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Extreme concentration of ownership in the United States

Author: Jon Hellevig May 13, 2019

A close-knit oligarchy controls all major corporations. Monopolization of ownership in US economy fast approaching Soviet levels

Starting with Ronald Reagan’s presidency, the US government willingly decided to ignore the anti-trust laws so that corporations would have free rein to set up monopolies. With each successive president the monopolistic concentration of business and shareholding in America has grown precipitously eventually to reach the monstrous levels of the present day.

Today’s level of monopolistic concentration is of such unprecedented levels that we may without hesitation designate the US economy as a giant oligopoly. From economic power follows political power, therefore the economic oligopoly translates into a political oligarchy. (It seems, though, that the transformation has rather gone the other way around, a ferocious set of oligarchs have consolidated their economic and political power beginning from the turn of the twentieth century). The conclusion that the US is an oligarchy finds support in a 2014 by a Princeton University study.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world has not seen these levels of concentration of ownership. The Soviet Union did not die because of apparent ideological reasons but due to economic bankruptcy caused by its uncompetitive monopolistic economy. Our verdict is that the US is heading in the same direction.

In a later report, we will demonstrate how all sectors of the US economy have fallen prey to monopolization and how the corporate oligopoly has been set up across the country. This post essentially serves as an appendix to that future report by providing the shocking details of the concentration of corporate ownership. Apart from illustrating the monopolization at the level of shareholding of the major investors and corporations, we will in a follow-up post take a somewhat closer look at one particularly fatal aspect of this phenomenon, namely the consolidation of media (posted simultaneously with the present one) in the hands of absurdly few oligarch corporations. In there, we will discuss the monopolies of the tech giants and their ownership concentration together with the traditional media because they rightfully belong to the same category directly restricting speech and the distribution of opinions in society.

In a future instalment of this report, we will show that the oligarchization of America – the placing it under the rule of the One Percent (or perhaps more accurately the 0.1%, if not 0.01%) - has been a deliberate ideologically driven long-term project to establish absolute economic power over the US and its political system and further extend that to involve an absolute global hegemony (the latter project thankfully thwarted by China and Russia). To achieve these goals, it has been crucial for the oligarchs to control and direct the narrative on economy and war, on all public discourse on social affairs. By seizing the media, the oligarchs have created a monstrous propaganda machine, which controls the opinions of the majority of the US population.

We use the words ‘monopoly,’ ‘monopolies,’ and ‘monopolization’ in a broad sense and subsume under these concepts all kinds of market dominance be it by one company or two or a small number of companies, that is, oligopolies. At the end of the analysis, it is not of great importance how many corporations share in the market dominance, rather what counts is the death of competition and the position enabling market abuse, either through absolute dominance, collusion, or by a de facto extinction of normal market competition. Therefore we use the term ‘monopolization’ to describe the process of reaching a critical level of non-competition on a market. Correspondingly, we may denote ‘monopoly companies’ two corporations of a duopoly or several of an oligopoly.

Horizontal shareholding – the cementation of the oligarchy

One especially perfidious aspect of this concentration of ownership is that the same few institutional investors have acquired undisputable control of the leading corporations in practically all the most important sectors of industry. The situation when one or several investors own controlling or significant shares of the top corporations in a given industry (business sector) is referred to as horizontal shareholding. (*1). In present-day United States a few major investors – equity funds or private capital - are as a rule cross-owned by each other, forming investor oligopolies, which in turn own the business oligopolies.

A study has shown that among a sample of the 1,500 largest US firms (S&P 1500), the probability of one major shareholder holding significant shares in two competing firms had jumped to 90% in 2014, while having been just 16% in 1999. (*2).

Institutional investors like BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Fidelity, and JP Morgan, now own 80% of all stock in S&P 500 listed companies. The Big Three investors - BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street – alone constitute the largest shareholder in 88% of S&P 500 firms, which roughly correspond to America’s 500 largest corporations. (*3). Both BlackRock and Vanguard are among the top five shareholders of almost 70% of America’s largest 2,000 publicly traded corporations. (*4).

Blackrock had as of 2016 $6.2 trillion worth of assets under management, Vanguard $5.1 trillion, whereas State Street has dropped to a distant third with only $1 trillion in assets. This compares with a total market capitalization of US stocks according to Russell 3000 of $30 trillion at end of 2017 (From 2016 to 2017, the Big Three has of course also put on assets).Blackrock and Vanguard would then alone own more than one-third of all US publicly listed shares.

From an expanded sample that includes the 3,000 largest publicly listed corporations (Russell 3000 index), institutions owned (2016) about 78% of the equity.

The speed of concentration the US economy in the hands of institutions has been incredible. Still back in 1950s, their share of the equity was 10%, by 1980 it was 30% after which the concentration has rapidly grown to the present day approximately 80%. (*5). Another study puts the present (2016) stock market capitalization held by institutional investors at 70%. (*6). (The slight difference can possibly be explained by variations in the samples of companies included).

As a result of taking into account the common ownership at investor level, it emerges that the US economy is yet much more monopolized than it was previously thought when the focus had been on the operational business corporation alone detached from their owners. (*7).

The Oligarch owners assert their control

Apologists for monopolies have argued that the institutional investors who manage passive capital are passive in their own conduct as shareholders as well. (*8).  Even if that would be true it would come with vastly detrimental consequences for the economy as that would mean that in effect there would be no shareholder control at all and the corporate executives would manage the companies exclusively with their own short-term benefits in mind, inevitably leading to corruption and the loss of the common benefits businesses on a normally functioning competitive market would bring.  In fact, there seems to have been a period in the US economy – before the rapid monopolization of the last decade -when such passive investors had relinquished control to the executives. (*9). But with the emergence of the Big Three investors and the astonishing concentration of ownership that does not seem to hold water any longer. (*10). In fact, there need not be any speculation about the matter as the monopolist owners are quite candid about their ways. For example, BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink sends out an annual guiding letter to his subject, practically to all the largest firms of the US and increasingly also Europe and the rest of the West.  In his pastoral, the CEO shares his view of the global conditions affecting business prospects and calls for companies to adjust their strategies accordingly. The investor will eventually review the management’s strategic plans for compliance with the guidelines. Effectively, the BlackRock CEO has in this way assumed the role of a giant central planner, rather like the Gosplan, the central planning agency of the Soviet command economy.

The 2019 letter (referenced above) contains this striking passage, which should quell all doubts about the extent to which BlackRock exercises its powers:

"As we seek to build long-term value for our clients through engagement, our aim is not to micromanage a company’s operations. Instead, our primary focus is to ensure board accountability for creating long-term value. However, a long-term approach should not be confused with an infinitely patient one. When BlackRock does not see progress despite ongoing engagement, or companies are insufficiently responsive to our efforts to protect our clients’ long-term economic interests, we do not hesitate to exercise our right to vote against incumbent directors or misaligned executive compensation."

Considering the striking facts rendered above, we should bear in mind that the establishment of this virtually absolute oligarch ownership over all the largest corporations of the United States is a relatively new phenomenon. We should therefore expect that the centralized control and centralized planning will rapidly grow in extent as the power is asserted and methods are refined.

Most of the capital of those institutional investors consists of so-called passive capital, that is, such cases of investments where the investor has no intention of trying to achieve any kind of control of the companies it invests in, the only motivation being to achieve as high as possible a yield. In the overwhelming majority of the cases the funds flow into the major institutional investors, which invest the money at their will in any corporations. The original investors do not retain any control of the institutional investors, and do not expect it either. Technically the institutional investors like BlackRock and Vanguard act as fiduciary asset managers. But here’s the rub, while the people who commit their assets to the funds may be considered as passive investors, the institutional investors who employ those funds are most certainly not.

Cross-ownership of oligarch corporations

To make matters yet worse, it must be kept in mind that the oligopolistic investors in turn are frequently cross-owned by each other. (*11).  In fact, there is no transparent way of discovering who in fact controls the major institutional investors.

One of the major institutional investors, Vanguard is ghost owned insofar as it does not have any owners at all in the traditional sense of the concept. The company claims that it is owned by the multiple funds that it has itself set up and which it manages. This is how the company puts it on their home page: “At Vanguard, there are no outside owners, and therefore, no conflicting loyalties. The company is owned by its funds, which in turn are owned by their shareholders—including you, if you're a Vanguard fund investor.” At the end of the analysis, it would then seem that Vanguard is owned by Vanguard itself, certainly nobody should swallow the charade that those funds stuffed with passive investor money would exercise any ownership control over the superstructure Vanguard. We therefore assume that there is some group of people (other than the company directors) that have retained the actual control of Vanguard behind the scenes (perhaps through one or a few of the funds). In fact, we believe that all three (BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard) are tightly controlled by a group of US oligarchs (or more widely transatlantic oligarchs), who prefer not to brandish their power. It is beyond the scope of this study and our means to investigate this hypothesis, but whatever, it is bad enough that as a proven fact these three investor corporations wield this control over most of the American economy. We also know that the three act in concert wherever they hold shares. (*12).

Now, let’s see who are the formal owners of these institutional investors

In considering these ownership charts, please, bear in mind that we have not consistently examined to what degree the real control of one or another company has been arranged through a scheme of issuing different classes of shares, where a special class of shares give vastly more voting rights than the ordinary shares. One source asserts that 355 of the companies in the Russell index consisting of the 3000 largest corporations employ such a dual voting-class structure, or 11.8% of all major corporations.

We have mostly relied on for the shareholder data. However, this and other sources tend to list only the so-called institutional investors while omitting corporate insiders and other individuals. (We have no idea why such strange practice is employed.) 

The reader may easily verify the shareholder structures by online queries, for example, in Yahoo or DuckDuckGo by search words like “who owns Apple” or “who owns Apple stockzoa” (to direct to the source).

We do not have an ownership table of Vanguard Group as it is not a publicly listed company and is essentially ghost owned as rendered above.


Tepper reports (*13) that nearly 25% of all the major banks are owned by just a few major asset managers. The below table illustrates (per 2016) how these oligarch structures have taken control of the US banking sector. (*14).  

Big Pharma

Here is a look at the ownership structure of five of the biggest pharmaceutical corporations. Same pattern.


The same pathology of ownership holds true for pharmacies as illustrated by below table (2016). (Source: Azar et al. 2018, cited above).



The military-industrial complex

Surprise, surprise. Look who owns the military-industrial complex. 


Automobile manufacturers


Between 2013 and 2015, the seven shareholders who controlled 60% of United Airlines also controlled 28% of Delta, 27% of JetBlue, and 23% of Southwest. Together these airlines have over half of domestic market share. (*15).

Below table shows the oligarch ownership of the already oligopolist airlines. (Source: Azar et al. 2018, cited above).


Some other major corporations 

Concentration of media, telecommunications and Internet in the hands of the oligarchy

In a follow-up article to the present one (the two published in parallel), I have disclosed the incredible degree of concentration of ownership in the media, including all the digital means of communication. I would refer the reader further to that post, in the meanwhile, I will share here some of the ownership charts from that article.




*1. See, for example, Elhauge, Einer R., Horizontal Shareholding (March 10, 2016). 109 Harvard Law Review 1267 (2016); Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 16-17. Available at SSRN: or

*2. See, Elhauge, Einer, New Evidence, Proofs, and Legal Theories on Horizontal Shareholding (January 2018). Harvard Law School, Discussion Paper No. 944.

*3. See, for example, How Big a Problem Is It That a Few Shareholders Own Stock in So Many Competing Companies? Jacob Greenspon, Harvard Business Review, February, 2019

*4. See, Anton, Miguel and Ederer, Florian and Gine, Mireia and Schmalz, Martin C., Common Ownership, Competition, and Top Management Incentives (June 1, 2018). Ross School of Business Paper No. 1328; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) - Finance Working Paper No. 511/2017. Available at SSRN: or

*5. See, Azar, Jose, A New Look at Oligopoly: Implicit Collusion Through Portfolio Diversification (November 8, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

*6. Azar, José, Portfolio Diversification, Market Power, and the Theory of the Firm (March 2017). IESE Working Paper WP-1170-E.

*7.See, Anton, Miguel and Ederer, Florian and Gine, Mireia and Schmalz, Martin C., Common Ownership, Competition, and Top Management Incentives (June 1, 2018). Ross School of Business Paper No. 1328; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) - Finance Working Paper No. 511/2017. Available at SSRN: or

*8.See e.g. discussion in Fichtner, Jan and Heemskerk, Eelke M. and Garcia-Bernardo, Javier, Hidden Power of the Big Three? Passive Index Funds, Re-Concentration of Corporate Ownership, and New Financial Risk (February 7, 2017). Business and Politics, April 2017, DOI: 10.1017/bap.2017.6. Available at SSRN: or

*9. See discussion in Fichtner, Jan and Heemskerk, Eelke M. and Garcia-Bernardo, Javier, Hidden Power of the Big Three? Passive Index Funds, Re-Concentration of Corporate Ownership, and New Financial Risk (February 7, 2017). Business and Politics, April 2017, DOI: 10.1017/bap.2017.6. Available at SSRN: or

*10. Fichtner, Jan and Heemskerk, Eelke M. and Garcia-Bernardo, Javier, Hidden Power of the Big Three? Passive Index Funds, Re-Concentration of Corporate Ownership, and New Financial Risk (February 7, 2017). Business and Politics, April 2017, DOI: 10.1017/bap.2017.6. Available at SSRN: or

*11. See, for example, Greenspon, Jacob  How Big a Problem Is It That a Few Shareholders Own Stock in So Many Competing Companies? (February 2019). Harvard Business Review.

*12. See, e.g. Fichtner, Jan and Heemskerk, Eelke M. and Garcia-Bernardo, Javier, Hidden Power of the Big Three? Passive Index Funds, Re-Concentration of Corporate Ownership, and New Financial Risk (February 7, 2017). Business and Politics, April 2017, DOI: 10.1017/bap.2017.6. Available atSSRN: or

*13. Tepper, Jonathan, Hearn, Denise, The Myth of Capitalism – Monopolies and the Death of Competition (November, 20180). Wiley.

*14. Source: Azar, José and Schmalz, Martin C. and Tecu, Isabel, Anticompetitive Effects of Common Ownership (May 10, 2018). Journal of Finance, 73(4), 2018. Available at SSRN: or

*15. Source: Greenspon, Jacob, How Big a Problem Is It That a Few Shareholders Own Stock in So Many Competing Companies? (February 2019). Harvard Business Review. Available at:



The Oligarch Takeover of US Media

Author: Jon Hellevig May 13, 2019


Back in 1983, 50 corporations controlled most of the American media, but by 1992 the number had dropped by half, and by 2000 there were left only 5 corporations wielding totalitarian control over the media. Their control covers all the means for expression of speech and ideas: television, movies, radio, books, music, news feeds. Those figures refer to everything except for print media, newspapers and magazines, which would add a couple of more oligarchs to the small group of media controlling owners. Some of the Big Five media corporations are in themselves also print media owners.

The present article follows on my article on the extreme concentration of ownership in general in the United States, which was published in parallel with the present one. That article illustrates how the ownership of all America’s major corporations has been concentrated in incredibly few hands. To make matters worse, those business corporations (in themselves oligopolies) are as a rule owned by the same set of investors, which in turn are cross-owned by each other (oligopolistic investors). There then is a situation where oligopolies own oligopolies.

What was said above about the extreme concentration of ownership obviously also holds true for the media (including print). I reported there that institutional investors like BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Fidelity, and JP Morgan, now own 80% of all stock in S&P 500 listed companies. The Big Three investors - BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street – alone constitute the largest shareholder in 88% of S&P 500 firms, which roughly correspond to America’s 500 largest corporations. (*1). Both BlackRock and Vanguard are among the top five shareholders of almost 70% of America’s largest 2,000 publicly traded corporations. These same institutional investors largely control the media, television, film, publishing, telecommunications and Internet, as it will be shown below. (*2). 

In media there is therefore ultimately the situation that just a few persons hold the power over the entire media. We do not have the means to untangle the whole web of control connections to get to the ultimate few. However, what I present here should be damning enough. This report shows beyond any doubt that an incredibly small group of oligarchs have amassed all the most important media assets in the United States. Whether the ultimate owners are a yet smaller group than it would seem at this first glance does not alter the picture to any significant degree. What is clear is that just a few oligarchs now have the means to exercise a totalitarian control over speech and ideas in the United States (and increasingly globally, too). In this connection, I will not digress into a substantial discussion of how this totalitarian control manifests itself. For now suffice to allude to the multitude of instances when the media has through systematic campaigns of propaganda for war coerced the political leaders to declare wars (or to wage undeclared wars): Iraq, Libya, Syria, to mention just a few relatively recent ones. The continuous vilification of Russia’s President Putin and Russia as a nation is another of their campaigns of war propaganda. More recently, similar patterns of vilification have been extended to the treatment of China and its President Xi. The Russia hoax, that is, the attempted coup against US President Trump by alleging his election campaign colluded with Russia, was founded in totalitarian media lies. Other examples of agendas that the media pursue by way of abusing their monopoly on expression include a one-sided fact-free propagation of climate change alarmism and gender identity politics to the extent of denying obvious biological facts. These were but a few examples of the totally agenda-driven reporting by the concentrated oligarch media. In an article where he maintains that “America is a dictatorship by its super-rich,” American writer and investigative historian Eric Zuesse maintains that the US regime has elevated propaganda lies to the role of primary means of coercion, obviously seconded by its ample use of violence both domestically and around the globe. It is through this incredible concentration of media that the regime has achieved a virtual monopoly on lies, which it employs to justify and varnish that violence.

National Amusements

The biggest media owners are Comcast, The Walt Disney Company, the oligarch Rupert Murdoch, with News Corp and Fox Corporation, the oligarch Sumner Redstone via his National Amusements Inc., which holds both Viacom Inc.CBS Corporation, and Warner Media (owned by AT&T),

Comcast – a former General Electric subsidiary – owns among other assets NBC and the British based Sky TV. It provides consumer cable television, telephone, internet, and wireless services under the brand name Xfinity. Comcast is America’s largest provider of cable internet access servicing 40% of the market. The film studio Universal Pictures (aka Universal Studios) is a NBC subsidiary. The major shareholders of Comcast are listed in below table. (The shareholder data in this and other tables are sourced, when other source not mentioned, from

The Walt Disney Company is the world’s largest media conglomerate in terms of revenue. It’s original asset is the Walt Disney Studios and Disney theme parks. Over the years it has added on among others, Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox, ABC broadcast network, ESPN, National Geographic network, and several other cable TVs. Disney like all the other media oligopolists are also involved in publishing and many other fields of business.

Walt Disney acquired the Fox Entertainment Group (including 20th Century Fox film studio) and National Geographic Partners from 21st Century Fox which had come to being after News Corporation was split in 2013.


In connection with the split of the original News Corporation and the sale of above mentioned assets to Walt Disney, two other companies emerged. These are Fox Corporation and the new News Corp, both controlled by the media tycoon Rupert Murdoch. Fox Corporations owns the Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Television Stations, and Fox News. The assets of News Corp include Dow Jones & Company (publisher of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, News UK (publisher of The Sun and The Times), News Corp Australia, and HarperCollins.

Viacom Inc. and CBS Corporation are both controlled by the oligarch Sumner Redstone through his National Amusements Inc. Redstone has cemented his control of those corporations through an arrangement where the oligarch owns the so-called Class A or voting shares whereas the other investors keep the Class B common stock, whose voting rights are severely curtailed.  As of December 2016, National Amusements (and it’s not funny), directly and through subsidiaries, held 79.8% of the Class A voting shares of Viacom Inc., corresponding to only 10% of the overall equity. In CBS Corporations, National Amusements, held 79.5% of the Class A voting shares and 2.4% of the Class B non‐voting shares, which constituted 9.1% of the overall equity.

In the case of Viacom, Redstone’s National Amusements holds 10% of the total equity by which he wields control over the resting 90%. In CBS Corporation National Amusement controls the company with 9% of total equity.

Viacom consists of Viacom Media Networks (owner of MTV) and Paramount Pictures and operates approximately 170 networks reaching 700 million subscribers in 160 countries.

CBS Corporation operates television broadcasting stations (CBS and CW), TV production and distribution, publishing (Simon & Schuster), cable TV and recording operations.

Warner Media is currently owned by AT&T. The company has film, television, cable and publishing operations. It owns CNN and the Cartoon Network. Its assets include also Warner Bros. one of the major film producers with also television and video games; HBO cable and satellite TV operations with 130 million subscribers.


AT&T is also the largest American telecommunications company and second largest provider of mobile telephone (wireless telecommunication) services after Verizon.

What about print media

Some of the major print media outlets – newspapers, magazines and their digital sites – are still held outside the above listed media conglomerates. To some extent their controlling shareholders are another set of oligarchs while they also are cross-owned by the same oligarchs as above.

After its acquisition of Time Inc. in 2018, Meredith Corporation became the largest print media publisher with assets including a multitude of magazines with a readership of more than 120 million, paid circulation being 40 million copies. It also operates 15 television stations which reach 11% of American households. After everything we already reported, the ownership structure of Meredith Corporation should not surprise anybody, as per below chart.


The second largest American newspaper publisher is Gannett Co., Inc. It’s portfolio includes USA Today and a number of regional newspapers. The company is publicly traded and owned by the oligarchy’s institutional investors.

Among the top 4 print media publishers are also McClatchy Company operating 29 daily newspapers in fourteen states, and the Tribune Publishing Company, the publisher of the Chicago Tribune and many regional and local newspapers. McClatchy Company is owned by Comcast, AT&T, major oligarchy banks and the usual suspects of institutional investors: BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan etc. Tribune is held by the business magnate Michael W. Ferro.

The New York Times is owned by the same line up of the US oligarchy.


The other of America’s major newspapers have been assigned to the care of individual members of the US oligarchy. Time magazine – with the world’s largest news magazine circulation – is held by Marc Benioff. The Washington Post has been parked with the Amazon oligarch Jeff Bezos. The Los Angeles Times is owned by tycoon Patrick Soon-Shiong.

News agencies

To add to the already dismal picture of media concentration, we must also realize that most of American media – and Western media in general (increasingly the whole world) - rely heavily on newsfeeds coming from only three news agencies with a global presence. These are Associated Press (AP, USA), Reuters (UK), Agence France-Press (AFP, France).

Associated Press is structured as a not-for-profit organization directly controlled by the already listed media conglomerates. Reuters is owned by Thomson Reuters Corporation, which is ultimately owned by the Canadian oligarch Thomson family. AFP is nominally owned by the French state but it operates as a commercial business with strong neoliberal leanings.

In economy and business news a substantial source is also Bloomberg L.P. owned by the oligarch Michael Bloomberg.

In the old days with much more media plurality, the more solid newspapers would employ a vast network of overseas correspondents. Many of them where in-house journalists organized as the paper’s foreign bureaus. In the old times, by having access to the reporting of a vast number of journalist representing competing media outlets and different ideologies, active readers could stay well-informed about global events. But during the last two decades, most media outlets have dramataically cut down on their overseas staff. This has been driven by cost-cutting efforts and has also come as an inherent consequence of the concentration, the oligarch owners have figured they do not need separate bureaus for the different media outlets they own. I assume that the reasons are even more sinister than those and infer that the large scale reduction has happened in conspiracy between the media controlling oligarchs as a means to facilitate propaganda: the less correspondents out there in the wide world, the less the risk that the truth about global affairs would slip out potentially ruining the carefully crafted propaganda narratives. For this purpose it is much better to have global reporting concentrated in the hands of the three agencies and State Department officials. (The flip side of this is however that there are less opportunities to post intelligence agents abroad under the cover of journalists).

A Washington Post blogger reported that the American Journalism review had in 2011 exposed that 18 of the major US newspapers had closed every one of their foreign bureaus over the preceding 12 years. The same source told that most of the remaining “bureaus” in fact only consisted of a single journalist posted abroad. (Even more likely that nobody was “posted abroad” and that the newspaper only relied on locally based freelancers).

