Can Putin be compared to Stalin?

I just found a video that plays with this idea. However, it is my opinion that this is completely wrong, and here’s why.

The image of Stalin who inherited a rural Russia, industrialized it, defeated Hitler and brought Russia to space is over-the-top rosy and far from accurate. He actually weakened USSR’s defense against Hitler with his purges. Industrialization was well on its way in the Russian Empire, which is why Prussia felt threatened and this in fact was one of the causes of the first world war. Tsiolkovsky did his work on rocketry in the Russian Empire. Sikorsky did his aeronautics work in the Russian Empire, and later emigrated into America. What Stalin did was kill/imprison the best and the brightest people in the USSR, his experiments at agriculture killed about ten million Ukrainians, essentially he killed as many Russians as did Hitler, and btw the biggest reason the Russians didn’t go to the Moon first was that Korolev, the chief designer, died because his heart was weakened due to years spent in Stalin’s gulag. So don’t get me started about Stalin. Stalin was absolutely nothing like Putin. Stalin was stupid, violent, authoritarian and paranoid. Putin is wickedly smart, competent, calm, peaceful, he convinces people instead of ordering them around, and he pulled the country out of the deep dark place and restored it to the position where it all but exceeds the brightest parts of its imperial and soviet history. Stalin is among the darkest demons of mankind, and Putin is among the brightest stars of politics of all time. There were no purges and gulags under Putin. He does kick ass, but with pinpoint accuracy: just a few worst villains, never the entire classes of people. He is to be admired and his glorious achievements should be studied at universities worldwide as an example of how to run a state optimally.

Russian Mars mission?

I was just thinking about something…

One of the biggest problems Russia is facing today is the fact that the Americans have convinced themselves of a very distorted, diminished idea about Russia, and they are going to treat Russia dismissively and push it against the wall of a full nuclear retaliation, and nothing Russians do seems to be breaking through to those American idiots who think America is no1 and nobody else is even close in power and they can do whatever they want with impunity.

So, they just announced new superweapons, and the American reaction was dismissive – nah, that’s not real, we’re Murrica. What next? Sink their aircraft carrier as a demonstration? Maybe. But something else might be in the works.

Some years ago, the Russians announced that they are developing a nuclear-powered upper stage rocket for Mars flight, which could get them there in the order of magnitude of two weeks. The engine itself was supposed to be tested in 2018. However, when they announced the new weapons, what got my attention was the nuclear-powered cruise missile. My reaction was, damn it, this thing is not only done, it’s deployed, and it’s so small, with incredible thrust-to-weight ratio. They have their Mars engine.

So then I thought, what else do they need. They need a large capsule, comparable to American Orion. They need a heavy-lift rocket to get the Mars vehicle and the upper stage into LEO. I would also add a larger module, a space station segment with a full laboratory and other amenities, and hopefully a lander, either manned or a drone.

So, let’s see what they have in very late stages of development:

Federation spacecraft, designed for Moon/Mars missions

Angara V heavy rocket, tested; in need, they can re-create Energia

NEM module for the space station is supposed to be almost ready.

The nuclear propulsion module is so developed they are putting it in the cruise missiles.

So, what I’m saying is, if the Russians want to shatter the American propaganda image about the power positions of America and Russia, and do it in a non-military way, avoiding the slippery slope of escalation, they could launch the NEM with all the supplies, launch Federation with the crew of 3 and a nuclear upper stage, an the window for a Mars launch is around June/July, according to my simulation.

The mission could be something as simple as go there in the end of June, arrive in 2 weeks, stay there for a few days, hang the Russian flag on Mars on the 4th of July just to fuck with the Murricans, leave the orbital laboratory around Mars, and return home. I don’t think they have the lander tech yet, but I might be wrong, so I don’t think they’ll actually land a man there, but an orbit might be good enough for demonstration purposes. In any case, the Americans need to have a Gagarin experience.

Do I think it’s possible? Yes. Do I think it’s likely? No. What I think is that there will be a shooting war, either in Syria or in Ukraine, and Americans are going to start it, just to show the Russians they can do whatever. And the Russians are eventually going to start killing lots of Americans. Honestly, I’m so tired of this shit I can’t wait.

Quod licet Iovi…

There’s something quite interesting regarding expectations about spiritual practice, that I didn’t write about yet.

In yoga specifically, there’s an expectation that a very radical degree of asceticism is required in order to attain results. Essentially, the archetypal motive is that of Jetsun Milarepa living in a cave for seven years eating nothing but nettle brew and meditating. Is this really a requirement?

