Posted by: irishhawk | November 20, 2013

World History and the Role of Russia; from a classical libertarian perspective.

By Kevin Bjornson, National Co-Chairman of The Libertarian Defense Caucus.

 

To understand recent world events, we should first
put them in context of world pre-history and history.
Then we can understand how ancient libertarianism
developed and it’s foundation.

These are the three most important early developments:

http://in-africa.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/McDougall-et-al-2005-Nature-strat-age-Omo-Kibbish-Ethiopia-AMH-origins.pdf
–“…a new study of the 1967 fossil site indicates the
earliest known members of our species, Homo sapiens,
roamed Africa about 195,000 years ago.” (1.)

http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/367/1/WRAP_Allaby_.pdf
–“The beginning of agriculture around 10 000 years ago
has repeatedly been seen as the major transition in the
human past, a change over from the natural environment
in control of humans, to humans in control of the natural
environment. Before agriculture, humans were hunter-
gatherers, dependent on wild resources for their nutritional
requirements, which led to a largely nomadic lifestyle
dictated by the annual cycle of animal and plant availability.” (2.)

–institution of the roman republic about 509 BC,
with the overthrow of the monarchy and creation of the
Twelve Tablets of Rome (the supreme constitution
of the world).

Origin of Government

The Paleolithic period (or “Estate of Nature” or
“Garden of Eden”) was based on hunting-gathering.
In the Neolithic period, agriculture enabled stored wealth
for the first time. This led to the evolution of government
from gangs of thieves:

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/World_History/Ancient_Civilizations
“As agriculture became more and more widespread,
people began to accumulate surpluses of food,
meaning that a single family grew more than it consumed.
At the same time, the increasing tendency to remain in a
single location put pressure on groups to protect
themselves from other still nomadic peoples.”
(3.)

“Government” is the organization of force to regulate
or control human behavior. If an individual thief tried
to steal this stored wealth, he would be confronted by
the farmer-owner, his family and friends. We must
therefore conclude that some nomadic tribes operated
as gangs, organizing force to steal. To counter this,
creators of stored wealth organized force in protection of
life, liberty and property.

This is the real “social contract” whereby individuals hire
government “guard dogs” to protect from government
“wolf packs”. We may suppose that protective government
evolved from predatory gov’t, in like manner that guard
dogs evolved from wolves. Because the notion of
protection presupposes a threat.

Let us contrast Locke with Hobbes:

http://www.constitution.org/jl/2ndtr03.htm
Locke: “Men living together according to reason without
a common superior on earth, with authority to judge
between them, is properly the state of Nature.
But force, or a declared design of force upon the
person of another, where there is no common superior
on earth to appeal to for relief, is the state of war…”
(4.)

http://www.literature.org/authors/hobbes-thomas/leviathan/chapter-13.html
Hobbes:“Hereby it is manifest, that during the time men 
live without a common Power to keep them all in awe, 
they are in that condition which is called Warre; 
and such a warre, as is of every man, against every man.” 
(5.)  

Locke was correct in supposing that society created
government; government didn’t create society.

Hobbes assumed without evidence that the Paleolithic
period was characterized by a “war of all against all”.
However hunting-gathering provides neither incentive
nor means for organized warfare. Because without
stored wealth, there is little to steal, nor the ability to
organize force to steal. The concept “war” presupposes
war between governments, hence by definition, there was
no organized war in the estate of nature.

Meaning of “Government”

This means, contra Locke, that illegitimate governments
arose before legitimate governments. Locke’s viewpoint
does not exclude the possibility of illegitimate governments,
but he views legitimate government as the archetype and this
implies illegitimate governments are aberrations not the norm.

Conversely, “anarcho-capitalists” imagine that their proposed
agencies of defensive/retaliatory force would not be governments.
In their view, by definition all governing actions initiate force and
cannot defend or retaliate against initiations of force.

See:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/1970/01/roy-a-childs-jr/objectivism-and-the-state-an-open-letter-to-ayn-rand/
Roy Childs: “Why is a limited government a floating abstraction?
Because it must either initiate force or stop being a government.”

However, dictionaries do not agree that governments necessarily
initiate force. To “govern” means to rule over by right of authority.
However, opinions may differ on what constitutes rightful authority.

The synonym “rule” makes the meaning more clear,
“to exercise control, dominion, or direction over; govern”.
When force is organized by government and used in retaliation
or defense, that also constitutes governing or ruling.

http://www.strike-the-root.com/content/government-vs-state
Tibor Machan: “Within libertarianism, though, the
concept ‘government’ is still unstable. Anarcho-libertarians,
who argue for something they dub ‘competing legal systems’
or ‘competing defense organizations,’ claim that the concept
‘government’ means, essentially, ‘a monopoly of legal services
over a given territory.’ This isn’t as clear cut as one might wish.”

“In my own view, for example, the institutions anarcho-libertarians
support are governments in every important respect–they are
administrators, maintainers, and protectors of bona fide law within
human communities. What critics claim is that such administration,
maintenance and protection do not require contiguous spheres of
jurisdiction but could work as a sort of crisscross system.” (
7.)

Nations traditionally have been organized around territory or
ethnicity. However modernity has made the world transparent
and open to movement. The internet has enabled organization
based on ideas, much more so than the Gutenburg press.

“Intervention” and “Aggression”

Another area in which “anarcho-capitalists” are confused,
is their conflation of non-intervention (militarily) and
non-aggression.

To “intervene” simply means, a party joins a dispute,
siding with one party over another. To intervene on behalf
of the aggressor, is aggression. To intervene on behalf of
the victim, is not aggression. Because there can be only
one initiation of force in a conflict, the initial aggressor
and an intervenor against the aggressor cannot both
initiate force. Because by definition, there can be only one
first strike.

