The map above represents the wish fulfilment fantasy of a Kremlin analysts called Igor Panarin. For years he was considered a crank and ignored. Now he is the toast of the Kremiln and the darling of the Russian state media.
He says that there is a 45-55% chance that:
…mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation will trigger a civil war next fall and the collapse of the dollar. Around the end of June 2010, or early July, he says, the U.S. will break into six pieces — with Alaska reverting to Russian control.
In addition to increasing coverage in state media, which are tightly controlled by the Kremlin, Mr. Panarin’s ideas are now being widely discussed among local experts. He presented his theory at a recent roundtable discussion at the Foreign Ministry. The country’s top international relations school has hosted him as a keynote speaker. During an appearance on the state TV channel Rossiya, the station cut between his comments and TV footage of lines at soup kitchens and crowds of homeless people in the U.S. The professor has also been featured on the Kremlin’s English-language propaganda channel, Russia Today.
Thankfully sane Russians know exactly what is behind these collapse fantasies:
Mr. Panarin’s apocalyptic vision “reflects a very pronounced degree of anti-Americanism in Russia today,” says Vladimir Pozner, a prominent TV journalist in Russia. “It’s much stronger than it was in the Soviet Union.”
I wish there was a database of all these predictions so we could go back to these quacks when their predictions expire and confront them with their own stupidity.
The problem is that even when people are confronted with being utterly wrong, cognitive dissonance will make them account for it, often bizarrely. The best known example of this Leo Festinger’s famous study “When Prophesy Fails” in which he studied an American UFO cult that predicted the mothership was about to arrive and destroy the earth.
When the deadline came and went, the group did not implode with its memebers fleeing in shame, instead they convinced themselves – via a message delivered through automatic writting to the cult leader- that:
the God of Earth has decided to spare the planet from destruction. The cataclysm has been called off: “The little group, sitting all night long, had spread so much light that God had saved the world from destruction.”
Now who can argue with that?
Leon Festinger – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Festinger
Cognitive Dissonance – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance
When Prophesy Fails – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_Prophecy_Fails
The Great Disappointment – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Disappointment