In order to answer this question, I need to split what’s usually known as the spiritual practice into several levels. The first level is that of initial, preparatory practice, which is the equivalent of listening very hard for a pattern in sound. When you’re trying to do that, you need to remove all the distractions. You can’t eat foods that will focus your attention to themselves, or to the effects they have on your body – eating ghost peppers is out of the question, as are drugs, alcohol or in fact anything that might be distracting, because if you try to listen very attentively for long periods of time, you will try to minimize things like other people wanting to talk to you, being influenced by substances, or whatever. So, in this phase asceticism not only makes sense, but it’s actually an absolute requirement. You can’t attempt to make a breakthrough in meditation if you’re in any kind of a demanding human relationship. You can’t do it if you have a job that requires that you dedicate the most productive part of your day to things that actively interfere with your meditative efforts. You can’t afford to have your mind disrupted by all kinds of bad influences when driving to work and back, eating junk food, getting drunk or being in a sexual relationship that will demand your full attention in order to work. So, how realistic is it for a normal person to live in such a way for a long enough period of time in order to attain success in this initial breakthrough phase of yoga?

Fortunately, you can rest assured that there is a big difference between the ideal situation, and the necessary minimum. I didn’t have an ideal situation; in fact, it was almost as far from the ideal as you can imagine. I was constantly interrupted, lived in what any traditionalist would rightly call an impure environment, and I didn’t meditate anywhere near the amount of time one would expect to be necessary in order to make a breakthrough. However, I made certain discoveries during the process, which I am about to share with you now.

First, the way meditation works is not linear. It’s not unloading sacks of beans from a truck, where you keep working in a linear fashion, and the more gets done the more you work. With spiritual practice, you need to have a high baseline of thought and emotion in your normal activity, which essentially means things that go through your mind as you do your daily chores, and I cannot stress this highly enough. This determines your outcome more than anything. You need to maintain a certain level of subtlety of thoughts and emotions throughout your day. If you drop the ball, you need to pick it up quickly; for instance, you cannot allow anger to last long, you cannot allow yourself to get depressed for long, and you cannot allow yourself to get caught in some self-perpetuated loop of low emotion. This requires that you learn to control your thoughts and emotions, and not in some radical way, where you would brutally prune your thoughtstream, but in a very basic way, similar to that of a physicist who keeps working on the superstring problem while he’s stuck in traffic, and doesn’t allow himself to get distracted – in fact, doesn’t perceive enough to actually be distracted – and when he arrives at work, he switches from his baseline level of working the problem, to the full engagement mode, where he is at his 100% concentration and capacity for some 15 minutes or half an hour, and then he needs a break, because that level of concentration is unsustainable for a longer period of time. He then gets something to eat, talks to colleagues, allows his mind to go blank and recover from the strain, and then after finishing his coffee, focuses back to work to recover the baseline, stay there enough to pick up the pieces, and give it another 15 minutes of full effort.

That’s how it needs to be done. And now the fun part: if you actually manage to keep your baseline spiritual contemplation throughout most of the day, meaning you don’t get lost in your chores, but you manage to keep the high level of thinking and feeling throughout, it means you kept your mind at the state of what would show up as alpha and theta waves on the EEG, along with the beta waves of normal thought. And those few and far between bursts of deeper meditation, they will then have a wide base of the pyramid to rely on, and your peaks will be much higher than would otherwise be possible, had you allowed your mind to go to shit for the most part of the day, and rely on meditation to fix you. It might fix you, but you will not make any actual progress. Can it be done, yes. I did it. If you think you have a complicated situation where my method wouldn’t work, I assure you, you don’t. Most people have situations that are actually less problematic than what I had to work with, and they don’t manage to do anything because they waste their time complaining instead of actually figuring out how to get things done within the constraints that are available. If you think it was easier for Milarepa to meditate in a cold cave with no food, than it is for you to meditate in a warm apartment, abundant resources, half a day of slack time and two hours available for full bursts of focus, you’re deluding yourselves. You have it easy, you’re just not disciplined enough and you don’t desire the goal strongly enough. If this desire is present, you will make swift progress.

So, essentially, once you understand that you don’t need to actually keep the full meditative state for hours, but for seconds at first, and no longer than half an hour at maximum, but you need to keep yourself in a reasonably good state that can easily be switched to breakthrough-meditation mode at will. You don’t need to be at your best 100% of the day. You just have to watch yourself so that you don’t go fully to shit for more than 10% of the day, be at your normal high-thinking mode for at least 50% of the time, and have two bursts of 15 minutes to half an hour in the day, where you will touch and try to exceed your highest peaks of achievement. It’s by no means a trivial thing to do, but I can guarantee you that it’s doable, because I’ve been there and had done it.