The harrowing outcome of all this is that the typical modern-day citizen consumer of media reporting has less access to the truth than one would have had a hundred years ago. This is truly mind gobbling when we consider our today’s extensive networks of affordable air transportation and the enormous opportunities for exchange of information offered by online technology. Only those who are willing to invest their time in finding out the real state of affairs through alternative Internet based information resources can possible stay neutrally informed. This is precisely why those in power have moved so forcefully against dissident sources on the Internet. They are adamant to patch up that crack in the propaganda wall.

Cable and wireless

The wireless communication service and cable internet providers are the gatekeepers to the Internet. And they are all also owned by the oligarchy. Although they – in their roles as Internet providers – do not produce content, they carry content and communication. (We must also keep in mind that these corporations are largely cross-owned by the same set of oligarchs.) The problem is that in this capacity they tend to interfere with that and discriminate against content and communication they do not like, by blocking, or by charging more, or by slowing down the traffic they do not like. Some providers have openly stated that as their policy, some are doing it without acknowledging it, many have been caught, and then denied.   The fact is that they do interfere and the worst is that this tight knit-class of oligarchs have a means to interfere on this severely concentrated market at their will when the urge emerges. In addition to interference on political grounds, these internet providers also give preferences to some business clients and penalize others in service packages that distort competition. All the internet service providers are also known to willingly share all client data and communication with the US spy agencies, most notably the National Security Agency (NAS) and the CIA without even a simulacrum of legality and due process.

The top 4 wireless telecommunication providers (2018) are:

  • Verizon, 9 million subscribers
  • AT&T, 153.0 million
  • T-Mobile, 79,7 million (owned by the German Deutsche Telekom)
  • Sprint Corporation, 53.5 million

Below the Verizon ownership table. AT&T was already presented above. T-Mobile is owned by the German Deutsche Telekom and Sprint by Japanese SoftBank.


The companies that control the cable internet market are AT&T, Comcast (Xfinity), Charter Communications (Spectrum, Optimum), Verizon, CenturyLink. Most of these oligarch structures are already known to us from above. Below we give the charts for the two not presented above, Charter Communications and CenturyLink.


After its 2016 acquisition of Time Warner’s cable divisions, Charter Communications and Comcast have gained a virtual duopoly of the broadband market of 25Mbps and more, the two Internet service providers could control about 70 percent of the nation's 25Mbps-and-up broadband subscriptions.

Google, Facebook and other tech giants’ digital monopolies

The tech giants form one more set of noxious monopolists infringing on freedom of speech and the free distribution of ideas. These are in particular the Big Four: Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple. They have each established uncontested monopolies in their respective sectors, with the exception of Apple who controls the mobile phone market in a duopoly with Google’s Android based platforms. Through their monopolistic dominance over their respective markets they abuse both political and economic freedoms. They accomplish that by restricting the free flow of opinions and business information both on the level of the individual - by directly interfering in a person’s choices and abilities to express opinions - as well as on a system level by deciding what visibility, if any – based on the tech giants’ preferences - media content producers, business enterprises, and political groups are allowed to have.

It is not the purpose of the present report to give a full account about the pernicious monopolies of the tech giants. That is an enormous topic in itself, which would require its own specialized literature. My aim is here only to outline the general contours of that plague in order to alert the readers to the dark side of the hipster technology, which the non-reflecting public may take to be brought to us by cool young tech entrepreneurs laden with all kinds of benign capitalist values. For a substantial introduction to that topic, I recommend Jonathan Tepper’s seminal The Myth of Capitalism – Monopolies and the Death of Competition. (My report was prompted by the ideas derived from Tepper’s book. The book was first published in November 2018 and the facts are largely up to date by that year. Many of the references in the present report come from sources, which I have discovered through Tepper and following the sources he provided. Tepper, Jonathan, Hearn, Denise, 2018. Wiley).

Owners of the tech giants



Systematic predatory monopolies

Through its search engine, Google has carved out for itself a 90% market share in US online search activities. Apple and Google share a global duopoly in phone operating systems with a 99% market share, as globally all major phone manufacturers, apart from Apple, use Google’s Android operating system. By abusing these two monopolies Google has also been able to capture a 66% market share for its Google Chrome browser.  This monopolistic exploitation has culminated in Google grabbing 76% of the online search advertising market, while Facebook controls 80% of social media advertising. (Tepper, Jonathan, Hearn, Denise, 2018.) The combined share of Google and Facebook amounted to 60% of the $129 billion digital ad market (2018). A third monopolist, Amazon has been able to bite into the revenues of the duopoly, by capturing 6.8% of that revenue. In reality, however, Amazon has just crafted a new monopoly segment for itself as it is charging companies for promoting their products on Amazon’s own marketplaces, which have reached hegemonistic dominance in e-commerce, where Amazon has a 43% market share, whereas its monopoly in book sales has reached 75% (as of 2018; see Tepper, Jonathan, Hearn, Denise, 2018). Digital ad spending already makes up about half of all US advertisement spending, with a rising trend.

One striking feature of Google’s stranglehold on global business comes in form of its Google Play app store. Google has tied the Android mobile operating system - which runs 85% of the world’s smartphones - to its app store, which effectively allows the corporation to decide which apps and which product offers the consumer may access. The significance of Google’s app store is that no phone that is powered by the Android operating system can download and run any application – for example a taxi service, a messaging service, a cloud storing service, games, a language course – if it hasn’t previously been allowed to be listed in Google Play.

According to Tepper, over 45% of Americans get their news from Facebook and 25% from Google. This has put these two oligarch corporations in the position of gatekeepers to what news people are allowed to see. By abusing their monopoly powers they and their owners have become fabulously rich as they cannibalize on all the traditional media corporations and other online platforms in all forms of media content: news, political analysis, comedy, music, etc. All the costs, the entire financial burden weighs on those content producers, while the tech giants rob the profits. Not only do they steal the content from the lawful producers, but they also regulate what can be seen by whom. Having trapped the publishers and creators to share their content on Facebook, the monopolist is now even forcing them to pay for simply appearing on Facebook, an option few can decline considering its dominance.

It’s not all about sleek commercial strategies, in fact, these tech giants are known to go as far as employing traditional methods of theft by simply stealing content from competitors and placing that on the sites of their own or affiliated companies. (Tepper, Jonathan, Hearn, Denise. 2018. page 95). Tepper reports that when competitors asked Google to stop taking their content, it threatened to make them disappear completely – a classic offer you cannot refuse (Tepper, Jonathan, Hearn, Denise, page 95).  Google does not even have any qualms about extracting revenue from pirated content willingly allowing such to appear on its YouTube video-sharing web platform. Amazon’s business model is similarly built on pimping for pirated goods. (Tepper, Jonathan, Hearn, Denise). Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes recently argued that “When it hasn’t acquired its way to dominance, Facebook has used its monopoly position to shut out competing companies or has copied their technology.”

As the case is with their political censorship and propaganda (more on this below), the tech giants use the same range of pernicious practices - blocking, making disappear, demoting, and propagating – in their commercial endeavors. Originally Google was a search platform, but it has since become an investor in totally different kinds of businesses and started selling products of its own. To secure its investments and to promote its own products Google abuses its monopoly by directing these monopoly tools to destroy its competitors and partners commercially in favor of its own products and services and in favor of its privileged advertisement customers. One of the tricks Google uses is to have its Chrome browser block certain types of online advertisements, particularly of those of its competitors.  Federal investigators have discovered and documented that Google used a special search algorithm to manipulate its search results in order to boost the placement of its own products. The investigators’ report also confirmed the widely known fact that Google habitually engaged in the practice of scraping and copying content from competitors’ websites.

Tepper documents the case of which was destroyed by Google, because it competed with the corporations similar service. (Tepper, Jonathan, Hearn, Denise, 2018, page 87). was a website dedicated to find the best prices online. As soon as the founders had their service up and running users were rushing to their site, but after the second day they discovered to their amazement that the flow of visitors stopped completely as if a gate had been closed. And that is precisely what had happened. Google had shut the gate on the users trying to enter by making the site disappear from search results. The site was removed from Google’s organic search results but on top of that Google also blocked the owners from purchasing ad placements via Google AdWords. The reason was clear, Google had its own competing product search site. Tepper stresses that Google was regularly engaged in this kind of predatory abuse of its monopoly.

The case of Amazon shows how every monopolist will abuse its dominance once it controls the market. Amazon started as an online seller of books. The corporation soon achieved an absolute dominance in book sales, today controlling 75% of the US market. On the strength of its book dominance, Amazon expanded to other product categories, now having a decisive 43% market share of e-commerce. Amazon functions as both a direct seller of products but also as a platform for other online sellers. With its overwhelming dominance, showing up as the top site in most of e-commerce searches other sellers cannot avoid joining the platform. And that’s where the abuse starts. Amazon allows – in what is called “modern-day piracy” - counterfeit products to be sold on its platform with ruinous consequences for the original brand owners. Further Amazon – the giant pirate as it is - tracks third-party sales on its site and uses that data to sell the most popular items in direct competition. (Tepper, Jonathan, Hearn, Denise, 2018, page 104).

Google shaping an alternative reality

By the original idea, Google would have been a program helping people to find information on the web, but as soon as Google had monopolized the search market, the corporation moved to control the search results. This has resulted in Google censoring ideas and opinions across the spectrum of public discourse: political, religious, moral, scientific, etc.

There are several layers of bias and manipulation in Google’s search results. It starts with an inherent American cultural bias. On top of this comes an ideological bias based on American liberal (so-called) values and the globalist agenda. The corporation also customizes (filtering and censoring) the search results and newsfeeds to bias them according to the user’s personal profile that Google surmises from all the personal preferences of the user drawn by illegally recording users’ Google activities. Multiple studies have found that Google provides unique, different, search results for identical queries depending on the user’s browsing history or the particular device used. In a traditional encyclopedia any user would have found the precisely same information on the same page, but Google has destroyed the objectivity and feeds a different reality to everybody, the more it is a reality that Google has manufactured and prescribed for the user.

Yet, another level of manipulation and bias in Google search results is added with the corporation outright censoring individuals and organization who express opinions about politics and other topics which do not correspond to the globalist agenda that Google peddles. This censoring happens by way of demoting or de-ranking those individuals and organizations so that the search algorithms do not show sources pertaining to them in search results. Political opposition and dissent are increasingly openly being blocked from Google in what amounts to modern day book burnings, for example political commentators being wholesale banned from its YouTube video service.

Facebook’s memory hole

All what was here said about Google holds largely true for Facebook, too. In a similar vein Facebook’s totally opaque algorithms determine what posts are viewed and which not. Facebook – just like Google – make people and groups disappear – rather the same way the Bolsheviks used to retouch old photos to blot out the existence of people who had fallen foul of the party leadership. Another analogy which cannot be missed in this connection is that of the concept memory hole popularized by George Orwell in his Nineteen Eighty-Four. In that novel the Party’s Ministry of Truth systematically and continuously re-created historical documents in order to adjust the past to their present political exigencies. With Google and Facebook the fearful and dehumanized world of Orwell’s novel can no longer be regarded as a dystopia but a life foretold. Add the insight from Ray Bradbury’s book from 1953 Fahrenheit 451 and you’ll have a pretty good description of present-day life under the US media conglomerates and their globalist agenda. Following these dystopian antecedents, the present day surreality is nicely illustrated by Facebook covering up its massive online repression with references to its homely sounding “Community Standards.” No community of Facebook users have ever had a say in setting up such supposed standards. They are nothing but vague formulations of a set of supposed values designed to serve as references to the entirely vague formulations by which the corporation motivates its systematic arbitrary censorship activities and online purge of dissent.

One of the methods of the tech censors is so-called ‘shadow banning.’ In this method the person (or a particular post) is not totally removed from the service while Facebook restricts the visibility of that person. The user sees himself and his posts, but others will not, or only a very limited number of followers would.

Google and Facebook are globalist tools

At the end of the analysis, Google and Facebook are no independent actors, as it has been showed in this article, they form part of the cross-owned media conglomerates eventually controlled by the same 0.01% oligarchs. Therefore it must not come as any surprise that these tech corporations have admitted that they engage in mass censorship by demoting in this way content from media that challenge the globalist hegemony, most notably Russia’s RT and Sputnik (for spreading “disinformation” aka information that contests the US global hegemony agenda) as well as American dissidents for “hate speech” aka information that contests the globalist agenda.  Their censoring is much more sinister than they want to admit, whereas the admissions must be seen as mere public acknowledgements that the tech giants toe the party line.

Just as there is suppression of dissent and censorship, these two tech giants correspondingly run enormous and continuous propaganda campaigns to promote the globalist agenda. This is achieved by doing the opposite to the censoring, promoting people, groups and sources which propagate the agenda.

Tech giants subcontracting for intelligence agencies

One more devastating outcome of the tech giants’ monopolies is that they employ their predatory powers in the service of American spy agencies essentially acting as their subcontractors. They harvest untold amounts of personal information on their users: contact data, health matters, political and sexual preferences, the whole browsing history, every like and dislike, the network of friends and acquaintances, religious and scientific beliefs, recordings of calls. Everything. This data they use for their commercial purposes and to advance the globalist political agendas, as well as giving full access to all that to the intelligence agencies.

Time to break up Google and Facebook

The hegemonic dominance of these tech giants is all the more frustrating when we realize that it has been achieved through blatant abuse of monopoly in collusion with the formal government. Tepper gives a lucid exposition of the genesis and nature of these predatory monopolies in the already cited book ((Tepper, Jonathan, Hearn, Denise, 2018). In there we can read about the ideological origins of monopolization of the US economy propagated by failed neoliberal economists and embraced by political actors since the fatal presidency of Ronald Reagan. The US establishment has been on it ever since the 1980s. It seems to me that this has been part of a deliberate long-term scheme to concentrate the economy under the core nucleus of the oligarchy. (This is a hypothesis, which I will return to in a later report). Tepper’s exposition reveals how the process of monopolization has been greatly abetted by corruption of government officials in response to satisfaction of the ordinary sort of pecuniary greed as well as the particular American plague of corrupting the political system with campaign donations in favor of candidates - of both establishment parties – who represent the oligarchy.

Regarding the monopolization of media, President Bill Clinton’s role was especially damning. Clinton signed into law the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The act was the first to recognize the Internet as forming part of media broadcasting. This law represented a major neoliberal act of deregulation with the explicit intent to allow concentration of ownership of media and telecommunications. In particular, the act effectively removed the barriers to cross ownership and allowed giant corporations to buy up thousands of media outlets across the country. It seems to me that this was made for the explicit purpose of concentrating the media in the hands of the oligarchy in order for them to be unchallenged in propagating the ideology that has cemented their power and the wealth derived from it.

In essence, Google and Facebook should be considered as public utilities or even agencies which have usurped governmental powers over the Internet. According to formal US laws such corporations must be deemed illegal trusts in breach of civil and criminal law. They would need to be punitively fined, their owners and officers convicted, and the corporations broken up. But the formal political government of the United States does nothing about them. Perhaps the reason for the inaction is that the monopoly of the tech giants – together with that of the traditional media – very well suits the interests of the shadow government of the elite, the Deep State.

The calls to terminate the tech giants’ monopolies are gaining traction. For example, Chris Hughes who was a co-founder of Facebook has in a May 2019 op-ed in the New York Times called for the break-up of that social media behemoth.

Hughes suggests that Facebook should among other things be separated into multiple companies. This would include releasing Facebook Inc.’ two other communication platforms Instagram and WhatsApp into separate companies. The US Justice Department had in apparent breach of the anti-trust laws allowed Facebook to acquire those two platforms in 2012 (Instagram) and 2014 (WhatsApp). 


*1. Source: How Big a Problem Is It That a Few Shareholders Own Stock in So Many Competing Companies? Jacob Greenspon, Harvard Business Review, February, 2019. Available at: 

*2. See Tepper, Jonathan, Hearne, Denise, The Myth of Capitalism – Monopolies and the Death of Competition (November, 2018). Wiley.



Suomi ei todellakaan ole mikään Onnela – Näin sepustettiin onnellisuusbluffi

Author: Jon Hellevig March 27, 2019


Suomen eliitti ja heidän hallituksensa ovat taas paistatellet kansainvälisessä media loisteessa kun YK:n ns. Onnellisuus tutkimus nimesi Suomen toisen vuoden peräkkäin maailman onnellisemmaksi maaksi. No, ainakin heille se tuotti kymmenen miljoonaa pientä onnenpurkausta. Itse asiassa tuossa tutkimuksessa ei kuitenkaan ollut mitään onnellisuudesta muuta kuin itse huomionhakuinen otsikko.

Oikeasti siinä tutkittin, tai paremminkin yritettiin tutkia, sitä miten tyytyväisiä ihmiset ympäri maailmaa ovat elinolosuhteisiinsa. Ei tarvitse olla Einstein, jotta tajuaisi, että tuo on kaik suhteellista. Jos ajattelet, niin kuin moni varmaan ajattelee, että asiat voisi olla paljon pahemminkin, vastaisit kysyttäessä varmaan, että ”ihan OK.” Mielipidetutkija sitten tuon innokaasti raapusta tyytyväisyyden ilmaisuksi. Jos kaikki tuntuu huonolta, mutta olet aivopesty uskomaan oman maan paremmuuteen saattaisit myös vastata ”ihan hyvä.” Niin tekee keskiverto suomalainen. Näin se on, loppujen lopuksi tämä YK:n tutkimus selvitti vain ja ainoastaan kuinka tyytyväisi ihmiset ovat siihen miten maassa on asiat järjestetty.


Ei mitään onnellisuudesta, mutta kaikenlaista maan hallinnosta

Useampi varmaan ajattelee, että mikäli tahdotaan tietää onko joku onnellinen vai ei, niin sitä häneltä kysyttäisiin. Niin, mutta näin ei menetelty. Tutkimus perustuu Gallupin maailmaan laajuiseen jatkuvaan mielipidekyselyjen sarjaan, joka kulkee nimellä Gallup World Poll. Niissä kysytään kaikenlaista kivaa, esimerkiksi näitä asioita:

  • Mikä on luottamuksesi maasi pankkeihin?
  • Miten helppoa on perustaa yritys?
  • Oletko tyytyväinen siihen miten kuntasi jätehuolto on järjestetty?
  • Miten on asuntojen saatavuus?
  • Luottamuus presidenttiin ja hallitukseen?
  • Entäs luottamus Venäjän, Kiinan ja USAn johtajiin?
  • Esintyykö vaalivilppiä?
  • Onko maassasi korruptiota?
  • Miten on lehdistövapauden laita?
  • Miten arvioit kunnallisen terveydenhuollon tason?




Kysymyksiin kuuluu muodikkasti myös arvio maan hallituksen toimista ilmastonmuutoksen pysäyttämiseksi. Ja tietenkin myös miten LGBT arvot edistyvät.

Kaiken kaikkea Gallupin mielipidetiedustelujen sarja käsittää lähemmäksi 150 osaaluetta tuontyypisine kysmyksine.

Sitten henkilökohtaisiin tuntemuksiin, muttei näissäkään mitään onnellisuutta ollut

Jo mainittujen kysymysten lisäksi koskien valtion ja kuntien hallintoa ja jätteiden kuljetusta, tutkijat myöskin pyrkivät lähemmäksi itse teemaa, siis onnellisuutta, asettamalla kysymyksiä siitä minkälaisia henkilökohtaisia tuntemuksia kysytyllä oli ollut edellisenä päivänä.

Nämä on jaettu kahteen ryhmään: yhdessä kysytään positiivisista kokemuksista ja toisessa negatiivisista.

Positiivisen puolen kysymykset olivat tämän tapaiset:

  • Olitko hyvinvoiva eilen?
  • Käyttäydyttiinkö sinua kohtaan kunnioittavasti eilen?
  • Hymyilitkö ja nauroitko paljon eilen?
  • Opitko jotain uutta tai teitkö jotain mielenkiintoista eilen?
  • Koitko minkään seuraavista tuntemuksista eilen?
  • Oliko eilen hauskaa?

Negatiivisella puolella kysyttiin tällaisia:

  • Koitko paljon mitään seuraavista tuntemuksista eilen?
  • Entäs fyysistä kipua?
  • Olitko eilen huolestunut jostain?
  • Olitko stressaantunut?
  • Olitko vihainen?

Jos katsoo näitä kysymyksiä tarkemmin huomaa taas, etteivät ne kerro mitään onnellisuudesta, ennemminkin ne muistuttavat lähinnä työnhaun soveltuvuustesteissä käytettävää psykologista profilointia.

Kun kaikki vastaukset maailmalta kerätään yhteen niin sitä vasta huvittava soppa syntyy.

Vastaukset kerättiin Positivisen Kokemuksen Indeksiin ja Negatiivisen Kokemuksen Indeksiin ryhmiteltynä maittain osoittamaan, millä mailla oli eniten tai vähiten positiivisen kokemuksen tuntemuksia ja vastaavasti negatiivisen kokemuksen tuntemuksia. 

Slaavilaiset ja muut Itä-Euroopan maat osoittivat taas miten vaikeata heitä on saada innostumaan tällaisista typeristä kyselyistä. Heidän reaktionsa oli tasapaksua sekä positiivisiin että negatiivisiin kysymyksin heidän ollessa kärjessä kummassakin niitten maitten joukossa, jotka ilmaisivat sekä alhaisen positiivisen että alhaisen negatiivisen tuntemusten kokemisen, eli heidän emotiot eivät paljokaan heilataneet hyvien ja pahojen tuntemusten välillä.

Valko-Venäjällä oli alhaisen tuntemusten lohkoissa ykkössija molemmissa. Minua tämä muistuttaa siitä, kun venäläinen vastaa normalno - tilanteessa kuin tilanteessa. Kysyt mitä tahansa niin venäläinen voisi vastata normalno (”normaalia”, ”kaikki on OK”), vaikka olisi juuri saanut potkut tai voittanut lotossa. Mutta tuo ei tietenkään tarkoita, etteikö henkilöllä olisi niitä samoja tunteita tapahtuneesta. He vain eivät niistä tahdo puhua vieraille, erityisesti ei puhelimessa jollekin mielipidetutkijalle.

Toisessa päässä kirjoa löytyi kuumapäiset arabit, jotka kyselyssä sanoivat olevansa ärtyneitä kaikesta. Sama kaava pätesi kaikkiin arabimaihin, vaikka luonnollisestikin ne jotka asuivat konflikti alueilla olivat enemmän vielä negatiivisia.

Auringossa paistettelevat elämänhaluiset etelä-amerikkalaiset puolestaan olivat positiivisen indeksin kärjessä.

Mutta ei edes nuo maaryhmäkohtaiset jaottelut pitäneet, kun kylmästä pohjoisesta Kanada ja Islanti ponkaisivatkin korkean positiivisen indeksin kärkisijoille. Ruotsi, jonka kokonaissijoitus oli aivan Suomen kannassa, oli matalan negatiivisen indeksin kymmenen kärjessä, vaikka suomalaiset olivat sieltä kaukana. Suomen sijoitus oli vasta 40. positiivisessa indeksissä (joka on se ainoa kohta koko opuksessa mikä tulee lähimmäksi sitä itteensä, onnellisuutta) ja 10. negatiivisessa. (Nämäkään eivät kuitenkaan suoraan näyttäisi tulevan vastausten pisteytysten mukaisesti, jotain poppakonsteja niihinkin kohdistetaan).


Jospa nyt vihdoinkin se onnellisuus kysymys?

Sitten lopuksi se kysymys, joka tutkimusjohtajien mukaan vie meidät onnellisuuden huulille. Tätä kysymystä kutsuvat termillä Cantril’s Ladder (Cantrillin tikapuut). Kysymys kuuluu näin: “Ajattele tikapuita, joissa on askeleet alhaalta nollasta ylhäälle kymmeneen. Korkein askel merkitsee parasta mahdollista elämää, mikä sinulla voisi olla. Alin askel taas merkitsee pahinta mahdollista elämää mikä sinulla voisi olla. Millä askeleella sinä olet mielestäsi?”

