Analysis- Is Putin Right about Liberalism being Obsolete?

Putin on a Bear

Putin on a Bear, Possibly Photoshopped no sources can confirm nor deny exactly

Note: This article is a response to a request made by a collegue, I was to comment and express my views on Putins remarks highligted on a BBC article. I’ve highlighted my personal opinions and comments in Italics and the Bold font was used to emphasis points. The link is in the sidebar. In no way this article is intended as an endorsement of any figure or state or ideology. If you have any criticism or concern about this article fell free to approach me on instagram, I will respond in my downtime.

Analysis of the Article

Here I’m only considering some of the strong statements made by the Russian Prime Minister and BBC.

Excerpt 1: “markets were allowed to determine everything”

Not true, for example in the post 2008 financial collapse, if the market was truly free it would have allowed the bad banks to collapse and liquidate its remaining assets and held accountable. But it did not result in that manner. It is safe to say Monopolistic Competition is not in the best interest of a free market.

Excerpt 2: “larger questions of identity and culture, with people feeling that their country is no longer their own”.

This is true depending on country to country. If a local population is displaced with a one that is foreign at every level you are expected to have a flight or fight response from a very active minority within the public. I would like to extend that historically all cultures changed and merged. With regards to genealogy English are a mix of Anglo Roman and Saxons, perhaps even Viking. With regards to culture scottish people don’t wear kilts anymore, atleast not the majority. But this change happened over extended periods of time sometimes spanning over a 1000 year period. In a capitalist system we all tend to migrate / relocate to areas with the highest economic benefit. Now speed this up with the accelerated technological growth. Large parts of the population will feel the full wrath of Gentrification and Isolation from homogenous tribal affiliations.

Excerpt 3: “we still live in a liberal world economy”

This is a tough one, Liberal to whom? Citizens or Corporations? Most parties are lobbied and paid for by corporations, often owned by special interests. Unless you’re off the grid living in the middle of nowhere on another planet you should have noticed by now..

Free will is present as long as people actively exercise it. If people are to offload the decision making to algorithms and companies your free will is up to those who program those algorithms. This outsourcing of free will is present at this very moment. If you use Spotify, You no longer listen to music you actively seek out but the ones suggested by an Ai. Your tastes are curated and the comapnies have the ability to shift your opinions of certain things by simply shifting your attention in various ways. So what is free will in an Augmented Capitalism.

Liberalism depends on the basis that people are free to make your own choices, but what if those choices were analysed and curated for the highest profitability.

Excerpt 4: “most countries in the world are liberal democracies, not authoritarian ones”

Not something Putin said, but BBC. Liberal doesn’t imply democratic however most Democratic societies tend to be liberal in nature. For this argument I would use Singapore. It is Liberal in its Economic Policy, but Not Politically liberal. Same party has Ruled over many years since its independance. People are comfirtable voting for the same guys over and over as long as the paycheck comes though to the bank account. This is outsourcing freewill to a centralised power. This is just BBC parroting the same ideas since Thacher’s era that all liberal countries are democratic and will work in favour of people. Ask that from the union workers in UK.

Excerpt 5: “This liberal idea presupposes that nothing needs to be done. That migrants can kill, plunder and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants have to be protected.

What I belive Putin has implied is a Laissez-faire economic system where there’s near zero govt intervention. Its almost Anarchic (Like all ideologies even Liberal Views are a spectrum). Even in an near anarchic system there would be certain laws in place that would support the common interests of the participants in that system. So it would not be possible to plunder and rape. Therefore I belive he got this one wrong.

With that said, there is undoubtably a rise in conflicts and crime within EU. This has largely been attributed to the immigrant populations in european countries. Refer to my Excerpt 2. Hyper Connectivity, Technology as an accelerator and market conditions are at play here. Its more than likely uncontrolled immigration would be bad for both natives, and migrants.

This issue is primarily failure to enforce the laws that are already in place. I am a strong beliver in giving person a second chance to polish up their bad behavior and live a crime free life, but it becomes a problem when the said individual/s keep on commiting them. When the carrot doesn’t work the legal system should shift gears to using the stick. Failure to enforce the law not only hurts the natives but also the migrants who came to those counties legally. Failure to recognize crime and to enforce the law would automatically put the LEGAL MIGRANTS agiainst the native population. The Legal migrants still has to interact with their neighbours, and when the neighbours are suspicious of these people who should they turn to? This is how Mafias emerged in state of NY.

Excerpt 6: “It has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population,” he said.

Lets look at this mathematically. Political parties don’t have an incentive to represent common voters opinion. Do a simple math, take any politicians yearly salary and divide it by the number of voters that they have to be accountable within the region. If its a provincial/state election take the population of the state. If its the country then the entire countries tax paying population (Spoler: if you never paid taxes you never supported the democracy you’re living in, refer to: Economic Free Rider Problem)

If you did the calculatuion, if you’re lucky enough your opinion should round up to a nice $0.0002. The only country where this number approximates to a full $1.2 value is Singapore where the Prime Minister is paid $2.2mn and that is for a population of 1.82 million tax paying individuals. This is according to Inland Revenue Service of Singapore. If you’re Singaporean your vote is worth a full dollar, this is easier and straight forward method to quantify voter opinion. So don’t be surprised when politicians turn to businesses and special interests for funding. We are part of the problem when we expect the govt to everything, Because we outsourced our individual responsibilities to them.

