[COFFEE] Possibility of World War 3

Sure, Crimea is a special case. It was annexed by Russia in 1783 and until Stalin’s era it was mostly inhabited by Tatars. It was transferred to Ukraine Soviet Republic in 1954 - but it didn’t make any difference because in Soviet Union everything was controlled by Moscow anyway. It was just a propaganda move of Khrushchev, who was ethnically Ukrainian. So, without this silly soviet transfers, by law it would have remain Russian territory after Soviet Union collapsed. Most of the population there is pro-Russian (except Tatars who live there and the ones who were expelled by Stalin).

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Of course, it backfired, and they pay the price. I used to spend vacations there when I was a student in Warsaw. It was a lovely place visited by Ukrainians, Russians, Poles and other neighbors - now they are sliding into shithole.

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Coming back to the question, I don’t think there will be soon a WW3 carried out with weapons. There is too much at stake and costs are too high for anyone. However, I see a much bigger risk of regional conflicts and civil wars or even conflicts within the EU. There are more and more people but there is less and less space and less resources and there is also more and more demand for redistribution of wealth within countries between individual. People cannot afford property anymore, everything gets more expensive, inflation, salaries remain the same but you have to pay more and more taxes, fees, etc. In Switzerland, the AHV and 2nd pillar will be a huge problem because more money is taken, pension age will increase and conversion rates are lowered, etc. not sure how long people will tolerate this trend.

But there are also lots of issues within the EU, conflicts of interests etc. One country already left and I think there will be more to follow. At least this is more likely than a WW3 carried out with weapons. But there are also more and more tensions between the US, EU, China, Russia, etc. so it could also mean there will be more sanctions, restrictions, etc.

This is one reason why I don’t want all my wealth with an EU or US broker. I’d rather pay more for SQ but then don’t face any issues if relationships with the EU and/or US get stretched. This is the first measure I took.

Regarding other implications, it’s difficult. Probably we can’t know and it will depend where the conflicts are and between whom. So, I guess a very well diversified portfolio is the best way forward, maybe even including gold.

I don’t think food cans or ammo will be required :wink: And yeah Bitcoin, it will one day crash anyway with or without a war, so for me personally, it’s not part of my portfolio.

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Developed an attitude of fatalism may be a more appropriate description.

We agree to disagree.

Blueprint or not, there are limits in practicality. Of willingness to engage and what is militarily feasible and what you can get away with - in those regions, as well as domestically and internationally.

Whether you like or approve of Putin and his politics or not, he is probably be (IMO) the single most experienced, intelligent and strategically-versed leader of any major military power in the world. I think he knows pretty well with what and how much he can get away with:

  • Russia already has enough regions where they’ve been facing - over prolonged periods - separatists, terrorists and guerrilla warfare. I don’t think we will open another such theatre in the west.
  • The annexation of Crimea was, by and large, well-orchestrated and, in terms of administering the region, providing basic services (such as electricity or water, even in the face of Ukraine cutting supply routes and severing infrastructure) went pretty smoothly
  • …and so did the narrative in the eyes of the Russian public. It brought home a region that wanted to be part of Russia, with most Russian-speaking people that wanted to be Russian. Along with positive images of improving their living conditions.

The Baltics on the other hand, as part of NATO and EU territory? Too big of a stretch.

I think that Putin is clever enough to know that he isn’t able to afford and get away with invading or annexing them in any way similar to Ukraine - a country that isn’t part of a major bloc and internally very much torn on the issue whether it should be.

I also believe that Putin and Russia are mainly focusing on the Russian - or russophone - sphere of influence (that, yes, probably includes regions such as Transnistria and other parts of the Baltics and Ukraine) but not beyond that.

Whereas China is basically vying for world domination: to become a dominant power in the world. The Chinese have been steadily increasing their economic power, diplomatic influence and military footprint in the South China Sea.

They are working on becoming so powerful that they can get away with anything, with regards to Taiwan. A country (the ROC) that is already virtually isolated and diplomatically unrecognised on the world stage.

