We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Conflict with Russia seems suboptimal. But avoiding necessary conflicts is not avoiding but just delaying. Why would you do that? Putin’s miscalculation makes regime super fragile *for now*. Which means that’s the best time for escalation ever. Next time they’ll be more robust.

That’s important, because “deescalation” and defeating Putin are two different goals that require two different strategies. Deescalation means don’t threaten him in any way and give him as much as possible in a hope he won’t ask for more. Unfortunately that’s all wishful thinking

Kamil Galeev

6 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Stephen William Houghton II

    I say build him a golden bridge, let him retire with his ill gotten gains to live in the PRC or India or any where where he does not have his finger on the nuclear button.

  • Stephen William Houghton II

    PS That was an excellent article.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    Excellent indeed!
    The “trick” surely is to build the despot a golden bridge which does not simultaneously commend their policies to their successor.
    Part of the interest of the thread for me is the game-theoretic analysis. Many people have said for some time that the Russian “military/industrial complex” analyse nearly all interactions as zero/negative sum games. This is a disaster in a market setting (where nearly all interactions are positive sum) and arguably so in diplomatic relations.
    Even in military situations it may be untrue (for example, allowing your opponent to negotiate under a flag of truce is probably a win for both sides)!

  • People like Putin are not good at trusting. They will take a ‘golden bridge’ on the day they themselves are very reluctantly compelled to think it the best outcome still possible for them – which is a day in which it is neither necessary nor desirable to give it to them. Clovis ‘zero-sum’ point is relevant – Putin will do that when he thinks he gains the most he still can and we lose correspondingly. They will assume (correctly) that the politicians promising them this safe retirement will not throw themselves in front of any bullet fired by an assassin who has penetrated it or by a well-bribed guard of this retreat. People like Putin trust power – being in it, not being subject to someone else’s.

    It is important to remember why wars are fought and who actually fights them. Soldiers die or spend the rest of their lives in wheelchairs, then politicians in the peace deal decide what the soldiers’ deeds actually meant. Letting the soldiers do the hard work of getting the win and then giving your enemy a much happier retirement than your fighters was a bad look even in more trusting ages.

  • staghounds

    You first, Kameel Galeev.

  • Paul Marks

    Behind Mr Putin is Xi of the Chinese Communist Party Dictatorship.

    Mr Putin, in his folly, has (de facto) made Russia a colony of the People’s Republic of China.

    Mr Putin is a traitor to Russia, a traitor to the Russian people.

    I hope that senior people in Russia take action to terminate the problem.