This confusion can be traced to a medieval misinterpretation
of Jus Naturale:

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/mainea04.asp
Maine: “No passage has ever been adduced from the remains of
Roman law which, in my judgment, proves the jurisconsults
to have believed natural law to have obligatory force between
independent commonwealths; and we cannot but see that to
citizens of the Roman empire who regarded their sovereign’s
dominions as conterminous with civilisation, the equal subjection
of states to the Law of Nature, if contemplated at all, [would]
have seemed at most an extreme result of curious speculation.


“If the society of nations is governed by Natural Law,
the atoms which compose it must be absolutely equal.
Men under the sceptre of Nature are all equal, and
accordingly commonwealths are equal if the international
state be one of nature.”

“Acquisition of territory has always been the great spur of
national ambition, and the rules which govern this acquisition,
together with the rules which moderate the wars in which it
too frequently results, are merely transcribed from the part
of the Roman law which treats of the modes of acquiring
property ‘jure gentium’.

“They thus made their way into the modern Law of Nations,
and the result is that those parts of the international system
which refer to dominion, its nature, its limitations, the modes
of acquiring and securing it, are pure Roman Property Law –“

“In order that these chapters of International Law may be
capable of application, it is necessary that sovereigns should
be related to each other like the members of a group of Roman
proprietors. This is another of the postulates which lie at the
threshold of the International Code, and it is also one which
could not possibly have been subscribed to during the first
centuries of modern European history.. It is resolvable into
the double proposition that ‘sovereignty is territorial,’ i.e.
that it is always associated with the proprietorship of a limited
portion of the earth’s surface, and that ‘sovereigns inter se are
to be deemed not paramount, but absolute, owners of the
state’s territory.'” (
8.)

Rulers are governed by natural law, like all other natural persons.
But they do not own all the real estate within their dominion,
hence do not have a moral shield against intervention (between
the ruler and the ruled), whether by invasion, revolution, or
civil war.

“A priori” and empirical induction

People generally tend to be skeptical of “a priori” speculation,
and prefer to see examples. Though, often “libertarians” try to
define liberty deductively, from axioms. We may trace
“competing governments” theory to the common law system
of the roman republic; and this is more useful than trying to
re-invent the wheel with “anarcho-capitalism”.

Deduction from axioms is one side of the coin. The other side
is empirical and inductive. Ancient libertarianism began as a
synthesis of the two. We see this exemplified when Rome
conquered Athens.

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/mainea03.asp
Henry Maine: “It is notorious that this proposition —
live according to nature — was the sum of the tenets of the
famous Stoic philosophy. Now on the subjugation of Greece
that philosophy made instantaneous progress in Roman society.”
…The alliance of the lawyers with the Stoic philosophers lasted
through many centuries.” (
9.)

Prior to this, the roman republic began a common law system
they called “Jus Gentium” (or law of all nations). This was
merchant law, because it pertained to international trade,
and disputes that arose therefrom. Merchants from different
city-states sometimes had disputes, and they resolved the
question of what set of laws to apply by resorting to common
law. Though this method should be applied to all areas of law.

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/mainea03.asp
Henry Maine translates and quotes the Institutional Treatise
published under the authority of the Emperor Justinian:
“All nations who are ruled by laws and customs, are governed
partly by their own particular laws, and partly by those laws which
are common to all mankind. The law which a people enacts is called
the Civil Law of that people, but that which natural reason appoints
for all mankind is called the Law of Nations, because all nations use it.”
(10.)

Maine explains: “Jus Gentium was, in fact, the sum of the common
ingredients in the customs of the old Italian tribes, for they were
all the nations whom the Romans had the means of observing…”
(11.)

The Latin “Jus Gentium” or the law in common to all nations
(derived inductively), was objective in the sense of a property
of human nature and not derivative of contracts. Though
politically, we must evaluate all human actions that do not initiate
force, as if they were subjective. This resolves the seeming
contradiction between Austrian economics and “objectivism”.

The Stoic philosophy was to live in accord with nature,
keeping a balance or golden mean; the political aspect
was the principle of equity and equal rights (this was the
bridge to “Jus Gentium”).

By extracting the elements in common to all law codes,
the Romans did not intend “a priori” to arrive at the
non-aggression principle. That is good, because
well-intentioned people can come up with all kinds
of axioms which they presume to be self-evident,
and through pure logic arrive at a “reductio ad absurdum”.

Jus Gentium arrived at an approximation of the
non-aggression principle by analyzing examples
of all law codes, extracting what they all have in common.
All legal systems generally prohibit murder, robbery, and rape
(forcible initiation of force upon another natural person).
Though governments make exceptions for government
employees, we should apply the same logic to all
natural persons (“AEquitas” in Latin, “equity” in English).

Thus by applying the logic of equity to common law,
we arrive at knowledge of natural law, including the
non-initiation-of-force principle (i.e. liberty principle).
This natural law reigns supreme–applying to all
natural persons, in all places, and for all time.

Failure to live in accord with this natural justice will
result in automatic punishment from nature, as surely
as a poor diet and lifestyle will diminish lifespan.

Sharia law is in direct opposition to natural law,
and the world must choose between them.

Decline of the West–then and now

When the western roman empire fell, the eastern
continued for another 1000 years. The EU, and it’s
partner the US, are collapsing–economically,
politically, and demographically. Russian law must
be reformed in accord with “Jus Naturale” and then
will be able to preserve civilization in the dark
ages that might come. This will create hope and
purpose for the future, inspiring population increase.

Russia is a rightful heir to the eastern roman republic.
If Russia enabled a Kurdistan protectorate in eastern Turkey,
that would give Russia a land route from Armenia all the way
to the Mediterranean. Russia should negotiate military transit
privileges through Georgia, and the US should negotiate
military transit privileges through Armenia. Greece should
reprise the Iliad, and reverse the Islamist conquest of
Byzantium/Constantinople.

