Every Nation Deserves its Rulers

Every nation is at the stage of development/degradation it deserves since
it has done everything for that under the guidance of its elected rulers.

Collage by author from works of Kremlin.ru (CC BY 4.0), The White House (CC BY 3.0 US), Tom Williams (Public domain) via Wikimedia Commons

On May 14, 2023, presidential and parliamentary elections were held in Turkey. Almost half of the voters voted for the incumbent President R. Erdogan in the 1st round, and he would have already received congratulations if he had received 50%+.
K. Kilicdaroglu - a representative of the united opposition - got 5% less votes, so the winner will be finally determined in the second round of elections on May 28.

Mr. Erdogan hasn’t win more than half of the votes in the first round of the presidential contest for the first time in his political career. This happened mainly due to his failed economic policies - the Turkish lira has depreciated tenfold (!) over the past 10 years. The average Turkish family has impoverished much during that time and the people must be very unhappy. Opinion polls showed in the end of April that 46% of Turks think the country is going in the wrong direction (29% said the direction was right and 25% were undecided) and almost 70% specified the economy and inflation as the country's main problems. Yes, inflation is the origin of depreciation of Turkish lira.

The annual inflation rate in Turkey fell for a sixth consecutive month to 43.7% in April 2023, the lowest since December 2021 and from 50.5% in March, but it is still very high. (By the way, I am sure that the inflation rate will rise again after the elections.) That’s why I wrote in my recent article on the subject: «That’s too much, and a moment comes… when it could cost Mr. Erdogan the presidency». But…

Human nature is illogical and contradictory.

Turkey's presidential election is “for the lesser evil”.

I thought that the opposition should win in the very 1 round, because it was absolutely clear who was to blame. Mr. Erdogan has been Prime Minister and then the President of Turkey for the last 20 years. He has concentrated all possible power in his hands except the judiciary one (although I'm sure he has a strong influence there as well). Mr. Erdogan is the leader of the largest party (AK Party) in Grand National Assembly (Turkish Parliament) and the head of the executive branch of the Turkish government, i.e. he writes the laws for all Turks which he intends to implement. Thus, Mr. Erdogan solely is responsible for everything (both good and bad) that happens in the country, including what happened to Turkish lira and this is quite obvious.

For some reason, I always think of people better than they deserve and they are either completely blind, or merely silly, or rather both. More than 27 million people or 49.52% have voted for Mr. Erdogan on May 14 and thus for the ongoing economic crisis in Turkey! Is it because of Mr. Erdogan has promised them free gas before the elections? That is, as for me, complete blindness and stupidity.

Of course, there are other issues. For example, Mr. Kilicdaroglu is much more favorable to the Kurds, while President Erdoпan considers them terrorists. However, Mr. Erdogan's economic policy is ruining not only the Turks, but the Turkish Kurds also, so the high inflation and impoverishment of the country are more important than the Kurdish issue.

Opposition presidential candidate Mr. Kilicdaroglu has also no idea about what inflation is and how to deal with it despite (or maybe due to) his economic education. The Turkish opposition has stressed before the election that Mr. Erdogan's drive to slash interest rates set off the inflationary crisis that devastated household’s budgets. Mr. Kilicdaroglu pledges to return to orthodox economic policy (means rising the interest rate) and that is what almost all economists in the world recommend.

In that case there is almost no difference for the Turks whom to vote for. Ultimately they will vote for the problematic, but familiar Mr. Erdogan because Mr. Kılıcdaroglu can bring new unknown problems. This primitive voting logic - to vote for the "lesser evil”- has taken root all over the world. All political technologists know this human peculiarity and organize election campaigns for all politicians in all countries with it in mind. They just need to show that the opponent is worse than their client. That is why so much dirt is poured out in the media before any elections. This happens just because people are blind, stupid and choose their leaders on the principle of “lesser evil", looking at the billboards and watching TV.

Have you ever noticed that choosing between two good things (or people) is always harder than choosing between two bad ones?

Surrogate fiat money and hidden inflation in Turkey and in the world.

Mr. Erdogan keeps vowing to curb inflation and does not explain its causes, vaguely stating that “the swelling inflation is not in line with the realities of our country” and blaming “foreign financial tools that can disrupt the financial system”. This makes it clear that the president of the country does not understand what inflation is and will never be able to curb it. And he's not the only such president in the world.

