Monday, March 23, 2009

Let's move to Russia

I've said it before: you get the clearest explanations from someone who is in a hurry to move on to something else. Here is Dmitry Orlov on why Russia will survive:

It seems that the Russians are better-equipped to survive financial collapse than just about anyone else. They have formidable reserves of gold and foreign currency to soften the downward slide. They have a dwindling but still sizable endowment of things the world still wants, even if at temporarily reduced prices. They have plenty of timber and farmland and other natural resources, and can become self-sufficient and decouple themselves economically should they choose to do so. They have high-tech weaponry and a nuclear deterrent in case other nations get any crazy ideas. After all the upheavals, they have ended up with a centrally-managed, natural resource-based, geographically contiguous realm that is not overly dependent on global finance. Yes, the Russian consumer sector is crashing hard, and many Russians are in the process of losing their savings yet again, but they have managed to survive without a consumer sector before, and no doubt will again.

I'm almost tempted to live there. My grandparents' farm, overrun by the Red Army in 1945, is somewhere in that weird, tiny sliver of the Russian Federation stuck between Poland and Lithuania like a stone in your shoe. I'd need a heavily-armed gang to take the farmhouse back from whoever took it over after the hick troops stole everything in it. But maybe it's not there any more - probably it's covered with concrete now, the tyrant's material of choice. Still, life goes on; it's outlasted communism and looks set to outlast Western capitalism.

Though I should say that in the UK, the nutso socialist element must be seeing this as an opportunity to start the Millennium. I have been wondering whether it's possible to take American citzenship while continuing to live here, so that I might have some residual civil rights when my neighbours have lost theirs.

America, see the issue for what it is: not money, but democracy and freedom.


sobers said...

For all its faults, I've always thought that the USA was a fundamentally more democratic state than any of the other Western so-called democracies.

Where else do you get to vote for all your local public officials? Police, fire, prosecutors etc as well as the representatives from town council all the way to the Congress.

We may not like the way America is, but fundamentally it got that way because the people voted it so in their towns, counties and States. I bet the individual States have more autonomy over their affairs than we do here in the UK with regard to the EU.

I never thought I'd say it but if I have to leave dear old Blighty, the US is the only option really. I hope it doesn't come to that - I want to end my days here in the same town I was born in. But there comes a time to face reality. The UK is staring into the abyss, and I can see no-one who even wants to admit that fact, let alone who has a realistic solution.

Paddington said...

Although I made the choice to come to the US, I always wondered about Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

zgirl said...

I've read that Canada will accept most anyone as an "investor". To qualify, one must deposit $300,000 Canadian dollars with the government for several years, foregoing any capital appreciation. If one can mortgage one's home, that might be more attainable than we realize. Canada is also advertising within the United States, inviting workers on the H1B Visa to emigrate to Canada.

But if you have a genuine appreciation for democracy - something far too few Americans have anymore - than I'd sure appreciate if you'd get over here and outvote the folks who believe that the Bill of Rights, Constitution, and Federalist papers are just ancient terms for toilet paper.

Paddington said...

I'm doing my best. I am a regular voice of reason (TM) on our local call-in talk radio station, and our newspapers.

Paddington said...

Sackerson - don't forget that the life expectancy for males in Russia is now around 53.