The US and the West are wrong to back an Islamic Turkey,
now as they were in the Crimean War. Similarly the West
backed the wrong side in Serbia and Afghanistan. Once the
Iran domination of Syria ends, Russia should assume a
leading role there.

Russia has a moral duty to prevent the rise of the Sunni
Caliphate and Shia nukes, and thus must resist the efforts
of Erdogan and the mullahs in Iran. That is because Obama
has further bankrupted the US. Pax Americana will go the
way of Pax Britannica and Pax Romana.

A good replacement is needed to avert a new Dark Ages,
the UN is manifestly unsuited to the task for multiple reasons.

Instead of siding with Shia Iran against the Sunni Caliphate,
and Obama backing whichever side seems trendy– Russia
and the US should unite against both the Sunni caliphate and
Shia nukes.

The western and eastern fragments of the republic must unite
in a co-dominion, changing their policies to form a humanistic
alliance against theocracy.

*******************************************************************
Bibliography
1. McDougall, I.; Brown, F.; & Fleagle, J.; (2005)
“Stratigraphic placement and age of modern humans from Kibish, Ethiopia”
Nature, Thursday Feb. 17, 2005
2. Brown, T.; Jones, M.; Powell, W.; and Allaby, R. (2008)
“The complex origins of domesticated crops in the Fertile Crescent”
Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 10-29
3. Wikibooks (2013)
“Civilization Makes it’s Debut” in
World History/Ancient Civilizations
4. Locke, J.; (1690)
“Of the State of War”
Second Treatise of Civil Government Chapter III Section 19
5. Hobbes, T.; (1660)
“Of The Naturall Condition Of Mankind, As Concerning Their Felicity, And Misery”
Leviathan, Chapter 13
6. Childs, R.; (1969)
“An Open Letter to Ayn Rand: Objectivism and the State”
The Rational Individualist, August 1969
7. Machan, T.; (2004)
“‘Government’ vs. ‘State'”
Strike the Root, March 13, 2004
8. Maine, H.: (1861)
“The Modern History of the Law of Nature”
Ancient Law, chapter four
9. Maine, H.: (1861)
“The Law of Nature and Equity”
Ancient Law, chapter three
10. Ibid.
11. Ibid.

‘World History and the Role of Russia; from a classical libertarian perspective’ was originally published in the Russian language academic journal  “Modern Scientific Thought”. 

It is reprinted with permission here.

Modern Scientific Thought’ may be accessed here http://helri.com/dop_faily/snm-2013-4.pdf

A profound thank you to Dr. Igor Suzdaltsev, Editor-in-Chief of ‘Modern Scientific Thought’, for his invaluable contribution to the publication of this article and to the cause of liberty.

Here is a link to his book’Natiology’ http://www.amazon.com/Natiology-Social-Science-Third-Millennium/dp/0965375323

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Responses

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  9. Here is a good factual assessment. I believe it has been withdrawn from the internet. While there are missing elements, this is worth reading:

    Putin’s Potemkin Village

    Dr. Gary K. Busch

    In the late 1780s Prince Grigori Alexandrovich Potyomkin-Tavricheski, a military commander and protégé of Catherine the Great, was sent South to subdue the Ukrainians and to take the Crimea. His successes were very limited and most of the territory he ‘conquered’ was a barren and derelict region with few people and only the burnt remains of villages. Catherine decided to visit the Crimea in 1787 to see her conquests. To impress her, Potemkin had hollow facades of villages constructed along the banks of the Dnieper River in order to impress her. Soldiers lit fires to make it look as if these villages were inhabited. There were no villages but there were elegant facades. This tradition is carried on by today’s Russian authorities as they pretend to be a world power equipped to dominate their neighbours militarily and to exaggerate to the world community their ability to influence the economic interactions of a global economy.

    When the Cold War ended, the Soviet Union had a total population of nearly 290 million, and a Gross National Product estimated at about $2.5 trillion. At that time, the United States had a total population of nearly 250 million, with a Gross Domestic Product of about $5.2 trillion. That is, the population of the United States was smaller than that of the Soviet Union, with an economy that was only twice that of the Soviet Union. Two decades later, Russia’s population is about 140 million, with a GDP of about $1.3 trillion, while the population of the United States is over 300 million, with a GDP of $13 trillion. Today, the population of the United States is twice that of Russia, and the US economy is ten times as large.

    Global tables of male life expectancy put Russia in about the 160th place, below Bangladesh. Russia has the highest rate of absolute population loss in the world. The Russian population is aging, and Russia remains in the throes of a catastrophic demographic collapse. The population is expected to fall to 139 million by 2031 and could shrink 34 per cent to 107 million by 2050. Eight out of ten elderly people in residential care have relatives who could support them. Nevertheless they are sent off to care homes. Between two and five million kids live on the streets (after World War Two the figure was around 700,000). Eighty per cent of children in care in Russia have living parents, but they are being looked after by the state. According to data published by the Russian Federation Investigative Commission, in 2010 there were 100,000 child victims of crime, of whom 1,700 were raped and murdered. This means that four or five children are murdered in Russia every day. In 2010, 9,500 sexual offences were committed against underage victims, including 2,600 rapes and 3,600 cases of non-violent sexual relations.

    Corruption is the rule in Russia. Practically every interaction between the citizen and the state (bureaucracy, police, tax bureau, banks, etc.) involves some form of extra-legal payment for what should be a free or regulated service. Even Vladimir Putin admits the scale of this corruption but little is actually being done to combat it effectively.

    Denying the truth is an integral part of Russian life. Participation in this national dialogue of fiction became imbued in the public behaviour of the Soviet and Russian citizens. It was a ‘given’ in public discussions and university debates. There was no question that many, especially those who were privileged to have travelled abroad, knew a different truth but, nonetheless, were compelled by circumstance to repeat the polite fictions in their daily professional and personal lives. Bullshit was ingrained as a feature of Soviet and Russian existence. Bullshit to foreigners was the bedrock of Soviet foreign policy masking a vast economic and political weakness and incapacity.

