That's a very interesting parallelism. Putin's accusations of Ukrainian Nazism do not stop despite the fact of Ukrainian president being jew. The same way that remarks of American having a white supremacism problem did not stop at USA having an afro American President.

One thing to consider is that the Princess defines herself at one of the few "able to feel even the smallest pea at night". Once that's the most interesting thing happening in the Princess' life, she HAS to feel the pea.

Feeling outrage is addictive. Even more so to righteous princesses

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I think we can criticize the obsession with white supremacy in the west without making absurd references to the Current Thing!

Ukraine has a problem with neo-Nazi groups. It's a bigger problem in the military and street gangs than it is in the parliament proper, but for those dealing with those thugs its a big deal. And the government basically lets it happen, because those groups are the ones that have done the heavy fighting for eight years and played a big role in getting rid of Yanakovich.

Imagine if the KKK was started and funded by a prominent oligarch that controlled much of countries wealth and used them as his private army. But that's exactly what happened with Ihor Kolomoyskyi and Azov. And Kolomoyskyi is essentially Zelenskies boss who helped bring him to power.


Note that Zelensky and Ihor and both Jews, but that doesn't seem to make them uncomfortable supporting neo-nazies. For their part, I've seen interviews with Nazi Azov leaders who state unequivocally that they are Nazi's pursing racial purity but they don't mind being led by Jews. In fact its a benefit, because it helps hide their Nazism! The Nazism of western Ukraine is anti-Russian, dislike of Jews is a side gig compared to the main goal. Been that way since WWII.

There is no equivalent of all this in the west.

Lastly, far right groups basically have a veto over peace terms, and they are part of the reason Minsk could never get implemented. Zelensky ran on a peace platform but failed to achieve peace, largely because these groups wouldn't allow it (including treating to use violence against Zelensky if he tried to make peace). Can the KKK dictate American foreign policy?

It's probably more accurate to say that Ukraine does have a Nazi problem, at least relative to the west, and that this was a very common sentiment in the west right up until the invasion began. The same people today that say there is no Nazi problem in Ukraine would have said there was one before.

None of this may change your mind about supporting Ukraine, nor should it necessarily.

My point is simply that its meaningless to even debate this stuff with people. The left talks about white supremacy as a tool to gain power. They don't care if it's true. They also don't care what level of Nazi-ism there is in Ukraine. It's who/whom all the way down to the bottom. The only thing that matters to them is the friend/enemy distinction, not FACTS!

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When Putin says that Ukraine is a Nazi country he wants his people to believe that the Ukrainian government is carrying out pogroms against Russian (and Jewish) people in Ukraine. This is what Russians have been lead to believe and will spout as justification for the invasion. We have lots of evidence that the Russian soldiers are shocked to not be finding evidence of mass executions by the Ukrainains. Putin doesn't mean Ukraine is a Nazi country because some far right groups are preventing the implementation of Minsk.

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I'm not in Russia and I can't say what Russians think of Ukraine.

The Maiden government has committed lots of self owns as regards its Russian minority. Discriminatory language laws, paramilitary street violence, burning people alive in Odessa, trying to desertify Crimea by cutting off its water and electricity, persecuting and outlawing the democratic representatives of the Russia areas, and of course the military violence applied against Donbass civilians.

These are all self owns. Even if you think these are little more than excuses for Putin, it was dumb to give him these excuses. They provided little benefit for great cost, and where done not out of rationality, fairness, or empathy but generally hubris and cruelty.

If Ukraine truly seeks to restore its 2014 borders it needs a better playbook for how to treat its Russian areas then the last eight years.

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Assuming that you can measure Nazism with far right party vote is something only the arrogant as hell Western media could have come up with

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How should it be measured?

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May 16, 2022·edited May 16, 2022

I would be hesitant to declare there is no NAZI problem in Ukraine, the same organizations that say there is no problem - were saying there was a problem 8 years ago.



A time range search, also turns up many results for NAZIs in the Ukraine by many media outlets that now call the idea absurd.


Maybe Putin has already fixed the NAZI problem?

Maybe the news media is as trustworthy as Putin.

Maybe Putin used a real NAZI problem as a pretext for an invasion that he wanted to do otherwise?

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The existence of Nazis in Ukraine is not what Putin or the Russian media/propaganda claims. They claim that the Ukrainian government is run by Nazis and is carrying out pogroms and mass executions of ethnic Russias.

