„1493“ presents a set of highly dynamic economic and ecological changes of a worldwide scale, which make the discovery of the Americas by Columbus (Dec 1492) look like a „big bang“...
„1493“ presents a set of highly dynamic economic and ecological changes of a worldwide scale, which make the discovery of the Americas by Columbus (Dec 1492) look like a „big bang“ into an era of globalization that is shaping us up until today. Within 150 years the discovery of unprecedented silver deposits (especially in Potosi (Peru)) led to a heyday in China (becoming „the workbench of the world“) and the rise of Spain to be a world-power, as well as it incorporated already both their decline with the toppling of the Ming Dynasty from 1644 on and Spain's decay in the 17th century (e.g. inflation, state bancrupcies due to war financing, little Ice Age). In parallel in the late 16th century England paved its way to become a global power up until the 20th century (e.g. piracy against Spain, productivity gains by the putting-out/workshop system). Sweet potatoe suddenly secured food supplies in many regions of the world, as well as corn/maize, beans or tomatoes. „Traditions“ like Thailand's hot chili cuisine became only possible thanks to this new „Columbian exchange“ triggered by Colmbus' discovery of the New World. Tobacco, sugar cane and other farming plants were from now on grown worldwide in monocultures on plantations, creating a new globalized agricultural industry. Simultaneously, global pathogen migration rapidly rose incurring heavy loses among humans and monocultures: smallpox, measles and other diseases decimated America's indigeneous populations by up to 90%. This also led to a halt in slash and burn activities e.g. in Northern America which contributed to the occurence of the 300-year-long Little Ice Age. The death of so many indigeneous Americans and the spreading of malaria in the New World led to severe shortages of labour and thereby rapidly intensified slave trade. The climatologic border to malaria's spreading on the territories of today's USA roughly also mark the frontiers between the Northern and the Southern states (e.g. conflict over the abolition of slavery) and the American Civil War (1861-65). Without south-american latex and the rubber produced from it, there would be no seals for steam-driven industrialization and no mobility based on rubber-tires today. Mexico City and Manila already in the 16th century became globalized big cities, as we know them today worldwide. While reading this book you start asking yourself, how much economic and ecological developments are defining our destinies, while politics and societies are merely adapting to changing conditions more or less flexible but unable to design these changes themselves. In this respect, Mann himself stresses that he had to limit himself to only a few particularly telling examples as it was impossible to highlight everything in one single book (e.g. significance of tea trade and how it for example contributed to Russia's richess).
If you want to learn more about these tremendous changes from the perspective of silver and its impact on China's development since the 16th century, you can refer the documentary in 3 parts „Empires of Silver“ (GB 2019) or „Pures Silber/Comment le métal blanc a façonné le monde“ (German/French ARTE 2020).
If you feel like conducting a reality-check on your knowledge about big socio-economic trends in our world, then you should try this test...
If you feel like conducting a reality-check on your knowledge about big socio-economic trends in our world, then you should try this test http://forms.gapminder.org/s3/test-2018 and/or read this book! Next to some excelently presented statistics the Rosling family offers readers a few „thumb rules“ on how to protect oneself from misperceptions about realities in our world today:
- when there are divergences/extremes – look for the majority (in the middle);
- distinguish the current level (e.g. bad news) from the trend – beware of „rosy pasts“;
- trends don't follow straight lines;
- risks we fear are usually not the most dangerous hazards we face (e.g. sharks) – don't panic but calculate with a clear mind probabilities and exposure to threats;
- don't get yourself fooled by absolute/lonely numbers – compare and focus on the 80/20 rule of prioritization;
- avoid incorrect generalizations – look for differences within/between categories or groups and be curious/investigate the logic of others, when it seems strange to you;
- even slow change is profoundly changing everything – ask your grandparents;
- always view problems from various perspectives and as complex – test your ideas with people who disagree, be humble beyond your own expert knowledge, never rely on the very same answer to all questions and beware of simple ideas and simple solutions;
- blaming an individual/scapegoat distracts from the search for explantions – look for causes/reasons (not for villains) and focus on systems/processes (not on heroes);
- urgency usually is a misleading instinct – take your time for more information, insist on relevant and accurate data, ask for the full range of various scenarios (not just worst case) and be wary of drastic action instead of step-by-step practical improvements
Hans & Ola Rosling are presenting all of this best themselves (including 4 intuitive rules of thumb from minute 10:00/14:00): https://youtu.be/Sm5xF-UYgdg
And if you feel now like a 4:47-minute eye-popping presentation about how humanity developped during the last 200 years, you should watch this video: https://youtu.be/jbkSRLYSojo It's data animated and presented by each country you find here: https://www.gapminder.org/tools/#$chart-type=bubbles .
