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Russia will begin disintegrating by 2020


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#1
funkervogt

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Thus predicted foreign policy "expert" George Friedman in 2015, during a speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The speech is here, and the segment where he talks about Russia's future begins at 48:12. 

 

https://youtu.be/QeLu_yyz3tc?t=2892

 

Friedman said that low oil prices and the shrinkage of its working-age population would hurt the Russian economy so badly that the country would start disintegrating "around 2020" but probably earlier. He reiterated this by saying "The Russians may be toast [by 2018-19]." 

 

Friedman was right that oil prices would stay low for the foreseeable future: It was about $50/barrel when he gave the speech and it mostly stayed within +/- $10 of that point for the next five years (before recently crashing due to the pandemic). However, Russia did not disintegrate. It didn't lose control over even the smallest patch of territory, nor does it look poised to do so. 

 

Putin remains a popular leader, and recent changes to the Russian constitution will make him President for life. 

 

I think the important takeaway is that the Russians are more resilient and Putin is more powerful than Westerners would like to believe. The U.S. is actually in a state of greater domestic upheaval than Russia right now. The other important takeaway is that many lauded experts have undeserved reputations for being good prognosticators of the future events. In the same Chicago Council speech, Friedman also wrongly predicted that Greece would default on its debts to its international creditors and leave the Eurozone. In 1991, he also wrongly predicted that the U.S. and Japan were headed for war within 20 years. 

https://www.foreigna...oming-war-japan



#2
Yuli Ban

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Title might need to be changed if the point is that Russia isn't disintegrating.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#3
PhoenixRu

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Friedman said... the country would start disintegrating "around 2020" but probably earlier. He reiterated this by saying "The Russians may be toast [by 2018-19]."

 

So far, Americans themselves are "toast" more than we are.

 

The other important takeaway is that many lauded experts have undeserved reputations for being good prognosticators of the future events.

 

This is quite expected when you're going to predict the specific future events with their exact dates, and not just general trends.

 

In 1991, he also wrongly predicted that the U.S. and Japan were headed for war within 20 years. 

 

And this was the silliest of his predictions. In 1991, the "issue" may have been "the same as in 1941", but the world system as a whole (economy, society, geopolitics, conflict resolution methods) was already qualitatively different.



#4
starspawn0

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His Japan prediction was probably motivated by the rising economic might of that country at the time, and its competition with U.S. companies, particularly carmakers.  The U.S. was a little afraid and also in awe of Japan in the late 80s, early 90s, much like how it is now of China.  It spawned a fascination with karate, and novels and films like Black Rain. 

 

But it all fell apart when Japan had a "lost decade", and its economy imploded.  Some have blamed the conservative Japanese business culture, that doesn't like making the hard, embarrassing decisions necessary to set things right.

 

Anyways, Friedman's prediction would have been only a little "out there" back in 1991.



#5
Yuli Ban

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His Japan prediction was probably motivated by the rising economic might of that country at the time, and its competition with U.S. companies, particularly carmakers.  The U.S. was a little afraid and also in awe of Japan in the late 80s, early 90s, much like how it is now of China.  It spawned a fascination with karate, and novels and films like Black Rain. 

 

But it all fell apart when Japan had a "lost decade", and its economy imploded.  Some have blamed the conservative Japanese business culture, that doesn't like making the hard, embarrassing decisions necessary to set things right.

 

Anyways, Friedman's prediction would have been only a little "out there" back in 1991.

1) Even in the situation that Japan avoided the Lost Decade, it's unlikely that we'd have come to blows. Japan is, after all, a liberal democracy with an economy that's well-integrated into the USA's. If we wanted to undermine them, we'd simply fund ruinous governors and statesmen to attain power. That's precisely what China was trying to avoid— some compromised bureaucrat or technocrat coming to power and shifting China into the West's lap like what happened with Russia in the '80s and '90s. That's also why our war with Japan was unavoidable back in the 1940s— not only had we become isolationist, but so had Japan (on top of being expansionist). Plus, they had a fascist military junta in control, making it much more difficult to compromise them. They needed resources of which America had control if they wanted to defeat China and establish an empire, so war with the USA was the only option. 

 

2) The USA was certainly afraid, but not the elite it seems. They understood the entire time the reason why Japan's rise was precarious and fleeting. After all, Japan was still effectively our vassal in Asia. 