    Now, with the new controls of the press, television and the internet introduced by Putin patriotic bullshit has become the single most competitive sport in the country. As the media has been put in the hands of tame siloviki and the ultra-nationalists of the State Duma the Russian public is bombarded by a wave of nationalistic bombast that seems to strike a chord among those who bemoan the fact that Russia is really a second-rate or third-rate power with an aging and decaying nuclear weapons potential. It is this refusal to accept reality and work out a program of national growth which will take full advantage of Russia’s many assets that allow a little man behind the curtain, as in the Wizard of Oz, to create the pretence of power and menace.

    It took a gifted Ukrainian writer, Nikolay Gogol, to delineate the character of such a man. In his book “Dead Souls” (Мёртвые ду́ши) Gogol has as its main character Nozdryov, an utterly selfish man; the man who seeks unlimited pleasure but demonstrates zero love. Literally everything Nozdryov does, without exception, he does for his own amusement or pleasure. His defining character traits are lying and gambling. He lies continually to promote his own interests. When he gambles, he prefers to lose other people’s things. Nozdryov has the narcissistic need to be at the centre of everything, has to be involved in everything he sees, and his selfishness and self-aggrandizement has no limits. He has no conscience. He has a dead heart. The future Russian system of governance is characterised even more brutally in the persona of Andrei Danilovich Komiaga in Vladimir Sorokin’s “Day of the Oprichnik” in which many see parallels to the system which Putin helped create.

    However, Putin could not have done all this alone. When he came to power he brought with him his close circle of friends from the security services and St. Petersburg; the siloviki, and has surrounded his court with these men ever since.
    The Siloviki

    The new and powerful people (‘siloviki’) have been almost exclusively drawn from the ranks of the ‘Chekists’. A ‘Chekist’ is a general, if pejorative, term for those who are or once were employed in the security operations of the Soviet state- KGB, GRU, MVD, FSB etc. (the ‘Organs’) Dzerzhinsky’s original agency was the Cheka. Under Putin, these new ‘siloviki’ have been firmly installed in the corridors of power.

    Under Putin, the Chekists, primarily the St. Petersburg flavour of Chekist, openly took power as ministers, government advisors, governors, bankers and politicians. There may be as many as six thousands of these Chekists in powerful positions in the Russian state. There is no mystery about who they might be; Nikolai Patrushev; Igor Sechin, now head of Rosneft; Yuriy Zaostrovtsev, deputy chairman of the board of directors of Vneshekonombank; Viktor Ivanov, head of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service (FDCS) who succeeded Nikolai Patrushev as the Head of the Internal Security Department of Russia’s FSB; Boris Gryzlov former Speaker of the Duma and now head of the United Russia party; Sergei Ivanov, Vladimir Ustinov; Sergei Stepashin; Sergei Pugachov, president of Mezhprombank Bank; Nikolai Negodov; Vladimir Yakunin, Konstantin Romodanovsky, Viktor Cherkesov, Mikhail Fradkov. Aleksandr Bortnikov to name but a few. These siloviki are in top managerial posts throughout the Russian economy and the civil administration. They have been rewarded well for their loyalty to Putin.

    What is important about the siloviki is that their business model for Russian business effectively removes the linkage between the individual performances of a private company, a parastatal or an industry from the funds it generates. Because of the configuration of the siloviki economy the profits from the various producing entities and service industries are not kept in the name of the generating company or service but effectively put into a central pot (like the ‘obschak’ of the Mafia) for distribution by the political leadership. This divorce from a direct line between earnings and capital accumulation makes corporate planning a subject of political discussion and debate and a competition for investment funds which is won by political access rather than economic profitability. This is inimical to the notion of ploughing back profits towards R&D, maintenance and the renewal of plant and equipment and keeping up with the needs of Russia’s worn out infrastructure.

    By seeking to recreate the Soviet model of central control these siloviki have overseen the weakness of the Russian economy and provided for the continued stranglehold of the siloviki on the direction of the economy. This has had its effects on the economy but especially on the ‘oligarchs’ who remain in businesses but have removed the oligarchs’ access to political power. The oligarchs are, in many ways, the first victims of Putin and the siloviki. They have real companies, real banks, real productive capacities but these are becoming subject to the idiosyncratic demands of the siloviki with whom they are in competition. Russian businessmen and siloviki have been pulling their money out of Russia as fast as they can. Russian flight capital is of epic proportions; estimated to reach almost one hundred billion dollars this year. Putin’s plans for adjustment of this anomalous economic model is to insist on further lack of competition by choosing more corporations to come under whole or partial state control and limiting the funds available for their modernisation. Western sanctions have compounded these weaknesses.

    These sanctions are important but a little misguided. While it is reasonable and just to attack Putin’s cronies and business partners these are only rarely the oligarchs. Most of the oligarchs involved in major international businesses- Lisin, Makhmudov, Aven, Fridman, Usmanov, Vekselberg, Blavatnik, and others – are tolerated by the siloviki and Putin but largely are internationalists with experience of the world outside Russia. They would thrive and expand their businesses far better without Putin and the siloviki. It is foolish to sanction them as they are the victims of the Russian system not its perpetrators and will be needed to pick up the pieces when Putin and his cronies disappear. They are getting their assets as far away from the Russian economy as possible. It is probably unwise to freeze these. Sanctions should be directed at the siloviki, not the oligarchs.
    The Miltary: Russia’s Core Frailty

    One of the most important failures of the Putin regimes has been their planned starvation of needed funds to the military. The Soviet Union was a major world power because it had a powerful military armed with the latest equipment, including nuclear weapons. Today’s army is a pale shell of that Soviet Army. In Soviet times the military was a major political force in the country. The Soviet Armed Forces and the GRU were the third part of the troika that made up the Soviet Union