The second thing to have in mind is that there’s a huge difference between trying to achieve initiation, and the requirements on purity and focus in this initial state, and the state you’re in after having achieved the breakthrough. Once you attained it, either darshan or samadhi or some similarly high state, it stays with you forever. It’s burned into the pathways of your brain, it’s burned into the structure of your spiritual bodies, and it doesn’t just go away because you had too much coffee or not enough sleep. This is why a beginner yogi can look more like a yogi than a master, because a beginner needs to observe all kinds of rules and restrictions to keep himself from going to shit, and to keep his meditative baseline throughout the day. Once mastery is achieved, it’s a completely different set of rules. A beginner cannot even imagine trying to meditate in a smoke-filled bar, and I gave spiritual initiations in such an environment. A beginner cannot even think about combining sex with meditation, because distractions are too great, and my wife, an initiated master herself, learned how to wield Shivaratri, the black Vajra, by feeling the state to which I go when I orgasm, when we had sex. She orgasmed together with me in that state, and achieved initiation into this spiritual state and energy level, and could wield it later at will. What I’m trying to say is, when you are an initiated master, things get weird, and the way you learn things no longer conforms to the limitations you had prior to initiation. A master will be able to attain higher initiation through practices that would preclude any kind of spiritual activity in a beginner. Also, it no longer matters how high your baseline Kundalini level is, what brainwave pattern can you maintain and for how long, in what condition your physical body is – essentially, you can be crucified like Jesus, be in dire agony, experience pain to the point where your consciousness is so blurred that you can’t really see straight, and still write articles like this one; essentially, for decades already nobody could figure out in what state I was looking only at the output I produce, and I produced some of my best work with unbearable headaches, high fever or worse, and in retrospect, looking at the work from a much more pleasant physical state, I understood that there are no corrections to be made; the quality of the output is the same as I would produce at my peak. Also, some things seem to defy logic: for instance, I can have a very low baseline Kundalini level, and at the same time be able to access the highest states, and invoke them in others. That’s because a high Kundalini level is important when you’re attempting the initial breakthrough, but once the pathways and spiritual organs of a higher order have been formed and activated, they work regardless of the state of the physical body, and in fact, if those achievements could be lost in sickness or death, could they be said to be of any permanence and value? A beginner’s spiritual baseline can be lost quite easily, by a lapse of concentration, drinking alcohol, eating bad or spicy food, or any combination of causes, but you can basically cook a master alive and his core of mastery remains untouched. One would expect one such master to have to return to the beginner-level of asceticism in order to attain a higher level of initiation, but that doesn’t seem to work that way. This is why Marpa Lotsawa could drink alcohol, have violent moods, and still be able to guide Milarepa through necessary karmic purifications and toward initiation. How did Marpa attain higher initiation? By doing his thing, by functioning in such a way as to be able to guide an advanced student with absolute precision through a completely unorthodox and ad-hoc invented set of hoops, while drunk and chastising his wife, a saintly person, for being stupid, and chasing her around the house in order to beat her up.

As I said, shit gets very weird.

To hell with egalitarianism

I keep hearing things about privilege – white, male, this, that. Let’s analyse this.

The implicit assumption of the concept of privilege as a bad thing is egalitarianism. Everybody is or should be the same, and so everything that gives some individual or a group advantage is essentially anti-egalitarian, and in a culture that is able to define “good” only in terms of how equal everything is, we get the strange result of everybody aspiring to be “different”, and lauding differences as strengths and so on, and yet when different means having a quantifiable advantage over others, this is supposed to be evil, an injustice that needs to be redressed.

So, when they try to brainwash us about diversity, what they mean is the most superficial diversity, that of race, gender or sexual orientation. They dabble with the diversity of culture when they want to promote Islam, but they don’t really mean it – they see Islam as something brown people have, and it’s dressing differently and having different customs, they don’t really get into what Islam actually teaches and means. To the diversity-promoting people, Islam is just another form of transgendered faggotry or skin color that needs to be accepted as equal. They don’t really mean that a religion, with its alternative views on politics, should be seen as equal. No. What those people actually mean is that they cannot even imagine someone seeing religion as a serious matter. Since they cannot take it seriously, they cannot understand the people who can. So, they see diversity in terms of people of various skin colors and genders getting along. They don’t see it in terms where we should accept the Nazis because they are different, and the more diversity the merrier, yes? So, obviously, all kinds of diversity are fine as long as everybody shares their opinion about everything that matters. If not, he’s the member of an enemy group that needs to be killed.

So, one problem with egalitarianism is that all kinds of diversity are fine as long as everybody is exactly the same. Because, if everybody is not the same, there’s “inequality”, which is terrible, especially if you’re not in the top 1% in terms of wealth. Also, there’s a problem with people who are too smart. If someone is in the top 1% in terms of intelligence and competence, he will completely wreck all the egalitarian ideas, and we can see how egalitarianism in schools, for instance, systematically suppresses smart children and works against them, to the extent where the most competent people tend to leave the educational system altogether, with varying degrees of success.

