Kamil Galeev Profile picture
Mar 24, 2022 27 tweets 10 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Captain Farid Chitav and 11 his subordinates from Russian National Guard (Росгвардия) refused to go to Ukraine. Their regiment from Krasnodar was ordered to Ukraine and they objected. They said that they don't have a foreign passport and thus can't cross Russian border legally Image
They said that crossing Russian border without a foreign passport (you need for travelling abroad) is illegal and constitutes a felony 322 УК РФ. Thus they can't go. What happened to them? They were all fired. Now they are suing their commandment for firing them illegally Image
That's very important case for understanding Russian state and well, almost any state in this world. When we are analysing its practices we often use imbecile, meaningless categories like "legal/illegal". Let me introduce much better term - "procedural" Image
Practices of state, including the Putin's state may not be legal. They absolutely can break Russian law on every level. But that does *not* mean they're random or chaotic. Nope. They're very procedural, much more than regular people can imagine Image
We often describe Kafka's works as absurdist. But they're not absurdist at all. Kafka was a highly competent and successful bureaucrat valued by his superiors. His narratives are logical. Except it's not human logic, it's procedural logic, logic of a machine Image
Consider Stalin's purges. They're often described as illegal. Yes, Stalin's state security broke Soviet laws on every level, constantly. But that doesn't mean their actions were chaotic or fully capricious. Nope. They followed procedural logic of bureaucracy Image
What was the procedure of Stalin's purges? To convict someone, you need to get a confession, "The Queen of all evidences" as Vyshynsky told. After you did get it, you can do whatever with a convict. But you still must get it, there's no way around that. He must confess himself Image
Of course that created a vast grey zone. State security usually couldn't convict anyone without confession. So they would interpret it very, very broadly. If you say something (however innocent), they can qualify as a confession, you're done. So just shut up or deny everything Image
A real case. In 1935 NKVD got an anonymous letter that a bunch of Kazan University students are gathering for political talks. One of them is mocking Stalin and Communism, others laugh. Ofc all of them were arrested and interrogated - what did happen exactly?
The guy who joked about Stalin denied everything. His several other friends denied, too. Nope, he's a true Communist and would never mock Stalin, no way. Only two guys responded - yeah, he indeed mocked Stalin, we heard it. Guess what? These two went to jail, others were released Image
From a human perspective this doesn't make sense. Obviously these two were more willing to cooperate with NKVD and betray their friends? And yet, only they were punished. From procedural perspective it makes total sense. You need to get *anything* that passes for confessions Image
"I didn't mock Stalin" - doesn't pass for confession

"I never heard him mocking Stalin, he's praising him every day" doesn't pass

"Yes, he mocked Stalin all the time, he's a traitor" - it is a confession. You just confessed you listened to the treasonous talk. To GULAG you go Image
Again from a standpoint of human logic that's crazy. You jailed these two for listening to treasonous talk but released the one who did this treasonous talk? Yeah, but he didn't confess. Procedural requirements are not met. They did. Procedural requirements are met. Go to GULAG Image
NB: do NOT apply human logic to bureaucratic procedures. "That doesn't make sense, that's crazy", no, it's you who are crazy. It's insane to believe you are dealing with humans. Nope. You are dealing with gears of bureaucratic mechanism, working according to a procedural logic Image
Let me give you another example. In 1937 the Great Purge and mass arrests started. One guy in St Petersburg belonged to hereditary nobility. He knew he'd be arrested. And they'll be extorting confession. He can deny everything, but they can torture him to death. That's suboptimal Image
He acted smarter. During the night he went to a store, broke a window. Got inside, filled his bag with valuable stuff and waited for police to come. They came, arrested him. He got 5 years of jail for robbing a store *as a regular criminal*. That's how he survived the Great Purge Image
If he lived his regular life, he'd be arrested as a political criminal. That's the end. They'd investigate him for more political crimes, adding more charges. But now he chose a different track. Regular criminal track was so much better than a track of a spy/counterrevolutionary Image
Again that doesn't make sense from a human perspective. If he did a robbery, why can't he also be a spy? But procedurally speaking, it makes total sense. Normal criminals are investigated by regular police. Politicals - by state security. These two different tracks don't mix Image
So you either wait till state security comes to arrest you for a political crime. Then you are done. Or you can go commit a regular crime to be arrested by regular police. Then you get on a regular criminal track and will be safe in jail. NKVD won't come for you, you're saved Image
You must fully understand that you're not dealing with humans but with a machine. It's working procedurally, according to a certain algorithm which is ofc full of bugs. Which can be exploited. That's what constitutes much of difference between the poor and the rich in any country Image
The poor stupidly believe they're dealing with humans. Thus they "follow the rules" and get fucked. Absurd as it may sound, they may even feel proud for following the law, following the common procedure without demanding any special privileges. Of course these idiots will suffer Image
The rich know they're not dealing with humans but with a procedural mechanism. It can and must be hacked, you just need to find a bug. And they will actively look for it. A rich *will* demand a special treatment and make a case why he deserves it. And they often get it Image
Consider the Z-invasion. Who was sent there? Well, kids of imbecile broke ass bumpkins who are so brainless that they actually follow the law. Well, if the law says everyone should serve in the army, defend the country, who am I too object? Thus they feed their kids to Moloch Image
Rich kids don't get to the trenches no matter what is written in the law. Why? Well because smart people don't give a fuck about the law. For a smarter, successful person the law is not a moral imperative, but a stupid algorithm to be hacked. And they'll figure out how to hack it Image
Let's sum up. Legality/illegality is a bad tool for analysing human institutions. Too much moral pathos, too little substance. Much better concept is procedurality. Policies may not be legal, but they absolutely are procedural and thus have bugs which make them easy to hack Image
Rich smart people correctly understand this procedural nature of human institutions. Thus when dealing with them they have only one question - how to hack them? They are actively looking for bugs, find them and get what they want, in the forms of "privileges" or special treatment Image
Dumb and poor on the other hand do not understand this procedural nature of institutions. They're so stupid that they see not only human qualities but even a sort of moral authority in a soulless machine. Of course they get fucked. That's how it should be. End of 🧵 Image