 

3) The fascination with karate was just the latest wave of our fascination with martial arts, and that started in the early '70s.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#6
wjfox

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He also believes that the USA will cede territory to Mexico by the 2080s. I removed that prediction from our timeline, as it generated so much criticism.



#7
lechwall

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Silly prediction a more realistic one is Russia will slide further into irrelevance.


"The future will be better tomorrow.  If we do not succeed, then we run the risk of failure.   For NASA, space is still a high priority. The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. No, not our nation's, but in World War II. I mean, we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century, but in this century's history. Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child. We're going to have the best-educated American people in the world."  Dan Quayle

 


#8
wjfox

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Silly prediction a more realistic one is Russia will slide further into irrelevance.

 

Russia will be increasingly important for global food production, a valuable commodity as climate change worsens. Grain will eventually displace oil as the country’s biggest source of export revenue.



#9
lechwall

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Silly prediction a more realistic one is Russia will slide further into irrelevance.

 

Russia will be increasingly important for global food production, a valuable commodity as climate change worsens. Grain will eventually displace oil as the country’s biggest source of export revenue.

 

 

They'll get far less $$$ for food than for oil. Besides if indoor farming takes off the potential increase in Russia's food production won't be important. Russia is ultimately like the UK a declining power living on past glories.


"The future will be better tomorrow.  If we do not succeed, then we run the risk of failure.   For NASA, space is still a high priority. The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. No, not our nation's, but in World War II. I mean, we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century, but in this century's history. Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child. We're going to have the best-educated American people in the world."  Dan Quayle

 


#10
Set and Meet Goals

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I doubt this the gigantic collapse of the Soviet union will put Russians off letting Russia collapse to any degree

#11
funkervogt

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Silly prediction a more realistic one is Russia will slide further into irrelevance.

 

Russia will be increasingly important for global food production, a valuable commodity as climate change worsens. Grain will eventually displace oil as the country’s biggest source of export revenue.

 

Won't global warming raise Russia's farm output? Warmer weather means longer growing seasons. 



#12
Blue Kumul

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It's very likely that Chechnya and Dagestan will secede and perhaps form independent Islamic Emirates after Putin's death. Even if this doesn't happen, Egypt and Ethiopia will have more population than Russia by 2030. So they won't be the kind of global power they were in the 1980s. The centre of power will be moving south.



#13
PhoenixRu

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It's very likely that Chechnya and Dagestan will secede and perhaps form independent Islamic Emirates after Putin's death.

 

And good riddance, if you ask me.

 

Even if this doesn't happen, Egypt and Ethiopia will have more population than Russia by 2030.

 

Well, Bangladesh already have, that doesn't make them a great power. As for Egypt, they're actually on the verge of collapse: 100 million people tightly packed in a narrow river valley and still growing by fantastic 2% per year. This just can not end well.

 

So they won't be the kind of global power they were in the 1980s. The centre of power will be moving south.

 

Who knows? This depends not of Russia only.



#14
TranscendingGod

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Don't discount Bangladesh just yet. After all the South Koreans were a very poor lot back in the 60s only to become the fastest growing economy until the early 90s. Now the quality of life of the average South Korean far surpasses that of the average Russian.
The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth.

#15
Yuli Ban

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I very strongly doubt Bangladesh will ever come close to the level of South Korea for a variety of reasons.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#16
TranscendingGod

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I don't see why they couldn't come close in some hypothetical future. After all if the Indians can become wealthy in the relatively near future I see no reason why their neighbors couldn't at least ride their coattails. Of course the fact right now is that the Bangladeshis are outperforming their larger neighbors when it comes to economic growth. So if anything I would bet in favor of the Bangladeshis over the Indians as things now stand.
The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth.

#17
SeedNotYetSprouted

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I very strongly doubt Bangladesh will ever come close to the level of South Korea for a variety of reasons.

 

List them.



#18
Erowind

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One of those various reasons would be that Bangladesh is doomed to be almost entirely underwater by the end of the century. In any case this thread is about Russia. If any collapse were to come to Russian Federation I fully expect a return of the USSR. And population isn't everything. Russia is one the most technologically advanced and industrialized countries in the world. Russia also has incredible academic infrastructure that would only take minimal effort to jumpstart a scientific industrial complex with. Russia is well positioned for climate change too. At least in a world that has less than 3C of warming.