Huomaamme, että henkilöltä itse asiassa kysytään onko hän mielestään saavuttanut sellaisen elämään, johon hän katsoo, että hänen edellytyksensä riittäisivät. Suomalainen, joka kunnioitta auktoriteettia, kuntelee Yleä ja lukee Hesaria, voi hyvinkin kertoa olevansa korkealla asteikossa, koska eihän hän tavallinen kulkija voisikaan kuvitella pääsevänsä korkeammalle herrojen sakkiin, ja pitäähän sitä olla kiitollinen maallekin siitä mitä on saanut.

Tässä on kysymyksessä materialistinen arvio omasta asemasta yhteiskunnassa eikä tälläkään kysymyksellä siis ole mitään tekemistä onnellisuuden kanssa. On hyvin todennäköistä, että sinänsä onnellinen mutta eteenpäin pyrkivä ihminen voisi arvioida sen hetkisen paikan olevan asteikolla alhaalla, koska pyrkimys on ylöspäin. Ajatelkaa vaikka nuorta huippurheilijaa, hän uhkuu onnea, mutta varmasti tahtoo vielä mennä kohti uusia ennätyksiä. Vastaavasti joku katkeroitunut henkilö joka on luopunut kaikesta toivosta saattaisi kertoa olevansa huipulla, siis sillä huipulla, jonka hän voi mahdollisesti saavutta, mikä tämän kysymyksen logikan mukaan voisi olla täysi kymppi.

Tutkimuksen tekijät kertoivat, että hyvät arvosanat tähän kysymykseen antoivat yleensä ihmiset maissa, joiden bruttokansantuote oli korkea. Tämän tulkittiin tarkoittavan, että he kokeavat, että perustarpeet on tyydytetty. Eli ei taaskaan mitään onnellisuudesta.

Vastaukset kaikkiin kysymyksiin, mukaan lukien ne 150 mielipidekyselyä, sitten jotenkin niputetaan yhteen ja arvotaan kokonaispistemäärä – onnellisuudelle.

Selvästikin missään vaiheesa ei silti tutkittu tai mitattu mitään onnellisuutta, vaan ainoastaan sitä missä määrin vastaajat olivat tyytyväisiä elämän olosuhteisiinsa ja omaan paikkaansa maailmassa tutkimusjohtajien ideologisten mieltymysten mukaan määriteltynä. (John F. Helliwell, Richard Layard and Jeffrey D. Sachs).


The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return

Onnellisuutta ei voi mitata, eikä ainakaan missään tapauksessa jonkun maan keskiarvona, jota sitten verrataan muihin maihin. Tutkimusjohtajat hyvin tietävät tämän, mutta tahtovat pitää tuon raflaavan sanan “onnellisuus” tuossa otsikossa, koska se herättä paljon enemmän kiinnostusta mediassa ja näin saadaan homma jakeluun ympäri maailmaa, ja taataan taas valtavat määrärahat seuraavan vuoden tutkimukselle.

Oikeasti onnellisuus on vaihteleva mielentila. Onnellisuus on puhtaasti subjektiivinen tunne, joka ei ole riippuvainen materialisesta toimeentulosta. Köyhäkin voi olla onnellinen. Jotkut ihmiset voivat ylläpitää onnellisuuden mielentilaa pitkinä aikoina niin, että onnellisuuden voisi sanoa olevan heidän pysyvä olotilansa. Psykiatrian professori Kalle Achté määritteli viimeisessä haastattelussaan syyskuussa 2018 ”onnellisen ihmisen” näin: ”Onnellinen on ihminen, jota eivät syyllisyydentunteet paina ja jolla on hyvät ihmissuhteet.”  

Tämä muistuttaa minua laulusta, jossa lähellä olevasta rakkauden käsiteestä sanotaan näin: The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. (Mitään tärkeämpää et voi koskaan oppia, kuin rakastaa ja tulla rakastetuksi).


M.O.T. Pohjoismainen hyvinvointivaltio ja globalistien muutosagenda on sinulle hyväksi

Tutkijat eivät kerro, millä tavalla he muka yhdistivät kaiken tuon valtavan kyselytiedon yhdeksi ”onnellisuus” mittariksi ja miten eri osa-alueita painotettiin. Mikä on varmaa on se, että missään tapauksessa ei ole olemassa mitään tieteellistä menetelmä, millä temppu tehtiin. Oikeasti, tutkijat vain manipuloivat aineistoa ja keksivät lainalaisuuksia, jotta saavutettaisiin toivottava tulos näitten YK:n nimittämien tutkijoitten ideologisten mieltymysten mukaisesti. Ennen kaikkea tutkimusraportti tähtää siihen, että todistettaisiin, pohjoismaisen hyvinvointimallin ja globalistien marksistisen muutosagendan ylivoimaisuus.

Raportissa kyselyitten tulokset on ryhmitelty yhdeksään osa-alueeseen, sen mukaan mikä sopi tutkjoitten tarkoitusperiin:

  1. Cantrillin Tikapuitten vastaus saavutetusta elämäntilanteesta
  2. Positiivisen indeksin sijoitus
  3. Negatiivisen indeksin sijoitus
  4. Sosiaaliturva
  5. Vapaus
  6. Korruptio
  7. Anteliaisuus
  8. BKT per capita
  9. Elinikäodote

Kohdat 4 – 9 perustuivat siis valtavaan Gallup World Polliin. Niiden ryhmittely on kuitenkin täydellisesti mielikuvituksellisia kategorioita, koska keneltäkään ei kysytty mitään suoraan niihin liittyvää (paitsi osittain kohdat 5 ja 6). Näin ollen tutkijat ovat vähän niin kuin poppamiesten voisi sen kuvitella tekevän heitellemällä ilmaan linnun luita ja simpukan kuoria särkemällä päätyneet julistamaan tuloksensa väittämällä, että aineistosta muka niin ilmeni. Näitten kategorioitten tehtävän oli osoittaa, että ihminen on helvetin onnellinen koska maassa toteutetaan kaikenalaista kivaa pohjoismaista hyvinvointipolitiikkaa ja globalistien agendaa.


Suomalaiset ilmeisesti eivät ole onnellisemmat, mutta ehkä kaikkein lohduttomimmat ja alistuvaisemmat

Päätin selvittää mistä oikein oli tässä YK:n tutkimukessa kyse, kun näin tätä Suomen mestarutta toitottevan joka kielellä kaikista tuuteista ympäri maailmaa. Suomesta lähtöisenä tiedän, että kaikki ei suinkaan ole maassa hyvin, siellä on paljon ankeutta, masennusta ja tuskaa. Varsinkin viime vuosikymmenen aikana tilanne on katastrofaalisesti huonontunut. Miksi sitten väitetään aivan toista?

Suurimman osan vuodesta Suomessa kylmä tuuli viimaa kun ihmiset tallustelevat harmaitten pilvien alla eikä aurinkoa näy. Ruuan ja muitten päivittäistavaroitten hinnat ovat Euroopan ehdottomasti korkeimpien joukossa ja kaksi monopolikauppaketjua hallitsee koko markkinan. Suomi on maailmaan ehdotonta kärkeä itsemurhissa, 30 pahimman joukossa. Hetkellisen parannuksen jälkeen itsemurha trendi on taas kovassa nousussa. Nyt itsemurha epidemia on tarttunut vanhuksiin. Joka toinen päivä yli 65-vuotias suomalainen tekee itsemurhan

Viimeisten kolmenkymmenen vuoden aikana maamme hallitukset, kaiken väriset, ovat harjoittaneet raakaa neoliberaalia ja globalistista politiikkaa, joka on tuhonnut pohjoismaisen hyvinvointivaltion, josta niin mielellään vielä paasaavat. Sitä ei enää ole. Harmi, ettei sitä kukaan kertonut YK:n tutkijoille, niin ei olisi heidän tarvinnut kyhätä kokoon tuota raporttia sitä ylistämään. Itse synnyin 60-luvulla ja vartuin Suomen kultaisena aikana Kekkosen Suomessa ja voin vannoa, että silloin meillä tosiaan oli tollainen hyvinvointivaltio. Siihen aikaan sanottiin, että oli lotto voitto syntyä Suomeen. Nyt sanotaan, että tarvitaan lotto voitto, jotta olisi varaa asua Suomessa.

Ei ihmekkään, että vanhukset ovat epätoivoisia, kun jo puoli miljoona heistä elää köyhyysrajan alla. Melkoinen määrä 5,5. miljoonan kansasta. Koko kansasta noin miljoona ihmistä taistelee kitumisrajalla tai sen alla. Köyhyys on jo niin arkipäiväistä ja laajalle levinnyttä, ettei monella perheellä ole enää edes varaa joululahjoihin.

Vanhukset sysätään yksityisiin hoitokoteihin, joissa heidät jätetään osakkeenomistajan voiton maksimoinnin varjolla heitteille

Puoli miljoonaa suomalaista, 10% kansasta, käyttää säännöllisesti masennuslääkkeitä koittaen pärjätä kauhean todellisuuden kanssa. Eliitin ”asiantuntijat” kertoo, että tämä on hyvä asia, koska näin kanavoidaan voittoja lääketeollisuudelle.

Tilastojen mukaan Suomi on Euroopan toiseksi väkivaltaisin maa perhe- ja lähisuhdeväkivallan osalta. EU-tutkimuksen mukaan Suomi on naisille toiseksi turvattomin maa. Tutkimuksessa lähes puolet suomalaisista naisista kertoi kokeneensa fyysistä väkivaltaa 15 ikävuoden jälkeen.

Tällaisessa elinympäristössä syntyvyys on tietenkin kääntynyt rajuun laskuun. Ihmisillä ei ole varaa ja halua tuoda lapsia tällaiseen yhteiskuntaan.

Leipäjonoja on nyt joka puolella lintukotoamme, koska virallinen järjestelmä ei enää takaa suomalaiselle toimeentuloa. Pitääkseen yllä Onnelan kulissia Sipilän ja Kokoomuksen hallitus päätti lopettaa tuet ruokaavun järjestäjille. Pois silmistä, pois mielestä.

Sama hallitus on tekemällä kyhännyt aikaan valtavan maahanmuutto kriisin, joka syö suomalaisten sosialiturvan ja on tuonnut viidakon tai aavikon lait kaupunkiemme kaduille.

Tilanne on mennyt niin pitkälle, että valtio vainoa toisinajattelijoita ja muitten totalitaaristen maitten tapaan jopa tuomitsee heitä näytösoikeudenkäynneissä.

Maassa on krooninen työttömys, mutta tämänkin hallitus koittaa peittää julistamalla pitkäaikaistyöttömät pummeiksi ja loisiaisiksi, jotka vaan eivät tahdo tehdä töitä ja ovat siksi tippuneet työvoiman ulkopuolelle. Pyyhitty tilastoista pois.

Ei. Tämä ei ole onnellinen maa.


Suomi ei ole Onnela, pikemminkin Hölmölä

Ei. Suomalaiset eivät ole maailman onnellisin kansa, mutta ehkä maailman alistuvaisin, alistunut kohtaloonsa. Suomessa on käsittämätön ja surullinen auktoriteettiuskon perinne, siksi suomalaiset kyselyissä kehuvat maataan. Pitää olla kiitollinen että eliitti on tämän suonut. Ruotsalaisten ohella suomalaiset ovat Euroopan varsinaiset hölmöläläiset mitä tulee eliitin massamedian luottamukseen. Pienestä pitäen aivopestyjä uskomaan maansa ylivoimaiseen paremmuuteen suomalaiset edelleen nielevät kaiken propagandan mikä tuutista tulee.






No, Finland is not the World’s Happiest Nation – The UN World Happiness Report is Fake News

Author: Jon Hellevig March 25, 2019


The Finnish government has been basking in media glory as the country was declared the world’s happiest nation second year in a row in the recently published UN World Happiness Report. But it isn’t. Despite the clickbait title, the study did not even measure happiness.

What they actually attempted to study was how satisfied people are with their present life conditions. You don’t need to be an Einstein to understand that that’s relative; relative to your past experience, relative to your expectations. If you think as many do “Could be worse” you would reply “It’s good, it’s OK.” This then is recorded as satisfaction. If you feel bad but are brainwashed to think that your country is the best of all possible countries you might also give high marks to the country. That’s what the Finns do. Really, what the UN report boils down to is a study of how satisfied people are with how things are organized in their country.

Not happiness but satisfaction with how the country is governed

You would think that when one wants to determine whether a person is happy or not, one would put that question to the person. But that’s not what happens here. The study is based on a wide range of opinion surveys performed by Gallup World Poll in 160 countries across the globe. They cover topics such as:

  • Confidence in Financial Institutions
  • Ease of Starting Businesses
  • Satisfaction with municipal waste management
  • Availability of affordable housing
  • Approval of country’s leadership
  • Approval of Russia’s leadership (China’s, US)
  • Confidence in Honesty of Elections
  • Corruption perception
  • Perception of press freedom
  • Quality of municipal health care

You are also asked to assess your country’s government’s efforts to address climate change. The survey’s also addresses your attitudes to LGBT rights (apologize if, I did not get the right number of letters in the acronym).

All in all the data in the Gallup World Polls is made up of surveys covering closer to 150 such kinds of topics, many which concerns your perceptions on how the country is governed.  

Some questions targeting personal emotion experiences, but that is not happiness either

In addition to all those questions on how people feel about the local bureaucracy and waste management, the survey also makes a couple of attempts to gauge the actual subject matter, happiness. One of them is a subjective life evaluation question and the other consists of a range of questions about the person’s emotional responses to life experience.

In the latter set of questions the pollsters ask people what kind of positive and negative emotions they experienced the previous day.

On the positive side these are questions like:

  • Did you feel well-rested yesterday?
  • Were you treated with respect all day yesterday?
  • Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?
  • Did you learn or do something interesting yesterday?
  • Did you experience the following feelings during a lot of the day yesterday?
  • Did you enjoy yourself?

Negative effect questions go like this:

  • Did you experience the following feelings during a lot of the day yesterday? How about physical pain?
  • Did you experience the following feelings during a lot of the day yesterday? How about worry?
  • Did you experience the following feelings during a lot of the day yesterday? How about sadness?
  • Did you experience the following feelings during a lot of the day yesterday? How about stress?
  • Did you experience the following feelings during a lot of the day yesterday? How about anger?

More than being about happiness, these questions look like the kind of a psychological profiling a recruitment psychologist would do. 

And the results are hilarious. The results are so entirely culturally biased that there is just no way of making heads or tails of them.

The responses are compiled into a Positive Experience Index score and a Negative Experience Index score, both further divided into nations showing the highest vs. lowest index scores.


The Slavic and other former Eastern European nations confirmed their no-nonsense approach to these kind of BS surveys by expressing a very narrow range of emotions evidencing both the lowest score on the positive and negative experience indices. Belarus is a case in point being number one in both. It’s the vse normalno attitude that I know from Russians, especially in how they relate things to persons outside their close group. Asking “How are you?” a Russian would typically answer vse normalno (everything is normal, OK) in hot and cold, even if he would have been made jobless or won on the lotto the other day. Now, that does not mean that they did not feel emotional about the events, they just don’t want to speak about them, especially not to a pollster.

On the other end, we have fiery Arabs who claim to be angry about everything, no matter what country they come from, but with understandably worse poll results in the conflict-torn countries.

And then there are the rhythmic South Americans basking in the sun who show the highest positive index score.

But even those generalizations are ruined with oddities, such as Canadians from the cold North and Icelanders, from yet a much harsher climate, ranking among top 10 in the positive index score. Sweden, which in the overall rating is in the top just up there with the Finns, ranks among top 10 in the lowest negative index, whereas Finns have a much worse ranking in that standing.

And now finally the happiness question?

Then finally there is the one question purportedly directly addressing the question of happiness. But again it doesn’t. This question is what they refer to as the "Cantril's Ladder" and it goes like this: "Please imagine a ladder, with steps numbered from 0 at the bottom to 10 at the top. The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time?"

We see that the respondent in fact is asked to assess to which extent he/she has achieved the full potential of his/her life. We note that basically this constitutes a materialistic assessment and has nothing to do with happiness as such. “Giving your potential, how far have you gone?” It is quite conceivable that a happy but ambitious person would give it a low score if he thinks he could still move further. She would probably not say she is satisfied with her present results and would like to move on upwards. Correspondingly a miserable person who has given up all hope could say he’s reached the top. Think about a young athlete who is healthy full of vigor and happy of his sport but wants to achieve more.

There’s another angle to this which also has nothing to do with happiness as such. According to the authors, people from countries with a higher GDP per capita tend to give better scores on this question. This has been interpreted to mean that people in those nations feel materially more secure.

All the above components of the study are then somehow combined to yield the world happiness ranking.

But clearly happiness was not studied or determined, nor was well-being, but only the degree to which the respondents are satisfied with basic life conditions and the ideological preferences of the authors of the study. (John F. Helliwell, Richard Layard and Jeffrey D. Sachs).

The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return

Happiness cannot be measured and certainly not as a national averages subject to global comparisons. The authors know it and admit as much, but the word ‘happiness’ is kept in the title because it provides for a catchier heading ensuring better publicity in the global media.

Happiness is a purely subjective and fluctuating state of mind. At the end of the analysis happiness is a subjective emotion dressed of all exterior circumstances, a human is capable of finding happiness even in the most dire of conditions. Naturally, some people are able to sustain that feeling and live happily. A Finnish professor of psychiatry Kalle Achté recently defined a “happy person” as one “who does not suffer from feelings of guilt and who feels good about his relations with other people.”  This comes close to how I have learned to think about happiness through the song: The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.

Q.E.D.  The Nordic welfare model and globalist change agenda is good for you

The authors do not disclose what is the method by which they combined the various components from the massive survey data and which weight thee are assigned. What is sure, though, is that there cannot possible by any scientific method by which that feat is achieved. Rather what happens here is that the data is manipulated so as to yield the results which correspond with the ideological preferences of the UN and the authors of the report. In particular the report is designed to provide evidence for the superiority of what is perceived as the Nordic social welfare model and the cultural change agenda.   

The authors present the survey results (distilled to their liking) in a division of nine parameters:

  1. The response to the Cantril’s Ladder questions
  2. Positive experience index rank
  3. Negative experience index rank
  4. Social support
  5. Freedom
  6. Corruption
  7. Generosity
  8. GDP per capita
  9. Life expectancy

The sections 4 to 9 are based on the massive database of the Gallup World Poll. They are fictional categories inasmuch as nobody was asked questions that would directly reply to such. Instead the authors – rather in the way medicine men might go about declaring facts by throwing augural bones in the air or cracking shells – have twisted the Gallup data to develop these categories. Their function is to prove that what produces – the already completely illusionary happiness – is a good implementation of all the nice Nordic things as determined by these parameters.

Instead of the happiest nation, Finns might be the most resigned

What made me want to look into the essence and method of this UN World Happiness report was my bafflement seeing the headlines the world over touting Finland as the happiest nation. Hailing from that country, I know that it is a pretty depressing place which has taken a definite turn for the worse during the last decade.  

In Finland, a chilly wind blows under grey skies with no sun for the greater part of the year. The prices are among the absolute highest in the euro zone. The country has a chronic suicide epidemic ranking among the world’s 30 worst countries on this parameter. After a slight improvement in the previous decade the situation has become worse again. Now there have been alarming news about a precipitous rise in suicides committed by the elderly as every second day one over 65 year-old ends her life by own hand.

The neoliberal globalist policies conducted by the governments of all political hue during the last three decades have finished off what used to be the Nordic welfare model of Finland. - Too bad the UN reporters did not notice that. - They are defending a model which no longer exists. I who was born in the 1960s and raised in the Golden Age of Finnish welfare under President Kekkonen, can sign off that it actually was pretty good back then. People used to say that it was like winning in the Lotto to be born in Finland. Now, they say you must win the Lotto to afford living in Finland.

No wonder the elderly are distressed as about half a million of them have been pushed below the poverty line. That’s is a lot out of a population of 5.5 million. Of the entire population there are almost one million people under the poverty line or hovering just above. There have been more and more reports about people being so destitute that they cannot anymore even afford to buy Christmas presents for their kids.

Old people are placed in care homes, which the municipalities used to run in the past. But now they have been outsourced to private operators which neglect the people in order to maximize shareholder profit.

Half a million Finns, 10% of the population are on antidepressants so as to cope with the harsh realities of that country.

Family violence has reached horrific proportions. According to a survey conducted by the European Union, Finland is the EU’s second most hazardous country for women. Every second woman responded that she has been a victim of physical violence after 15 years of age.

In this environment fewer want to have offspring with a resulting catastrophic decline in birth rates in the last few years.

Charity food banks have sprung up in Helsinki and across the country because the official welfare system cannot deliver. The Government – trying to keep alive the “Happiest Country” myth – has literally wished away the soup kitchens by refusing any budget assignations to them.

There is a Government engineered migration crisis, which sucks up the welfare funds and has brought the laws of the jungle to the streets in the previously so safe Finland.

Things have gone so far that the Government persecutes dissidents in all manners typical of totalitarian states, including by way of sentencing people in show trials.

There is chronic unemployment, which the Government also tries to cover up by declaring that the long-term unemployed are not in fact unemployed, “they’ve just opted out from the workforce.” The unemployment statistics have been embellished also by a new law that forces the jobless to accept virtually unpaid slave jobs which they euphemistically call “job experimenting.”

This is not a happy country.

Perhaps instead of happy they are resigned

Far from being the happiest, Finns are the people most resigned to their fate. Finns have a sad tradition in trusting authority, that’s why they give in the surveys high marks to their rulers. Finns are also very gullible, together with the Swedes they show the absolute highest trust in the mass media. Brainwashed to believe in the superiority of their country, they continue to trust what their mass media tell them.



EU's Infowar On Russia - Putting In Place A Totalitarian Media Regime And Speech Control

Author: Jon Hellevig December 16, 2016

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After a decade and a half of intensive anti-Russian propaganda, the Western mainstream media and their masters are experiencing a virtual meltdown of their propaganda narrative. During the last half a year, they doubled down on their propaganda with a campaign of declaring all critical alternative media and dissidents as ‘fake news” sources. This campaign has now culminated with the first round of repressive media and speech control laws both in the European Union (EU Parliament, 14 October 2016, on EU strategic communication to counteract propaganda against it by third parties; referenced below) and in the United States (US House of Representatives bill of November 30 announcing a crackdown on media, blogs and individuals who are involved in “spreading Russian propaganda and misinformation”).

However, while Russia has been identified both in the EU and the US as the supposed adversary against whom these states are supposedly protecting, the real target of their crackdown is internal dissent. Their scandalous calls to an infowar against Russia is actually a red herring intended to conceal the much more sinister aim of establishing a totalitarian media regime and speech control with all-out propaganda and censorship internally in the EU states.

Obviously the EU and USA have very little to fear from Russia's quite limited media resources. Russia has no propaganda reach over the West and based on my observations has not even been engaged in any such attempts. Russia has, however, increased its legitimate reporting in English with an aim at Western and other global audiences. These are quite insignificant operations and reach only a very limited audience. Hereby, there is no need for Russia even to try to do anything called propaganda – in the sense of trying to push false narratives by subterfuge. The Western propaganda machine is the one that takes care of producing the propaganda content, and Russian and other alternative media sources need not do anything else than sit there and refute the Western propaganda narratives 24 hours a day, as well as report the real news.

For sure, this is annoying enough for the West, but their real concern is yet much more baleful. They have a need to enact a totalitarian media regime and speech control in order to continue unhindered in their geopolitical new world order machinations and in their endeavors to establish a World Government with its political and cultural agenda.  

The EU represents a proto-World Government and a testing ground for its intended policies. However, Project EU is now in serious trouble.  Presently the EU is a walking disaster and its masters find it harder and harder to keep the growing chorus of critics in check with its traditional media monopoly. The totalitarian powers are therefore needed to safeguard their political agenda and to prop up the European Union, which they have destined to serve as the proto-World Government. This political agenda may fairly be referred to as the New World Order or NWO agenda.