>Maybe Putin used a real NAZI problem as a pretext for an invasion that he wanted to do otherwise?


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Caplan would not believe there was a problem just because the media said there was a problem.

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"Self-conscious white supremacists haven’t run the U.S. government in many decades."

Byrd was a senator until 2010.

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This doesn't contradict Bryan's argument. Byrd renounced racism in 1970 (52 years ago) and regretted opposing the Civil Rights Act.

Meanwhile Ukraine currently has a member of parliament from the neo-fascist party.

How is Ukraine not a nazi country but the US is because there was one senator 12 years ago who renounced his earlier racist views 52 years ago?

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Byrd was a Democrat, though, so no one worried about his history.

More to Caplan's point, he was just the one guy.

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He did not run the government at any time.

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Good essay. I think the analog between denazification and other movements like fighting white supremacy and dismantling the patriarchy works well. Something with extremely marginal influence and power can provoke obsessive hand-wringing and retaliations.

You say, "See for example the whole history of religion." Surely this is just as overstated as Ukraine's nazism. Is it even poetically true that the whole history of religion is obsessive search for nonconformists to persecute? Lol

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How'd you get access to DALL-E?

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> For these fanatics, a few murderous cops - and a bunch of old statues - prove something fundamental about a country with a few hundred million inhabitants

This doesn't pass your Ideological Turing Test.

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Was nobody else disturbed by the high level of antisemitism shown on the map? It doesn't seem to quite reach 1-5 as the title indicates, but 1-6 or 1-7 is still worse than I expected (or hoping for) in the 21st century. The numbers in Lithuania, Poland and the Czech Republic are particularly disappointing.

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I'm still waiting for the bit where you give a direct quote from Vladimir Putin, Sergei Lavrov or any senior Russian to the effect of "Ukrainians are Nazis" or "Ukraine is a Nazi state". If it exists it shouldn't be difficult to find. The piece you linked is about Russia's relationship with Israel and it doesn't include any such quotes either.

You seem to have come to a percentage figure of what level of Nazism exists in the Ukrainian body politic ~2.15 percent. How the true political persuasion of a nation can be accurately calculated by a party's percentage of the popular vote is beyond me. Perhaps you believe in Rousseau's "The General Will" and that party manifestos perfectly represent their actual positions and that not only do all eligible citizen vote, but also that citizens of all political persuasions always vote with a perfect alignment between their authentic beliefs and stated party platforms.

I don't believe any of that.

Firstly, if there is such a thing as the general will and if a vote can even come close to representing it, then it should be calculated as a percentage of all eligible citizens, not votes cast. Refusal to participate in a political system is itself a legitimate political position. Such non-voting citizen could just be incompetent or apathetic but they could also be radicals who feel there is no point in participating in a corrupt system. I believe that fascists would be part of such a radical fringe. Vanguardism and the bullet over the ballot have always been a part of fascist ideology. That 2.15% of the turn out that voted for Svoboda could just be the milquetoast fascists who think elections can do something for them, maybe there's an even larger number stockpiling weapons and joining militias, whilst fomenting the arrival of the new Fuhrer.

You also seem to have found a level of fascism which is irrelevant ~2.15 %. Take that number for a little trip around the world and see how it checks out in other contexts. Would a 2.15 % fascist US Senate, Army, Marine Corp or Police department be fascist to an irrelevant degree ? Or would it need to be de-nazified ?

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I read that NPR article and found nothing surprising, certainly not a "Ukrainians are Nazis" or "Ukraine is a Nazi state" quote from Putin.

The distinction between "All", "Some" and "None" is pretty well known, but is often abused for propagandistic effect. The people quoted in the article even give us figure of how Nazi (or it's close synonym "Ultranationalist") the Ukrainian people are, they say 2%. I find that figure spurious at best, but presuming that it's accurate, and assuming that one is justified in removing hostile Nazis on your borders then Russia is justified in removing 2% of the Ukrainian population.

Bryan has the figure at 2.15% which indicates that fascism can be calculated to within 1/100 %, pretty impressive tracking for something as metaphysical as a personal political philosophy.

I find the rest of the article to be filled with highly motivated reasoning and specious argumentation. "Zelensky is Jewish so therefore the Azov battalion are not Neo-nazis" can't be regarded as a legitimate argument.

"If Ukraine is a fascist state then Russia is a fascist state and therefore Russia should not attack Ukraine", is not a legitimate argument.