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More from @kamilkazani

May 27
New Industrial Power + New Industrial Power

is structurally different from:

New Industrial Power + Old Industrial Power

Russia and China are too similar in too many important respects. They share too many chokepoints (though to a different degree). They're kinda the same
If Russia was looking for alternatives to Western Europe, it would look at Japan - the old industrial power. If Japan was politically problematic (as it is), it would look at Taiwan and South Korea, new industrial powers on the very advanced stages of their learning process
Read 4 tweets
May 27
As I said previously, there is a difference between the:

a) argumentative space
b) real space

You can "reorganise and be self-sufficient" in the former, but not in the latter. In reality, the option of "self-sufficiency" just doesn't exist
The USSR was never "self-sufficient". The initial Stalinist industrialisation was planned and managed by Americans, and based on the import of American + to the lesser extent German equipment.

1920-1930s - US + Germany
WIth the start of the Cold War, America semi-excluded itself from the Soviet market. So it was monopolised by the Western Europe. E.g. in the 1970s Western Europe counted for like 90% of Soviet imports, Western Germany alone counting for 45%

1950-1970s - Germany + Rest of Europe
Read 6 tweets
May 22
Opposition Trap

On Twitter, you see not dumb people falling into the Grilling Trap

There are two problems with grilling

1. It gives you cheap dopamine -> very addictive

2. It destroys your brain

In this regard Grilling Trap is just a particular case of the Opposition Trap🧵
Grilling is a social game taking place in the argumentative space. Now the thing about the argumentative space is that it is not identical to the real space. A true zealot of course, believes that his own argumentative space is (more or less) identical to the real space

It's not
There is always a gap between what makes a good argument and what makes a good decision. It may be wider or narrower, depending on circumstances, but it always exists

Making a decision =/= justifying a decision

First is optimised for the real space, second for the argumentative
Read 16 tweets
May 9
Some context for the WWII

Soviet war machine was not created autarkically. It was built by the American businesses through the 1920 - early 1930s. Detroit-based Albert Kahn Associates company was a key organiser of the Soviet military industrial buildup

👇old but relevant🧵
The thing about Soviet military buildup is not that they imported stuff. That's pretty obvious. The thing is that they outsourced the planning. When we are discussing the Stalinist planned economy, we should keep in mind that the planning was done in the US Image
Albert Kahn Associates was the most important *planner* of Soviet industrialisation. They were not alone though. It was conducted by the joint efforts of the US industrialists

"On the way to automobilize the USSR": Henry Ford signing a contract to built a GAZ automative plant Image
Read 5 tweets
May 5
Why Russia is running out of shells?

Whereas the Wagner's shell hunger is real, ascribing it to the ill intentions of bureaucracy may be somewhat simplistic. It reflects the peculiar structure and the peculiar history of the Russian military manufacturing base

(not a 🧵) Image
What you should know of the Russian military industry:

1. After 1991 the output collapsed, often by few orders of magnitude
2. In Putin's era it bounced back, but not to the Cold War era levels
3. Both the collapse and the revival affected various types of weaponry unevenly
It would not be *too* much of a simplification to present the demand on the new weaponry in the following way:

Demand = State Defense Order + Exports

Now the thing is that in the 1990s the State Order was usually non-existent. If it was existent, it was often not paid for
Read 19 tweets
May 1
The managed system more often than not appears as a black box to its upper management. It is not transparent. I do not quite understand how it works. All I have are the output signals of the very uneven quality. And that is all I can base my judgement and my decisions upon🧵 Image
This explains much of the perceived "irrationality" of top decision makers:

a) The system isn't transparent. It produces signals of uneven quality
b) Choose the presumably higher quality signals *you are able to process*
c) Base your decisions upon them

Hence "irrationality" Image
Reality is incomprehensible in all of its complexity (and we tend to very much exaggerate how well we do comprehend it). It is covered by the fog of war. And perhaps nothing else illustrates it so vividly as, well, the war Image
Read 14 tweets

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