Mishra is shaking-up traditional European-Northamerican views regarding Asia's history and it's reemergence from the 17th towards the 21st centuries, inviting to reflect one's own thinking...
Mishra is shaking-up traditional European-Northamerican views regarding Asia's history and it's reemergence from the 17th towards the 21st centuries, inviting to reflect one's own thinking on the matter. In his prologue he states: „This book is no attempt to substitute a Western-centristic perspective with an Asia-centristic view. It is meant to open up a variety of perspectives regarding past and present, under the conviction, that the (pre)conditions for Western power are no longer offering a reliable point of reference and may even be dangerously missleading.“ From Turkey to China Mishra shows how thinkers in the islamic world (Al-Afghani), in China (Liang QiChao) or in India (Tagore) are being challenged between modernization represented by the West (e.g. concepts of the constitutional or the national state), the Western colonial brutality aswell as social-darwinistic racial ideology towards other cultures and Asia's quest for its own „civilizationist“ path towards a sovereign self-determined future.
The Tsushima sea battle (1905), when Japan destroyed the Russian fleet and thereby for the first time since the Middle Ages secured a victory over a Western power, demonstrated to all of Asia not only the success of Japanese modernization policies since the 1870ies. It was also a wake-up call that proved wrong the thinking in racial hierarchies coming from Europe and the USA. This triggered a powerfull movement against domestic ossified elites, which led for example to the toppling of China's Qing Dynasty in 1911. Although, at this time, Western imperialism was at its dependency and violence based peak, radical changes like the First World War or the Russian Revolution were already appearing on the horizon. Mishra's explanations accumulate in the chapter on the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, which impressively shows how legitimate interests of Asian representatives were completely ignored in an atmosphere that inter alia was shaped by racist jokes. The devastating results of Paris, not only from an Asian point of view, did not create the necessary sustainable peace order after World War I. They formed the basis, among other things, for the rise of Soviet-influenced, anti-western international communism (Ho Chih Min: "It was patriotism and not communism that made me believe Lenin."). Ignoring the Japanese demand for equal rights for all peoples in the charter of the newly founded League of Nations and US President Wilson's narrowing of the peoples' right to self-determination to “European peoples” laid the foundations for new conflicts including World War II. This also contributed significantly to the May 4th Movement in China and thus to the emergence of the Chinese Communist Party. As self-evident as the years around 1945 stand for the reorganization of the world after the rupture in civilization of World War II, 1905 (Tsushima) and Versailles (1919) should, together with events around the founding of Turkey by Ataturk in 1923, become an integral part of a worldwide historical awareness of the 20th century. All these developments and events still profoundly impact our current political and social debates on the yet open way of how to cerate a truely value-based West in the 21st century in a sustainable peace order based on equal rights for all.
The collapse of the Chinese empire (1911) and the Russian tsarist empire (1917) were the starting point for millions of deaths and severe suffering for people in both Russian and Chinese...