It is believed that high inflation in Turkey is caused by country's debts denominated in hard currency, large current account deficit (meaning the country imports more than its exports) and President Erdogan's constant interference with the Central Bank of Turkey activity in the form of too low interest rate (so called “unorthodox economic policy”).

No, all those are just consequences. Presidents and their economic advisors confuse cause and effect and cannot see the forest behind the trees.

A wrong attitude toward money has taken root all over the world and in Turkey, in particular. Apparently because of a lack of understanding the basics.

Money is the universal equivalent and the lifeblood of the economy of a family, a business, or a state. It was invented many thousands of years ago for a trade, making it possible to compare different goods and services in different places at different times. Now this blood is a "surrogate" because money has lost its intrinsic value and inflated with a thin air.

The universal equivalent must not change considerably in time and space, otherwise it is impossible to compare different goods and services. That is why money has always been tied to something of value - usually gold, silver, and other precious metals. In the beginning, money was simply made of these metals, which filled it with intrinsic value and everything was clear and convenient.

However, in 1971, US President Nixon decoupled USD from gold. His colleagues in many countries around the world did the same (the last was Switzerland in 2000) and all countries have moved to backed with nothing fiat money which could be issued easily, uncontrollably and endlessly.
Hidden inflation is an increase in money supply in an economy and all central banks do that more or less all the time. This is called “inflation targeting policy”. That is why the "surrogate" fiat money in the world is now poorly performing its main functions: it has become inconvenient as medium of exchange, unit of account and completely lost its meaning as medium of store of value because of its constant depreciation by inflation.

The essence of high inflation in Turkey (as well as it is in any other country) is the constant emission of “surrogate” money by the national bank in the form of cheap loans, and everything else is a consequence of this main cause. Mr. Erdogan has given out too many loans made out of a thin air to his farmers, etc., and that inflated the economy with superfluous money and devalued Turkish lira 10 times over 10 years. He doesn't understand that. Neither do his economists. They can only think within the limits of what they have been taught - to conduct inflation targeting policy according to the teaching of J.M. Keynes and depreciate the country's money at a rate of about 2% a year. This level is considered to be “healthy” for the economy and the maintenance of low unemployment. All central banks follow this doctrine - in the US, Great Britain, EU, China, and Turkey as well.

Raising interest rates makes loans more expensive and it is a method of slowing down the economy when inflation has already been created by the country's national bank and was accelerating to dangerous limits. Modern economic science does not seem to know any other methods against inflation.

Turkey will keep moving towards economic collapse alone and faster (Erdogan) or in the company of other countries and slower (Kilicdaroglu).

Thus, both Mr. Erdogan and Mr. Kılıcdaroglu do not see the cause of inflation which means neither of them is able to deal with it. The only difference, in my opinion, is that Mr. Kılıcdaroglu 's wrong methods are considered correct and welcomed by all economists, while President Erdogan's wrong methods are not.

The second round of elections will be most likely won by Mr. Erdogan and the Turks will encourage in this way his economic policy, too. In my opinion, this is wrong voting, but it is right and choice (or blindness and stupidity) of the Turks.

By the way, if Mr. Kilicdaroglu wins the election, there will be little difference from Mr. Erdogan's economic policy. The opposition allows the Central Bank of Turkey to raise the interest rate, but it will not restrict the issuance of superfluous money and thus stop inflation. That just slows down the economy, similarly to what many countries do, the fall of Turkish lira will slow down a little, too, but not stop. Politically Mr. Kilicdaroglu's policy would be slightly more pro-Western, more pro-Kurdish and less pro-Russian.

Mr. Erdogan as the new-old president will surely keep on giving out "surrogate" loans and not raising the interest rate, being encouraged by the will of the majority that elected him. This will lead the country to economic disaster sooner, after which there is a chance for insight, rethinking and possible rebirth of the nation, so it’s hard to say who of the two pretenders is better at the helm of the country.

The election of Mr. Kilicdaroglu as president is also a bad choice, but it is slower path and gradual financial degradation of the country. However, this will happen in the company of many other countries, and thus it is not so scary.

2024 Russian presidential election is “do or die” situation against the backdrop of Putin's war in Ukraine where those who elected him in 2018 were paying for their choice.

Similarly, no one is forcing the Russians to vote for Mr. Putin, but they have been doing that since 2000s. The next presidential election in Russia (often jokingly referred to as "Putin's election") is scheduled for March 2024.