So yes Putin got this right, govt is in conflict with the majority opinion and they have an incentive to do so.

Excerpt 7: “In European countries that have been entry points from recent wave of asylum seekers - Greece, Germany and Italy - attitudes about immigrants have deteriorated since 2014,” Mr Lopez says - although 59% of Germans still have positive views on immigration.

This point made by BBC in the article doesn’t differenciate between LEGAL vs ILLEGAL immigrants. It would most definitely be in the best interests of the Germans to import high skilled labour from other countries. You should also notice the 41% that is not in favour, that is a significant proportion of people who voiced their negative opinion in the survey. What this could means is 41% percent are affected by the negative effects of Mass Migration.

Excerpt 8: “By contrast, countries that are traditional destinations for immigrants, but not part of the recent wave - like the UK, France, and Spain - have seen an increase in the share saying that immigrants strengthen their country.”

Again BBC doesn’t go in to the details about which elements within the society are strengthened. If one was to consider supply & demand theory. An increase of labour supply while the demand for labour remain steady (companies don’t just pop up, and the startups that do majority would fail in the 1st year of operation) would result in reduction in average salaries as there is a larger pool of employees for companies to chose from.

Average incomes in west has not increased with the rising inflation over the last 10 years and shows a downwards trend.


source: tradingeconomics.com

wealth gap has increased

wealth gap pew research

and we are in an age of Trillion Dollar Corporations,

mega corporations

so just connect the dots.

Therefore Increased immigration definitely is in the best interest of corporations. Refer to my comments on excerpt 2.

When large groups of people with ideologies and cultures that are polar opposites are in the close proximity its usually a ticking timebomb for racial violence. Just 200 years ago India and china was heavily divided along ethnic and tribal affiliations. All these multi ethnic mega cities came into existence in the last century. I don’t think any culture had enough time to adjust to the rapidly changing world.

I am not sure how BBC makes the claim that immigration strengthening the country. I would put it this way, in the short term it benefits corporations not the individuals, in the long term it might benefit the individuals as the genepool expands and more brains result in more productivity (will governments need this once Ai has been harnessed?). But this is assuming people get along well in the long run. (I’m trying be be optimistic here)

Excerpt 9: Within Europe, a Pew survey found that a majority of people in the EU countries they surveyed - including Germany, Sweden, France, the UK, Greece and Italy, favoured taking in refugees fleeing violence and war - although Poland and Hungary were exceptions.

People who flee conflict should be saved and is a noble thing to do so. But BBC is seems to be misrepresenting data. The article doesn’t cite the source of the data. What seems to be on the rise is economic migrants claiming to be reugees and gaming the system. This by definition is illegal, there are plenty of pathways to seek employment in EU and US legally from H1B’s to Greencards and many more. But these individuals do not come from war torn areas nor do they face extreme poverty. Major characteristic that keeps recurring is their ability to pay thousands of Euros to human traffikers to get them to the other side. This matter itself deserve a whole research on its own.

Excerpt 10: However, a majority in many of the same countries - including Germany, Sweden and Greece - separately believed that immigrants increased the risk of terrorism or crime.

This reverts back to some of the earlier points I’ve analysed. Conflicting ideologies in close proximity is not a good idea. All the way until 1918 both Chrsitianity and Islam had been at each other’s throats. African tribal warfare is an ongoing affair. China (People’s Republic of China) and Taiwan (Republic of China) are still fighting over disputed territories. Now people in the west expect them to live in harmony in close proximities as good and dandy neighbors and shed their nationalistic / tribal affiliations. This is equivalent to day dreaming. Even if we pick a 3rd gen migrant child, they would still hold ideas similar in nature to their ancestors. This is the culture effect, even if they got nothing to do with any of the past grudges they’ll be holding on to them for a foreseeable future. So don’t be surprised when your migrant neigbours are killing each other, they’re used to doing that. Take it from a guy living in a 3rd world country.

Excerpt 11: And all the European countries that Pew surveyed disapproved of how the EU had handled the refugee issue.

Again, I am not sure where BBC is getting this data from nothing is cited and we must put full trust in BBC, all these articles seem more like attention seeking clickbait rather than a solid analysis. Besides who has time to go through the details right? Just tell us who the bad guy is so we can collectively be angry about them on Twitter.

With that said refer to Excerpt 6, 7, 8. Its in a countries best interest to secure the best talent, its not in their best interest if they are radical and could bring harm to communities. Therefore laws are put in place to ensure such things won’t happen. But out of compassion (or lobby money from special interests?) politicians have decided not to enforce said laws. Now bad guys get into the country and legal immigrants take the beating from the system. More lobbying to prevent enforcement of said laws by the influencing popular opinion on social media (privately owned, not decentralized). Its a spiral EU cannot get out of.

Summary

Putin gets some parts wrong, some parts right. I am not sure if BBC correctly presents his views on Liberalism. To be honest I doubt there’s any self proclaiming liberal out there who actually read any books relating to the matters of Politics. Its just used as branding and self promotion (self loathing?) on social media. As a centrist you could say liberals are very liberal on their definitions on liberalism. In my honest opinion I don’t really think we have any truly liberal societies anymore. Its late stage capitalism (i’m not anti-capitalist, just anti-monopolist) fueled by Ai and Blockchain Coolaid heading towards a 2050? singularity.

References

Original Article : Is Putin right? Is liberalism really obsolete?

European elections 2019: Country-by-country roundup

US Wages and Salary Growth

US Inflation Rate