Tons of problems have accumulated on all fronts and the EU would rather stow them away from public scrutiny: The economy is a disaster and getting worse. The Euro currency is an utter failure and strangling the economies and people’s livelihoods with that. New independent political parties are challenging the traditional pro-EU consensus parties from right to left. People are fed up with the EU elite’s program of mass importation of migrants. The European populations are up in arms against what they see as a forceful superimposition of a repulsive alien culture and the wrecking of Europe’s traditional values by a centrally led campaign of promotion of new sexual mores, invented gender identifications and a despicable newspeak politically correct language. People have woken up to oppose the eradication of national sovereignty and the imposition of the EU superstate. The EU and the West at large are being increasingly marginalized economically, politically, culturally and militarily in the face of ever growing significance of China, Russia and other emerging free world countries.

These and other problems pose insurmountable problems for the EU and World Government projects of the Western elite, and it is therefore they are busy strengthening their repressive powers.

That the European mainstream media had been converted into a totalitarian propaganda machine should have become clear to the most lazy observer by the latest in 2013/2014 with the jaw-dropping anti-Sochi propaganda and the massive propaganda support and whitewashing of the Ukrainian coup and the atrocities in its wake - which clearly were perpetrated by people and groups that openly displayed their adherence to fascist and Nazi ideologies – on the Maidan, Odessa, Mariupol and its war of terror on the population of Donbass. The Western propaganda war on Syria in support of jihadists and Western mercenary terrorists labeling these groups “moderate rebels” should have come as final proof for those who still wanted to give the Western media the benefit of the doubt. – Now, they want to remove that doubt once and for all by the introduction of a totalitarian media regime and speech control.




Totalitarian media regime and speech control

The scandalous resolution by the European Parliament (November 2016) calling to an infowar against Russia is actually a red herring intended to conceal the much more sinister aim of establishing a totalitarian media regime and speech control with all-out propaganda and censorship internally in the EU states. I would not deny, though, that they in fact are also to a certain degree concerned about the impact the Russian media may have in making cracks in the EU’s propaganda wall and sneaking in some truths here and there. But, even so, it wouldn’t be a concern if they didn’t fully realize that what they are doing is trying to protect the monopoly of the giant propaganda machine that their lying mainstream media is. Nobody likes it when their lies are challenged.

In an attempt to further distract the people from their more sinister aims, the drafters slipped in a hapless reference to Daesh (which is the newspeak name the EU lately prefers for what they first branded as ISIS). It reads like: “We are fighting Russia and the ISIS, that’s why we need to shut you up.” It seems to me, it would be easier to start the fight on ISIS by blocking their twitter account. And stop airing their propaganda videos.

EU is a totalitarian project from the very beginning

To fully account for the historic roots of this campaign would entail retelling the history of the European Union, for the EU in its entirety is a totalitarian project and therefore media control and propaganda have been its integral elements from the very beginning. (See, e.g. How a secretive elite created the EU to build a world government[1], The European Union always was a CIA project, as Brexiteers discover[2] and BBC Bias, Brexit, the EU, Bilderberg and Global Government[3]). In brief, the decisive coup was carried out when the dark forces behind Project EU managed to establish a totalitarian control over the mainstream media across Europe. I cannot put an exact year to when this was accomplished but it is fair to estimate that it was done by the early years of the 2000s (a dominant position was naturally reached much earlier). With the demise of the Soviet Union, there was a shift to the right in all media. The Marxist left media moved towards the social-democrats, the social-democratic media to the center, and the center to the right. Within a decade, the editorial policies of them all had more or less merged into one neoliberal stance, excepting some residue populist jargon in the former Marxist media. Simultaneously there occurred a forceful concentration of media ownership. - Ditto the mainstream political parties and their leaders from left to right.

That the European mainstream media had been converted into a totalitarian propaganda machine should have become clear to the most lazy observer by the latest in 2013/2014 with the jaw-dropping anti-Sochi propaganda and the massive propaganda support and whitewashing of the Ukrainian coup and the atrocities in its wake - which clearly were perpetrated by people and groups that openly displayed their adherence to fascist and Nazi ideologies – on the Maidan, Odessa, Mariupol and its war of terror on the population of Donbass. The Western propaganda war on Syria in support of jihadists and Western mercenary terrorists labeling these groups “moderate rebels” should have come as final proof for those who still wanted to give the Western media the benefit of the doubt.

Alternative media challenged the monopoly of the propaganda machine

In connection with the abovementioned events, the Western propaganda center was in for a massive shock seeing its narrative – so carefully scripted – challenged by the alternative media, bloggers and social media activists. The barbarians were now storming the gates of Western Fortress Propaganda. The propaganda center decided to counterattack the challenge by declaring all criticism unwarranted and fraudulent deception spread by “Russian trolls.” Their imagination then discovered an "army of well-paid trolls" laboring day and night in “troll factories” with the “Kremlin paid” task to spread false information on the internet. In the mindset of the propaganda creators this hoax then snowballed into the McCarthian bluff of labeling any dissidents – on any key point of the NWO agenda - as Russian trolls or Kremlin agents. If anybody needed proof of how unhinged the propaganda machine had become, they got it when the US Government and its media actually went as far as designating Donald Trump as a Russian agent, a Putin stooge doing the Kremlin’s bidding, whose “vast troll army” was now posing as American conservatives. Oh yes, and Russia hacking DNC and Clinton emails and even the voting systems to ensure Trump’s victory.

Assumptions regarding the “Propaganda center” and “NWO”

At this point, I must make a caveat regarding my use of concept “propaganda center.” This report provides a wealth of details proving that the Western media is habitually engaged in massive propaganda operations. These propaganda campaigns commence at the same time across the globe, or at least across the West. Hereby, leading Western politicians, “experts,” celebrities, and other opinion makers appear across the West repeating similar statements – having an obvious rehearsed character - concerning the events forming the subject of the media campaign. - As I personally follow news in seven languages, I have had the opportunity to marvel at the perfect synchronization of the timing of news campaigns (both their commencement and end). Sometimes when an event would call for immediate reaction there might not be any for hours or even or days. I have learned to put that down on the fact that the propaganda center is still working on what kind of spin to give to the events.

This report also outlines the role the CIA and the other Western intelligence agencies have in the propaganda war. I deem that the CIA has the absolutely most crucial and fundamental role in this and that it controls and directs the work of all the other intelligence agencies in this respect. Based on this and other circumstantial evidence, I have drawn the conclusion that the CIA operates a central Western propaganda center. – I share further down more details evidencing the central role of CIA as the central force coordinating the Western media propaganda.

In this connection, it is worth mentioning that the Russian FM Sergey Lavrov just recently revealed that Moscow is aware of the EU issuing periodic guidelines on how EU officials in all countries should refer to issues concerning contentions issues between Russia and the EU/USA/NATO.[4] In my understanding, these guidelines are issued by the international propaganda center. Hereby there are guiding statements for long-term propaganda operations but also rapid reaction guidelines are issued for any question that may come up from time to time.

I must make another caveat in regards to the “NWO” or the New World Order. This report outlines my understanding of the NWO and its political agenda as a globalist elite project. I consider that the European Union serves as a precursor of the NWO or its initial platform. The political and cultural agenda of the EU and its system of governance shows it as a proto-World Government.

The EU clearly follows the NWO agenda as outlined in this report. Established Western figures and sources speak openly about the desirability of a World Government, or Global Government, or a bit more euphemistically about “need for global governance” and “global integration.” For example, in his final UN speech 2016 President Obama openly called for speeding up the establishment of a global government.[5], [6]  Basically, the NWO or the “new world order” is the system of governance under the global government as well as its political vision and agenda. For some reason, though, the term “new world order” and its acronym, NWO, is not something that the Western establishment likes to use in public. While everything is true about its agenda, as outlined in this report and while they have no problem with talking about global governance, they want to see the new world order concept labeled as a conspiracy theory. However, sometimes they still let it slip through as in the speech the former President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso (who successfully segued into the position of chairman of Goldman Sachs) delivered in 2014 to the Yale School of Management titled “The European Union in the New World Order”.[7]  

We are well advised to remember that the whole concept “conspiracy theory” is a label devised by the CIA specifically for the purpose of discrediting legitimate criticism of their very own covert operations. In its first massive use, it was directed to counter the groundswell of public skepticism toward the CIA-led Warren Commission’s findings on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In this connection in 1967, the CIA wrote a dispatch, which coined the term “conspiracy theory” and recommended methods for discrediting such theories and their authors. Back then, the CIA was still quite naively formal in its approaches and actually marked the dispatch “psych”, short for “psychological operations” or disinformation, and “CS” for the CIA’s “Clandestine Services” unit.[8], [9] 

Considering these arguments as well as all the data presented in this report, I conclude that the Western elite, indeed, is driven by a vision and political agenda that we may call the New World Order (NWO). Whether they call the agenda by that name or not is irrelevant, what is relevant is the reality of the agenda and the reality of the forces that push the agenda.

Open society shut down

Coinciding with taking over the European media, the CIA and other new world order agents had managed to co-opt and coerce the European political elite and practically all the parliamentary parties across Europe.

Artists and the cultural elite had also been made to acquiesce through the powers that the NWO exercised over them by their control of Hollywood and the entertainment industry at large, and of course through their very media monopoly.

Even the Academy was silenced and subjugated, as professors and researchers became entirely dependent on grants from the EU, national states and multinational corporations with a stake in the globalization on the terms of the Western elite. Long-term tenures with a guaranteed income is of the past and today scholars must vie for these grants on a continuous basis with well-defined projects. And obviously in this Orwellian system the winning projects must be so defined as to meet the values and goals of the donors.

Finally, even civil society across Europe was taken over by the EU elite, the Deep State shadow government, by way of infiltrating and hijacking the relevant NGO’s and the peace movements from the 60’s. Some of the NGO’s were simply hijacked others created de novo as propaganda fronts. Among the former there are NGO’s like Amnesty International, Transparency International, Reporters without Borders, Freedom House, and the International Red Cross. Among the latter there are organizations like National Endowment for Democracy.

A myriad of think tanks were set up to cover the territory between the Academy and politics and to provide “reliable” sources for fake news that the mainstream media spreads and the politicians parrot. Television and newspapers have taken to interviewing carefully vetted “experts” who would confirm the agenda of the propaganda scriptwriters. For a better show a few dissenting experts are invited from time to time knowing that their voices will anyway be drowned by the overwhelming chorus of the propaganda shills.

The real opposition defamed as “far-right parties”

The defamation of the European so-called far-right parties alleging their supposed Russian connections and subservience had also started a few years back. The emergence of a number of populist parties and the challenge they pose to the elite and their Project EU had taken the propaganda center by surprise. Very few of those parties are in essence “far right,” which is mainly a defamatory label stamped on them by the propaganda machine.

In this question - as in all the other central issues at stake - the NWO planners had banked on a scenario of a static world basing their agenda on the following tacit: perpetually growing economies, which would enable keeping the Western voter calm and quiet; infinite abilities to brainwash the public on the strength of the mainstream media monopoly; a weak and dying Russia; no global challenge from China and other emerging countries around the world; and a political spectrum divided once and for all between the then existing parties and their supposed ideologies.

They have failed in each of these assumptions, the NWO project is not going as it should and problems are piling up everywhere. Therefore, this is what in reality is at stake here: they must shut up the critics and silence the discontented populations so as to hide away the problems and disguise their agenda. To accomplish this the EU and the USA Deep State governments - under the guise of countering a non-existent Russian propaganda threat - aim at establishing a totalitarian media regime and speech control. They need it to safeguard their political agenda and to prop up the European Union, which they have destined to serve as the proto-World Government. This political agenda may fairly be referred to as the New World Order, or NWO agenda.


Media control aims at hiding the EU’s very real problems

The EU is a walking disaster and its masters find it harder and harder to keep the growing chorus of critics in check with its traditional media monopoly.

Tons of problems have accumulated on all fronts and the EU would rather stow them away from public scrutiny. The economy is falling and the ultimate crash is delayed only by massive money printing and direct lending of it on zero rates to the governments by the ECB (the EU central bank). The result is an ever-increasing financial bubble which is about to burst any day now. While keeping the system seemingly afloat the constant infusion of the bogus money has pushed the general price level artificially high up so that it is now strangling consumers and critically hampering Europe’s business competitiveness.

For the EU-elite, the Euro monopoly is a convenient tool for financial manipulation but for the overwhelming share of the populations, it has spelt a disaster. Not ready to ditch the Euro and get rid of the economic woes, they try to cure the problems by constant rounds of new austerity measures, which do nothing but send the economy tailspinning into further destruction. Even those who are lucky to still have a job have seen drastic cuts in their income and purchasing power.

Many ask why they stick with the Euro through thick and thin when it is so obviously a failure. The reason is that the Euro, from the very beginning emerged as a product of geopolitical dreaming and scheming, as a tool to solidify the foundations of a unified Europe, a future superstate. Financial considerations and obvious flaws in the scheme acknowledged even by the die-hard planners had to yield to the all-encompassing geopolitical expediency.  - In 2009, WikiLeaks released a document, which seems to be the meeting report from the 1955 Bilderberg conference in West Germany. The document shows that the Western elite was already back then secretively working on the idea of creating the Euro.[10] I have written about the destruction wrought by the Euro monopoly and the impending catastrophe caused by it in this report from 2015: How the Dollar and Euro Monopolies Destroyed the Real Market Economy. And What Hayek Told about the Need for Competing Currencies[11]

Blindfolded towards a EU superstate

The chaos has made people realize that that the mainstream political parties - including the Greens, their newest family member - no longer address the popular needs and hopes. (European Green parties pay lip service to the ecology while they in reality pander to the neoliberal agenda). The (former) ideologies of the traditional parties from right to left have coalesced into one single indistinct mass of a neoliberal globalist ideology. Ordinary citizens in Europe – and in the US as Trump pointed out for us – feel that they bear the brunt of a rigged globalist system.

People are also fed up with the bureaucratic Juggernaut that the EU has become and its unelected EU Commission, which while blabbering about “European integration” has been in fact covertly transforming the original customs union into a transnational superstate. People feel that the EU suppresses the democratic aspirations at the level of nations as it encroaches on every aspect of people’s lives with absurd rules, directives and standards. There is understandable enormous disappointment and frustration at the EU having over the years constantly been chipping away at the right to self-determination of the nations to the point that the EU countries have lost their national sovereignty.

Superimposition of a new alien culture and the forging of Homo europaeus

In addition to the enormous frustration with the economy, a large part of the European populations is also up in arms against what they see as a forceful superimposition of a repulsive alien culture and the wrecking of Europe’s traditional values by a centrally led campaign of promotion of new sexual mores, invented gender identifications and a despicable newspeak politically correct language. The opponents feel that their way of life is subject to a countercultural transformation on the terms of cultural marxism. Judging by European Union resolutions, statements of their political leaders and the mainstream media (which the EU has officially taken under its special protection), the EU strives to deliberately replace national states, nationalities, and traditional cultures and identities with something they call multiculturalism, where people have no gender, no faith and no national allegiances. The agenda is supported by a carefully crafted code of politically correct speech and by labeling criticism as “hate speech.” Indeed, there is a feeling that the European Union tries to forge a new form of a human being, the Homo europaeus, who embodies these newly fabricated values.

People are annoyed with what seems a deliberate effort to haul in migrants from the Middle East and Africa even as their own people are suffering under increasing economic hardship and while severe reductions are being done in social spending on the elderly and other vulnerable groups of people. There is a widespread and motivated belief that the migrant influx forms part of the conscious effort to forge on people a singular EU identity and an allegiance to the superstate. The EU and its media are going to great lengths to conceal the facts of the mass import of migrants – not to mention the goals of it. They do not want the public to understand how they have rolled out the red carpet welcoming migrants at the same time as more and more of the citizen fall into poverty and deprivation. Keeping with this, they have already enacted severe rules of censorship aimed at gagging officials and the media to prevent public awareness of the inevitable problems the mass influx of these migrants have caused. Reporting on migrant crimes is now classified as hate speech. – Hereby, I must stress that the migrants themselves are innocent victims of these machinations, the blame which lies squarely on the EU-NWO leaders. Some of them are refugees and some migrants in search of a better life, and even so they naturally have a moral right to do so, the more so as they have been enticed by the EU to come.

The agenda driven multiculturalism also involves a creeping assault on the Christian church. The church is seen as an independent center of authority, which has the standing to potentially challenge Project EU (and the grander Project World Government) and therefore based on the evidence it seems that the change agenda calls for a gradual dismantling of the roles of the Christian churches. Amazingly some of the churches, namely the Nordic Lutheran churches seem to be fully collaborating – and conspiring - in the effort of their own demise.

The EU’s murderous foreign policy

The EU also has a need for media control and censorship to cover up for its aggressive foreign policy. They wish to maintain their popular image of a benevolent EU as the Nobel Peace prize laureate (sick). They do not want alternative media to remind people about the EU’s wars of aggression and terror that have led to the destruction of Iraq, Libya, and Syria, and terrorism at home, and their instigation and support for the violent coup in Ukraine and the mayhem in its wake. And, they are terribly concerned about being outed as warmongers with their ferocious anti-Russian propaganda. About their lies of alleged Russian invasion of Ukraine. Or supposed threats of Russia’s imminent invasion of Poland, the Baltic countries, or Finland and Sweden. Or their propaganda narrative about a “nasty” Russian state and its “dictator” Putin. Their lies about persecution of gays in Russia, or the “doomed” Russian economy, or the nature of Russia’s democracy etc., etc.

The EU’s eleventh hour

It is now or never for the EU as they are well aware of the fact that they are facing a Trump-moment in elections across Europe. Project EU has taken a beating in recent elections and opinion polls promise them even more agony. They lost in the last elections to the EU Parliament, they lost in parliamentary elections in Poland, Portugal, Spain, they lost the referendum in the Netherlands, they’ve recently lost in several state elections in Germany, they lost the Brexit, they lost the Italian referendum, they nearly lost the Austrian presidency, they are heavily losing in polls in Sweden, etc. etc. Popular discontent has got out of hand, the EU cannot cure the economy and does not want to back off its counterculture agenda, therefore the elite sees stifling of dissent and the imposition of a totalitarian media regime as their one last chance and best hope.


The Western propaganda center has nearly simultaneously launched a campaign in all the Western countries to discredit alternative media, websites and blogs, by arbitrarily labelling them as “fake news” sites and accusing them of “peddling Russian propaganda.” The qualification criteria for making it to the list basically involves nothing more than that the site refuses to parrot the propaganda lines of the Western elite and their pocket governments and media. It is noteworthy that the EU and the USA have for the past two decades moved in perfect lockstep with their anti-Russian propaganda and the same marching orders are being followed now in the crackdown on dissent. It is evident that this “fake news” hype is a propaganda ploy designed by the CIA propaganda center aimed – in the first stage – at stirring false indignation concerning the alternative media and then – in the second stage – at proceeding with enacting repressive legislation to crackdown on dissenting media and establish a severe regime of media control and censorship across the Western countries.

I have not undertaken a comparative study so as to pinpoint the exact dates when the “fake news” campaign kicked off in different countries, but I remember that shills working as opinion makers (mostly journalists) have been writing columns and posting in social media about the topic for about two years now. By spring 2016, the campaign seemed to be seriously live. For example, in Finland (a tightly controlled tiny state with strong historic totalitarian tendencies as a willing ally of Hitler’s Germany) the chief editors of all mainstream media houses (including state-owned) went public with a widely published appeal condemning alternative media as “fake news media” and vowing that they themselves would stick to the principles of “ethics and good practice journalism and honest reporting” (talk about wolves in sheep’s clothing). Finland beat the USA with 2 months, publishing its own “fake news” hit list already in mid-September.

Fake news hoax and US propaganda and censorship laws

According to Zerohedge[12], the US House of Representatives passed on November 30 a bill announcing a crackdown on media, blogs and individuals who are involved in “spreading Russian propaganda and misinformation.” The bill had been introduced on November 22, that is, just two days before the Washington Post published its by now infamous and libelous article[13]    about “fake news” sites and supposed Russian propaganda. To back up its allegations, the Post cited a bogus report by a group of self-professed "experts" who want to advance the hoax that Donald Trump was elected on the strength of an elaborate Russian misinformation operation by means of infiltration of the US alternative media. The members of this shady group - which runs a website set up only this year called (clear sign it is a special purpose propaganda vehicle) - want themselves to remain anonymous although they are supposedly calling for media transparency. (On their website they identified themselves as a “Propaganda Identification Service, since 2016”). The report listed 200 highly respected and professional alternative media websites and blogs as “fake news” sites and purveyors of Russian propaganda. Albeit the listed websites span the gamut of political ideas from right to left the accused sites largely shared five things in common:

  1. Independence from the mainstream media
  2. Criticism of the Clinton candidacy.
  3. Criticism of U.S. foreign policy.
  4. None of them publish fake news. (In a bid to raise the credibility and tarnish the reputation of the legitimate sites, the drafters included 3 actual fake news sites in the list, among them
  5. None of them have nothing to do with “Russian propaganda,” while some of them do challenge the US Government’s neoliberal anti-Russian party line

PropOrNot claims that its fake methodology to identify “fake news” sites included the identification whether the sites carried content “in praise for Putin, Trump, Bashar al-Assad, Syria, Iran, China, and radical political parties in the US and Europe.” – All sure signs of Russian propaganda influence. Or, worse yet, the “fake news” sites were in a habit of criticizing of the United States, Barack Obama, Clinton, the European Union, Angela Merkel, NATO, Ukraine, “Jewish people,” U.S. allies, the mainstream media, Democrats, and “the center-right or center-left, and moderates of all stripes.”[14]

Both the article and the report it referred to are insipid stories seemingly penned by immature and shallow authors. But this manifestation of complete collapse of journalistic standards comes as the logical result of a couple of decades of hubris over “winning the cold war” and the ensuing virtually unchallenged global propaganda monopoly that filled the US mainstream media with propaganda shills and drained it of talent and real professionals. In the last few years with the inane anti-Putin propaganda they hit rock bottom. And this Wacko, er, WaPo article perfectly illustrates this universal degradation. Washington Post pretends to be a quality newspaper and yet they published this hogwash, where every contention is more incredible than the other. They had no qualms in shaming all those opposition media outlets as Russian propaganda shills even when the bogus report offered no evidence backing up their claims. Obviously, the Post did not expect any evidence to be forthcoming because they were into the scheme from the very beginning. But not only was there any evidence, there was actually a statement from Propornot, the fly-by-night propaganda outlet, confirming that they actually would ignore evidence altogether and that evidence wouldn’t matter anyway because they would declare a website a Russian propaganda outlet just for the mere fact that they were critical of the American propaganda or did not echo the neoliberal and NATO party lines. The claim is that in this case they would be "useful idiots" who unwittingly did Russia’s bidding.

The mainstream media is the real fake news network

It is in order to remind that it is the US and the Western mainstream media in general that are the veritable fake news networks, and have been so for decades if not for centuries. The Western elite’s recent desperation of hysteric proportions is a reflection of the panic into which they have been thrown when realizing that their increasingly brazen and preposterous lies have been successfully challenged by the alternative media and the knowledge that they have all but lost the game. For each passing year, fewer and fewer people believe their propaganda lies. Therefore, they are staking all on their one remaining card, the imposition of a totalitarian media regime and speech control.