"Ukraine is to some degree a fascist state, but the USA is fascist to an equal or greater degree, so therefore fascists should not be removed from Ukraine", is not a legitimate argument.

Maybe I'm wrong here and they can be made into sound arguments with a few additional premises. Perhaps you could supply those addition facts ?

The NPR article's mention of the Baba Yar memorial was also interesting. Has there been any follow up on that ? Was it a case of Russian forces hitting a stone memorial with long range precision weapons or was it more of a case of some stones possibly suffering some minor damage after being directly adjacent to a communications tower that was hit by long range precision weapons ?

I'm not sure, I've heard both stories, or at least the same story spun in two ways. However I know which version of events I believe is more likely to be the case.

Details matter, logic matters and All, Some or None matters.

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You haven't followed the war. Putin is accurate. Ukraine is a Nazi state in the same way the US is a Romney-Clinton voter or a defund the police state.

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This isn't necessarily an argument one way or the other, but I don't think there's a standard by which Ukraine can be called a Nazi state but Russia cannot. If the Azov Battalion makes Ukraine a Nazi state, then the Wagner group makes Russia a Nazi state. The latter's ties to neo-Naziism are as clear as the former's, and the Wagner group if anything is more supported by and closer to Russian leadership than the Azov battalion is to Ukrainian leadership. However one defines what it means to be a Nazi country, I think Ukraine can at least reasonably claim to be less Nazi than Russia.

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Despite campaigning on peace with Russia, Zelensky was quite afraid of being murdered by the extreme right if he took steps towards implementing it, e.g. Minsk II. Caitlin Johnstone's recent article on the topic is quite informative, so I'll just link to that: https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/the-us-couldve-prevented-this-war.

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I'm not even sure where to begin:

1. The Azov Battalion isn't a fringe group and it's definitely pretty Nazi-like.

2. The Maidan Massacre and surrounding events are indicative of Nazi-like behavior as well.


3. Taken together, it could be accurate to describe Ukraine as a country with a significant nationalist-authoritarian movement that killed a bunch of people and fomented a coup that installed a more friendly government and deposed a legitimately elected one.

On the other hand

4. These "Nazis" don't appear to control the current government, which enjoys high support from its people.

5. The Russians are pretty clearly Nazis themselves in the nationalist-authoritarian-socialist sense that's applicable here. And, well, they've invaded Ukraine and are flat out wanted to wipe it out of existence.

So... I'd say the Russian claim might be literally true but largely irrelevant. While it's kind of odd sounding to say that about claims of a coup that basically ended with the country being partitioned and invaded, but what I mean is, it doesn't seem very actionable. Let's suppose that the Maidan Massacre was staged (a subset of anti-government protesters slaughtered other protesters, framed the government for it, and then that caused a popular revolt that toppled the government). What's to be done about that? Quietly hunting down the people responsible and making them pay? Yes. But there's no do-overs for fixing a national psyche, and especially not in the middle of a war.

The bottom line is the Ukrainian government in place now seems to be legitimate and well supported. So I don't see what's to be done except, as I said, hunting down the perpetrators.

In that respect, it's probably not dissimilar to claims of US white supremacism. To the extent it ever existed, it doesn't much now, and the appropriate response is to deal with anyone who uses white supremacism (or any other political creed) as motive for criminal behavior to... prosecute them as criminals.

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Progressives have long ago hijacked the language to employ the use of "right wing" to associate conservatives with the image of 1930s fascists and national socialists (read Willian Shirer), particularly after Hitler turned on Stalin. On a two dimensional graphic where the axis' are economic and civil liberties, one finds communism tightly flanked by socialism and fascism (defined as statism aligned with compliant corporatism). Opposite this cluster (of statism), one finds classical liberalism (today known as libertarianism). Conservatives tend to inhabit the zone of overlapping policies of their political opponents somewhere (depending on specific policies between the libertarians and the more extreme statists, IOW, a conservative more radically opposed to socialism and fascism (statism) would not be a "Nazi" (more likely a compromised libertarian). I don't pretend to know anything about the nuances of Ukrainian "Nazis" (and I drought much is easily knowable within that fog of war) but by definition, virtually every nation on the planet is more fascist than anything else (North Korea likely one of the last truly socialist nightmares). Anti-Semitism has been growing worldwide, particularly when conflated with anti-Zionism which is once again a hallmark of "progressives". I would guess that much of "white supremacy" seen occasionally in the US hails from protection from and by racial gangs originating within and lingering beyond the prison system.

