Foot in mouth candidate

Say what you like about Ksenia Sobchak, who this week declared her intention to challenge Vladimir Putin in next year’s Russian presidential election, but she’s certainly creating a splash. In a single day, Sobchak has managed to create two scandals – first by saying that under international law Crimea is part of Ukraine, and second by calling Russia a ‘страна генетического отребья’, a phrase I have difficulty translating, but which roughly speaking, I think, means a country from which all the good genetic material has been removed.

On the first issue – Crimea – one might say that Sobchak has a point, if one sticks strictly to the issue about international law. But the thing about international law is that it is open to wide interpretation. Western lawyers will say one thing; Russian lawyers another. And the nuance that she was referring simply to the legal situation won’t have made much difference given that the headlines in the Russian press were ‘Sobchak says Crimea is part of Ukraine.’ Considering the overwhelming support for the Crimean annexation/reunification among the Russian population, it’s not exactly a vote winner.

As for the genetics issue, Sobchak tried to explain herself by saying that she was referring to the first two decades of the communist era, when in her words ‘our country underwent a vast quantity of human purges, when the best of the best were destroyed. … you and me … are the result of what happened.’ Again, it’s not something designed to attract the voters, as it pretty much confirms the original impression – Sobchak thinks that Russians are made up of genetically inferior material. It’s hard to think of a better way to insult a lot of people.

According to some conspiracy theories, Sobchak is a Kremlin quasi-puppet candidate, whose role is to liven up what would otherwise be a boring and predictable campaign and so increase the turnout, in order thereby to make Putin’s inevitable election seem more legitimate. The problem with that theory is that it assumes that Sobchak can mobilize a reasonable number of people to come out and vote for her (enough to enhance turnout, but not so much as to be a genuine threat). But judging by her performance so far she’s unlikely to manage that feat. Sobchak’s faux pas induced Vzliad.ru to proclaim that ‘the candidate seems ‘not to be interested in the final result … isn’t trying to attract the maximum number of votes. On the contrary, with her first step she’s cutting herself off from the support of hypothetical voters.’ If Sobchak doesn’t buck up and change direction, she runs a serious risk of being an immediate bust and crashing so far out of contention as to be unable to fulfill her required role.

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34 thoughts on “Foot in mouth candidate”

  1. It could also be that she’s courting a different audience. If she starts talking about Russian interference in the US election, she’s actually running to become part of a well paid think tank in the US and/or to get some western NGO money. Either of which would be an irresistible practical joke, if she is in fact a Kremlin puppet. “Let’s run some fake candidates who say everything the west wants to hear, get them funded, and then just steal the money.” Works a treat in the middle east.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am going to partially defend Ksyusha.

    First, what she said about Crimea is essentially the same as what Navalny (a supposed “nationalist”), except that she refrained from calling for a second referendum, which actually makes her less overtly radical.

    Also, considering what she was saying about Crimea back in 2014, one must also allow that this is part of the condition the Kremlin has set for her (i.e. making herself unelectable) for allowing her to participate – i.e., get the required number of signatures to run.

    Second, well, yes – that’s sort of true. There’s even a name for that: Aristocide.

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/quantifying-the-communist-cullings/

    The effect is unlikely to have been genetically significant in the long-term, but the Bolsheviks certainly did drive out and/or murder a large percentage of Russia’s best and brightest, and she deserves kudos not only for recognizing it but refusing to back down before the sovoks attacking her for it.

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    1. >Second, well, yes – that’s sort of true. There’s even a name for that: Aristocide.

      I very much doubt that Russian aristocrcy and burgeoise was actually ‘the best’ and ‘the brighest’. And any amount of ‘brain drain’ was actually compensated by introducing universal healthcare and education.

      If you want to look at the event that actually caused the deaths of ‘the best and brightest’ you need look no further than at the Second World War/Great Patriotic War. It dwarfs everything.

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      1. I very much doubt that Russian aristocrcy and burgeoise was actually ‘the best’ and ‘the brighest’.