Let’s take a look at just a few of the big lies that the mainstream media has been peddling in recent years. The fake war on terror following 9/11 as a means to pursue the neocon geopolitical agenda of absolute world hegemony, specifically the ferocious campaign of lies to justify the invasion of Iraq with the patently false claims that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and about his alleged al-Qaeda connection. “Iranian nukes,” the Libyan meltdown, “Assad’s use of chemical weapons,” Pentagon’s hiring of British public relations firm Bell Pottinger to create fake news stories about terrorist attacks in Iraq, creating and promoting the al Qaeda related propaganda group White Helmets, which creates and distributes fake stories about the Syrian war, “Putin persecuting and killing journalists,” “Putin persecuting gays.” “Russia invading Ukraine,” “Russia intending to invade the Baltics, Poland, Finland, Sweden,” “Rebels downing the MH-17 jet over Ukraine,” the Maidan coup being a peaceful revolution without foreign interference, new Ukrainian regime not being extremist and not relying on radical fascist and neo-Nazi forces, etc., etc. 

Through their lies and propaganda for war, the mainstream media is complicit in numerous war crimes, as Paul Craig Roberts writes: “Since the Clinton regime, the accumulation of war crimes committed by Western governments exceed those of Nazi Germany. Millions of Muslims have been slaughtered, dislocated, and dispossessed in seven countries. Not a single Western war criminal has been held accountable. // The despicable Washington Post is a prime apologist for these war criminals. The entire Western print and TV media is so heavily implicated in the worst war crimes in human history that, if justice ever happens, the presstitutes will stand in the dock with the Clintons, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Obama and their neocon operatives or handlers as the case may be.”[15]

Or what about the more recent propaganda lies? The hoax that Russia was hacking into DNC and Podesta email? Or that Trump is a Putin agent?

The Washington Post’s laughable fake news hoax came as the perfect climax for the whole fake news saga, as a grand finale to announce the total bankruptcy of Western mainstream media. After all, that story of the fake news sites is in itself the most revealing item of fake news, they’ve done us a service in taking the mask off finally and for good.

CIA is the mastermind behind the fake news propaganda hoax

Everything points to the fact that the CIA is the mastermind and puppet master coordinator of Western media propaganda. There is a lot of direct evidence of this as well as solid circumstantial evidence. Hereby the CIA, in partnership with the Pentagon and NATO, uses the national intelligence services of other countries as their local branches in this and other operations of subversion.

The public in general would think that the CIA is an intelligence service or spy agency tasked with finding out what foreign nations are up to (“gathering, processing and analyzing national security information”). To a certain extent that is true, however, from its very founding in 1947, the CIA was engaged to carry out clandestine and covert operations ranging from propaganda to false flag attacks and military coups and other regime change operations. For covert propaganda, the CIA had journalists on its payroll from its inception. In what was called Operation Mockingbird, the CIA recruited leading American journalists into a propaganda network to advance the ideology of the CIA's masters. The operation was directed on influencing foreign media and political campaigns and covering up for the CIA’s covert and false flag operations. It also included the funding of some student and cultural and youth organizations as well as setting up magazines as propaganda fronts. This is a fact to which the CIA itself admitted when it in 1976 explicitly announced that it would discontinue that practice in regards to the domestic media: “Effective immediately, the CIA will not enter into any paid or contract relationship with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any US news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station.” – The admission is true, but nobody believes that they actually stopped doing it, and rightly so, as we have recently had ample reason to see.

It is known that prior to the announcement the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird had its own stable of writers, editors and publishers consisting of as many as 3000 individuals. The disinformation network was supervised by Philip Graham, a former publisher the Washington Post. There is all reason to believe that the Washington Post is still a card-carrying member of the CIA network. The circumstances surrounding the “fake news” article, the substandard reporting that went into it and the reference to the shady and anonym bogus organization points strongly in this direction.[16]

Several influential observers of the US media give credence to the suggestion that the CIA is the mastermind of the PropOrNot scandal. Anatoly Karlin[17] argues that given “the extensive ties of Western intelligence services with MSM editors, as claimed by whistleblowers such as Udo Ulfkotte and Paul Barril, and the CIA’s allegiance to the “blue empire,” the direct involvement of Western intelligence services” in the recent fake news hoax “cannot be excluded.” Paul Craig Roberts also seems to be suspecting that PropOrNot’s funding comes from the CIA or related structures.[18] The Strategic Culture makes the convincing case that CIA and the network of assets it controls is the major purveyor of fake news.[19] It shares some very incriminating evidence also making the case of the intimate connection between the CIA and the Washington Post. According to Strategic Culture “media influencing operation targeting Russia appears to be an outgrowth of the US State Department’s Counter-Information Team of the Bureau of International Information Programs,” set up by the spymaster George W. Bush and designed to counter “Soviet disinformation.” Washington Post has a historic special relationship of longstanding with the CIA, but their ties were further deepened and sealed with gold in 2013, when the owner of Amazon (on-line bookstore) Jeff Bezos, who also happens to own The Washington Post, signed a $600 million contract with the CIA to provide cloud computing services to the agency. Based on its analysis this news service deems that it is “very likely that is a creation of The Washington Post’s cloud computing business partner, the CIA.”

The anonymous “experts” of described themselves as a group of “concerned American citizens with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise, including professional experience in computer science, statistics, public policy, and national security affairs.” According to Strategic Culture, this is a baggage of expertise that clearly points towards a background in the CIA or any of its assets. The WaPo article itself refers to a host of the “usual suspects of Russia-bashers and CIA mouthpieces: The Daily Beast; former US ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul; Rand Corporation; George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs; the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia.”

In its article relating the “fake news” scandal, The Intercept[20] throws more light on the controversy. It reveals that Clint Watts - the other expert (apart from PropOrNot) on which Washington Post relied – is a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, which is a think tank that advances a neoconservative and imperialist geopolitical agenda and a policy of aggression against Russia, the same malevolent geopolitical agenda of which the CIA is the custodian. Watts has personally a background as a warrior for these causes having previously worked as an FBI special agent on a Joint Terrorism Task Force and as the executive officer of the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center.


After the Clinton debacle, the Russian hacking and fake news hoax relay was passed on to Germany’s Merkel (the last vassal standing). Speaking in parliament end of November, Merkel expressed concern that alternative media outlets are responsible for subverting the government’s control over the public. She[21] claimed that alternative and social media pose a “danger to national security” as the public opinion was being swayed away from establishment politics. Translating from German, this means that Merkel tells the elite and establishment media now face overwhelming problems in spreading their lies. “We must confront this phenomenon and if necessary, regulate it,” Merkel proposes in order to rescue the license to lie. Merkel stresses that, “opinions aren’t formed the way they were 25 years ago.” Could be a reference to her native GDR, but most probably she just meant the Western mainstream media, which two are more or less the same, only the Western media used to put up a better show.

Hereby Merkel is using the CIA developed toolkit: accuse them of fake news, lies, hate speech, extremism, and even populism and then crackdown on it. – Interesting her inclusion of “populism” in the list of dangers. Participation in political processes is “democracy” when it fits the elite agenda, but “populism” when the people dare support alternative programs that contradict the elite’s totalitarian agenda. In fact, it is the same with “social media.” What is this social media but a platform for people to express and share their opinions? A crackdown on social media is then nothing else than a crackdown on people, on their right to free speech.

Merkel has concerns about the stability of our “familiar order,” no doubt the real question is about the “familiar new world order.” She wants to establish a totalitarian media regime and speech control in order to safeguard the transatlantic NWO project and the EU proto-World Government.

Thomas Jarzombek, from Merkel’s CDU party, interviewed by Germany’s Deutsche Welle On Deutsche Welle article[22] - which is a public propaganda bullhorn of the German government broadcasting in English and some 20 other languages. (And then they have a problem with Russia’s Sputnik!) – told that time is now of essence: “We have ten months until the next national election in Germany, and we need to find appropriate mechanisms.” He wantto crackdown on opposite media but adds that hereby “it's important that we never give the impression that we're censoring anything." The dilemma, then, is how to censor without letting on that you censor. Jarzombek will surely consult Goebbels’ heritage in order to work around this delicate problem.


The EU Parliament’s resolution[23] attacking Russia’s “hostile propaganda” is nothing but naked propaganda in itself and a call to further escalate its hybrid war against Russia, which has been running for a decade already. Very little of what they accuse Russia for is actually true, and what is true amounts to Russia’s normal and legitimate news reporting and intergovernmental and civil society interactions. The EU’s chief concern is – quoting from the resolution (sic) – “eroding the European narrative”, that is, a direct admission that the EU is annoyed with the fact that Russia’s officials and its media have not succumbed to the Western political and media hegemony. The Russians have the audacity to challenge the EU narrative, the carefully crafted propaganda story, the EU has concocted about itself. In short, Russia is infringing on the EU’s sacred propaganda monopoly.

Russia is, they say, “provoking doubt.” Gone are the days, when Europeans admired philosophers who on the contrary called us to doubt everything, De Omnibus Dubitandum. - That’s not the principle for the new brave totalitarian Europe. - Yes, incredible as it sounds, the EU parliament openly calls for Russia to refrain from any criticism of the EU, nothing less will do than a total accord with its policies and propaganda stunts, including the EU’s own disgusting propaganda assaults on Russia. The resolution notes that Russia “rather than establishing a real dialogue,” in interaction with officials from various EU countries, advances its “propaganda purposes” in order to “publicly weaken the EU’s” political positions. In the EU newspeak a “real dialogue” would then mean an unconditional acceptance of their dictate.

The EU is beside itself because Russia dares to maintain an independent foreign policy, it’s “provoking doubt”, ‘dividing Member States,’ ‘splitting the EU,’ ‘paralyzing the decision-making process in the EU,’ ‘engineering a strategic split between the EU and USA,’ ‘discrediting the EU institutions and NATO, TTIP’, and ‘ circulating and imposing an alternative narrative’. (Note, all points taken from the infamous resolution under review).

In this same resolution that introduces this totalitarian media regime and speech control, unheard of in Europe, since Stalin’s control over the Soviet media and dissidents, the EU Parliament has the nerve to condemn Russia for some imaginary “crackdowns on independent media, journalists and civil society activists in Russia” and call “on the Commission and Member States to reinforce the protection of journalists and civil society in Russia.” The Parliament then further calls the EU to engage by all means possible in all the same subterfuge and media manipulation of which it falsely accuses Russia.

EU’s clampdown on dissent

Yet, as I already pointed out, Russia is not the main concern of the EU in this connection. Their real and primary aim is to enhance their domestic totalitarian propaganda media and speech control and to tighten the screws on internal dissent and the opposition to the EU’s destructive policies. The resolution directly identifies the threat that the internal opposition and dissidents pose to Project EU insofar as it calls to “recognize that strategic communication and information warfare is not only an external EU issue but also an internal one, and voices its concern at the number of hostile propaganda multipliers existing within the Union.

The purpose of the resolution and the hype around it (following two years of preparation in form of the propaganda hoaxes on “Russian trolls” and the half year old “Fake News” campaign) was to create a false awareness for these “dangers” and with that to initiate a push for more actual measures of repression.

The resolution outlines what measures must be undertaken. First, the EU is tasked with determining what is to be considered “propaganda and disinformation.” We have already seen that the intention would be to qualify as propaganda and disinformation (now openly also referred to as “lies”) all dissenting opinion and criticism of the EU’s current politics and its strategic development aims (that is, the NWO) agenda. The resolution itself talks about the need to counter the danger of “anti-EU propaganda”, which calls to mind the Bolshevik campaigns against “enemies of the state.” Russia - they say- is backing “anti-EU forces” within the EU. Furthermore, these “anti-EU forces” are said to “deny the basic values of liberal democracies,” that is, they are accused of being against political program of them, the EU elite. I keep referring to ‘them.’ By this I mean the EU parliament, but more particularly (like in the previous sentence) the European transatlantic elite, who effectively control the EU, its Commission and its Parliament and the Western mainstream media. It is their political agenda that is in danger. The question is about the political ambitions of a small but powerful unelected elite that now wants to make a last desperate attempt to safeguarding their Project EU by a totalitarian media regime and crackdown at dissent.

The resolution wants to counter something it refers to as “Russian efforts to disrupt the EU integration process.” – The ‘EU integration process’ is shorthand for the stratagem to transform the EU into a single superstate governed by an unelected proto-World Government. There are no democratically enacted decisions regarding such a supposed further EU integration, strictly speaking there are not even any official proclamations in this regard. The idea of the perpetrators of this scheme is to achieve their goal by subterfuge and propaganda, just as they have up to now brought about the present EU and its Euro currency. - It then becomes clear that the totalitarian media and speech control regime is not aimed at protecting the European people, but on the contrary the scheme is enacted in order to enhance the specific totalitarian vision of the elite.

Hereby it is outright touching to see that the resolution allows for the possibility that not “not all criticism of the EU or its policies necessarily constitutes propaganda or disinformation.” There! Some criticism will remain legitimate.

Hereby not only alternative and social media are in the zone of fire, as the resolution gives this sweeping definition of sources that must be censored: “the strategy of anti-EU propaganda and disinformation by third countries may take various forms and involve, in particular, traditional media, social networks [media], school programmes and political parties, both within and beyond the European Union.” (Note also the inclusion of ‘traditional media’ in the list). The resolution also echoes the EU officials and their press in calling out “extreme-right parties, populist forces and movements that deny the basic values of liberal democracies”. This is a macabre case of sham circular reasoning, where they first label dissent as “extreme-right” and “populist” and then proceed to outlaw it based on the sham label.


After concluding a broad-brush definition of “propaganda and disinformation”, the resolution outlines a full arsenal of repressive measures. Here’s what is awaiting us.

Censorship of social media. Facebook has been actively censoring its content for several years with increasing ferocity. But the EU has now demanded Facebook under threat of additional reprisals to double its efforts to establish full censorship. Several people critical of the EU’s policies have been banned or blocked for lengthy times, among them, for example, people who have made posts and shared links about the truth of Donbass. Facebook has banned or seriously hampered the sharing of links to content of alternative media, among many other measures of censorship. Similar censorship manipulation happens at search engines like Google.

The totalitarian media regime also involves strangling of opposition media by cutting them out from revenue streams. Recently Google and Facebook moved to cut off ad revenue to opposition sites.[24]

Clamping down on alternative media and persecution of editors and publishers. The EU is already engaged in efforts to close down alternative media and persecute their editors and publishers, precisely for the same reasons that the resolution now identifies us dangers to the political course steered by the EU elite. A notable case is the persecution of Finnish MV-lehti and its publisher Ilja Janitskin.

Restricting of bank services and financing of the opposition

The resolution calls to “closely monitor the sources of financing of anti-European propaganda” and “to advance certain legal initiatives” aimed at “curtailing financial flows” concerning “individuals and entities engaged in” the activities that are defined as propaganda and disinformation. (The resolution also refers to these as stratcom - strategic communication - activities).

Further increasing and empowering the EU’s own propaganda machine. This involves enhanced support for the Western mainstream media (“to promote the strengthening of the resilience of the media as a strategic priority”); increased financial support for their own destructive propaganda actors (in all EU languages) such as their faux-alternative media outlets, think tanks and NGOs, propaganda campaigns in social media, sham civil society initiatives, and - last but not least – to harness the Academy yet more tightly to the propaganda war. (Once more, please, note that this is all explicitly stated in said EU Parliament Resolution)

Recognition of the role of the Western mainstream media as EU’s official propaganda bullhorn. The entire rationale for this present propaganda drive was the catastrophic decline of the authority and the influence of the Western mainstream media, MSM losing its propaganda clout. Therefore, everything in the resolution is about propping up the mainstream media. In this connection, I want to draw attention to the specific detail that the resolution explicitly calls for “cooperation with [main]stream media representatives and experts” to develop work on its propaganda definitions.

Jailing of dissidents. The EU has already moved to persecute dissidents with fabricated criminal charges. An infamous case is the jailing of the Polish Eurosceptic dissident Mateusz Piskorski, another being the persecution of Ilja Janitskin from Finland. – (I am myself the object of such persecution from the side of the Finnish government).

In the resolution, the EU Parliament calls for new and enhanced legal initiatives to further facilitate criminal persecution of alternative media figures and the opposition.

Unleashing of the spy agencies on dissidents. To demonstrate the truly totalitarian character of the resolution, the drafters go as far as calling for the spy agencies (aka intelligence services) to enforce the campaign of persecution of the opposition and dissidents. (Urges “Member State governments to be vigilant towards Russian information operations on European soil and to increase capacity sharing and counterintelligence efforts aimed at countering such operations”).

Calling NATO to a cyberwar. Finally, there is a call to NATO to ratchet up its cyberwar capabilities against Russia and, no doubt, against the internal opposition.


Very disturbingly, the US appears to be moving simultaneously with identical totalitarian media control and censorship initiatives. As a matter of fact, the United States has gone one step further with actually implementing new harsh speech control laws.

Zerohedge reports[25] that on November 30, one week after the Washington Post launched its witch hunt against "Russian propaganda fake news", with 390 votes for, the House passed the relevant law termed “H.R. 6393, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017.” This bill deals with a number of intelligence-related issues, including alleged Russian propaganda and contains provisions about a potential crackdown on "offenders.

The bill authorizes the government to "counter active measures by Russia to exert covert influence … carried out in  coordination with, or at the behest of, political leaders or the security services of the Russian Federation and the role of the Russian Federation has been hidden or not acknowledged publicly.” This is followed by a list of definitions of what constitute media manipulation:

  1. Covert broadcasting
  2. Media manipulation
  3. Disinformation and forgeries
  4. Funding agents of influence
  5. Establishment or funding of a front group
  6. Incitement and offensive counterintelligence
  7. Assassinations
  8. Terrorist acts

You can see that the points 1 through 4 gives as broad authority as any totalitarian government might wish for in order to silence the opposition and suppress dissent, among them the 200 alternative media sites that the Washington Post, in reference to the report from the shady CIA front organization, declared to be “fake news” sites peddling Russian propaganda.

This bill of censorship and the fake news campaign must be seen as forming part of one centrally planned and organized assault on free speech. Therefore, it is especially disturbing that the CIA front PropOrNot has gone so far as to claim that people involved in the blacklisted websites may “have violated the Espionage Act, the Foreign Agent Registration Act, and other related laws”[26] . Furthermore, this CIA front is calling for putting the blacklisted opposition media outlets under “formal investigations” and under “further scrutiny.” This has been understood as a call for the FBI, the CIA, the National Security Agency or any other such government agency to harass them with fabricated investigations.[27], [28]


Following the catastrophic concentration of Western media ownership, the coalescing of their political views into one neoliberal ideological platform, and the CIA control of that media, the conditions of media freedom and freedom of speech at large have dramatically declined in the West. The deterioration of the situation has after 2000 been so overwhelming that we may say that free speech is gone from the West. The problem is most pressing in regards to the Anglo-American media groups with global reach, the ownership of which has been concentrated in very few hands (with only a handful of dominant media corporations holding sway over most of the Western countries). These corporations have established a de facto control – I would even say censorship - over Western thinking. With seemingly unrestricted propaganda manipulation, the media has seized control over the democratic process in most of Europe and North America. – These media groups have converted the idea of freedom of speech into a license to lie. It is my conviction that the concentration of media ownership into fewer and fewer hands and the reach of their lies is the biggest threat to democracy world-wide and by implication the biggest threat to mankind itself.

In the last decade, with the rise of the alternative media there has, however, been a considerable improvement with a trend pointing towards a restitution of the lost right to freedom of speech. The whole idea of freedom of speech necessarily requires multiple access to media, speech platforms, and an ease to set up new media outlets. For real freedom of speech it is not enough that there is a theoretical right to free speech, rather it requires the existence of real opportunities to express oneself in a mass circulation media, a true possibility to voice one’s opinions, to make competing opinions known.

Freedom of speech is traditionally understood as “the right to express one's opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation or censorship from the powers that be.” This definition is lacking a crucially important second condition, which I believe has never been articulated before, namely the condition of existence of a pluralistic competitive media which de facto would guarantee that every person has a possibility to exercise the right to free speech. I call this second condition the platform condition, in reference to the need that there must exist a sufficient number of competing media outlets, or platforms for speech. In addition to a “right” there has to be an “opportunity” a real possibility to exercise this right, a real possibility for free expression.

Without awarding due consideration to the platform condition, the “right” to free speech would remain a mere declarative statement, something that could be expressed as “that would be nice to have.” The problem with that truncated definition is that the “right” there would remain a mere abstraction. The expanded definition with my suggested addendum respecting the platform condition makes this right efficacious, it materializes the right.

There must exist the condition for a real possibility to make one’s voice heard, a real possibility to express oneself and for that expression being carried to the public. But this is not how it is in the world today. Today freedom of speech remains a hallowed but empty principle that the Western politicians and their monopoly media like to brag about. They pay lip service to this sacred right, while they have de facto monopolized the speech platform, the media. – Freedom of speech is not our right to stand on a park bench and bellow out our ideas or to jabber with drinking mates in a pub. Efficacious freedom of speech requires access to mass media on equal terms for all.

At the final analysis, freedom of speech, like everything else, is a function of a competition of arguments. (I have written about freedom of speech as a competition of arguments in my book All is Art.[29])

A newspaper, a media outlet is always biased. Cynically we could say that each media lies in its own particular way. In a competitive media environment one lie would be challenged by another competing lie, one lie would cancel the other lie, and in a perfect competition the outcome would be truth. The more, in a perfect competitive media environment those actors who would aim at being taken seriously would temper their lies in advance anticipating the rightful criticism from competing media.

Today, just as the Western governments have started their unprecedented attack on alternative media and social media platforms we have reached a development trend that could have ushered in an environment of true freedom of speech. The monopoly of the Western mainstream media is seriously wobbling and strong challenge has emerged from various directions: media of other than Western countries challenging the Western monopoly at their turfs; multiple strong alternative media outlets; social media, which really has enabled everyone to utilize his right to freedom of speech.

But now, the masks are off. This real environment of freedom of speech is precisely what the Western elite, their governments and their media are afraid of. They now want to stop it at all costs and introduce a totalitarian media regime a speech control. For them the slogan “freedom of speech” has really only been a cover for dressing up their media monopoly, for their license to lie.


By way of concluding remarks, I think it is interesting to draw some historic parallels. During the previous Cold War, the Soviet government chose to guard against Western influences and internal criticism by establishing a totalitarian media regime and speech control just as the West is right now doing in turn. After Vladimir Putin assumed the leadership of Russia, he in the beginning of 2000’s acknowledged that the Russian society was subject to a constant brazen campaign of influence from the side of the West both through covert and open means of propaganda and other forms of subversion.  Putin back then declared that Russia would withstand that subterfuge and develop its own democracy but that Russia thereby would not repeat the errors of the Soviet Union trying to close down society, Russia would maintain an open society while developing its fragile democracy and counter the Western subterfuge with the truth. Almost two decades later, we can see that Putin has succeeded. Russia has developed into an open society with a free and sovereign democracy while it is in the West that the ghost of totalitarianism is on the rise.  

Finally, I want to point out how the EU Parliament resolution on “combatting Russian propaganda” reads as a projection on Russia of all the shenanigans and trickery that the EU and its American partner have been subjecting Russia to through the years. Below is an extract from said resolution, you could exchange “Russia” and any Russian references to “EU” or “US” and then you will have an exact list of what they have been up to against Russia during the last two decades while Russia has successfully struggled, notwithstanding the West, to become a free society. In the text, I have highlighted in bold the key devices from the EU and US regime change toolkit, which they now deceitfully accuse Russia of applying against themselves.

“The EU Parliament “Recognises that the Russian Government is aggressively employing a wide range of tools and instruments, such as think tanks and special foundations (e.g. Russkiy Mir), special authorities (Rossotrudnichestvo), multilingual TV stations (e.g. RT), pseudo news agencies and multimedia services (e.g. Sputnik), cross-border social and religious groups, as the regime wants to present itself as the only defender of traditional Christian values, social media and internet trolls to challenge democratic values, divide Europe, gather domestic support and create the perception of failed states in the EU’s eastern neighbourhood; stresses that Russia invests relevant financial resources in its disinformation and propaganda instruments engaged either directly by the state or through Kremlin-controlled companies and organisations; underlines that, on the one hand, the Kremlin is funding political parties and other organisations within the EU with the intent of undermining political cohesion, and that, on the other hand, Kremlin propaganda directly targets specific journalists, politicians and individuals in the EU.”