    After the fall of the Soviet Union the military was kept in a state of dereliction and constraint. Russia had suffered greatly as a result of the Afghan War. By the time of Gorbachev’s accession to power the war in Afghanistan had deteriorated badly. Resources were draining from the USSR budget and military progress had stopped and containment was the policy. Gorbachev told the military that they had a year to sort things out. They embarked on a policy of creating an Afghan Army which would notionally take over from Soviet troops, who would then be free to return home. This did not work so, at the end of 1986, they prepared to bring their troops home. The first contingent returned to the USSR from May to August 1988 and the rest from November 1988 to February 1989. It was an expensive and humiliating experience. After the war ended, the Soviet Union published figures of dead Soviet soldiers: the initial total was 13,836 men, an average of 1,537 men a year. According to updated figures, the Soviet army lost 14,427, the KGB lost 576, with 28 people dead and missing. Material losses included: 118 aircraft; 333 helicopters; 147 tanks; 1,314 IFV/APCs; 433 artillery guns and mortars; 1,138 radio sets and command vehicles; 510 engineering vehicles; 11,369 trucks and petrol tankers. It was a very costly business. Not only was it costly, there was no budget to rebuild the armed forces.

    The armed forces were then forced to leave their bases in Eastern Europe to return home. Russia’s most immediate neighbours, those who had been part of the Warsaw Pact, were nervously testing their degrees of freedom from the Soviet embrace. The invasions by Soviet tanks of the East Germans in 1953, the Hungarians in 1956, the Czechs in 1968 and the long history of Polish – Soviet conflict were too recent for these countries to forget. The third largest army in the world, the East German, was out of business. Massive quantities of East German (e.g. ex-Russian) military supplies were being offered at cut prices to the world as the re-unifying German state moved to change over to NATO equipment. One of the Soviet Union’s major industries, the arms industry, had the bottom fall out of its market. This was coupled with the enforced withdrawal of Soviet forces stationed in bases across Eastern and Central Europe. The Warsaw Pact disappeared; the COMECON disappeared and there was not enough money in the reserves to keep paying, unilaterally, the costs of keeping Russian troops outside of Russia.

    The soldiers were never paid much to begin with but the fall of the Soviet Union meant that they had very little indeed. These soldiers sold, with the connivance of their commanding officers, anything that wasn’t nailed down. They sold it for food and they sold it for trophies that they would carry home as they were demobilised. Most importantly there was no place in the physical Russian military establishment where these troops could be stationed. There were not enough bases inside Russia where the returning troops could be housed. There were no jobs for thousands of trained officers and NCOs. The offset costs for the Soviet Occupation paid by their former ‘satellites’ were no longer forthcoming. There were too many mouths to feed and too few bases in which they could be sheltered. No one was sure what to do but everyone recognised the danger of a disgruntled army full of people with grievances and with nothing to do.

    When Putin came into office he cut the military budget even more. What little remained was devoted to Putin’s new thrust into Chechnya which used up a substantial part of the military budget. Since then Putin has been promising new funds for the military but these funds haven’t arrived. One reason they haven’t arrived is that Russian military prosecutors have found that about 20 per cent of Russian defence spending is stolen by corrupt officers and officials. This should surprise no one as the only way that the officers could maintain their lifestyles was to steal money to do so. They saw what the politicians were stealing so felt little inhibitions. The anti-corruption campaign in the military has been going on for several years. A large part of the effort is directed at firms that manufacture weapons whose prices to the government are disparate with the market. Last year, this led to a curious confrontation which resulted in Russian shipyards refusing to build submarines for the Russian Navy. The Russian shipyards are in such bad shape that the government recently allowed the purchase of four Mistral class vessels from France, as well as the purchase of the manufacturing technology so more Mistrals could be built in Russia.

    Efforts to purge the forces of over 100,000 unneeded (and not very effective) officers ran into stiff resistance. The senior generals and admirals wanted to at least let these men remain until they reach retirement age, and leave with dignity, rather than being, in effect, fired. In 2012 the world’s seas were almost entirely free of Russian submarines as only ten patrols were sent out over the year; patrols that lasted for only days or hours. Most of the submarine fleet is scrap and unusable. Tanks are no better. Currently, the most modern tank Russia has is the T-90, which entered service in the early 1990s. Most of the 20,000 tanks (72 per cent of them in storage) in the Russian army are T-72s and T-80s. Russia planned to replace most of those T-72s and T-80s with T-90s and a new design, the T-95, by 2025 but the money ran out. On March 25, 2012 Major-General Alexander Shevchenko announced the massive scrapping of Russia’s tanks, APC and trucks, including T-80, T-64, T-55, tanks as well as a number of army trucks. Similar schemes are scheduled for the Russian air force.

    Russian Su-24s have been frequently grounded. In the last 12 years Russia has lost sixteen Su-24s to accidents. Many more have been retired because of old age. This is one of the reasons Russia is hustling to replace the Su-24s with Su-34s. It was only five years ago that Russia began building the first Su-34 fighter-bombers (20 of them). These are now replacing the Su-24s. Most of the Su-24s built are over 25 years old and many have been grounded several times recently because of age related problems.

    The Strategic Rocket forces are having difficulties with overage equipment. In January 2014 Russia was estimated to have 489 strategic launchers and about 1700 nuclear warheads. In its September 2013 New START data exchange Russia reported 473 deployed launchers with 1400 New START-accountable nuclear warheads. However the large majority of their missiles are R-36M2 (RS-20V, SS-18) and UR-100NUTTH (SS-19) which will be out of date in a few years (2018) and the road portable Topol (SS-25) is already out of date. The newer Topol-M (SS-27) and RS-24 missiles are from the 1990s and the long-awaited Bulava missiles keep crashing on their launch pads.

