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#31
Off the Record / Re: Property prices thread
Last post by Syt - September 25, 2022, 03:10:40 PM
#32
Off the Record / Re: The Lord of the Rings: The...
Last post by HisMajestyBOB - September 25, 2022, 02:48:52 PM
Humble Bundle has a collection of Tolkien related books for sale. The bundle includes Tolkien and the Great War, which I've been eyeing for a while and was the only reason I picked it up, but some of the others there looked interesting.
#33
Off the Record / Re: Russo-Ukrainian War 2014-1...
Last post by Legbiter - September 25, 2022, 01:57:28 PM
Russian conscript training is going extremely well...

https://twitter.com/GlasnostGone/status/1573760500193705984
#34
Off the Record / Re: Italian Politics
Last post by The Larch - September 25, 2022, 01:12:22 PM
Apparently the elections only cracked 51% turnout at 19h, I guess it's on track to be the lowest participation general elections in Italian history.
#35
Off the Record / Re: Russo-Ukrainian War 2014-1...
Last post by Zanza - September 25, 2022, 12:42:05 PM
I guess their idea is that if they can't genocide Ukrainians, they can at least genocide their own minorities...
#36
Off the Record / Re: The Off Topic Topic
Last post by The Larch - September 25, 2022, 11:31:47 AM
Quote from: Maladict on September 25, 2022, 09:55:14 AMThe mistifying one for me is Lithuania. Not the UK as a destination, but why Lithuania?

There are tons of Lithuanians in the UK, and relatively they make a fairly high % of its population, mostly younger people, so I guess it's either people travelling from one country to the other somehow frequently, family and friends visiting those living in the UK, or as cel said, some fuzziness into what Eurostat counts as tourism, which might actually include trips done for business purposes, which I guess would also explain the CEE countries that have Germany as their top destination.
#37
Off the Record / Re: Iranian Protests
Last post by OttoVonBismarck - September 25, 2022, 11:29:11 AM
Quote from: The Minsky Moment on September 23, 2022, 12:01:13 PMNote that the 1979 revolution that brought the mullahs to power was triggered by urban demonstrations led by youth.  It was not a rural religious reactionary revolt.

And? You did not make a point here, but if I properly extrapolate, you seem to be suggesting the Iranian regime's support base is not rural religious conservatives. The genesis of the 1979 revolution being in college students in Tehran has little to do with who are the primary political powerbase of the hardliners. Many Revolutions, possibly even most of them, end up coopted by different forces than the parties that initially set them off. The Bolsheviks were not the progenitors of the Russian Revolution, and they arguably were not even the largest faction in the ensuing wars, they just happened to outmaneuver all the other groups eventually and seized complete control.

This is obviously exactly what happened in Iran, and any suggestion that rural Iranians were not a major power base of anti-Shah sentiment and pro-Khomeini influence would be gravely mistaken. The Shah's policies had actually caused intense rural resentment not primarily for cultural or religious reasons, but actually because of economic policies that devastated rural regions in the name of economic progress. Khomeini was massively popular among the rural grassroots in part because he appealed to traditional religious and cultural values of the rural people, but also because he was economically populist in many ways that addressed rural concerns.

When the National Front and the Tudeh, both of whom had advocated against regressive policies and ideas of the conservative clergy previously, decided to ally with Khomeini it was precisely because they were impressed with his populist appeal and they made a bad assumption that they could utilize Khomeini as a figurehead to rally a larger grassroots populist base, but would ultimately be able to direct the politics of a post-Shah Iran. This of course, did not happen. Khomeini showed he had a much larger base in the large national referendum after the Shah fled, and he utilized the Revolutionary Guard to suppress any opposition from his old Nationalist and Socialist allies, understanding adeptly that he needed a military power base outside the traditional Iranian military to secure his rule.

The system they set up actually has genuine elections and lots of deliberative assembly things, but the Ayatollah ultimately can prune people out of election lists and has direct control of the military, so he can wield absolute power to protect the Islamist rule, while giving the people some participation in government as a safety valve. It is not a terrible system if your goal is to run an Islamist government and try to head off some of the problems other such governments have had.

In a way it's almost like a reverse Saudi Arabia. Iran has a very theocratic and Islamist ruling clerical class, that knows that several large population centers simply don't buy into their brand of Islam, so they create veneers of democracy and try to promote economic development to keep everyone happy. In KSA you have a largely secularist and libertine royal family who use veneers of Islamism to keep the very conservative Islamist population content to continue letting the House of Saud run things. Although both KSA and Iran are majority conservative Islamist, Iran is much less so I think in raw numbers.
#38
Off the Record / Re: Russo-Ukrainian War 2014-1...
Last post by The Larch - September 25, 2022, 11:28:51 AM
Quote from: Jacob on September 25, 2022, 11:27:12 AM
Quote from: The Larch on September 25, 2022, 11:15:05 AMUkraine would do well to make it well known that deserters from the Russian army will be received with open arms.

I've seen a number of statements (or maybe the same statement repeated) from Zelenksy saying just that, including promises that no one would be repatriated to Russia unless they consent to it and the circumstances of the surrender would not be revealed to Russian authorities.

Yeah, and more could be done too for residents of the occupied territories as well, given that they can still be considered Ukranian nationals for all intents and purposes, press-ganged against their will into the Russian army.
#39
Off the Record / Re: The Off Topic Topic
Last post by The Larch - September 25, 2022, 11:27:25 AM
Albania has been promoting itself as a budget Mediterranean destination for a while, and the country has improved significantly in the last few years, it makes no sense to keep picturing it as a post-commie distopia anymore. The fact that Greeks go there in significant numbers doesn't seem that weird to me.
#40
Off the Record / Re: Russo-Ukrainian War 2014-1...
Last post by Jacob - September 25, 2022, 11:27:12 AM
Quote from: The Larch on September 25, 2022, 11:15:05 AMUkraine would do well to make it well known that deserters from the Russian army will be received with open arms.

I've seen a number of statements (or maybe the same statement repeated) from Zelenksy saying just that, including promises that no one would be repatriated to Russia unless they consent to it and the circumstances of the surrender would not be revealed to Russian authorities.