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The Russians Aren’t Coming

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Despite the fabled sexual exploits of Russian Women, it isn’t resulting in a whole heap of babies.

At least every couple of weeks you will read some news story about Russia’s demographic meltdown. Yet another article I came across only yesterday: ‘Russia’s Depopulation Time Bomb‘.

Yes, likely there will be millions fewer Russians in 2050 than now.

Many theories are advanced, citing everything from the lack of suitable partners to the idea that skinny culture has Darwinistically removed childbearing hips from Russia’s dyevs.

There’s plenty of free advice for Russia too. In the Hindu Times, a leading feminist, believes that Indian men are the answer.

Maria Arbatova, writer and TV moderator, has proposed a radical solution to the falling birth rate — importing Indian bridegrooms for Russian girls. Maria married an Indian businessman a few years ago ‘after 25 years of marrying Russians’ and discovered that Indian men make ideal husbands.

‘They are crazy about family and children,’ she said. ‘What is more, Indian bridegrooms can help ward off a Chinese demographic invasion in Russia. If we do not balance off the Chinese with Indians, Africans or aliens, by 2050 China will annex Russia’s Siberia up to the Ural Mountains.’

She could have a point, because the BBC reports that international size condoms are too big for an Indian-sized penis. Ergo, a chance of an accidental boost to the Russian population is greater with Indian lovers. I guess it’s just unfortunate that most Russians aren’t too comfortable around ‘tinted folk’.

A common cliche is that russophobes always single out Russia’s declining population as a bad thing, or certainly a reflection on Vlad the Bad. Yet all European families are downsizing. And thank goodness, say countries with armies of jobless.

Preston Saks, however, insists that the US will be stronger than Russia because it is still pumping out babies, while Russia, fast approaching just 100 million people, soon won’t have any young leaders at all. I wonder if this guy has ever heard of Holland, pop. just 14 million, where there’s some political activist at every tram stop. A lot of these arguments hold as much water as a paper bag.

The Time Bomb article puts drink at the heart of the problem. But the facts suggest quite another conclusion.

Between 1976 and 1991, the last sixteen years of Soviet power, the country recorded 36 million births. In the sixteen post-Communist years of 1992–2007, there were just 22.3 million, a drop in childbearing of nearly 40 percent from one era to the next.

On the other side of the life cycle, a total of 24.6 million deaths were recorded between 1976 and 1991, while in the first sixteen years of the post-Communist period the Russian Federation tallied 34.7 million deaths, a rise of just over 40 percent.

The symmetry is striking: in the last sixteen years of the Communist era, births exceeded deaths in Russia by 11.4 million; in the first sixteen years of the post-Soviet era, deaths exceeded births by 12.4 million.

Well, that’s pretty clear. Capitalism is bad for your health.

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25 comments to The Russians Aren’t Coming

  • Chris

    Drink certainly is the problem. The excess deaths are overwhelmingly middle-aged men. Not infants. Not old people. Not women of any age. Middle-aged men dying of cardiovascular problems. That’s alcohol.

    The reason that it follows on the heels of 1991 is because alcohol became much cheaper after the Soviet collapse. You could not afford to drink a bottle of vodka every day in the Soviet era.

  • Enjoying your blog, Copydude.

  • copydude

    Chris wrote: You could not afford to drink a bottle of vodka every day in the Soviet era.

    No, which is why they drank stuff like samogon (moonshine), DDT and brake fluid, which arguably should have caused many more deaths.

    It is the social climate that causes alcoholism as much as stable, child rearing families. In my humble opinion, of course.

  • Chris

    Well, if it were caused by the switch to a form of capitalism simply (by collapsing health care system or some such), then you would expect the main victims to be the young and elderly, but they’re not. It’s middle-aged men dying of heart failure. Male life expectancy dropped about 10 years, and female about 2. In addition, life expectancy is much higher in Muslim regions (Chechnya has the highest) than in Orthodox (or Buddhist) ones.