The collapse of the Chinese empire (1911) and the Russian tsarist empire (1917) were the starting point for millions of deaths and severe suffering for people in both Russian and Chinese influenced cultural spaces throughout the 20th century. The historian Figes uses concrete biographies (especially of the Soviet writer Konstantin Simonov) to show how the radical upheavals of the Lenin and Stalin times robbed people of all security in their lives. Lenin's "new thinking/new human" and Stalin's "collectivization" led to violence, terror and betrayal in the entire Soviet society. The war (1941-45) brought millions of deaths and destruction and influenced the post-Stalin era as much as today's developments. The autobiographical work of the historian Jung Chang tells the fate of her grandmother (concubine in traditional China in the 1910s and 1920s) and of her mother (communist functionary) in times of civil war (1927-1949), under Japanese occupation and the war against Japan ((1931) 1937-1945). Chang also describes her own path, with a focus on the turmoil of the cultural revolution (1966-76). Despite all the suffering, she managed to become the very first student in Sichuan Province to go studying abroad in 1978 (the opening and reform policy was just beginning under Deng XiaoPing). The comparison of both books offers a wealth of similarities that are worth emphasizing in order to better understand the radicalism and propensity for violence in both the Soviet (1917-1991/today) and the Chinese societies (1911/1949-today): The role of the grandmothers as “guardians of traditional values” or the “power of the new faith” thanks to the ideology of the communist party and its leaders, which culminated in its radicalism in the “fight against the family” (viewed as being selfish and directed against the collective), were respectively typical. The breaking with bankrupt aristocratic systems was expressed in both cases with pride towards technological modernization and social progress, which ranged from new women's rights to inhuman industrialization policies (including the Soviet "Gulag system" or Mao's "Great Leap Forward"). Dissent with the party became a crime and the fight against "enemies of the people" (Soviet Union) and "counter-revolutionaries/restorationists" (China) became the constant motto of an everyday life characterized by mutual spying and physical and psychological terror (including mass campaigns and the obligation to perform self-criticism). In particular the youth were instrumentalized and radicalized through heroic stories, especially about Pavlik Morozov (Soviet Union) or Lei Feng (China), towards full devotion to the communist party and the constant fight against “imaginary enemies”. The struggle against “kulaks” or “small capitalists” and the compulsion of the peasantry to surrender all private property to “kolkhozes” or “people's communes” took place against the background of fundamentally different realities between (relatively small) urban and (in their majority) rural populations. Stalin's “First Five-Year Plan” (1928-32) and Mao's “Great Leap” (1958-61) caused millions of deaths from starvation. However, their failure just laid the basis for Stalin and Mao securing their personal powers in the form of “Great Terror” (1936-38) and “Cultural Revolution” (1966-76). But important differences thereby also become visible: While Stalin's terror was based on his paranoia against "internal enemies" (including national minorities), Mao's cultural revolution was based more on the satisfaction of his ego and aimed primarily at the protagonists of moderate positions (including Deng XiaoPing, Liu ShaoQi). Mao feared intellectuals and scientists as they might contradict him, which is why, unlike in the Soviet Union, he never organized large educational campaigns (including Mao's “Little Red Book", almost 10 years of non-teaching in China's schools (1966-76)). The complete isolation of China from the rest of the world and much stricter bans on books, films and leisure activities also set China apart from the Soviet Union. While in the Soviet Union especially under Stalin millions of political opponents were shot, Mao incited the “anger of the masses”. At public gatherings Chinese people were beaten to death or tortured, others were denied medical treatment or driven to suicide through psychological terror. The process of revisiting and analyzing the 20th century is still at the very beginning in the societies in Russia and even more so in China. In order to understand political action-taking in Putin's Russia or in Xi JinPing's People's Republic of China, knowledge of their historical contexts is essential. It also helps to realize that, for example, 60 years of collectivization in the highly industrialized and resource-rich Soviet Union have had different consequences for Russia today than the beginning of China's reform and opening policy in the 1980s of a then bitterly poor, less urbanized China, less than just 30 years after Maos "Great Leap Forward". Figes and Chang offer a glimpse into the hearts and minds of the people in Russia and China, which helps to make the local perspectives and points of view there much more understandable. For a better understanding of the major political contexts Orlando Figes: Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia or the Mao biography by Jung Chang/Jon Halliday are worthwhile readings.
Consultant and coach Laloux opens up a fascinating perspective on different forms of (corporate) organization as they emerged in different historical epochs. An “impulsive worldview” today...
Consultant and coach Laloux opens up a fascinating perspective on different forms of (corporate) organization as they emerged in different historical epochs. An “impulsive worldview” today stands for mafia thinking and unregulated exercise of power. But a few millennia ago this approach allowed larger groups of people to organize the complexities of division of labor and top-down authority -- and to this day there are “company patriarchs”. About 4000 BC the “traditionally conformist” worldview emerged for the first time in Mesopotamia with an agriculturally organized society as the basis for states, bureaucracies or organized religions. This approach supported among other factors by the script allows the creation of repeatable processes and the assignment of permanent job descriptions in organizational charts (e.g. in the army). Only in this way was it possible to build pyramids or cathedrals in a community of social classes that emphasizes group conformity and that controls impulsiveness -- a society which firmly believes in the immutability of certain orders or beliefs of right and wrong. In contrast, the modern “performance-oriented worldview” is linked to science, the spirit of discovery and, above all, the industrial revolution. To imagine a “what if?” and to make it scientifically possible is moving societies away from conformist worldviews and from feudal power structures towards approaches like leading with objectives and breaking through social classes thanks to the performance/achievement principle. Rule of law and democracy are fundamental guarantees of reliability and predictability, e.g. for investment decisions. This “modern worldview” shapes us in many areas of life to this day. In parallel, however, since the 19th century a “post-modern pluralistic worldview” has emerged, which based on values and on emphasizing equality is leading societies towards decentralized, independent and non-hierarchical forms of organization. However, with regard to the growing complexity and dynamics of our lives, Laloux assumes that we are on the threshold to a new "evolutionary worldview" that makes individual and collective development the basis of (self) organization. Laloux focuses his book on changes in management and team organization that come with this new worldview. As a particularly convincing example, he presents the fully decentralized private-sector mobile health care service "Buurtzorg", which was founded in the Netherlands in 2006 and which now employs 75% of all health care workers in the country. They work in decentralized teams with a very high level of personal responsibility for the people they carry responsibility for and the profitability of their team performance. Buurtzorg thus functions like an ecosystem that promotes flexibility and innovation in teams aiming for value-based, meaningful goals without power hierarchies. This enables the company to act as a whole like a flock of birds following simple rules and processes of action in response to impulses from individuals, thereby allowing the company to adapt or to change direction in a flash. The major part of the book is then devoted to the question of how this new "evolutionary" corporate management is to be organized with a view to determine salaries and pay-rises, to structure meetings or to take procurement decisions.