        Higher IQ with higher socio-economic status has been observed in every country without exception (including in the 1920s USSR before the great mustachioed ape banned psychometrics in the 1930s).

        http://www.unz.com/akarlin/paper-review-iq-of-peoples/

        And any amount of ‘brain drain’ was actually compensated by introducing universal healthcare and education.

        Was happening in the late Russian Empire: 80% primary enrollment in 1913, projected to converge to 100% by 1925 (a process delayed by the Civil War to 1930); it did most of the hard work and commies took the credit. Less advanced wrt to healthcare, but hardly any European country was a panacea in this department a hundred years ago – that said, the trend was in the right direction, with accident and sickness insurance for certain categories of industrial workers being introduced in 1912. Communists have this very strange delusion that if not for the syphilitic layabout and the mustachioed ape, Russia would have remained standing still for the rest of the 20th century.

        If you want to look at the event that actually caused the deaths of ‘the best and brightest’ you need look no further than at the Second World War/Great Patriotic War. It dwarfs everything.

        Officers incurred higher casualties relative to ordinary soldiers (as was universally true in the World Wars), but this was probably counterbalanced by the USSR providing waivers to the more valuable (talented) workers, scientists, engineers, etc. A non-egalitarian but reasonable policy, and one that Nazi Germany didn’t follow, ironically enough.

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      2. “Higher IQ with higher socio-economic status has been observed in every country without exception (including in the 1920s USSR before the great mustachioed ape banned psychometrics in the 1930s).”

        This is completely meaningless, for two reasons. Firstly, IQ is a terrible measure of intelligence. It measures one fairly narrow band of intellectual ability, and has little predictive value in terms of an individual’s future success. After about 120, there’s actually a slightly negative correlation between IQ and most metrics of life success (There’s a good discussion of this in the book Outliers). Secondly, IQ, even if it was a good measure (which it’s not), would only be relevant to any idea of “aristicide” if it were innate and unchangeable, which it most certainly is not. The abilities that are measured by IQ are formed by academic training, which is of course more available to people of higher socio-economic status. So people with higher socio-economic status having higher IQ’s is about as surprising as people who go to the gym every day having bigger muscles.

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      3. This is completely meaningless, for two reasons. Firstly, IQ is a terrible measure of intelligence.

        No, it is the most rigorously established construct in the psychological sciences.

        It measures one fairly narrow band of intellectual ability, and has little predictive value in terms of an individual’s future success.

        Incorrect. All measures of intelligence have positive correlations with each other (hence the existence of a general factor of intelligence, the g factor), and have good correlations with measures of life success (around r=0.4 wrt income).

        After about 120, there’s actually a slightly negative correlation between IQ and most metrics of life success (There’s a good discussion of this in the book Outliers).

        I don’t care what a pop-science huckster like Malcolm Gladwell whose sole task in life is to pander to SWPLy sensibilities.

        If you are interested in this topic I would suggest serious books from actual academics such as Arthur Jensen’s The g Factor or (for a short intro) Stuart Ritchie’s Intelligence.

        Secondly, IQ, even if it was a good measure (which it’s not), would only be relevant to any idea of “aristicide” if it were innate and unchangeable, which it most certainly is not.

        IQ is relatively constant throughout life and impermeable to schooling interventions (in the long-term). It is also highly heritable. Purging the higher-IQ (on average) upper classes will automatically result in a lower national IQ than would have been the case otherwise.

        The abilities that are measured by IQ are formed by academic training, which is of course more available to people of higher socio-economic status.

        1. All First World children have had access to free 8-10 years of schooling for the past century or so. University education is also free or almost free in most of Europe, and is reasonably accessible even in the United States thanks to community college and the multitude of academic grants, financial aid programs, etc. on offer. This is not a significant factor.

        2. As per above, the measured IQ of children is more productive of life success as adults (in terms of crime, welfare dependency, and, yes… university completion) than is socio-economic status of the parents. If IQ was “formed by academic training”, this would not be the case.

