Russia the new El Derado

December 29, 2015

It’s cut and dried. To me at least. Russia will be bankrupted. It will go down the same tragic long and windy road with no prospects of ever seeing the light of hope just like Greece. Too many forces are conspiring against Russia’s attempt to maintain it’s primacy as a oil exporter. OPEC, the US and EU, they have their own agenda of shifting their oil dependence from Russia to the Middle East. That is why Putin is allying himself with Assad – he means to deny the Saudi and Turks a means to supply cheap oil by stopping the construction of a mega pipeline that will link the Middle East to the Mediterranean and beyond. Putin knows if this new pipeline is built – Russian oil will simply to be too expensive given the convoluted logistical cost of funneling it thru the fractious Balkans and Caucasus.

However even his best attempts to preempt the price of oil discovering renewed lows will fail miserably as it’s only a matter of time before Iranian oil will begin to flood the market.

That is why recently in the Kremlin’s annual speech. Putin spent nearly thirty percent of air time babbling about transforming Russia into an agricultural superpower. One that is specifically rejects GMO food. Truth is it’s not that Putin doesn’t see any value encouraging the agricultural sector to grow GMO food – that makes no sense to me. As GMO produce have significantly higher yields than non GMO produce – since they are biologically engineered they can be tweaked to be more drought resistant and in some cases even customized to produce higher yield in regions in Russia which would otherwise remain barren and useless.

Fact of the matter is GMO produce is the space age high tech farming – it’s scientific farming that only the West can put together with their pheltora of complimentary bio tech seeds and herbicides – hence all this talk about Russia streamlining it’s agricultural sector to be the world’s largest food exporting producer is closer to bravado than something achievable. Fact: Russia seriously lags the Americans and even the Chinese when it comes to agricultural research – it is so backward most of it’s commercial agricultural methods and technology still hark back to the quaint days of Nikita Khrushchev complete with horse drawn ploughs. Fact: twenty five years of dependence on cheap EU surplus and US wheat and corn produce has all but hollowed out all competencies needed to make possible intensive commercial farming. Analogically, comparing Russia agriculture with Europe or North America is not dissimilar to comparing a horse drawn buggy with a modern F1 sports car.

As the Russian economy begins to unravel. And it will! As Western sanctions are bitting hard and choking off all known means to commercial fund large scale projects – There is little doubt in my mind – Putin’s recent speech is nothing short of a nation wide policy to put food security at the very top it’s national agenda.

Given the sheer amount of land in Russia, I have very little doubt, if the Kremlin can get their act together, it could probably feed the whole planet twice over and bit more to spare.

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‘Food security to me is the highest expression of Realpolitik and Geo politics in the Von Clausewitz’s sense – that is to say just as it’s probably axiomatic to state the claim – war is simply the continuation of politics by other means – it’s also true to state my new theoretical claim, the accessibility to food or it’s denial to another state is also a continuation of war and politics by alternative means.

When we look at history it’s easy to tease out how food specifically the lack of it or being able to engineer a deficit at a critical turning point can often have a preponderant effect on triggering precipitious regime change.

The French Revolution was sparked because Parisians couldn’t afford to buy bread. Many blamed the ruling aristocracy for the resulting famine and economic mismanagement. All that flowery shit like equality, liberty and fraternity came much latter – at the point of inception when thousands of Parisians were storming the Bastille – it’s scary to think that all that social upheaval could just have been averted with a truck load of Big Mac. Same thing occurred not very long in Egypt, hungry Egyptians began gathering around Tahir square as poor twelve year old Abdul couldn’t get his daily fix of naan and dad was so pissed off he decided to go down and start a revolution to kick out Mubarak.

Very recently Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, Syria and even Turkey are all riven with political nervous energy. Of course, the media blames Facebook et al and governmental mismanagement are getting most of the credit for spurring the turmoil, but there’s one common denominator at play – many of the disgruntled are protesting about dramatic price hikes for basic foodstuffs….they’re hungry.

So food to me is strategic.

Now Putin is not an idiot. This guy used to work for the KGB. He probably knows if anything is going to make him lose his balance it’s probably going to be the median price of how much is a combo meal at McDonalds in Moscow and very little else – Russia is not like Singapore where it used to be only educated Bo Lang Ai’s like Bertha Henson and Sumiko Tan opting to remain single – now even Sengkang Sally is hanging up her eggs as well as most Singaporeans consider having kids a liability. Hence our abysmal Total Fertility Rate. But in Russia, it’s the direct opposite – they’re experiencing a second wave, a sort of new social revolution where couples are having more kids – so it’s only natural that this growing population has created major concerns about its future food security. At the national scale, food security means having reliable access to enough food for all citizens, and this is a challenge that will grow right along with Russia’s expanding population…..Putin knows this!

Coming to think of it every single government that has a two index IQ above idiot status knows this as well. That us why China is always gobbling agricultural land in Africa. Same goes for the Saudi’s and every single regime that has to live with what I refer too as the mathematics of scarcity viz- a-viz limited arable and farmland per capita – and even if these conditions of acute scarcity do not exist – there is always the competing interest of increasing pressure on the existing land being gazumped for urbanization.

Now that you know all this – how much common sense does it make when the Kremlin declares to the whole wide world – they have rejected the entire notion of growing GMO food on a commercial scale?

Are you telling me Putin & Co have all decided to go back to the hippie kibbutz life of communal living where everyone weaves their own cotton socks and only chow high-quality organic food and free range corn fed chickens – where the yield is so paltry per hectarage that not only does it make absolutely no economic sense whatsoever to pursue such a strategy….but it’s arguable, it’s even suicidal on a national scale to pursue such an agricultural policy.

Now you know why I say – there is more here than meets the eye….much much more.’

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