I believe that, if anything, the spark that sets off a third world war will be occuring in Asia. But I’m not sure if it’s going to be Taiwan or if that will trigger a world war. I think it will be annexed/integrated into the PRC by the mid of the century - with stern public and diplomatic condemnations by many other powers in the world - but not much military intervention.

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Yeah, and I don’t think you even need to go into civil unrest. What scares myself most: A large-scale, long blackout. Most clean water supply requires power to work, so even 24h is already long. Anyone read Blackout, tomorrow will be to late? It got too dark (and realistic) for myself to finish it. And that book only covers a 72h blackout IIRC.

To anyone saying that won’t happen:

  • In a 2018 study (citation required, didn’t find it now) the Austrian Bundesheer said that the probability for a large-scale blackout in Europe in the next 5 years (2018 - 2023) is 100%.
  • A more recent report from 2019 only says ‘a blackout is to be expected within the next 5 years.’ It includes the encouraging words “Als derzeit wahrscheinlichstes Szenario wird vom Autor eine Komplexitätsüberlastung mit einem Kollaps ohne externe Intention erwartet. Bei diesem Best-Case-Szenario ist mit einem mehrtägigen Stromausfall zu rechnen (p.216)” which roughly means “Best case: no external attack, still multiple days without power”

Fun times ahead…

Edit: just saw another encouraging thing in the report:

  • After just one week, 2/3 of the population won’t be able to support themselves with vital supplies anymore. And they consider it delusional to think that it only takes a week to rebuild the supply lines.
  • Today, the power net requires almost daily critical intervention to prevent it from collapsing.

100% is not a credible statistical probability.

That‘s a a figure you can‘t take seriously. Especially in light of the fact, by and large, the power grid and supply infrastructure hasn’t changed all that much over the last three, five or eight years. And yet we‘re three years in without having had such a blackout. We haven’t, in fact, had one in thirty years.

I‘m not saying it‘s a negligible risk - but 100% probability? Come on!

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Yes, we hear this now for quite some time but what’s behind this?

  • Is it a real threat?
  • Is it yet another fear-mongering campaign to impose arbitrary measures on society and centralise power to the government?
  • What are the reasons behind it and why should there be a blackout, I guess there wasn’t a lot of change in this area in recent years so why suddenly it becomes a problem?
  • Wouldn’t there be specific things being turned off rather than a full blackout for several days or weeks? It seems not very logical to me.
  • Is this possibly just another scheme to push some political agenda? Maybe some kind of green agenda, or EU agenda because people weren’t willing to sign an agreement with the EU and now we depict a horror scenario to people to sign up for a contract they otherwise don’t want or maybe even EU membership?
  • Maybe they don’t even depict horror scenarios, maybe they actually shut down the grid for some days, then instigate a science task force and centralise power to the Federal Council and invoke emergency powers and impose measures upon people they are otherwise unwilling to accept? Showing horror pictures in the daily news coverage etc. e.g. people who die on the streets or in hospitals as a result of the power outage. And then, luckily our beloved friend and partner the EU came to help us we just have to sign a pretty little contract?
  • If this threat is really so imminent why the government was willing to shut down nuclear power plants?

The government’s credibility has suffered badly in the past two years, so I’m not sure how many people will actually heed the call a second time in such a short timeframe.

Agreed, but I think the sentiment is clear.

I do not have all the information I’d like to have, but the power supply sure changed a lot over the last two decades. See this figure. Don’t look at the total capacity, but the share of wind and solar. The whole ‘going green’ thing does not increase short-term stability.

World-wide there’s a lot of precedent. Europe is a lot better, but not perfect: 2006 European blackout - Wikipedia. And we got close to one in Jan 2021. Switzerland is even better than Europe, but I think for blackouts we also need to consider neighbouring countries as risk factors.