  • copydude

    It’s a common misconception that Russian Muslims ‘don’t drink’. It is why the Kamaz truck factory was set up in Tatarstan. People assumed that sober Muslims would put the wheels on straight. Ha!

    You are correct in many points. But don’t forget that things like the conditions of the IMF loans threw millions into poverty and cut away all kinds of healthcare and safety nets.

    It is too convenient and facile to say that it is all down to drink.

  • Chris

    I’ve lived in Russia for almost 10 years. I know that Russian Muslims often drink. ;) They do not do so as much, and it is not as socially acceptable, however.

    If the IMF loans and so forth were the primary cause, you have to explain why the excess deaths (I love that expression) are striking middle-aged men in Orthodox areas and not Dagestanis, say, or children or old people or women in general.

  • Aleks

    Doesn’t this news actually make the Russians look as if they are behaving responsibly (even if it is arguably consciously ‘involuntary’)? If both India and China can recognize that pumping out babies is unsustainable (in almost all the senses), then why does it make sense for the US to continue to pump out babies?

    Does this not mean that in future the US will be even more dependent on foreign trade, materials etc. at a time when all we are hearing (due to the current filip(!) in capitalism) that its goal is to make it less dependent on other nations? Sure, you can switch to nuclear from Gulf oil etc. and genetically modified crops (as have the chinese), but continuing to consume at a monstrous rate???

    More people = more consumption or is mathematics irrelevant?

  • copydude

    Very good point, Aleks.

    The ‘declining population’ thing is always used by journos to point to Russia’s doom. Even though Western nations are similarly downsizing in terms of families.

    The arguments for a monster population go quite a way back - before automation and budget crippling social benefits schemes cost Governments dearly.

    You may remember from history that Mussolini held ‘Most Prolific Mothers’ contests and awarded medals to mamas with 17 plus children.

    The equation now is higher wages=more consumption, something no Government wants to recognise.

  • copydude

    @Chris

    Thanks for your comments. There is a lot of chicken and egg in this argument.

    You are right that drink is a direct cause of deaths. But surely economic situations are a direct cause of drink? The stats quoted show quite clearly that there were more births and fewer deaths in times of economic and social stability.

    Another point. It takes two to make a baby and Russian women tend to stay off the hard stuff . . certainly the brake fluid. That’s where the drink argument versus economics doesn’t stack up. The life expectancy of 59 or whatever statistics say doesn’t physically stop millions of Russian men giving women babies up to that time does it?

    My small sample of the one provincial town I know well . . . men and women stopped having babies or families for almost seven years . . . you just never saw a pram on the streets . . all down to the economy.

  • Chris

    Thanks copyperson,

    With the prams, you’re talking about birthrate, not deathrate.

    Of course the economic collapse had a lot of major effects. I’m just not sure that the increased death rate was one of them, except in the roundabout way that stress encourages people to get drunk.

  • Jack Riader

    “I guess it’s just unfortunate that most Russians aren’t too comfortable around ‘tinted folk’”

    Most hot Russian women attracted to darker skin. So the writer is a retard. It’s proven. Also the fact that one mentions schlong size study based on a low sample, clearly means the writer of the article is a fat obese woman or a gay homosexual pedophile.

  • Max

    I have friends in Russia, and I lived here for some weeks in 2006 and again in 2008. It is not maybe just a great experience, but I lived like a common russian citizen and I have a lot of dear friends in some russian cities. It is true, Jack, russian women dont like coloured people, everyone knows it, and before to fall down in such a low level style writing, think twice, cause you dont seem exactly a gentleman. it is possible to discuss without insults to everyone. What is important is to tell the truth.

  • Doom the Mighty

    Meanwhile, in the real world, 20% of the Russian population is non-Russian and there are many mixed marriages between Russians and Tatars, Koreans, Chuvash and so forth.

    Unless my “colored” you mean “african,” which is irrelevant since there practically aren’t any in Russia.