A collection of practical experience in evolutionary management practices can be found at www.reinventingorganizationswiki.com. It is also worth taking a look at Haier's "RenDanHeYi (人单合一)" management concept, which has largely replaced mid-level management at SANYO (Japan) and GE Appliances (USA): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pI3IN6VDA8 (Haier CEO Zhang Ruimin), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FvYpoE7fow (Haier Asia CEO Ito).
Philosopher Philipp Hübl transformed a lecture of his into a refreshing and entertaining book on the spread of false information in the digital age and how...
Philosopher Philipp Hübl transformed a lecture of his into a refreshing and entertaining book on the spread of false information in the digital age and how it should be handled responsibly. He sorts determinations such as “liars” (deliberate deception), “bullshitters” (analytical-factual indifference) and “idiots” (negligent --often intuitive/self-confirming-- handling of information). And he distinguishes "fake news" as deliberately produced false/misleading news-like claims as different from gossip, rumors, urban legends, April Fool's tricks, “fish stories”, or “canards” in newspapers, which can also be understood as "bullshit"/"fake news". At the same time, he points to the mechanisms of the all too human susceptibility to false information
- (self) affirmation errors, i.e. identity-supportive errors of reasoning due to “tribal” thinking
- attention retention via (emotionalized) polarizations / exaggerations
- "I-exhaustion", i.e. suspetibility to manipulation due to an overall exhaustion as a result of daily floods of information.
Hübl warns against trusting swarm intelligence (“everyone thinks that way”) as long as there is collective misconduct (Lemming effect). He also depicts the authoritarian, paralyzed nature of conspiracy theorists and sensitizes people to the fact that the costs of creating false information are much lower than the expenses and efforts to later erasing them from public attention. With his book, Hübl warns of the risk of a general loss of trust in the media through misinformation. He appeals to everyone to make an extra effort, so that (emotionalized) “bullshit” will not become systemically more popular than (boring/complex) factual reports and analyzes. He calls on everybody to move away from an intuitive style of thinking stemming from an archaic, hostile environment and instead towards analytical reazoning, i.e. complexity-bearing thought patterns. For sensible decisions about how to consume information, both wisdom and vigilance are necessary, so that (playing along Kant's categorical imperative) people “use their knowledge about their tendency towards cognitive errors as the first step to exit their self-inflicted susceptibility to “bullshit””.
Only when it comes to the concept of truth, Hübl gets a little muddled and overlooks the fact that one and the same event can be connected with very different realities/truths (e.g. perpetrator vs. victim perspectives). His plea to endure complexity would have been more convincing if it had been aligned with a plea to always seek multiple perspectives in discourses instead of looking for “truth”. In this sense, Hübl could also have analyzed “framing” more deeply, since slogans such as “Make love, not war!” or “Stop socialism!” are intended to address fears and thus aim to steer debates into prefabricated channels, delegitimizing counter-arguments, and thus offering opportunities for self-declared “victim roles” that afterwards can only be challenged through tedious factual discussions. Hübl himself falls victim to such a (not falsifiable) framing when, on page 36, he links the annexation of Crimea to an alleged threat to the Crimean population declared by Russia and not to considerations of international law with regard to Russia's actions.