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      4. “Incorrect. All measures of intelligence have positive correlations with each other (hence the existence of a general factor of intelligence, the g factor), and have good correlations with measures of life success “

        There were, indeed, millions of emigres from Russia following two Revolutions and the Civil War. Question – how many of them (%) did adapt well abroad to the level of having a “life success”? And how many of them did it without having already established “jumpstart”, in the form of bank accounts, property and “universally employed” carreers (opera singers, ballerinas, etc.)?

        Where, where are all those countless numbers of “success” stories?

        “Purging the higher-IQ (on average) upper classes will automatically result in a lower national IQ than would have been the case otherwise.”

        Here you go, ladies and genlemen! Tolya Karlin finnally most voiceforusly endorses castes systems and unequality before the law! If someone for him is “valubale” (read – “rrrrrracially” and, therefore, intellectually superior), then they are above the law. They are the law. And he, naturally, numbers himself among them. But this hardly correlates with his personal “life success”.

        Ordinary racism, nothing new.

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      5. There were, indeed, millions of emigres from Russia following two Revolutions and the Civil War. Question – how many of them (%) did adapt well abroad to the level of having a “life success”?

        The vast majority of them – in the early 1970s, Russians had the highest median family income, highest % of college graduates (26% vs. 12% US average), highest percentage of white-collar workers relative to all other European ethnic groups in the United States.

        The White Russians I encountered there inevitably tended to be well-off, middle class SWPLY folks.

        Many examples of “life success.” Sikorsky, Zworykin, Dobzhansky were all reasonably successful, I would estimate.

        But this hardly correlates with his personal “life success”. Ordinary racism, nothing new.

        *Ordinary* racism? Why personally I consider myself to be the reincarnation of Mecha-Hitler.

        But what does this have to do with anything? (rhetorical question)

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      6. “The vast majority of them – in the early 1970s, Russians had the highest median family income, highest % of college graduates (26% vs. 12% US average), highest percentage of white-collar workers relative to all other European ethnic groups in the United States.”

        >was asked about post revolutionary emigration overall
        >provides just data about US concerning the people of “Russian origin”.

        Once again. 1970s. Right after 1917. They are not the same. America was not the sole point of destination for the emigration.

        Have you ever considered taking to the football (you, Americans, call it soccer)? I think you would have fun with goalposts. But, oh wait – you are hardly fit for that!

        “The White Russians I encountered there inevitably tended to be well-off, middle class SWPLY folks.”

        How cute – personal experience. We should totally trust you [nod-nod].

        “Many examples of “life success.” Sikorsky, Zworykin, Dobzhansky were all reasonably successful, I would estimate.”

        1) Define “reasonably successful”?
        2) What % of the whole did they make up?

        “Why personally I consider myself to be the reincarnation of Mecha-Hitler. “

        Ugly pixelated monster destined to die – again and again?

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      7. Once again. 1970s. Right after 1917. They are not the same. America was not the sole point of destination for the emigration.

        Obviously they would have been less successful then since the Bolsheviks (led by a syphilitic who hadn’t done a day of productive labor in his life) had just finished robbing them of their life’s possessions.

        Not sure how that is surprised to prove anything. Jews just released from Nazi death camps c.1945 would have not have been considered socio-economically “successful” either.

        However, given time to build up their wealth and social status again in the context of a free market and relatively meritocratic society, the Russian diaspora rose up to a position of prominence again. As would be expected of a cognitive elite.

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      8. “Obviously they would have been less successful then since the Bolsheviks (led by a syphilitic who hadn’t done a day of productive labor in his life) had just finished robbing them of their life’s possessions.”

        I someone is projecting here with the phrase “who hadn’t done a day of productive labor in his life” :). Besides – how did all of them came into possession of “their life’s possessions”? You mean – private property?

        Oh, and claiming yet another slanderous (and long disproved) myth that Lenin died from syphilis – really, Tolya! Maybe the contingent of your ignorant faithful might fell for that, but not the people with brains.