  • Max

    I agree Doom, I mean “african”, I have friends that are children from tatars and russians, but honestly these “mixed” marriages are not so much. I have seens just a afro-american married with a russian woman, but of course it is the exception that shows what is rule. Pravda told only 3% or russian women wants to marry a foreigner, anyway it is a huge number.
    And again, in last 10 years around 200.000 women married a turkish man, but just 60.000 of these marriages are still working, the other women divorced in short time. Life in muslim country is not the best for western women.

  • Doom the Mighty

    Pravda’s not very reliable, since it is a tabloid, but anyway.

    Outside of Moscow that a sprinkling, there are almost no Africans in Russia. It’s like Idaho.

    In my experience there are not very many people in Russia that have no Tatar/Bashkir/Jewish/Estonian/whatever in their family tree.

  • Lodger

    The Russian population is the third most vigorous in Europe. Only France and Sweden have higher fertility rates. In France the births are disproportionately amongst the Muslim population. The gloom is deliberate Russia bashing by paid Russiaphobes continuing old US propaganda lines. When the cold war ended these people didn’t stay unemployed. They went to Universities and policy institutes in Poland, the Baltics and the Caucasus for example. As the longest standing “experts” on Russia they still get consulted by older journalists. Compared to itself in the past Russian women are less fertile, as in almost every other country. Compared to the USA (all those Latinos and Ghetto blacks), Russia is less fertile. Compared to most advanced industrialized countries (OECD) Russia is a leader in fertility and fertility is rising. Italy, Germany and China are the places facing demographic collapse and substantial changes in the racial and religious mix of the population.

    Right now, Russia is having a baby boom.

  • Sasha

    I’d marry a nice Russian girl in a heart beat. Where are they??????

  • Sasha

    Lodger,
    I agree the Russophobia in the west is ridiculous! However I do question the period of the boom. 1990’s weren’t exactly the golden age of Russia where many births took place, fewer pool of women who will be coming or are coming into their childbearing years today. I hope something changes.

  • Russian From Moscow

    “if we don’t balance Chinese with Indians or Africans…” you realize of course that you are speaking of my dear country, of the land conquered trough hardship, war and diplomacy, defended with sweat, blood and tears by many generations of my ancestors?

    WTF would I want any Africans in there for? Anyone itching to take a slice of my country? That’s what why we keep those nuclear ICBM-capable subs, so oil-digging Mo-Fos dont get any brights ideas like that.

    I got a proposal for Maria Arbatova- why don’t you balance yourself to Detroit, or Los Angeles, go and try to walk around flashing some $100- bills. Just see how long you last before getting raped and murdered (in no particular order). Balancing has been just wonderful to America, hasn’t it? Now you are just dying to get the same thing going in Russia too, you stupid c….t.

    No wonder you had to settle for an Indian.

  • Helen

    You don’t hear a lot of Russiaphobia here in the UK. In the late 80’s and early 90’s a lot of Westerners hopped over to take advantage of what Russia ever offer - heaven help her if someone puts her into the WTO, as they will have to declare all their business ownership and then Russia will find out just who owns her. She may not like it. She was RAPED. They’d all practised on Germany when The Wall came down a few years before (I was there, amazing night).

    There’s quite a bit in the broadsheets (I have no idea what the tabloids say) about the Putin vote and the possibility that it was rigged - ok, the certainty then since there’s a mobile phone film somewhere of a man pouring votes into a voting machine … And of course there’s the issue of natural gas …

    Copydude, the relation between child birth and economy is tragically skewed in this country because our social state is such that the more children you have, the less you have to go out to work.

    Here, I live in an ex mining village in County Durham, UK, mostly full of pensioners and people under 25, and a large chunk of the population under retirement age does not work. They are paid to sit at home and drink, pissing it up against the wall, and if they have three kids they get £2,500 a year and it goes up with every extra one and most have four. Income support will pay £600 - £1000 a month and their rent (£3,300 pa, council tax (around £1000 pa), their medical (we have the NHS which is free but you have to pay a charge of £7.50 for each prescription medication you draw) and dental (ditto, and white fillings and the more expensive work are not free) and you can get free but not very fashionable spectacles if you need them too. Under 16’s get the medical and glasses free anyway. You single woman, you get baby, you get home, paid for. Simples. (do you know about the Alexander Orloff Meercat in Russia?)