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I really think, if you want to make your case stronger, you should provide equal evidence that there are similarly low avowed white supremacists in the US leadership, or even directly address a common criticism that Trump himself was thrust to power by, and enabled many, white supremacists. Certainly he has a long history of anti-non-white sentiments stemming from his pre-judgment of the "Central Park Five," to his anti-Mexican immigration rhetoric, etc.

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Scotts analysis may have been true when he wrote them but in the last 5 years things have drastically changed. Just this year at least 3 GOP representatives have spoke at white supremacies rallies (the GOP leadership has condemned this but thats about as consequential as me writing this comment).

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I mean, sorta?

"My point was that “racist” has a bunch of meanings, all the way from “believes that Asians are better at math than whites” to “wants to kill all the Jews”, and that Trump supports some things in the middle of that spectrum but not at the far end."

If that describes the President, sounds like a problem to me? Regardless my main point was it seems strange for Dr. Caplan to assert without evidence the American situation, though I suppose one can reasonably infer that his audience is American and already has formed their opinion regardless? But if he's just preaching to the choir why post at all?

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"Trump supports some things in the middle of that spectrum but not at the far end"

One of those things is simply a fact (assuming you mean Asian Americans) and the other is monstrous, so I'm not sure what would be in the middle or why you think Trump supports it.

"you should provide equal evidence that there are similarly low avowed white supremacists in the US leadership"

Is that necessary? Do you live in the U.S.? I think the number of avowed white supremacists in US leadership is precisely zero. It would be huge news if there were even one.

"or even directly address a common criticism that Trump himself was thrust to power by, and enabled many, white supremacists"

This is basically impossible to address because there was never any evidence presented for it. Trump did far better with minority voters than other recent Republican candidates

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May 16, 2022·edited May 16, 2022

This seems a little bit like the argument between flat- and round-earthers. I'm not a huge fan of Trump, but the overwhelming majority of the "evidence" supporting Trump's racism, or the downstream racism caused by him, is hoaxed. Just like flat earth, none of the central tenants of the argument stand up to scrutiny but you can just keep adding nonsense arguments onto it in an attempt to make it look legitimate through volume. And then a flat-earther says, "Globists are afraid to debate me because I have all the evidence!" - that's what the "prove America doesn't have systemic racism" argument sounds like to me.

Which is not to say there isn't racism, and that some racists are no doubt in elected positions. But they're either closeted or extremely stealthy. If America was genuinely a structurally white supremacist society, any politician should be able to stand up in front of us and say, "I believe brown people are inferior and shouldn't have access to library cards" and face zero repercussions. But you and I know that can't happen. They'd be more able to stand up and say "Earth is flat and the ice caps are actually butter" and survive.

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It's not too hard to provide evidence outside Trump at least, example:https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/11/7/18064670/white-supremacist-candidates-2018-midterm-elections

outright people lost, "connections: are few and tenuous, House censures concern a small % of members, etc.

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I probably wouldn't bother linking to Vox on a discussion about this. I read, or skimmed, the entire article and the part about DeSantis really tells me all I need to know about the objectivity of the article:

"Ron DeSantis is a racist. People who are racists donated to his compain, and although he condemned them, we know he's still a racist. Also, when he found out somebody he knew was a racist, he condemned them too, but we all know he's still a racist. Also he likes Trump, a known racist." See my original comments. Vox is not legitimate in the realm of identity politics and I consider it propoganda.

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I linked it because it specifically supports the point of the article really.

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I would bet that the fraction of prominent Democratic politicians with documented associations or contact with the Nation of Islam or Louis Farrakhan (including Barack Obama and the deputy chair of the DNC) is higher than the fraction of prominent Republican politicians with association or contact with overtly white supremacist groups, yet few consider the Democrats to have a black supremacist problem. One can argue that occasional Democrats rubbing shoulders with Farrakhan is just isolated cases of poor judgment whereas occasional Republicans rubbing shoulders with white supremacist groups is just the tip of the ice berg, but this would require one to already have a strong prior that racism is widespread among Republicans while rare among Democrats.

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Absolutely, This "0/1" problem in the face of extensive complexity makes weak arguments much more influential among a huge proportion of the American population. I have a notion (note, a notion and I admit it freely a apriori) that this ties into a world of binary code writers infused with the epistemology of scientism (scientism - not honest, self-reflective, aware and always willing to question the current knowledge, dedicated to the scientific method, anti-hubristic science.)

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