        “Not sure how that is surprised to prove anything. Jews just released from Nazi death camps c.1945 would have not have been considered socio-economically “successful” either.”

        Talking with you like playing in “typological polemic mistakes and clichés bingo”. Here you go – false equivalence and Godwin Law (hilarious coming from you). No, the situation with the emigration post 1917 and the Jews post 1945 is staking different. For one all those émigrés were much more healthier, well fed, and plenty of them had lots and lots of property abroad to fall on to – which they promptly squandered.

        “However, given time to build up their wealth and social status again in the context of a free market and relatively meritocratic society, the Russian diaspora rose up to a position of prominence again.

        Where? In what part of the world? How much from the total?
        “As would be expected of a cognitive elite.”

        Paris taxi-drivers = cognitive elite?

        You also did not answer my other questions. Like – do you consider the inequality before the law and different set of right and privileges to be a “must thing” for your “cognitive elite”?

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      9. … and plenty of them had lots and lots of property abroad to fall on to – which they promptly squandered.

        You are confusing the imperial elite – which identified its interests with Russia, served it with patriotism and considerable consciousness, and kept the vast bulk of its assets in Russia – with the post-sovok elite – people who see Russia as a source of plunder and their homes in London and Miami.

        Where? In what part of the world? How much from the total?

        I provided readers with hard statistics about the success of White Russian emigrants to the United States, one of the major destination points for the diaspora.

        Onus is on you to prove their failure elsewhere, not on me.

        Paris taxi-drivers = cognitive elite?

        Just the sort of job that people with “lots and lots of property abroad” would take. (Not).

        You also did not answer my other questions. Like – do you consider the inequality before the law and different set of right and privileges to be a “must thing” for your “cognitive elite”?

        I don’t recall where I defended the nomenklatura system of the USSR so why is this addressed to me? Setting up caste societies is more of a commie thing.

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      1. Well, it also presumes (without providing any evidence) that removing the entrenched alleged/self-proclaimed “best and brightest” would negatively affect the best-ness and brightest-ness of the future generations. I would assume the opposite to be true; unblocking the path gave the opportunity for all kinds of talents to flourish…

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    2. “The effect is unlikely to have been genetically significant in the long-term, but the Bolsheviks certainly did drive out and/or murder a large percentage of Russia’s best and brightest”

      Can you name this percentage of “Russia’s best and brightest”? not just emigres and offed nobs, no – the bumber of “best and brightest”.

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      1. Lyttenburgh, what’s the point of arguing with Vasisualiy? Lokhankin’s aristocratic spirit and overwhelming intelligence leave you no chance.

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      2. “Lyttenburgh, what’s the point of arguing with Vasisualiy? Lokhankin’s aristocratic spirit and overwhelming intelligence leave you no chance.”


        ^
        Служил Анат Гаврила френолОгом
        Он черепушки измерял!

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      3. Are you denying then that the members of the “imperial elite” spent entire “seasons” abroad, owned property in foreign countries and significant financial assets as well?

        Of course not – and I never implied as much.

        What I did say is that the imperial elites who grew up under “Faith, Tsar, Fatherland” values were far less rapacious and far more patriotic than the late sovok elites who grew up under “Soviet values” (i.e. a crass materialism that consisted of selling their own country for Western baubles and decamping for London and Miami as soon as they finished looting Russia).

        The whole White Emigration was between 900 000 and 2 mln people, of which only c. 200 000 went to the USA. At the same time, the number of the native Russophonics in the USA fell sharply from 1920s to 1970s from nearly 400 000 to just under 150 000.

        Many more of them ended up emigrating to the United States eventually. The family of one girl I knew first went to Manchuria, then to Brazil, then to the USA. This was not atypical. How many of them must have moved on from Germany during the 1930s alone, or after the war.

        What is the declining number of Russophones supposed to prove anyway? The USA is an English-speaking country, and Russians assimilated – demonstrating intelligence and conscientiousness. Just like late 19th century German immigrants assimilated and served the US faithfully in WW1 and WW2.

        Try again.