    We’re having a mini baby boom funded by our social state. Something wrong with letting lazy sods beget more non-working lazy sods who will never contribute to that state.

    Of course, we are in recession and good old Keynes said you have to spend your way out of a recession but of course, you need consumer confidence to achieve that and it’s not here, we’ve been in recession for 6 yrs and counting and house prices and salaries have flatlined, bar in the South East.

    And, Grrr, banker salaries. Capitalist stinkers.

    The Transition Town movement is growing and on the back of that we shall achieve a more fruitful and people-centred culture. In the next 1000 yrs or thereabouts :rolls eyes:

    Can none of the threads on this blog avoid descending into a racist mire? (I’ve just come from ‘why do Russian men not marry Russian women’) Where I come from, we all get on together really well. My kids are mixed race, their grandfather was black. Ok, so not very many in the NE of England, where I live now, but where I come from in West Yorkshire, the Pakistani influx in the 70’s meant we could buy bread and milk between Christmas and New Year instead of having to stockpile for two weeks. It was considered a good thing. Now, immigrants form an essential part of our workforce - especially the NHS. 44,000 people who were not born in the UK work in the NHS! And I’ve an Indian X BF, too, for years.

    China are now allowing some a 2nd child, they are very aware of their demographic responsibilities and my money’s on them and will be for at least the next 10 years as a place of extreme growth, quite literally (Stock and Share ISA’S). They’ve watched the rest of the West do it and learnt from their mistakes and taken their best practises for their own.

    Interestingly, a recent documentary showed that India on the whole agrees that our Colonisation of them helped them advance. I cannot really comment, only to say that I do remember map books when I was a kid when half of the planet was Imperialist Pink, and don’t particularly consider that it was a good thing. I’ve seen what the whites did to South Africa, too, first hand.

  • Alexandria

    Some of u russians are so close minded that it’s disgusting.
    You can’t treat people like crap and treat them like they are beneath you if they happen
    to be a different background. How would u feel if you were treated that way by other people?
    Reading stuff like this makes me so fucking happy that I am from Canada..where it is multicultural and ppl are so SWEET, SMART, and ACCEPTING OF who u are NO MATTER WHERE U COME FROM. People welcome u with open arms.

    If you’re italian, russian, black, brown, chinese, spanish portuguese, whatever.
    You know I came to this website to do some research on russian people
    and from what I gather it seems like all the rumours about russian people being
    cold hearted evil ignorant people, seem to be true.
    No wonder some of my russian friends tell me to not go visit their home, telling me
    I won’t like the ppl there. And they tell me how they Love Canada and how there is opportunity here and ppl treat u with respect here and treat u like a human being.

    I was so excited to be visiting Russia, I genuinely became interested in it and the ppl.
    And now I think I’m going to cancel my ticket, and go to Italy instead.

  • End Wage Slavery

    “Well, that’s pretty clear. Capitalism is bad for your health.”

    Of course it is. Unless you’re one of the tiny class of wealthy a-holes for whom capitalism is a pretty good system. For the vast majority of people who don’t have the capital to exploit others’ lack of capital it’s a pretty shitty system that is basically a dressed-up form of slavery. Without there being a huge gap between the value added by a worker’s labour and the tiny wage that worker is paid for that labour capitalism would implode in a matter of a few days.

    And any system that cannot function without there being widespread exploitation of the average worker as described above, well, sorry but that kind of a system doesn’t really deserve to exist. It has no future and will be replaced sooner or later by direct worker ownership of the businesses.

  • End Wage Slavery

    P.S. — Capitalism is also bad for the environment.

  • I was able to find good info from your content.

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