In the context of Hübl's book, Timothy Garton Ash's standard work "Free Speech" should be mentioned: Historian and publicist Garton Ash sets out 10 principles of the right to freedom of expression, which guarantee the dignity of those who think differently and thus can ensure respectful togetherness. The basic requirement thereby must be the shared desire for factual argumentation and gains in wisdom. In fact, the need for debate/dispute increases with the complexity of the world, which is more and more visibly transforming not so much into a “global village” (assumption of homogeneity) but into a “virtual cosmopolis” (complex/diverse coexistence). This coexisting must be brought into mutual exchanges in order to prevent radicalization (e.g. through algorithms/“filter bubbles”/”silos” or through self-perpetuating/self-confirming and thus self-radicalizing “echo chambers”).
Marc Saxer put forward the hypothesis that, in the future, we will have to deal with conflicts of attitudes on libertarian versus authoritarian political order or on identity-oriented self-determination (uncompromising "I versus you"), rather than conflicts over resource distribution.
China/Taiwan expert von Senger provides insights into East-Asian strategic and operational patterns of reasoning. Based on the "36 Stratagems" formulated during the Ming Dynasty around...
China/Taiwan expert von Senger provides insights into East-Asian strategic and operational patterns of reasoning. Based on the "36 Stratagems" formulated during the Ming Dynasty around 1500 AD, he explains a wide range of situationally skillful and intellectually versatile action patterns that the stealth (cunning/deceit), which is often viewed negatively in western cultures, deserves broader consideration. Von Senger differentiates between situation-generated flexible stratagems, operational short-term tactics and long-term oriented strategy. Stratagems are presented as tools, to which a moral assessment can only be attributed based on their specific application or intended purpose. He clarifies that the often quoted military strategist Sun Zi (551-479 BC, a contemporary of Confucius) can only claim authorship for the stratagem "Rested awaiting the (exhausted) enemy". Apart from that, Sun Zi created only those basic terminologies that later allowed the formulation of the "36 Stratagemes".
Incidentally, these stratagemes were formulated in the same time period as Machiavelli's (1469-1527) “The Prince (Il Principe)”, which is still read today as a manual for power-tactical action-taking. However, it always comes with a moral reprehensibility, as it is also reflected by Clausewitz (1780-1831) in his rejection of cunning/ruse as "the act of the weak out of sheer need". Both Europeans argue from the perspective of power and strength (of the West) and thus, unlike the “36 stratagems”, they fall short of our today's complex, interacting and increasingly rules-based reality.
Von Senger occasionally drifts into a blanket pattern of “clever China vs clumsy West” and shows sympathy for a conservative, hierarchical-authoritarian worldview. With admiration, he refers, for example, to the strategem No. 7 “Reality is the illusion that we ourselves create from it”. It is the core idea to the ability often observed in China (unlike in the West), to make complex politics and major projects quickly become reality through clear target formulations and concentration on the essentials. Von Senger criticizes the Chinese tendency to “compare the marketplace with a theater of war (“ShangChang ru ZhanChang(上场如战场)”), since the“ 36 stratagems” come from feudal times and today have to meet standards based on the rule of law. Because today's economic activity only works sustainably if in the end everyone benefits from it and (business) relationships, despite all competition, can be based on mutual trust generated through respect, predictability and commonly agreed rules of the game.
 The number "36" comes from the Chinese Yin/Yang balance logic. Yang, which represents the sun/light and thus the non-hidden/visible action, is opposed to the existentially necessary contrast Yin, which represents the moon/dark and thus invisible/stealth action. Yang is symbolized by the number 9 and Yin by the number 6. Repeating a word twice means “very/in abundance” in Chinese; 6x6 = 36!
Cultural/educational scientist and Russia expert Giesen uses the interpretive dissent that has been simmering around the former Perm-36 camp prison since the 1990s, and which broke out publicly in summer 2012, to offer a deep insight into the complex...