        Nope. I provided something. The onus is on you to refute it with your own figures (not refences to n=1 sample emigrant accounts).

        What, all of them were fucking geniuses with skyrocketing IQs, and, therefore, they, indeed, left a void that could not be possibly filled even to this day? That’s what you – and Ksyushad’ – are arguing for?

        No, it is not. And I never argued that. This is a link I inserted in my first post on this thread.

        http://www.unz.com/akarlin/quantifying-the-communist-cullings/

        They had to, if they squandered it. Have you read any works and memoirs of those surviving (not living – surviving) in their day to day life in emigration?

        And that’s ignoring entirely the re-emigration process

        Which as a rule ended very badly for them.

        Actually, no – the communism is literally class-less society.

        As an ideal – yes.

        In practice – the recreation of a class system with nomeklatura (complete with perks and privileges based on their “worth,” as defined by sovok you) at the top.

        Yet it is you who are arguing for providing people privileges based on their “worth”, as defined by racist you. Does being a noble, a member of the so-called “intellectual elite” place them above the law, any law?

        First, I am not a racist, I identify as the supreme Mecha-Hitlerist of all ages and peoples – please get it right.

        Second, do actually cite where I, how do you put it… provide “people privileges based on their “worth”, as defined by racist you.”

        All I factually did was point out that White Russians did well in the United States, at least over the long-term. The USA is a free market democracy with no formal hereditary privileges nor an all-powerful nomenklatura class. Which suggests they were more than just “nobs” and a “parasitic class.”

        That those who fought and lost against the Soviet power should have been pardoned?

        Who cares? You and they believe they “shouldn’t” have and that is all that ultimately matters. I understand that, appreciate that, and file that away as useful information.

        By the same token, I hope you understand why some people consider commies to be a dangerous den of vipers, and recommend free helicopter rides as a prophylactic against their democidal zealotry.

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    3. >Higher IQ with higher socio-economic status has been observed in every country without exception (including in the 1920s USSR before the great mustachioed ape banned psychometrics in the 1930s).

      IQ is a meaningless parameter. I’m for example have about 130 and my parentage is nothing but peasants, peasants and peasants. Not a single aristo or even educated person before revolution happened.

      >Was happening in the late Russian Empire: 80% primary enrollment in 1913,

      It is bullshit manipulation with statistics when people who are capable os signing their own name, know the alphabet and can count up to one hundred were written as ‘literate’.

      >Officers incurred higher casualties relative to ordinary soldiers (as was universally true in the World Wars), but this was probably counterbalanced by the USSR providing waivers to the more valuable (talented) workers, scientists, engineers, etc.

      Officers do not actually smarter or better people, so casualty rate between drafted and professional cadre do not demonstrate anything. Important correlation here is how good and selfless people have actually higher chance of being killed.

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    4. “You are confusing the imperial elite – which identified its interests with Russia, served it with patriotism and considerable consciousness, and kept the vast bulk of its assets in Russia – with the post-sovok elite – people who see Russia as a source of plunder and their homes in London and Miami.

      Are you denying then that the members of the “imperial elite” spent entire “seasons” abroad, owned property in foreign countries and significant financial assets as well?

      “I provided readers with hard statistics about the success of White Russian emigrants to the United States, one of the major destination points for the diaspora.”

      You did nothing of the sort. You provided some brightly coloured slip of paper dating from 1972 alleging some information about – wait for it! – “those of Russian origin”. Not Russians, not even “White Russian emigrants” – just the ambiguously sounding “those of Russian origin”. “Of Russian Origin” =/= “White émigrés”. Too hard for you to grasp that much?

      This slip of paper of your alleges there were “slightly more than 2 million” of them as of 1972. The whole White Emigration was between 900 000 and 2 mln people, of which only c. 200 000 went to the USA. At the same time, the number of the native Russophonics in the USA fell sharply from 1920s to 1970s from nearly 400 000 to just under 150 000.

      You just lazily extrapolated from one (1) source on the entirety of the White Emigration. Try again. This time – with better sources and from different areas, with exact percentages of those who “made it” and those who don’t.