    The submarine readiness is seen as unsatisfactory. Submarines of the Project 667BDR (Delta III) class entered service in 1976-1982. A total of 14 ships of this class were built. These submarines carry the D-16R missile system with 16 R-29R (SS-N-18) missiles. Submarines of this class are being withdrawn from service because of age. Submarines of the Project 667BDRM (Delta IV) class entered service in 1985-1991. A total of 7 ships of this class were built, of which one (K-64 Vladimir) has been converted into a special-forces submarine. The current plans call for keeping six 667BDRM submarines in service, so the submarines are undergoing overhaul and are not available. Project 941 (Typhoon) submarines were deployed in 1981-1989. A total of six submarines of this class were built. Submarines of this class carry the D-19 missile system with 20 R-39 (SS-N-20) missiles. Since the missiles have reached end of their service lives, Project 941 submarines have been withdrawn from service. In 1996 Russia began construction of a strategic submarine of a new class, Project 955 (also known as Borey or Yuri Dolgorukiy). Construction of a second submarine of this type, Aleksandr Nevskiy, began in March 2004, and the third, Vladimir Monomakh – in March 2006. These submarines are designed to carry 16 launchers of the failed missile, known as Bulava. Subsequent submarines, known as Project 955A, will have 20 Bulava launchers. The first two Project 955 submarines – Yuri Dolgorukiy and Aleksandr Nevskiy – were accepted for service in 2013. However, the submarines do not have missiles on board.

    The Russian strategic aviation consists of 66 bombers that carry an estimated 200 long-range cruise missiles and bombs. The bombers are 11 Tu-160 (Blackjack) and 55 Tu-95MS (Bear H). The bombers can carry various modifications of the Kh-55 (AS-15) cruise missile and gravity bombs – some are coming to the end of their useful life.

    As of June 2014, the space-based tier of the early warning system for the missiles included two operational satellites on highly elliptical orbits. The constellation has impaired capabilities as they cannot maintain 24-hour coverage of the U.S. territory. Russia’s only geostationary early-warning satellite, Cosmos-2479, launched in March 2012, has ceased operations. In March-April 2014 the satellite did not perform its regular station-keeping manoeuvre and, according to Kommersant, was formally declared non-operational by the ministry of defence in April 2014. Cosmos-2479 was a satellite of the 71Kh6 type that was developed as part of the US-KMO early-warning system, which was supposed to provide complete coverage of the northern hemisphere. However, the system never reached operational status and Cosmos-2479 was said to be the last 71Kh6 spacecraft.

    According to the Russian military the current state of the armed forces is not constituted to pose a counterbalance to the forces available to NATO. It can engage in territories which use the same equipment as Russia (Georgia or Ukraine) but is in serious deficiency against the NATO air, sea, missile and space equipment. The constant announcements of additional spending on the military by Putin is generally not believed as the costs of keeping the troops on the Ukrainian border and taking over Crimea used up much of the budget already.
    The Military Costs of Eastern Ukraine

    The Russian defence industry is almost totally reliant on goods produced in the Eastern Ukraine.

    As the second largest exporter of arms with the world’s third military budget of $91 billion, Russia is extremely dependent on Ukrainian supplies, which accounts for 87 per cent of its military imports, according to the Stockholm International Research Institute.

    The military-industrial complex of Ukraine is the most advanced and developed branch of the state’s sector of economy. It includes about 85 scientific organizations which are specialized in the development of armaments and military equipment for different usage. The air and space complex consists of 18 design bureaus and 64 enterprises. In order to design and build ships and armaments for the Ukrainian Navy, 15 research and development institutes, 40 design bureaus and 67 plants have been brought together. This complex is tasked to design heavy cruisers, build missile cruisers and big antisubmarine warfare (ASW) cruisers, and develop small ASW ships. Rocketry and missilery equipment, rockets, missiles, projectiles, and other munitions are designed and made at 6 design bureaus and 28 plants.

    A number of Ukrainian scientific-industrial corporations have started R&D and production of small arms. The armour equipment is designed and manufactured at 3 design bureaus and 27 plants. The scientific and industrial potential of Ukraine makes it possible to create and produce modern technical means of military communications and automated control systems at 2 scientific-research institutes and 13 plants. A total of 2 scientific-research institutes and 53 plants produce power supply batteries; 3 scientific-research institutes and 6 plants manufacture intelligence and radio-electronic warfare equipment; 4 design bureaus and 27 plants make engineer equipment and materiel.

    Perhaps the best example is the company Motor Sich. It is the sole producer of engines for the MI-8 and MI-24 helicopters. It produces these engines for the Russian helicopter industry and a wide range of other military components. The air firm Antonov is based in the Ukraine and is one of the major suppliers of aircraft for the Russian Air Force and for Russian arms exports. Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport sold $13.2 billion in weapons and military equipment to foreign buyers in 2013. These arms deliveries in 2012-2013 included 13 An-140 and one An-148 transport aircraft.

    The ability of the Russian industry to fill its own needs is compounded by the fact that it needs Ukrainian parts and subassemblies for its exports. The Ukraine supplies the engines for the jointly-produced AN-148 planes. Other exporters to Russia include Mykolayiv-based Zorya-Mashproekt, which sells several types of turbines to Russia, including those installed on military ships. Another is Kharkiv-based Hartron, which supplies the control systems for Russian missiles. The Yuzhmash plant in Dnipropetrovsk is the only service provider for Satan missiles that Russia uses. The Ukrainians are also the main supplier of spare parts which its armed forces desperately need.

    Now, with the additional sanctions on the export of military equipment (and dual-use equipment) from the West, Russia’s hopes to become self-reliant in the production of military equipment is a fantasy. That is because the Russian economy has been starved of R&D money which has left its technological capacity stuck at the starting point. In short the Russian military are about two weapons generations behind the West, almost all of whom have developed effective counter-measures against the aging Russian equipment. A retired Russian colonel said, when asked if there would be a military conflict as a result of the Russian activity in the Eastern Ukraine he said “No. Are you crazy? We’d lose”.
    What Is To Be Done?