Let’s return to the concept of privilege. Yes, privilege exists. If you were born poor, you are at a serious disadvantage compared to someone who’s born rich. It’s not just about not being able to afford a new Lamborghini, it’s sometimes about not being able to afford books, or even food. I’ve been there. Being poor seriously sucks, but the worst thing you can do about it is become resentful and envious of the rich. You need to accept the fact that we’re not supposed to be equal, and that you need to stop comparing yourself to others, and instead work on improving your own situation. Additionally, I very much agree with Putin’s declaration of intent when he initially became the prime minister: he said he doesn’t care about wealth differences and that the Soviet system, which tried to prevent some people from being rich, failed; instead, he will try to make a system which doesn’t care how rich the richest are, as long as nobody is hungry. This is a pragmatic approach that I admire: prevent poverty, suffering, humiliation and other kinds of evil. Equality is an irrelevant goal. Prevent misery and suffering, that’s much better. Once you did that, and it turns out that some are much better off than others, oh well, fuck me if I care. I don’t care that Bill Gates is a zillion times wealthier than I am, as long as I’m fine. But if he’s super wealthy, and I’m hopelessly fucked, I might see this as a problem.

So, my objection to egalitarianism is that it essentially doesn’t mind everybody being poor and fucked up, as long as everybody is equal. This is a worldview that produced communism, and I saw enough of it never to want a repetition. Also, egalitarianism is inherently inconsistent with the concept of diversity, and people who attempt to combine them essentially reduce diversity to the most superficial properties. The third problem is that egalitarianism is a substitute for having a coherent ethical framework. For instance, Buddhism considers suffering to be a problem, and tries to eliminate it. Egalitarianism sees differences of outcome as a problem, and tries to eliminate them. So, as a result, a practice of Buddhism produces a world with less suffering, and a practice of egalitarianism produces the universal misery of Soviet Russia, or the slaughterhouse of the French Revolution. Egalitarianism doesn’t have a problem with killing people, as long as they are qualified as the enemy group. Buddhism, a system of belief with suffering-averse ethics, will have a very serious problem with killing even the people it classifies as evil – rather, it will incessantly attempt to make them good. Christianity, another ethically sound system, also has a serious problem with fighting evil people – in fact, it recommends to love your enemies, not fight them. It doesn’t see other humans as enemies – the true enemy is Satan, the seducer, not the seduced, ignorant victims of that great evil that corrupted them, turned them against God and doomed them to eternal death. Both Buddhism and Christianity have a coherent ethical system, with goals higher than life, higher than equality, higher than wealth, higher than worldly success. Also, they have a process of validating success that resides outside of man: with Christianity, all deeds are judged by God. You can’t just make shit up and be your own judge. You will do what you will, and God will have the last word. In Buddhism, you can also do whatever, but karma exists, samsara exists, the laws exist and if you make bad choices there is an endless ocean of suffering ahead of you, with no necessity of it ever ending, so yeah, knock yourself out. You can’t just make shit up. But with modernist and postmodernist systems, which actually ridicule the concept of an extrinsic validation system, essentially saying that there’s no God, there’s no absolute truth, all viewpoints are equally valid, and if you managed to pull something off, more power to you – well, is it really such a surprise that people who subscribe to such a worldview tend to be evil, and commit unspeakable atrocities? Egalitarianism also means you can’t say a certain viewpoint is better than any other. You can’t say your religion, or culture, or anything, is better than any other. So, what’s the point of having a religion or a culture if you can’t take it seriously and think it’s better than the alternatives? Yeah, the concept of egalitarianism, in that sense, is identical to nihilism, because if every opinion is equal, then all opinions are worthless.

And then you get to live a meaningless existence, where you have nothing to believe in, nothing to aspire to, nothing to admire, with no virtues outside of equality, where you hate intolerance and inequality, but you can’t really explain why, because you are not allowed to say that something is better than something else.

The price of avoiding this kind of hell is not high. All you need to do is accept the following:

  1. Someone will always be better than you, and he most likely deserves it. The fact that God, some angel, or a saint, is better than you, is reason for you to admire them and aspire to be better. It’s not reason to resent them or be envious of their greatness. Don’t try to make others smaller, because it won’t make you feel less like shit.
  2. You can be better than you already are. In fact, that’s the whole point. Don’t allow anyone to be better than you are on the path that you’ve chosen, but not by limiting them, but instead by exceeding your own limitations. Don’t just concede that someone loves knowledge or beauty or reality more than you do. Aspire to the greatest virtue.
  3. Whatever you do, there will be consequences, and they will be determined by forces greater than yourself. You can’t just make up your own rules as you go. Whatever you do, do it with awareness that at one point you will stand before God and He will tell you what He thinks about your actions. Avoid the actions that will have him evaporate you in anger, or those that will make you cower in shame. Aspire to those that will make God proud of you, and praise you above all others.

And there you go. Happiness. Achievement. Eternity.