Cultural/educational scientist and Russia expert Giesen uses the interpretive dissent that has been simmering around the former Perm-36 camp prison since the 1990s, and which broke out publicly in summer 2012, to offer a deep insight into the complex inner-Russian identity discourses as well as into Russia's social and power-political realities. Its intensity, the conflict's issues, the way of conducting the discourse and the actors involved make this dispute an ideal case study about today's Russia. It thereby also helps to better understand the Ukraine conflict, unresolved modernization discourses and anti-Western thinking in Russia, bringing them politically and historically into the right contexts. Giesen shows how disputes regarding the social and individual value of stability versus freedom, the unclear relationship between state and citizens, diverging concepts of loyalty to the state versus loyalty to power, as well as global cultural discourses on cosmopolitan-individual versus collective identity-oriented concepts have culminated as if in a magnifying glass in the dispute on the conception and nationalization of the Perm-36 Memorial Museum. And Giesen's analysis goes even deeper by examining research on “collective memory” and “culture of remembrance”, that both have a tendency towards one-dimensional monopolizing narratives to the expense of “enduring” the existence of multi-perspective views on historical events. At the same time, she examines the dispute over Perm-36 against the background of sociological concepts of value attitudes, hierarchies of needs and cognitive-moral argumentation structures, which allows readers to considerably gain insights into the matter, which in general cannot be found political analyzes. Giesen's educational background as well as her many years of intensive and close range observations of the dispute over Perm-36 (including access to chat groups and online forums) are of great benefit to her readers, regardless of whether they are Russia experts or newcomers. Readers, who are not so familiar with Perm-36 or Russia's history in general, should first study Chapter 4.2, in which Giesen presents the main aspects of political and historical debates in Russia from the 13th century up until today in a way that is easy to understand even with little prior knowledge.
Caucasus and Eastern Europe expert Hallbach uses the crisis among the worldwide 300 million orthodox believers on the question of the independence (autocephaly) of the Ukrainian Church 2018/2019 for a political analysis...
Caucasus and Eastern Europe expert Hallbach uses the crisis among the worldwide 300 million orthodox believers on the question of the independence (autocephaly) of the Ukrainian Church 2018/2019 for a political analysis of the relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and the Russian state as well as its function in exercising power. In doing so, he also draws attention to orthodoxy-based power projections of Russia into regions beyond its own borders and the role of the church as a “spiritual amplifier”, and thus legitimizing actor and supporter, of a “narrative of Russian national unity” as opposed to the “morally decaying West”. This also includes Moscow's striving for supremacy to represent Orthodoxy around the world in competition with the Patriarch in Constantinople, who traditionally has held the role of a “primus inter pares” among the 14 independent regional Orthodox churches. Hallbach also sheds light on some characteristics of Russia's domestic politics such as a low church attendance, despite the fact that since the 1990s the proportion of Russian citizens who describe themselves as Orthodox has risen from 30% to over 70% today. He recalls the emergence of neo-conservative organizations and foundations critical of modernization and secularization in Russia since the 2000s, which culminated in 2012-2015 with Putin's re-election in the light of the Bulotnaya protests and the Ukraine crisis. Hallbach also reminds of Russia's self-image as a multi-denominational state, in which state support is granted to the religious communities of Islam, Buddhism and Judaism, which have been “historically rooted in the Eurasian territory of Russia” in addition to the “special role of orthodoxy”, which has been legally stipulated since 1997. However, Lutherans, Calvinists and Catholics, who have also been living in Russia for over 300 years, are excluded from this. Unfortunately, Hallbach only offers hints to the underlying considerations of loyalty policy, including the establishment of the Orenburg Mohammedan Spiritual Assembly (1788) in Russia decreed by Catherine II in the course of the annexation of the Crimean Khanate (1783-92). This administrative structure, which still functions today as the “Central Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of Russia”, is comparable in its self-perception and in its duty of loyalty towards the state's power apparatus with the ROC. In relation to Buddhism (including Kalmyk Cossacks) and to Judaism (including Russian emigration to Israel) there are special political connections that other Christian churches rooted in the West are lacking.
Hallbach's study would have benefited if it had shed more light on the ROC's history and the Moscow Patriarchate with its first founding in 1589, its dissolution by Peter I. (1721) and its two renewed foundations in 1917 (February Revolution) and 1943 (Stalin), as well as the ROC's foreign policy role in the Soviet era. Also a short presentation of Orthodoxy's roots in Russia and especially the role of priests in the Russian society, which differs from priest in the Catholic Church, would have added well to a full picture. Russia's historical power gains in the 17th century into regions of today's Ukraine is also being neglected. This led from 1654 (Pereyaslavskaya Rada) to 1686 ("Eternal Peace" between Poland-Lithuania and Russia) to the assignment of the Ukrainian Church to the Moscow Patriarchate (withdrawn again in 2019) by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Such additions would have made it even clearer to the reader, how much the anachronism of today's conflicts in the post-Soviet and Orthodox regions in the 21st century and how they are too often conducted on the basis of one-sidedly legitimizing, purely historical argumentations.