      Finally, the population of the Russian Empire at 1917 was c. 160 mlns. Even if we are to assume the worst (as a part-time жопоголик like you surely would when it suits your agenda) and accept the White Emigration figure at 2 mlns, this still means that just over 1 (one) % of the entire population left Russia. What, all of them were fucking geniuses with skyrocketing IQs, and, therefore, they, indeed, left a void that could not be possibly filled even to this day? That’s what you – and Ksyushad’ – are arguing for?

      And that’s ignoring entirely the re-emigration process (have read the “Flight” or something similar?), which in 1920s alone amounted to 180 000, and continued even after the Great Patriotic War.

      “Just the sort of job that people with “lots and lots of property abroad” would take. (Not).

      They had to, if they squandered it. Have you read any works and memoirs of those surviving (not living – surviving) in their day to day life in emigration? About constantly creeping poverty, which they had no means (or abilities) to meliorate? That much for the “intellectual elite”.

      “I don’t recall where I defended the nomenklatura system of the USSR so why is this addressed to me? Setting up caste societies is more of a commie thing.”

      Actually, no – the communism is literally class-less society. It’s nobs that get hereditary rights and privileges and strive to limit the duties to the state and the crown, resulting in them degenerating into a useless parasitic class. Yet it is you who are arguing for providing people privileges based on their “worth”, as defined by racist you.

      Does being a noble, a member of the so-called “intellectual elite” place them above the law, any law? That those who fought and lost against the Soviet power should have been pardoned?

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  3. I’m sure millions of people would wish to challenge Vladimir Putin next year, or Donald Trump 3 years from now. To be able to do that, however, they would need about a billion dollars each — in the Trump’s case at least. It is, after all, liberal democracy.

    I imagine in Russia one would also need a billion rubles or so? If so, why is there so much noise about Ksenia Sobchak; does she have a spare billion to spend on it?

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    1. This is the point that I would like examined

      Who is paying for her to run?

      No one wakes up and says I will run for President – without money.

      As for her views on Russians being from poor stock because the best were got rid of?

      She is just an self hating Russian .

      In the UK much is written about the First World War and the great number of people who were killed – while generation of young men. But no one says that it left the gene pool poorer!!!

      It had great socio economic impact – ie on the role of women . Which in many ways advanced society.

      You have to wonder about the mentality of those who agree with these racial theories. I find it very ugly and sad.

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      1. Who is paying for her to run?

        There are allegations, that – Chubais is fundig her. Where HE got the money – c’mon, that’s Chubais we are talking about.

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  4. It’s actually very amusing that Russian liberals think that a candidate who has made two statements accurately capturing what they literally believe is a Kremlin plant.

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  5. “I do not fear outsiders who want to buy us, so much the ones inside that want to sell us”

    Hipolito Yrigoen said that almost a hundred years ago- “No temo los de afuera que quieren comprarnos, tanto que los de adentro que quieren vendernos”

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  6. Thing is, to credibly “threaten” Putin, any Candidate would need to:

    1: Have solid Anti Imperialist credentials
    2: Be seen as an outsider
    3: Be not personally corrupt
    4: Have some type of Party organisation in order to not get curbstomped in an administrative resource smackdown

    In semirealistics sci fi terms:
    Valentina Tereshkova is magically 20 years younger (making her 60), is in KPR instead of Edinaja Russija, leads a silent coup of people dissatsifed with Zyuganov to replace him, and then runs for president based on a “No more corrupt bullshit, P.S. fuck our western partners, also, we should get a mars colony before the insane Americans nuke the world for no reason.” platform.

    This would be a threat to Putin, Sobchak isnt.

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      1. My own impression is that Zhirik is a) too old and b) too much viewed as an Insider. He has been around like, forever.

        I am also uncertain if LDPR without Zhirik could actually be a thing at all, given that he supposedly cetnralzied a on himself.

        Zyuaganovs KPR is the KP, and will be fine without Zyuganov.

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