FOOTNOTES:The way that they now publicly wage this propaganda war shows that they are really in panic. They remind me of the famous series of videos with Hitler in his bunker surrounded by his closest advisors just before the final defeat.

They are desperate. And they will all be wiped out soon, very soon.
I really hope there will be a trial, better yet that they would be lynched on the streets the way they had Saddam and Gaddafi lynched.






























Исследование, проведённое «Авара Груп», показывает, что российская экономика продолжает развиваться несмотря на санкции.

Author: Jon Hellevig December 13, 2014

Здесь вы можете ознакомиться с полной версией исследования в PDF.

«Авара Груп» представляет результаты исследования экономики России «Путин 2000 – 2014 гг. Промежуточные итоги: диверсификация, модернизация и роль государства в российской экономике. Витгенштейновский взгляд на российскую экономику».

Как показывает исследование, представляемое сегодня работающей в России консалтинговой фирмой «Авара Груп», российская экономика не настолько зависит от нефтегазовых доходов, как это обычно утверждается. Изучив динамику ключевых показателей экономического развития России за 2000—2013 гг. Разрываемая кризисом, ослабленная за годы грабительского капитализма и анархии 1990-х гг. экономика, которую Владимир Путин унаследовал в 2000 г., сегодня достигла зрелости, что даёт нам все основания считать, что Россия сможет совершить индустриальный рывок, о котором говорил президент.

Исследование выявило, что российская экономика продемонстрировала впечатляющие показатели развития в 2000—2013 гг., а также что она находится в здоровом состоянии:

  • Доля доходов от продажи природных ресурсов (сумма доходов от продажи нефти, природного газа, угля, полезных ископаемых и древесины) в ВВП сократилась более чем на половину в 2000—2012 гг. (с 44,5% до 18,7%). Фактическая доля нефтегазовых доходов составила 16%.
  • Рост российского промышленного производства составил свыше 50%. В то же время была проведена его полная модернизация.
  • Рост производства продуктов питания составил 100% в 2000—2013 гг.
  • В то же время более чем в два раза вырос объём производства легковых автомобилей. И при этом было проведено масштабное обновление модельного ряда.
  • Рост объёма российского экспорта составил почти 400%, что превосходит аналогичный показатель во всех крупных западных странах.
  • Рост объёма экспорта товаров, не связанных с нефтью и газом, составил 250%.
  • По сравнению с конкурирующими западными державами более чем в два раза вырос объём российского экспорта.
  • Доля дохо��ов от продажи нефти и газа в составе совокупных государственных доходов составляет не 50%, как это обычно утверждается, а всего лишь 27,4%. Основной источник поступлений в государственный бюджет — налоги с фонда оплаты труда.
  • Совокупная налоговая ставка в России, равная 29,5%, является одной из самых низких среди развитых стран, а совокупная налоговая ставка, не связанная с нефтью и газом, составляет 50% от аналогичного показателя в западных странах.
  • ВВП России вырос более чем в 10 раз в 1999—2012 гг.
  • Доля государственного сектора в общей численности рабочей силы в России невысока по сравнению со странами с развитой экономикой. Государственные служащие составляют 17,7% от общей численности рабочей силы , что обеспечивает России среднее положение по сравнению с мировыми экономиками.
  • Производительность труда в России составляет не 40% от уровня западных стандартов, как это обычно утверждается, а 80%.

Правительство России занимается масштабными инвестициями во все секторы экономики, прежде всего в авиастроение, судостроение, производство машин и технологического оборудования с высокой добавленной стоимостью, не «полагаясь» исключительно на нефтегазовую ренту.

Мы твёрдо убеждены в том, что всем будет полезно знать истинное состояние дел в российской экономике, её реальные достижения за прошедшее десятилетие и истинный потенциал. Знать истинное состояние дел в равной степени полезно как друзьям, так и противникам России, инвесторам и российскому населению — и, конечно, российскому правительству, которое не слишком много и часто говорит о реальных экономических достижениях. Считаю, что точные данные о России насущно необходимы и лидерам стран, являющихся её геополитическими противниками. Точные данные помогут инвесторам получать прибыль. 

Дополнительную информацию можно получить, обратившись к Йону Хеллевигу:

Здесь вы можете ознакомиться с полной версией исследования в PDF.

Краткое изложение некоторых фактов развития российской экономики в 2000 - 2013 годах.

1. Доля дохода от экспорта природных ресурсов (нефть, газ, уголь, минералы и древесина) в ВВП более чем в два раза уменьшилась (с 44,5% до 18,7%) в промежутке между 2000 и 2012 годами. Реальная доля доходов от нефти и газа составляет 16%.

ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 25 в PDF-версии

2. Промышленное производство в России выросло более чем на 50%, и это при том, что в то же самое время оно было полностью модернизировано.

ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 18 в PDF-версии

3. Производство продуктов питания выросло на 100

ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 23 в PDF-версии

4. Производство автомобилей возросло более чем в два раза, одновременно был полностью обновлен весь модельный ряд.

ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 21 в PDF-версии

5. Российский экспорт вырос в 5 раз.

ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 11 в PDF-версии

6. Прирост экспорта без учета нефти и газа составил 250%.

ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 11 в PDF-версии

7. По сравнению с промышленно развитыми странами показатель роста российского экспорта увеличился более чем в два раза за данный промежуток времени.

ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 12 в PDF-версии

8. Доля прибыли от нефти и газа в государственном доходе составляет отнюдь не 50%, как многие утвержают, а всего лишь навсего 27,4 %. Наибольшая доля приходится на налоги на оплату труда.

ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 37 в PDF-версии

9. Общая величина налогообложения в России, являющаяся одной из самых низких среди развитых стран, составляет 29,5%, а если вычесть налоги на нефтегазовый доход, то и вовсе половину от их показателей.

ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 25 в PDF-версии

10. Доля "бюджетников" в общем количестве работоспособных граждан не так уж и высока по сравнению с другими странами.

ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 28 в PDF-версии

11. Уровень российского ВВП вырос в 10 раз.

ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 36 в PDF-версии

12. Показатель производительности труда в России находится на уровне в 80% от показателей большинства западных передовых стандартов, а не 40%, как это часто утверждается.
ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 42 в PDF-версии

13. Велико заблуждение в том, что Россия полагается только на доходы от нефти и газа: российское правительство проводит программу широкомасштабного инвестирования во все секторы экономики, самые существенные доли приходятся на авиацию, кораблестроение и высокотехнологичное оборудование. Нельзя не отметить развитие одного из ключевых направлений развития – производства фармацевтических препаратов
ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 53 в PDF-версии


Почему освещение в СМИ состояния дел в российской экономике является искажённым и ложным?

Цель данного исследования — опровергнуть постоянно повторяемые утверждения о том, что Россия якобы не провела диверсификацию и модернизацию своей экономики. Как показано в нашем отчёте, особенно ложными являются заявления о том, что Правительство России не сделало ничего в этом отношении, что оно полагается на нефтегазовую ренту и что у него нет понимания того, что необходимо сделать гораздо больше. Как раз наоборот, под управлением Путина российское государство направляет все свои свободные ресурсы на решение этой задачи. И первые итоги этих усилий весьма впечатляют. В настоящее время в этом направлении реализуется целый ряд проектов, имеющих стратегическое значение.

Естественно, речь не идёт о том, что российская экономика находится в идеальном состоянии, она далека от этого. (Хотя, с другой стороны, возникает вопрос, в какой стране состояние экономики можно охарактеризовать как идеальное?) Речь идёт о том, что российская экономика достигла первичной зрелости, что обеспечивает ей надёжную базу для последующего рывка к дальнейшей индустриализации и созданию развитого промышленного производства, использующего самые передовые технологии. Именно поэтому мы уверены в том, что Россия сможет совершить «настоящий индустриальный рывок», о котором недавно говорил президент Путин. Путин предполагает создание сильных национальных компаний в машиностроительной и обрабатывающих отраслях, способных стать крупными экспортёрами промышленных товаров, конкурентоспособных на мировых рынках. По словам Путина, это также послужит мощным стимулом для новых инвестиций в прикладную науку и НИОКР в областях машино- и приборостроения.

Мы твёрдо убеждены в том, что всем будет полезно знать истинное состояние дел в российской экономике, её реальные достижения за прошедшее десятилетие и истинный потенциал. Знать истинное состояние дел в равной степени полезно как друзьям, так и противникам России, инвесторам и российскому населению — и, конечно, российскому правительству, которое не слишком много и часто говорит о реальных экономических достижениях. По нашему мнению, точные данные о России насущно необходимы и лидерам стран, являющихся её геополитическими противниками. Точные данные помогут инвесторам получать прибыль, а политическим деятелям — поддерживать мир. Знание того факта, что Россия не является экономическим инвалидом, как её постоянно изображают, поможет сбить противников с курса, ведущего к столкновению с Россией, на который они встали.

В этом отчёте мы приведем факты, которые должны убедить читателя, заинтересованного в поиске правды о впечатляющих достижениях России за прошедшее десятилетие в области подъёма, реструктуризации, диверсификации и модернизации экономики. Основываясь на этих данных, не остаётся сомнений в том, что индустриальный рывок будет действительно совершён в течение следующих 10 лет.

Нам постоянно говорят о том, что Россия якобы «полагается» на нефтегазовую ренту.

Нам постоянно говорят, что в эпоху Путина, начиная с 2000 г. и по сей день, Россия не делала ничего для диверсификации и модернизации своей экономики, якобы полагаясь только на нефтегазовую ренту. Это утверждение повторяется в экономическом анализе настолько часто, что это уже начинает напоминать пропаганду, а не аналитику. Примером этому может служить статья, опубликованная в британской газете Telegraph. Смехотворные утверждения такого рода занимают центральное место во всех деловых и политических комментариях о России в западных СМИ. Такого рода репортажи выдаются за экономический анализ, например, в работах неутомимого критика Путина Андерса Ослунда. Недавно такого рода комментарии были взяты на вооружение даже лидерами стран – соперниц России. Даже Президент США Барак Обама, который, казалось бы, учитывая огромные разведывательные и аналитические ресурсы своей страны, должен быть лучше информирован о важнейших мировых тенденциях, позволяет себе делать такие необдуманные высказывания, как: «Россия ничего не производит. Иммигранты не стремятся в Москву в поисках возможностей. Численность населения сокращается». Каждое из этих утверждений Обамы ошибочно. В этом отчете мы будем разбираться с первым утверждением на счет промышленного производства и экономической диверсификации России. Бывший государственный секретарь США Хиллари Клинтон тоже думает, что она знает, что: «Россия не диверсифицировала свою экономику. Она в значительной степени зависит от природных ресурсов, в первую очередь от газа и нефти». Лидеры меньших государств западного полушария, как попугаи, повторяют то же самое. Даже Александр Стабб, премьер-министр Финляндии, крошечного соседа России, упрямо держится этого мнения и распространяет утверждения о якобы бедственном и безнадёжном состоянии российской экономики).

Любопытно, откуда они берут эти идеи.

Навёрстывая упущенное время

Больше всего удручает то, что постоянная несправедливая критика ситуации в российской экономике — в действительности всей социально-политической жизни в России — это полное игнорирование фактора времени. Даже и попытки не делается соотнести состояние российской экономики и достигнутого прогресса со временем, которое было в распоряжении у страны. По нашему мнению, отправная точка, с которой следует начинать отсчёт, — это начало 2000-х гг. или, если быть точнее, конец 2004 г. Под этим мы понимаем временную точку, когда Россия впервые достигла минимальной социально-политической стабильности, позволившей сменявшим друг друга правительствам страны под руководством Путина начать думать о таких прозаических вещах, как экономическая стратегия и индустриализация. До того, как Путин стал президентом страны в 2000 г., речь шла о выживании, формировании элементарных структур и восстановлении управляемости на всей территории страны. Первые несколько лет президентства Путина можно охарактеризовать как оказание реанимационной помощи России, страдавшей от тяжёлых последствий разрушения советской экономики, начавшегося в конце 1980-х гг., и последовавших за этим анархии и грабительского капитализма 1990-х гг. Путин воспользовался возможностями позитивного развития, как только они появились. А затем он добился феноменальных результатов в развитии экономики и общества в целом.

Игнорируя фактор времени и состояние хаоса в отправной точке, самозваные эксперты по России стремятся сравнивать Россию с крупными западными странами, которые создавали рыночную экономику в течение нескольких столетий. Но им и этого мало — они не только игнорируют фактор времени, но и искажают сравнительные данные по России. И мы покажем как.


Витгенштейн: «разрушаются лишь воздушные замки, и расчищается почва языка, на которой они стояли»

1. Анализируя состояние дел в российской экономике, нельзя, если действовать разумно, ограничиваться — как это делают заблуждающиеся аналитики — изучением вопроса о доле нефти и газа в структуре экспорта, не учитывая при этом все прочие аспекты экономической ситуации в стране. В конце концов, нефтегазовая отрасль никоим образом не отбирает ресурсы у остальных отраслей экономики. Наоборот, она занимает лишь 3% рабочей силы и субсидирует остальные отрасли экономики за счёт доходов от экспорта и высоких налогов. Вопреки тому, что нам говорят, Россия не рискует заразиться «голландской болезнью».

2. В соотвествии с данными Всемирного Банка, доля доходов в ВВП от продажи полезных ископаемых (нефти, газа, угля, минералов и леса) уменьшились более чем в 2 раза с 44,5 % до 18,7 % за 12 лет с 2000 по 2012 гг.. Доля нефтегазовых доходов от продаж (за вычетом доходов от других полезных ископаемых) была 16%.

3. Тезис о том, что российская экономика якобы потерпела неудачу, почти полностью основывается на одном единственном утверждении, повторяемом изо дня в день: «Доля нефти и газа в структуре российского экспорта составляет 70%». Сам по себе этот показатель экспорта верен, но экономический анализ на этом не заканчивается. В этой связи критики стремятся полностью игнорировать впечатляющие результаты развития внутренней промышленности, экономики в целом и социальных структур в частности. Показатели экспорта никоим образом не являются единственной мерой степени диверсификации экономики. Естественно, что в ходе исторического развития любой национальной экономики сначала удовлетворяются внутренние потребности. И именно это никак не могут понять заблуждающиеся самозваные эксперты по России. Они не хотят понять, что за 10 лет Россия полностью модернизировала свою экономику и промышленность, удовлетворив тем самым огромный внутренний спрос. Вполне естественно, что в течение первых 10 лет экономической реструктуризации сначала удовлетворяется спрос на внутреннем рынке, а уже затем развивается деятельность на внешних рынках. За эти 10 лет Россия действительно заполнила вакуум на внутреннем рынке, обеспечив впечатляющий рост промышленного производства на уровне 50%.

Поскольку компании как хозяйствующие субъекты стремятся не удовлетворять прихоти экономистов-аналитиков, а зарабатывать прибыль на российском рынке, во время реиндустриализации страны они сначала удовлетворили спрос на внутреннем рынке. Возможно, очень немногие компании могли бы позволить себе руководителя, который отказывался бы продавать продукцию на внутреннем рынке, но стремился бы поскорее начать её экспортировать лишь для того, чтобы удовлетворить спрос западных и псевдолиберальных аналитиков на диверсификацию российской экономики. Нет, компании не работают на таких аналитиков — они работают на своих акционеров, продавая свою продукцию или услуги там, где они могут получить максимальную прибыль.

4. Но и на этом не заканчивается экономический анализ. Если бы аналитики удосужились вникнуть в суть дела немного глубже, а не удовлетворялись расхожими утверждениями о том, что «доля\ нефти и газа составляет 70%…», то они смогли бы понять, что в действительности совокупный объём экспорта вырос пятикратно за 2000—2013 гг. (со 103 млрд до 526 млрд долл. США), и поэтому экспорт продукции, не связанной с нефтью и газом, также вырос на колоссальные 250%. Если эти достижения за 12 лет не впечатляют, то чего же тогда они ожидали? Удвоения показателей каждые два года? ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 11 в PDF-версии.

5. Кроме того, критики упускают из вида, что, собственно, в самой структуре экспорта нефти и газа наблюдается интересная тенденция диверсификации, связанная с тем, что Россия совершила серьезный переход от экспорта сырой нефти к экспорту продуктов нефтепереработки с более высокой добавленной стоимостью. Экспорт нефтепродуктов вырос на 900% (с 10,9 млрд до 109 млрд долл. США). Доля нефтепродуктов с более высокой добавленной стоимостью выросла относительно сырой нефти в общей структуре экспорта нефти с 30,6% до 38,6%. ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 11 в PDF-версии.

6. Несмотря на постоянные обвинения, что России не удалось наладить масштабный экспорт промышленных товаров, игнорируется тот факт, что очень немногие страны в мире смогли наладить такой экспорт. Прошу читателя перечислить 10 стран в дополнение к Китаю, которые смогли это сделать за последние 20 лет. Несмотря на сокращение объёмов экспорта (кроме Германии), свою продукцию продолжают экспортировать те страны, которые и раньше занимали лидирующие позиции в этой области. Как и в случае с Россией, в структуре экспорта двух стран-членов «группы семи» (G7), Австралии и Канады преимущественную роль играют сырьевые товары. ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 12 в PDF-версии.

7. Объём производства продуктов питания в России удвоился в 2000—2013 гг. В то же время экспорт продуктов питания стремительно вырос с нуля до 16 млрд долл. США.

8. В этом отчёте не обсуждается рост объёмов розничной торговли, однако хотелось бы отметить то, что следует знать всем реальным экспертам: российский сектор розничной торговли за эти годы прошёл полную реструктуризацию и модернизацию. На рынок пришли серьёзные российские и иностранные сети розничной торговли, а некогда повсеместные базары и барахолки уступили место современным торговым комплексам и логистическим центрам. Естественно, развитие розничной торговли предшествует развитию производства, а развитие производства — развитию экспорта.

9. Не согласны мы и с утверждением о том, что Россия не диверсифицировала свою экономику. Наверное, это всего лишь ещё одно бессмысленное заявление, которое ничего не означает.

Надо понимать, что поскольку Россия — это рыночная экономика, то неверными являются утверждения критиков о том, что овеществлённая «Россия» не диверсифицировалась. В этой связи не существует никакой «России», а существует лишь совокупность компаний, принимающих собственные бизнес-решения. А насколько нам известно, они приняли правильные решения инвестировать в Россию и удовлетворять внутренний спрос.

Может быть, под «Россией» они подразумевают только Правительство России. И в этой связи задают вопрос: достаточно ли сделало Правительство России (читай: Путин) для создания условий для экономического развития, диверсификации и модернизации? На этот вопрос в этом отчёте даётся убедительный ответ: да, достаточно. Вряд ли стоило ожидать более впечатляющих итогов за первые 14 лет этой работы.

Кроме создания условий для процветания предприятий, государство также может играть более активную роль в экономике. А разве Правительство России при Путине этого не сделало? Да, сделало. Государство успешно реализовало целевые стратегические программы развития различных отраслей экономики и промышленности.

И наконец, задают вопрос о прямом праве собственности государства на предприятия и инвестиции в промышленность. А разве Правительство России при Путине не сделало достаточно в этом отношении? Нет! Одну минутку. А разве это не то, чего хотят критики? «Никаких государственных инвестиций в промышленность!» — скандируют критики, словно боевой клич. Они хотят иметь и то, и другое. «Нет никакой диверсификации экономики!» — выкрикивают эти же критики. Однако в то же время они насмехаются над всеми инициативами Путина, связанными с инвестициями в промышленность. К счастью, все их глупые утверждения всё чаще и чаще остаются неуслышанными, поскольку, заложив солидную базу для будущего, Россия в настоящее время переходит по программе Путина к следующему этапу развития экономики — совершению индустриального рывка. ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 49 в PDF-версии.

10. Государственный сектор. Утверждается, что в государственном секторе России якобы проявляется диспропорциональность. В этом отчёте будет показано, что этот довод также является ложным и безосновательным. Государственный сектор в России — самый небольшой среди стран с развитой экономикой, если его оценивать по трём ключевым параметрам.

Хотя совокупная налоговая ставка в России составляет 29,5%, в странах развитого евросоциализма, таких, как Финляндия, Швеция и Франция, совокупная налоговая ставка — 45%. Это означает, что по сравнению с западными странами Правительство России взимает со своих граждан и компаний налоги по существенно более низким ставкам.

Размер государственного сектора можно также оценить исходя из доли государственных расходов в ВВП. По этому показателю Россия также занимает существенно более низкое место по сравнению с большинством западных стран — прим. на 2/5 меньше, чем в странах Северной Европы.

Доля государственного сектора в общей численности рабочей силы в России не высока по сравнению со странами с развитой экономикой. Государственные служащие составляют 17,7% от общей численности рабочей силы в России, что обеспечивает ей среднее положение по сравнению с мировыми экономиками.
ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 28 в PDF-версии.

11. Доходы на нефть и газ не составляют 50% поступлений в государственный бюджет России, как это обычно утверждается, а всего лишь 27,4%. Таким образом, это даже не самый большой источник государственных доходов. Самый большой источник — поступления от налогов с фонда оплаты труда, составляющие 28,8%.

Однако, несмотря на то, что доля налоговых поступлений от продажи нефти и газа не настолько велика, как это обычно утверждается, нефтегазовая отрасль находится под существенным налоговым бременем. И это никоим образом не ущемляет экономику, как критики хотят заставить нас думать. Совсем наоборот, достаточно высокие налоги, взимаемые с нефтегазовой отрасли, в действительности означают, что она субсидирует остальные отрасли экономики, в которых применяются одни из самых низких ставок налогообложения среди всех развитых стран. Совокупная налоговая ставка в России за вычетом налогов на нефтегазовую отрасль составляет всего лишь 24,1% (2012 г.)

ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 37 в PDF-версии.

12. Прямые иностранные инвестиции. Критики постоянно утверждают, что России якобы не удалось привлечь прямые иностранные инвестиции в свою экономику. Это заявление так же неверно, как и большая часть их, с позволения сказать, анализа. В действительности за последние три года Россия стала третьей страной мира, после США и Китая, по уровню притока прямых иностранных инвестиций. Если измерить отток прямых иностранных инвестиций как процент от ВВП соответствующей страны, то Россия, а за ней Польша окажутся абсолютными лидерами в 2011—2013 гг.

После проведённых Путиным налоговой реформы и других масштабных реформ российского общества, таких, как укрепление судебной системы, создание правового государства и реформирование системы государственного управления, валовый внутренний продукт (ВВП) России в долларовом выражении вырос десятикратно с того момента, как Владимир Путин впервые стал президентом страны в 2000 г. В конце 1999 г. показатель номинального ВВП России составлял 196 млрд долл. США. К концу 2012 г. показатель номинального ВВП вырос до 2 015 млрд долл. США. За 12 лет рост составил свыше 1000%. ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 36 в PDF-версии.

13. Производительность труда в России не составляет всего лишь 40% от уровня стран с развитой экономикой, как утверждают критики. В лучшем случае неверна сама используемая ими методика оценки производительности труда исходя из показателей ВВП, а в худшем, что вероятнее, она просто бессмысленна. То же самое относится и к методике международного сравнения показателей производительности труда между компаниями путём соотнесения объёма выручки от продаж с общей численностью рабочей силы. ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 42 в PDF-версии.

14. По своему обыкновению, критики отказываются признавать заслуги Путина в деле удивительного роста экономики России с того момента, как он возглавил страну. Всё это было якобы достигнуто за счёт неожиданных доходов от экспорта нефти после роста цен на сырую нефть на мировых рынках, который совпал со сроком его президентства. И при этом те же самые критики ставят в вину Путину заключение в тюрьму Михаила Ходорковского. Однако всё дело в том, что тем самым Путин обуздал грабительских олигархов, в частности Ходорковского. И только тогда Путин смог принять законодательство, обеспечившее налогообложение огромных нефтяных активов России во благо российской экономики и её народа. ПОДРОБНЕЕ на странице 49 в PDF-версии.

