Mutual Assured Devolution
from the "be-careful-what-you-wish-for" department.
the Newsletter has, for some time, been pondering the implications1 of the dissolution of the Russian Federation.
Overall, it hadn’t seemed worthwhile to start a discussion on the issue. It is quite a rabbit-hole, and none of the potentialities seemed particularly promising2.
First, a brief comment on a more mild plan. There have been various proposals for political reform to accelerate development of the Russian Far East. In 2012, an article in the Financial Times discussed a proposal to move the Russian capital from Moscow to Vladivostok.
That seems implausible. A more reasonable proposal would involve an independent nation in the Far East of Russia, presumably consisting of all the land east of the Sakha Republic.
As a matter of realpolitik, a full-scale dissolution of Russia is impossible. Even in the worst-case scenario for the Russian war effort, where their armies are defeated and Putin is forced to resign in disgrace, the Red Army and the KGB will still control a large nuclear arsenal and will have no motivation to agree to such a dismemberment of Mother Russia.
However, anyone experienced with realpolitik should see the next question instantly: what motivation can we offer those powers that be in Russia? What strings can be attached to the offer?
To start with, what if it were tied to Russia’s6 “California Independence Movement” becoming successful?
Any proposal must start with a name, and we have one: “Mutual Assured Devolution”. There are four non-negotiable points:
The five7 southern states of India (Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana) are separated from the Republic of India.
The three western provinces of China (Xinjiang, Qinghai, and Xizang8) are separated from the People’s Republic of China.
The six southwestern states of America (Hawaii, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas) are separated from the United States of America.
The eleven eastern federal subjects of Russia (the components of the Far East Federal District) are separated from the Russian Federation.
Other proposals could be considered and debated. It doesn’t take much imagination to envision each of the federal districts of Russia as separate nations. It also takes very little imagination to imagine the rest of the United States deciding to part ways with Washington DC once it is a live option.
The independence movements in Scotland and Catalonia, once it is agreed they would remain in the EU, seem to be trivial distractions in this context.
The situations are all different, but have a similar theme: with all the great powers becoming less powerful, those powers will have fewer objectionable qualities. We’ve already talked about Russia, the others in brief:
India: for many purposes, the primary official language of India continues to be English, not Hindi. It is clear9 that the Dravidian-speaking states will not allow for this change. There are economic benefits to having a country more fluent in the language of governance.
China: if you’re reading this, you must know the history of “Free Tibet” and the recent western reporting about Xinjiang “re-education” camps. Also, these are regions that (pre-1949) were almost entirely non-Han ethnicity and non-Mandarin speaking.
United States10: By 20th century standards, the 1845-1848 conflict between the US and Mexico was an illegal war of aggression. The acquired territories11 Also, this would resolve the political tension regarding immigration.
We call this “devolution” and not “dissolution” for one important reason: the regional security guarantees provided by today’s great powers will remain largely intact.
We have also pondered the question of “why didn’t the victorious powers in World War I dissolve the German Confederation”, as well as “what would have happened if they did”?
For the first question - despite imposing ruinous terms on the new German government, my interpretation is that the victorious powers didn’t see Germany as an existential threat that would need to be abolished — merely an honorable adversary that was defeated. Also, there was the spectre of Communism, which may have motivated the other powers to not weaken Germany too much.
For the second question - that would take an entire novel to expound upon. Would a fascist Bavaria have invaded a Thuringia allied with Great Britain, or a Communist Saxony?
Also, the Newslettr has no interest in meeting with the KGB, and starting a conversation on those grounds seemed like a great way to invite such a meeting. Once again, the traditional blessing for the tsar: may השם bless and keep the tsar … far away from us!
That is, ideally for the interests of the Russian Federation (c. 2021).
Vostok (восток) is the Russian word for “east”. For the contemporary reader, the Newslettr assumes that the first thought for the name of the region would be “Siberia” — as a matter of Russian geography this region is actually east of Siberia.
For those of you who have read 1984 — yes, this means Eurasia and Eastasia are at peace.
It’s hardly speculation to suggest that Louis Marinelli, the most prominent supporter of California Independence in the 2010s, was an agent of Russia. If I recall correctly, on at least one occasion he openly admitted to receiving Russian funding.
It was four southern states, until the Telugu-speaking regions were partitioned into two states.
Xizang (西藏) is Mandarin for “Tibet”. 如果你要这个东西，你需要几个中国。
Marathi is closer linguistically to Hindi, but from a political standpoint I’m not sure there would be any meaningful difference between Maharashtra and Karnataka in a devolved system. Maybe they would both be independent. This is an obscure blog post — get your details of the future history of India elsewhere.
Hawaii has a separate history, but it is an unimportant detail. the Newslettr doesn’t know enough about the Jones Act to give the long appeal.
Utah is culturally distinct and too much of a distraction for the main text. The slivers of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming can be safely conceded as the friction of history. As far as Colorado is concerned, we would need to consult an expert ourselves before we could comment.
the Editor of the Newslettr has, in some of tade more creative works, discussed the possibility that a Secret Magickal Codicil to the UN Treaty of 1945 may exist. Such a treaty, under the common magickal formulae, would bind “each Head of State and their Successor” and be kept secret for the duration of their tenure. If such a secret magickal codicil exists, we will find out quite a lot more about secrecy and magic on or around the time of the next Demise of the Crown.
A more satirical take: the end-form of a Military is to decide that the populace itself is a distraction from its purposes, and that it best serves their interests to devolve the management of that populace to other organizations.