 

Edit: to be more clear. Where others see collapse I see opportunity. Obviously a new USSR would not take the exact character of the old USSR. But, one of the quirks of this postmodern age is that if the neoliberals are intent on looking to the past; in Russia's case that would ironically take a soviet character. It's just as likely that Russia only looks forward and reinvents itself entirely for a second time.



#19
SeedNotYetSprouted

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One of those various reasons would be that Bangladesh is doomed to be almost entirely underwater by the end of the century. In any case this thread is about Russia. If any collapse were to come to Russian Federation I fully expect a return of the USSR. And population isn't everything. Russia is one the most technologically advanced and industrialized countries in the world. Russia also has incredible academic infrastructure that would only take minimal effort to jumpstart a scientific industrial complex with. Russia is well positioned for climate change too. At least in a world that has less than 3C of warming.

 

Edit: to be more clear. Where others see collapse I see opportunity. Obviously a new USSR would not take the exact character of the old USSR. But, one of the quirks of this postmodern age is that if the neoliberals are intent on looking to the past; in Russia's case that would ironically take a soviet character. It's just as likely that Russia only looks forward and reinvents itself entirely for a second time.

 

Highlight 1: That's not a death-sentence. Lands could be artificially raised. Barriers could be erected. Seasteading could get the attention and effort it deserves. We're supposed to be futurists; let's not be doomers. Necessity is the hermaphroditic parent of invention.

 

Highlight 2: Yuli said that he "very strongly" doubted something. Considering that he felt assured enough to use adverbs for his doubt, I assumed that he would be willing to expound. Also, several other countries have been listed for comparison in this thread, so yes, this post is about Russia, but indirectly, so is everything else too.

 

Highlight 3: They're also well-positioned to get their daily dose of climate refugees and newly-thawed primeval pathogens. But hey, everything has downsides, doesn't it?



#20
Erowind

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"Highlight 1: That's not a death-sentence. Lands could be artificially raised. Barriers could be erected. Seasteading could get the attention and effort it deserves. We're supposed to be futurists; let's not be doomers. Necessity is the hermaphroditic parent of invention."

 

I'm not being a doomer. What I'm saying is in congruence with scientific findings and logistical limitations. The emissions cost required to build a dam across the 500+km stretch of the Bay of Bengal to stop the flood is far too great. We don't have the emissions budget to seastead 100million+ people. We can't raise the ground of entire countries. That's not to mention that our capitalist world would never offer pay for any of this even if we could. The European Union won't even build a sea wall in the North Sea how are countries with significantly less purchasing power like Bangladesh going to engage in megaprojects of an even grander scale? Such a project would need to functionally begin tomorrow and the water is already coming. 

 

Seawater will creep around any smaller barriers individual communities and polities erect. The only option is mitigation, relocation and combat to slow and one day reverse climate change.

 

https://climate.nasa...e-accelerating/

Since the 1990s the sea level has risen between 0.1-0.13 inches per year. This process is accelerating. Taking an unrealistically conservative (yet still liberal by many denialist standards) expectation that the sea will only rise 9ft by the end of the century roughly half of the country including the capital city of Dhaka will be underwater. This figure is found by multiplying a conservative ~0.11in yearly rise by 80 years. The only thing I can guarantee is that the image below is probably wrong. That the impact will likely be much worse as climate models incorporate more feedback loops over the years and runaway ice sheet loss takes hold.

https://sealevel.cli...ntral.org/maps/

 

d5nTNVR.png

 

"Highlight 3: They're also well-positioned to get their daily dose of climate refugees and newly-thawed primeval pathogens. But hey, everything has downsides, doesn't it?"

 

Climate refugees may be a downside. It depends on how a future Russia handles the situation. They could incorporate them and offer them work building a new world in Russia. A lot of hands are going to be needed to tend all those future Siberian farms that are going to be feeding all of us. Hopefully by the time pathogens like that become a threat the world will have learned its lesson from the coronavirus and properly contain them. If not, Russia won't be any worse off than the rest of us.

 

In any case I agree with your sentiment on looking for solutions and inventing new ones. Many of these cities that will be under water could become Venices of the future (with somewhat reduced populations) if the the foundations of their many skyscrapers get reinforced before the tides rise. This would help alleviate some of the need for relocation. New pedestrian streets may be built above the old ones in sufficiently dense urban areas. Skyscrapers are also very resilient buildings, not even hurricanes can take them out when their engineering is done right.

 

I agree too that this thread is about more than Russia by extension. I've also been in many a thread that spiral into off topic discussion. Tis a balance :-)






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