«Вопрос не в открытии новых фактов, а в том, чтобы найти способ выразить то, что мы все время уже знали»: Витгенштейн

Российский рынок розничной торговли 1990‐х…

…он же в 2009 году


Действительно, мы глубоко поражены отсутствием профессионализма у аналитиков-экономистов и политологов, занимающихся изучением российской экономики. Возможно ли, чтобы они постоянно упускали из вида основные моменты? Они не только неверно анализируют основополагающие тенденции в экономике, но зачастую даже факты трактуют неверно. Разбираясь во всей этой большой путанице, мы старались следовать старинной пословице: «Никогда не приписывайте злому умыслу то, что вполне можно объяснить некомпетентностью. Но никогда не исключайте злого умысла, если анализ слаб в интеллектуальном отношении».

Экономические и политические наблюдатели, с пренебрежением рассуждающие на тему российской экономики, по своему обыкновению заявляют, что Россия «полагается» исключительно на нефтегазовую ренту. Как написал один из таких аналитиков: «В то время как остальные страны мира пытаются бороться с раздробленностью производственно-сбытовых цепочек в обрабатывающей промышленности и стремятся перейти к производству товаров с более высокой добавленной стоимостью, Россия по-прежнему полагается на модель роста, основанную на преимущественном развитии сырьевого сектора» Суть этого аргумента состоит в том, что президент Путин якобы является безрассудным лидером, который не понимает или не уделяет должного внимания экономическим реалиям и будущим перспективам, у которого преобладают недальновидные иллюзии, что нефтегазовая рента перенесёт Россию из дня сегодняшнего в день завтрашний. Они изображают Путина как беспечного славного малого, транжирящего доходы от продажи нефти и газа и не заботящегося о развитии экономики в целом. Неудивительно, что, как показывает наш анализ, существует много различной чепухи. Совершенно вопреки представлению о том, что Россия якобы прожигает доходы от продажи нефти и газа, в действительности она использует доходы от продажи нефти и газа для субсидирования развития всех остальных секторов экономики.

Ещё пример утверждения о том, что «Россия полагается на нефтегазовую ренту», приводится директором Московского Центра Карнеги Дмитрием Трениным Тренин пишет, что у России «отсутствует реальная экономическая мощь» (интересно, как он определяет этот термин в свете данных, представленных в нашем отчёте), и риторически изрекает: «если она не сумеет устранить этот существенный недостаток», то она обречена. И следует вывод: Путин так и не понял, что экономику нужно укреплять, и ничего для этого якобы так и не было сделано. Тренин заявляет: «России надо работать над…» (однако он не заметил никакой работы, несмотря на то, что такой анализ как раз его же работа) — отслеживать эти вопросы) «…совершенствованием качественных показателей: повышать производительность труда, развивать научный и технологический потенциал, и в целом повышать качество жизни народа». И при отсутствии этого «Россия опустится ещё ниже». Совершенно понятно, что Тренин мог и упустить из вида достижения в области развития научного и технологического потенциала, учитывая поверхностность его подхода (вероятно, он полагается на данные журнала «Экономист» и другие аналогичные источники), но неспособность Дмитрия Тренина как живущего в России россиянина заметить повышение качества жизни российского народа в целом, к сожалению, мы вынуждены приписать злому умыслу.

Заявление о том, что «Россия не диверсифицировалась», особенно примечательно не только потому, что оно ложно, но и потому, что люди, делающие такие заявления, как правило, либо западные приверженцы теории свободного рынка, либо доморощенные российские псевдолибералы. Можно задаться вопросом: что такое эта овеществлённая «Россия», которая, по их мнению, потерпела неудачу в этой деятельности? Кажется, они имеют в виду государство и в частности Путина и его правительство. Но если это так, то они поступают весьма непоследовательно согласно канонам их собственной идеологии. Ведь именно они утверждают, что государство не должно вмешиваться в экономику. Если так и должно быть, то почему они считают, что государство не провело диверсификацию? Что нужно было государству сделать? Вкладывать больше средств в предприятия? Но разве это не то, против чего они и выступают? Как становится очевидно из этого отчёта, государство сделало многое для диверсификации во всех отношениях: обеспечило благоприятный налоговый режим, улучшило деловой климат, обеспечило поддержку компаниям и целым секторам экономики в их усилиях по диверсификации, модернизировало экономику. И совсем недавно Путин объявил о том, что он осуществит эти пожелания критиков, реализовав новую программу масштабных государственных инвестиций в промышленность для создания новых мощных национальных компаний. Но удовлетворит ли это критиков? Осуществятся ли их мечтания? Нет, вряд ли. Ничто не в состоянии это сделать. В действительности их мало заботит состояние экономики. Их девиз: «Дело не в экономике, глупый! Ведь наше дело — нещадно критиковать Путина».

Полную версию исследования Вы можете прочитать в PDF (нажмите здесь)



Awara Group study shows Russia’s economy resilient in the backdrop of sanctions

Author: Jon Hellevig December 13, 2014

You can read the full report in PDF here.

Awara Group releases study on Russian economy: Putin 2000 – 2014, Midterm Interim Results: Diversification, Modernization and the Role of the State in Russia's Economy - A Wittgensteinian Look at the Russian Economy.

A study released today by Awara Group, a Russia-based consulting firm, shows that Russia's economy is not as dependent on oil and gas as is commonly claimed. Having researched the development of key indicators of the economy from 2000 to 2013. The crisis-torn economy battered by years of robber capitalism and anarchy of the 1990's, which Putin inherited in 2000, has now reached sufficient maturity to justify a belief that Russia can make the industrial breakthrough that the President has announced.

The study reveals a range of impressive indicators on the development of the economy between 2000 and 2013 and the health of the Russian economy:

  • The share of natural resources rents in GDP (oil, gas, coal, mineral, and forest rents) more than halved between 2000 to 2012 from 44.5% to 18.7%. The actual share of oil and gas was 16%.
  • Russian industrial production has grown more than 50% while having undergone a total modernization at the same time.
  • Production of food has grown by 100% in 2000 – 2013.
  • Production of cars has more than doubled at the same time that all the production has been totally remodeled.
  • Russian exports have grown by almost 400%, outdoing all major Western countries.
  • Growth of exports of non-oil & gas goods has been 250%.
  • Russia's export growth has more than doubled compared with the competing Western powers.
  • Oil & gas does not count for over 50% of state revenues as has been claimed, but only 27.4%. Top revenue source is instead payroll taxes.
  • Russia's total tax rate at 29.5% is among lowest of developed countries, non-oil & gas total tax rate is half that of the Western countries.
  • Russia's GDP has grown more than tenfold from 1999 to 2012.
  • Public sector share of employment in Russia is not high in comparison with developed economies. State officials make up 17.7% of Russia's total work force, which situates it in the middle of the pack with global economies.
  • Russia's labor productivity is not 40% of the Western standards as is frequently claimed, but rather about 80%.

Far from "relying" on oil & gas, the Russian government is engaged in massive investments in all sectors of the economy, biggest investments going to aviation, shipbuilding, and manufacturing of high-value machinery and technological equipment.

We strongly believe that everyone benefits from knowing the true state of Russia's economy, its real track record over the past decade, and its true potential. Having knowledge of the actual state of affairs is equally useful for the friends and foes of Russia, for investors, for the Russian population – and indeed for its government, which has not been very vocal in telling about the real progress. I think there is a great need for accurate data on Russia, especially among the leaders of its geopolitical foes. Correct data will help investors to make a profit.

For more information:
Jon Hellevig

You can read the full report in PDF here.

A Wittgensteinian look at the Russian economy


"The results of philosophy are the uncovering of one or another piece of plain nonsense and bumps that the understanding has got by running its head against the limits of language."

1. The share of natural resources rents in GDP (oil, gas, coal, mineral, and forest rents) more than halved between 2000 to 2012 from 44,5% to 18.7%. The actual share of oil and gas was 16%.

READ MORE on page 25 in the PDF version.

2. Russian industrial production has grown more than 50% while being totally modernized at the same time

READ MORE on page 18 in the PDF version.

3. Production of food has grown by 100%.

READ MORE on page 23 in the PDF version.

4. Production of cars has more than doubled at the same time when all the production has been totally remodeled.

READ MORE on page 21 in the PDF version.

5. Russian exports have grown fivefold.

READ MORE on page 11 in the PDF version.

6. Growth of exports of non‐oil & gas goods has been 250%.

READ MORE on page 11 in the PDF version.

7. Russia's export growth has been more than doubled compared with the competing Western powers.

READ MORE on page 12 in the PDF version.

8. Oil & gas does not count for over 50% of state revenues as it has been claimed, but only 27.4%. Top revenue bringer is instead payroll taxes.

READ MORE on page 37 in the PDF version.

9. Russia's total tax rate at 29.5% is among lowest of developed countries, non-oil & gas total tax rate is half that of the Western countries.

READ MORE on page 25 in the PDF version.

10. Public sector employment in Russia is not high in a global comparison.

READ MORE on page 28 in the PDF version.

11. Russia's GDP has grown more than tenfold from 1999 to 2012.

READ MORE on page 36 in the PDF version.

12. Russia's labor productivity is not 40% of the Western standards as it is frequently claimed, but rather on the level of 80%.
READ MORE on page 42 in the PDF version.

13. Far from "relying" on oil & gas, the Russian government is engaged in massive investments in all sectors of the economy, biggest investments going to aviation, shipbuilding, manufacturing of high‐value machinery and technological equipment.
READ MORE on page 53 in the PDF version.


Why is the coverage of the Russian economy so skewed and misguided?

This study takes aim at disapproving the continuously repeated claims that Russia has supposedly not diversified and modernized its economy. Our report shows that it is especially false to claim that the Russian government has not done anything in this vein, that it would be "relying" on oil & gas rents and lacks an understanding that more must be done. Quite the opposite, the Russian state under Putin's leadership has devoted all its spare resources to address this problem; the early results are impressive and a lot of effort and strategic initiatives are currently being implemented.

We are not implying that Russia's economy is in anyway in an ideal state - it clearly is not (then again, there is the question, the economy of which country would you characterize as ideal?). What we want to say is that the Russian economy has reached an initial maturity, which provides a solid platform for taking the next leap to further industrialization and development of a strong manufacturing industry utilizing the highest levels of technology. This is why we are confident that Russia will be able to make the "true industrial breakthrough" that President Putin recently announced.

Putin envisions the creating of strong national champions in machinery and processing industries that will become major exporters of manufactured goods that are competitive on the global markets. Putin promises that this will also entail renewed investment in applied science and R&D in the fields of machine building and machine tool and instrument production.

We strongly believe that everyone benefits from knowing the true state of Russia's economy, its real track record over the past decade, and its true potential. Having knowledge of the actual state of affairs is equally useful for the friends and foes of Russia, for investors, for the Russian population – and indeed for its government, which has not been very vocal in telling about the real progress. I think there is a great need for accurate data on Russia, especially among the leaders of its geopolitical foes. Correct data will help investors to make a profit. And correct data will help political leaders to maintain peace. Knowing that Russia is not the economic basket case that it is portrayed to be would help to stave off the foes from the collision course with Russia they have embarked on.

In this report, we offer facts that should convince any reader who is interested in the truth that Russia has during the past decade achieved impressive results in lifting, restructuring, diversifying and modernizing the economy. In view of this data, it is easy to believe that an industrial breakthrough will happen during the next 10 years.

We are constantly being told that Russia supposedly "relies" on oil & gas rents

It is continuously argued that during the Putin era, from 2000 to the present, Russia has done nothing to diversify and modernize its economy, which supposedly only relies on oil & gas rents. This contention is ceaselessly repeated in economic analyses to the extent that it resembles propaganda more than analysis, as is the case, for example, with this article in The Telegraph. These kinds of ridiculous claims figure high in any Western business or political commentary on Russia. Such reporting passes for economic analysis for example in the writings of the tireless Putin critic Anders Aslund. Lately the narrative has been taken up even by leaders of rival countries. For example, Barack Obama, the president of the United States of America, who in view of the country's vast intelligence and analytical resources should be best informed about major trends in the world, permits himself to blurt that "Russia doesn't make anything. Immigrants aren't rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity. The population is shrinking," Obama is wrong on each count. We will here delve into the first, the question of Russia's industrial production and economic diversification. Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also thinks she knows that "Russia has not diversified its economy. It is still largely dependent upon natural resources, principally gas and oil." Lesser leaders around the Western hemisphere are parroting these same lines. Even Alexander Stubb, the prime minister of Finland, Russia's tiny neighbor, has got it in his head to spread these allegations about the supposed dismal and hopeless state of Russia's economy.

We should wonder where they get these ideas.

Regaining lost Time

The most frustrating thing about the constant unfair criticism about Russia's economy – indeed of all its social and political practices – is the total ignorance about the time factor. There is no attempt to relate the state of Russia's economy and its progress to the time it has had to develop. In our opinion, the proper starting point from which we should count is the early 2000's and perhaps even as late as 2004. By this we mean the point of time when Russia first reached the minimum political and social stability which enabled the successive governments under Putin's leadership to start thinking about such mundane things as economic strategy and industrialization. Prior to that, since Putin took over the presidency in 2000, it had been a question of basic survival and establishing the elementary structures and reach of government throughout the entire country. The first few years of Putin's presidency can be characterized as having nurtured Russia in emergency care, reeling from the knock-out effects of the destruction of the Soviet economy, which had severely declined in the late 1980's and the ensuing anarchy and robber capitalism of the 1990's. As soon as the first opportunities emerged to work on positive development, Putin seized them. And after that, Putin has achieved phenomenal results in developing the economy and society at large.

Ignoring the time factor and the chaos at the starting point, the self-styled Russia experts seem to want to compare Russia with the major Western countries that have developed in a market economy for hundreds of years. But even that is not enough; they don't only ignore the time factor, they also skew the comparative figures for Russia. We will show how.


Wittgenstein: "What we are destroying is nothing but houses of cards and we are clearing up the ground of language on which they stood."

1. You cannot intelligently limit the story about Russia's economy – as the misguided analysts do – to the question about the share of oil & gas in exports without looking at all the other aspects of it. After all, the oil & gas industry does in no way squeeze resources from the rest of the economy. On the contrary, it takes up only 3% of the workforce and subsidizes the rest of the economy with the export revenues and high taxes. Contrary to what we are told, there is no risk whatsoever of the "Dutch disease" here.

2. According to World Bank data the share of natural resources rents in GDP (the sum of oil rents, natural gas rents, coal rents, mineral rents, and forest rents) more than halved between 2000 to 2012 from 44.5% to 18.7%. The actual share of oil and gas (net of other natural resources rents) was 16%.

3. The thesis that Russia's economy is a failure rests almost entirely on one single contention, the thesis – repeated ad nauseum - that "70% of Russia's exports are made up of oil & gas". This export figure is in itself true, but is by no means the end of the story. In this connection, the critics want to totally ignore the discussion of the impressive development of the domestic industry, the whole economy and the social structures. Exports are far from the only measure of how diversified an economy is. In any historic development of a national economy the process of satisfying domestic needs naturally comes first. This is what the misguided "Russia experts" fail to understand. They don't want to see that Russia has in 10 years totally modernizing its economy and industry and filled the vacuum in supply after the fall of the Soviet Union. . It is only natural that in the first 10 years of economic restructuring you first supply the home market and move on to export markets only after you have satiated domestic demand. In these 10 years, Russia has indeed filled the vacuum on the domestic market with an impressive rise of 50% in industrial production.

Because companies as economic actors do not strive to satisfy the whims of economic analysts but to make a profit, companies on the Russian market have during the reindustrialization of the country first supplied the home market. Very few enterprises could possibly afford to employ such a fool as a CEO who would refuse to sell on the domestic market and instead start with exports only to satisfy the demand to "diversify Russia's economy", as required by the Western and quasi-liberal analysts. No, corporations don't work for these analysts; they work with a profit motive for their shareholders, selling where they can make the best profit.

4. But even that is not the end of the story. If the analyst would examine the figures beneath the surface veil of "oil & gas making up 70%...", then he'd realize the that total exports have risen fivefold over 2000 to 2013 from $103 billion to $526 billion, and therefore exports of non-oil & gas products also grew by a whopping 250%. If this is not enough for 12 years, then what were they possibly expecting? A doubling every two years! More details on page 11 in the PDF version.

5. Besides this, the critics fail to notice that within exports of oil & gas proper there is an interesting diversification trend in that Russia has made a remarkable switch from exports of crude oil to exports of value-added refined products. Exports of refined oil products increased by 900% from $10.9 billion to $109 billion. The share of value-added oil products has risen relative to crude oil in total oil exports from 30.6% to 38.6%. More details on page 11 in the PDF version.

6. While the accusation is constantly being made that Russia has failed to develop strong exports of manufactured goods, it is ignored that very few countries in the world have been able to develop such exports. I invite the reader to list 10 countries, in addition to China, that have been able to do it during the last 20 years. The same countries that dominated such exports continue to do it, albeit with falling volumes (except for Germany). Commodities prevail, as with Russia, in exports of two of the G7 countries, Australia and Canada. More details on page 12 in the PDF version.

7. Russia's food production doubled from 2000 to 2013, at the same time that exports of food skyrocketed from almost nil to $16 billion.

8. We don't discuss in this report the growth of retail, but want to point out what all real experts should know - that the Russian retail sector over these years has undergone a total restructuring and modernization. Serious domestic and foreign retail chains have entered the market. Gone are the once ubiquitous shadow economy outdoor markets and rag fairs, having been replaced by modern malls, retail space and logistics centers. Naturally, retail had to come before production, and production before exports.

9. We are also puzzled as to the meaning of the claim that "Russia has not diversified its economy". Perhaps this is just another nonsensical statement that does not mean anything.

One must understand that Russia is a market economy, and therefore the whole criticism that Russia has not diversified is wrong. For in this connection there is no "Russia", there are only a multitude of corporations that make their own business decisions. And for all we know they have made the right decisions in investing in Russia and satisfying the domestic market.

By "Russia" then they can mean only the government. And here the question would be, whether the government (read, Putin) has not done enough to create the conditions for economic development, diversification and modernization. Our report provides the resounding answer that indeed he has. It would not be reasonable to expect any more impressive results for the first 14 years of this work.

In addition to providing the conditions for enterprises to thrive, the state may also take a more active role in the economy. Have the Russian governments under Putin not done so? Yes, they have. It has been done by targeted, successfully implemented, strategic programs for developing various sectors of the economy and industry.

Finally there is the question of direct state ownership in enterprises and investments in industry. Have the governments under Putin not done enough in this respect? No! – But wait a minute, isn't that what the critics want? "No government investment in industry" is their war cry. These critics want to have their cake and eat it, too. No diversification of the economy has happened, they falsely shout. But at the same time they scorn all of Putin's initiatives to invest in industry. Well, fortunately their looney criticism is increasingly falling on deaf ears as Russia has established a solid platform for the future - moving on to the next stage of development of the economy with Putin's program to effect an industrial breakthrough. More details on page 49 in the PDF version.

10. Public sector. It is argued that the public sector of Russia is disproportionate. We will show that this argument as well is false and baseless. Russia's public sector is among the lowest among developed economies when measured on three key indicators.

While Russia's total tax rate was 29.5%, the countries with developed Eurosocialism, like Finland, Sweden and France, had a total tax rate at the level of 45%. This means that the Russian government imposes significantly less taxes on its citizen and corporations than the Western countries.

The size of the public sector may also be measured in terms of government spending as a percentage of GDP. On this figure, Russia also ranks significantly lower than most of the Western countries, being about 2/5 lower than the Northern European countries.

Public sector share of employment in Russia is not high in a comparison with developed economies. State officials make up 17.7% of Russia's total work force, which situates it in the middle of the comparison with global economies.
More details on page 28 in the PDF version.

11. Oil & gas revenue does not make up 50% of Russia's budget revenue as is commonly claimed, but only 27.4%. It is not even the biggest source of state revenue, which position is held by payroll taxes at 28.8%. More details on page 37 in the PDF version.

But, notwithstanding that the share of oil & gas taxes is not as big as is commonly claimed, the oil & gas industry is heavily taxed. And this is not detrimental to the economy, as critics want us to think. Quite the contrary, the rather severe taxation of the oil & gas industry in fact means that it subsidizes the rest of the economy, which enjoys some of the lowest taxes of all developed nations. Russia's total tax rate net of oil & gas taxes is only 24.1% (2012).

12. Foreign direct investments. Critics constantly argue that Russia has not been successful in attracting foreign direct investments in its economy. This claim is also wrong, just like most of their supposed analysis. In fact, Russia has during the last three years attracted the third largest foreign direct investment flows of all countries in the world, right after the USA and China. When measuring the inflow of FDI as a percentage of a respective country's GDP, then Russia, followed by Poland, turns out to be the absolute leader for the years 2011 to 2013.

Following the tax reforms and other major reforms of Russian society by Putin, such as strengthening the judiciary system and rule-of-law and public administration, the Russian gross domestic product (GDP) in dollar terms has increased tenfold since Vladimir Putin first took office in 2000. At end of 1999, the Russian nominal GDP was in US dollar terms 196 billion. By the end of 2012 the nominal GDP had risen to $2,015 billion. This represents a growth of more than 1000% in 12 years. More details on page 36 in the PDF version.

13. Russia's labor productivity is not at the level of 40% compared with developed economies, as critics claim. Rather, the whole method by which the measurement of labor productivity is supposedly derived using the GDP figures is wrong at best, and most probably outright nonsensical. The same applies to the method of comparing cross global labor productivity of companies by comparing sales revenue to workforce. More details on page 42 in the PDF version.

14. Critics habitually deny Putin any credit in the remarkable growth of the Russian economy since he took charge of the country. All is supposedly merely due to windfall revenues following sharp rises in the price of crude oil on world markets coinciding with his tenure. But, these same critics also hold against Putin the act of jailing the oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky. And yet, it was precisely the fact that Putin reined in the robber oligarchs and Khodorkovsky in particular that made all the difference. Only then was Putin able to pass legislation that ensured that Russia's vast oil assets were taxed for the benefit of the national economy and its people. More details on page 49 in the PDF version.

"It is not a matter of discovering new facts, but of finding a way of expressing what we have known all along." Wittgenstein's method

Russian retail in 1990s…

…and same in 2009


Indeed, we are profoundly bewildered as to the unprofessionalism of the economic analysts and political pundits who pronounce on the Russian economy. How is it possible that they constantly miss the essentials? Not only do they fail in the analysis of the fundamental trends of the economy, but frequently they even get the facts totally wrong. In our great perplexity in this regard, we have been trying to let ourselves be guided by the old adage: Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence. – But don't rule out malice, for to that extent is the analysis intellectually feeble.

The economic and political observers who speak disparagingly about the Russian economy often claim that Russia (read Putin) "relies" exclusively on oil & gas revenues. As one analyst writes: "As much of the rest of the world struggles to cope with the fragmentation of manufacturing value chains and strives to move up the value-added ladder, Russia continues to rely on a largely commodity-based growth model". The gist of that argument is that President Putin is a reckless leader who does not understand or care about economic realities and future prospects, being dominated by short-sighted illusions that oil & gas rents would carry Russia from here to eternity. They portray Putin as a happy-go-lucky kind of a chap who spends oil & gas revenues without caring for developing the overall economy. Not surprisingly, our analysis shows that that is a lot of bilge as well. Totally contrary to the idea that Russia was wallowing in an oil & gas binge, it has in fact been using the oil & gas revenues to subsidize the development of all the other sectors of the economy.

