- China is fucking crumbling under the weight of party corruption and operational paralysis (One guy can't micro manage a society with 1.5 billion people, but Xi is going to try).
- Russia was a paper tiger created by a complicit western media who knows that scaring it's readers gets more engagement, so thusly ate up every scrap of Russian propaganda about their military modernization without asking a single fucking question as to whether it was legit.
- Tehran is cruising towards a revolution and has looked vulnerable to one for a few years now.
- The EU is cracking the whip on Orban and he was just forced to enact a bunch of democratic reforms: https://www.rferl.org/a/hungary-reforms-eu-commitments-funds/32064412.html
- Recent elections in the US & Brazil reaffirmed the lack of popular taste for populist strongmen
- Italy's right wing tilt seems to still support the shit out of Ukrainian democracy

Basically, everywhere we've been told that democracy is weak and authoritarians are strong over the last ~5 years, has turned out backwards. With a few strokes of the pen and cracking of the bank vaults, the world's most powerful autocracies started gushing blood and money. The West had to refocus for 6 months to undo 15 years of international authoritarian gain.
Most people just want to live their lives in peace so maybe a move to free societies is inevitable, but it sure as fuck hasn't happened yet.

It's really interesting to think about how different things could be if Drumpf won. WAAAY less support for Ukraine obviously, less pressure on Russia and the EU, without which maybe they do win a quick blitzkrieg war which always was the plan.

If Russia takes over easily, do all these other things even happen?
 

MindzEye

Wayward Ditch Pig
Most people just want to live their lives in peace so maybe a move to free societies is inevitable, but it sure as fuck hasn't happened yet.

There's definitely been a bit of a tilt away from democracy over the last 15 years or so, but it really does feel like we've reached an inflection point where a move in the other direction is going to happen. "The West" stopped promoting democracy and allowed various stripes of authoritarians to control the international conversation. For some reason we've been unable to come up with a convincing rebuttal for "but colonialism/American imperialism" when these authoritarians try to whatabout their way out of discussing their obvious crimes. At the same time, China tried to step in with another path and starting pouring development money outward with no human rights strings attached (but plenty, plenty of strings attached to give China control of your economic future) but we're seeing pretty deep systemic failure of those projects now. Without the ability to go to an autocracy for funding, developing nations will have to move back towards the west and it's (minimal) human rights requirements for providing loans. Basically, Africa & Latin America spent the last 10 years trying to move closer to China and found them to be a more dangerous and demanding sponsor than the US ever was.
It's really interesting to think about how different things could be if Drumpf won. WAAAY less support for Ukraine obviously, less pressure on Russia and the EU, without which maybe they do win a quick blitzkrieg war which always was the plan.

Yup. It's unfortunate that US domestic political decisions regulate international politics to that degree, but it's the fucking truth.

If Russia takes over easily, do all these other things even happen?

It's so hard to say...does the EU galvanize or roll over and show it's belly? Honestly dunno.
 

axlsalinger

Well-known member
There's definitely been a bit of a tilt away from democracy over the last 15 years or so, but it really does feel like we've reached an inflection point where a move in the other direction is going to happen. "The West" stopped promoting democracy and allowed various stripes of authoritarians to control the international conversation. For some reason we've been unable to come up with a convincing rebuttal for "but colonialism/American imperialism" when these authoritarians try to whatabout their way out of discussing their obvious crimes. At the same time, China tried to step in with another path and starting pouring development money outward with no human rights strings attached (but plenty, plenty of strings attached to give China control of your economic future) but we're seeing pretty deep systemic failure of those projects now. Without the ability to go to an autocracy for funding, developing nations will have to move back towards the west and it's (minimal) human rights requirements for providing loans. Basically, Africa & Latin America spent the last 10 years trying to move closer to China and found them to be a more dangerous and demanding sponsor than the US ever was.


Yup. It's unfortunate that US domestic political decisions regulate international politics to that degree, but it's the fucking truth.



It's so hard to say...does the EU galvanize or roll over and show it's belly? Honestly dunno.
Impossible to know for sure, but there were enough hiccups from high-ups in Germany on Putin's payroll to be very concerned ... in France, Italy and most other countries too. Without a major push from the U.S. to do the right thing, in fact Republicans pushing them hard the other way .....

I'm always hopeful people will generally do the right and obvious thing eventually, but I sure as fuck wouldn't bet on it.
 

manny

Well-known member
The big secret is that most people in China feel happy and generally free. Xi was pushing the right buttons when he started talking about “the Chinese dream”. They are better off than their parents and grandparents, they do what they like for the most part, and they are pretty sure that their system of government is a lot more effective than any realistic alternative. (Some massive généralisations here, but all generally true.)

Also China doesn’t need the US to collapse to have an example of a shitshow democracy. They have India.
 

Stinky

Well-known member
I remember Tiananmen Square. They killed 10,000 people in an instant. I would not put it past the Chinese government to kill 100,000 people if that meant maintaining power.
 

MindzEye

Wayward Ditch Pig
The question is whether they can keep a lid on it the way they did Tiananmen and whether that would make a difference. 1.5 Billion people is a whole fuckton to keep in line, and they've created their own goofy demographics where they have about 40 million excess men of roughly fighting age if the populace really does decide that it wants change.
 

Stinky

Well-known member
The question is whether they can keep a lid on it the way they did Tiananmen and whether that would make a difference. 1.5 Billion people is a whole fuckton to keep in line, and they've created their own goofy demographics where they have about 40 million excess men of roughly fighting age if the populace really does decide that it wants change.
Or if the authorities decide they want Taiwan they would be amazing cannon fodder sand a lovely distraction from unrest at home.
 
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