Oh, come on, not everything is a big conspiracy. In this case, the push should be to decentralize the power supply, actually. But if everyone is supposed to switch to electric cars, then we’re in for a nice surprise if we don’t work on the capacity.

Cascading failures, just as in the previously linked 2006 case. Also, electricity doesn’t work like digital signals. You can’t just pause Gösgen for 20 minutes and expect everything to go back to normal. Yes, Switzerland is especially flexible with the hydro power, but has its limits also. To re-connect two cells, you have to synchronize the frequencies, and the power draw needs to be somewhat balanced or you’re just going back to square 1. Have a look at this CCC talk if you’re interested and understand German.

It’s worked perfectly until today, so why wouldn’t everything be fine and dandy? Only ‘other people’ suffered power outages, but not me. And the whole green thing just gives more votes today.

If the government is willing to kill a couple hundred or thousand people just for that then we have larger problems than that ‘pretty little contract’.

i don’t want to be the one defending Russia, but :

Also a Country with a risk of invasion can’t join NATO, so it’s enough for russia to park its army near the Ukraine to stop that.

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Sooo anyone buying $LMT Calls?

I think it is just sabre rattling.

Putin is too clever to make it so obvious (gathering near border, training in Belarus, Black Sea protection, etc.). We have seen in the annexation of Crimea that if he wanted to, he would make it much more clever and not so obvious.

I think he is provoking the west, especially the US, so they go and warn everyone that Russia is short before invading Ukraine and it could be happening very soon.

Then nothing will happen and he will laugh at the west and tell everyone: “You see, those US conspiracy theorists just tell BS all the time, saying we would be an aggressive nation attacking innocent countries but we do nothing alike.”

After that Let’s Go Brandon and his crew will look like a bunch a morons.

I might be wrong though.

What we are looking at in Ukraine is geopolitics.

The West and NATO are pushing east, Russia is pushing back. And now they’ve met in Ukraine and, as @Patron says, both sides are rattling their sabres. A war is not in the interest of anybody, and I hope that a way to deescalate can be found.

See also the article below, which luckily is not paywalled.

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That is a good and balanced article.

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Doesn’t it remove all agency from the Ukrainian people? Also if having democracies bordering Russia is an issue for Putin, I can understand why the people living there would not be happy.

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No, not at all, it exactly what is said at the end.

The main message for me is that you cannot make a country a western type democracy just by US, NATO and EU wish. Again this patronage complex. People who are concerned must suffer, must become decisive and finally decide their own fate

But what if it’s also the population (or at least a large part of it) wish? Or you think pro democracies movements in UA are driven by western psyops? (If anything Russia is better at those than EU or US).


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I think the Maidan protests in 2014 clearly showed what the people of Ukraine want. They clearly have a pro-Europe stance, the pro-Russian stance is only represented by a small radical minority group in eastern Ukraine.

I was extremely impressed by how proud Ukrainians are and the courage they showed. In Switzerland, we’re far away from that we’re the country of sheep and sycophants where people have no self-respect.

What is a bit sad to see is that the country is still so corrupt that it is really difficult to actually change something, and people don’t really get to say something.

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Yes, they may wish it, but do they really know what does it mean?

No. But I am sure that a large part of it is a dream about sweet prosperous life. Nothing bad about it, but there is still a difference between dream and reality. Education is the key. Tell average Ukrainian people about your everyday life, it will be a revelation for them.

What I mean and what I liked about this article, is that it says that there is no universal solution. Ukraine, Russia, Hungary, Turkey cannot become democratic countries overnight. It takes time and generations and it’s up to people to realize that their situation is not acceptable. And, on the other hand, US is not your sacred Valinor, it is not always right and it must not enforce other people.

You can’t buy liberty, you can’t beg for liberty, you can’t have liberty granted to you, you can only fight for it and earn it. And that what people in these countries should do. Others can help, but, for the sake of self-determination, they must not enforce their values.

Still sounds better than some authoritarian government :slight_smile: Or being a vassal state of Russia.