Tuesday, April 21, 2009
You know, by now, about collapsitarianism (and its cousin, a so-called "Transition" movement that was written about in the NYT Magazine Sunday).
Now comes a new word to address the Russian version of apocalypse: katastroika. The following is from a World Affairs Journal article titled "Drunken Nation: Russia's Depopulation Bomb":
A specter is haunting Russia today. It is not the specter of Communism -- that ghost has been chained in the attic of the past -- but rather of depopulation -- a relentless, unremitting, and perhaps unstoppable depopulation. The mass deaths associated with the Communist era may be history, but another sort of mass death may have only just begun, as Russians practice what amounts to an ethnic self-cleansing. ...Clearly the 21st century is not going to turn out as a lot of people expected. But it will make for great material -- if there is still an entertainment industry and distribution network for the films, books and other media to be created.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau International Data Base for 2007, Russia ranked 164 out of 226 globally in overall life expectancy. Russia is below Bolivia, South America's poorest (and least healthy) country and lower than Iraq and India, but somewhat higher than Pakistan. For females, the Russian Federation life expectancy will not be as high as in Nicaragua, Morocco, or Egypt. For males, it will be in the same league as that of Cambodia, Ghana, and Eritrea. ...
Russia's patterns of death from injury and violence (by whatever provenance) are so extreme and brutal that they invite comparison only with the most tormented spots on the face of the planet today. The five places estimated to be roughly in the same league as Russia as of 2002 were Angola, Burundi, Congo, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. To go by its level of mortality injury alone, Russia looks not like an emerging middle-income market economy at peace, but rather like an impoverished sub-Saharan conflict or post-conflict society.
technorati: Russia, zeitgeist, mortality
Labels: collapse, drinking, Russia, signs of the apocalypse, zeitgeist
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