Another example of the "Russia relies on oil & gas" argument is provided by Dmitry Trenin from Carnegie Moscow Center. Trenin writes that Russia "lacks real economic strength" (we wonder what the definition is, in view of the data presented in this report) and rhetorically states: "unless it deals with this massive deficiency," Russia will be doomed. The implication is that Putin has not realized that the economy must be strengthened; nothing has been supposedly done and nothing achieved. Trenin says that, "Russia should work to…" – but he has not noticed any work, even though it is his job to monitor these issues – "…advance in qualitative terms: labor productivity; science and technology power; and the general quality of life of its people." And in the absence of that, Russia will "slide even deeper." We can well understand that Trenin may miss the points on science and technology when the approach seems to be so superficial (probably relying on the Economist and other such sources), but the failure by Dmitry Trenin as a Russian living in Russia to detect any improvement in "the general quality of life" of the Russian people we must unfortunately attribute to the malice factor.

The charge that "Russia has not diversified" is also peculiar, not only because it is false, but also because the people that make the charge are usually either Western adherents of the free market theory or Russian domestic quasi-liberals. One may ask, who is this "Russia" that in their view has failed in this activity? They seem to be referring to the state and in particular Putin and his governments. But if so, then they are being very illogical according to their own ideology. We mean that they are the ones that claim that the state should stay out of the economy and not interfere in it. This being the case, how do they then think that the state has failed in the diversification? What should the state have done? Invest more in businesses? But wasn't that precisely what they oppose? It becomes evident from this report that the state has done a lot for diversification in all aspects: providing a favorable tax regime, improving the business climate, supporting companies and entire sectors of the economy to diversify, modernizing the economy. And quite recently Putin has announced that he will make these wishes of the critics come true with renewed heavy state investments in industry to create new strong national champions. But will that satisfy the critics, when their dream comes true? No, it won't, because nothing will. They are in fact preciously little concerned about the economy. Their motto is: "It's not the economy, stupid! Our business is Putin-bashing."

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About the Sochi Bacchanalia in the Western Press

Author: Jon Hellevig February 3, 2014

The author Jon Hellevig is the Managing Partner of Awara Group Llc and observer of Russian economy and social development

The Western press is once again brimming with a fresh wave of anti-Sochi slander. This round is dedicated to the supposed skyrocketing costs of organizing the Olympic Games, or the "bacchanalia of waste and corruption" as Steven Lee Myers of the New York Times so poetically expresses it 1. Fresh ammunition was provided by a new propaganda report concocted by the anti-Putin darling of the Western press, Alexey Navalny 2. Navalny is one of 10 to 20 Russian figures who, depending on the interviewer, is being called the "leader of the Russian opposition." Navalny's report is actually nothing less than a rehash of a report that Boris Nemtsov, another of the 10 or so "opposition leaders" (a lot of opposition around here), already published a half a year ago 3. Navalny is adept at finding plagiarism in other people's work, so let's see if Nemtsov will accuse Navalny of using his words and ideas without giving credit.

Myers from the NYT accepts the Navalny/Nemtsov claim that the cost of organizing the event amounts to 48 billion USD (Nemtsov's figure was 51 billion). However, Myers fails to make a distinction between the costs of organizing of the event and the concomitant heavy investment in Sochi's infrastructure. Nevertheless, Myers correctly relates that "President Vladimir V. Putin stoked the debate when he recently told a group of television anchors that Russia had spent only 214 billion rubles, or roughly $7 billion, to erect the sporting venues for the games. And less than half of that, he maintained, was government spending." Myers was right in quoting Putin that was the price for 'erecting sporting venues' (add to that also other running costs for hosting the guests etc.), but he then goes on to confuse investments in the urban infrastructure of Sochi with costs for "erecting sporting venues."

Putin in Sotchi

The cost of organizing the games indeed equals roughly 7 billion dollars, which is about the same amount that Vancouver spent on the previous winter Olympics. But at the same time, the Russian government, state companies and private investors have made gigantic investments in the permanent infrastructure, adding up to about 40-45 billion dollars to the bill. It is, of course, a deliberate tactic on the part of the "opposition leaders" and an unrestrained press, who disseminate propaganda that misleads the public into thinking these infrastructure investments form part of the "organizing costs". These concoctions create the impression that "Sochi has turned into an unaffordable personal vanity project, intended to cement Mr. Putin's legacy," as Mr. Myers puts it. The New York Times journalist persists with this lie, although his preceding discussion demonstrates that he has in fact understood the difference.

The Olympics could well have gone ahead without any additional investment in infrastructure, but the Putin government wanted to seize this Olympic opportunity to motivate all the players in the project to develop and put Sochi firmly on the map as a first class resort of international importance.

Being a regular visitor to Sochi, I am extremely impressed with the results. With 40 billion dollars, Sochi has been transformed into a modern holiday resort, which transcends the seasons and is uniquely both a winter and a summer resort. When the games are over and the snow has melted, the infrastructure will still be there. With these funds they have built, among other things, 30 new hotels and renovated 35 old ones, endowing the city with 12,000 new international-level hotel rooms. This is a significant number, and for the sake of comparison, look at Finland's capital, Helsinki, which has built 50 hotels with 8,000 rooms during its entire history so far. That is to say, Sochi has built 1.5 times more hotel rooms in just two years than one of Europe's capitals managed in 200 years.

In addition to international level hotels, Sochi already had a stock of 450 other hotels with some 40,000 rooms. The Russian daily, Vedomosti, ridicules the fact that there now are more hotel rooms in Sochi than in the whole of Moscow. This is true, but the reporter is no hotel industry expert even though he rather boastfully shares his low opinions about it. He fails to grasp that there are hotels and hotels; there are hotels conforming to international standards (3, 4 and 5 stars) and hotels that do not live up to these requirements. In Moscow, there are approximately 30,000 international-level hotel rooms, which is about three times more than in Sochi, even after the construction of new hotels. And Moscow is not a beach resort where tourists stay in hotels for weeks on end. Sochi is visited by approximately 3.2 million tourists annually, who on average stay six to eight nights per visit, which amounts to about 20 million nights per year. This can be compared to the figure of 3.5 million in Helsinki. So, the number of hotel rooms in Sochi does not seem exaggerated in relation to the number of visitors. Furthermore, it should be understood that Sochi's 3.2 million tourists mostly come from families of below average income level (the so-called "lower middle class"). The reason for this, notwithstanding its wonderful climate, superb natural landscapes and parks, is that previously there were no high-quality hotels in Sochi. (Earlier the only hotel conforming to international standards was a Radisson establishment with 200 rooms.). Therefore it has not been a destination of choice for the more affluent Russians, who, instead, travelled to Turkey, Spain, Cyprus and other European and overseas destinations. Now this state of affairs has been corrected, and Sochi will be able to attract tourists who are used to higher quality standards, and are prepared to pay more. These new hotels will be run by the world's premium hotel chains, such as Marriot, Accor and Swisshotels. Most people would surely agree that these businesses haven't set up shop in Sochi just to yield to Putin's commands. Following these investments, the total number of tourists is projected to increase by one to two million in the next few years, which will also bring significant additional income to the city. At the same time, private money has been used to build an enormous number of holiday apartment buildings, well situated throughout Sochi's areas of abundant natural beauty. The number of tourists visiting Anapa, a resort located on the same Black Sea coast just a few hundred kilometers away, rose from 2.6 million in 2010 to 4 million in 2012. No doubt, there will be significant demand for Sochi's new hotels.


If it were not for the concerted propaganda campaign against Russia and Putin, this huge investment in real estate and infrastructure would be admired the same way people applaud gigantic projects in for example China and places like Dubai. What is more, the Western press and economists are constantly deriding Putin and Russia for supposedly not diversifying the economy; they say it's all about oil and gas. Now, displaying a truly volte-face, they critize Russia's major investment in its tourism industry.

To enhance real estate developments, serious investments have also been made in Sochi's urban infrastructure. The Krasnaya Polyana ski resort in the mountains has been connected to the coastal town of Sochi by a new 50-km combined motorway and railway line running through the mountains, including 12 tunnels (29 km in total), 45 bridges and 4 train stations. According to Boris Nemtsov, this has cost 9.4 billion dollars. Nemtsov "knows" (cause he claims he knows everything) that the actual price would have been 6.1 billion dollars, putting the difference at some 30 percent. Those who don't follow Russian politics need to be reminded that Nemtsov has dedicated his life to invective against Putin, and that he does all he can to defame the president, this fabricated report on Sochi's expenses being just one of his defamatory strikes. Also it's worth remembering that Nemtsov served as First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian government in 1998 when the Russian state went bankrupt and defaulted on its debts. So this fellow does not exactly inspire confidence as an economic expert, does he? Still, even Nemtsov, despite all his spleen, has not been able to come up with a greater difference than 30 percent between the "actual cost" and "Putin's cost." I would not be a bit surprised if the Swiss, to whom Nemtsov assigns his benchmark figure, would be able to build these kinds of mountain roads a great deal more cost-effectively than the Russians, whose experience is limited in these kinds of projects.


Navalny tops Nemtsov's bid. He retains Nemtsov's figure of the construction cost, about 9 billion dollars, but Navalny has lowered the benchmark cost. According to Navalny, the "real cost" should have been about 4.7 billion dollars. Navalny boasts that his benchmarking method is far superior to Nemtsov's. He says that he did not just compare the cost with one existing road (as the nincompoop Nemtsov did); instead, he says he divided the road into parts and compared the cost of each part separately to yield his total benchmark cost. It turns out Navalny is not only a gifted lawyer, blogger, activist and opposition leader, but he is also an efficient and able engineering consultant and auditor, who was able to come up with such an analysis in just a week with his team of volunteers.

What else has been built? Let's enumerate: a new elevated road passing through the whole city of Sochi; an extension of the Sochi ring road; several multi-level junctions; a seaport, an airport, several railway stations, among them the Adler station which is one of the biggest in Russia (not known for its miniscule rail stations); pedestrian promenades; barrier-free accessibility to public and commercial buildings for disabled persons, making Sochi the first barrier-free city in Russia; a sewage system (before that most of the crap apparently circulated freely); an electric power plant and distribution network; renovation of a huge amount of residential houses and areas, etcetera and etcetera. All the above will, of course, remain in Sochi after the Olympics. They won't be dismantled and tucked away after the Games as the brothers-in-arm, Nemtsov and Navalny, and their cheerleaders in the Western press claim. They will be there for the some 5 million visitors and the population of Sochi itself, which is about 400,000 and approaching half a million.

Amid insinuations of corruption, whistleblowers Nemtsov & Navalny are earnestly seeking to claim that all these new buildings and facilities will only serve the 2-week duration of the Olympics. Navalny has even included investments in the adjacent Formula 1 racing track, a new theme park, and even a church in his costs "for organizing the Olympics". I am puzzled by the constant claims about the supposed corruption related to Sochi, which Myers so dutifully reminds us about. I assume that there is corruption in a majority of the world's infrastructure projects, but Myers's conclusion that it is somehow on a greater scale in Sochi is somewhat mystifying, until you understand the sources for his ideas: oh, yes, Nemtsov and Navalny! But even if it were true, why should Myers and the Western media be so troubled with it? It is not taken out of their pocket, for heaven's sake! At the same time, the Navalny and Nemtsov double act are at pains to remind us that many of Russia's oligarchs have made some bad investments in Sochi. Alright, let's suppose that Putin has "advised" them to invest in Sochi: would that also harm Myers, or the Russian taxpayers? On the contrary, it could only be considered a tax, a tax to compensate for the wealth these oligarchs laid their hands on so cheaply in connection with privatization measures orchestrated by Nemtsov and his buddies. At the end of the day, all the infrastructure is now in place for all us to enjoy for some time to come, including Mr. Myers from the New York Times.


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The Intelligentsia, the new iClass and the Psychology of Russian Protests

Author: Jon Hellevig April 2, 2012
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If we want to understand the reasons behind the Russian protests in the run up to the presidential elections in 2012, then we need to distinguish between the organizers of the protests and the mass of the demonstrators that showed up on the most populous rallies gathering a crowd of some 40 to 50 thousands.

The organizers consist of a wide array of political groupings ranging from rightist liberals to racist nationals and communist anarchists. These people are naturally not unified in any kind of a political program and merely form a Coalition of the Willing driven by the farfetched idea to overthrow Putin and his party by means of street protests and anarchy using the methods of color revolutions. But these people are lagging behind the people they claim to represent for the Russian electorate has matured enough to analyze politics and social questions with their own brains and make their decisions after weighing the pros and cons of complex matters. In another article, The Disparate Russian Opposition, I wrote about the protest organizers, the “opposition,” and the political map of Russia. Here I want to dwell a bit on the participants that followed the call in masses of 40 to 50 thousand people at the most populous rallies.

The bulk of the hardcore protesters close to the organizers, some 5 to 10 thousand people, consisted of such strange bedfellows as the so-called liberal intelligentsia and the racist nationalists. But at the last major attempt to a massive protest on March 10 on Moscow’s Novy Arbat, the nationalists made a show of splitting off with the liberals demonstratively leaving the scene and promising not to join forces with the liberals any further.

With the nationalist leaving some 5 thousand people were left, consisting mainly of the liberal intelligentsia, who get their news from Echo Moscow radio station, the internet journal gazeta.vru (that is not a printing error, vru is Russian for lying), and Radio Liberty. These people are the successors of the Soviet cultural elite who proclaimed themselves “Intelligentsia” in praise of their supposed superior intelligence compared to that of the “mob,” as they think of their fellow citizens. The spiritual roots of this “Intelligentsia” date back to the 19th and 20th century pre-revolutionary Russia. It has been opposing and conspiring against the powers ever since the Decembrist revolt in 1825. It was the “Intelligentsia” who brought about the revolution of 1917, the movement, after the chaos they sowed, having been hijacked by Lenin and the Bolsheviks resulting in the not-so-liberal Soviet Union. It is also the liberal intelligentsia that in turn worked to bring down the same Soviet Union. And now they are at it again.

It is interesting to note that the more these people think of themselves as superior in intellect the thirstier they get for bloody revolutions and chaos as a means of self-affirmation. Recently it has been highlighted how the turn of the 19th and 20th century writers Ivan Bunin and Fyodor Dostoevsky already identified the destructive and negative character of this self-proclaimed “Intelligentsia” in terms that are completely applicable to their modern day successors.

In Cursed Days (based on his diaries of 1918-1920), Bunin wrote about the revolutionary intelligentsia: "It is terrible to say, but true: were it not for the human disasters, thousands of intellectuals would have felt themselves very miserable. What reason then would there have been to gather, to protest, what to scream for and write about?” This is what gave grounds to the idealism of the Intelligentsia, Bunin concluded: “in essence an idealism of a very lordly nature, an eternal opposition, criticism, of everything and everyone. For after all criticizing is so much easier to do than actually creating something by your own work." And “the most distinctive features of the revolution,” Bunin noted was “a mad lust for the game, play-acting, posture, farce. It brought out the animal in humans."

Fyodor Dostoevsky in turn wondered in his diaries over the nature of the Russian liberals saying: "why is our European leaning liberal so often the enemy of the Russian people? Why then do the people that in the very Europe call themselves democrats always side with the people, or at least rely on their support, while our democrat is often an aristocrat who at the end of the day almost always serves the interests that suppress the popular force and end in domineering of the people by the superior ones.”

The film director and Putin’s campaign manager Stanislav Govorukhin recently also quite aptly quipped the dark essence of the Intelligentsia.

Depending from what point of view to look at it, I find the concept “Intelligentsia” ridiculous and repulsive. It is ridiculous that certain people from the arts, culture, media and the leisured classes in general refer to themselves as “Intelligentsia” with the connotation that they consider themselves “the intellectual elite of the society,” with the further connotation that they regard themselves more intelligent than others. But the average journalist, detective fiction writer, painter, and rock musician is certainly not any better endowed than his fellow citizen to judge and pronounce on matters of social life and democracy. And it is outright repulsive when the people of this self-proclaimed “Intelligentsia” move on to really regard themselves as an “elite” whose opinions are supposed to count more than those of the vast majority of people whom they despise.

Naturally it is only to be recommended that artists, other cultural workers, philosophers and such people participate in political activity, as long as they understand that they do not form any special class of “Intelligentsia.” In fact, only normal people free from such kind of vanity can properly and intelligently judge life around us.

Picture: Ilya Repin’s 17 October, 1905. -Members of the liberal intelligentsia rabidly demanding a revolution in Russia already in 1905. Note how interestingly Repin has captured the spirit of these revolutionaries in their bizarre facial expressions.

It was neither the nationalists nor the liberal intelligentsia that made up the bulk of the protesters but, as I affirm, basically apolitical affluent urban dwellers. Most political pundits refer to them as the “Middle Class.” But this is wrongheaded and based on a total miscomprehension of the concept Middle Class, a miscomprehension unfortunately shared by people of all political preferences. The mistake is to define Middle Class exclusively through the prism of people’s purchasing power (affluence) while it should be recognized that more fundamentally it is to be defined through social, cultural and historic factors. I doubt that the concept has much utility for describing social relations in virtually classless European democracies of the 21st century, like Russia. The concept developed in another age for societies that were literally organized according to adherence to classes. There were the classes of feudal landlords, clergy, bourgeois and peasants. Middle Class emerged to denote the salaried and educated urban people that could not be assigned to any of the aforementioned classes. But today all the other classes are gone (at least what comes to number and political influence), and instead the designation of Middle Class fits most all people. Nowadays the differences between people derive to a very small degree from the historic roots of a class society (especially in Russia which is the successor to the USSR where classes were eradicated, whether we are happy or not with the fact and how it happened) and are more based on personal fortunes and misfortunes, health and interests. With universal schooling and a radical change in living conditions in the rural areas and those of factory workers, I am very skeptical of the idea to exclude even those people from the denomination. Considering the ethnic and regional diversity of Russia, I may accede to the idea that not all people of Russia would qualify for being included in Middle Class, but at least 60 to 70% should be counted in (although I then still have a problem with determining who is to be counted out).

No better is the neologism “creative class” by which some political observers refer to the protesters. I wonder what these people are supposed to ever have created. The adventures of detective Fandorin, or what? For sure they did not create the iPhones and iPads with which to access their Facebooks and Twitters.

People who have their thinking rooted in concepts instead of observed reality insist that in Russia only some 20%, or maximum 30%, constitute the Middle Class (interesting then, to which class do the rest belong?). They arrive at this conclusion by analyzing the figures of economic purchasing power and pronounce that only those people that can afford a second car, so and so many trips abroad, and a “euroremont” of their flats qualify. But if these are the criteria, then I definitely insist that we rather define these people by their iPhones and iPads. In fact, just for this propensity to use the latest gadgets and the mass hysteria social media, I prefer to refer to the bulk of the protesters as the iClass. (I owe this concept to a Russian friend of mine who first called these people the “iPhonchiki”). - Curiously enough a market survey ( conducted at the site of protests on Bolotnaya Square revealed that the iPhones and iPads of Apple were predominant among the demonstrators, the iPhone being held by 49% of smartphone users while it only represents some 6% of the total Russian market of smartphones.

What motivates the iClass does not lend itself to a political analysis rather it is a question of social psychology and an analysis of the phenomena of mass hysteria. Many of the protesters are what we used to call young urban professionals, yuppies. Their grouch with Russia is that it is not like the West: the climate is not right, the beaches are far off, traffic is unbearable, service is poor, and the bureaucrats rude. Well-to-do and mobile they travel a lot. In the West all is better, they are convinced. They have been there. “Nothing to complain about the living conditions and quality of government,” they think after the experience of staying at elite hotels in the glimmering capitals of the world and the jet-set resorts. And what can beat tax-free shopping in London and Milan!

Back in Russia to stuff their pockets, they don’t realize that the 13% tax they pay on their income is only a fraction of what the Western governments grab from their citizens. (Funny enough, in the recent World Bank study on the competitiveness of Russian economy, they cite, approvingly, a study according to which Russians consider this lowest income tax in the world excessive). In Russia they are free to do with their money what they want. A liberal haven. But they don’t get it.

The iClass has a good command of English, so they have access to the constant Western propaganda directed against Russia in the Western media. They think they are privy to privileged truths. And they act upon that. All what is wrong they learn from the “free press.” The same press that lies that their protests gather 100 thousand people “braving the bitter cold” and that pro-Putin protests consisting of “bussed in, paid for, and intimidated state employees” garner only 20 thousand (as the venerable Associated Press lied to the global public). Many of them
work in Western companies which usually run a more rewarding corporate culture than their Russian peers. They deal with happy foreign management with liberal expat compensation packages and hygienic corporate offices. “This is cool, West is better, Why aren’t we like that,” the iPhonchik thinks.

“I’m different, I am independent, I think for myself,” they learn from the iClass social media which they blindly trust - collectively. All converge in their new found independence. Independently they joined the cheers of 30 or 40 thousand of their copies and shouted “Russia without Putin” – hoping the climate would change.

My point is that the iClass protests were driven by perceptions of Russia versus the West (their West of the elite hotels – not the homes with the 15 degree winter room temperature due to lack of central heating, or the households of the 40 to 60% personal income tax).

It is against this psychological backdrop that the real problems of Russia can be exploited, some of which represent fundamental political problems and a couple of mistakes of the leading powers.

Picture: Protests December 5, 2012. The liberal intelligentsia singing the same old song.

The real fundamental problems are corruption and bureaucracy, both inherited from the Soviet Union and aggravated in the years of criminal anarchy of the 1990’s. But the iClass does not have any sense of history and no interest to analyze causes and effects. For them Putin is to be blamed just as he is to be blamed for the harsh winter, and the sweltering summer and forest fires. Twelve years in power and still corruption and bureaucracy, the iClass social media tells them to think. At the same time the propaganda they are the targets for tells that Putin is a repressive autocrat, who must be opposed by any means. But this just signifies that they share with Putin the rejection of repression as a means to cure the problems of corruption, but further than that their cognitive processes do not carry. They don’t understand that it has been a fundamental condition to enable the fight against corruption to establish a central power with the main state functions in reality being subordinated to the government, something that has been achieved only in the last two or three years. There was no central government when Putin came to power, but now there are the rudiments of it. It is only now, first time in some 90 years, that the Russian state has acquired a legislative base and political force to tackle the problem in an intelligent and effective way. And now because the real Middle Class re-elected Putin we can expect that the fight against corruption will bear tangible results within next two to four years.

But although a lot has been made to fight the manifestations of an excessive, abusive and absurd bureaucracy it is not enough. The efforts here should be seriously stepped up to deliver fast and tangible results. And no doubt it will happen, and that will be the best result of the iClass revolution. Here the government really needs to be on the right side of history.

Then finally we have the problems of the government’s own making: the image of United Russia, the party of power, and the news programs of the state owned channels.

After the Duma elections both Medvedev and Putin acknowledged the image problem of United Russia which is mainly anchored in lining the party leadership and electoral lists with bureaucrats, mayors, and governors who lack popular appeal and a real interest to any kind of political ideology. (Other thing, that the ideology itself is not well articulated. For my part I suggest to build it around a platform of Social Liberalism and Patriotism). They occupy their positions in the party hierarchy and electoral lists the same way a bureaucrat is appointed. Many find that repulsive and do not bother any further with the ideology or political program.

The state-controlled television news have done a lot to destroy the image of Putin and Medvedev by constantly devoting so much of the air time to the daily activities of these political leaders. My impression has been that one third of the time goes to showing what Medvedev has done during the day, one third to Putin and the rest to other news. If somebody thinks that this kind of publicity works in favor of these politicians then they are dead wrong.

To conclude, we see that there is no Arab Spring in the air. We have a host of real and perceived problems. And it seems that the people around Putin have identified the real ones. The fight against corruption is now real and will bring results; daily life will be facilitated and bureaucracy will be cut down with tangible results in the coming years; United Russia will be given a facelift and hopefully turned into a real people’s party; and there are encouraging signs that the television is changing. Together with continuing economic growth thanks to Putin’s social liberal program these measures will secure the needed support for the government.




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Jon Hellevig

Jon Hellevig has worked with Russian law immediately since the start of market reforms in early 1990's. Having gained 5 years' experience as lawyer and CFO for American-Russian joint venture and subsequently worked as lawyer and CFO for Armstrong World Industries (Central and East Europe). Hellevig was the founding partner of what is now Hellevig, Klein & Usov, part of Awara Group.
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