    In 1901 Lenin wrote a famous essay “What is to be done” in which he questions the future of the Bolshevik movement. Many in Russia today are asking the same question, albeit of a different flavour of Bolshevism – “Bonapartism”. Putin has aroused the patriotic feelings of a Russian nation which cannot come to terms with the fact that it isn’t a world power; a nation which has to be in the centre of international political engagements. For the most part Russia East of the Urals is a far different country than the urban capitals of St. Petersburg and Moscow. There are many citizens of Russia who don’t really care what is going on in Moscow. Whatever news is broadcast it is rarely good for the majority of its citizens and they know it.

    More importantly the people who now occupy the positions of power in Russia are very different than those they replaced. During the Soviet days many of those in the Russian intelligence services and the military spent time abroad, working in Africa, Asia and Latin America. They were far more cosmopolitan than today’s office holders (One has to be very careful with the term ’cosmopolitan’ as it was also used as an epithet against Jews).They had experienced other cultures, travelled in foreign lands and brought back experiences which tempered the fervour of their ideologies. Many of the old “nomenklatura” saw themselves as citizens of the world. The new nomenklatura are far more insular. Their attentions are focussed inwards in an effort to win the favour of the siloviki and Putin. It is mainly the oligarchs and the tourists who have travelled the world, with the oligarchs understanding what they see. There is a new generation of Russians who feel that their opportunities to become citizens of the world are hampered by the Russian political system. The new sanctions imposed by Europe and America as a result of the Ukraine will stifle these hopes. Mobilising the youth with patriotic slogans has its own limitations as failure to improve Russia’s status will create doubt among even the true believers.

    Many of the older generation of Russian soldiers are deeply resentful of the new system and fear for their country as they know what bullshit is and what propaganda is. They know the weaknesses of the military structure. The most important agent of change is the ability of ordinary Russians to access foreign information on the internet. However hard the authorities may try to block it, is transforming Russia. Despite the blanket of Russian domestic propaganda which fill the domestic media outlets Russians have the ability, for the first time in generations, to acquire information from outside the system.

    So, as they contemplate the worldwide view of their country they are beginning to recognise the outlines of Putin’s Potemkin villages and wonder about their future. Without major successes in foreign policy it will be hard to maintain the level of fiction which has blanketed Russia. There is no point in any military confrontation with Russia. To coin a phrase “Putinism contains the seeds of its own destruction.”

  10. Thank you for your complimentary words, Emprestimo.

    Modern libertarianism only approximates the original ideas. Over the centuries, mistakes and misinterpretations have accumulated like barnacles. My goal is to scrape off the accumulated errors down to the original, to restore and improve the original roman republic.

    Russian military is dependent on factories in Ukraine. However these factories produce garbage that is useful only against third-world or weak militaries like those in Ukraine or Georgia. That’s why Russia had to buy a destroyer from France, on the theory that second-rate is better than third-rate.

    If the voters in those E. Ukraine industrial towns really want to become part of Russia, I can guess their motive is economic. They want gas subsidies from Russia as well as orders for their military hardware. I don’t think Putin has thought through what would happen if he succeeds, he doesn’t realize that Russian voters are fickle and will desert him once the patriotic fever goes away and people wake up the next morning with an economic hangover.

  11. “fair use” allows for quotation of portions of works. Normally I don’t mind other people posting my whole article, but this article was given to “Modern Scientific Thought” and permission was given for it’s appearance here.

  12. Cela, what do you think of Marie Le Pen?

  13. Thanks for your positive evaluation. For some reason, this essay seems to have stirred a lot of interest, among international readers especially. I’d appreciate more specific comments or questions, this would help me focus my replies.

    Natural persons, and only natural persons, have rights. Governments and nations do not have rights, except those delegated by natural persons. That is to say, the proper social contract is for natural persons to individually sign contracts with a government of their choice.

    “Government” is simply the organization of force to regulate or control behavior, typically with a code of law and established procedures. “State” has a different meaning. Originally this meant, the land or estate of a country; or the condition of the country; or to take a stand in a particular place.

    In modern usage, “state” means a government with pretensions of a monopoly status for governing services in a particular territory. Since no state has achieved or asserted such a monopoly, in the strict sense “states” have never existed, don’t exist, and likely cannot exist. However we should distinguish between how governments would operate in a free competitive environment, and quasi-states that restrict competition.

    Those laws in common to all (or virtually all) governments, constitutes the law of nations, Jus Gentium, the ancient common law. This approximates the natural law (Jus Naturale). We cannot likely know the natural law through logical deduction from axioms (a priori assumptions) because there is no objective way of knowing which assumptions are correct.

    This system does imply or require a federal government that settles disputes between member-governments and enforces the common law across borders. Such a federal government did exist in the roman republic, though the implementation was far from ideal. The principles underlying the republic still exist, so the republic should be restored and improved.

    In Ukraine for example, each city (and the surrounding countryside) could have it’s own government. NATO could be the federal government, after Turkey is expelled and Russia admitted. Eventually, ideally, city governments would be replaced by idea-based governments that would not be territory-based.

  14. Thanks for your compliment, weight loss humble. This article seems to have sparked a relatively high amount of praise and comments. I guess the timing was right–people are concerned about the role of Russia, considering events in Ukraine.

    Besides a large repository of nuclear weapons, Russia has 11 time zones and probably the largest land mass of any country. They have many natural resources–timber, oil, gold, and other minerals. They are also heir to a cultural tradition that is not as rich as that in the west but carried on civilization for 1000 years while the west collapsed into theocracy. While in Byzantium/Constantinople, the church had only a secondary role and the rich heritage of classical culture, from Greece and Rome, was preserved. Justinian even tried to restore the republic, but he didn’t have the resources to rescue the west, and this left him weak for the subsequent Islamist invasion.

