Sunday, October 15, 2017

Imagining a new Soviet Union, a new USSR, a separate, mini world in itself

West was extremely jealous of the Soviet Union in part because of its colossal size - an incredible >15% of the world's land area was under this single superpower. After the unfortunate breakup of the USSR, West is similarly very jealous of Russia's huge size, and the natural strategic advantages as well as a wealth of natural resources that come along with such size.

No one knows whether the Soviet Union will come back. One cannot say a definite yes, and one can't say a definitive no either. Poland might curse and blame Russia at the top of its voice today, but will this same Poland be a province of a future version of USSR one hundred years from now, no one can say this, just like it's hard to imagine today that the same Poland was central to the Warsaw Pact.

One thing that's certain, however, is that we can at least imagine a new Soviet Union. A new USSR that carries forward the good things from the previous USSR, but that's devoid of its shortcomings. That similarly has the best ingredients from the EU, but not those that make the EU bitter.

Examples:
  1. A mammoth, common airline - like Aeroflot - that flies all across USSR and also globally, thus getting huge efficiencies because of its scale.
  2. A common air-defence/anti-missile system that benefits hugely from the vast global footprint - both land area and coastal length - of USSR.
    1. Due to the massive footprint and also deep land connections to various nations of Europe, Europe would've been kept in check by the missiles and nuclear weapons stationed all across the new USSR.
  3. A common currency that becomes a force in the world because of its use by the large cumulative population of USSR.
  4. Free trade, free movement of capital and free movement of labor among the 15 constituent nations.
  5. Despite the above commonalities, the USSR shouldn't have a central government - instead the 15 constituent nations should have their own governments so that the aspirations of these 15 groups of people are fulfilled.
  6. Also, having 15 separate nations increases the political/diplomatic power of the bloc because you get 15 votes instead of just 1. Also, wherever a selection has to be done by random ballot, you have 15 slips there instead of just 1, multiplying your probability of winning the seat.
  7. And so on.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Russia shouldn't have let Transaero airline die, and lessons for the future

Russia doesn't have too many large and/or famous brands, especially when it comes to consumer products. This allows the typical ignorant Western news reader [and also journalist] - who has no knowledge of Russia's sophisticated military equipment exports or its best-in-the-world space technologies or its aircraft-manufacturing capabilities - to sling insults such as "...doesn't produce anything that anybody wants to buy...".

This naturally implies that whichever small or large brands Russia does have, it should cherish and nurture and protect those dearly. Like Transaero. It operated for 25 years before going bankrupt, and unfortunately the Russian government didn't save it.

It should've saved it. Because apart from Aeroflot, it was Transaero that had a stellar reputation for safety. From Wikipedia:

"In its 25-year history, Transaero never had an accident resulting in loss of life or a hull loss. In 2014, JACDEC ranked Transaero as the 17th safest airline in the world and the safest airline in Russia."

This reputation, this 17th rank in the world, this zero fatality record, all of it took several years of painstaking work. Shouldn't have been let go just like that. Transaero was flying all across the world [permanent link]. It was spreading its own and Russia's name positively wherever it was flying, transporting customers safely and comfortably. An iconic, valuable and trusted name, built over several years, went down just like that. It's sad. It could've been and should've been prevented at all costs.