Monday, December 1, 2008

Russian Population

I'll be pretty busy for the next couple of weeks, so I'll just post
the occasional link:

Russia is still capable of nuking the planet, and it is likely to
cause all manner of minor trouble in upcoming years, but it will never
again be a real power. Its days are numbered; it is nothing but a
shell of its former self and the collapse will continue to accelerate.

All they have now is oil. In a few decades, we will develop
technologies that will greatly reduce the demand for oil, and then
Russia will truly be history. Their only hope is a complete change of
government and social norms, but that looks extremely unlikely. The
people in power are extremely good at keeping power, and it seems that
there is no popular will to change anything.


Anonymous said...

Drawn here by the 80k hours post, find your thoughts on polling and prediction issues last November very interesting, also wonder whether this post seems a bit funny to you in retrospect

Alleged Wisdom said...

I think the prediction was accurate. Russia today is still on a state of long-term decline. They are causing a lot of minor trouble in their quest to be seen as a real power, but then so is North Korea. The two places are basically in the same geopolitical category.

Anonymous said...

I'm allowing circumstances and the power of anecdote to taint my viewpoint, I suppose. Certainly Russia lacks the manpower, brainpower, and capital to try to effectively "pull a China" on various parts of the world to degrade US capability diplomatically, commercially, and otherwise, but with media bias toward the grandiose and historical skittishness about Russia, I think a great many are skeptical of "falling power" assessments on her as a state.

Additionally, thank you for the awesome and insightful posts reference to the Econ career you've pursued in government, it is wildly interesting and beneficial to mid-career transitioning wanna-be. Never a boring read in this blog.

Alleged Wisdom said...

People pay far too much attention to short-term fluctuations, in many domains. Whatever Russia is doing is the equivalent of last month's random noise in JC Penny's stock price.

China opening an SEZ for medical tourism and innovation was a far bigger blow to the future power and influence of the USA than anything Russia could do to us short of launching a WMD strike. There is a good chance that China will own biotech the way that the USA currently owns IT.

I am glad you enjoy the blog, thanks for the feedback. Although I will admit that a lot of this old stuff is likely to be wrong or simply lower quality than my recent posts.