    Eventually the west recovered, and surpassed the eastern roman republic. Feudalism was not entirely bad, at least there was local government and an atmosphere of “anarchy”. The West experienced the renaissance, reformation, and enlightenment. But 19th century humanists and libertarians were not able to fully understand western civilization. They persisted in an analytic/synthetic (logical/empirical) dichotomy. Government funding and control of education contributed to the problem. Intellectuals became alienated from western civilization or were not able to offer a complete and coherent defense.

    As a result, the 20th century was the century of world wars and mass death. Probably the US should have stayed out of WWI, and in fact if instead of the American Revolution, the American colonies had negotiated to become part of Britain proper, extending the Mansfield decision against slavery to the American continent. This would have avoided the US Civil War, and probably
    WWI.

    Without the first world war, Nazism and communism would never have taken hold. Our duty is to restore the intellectual climate of pre-WWI culture, infused with classical culture from ancient Rome and Greece, and developed to a higher level through the application of logical principles to the world of phenomena.

  15. Thank you, Emily, for your compliment. This article maybe the best I am capable of in my life. It is a culmination of many years of life, thinking, discussion, teaching, and research. Perhaps I could expand into a book if I had enough savings to semi-retire.

    This article is meant to restore the roots of the classical liberal tradition. Roots that have been obscured by centuries of mistakes, culminating in Murray Rothbard, the grand poseur who distorts libertarianism in order to fit into his latest coalition of the day. He is Ron Paul’s and Lew Rockwell’s brain. Rothbard is well educated, so maybe aware of some of these points, but covers his tracks in order to lead what he misrepresents as his creation (“anarcho-capitalism” sic). Nothing original about Rothbard is worthwhile, and what about him that is worthwhile is not original.

  16. thanks for the tips, Ward. What page do you mean? The “defendliberty.net” page? What search terms did you use? “Irishhawk” might be interested to know, though I don’t know if he knows how to do backlinks.

    I am glad that Dugin, a Rasputin-like figure, has been let go by Moscow University. He is an extreme Russian nationalist who is anti-European. My Russian friends oppose him.

    Another good development is that Putin is now hesitating and has not sent in large units of his regular army to eastern Ukraine. Absent that level of intervention, the Ukrainian military will likely retake all the rebel cities (except for Crimea, which of course is defended by Russian troops).

    Russian influence in Crimea is good, to counter Tatars (many are Islamist including some experienced warriors) and Turkey. However in E. Ukraine, the rebellion is mostly counter-productive. There are neo-nazis on both sides.

    Russia’s negative energies need to be redirected, away from another inter-European dispute and toward an alliance against Islamism.

  17. Thanks for you comments. I did update the article, recently I discovered that sapien remains have been found in Israel and date to a much earlier time. Also there have been proto-humans of various species for much much longer.

    http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2010/12/27/researchers_ancient_human_remains_found_in_israel/

    Often there is a basis in fact, for ancient myths. The “Garden of Eden” fairly describes an earlier earth, during ice ages, where an ideal climate existed in what is now Iraq and the adjacent sea. As the ice age ended, ice dams melted and this caused global flooding (the “great flood” was actually a series of floods extending for perhaps hundreds of years). This necessitated the evacuation from the garden; either it was flooded or too hot.

    The warming/melting period opened up vast tracts of land for cultivation. This led to stored wealth, an attractive target for gangs of thieves. This wealth had to be protected and this led to the evolution of government.

    Now we tax consumption and income. Sales taxes are regressive as the wealthy spend less of their money, and save more. However just to save wealth is not enough, the wealth should be put to use to try to make income. However if there is an income tax, this is discouraged. Which means, a barrier to putting wealth to good use.

    Protecting wealth costs money, while incomes can’t be protected because income only exists in the future. All past (net) income has already been turned into wealth.

    Sales taxes are also counter-productive, they discourage retail sales.

    There should be no tax on wealth for those who don’t contract to have their wealth protected. Either they have taken their own defensive measures, and hence already pay for a type of government; or they have not taken defensive measures, and their wealth would be unprotected, easy prey for predators.

    Thus a wealth protection user fee is economically more efficient than taxes, and more in accord with justice as force is not initiated.

  18. You may post your ideas where you have posted your post.
    We have no budget, if your ideas are good, would you donate them?

  19. Thank you.

  20. Thanks for your kind words.
    Nowadays, saying “classical libertarian” is necessary for clarity, in the same sense that people say “classical liberal”. Due to intellectual trends in the “Progressive” era (around the turn of the 20th century), the word “liberal” was hijacked by soft “socialists”.

    In fact, the word “socialism” to describe government aggression was another hijacking of a good term; “social power” used to be considered in opposition to “government power”. Being social is a good thing. To describe government thuggery as “socialism” is paralleled by describing the voluntary sector as the “private” sector. As if freedom applies only when one is alone or in a small intimate group; and when we enter into social relations with general society, we must do so on the basis of organized initiation of force.

    Murray Rothbard and his acolytes (including the senile Ron Paul) have been busy re-defining libertarianism as anti-interventionism, equating aggression with intervention. While in reality, “intervention” simply means, taking sides in a dispute. When we side with the victim against the aggressor, that is not aggression. When we side with the aggressor against the victim, that is aggression.

    The best policy is the “golden mean” of Stoics; libertarianism allows defensive and retaliatory force, so is midway between initiatory force and pacifism. The question of whether to intervene is not categorical; to always intervene might be as bad as never intervening. We should decide whether to intervene based on human rights, as well as wisdom that considers our interests and realistic possibilities.

  21. http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2010/12/27/researchers_ancient_human_remains_found_in_israel/


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