Yes, of course, the election fraud does exist in Russia, but in the US there is also the "gerrymandering", for example, which is also a way to rig votes… Unfortunately, millions of the Russians do really vote for Mr. Putin. It is impossible to falsify millions of votes. It is not even necessary, because many people vote out of wrong seeing, misunderstanding, habit, or simply because they are told on TV that it’s time to vote.

I know a family in the US from Russia. They are decent, intelligent, pleasant people with two girls. I happened to meet the mother of this family in 2018. She has just returned from Russia and mentioned to me she had voted for Putin in the presidential election there. I asked her why she voted just for Mr. Putin. Her answer was simple: "And who else?” Then I asked her just in case - isn't there any other worthy person for this position among 145 million of Russian citizens? She only smiled a little and shrugged her shoulders. Thus, the current bloody war in Ukraine is going on partially because of the careless voting of this decent and intelligent woman, the mother of 2 nice girls. If I told her so, she would probably answer that she had nothing to do with it, and might even be offended, but that was the case from my perspective.

Many Russian people have consciously or carelessly elected Mr. Putin as president several times, and now he is at war in Ukraine to make the world to recognize him (well, and Russia, of course, too) as “the great” ones. Mr. Putin is using in this war the tool he has - the Russian people, and those who elected him last time in 2018 are now dying in Ukraine for his idée fixe. Well... That's how the choice works. Everyone has to pay for their choices.

And this woman's husband is lucky - he lives in the US and therefore will not die in Ukraine after his wife's indifferent voting in 2018. I haven't seen them since then.

Mr. Putin has put himself and Russia in a "do or die" situation. If he, with the help of China, somehow manages to negotiate peace with Ukraine, leaving Crimea and the seized territories of the Ukrainian southeast for him until March 2024 - he will present that as a victory and the Russians will elect him president again, but he needs to hurry up. If he fails, he will not win the 2024 election even with all possible falsifications. The collapse of the myth about "great Russia", its "great" Tsar-President and heavy losses in Ukraine will blow up the country from within which means he has to appoint a successor and disappear now, before it’s too late.

A tough choice for Americans in 2024 for a fast (Trump) or slow (Biden) breakdown of the country.

The right choice is quite obvious for the Turks in May 2023 – Mr. Erdogan failed to run the country properly and should be re-elected, but half of the voters do not see/want to see that anyway and still vote for the incumbent president.

The Russians have an unclear and therefore a harder choice in March 2024 - is it about Mr. Putin who is doing so bad or the hostile West which is doing so good? In their mind, thanks to Mr. Putin's propaganda, the great, misunderstood and naïve Russia is rising from its knees again, having been forced to start the war in Ukraine against the entire insidious West. Russian people have always looked down on other nations and do not yet see that the main reason for this bloody war and their deaths is the immense ambitions of their elected ruler, Mr. Putin. The only thing that can clarify the Russian people's seeing, understanding, and perhaps induce a repentance is the total defeat of Putin's Russia in the war. The Russians themselves need this defeat more than anyone else.

Americans in November 2024 have a much harder choice than Turks or Russians.

There are two warring clans and decision-making centers in the US, not one like in Turkey or Russia. So, there is no one person (party) to blame for the failures in the US - Democrats and Republicans are constantly pointing the finger at each other. As long as the half of Americans believe that Democrats are better than Republicans (and vice versa) there will be no change in the country because 1) both parties do not know what to do with the accumulated problems, and 2) the sides are roughly equally powerful and pulling the country in the opposite directions. America is stuck in a political feud, tensions are rising, and Americans themselves may tear the country apart in the future. No one else is able to do that.

The US is not involved in a war now like Russia, and the US inflation is much lower than in Turkey. Extreme circumstances quickly reveal all the weaknesses and strengths of any leader/state and expose the truth. That's why it's so much harder for the Americans to vote correctly, they'll probably make a mistake again and have every right to do so. The people of the US also constantly vote for the "lesser evil" and their choice does not change the direction of the country, so the problems are appreciably piling up. That is why I often write about the country’s moving towards its breakdown regardless of which party is at the helm.

I can tell to those who think that the US "is too big to fail": big countries and big international businesses are going to be the first to collapse. Why? The larger the country or business is, the worse the internal ties work and the more internal problems appear. Any system with broken internal ties is not viable and at some point falls apart into several more viable parts, like an overgrown cell naturally divides into two smaller cells in our body.

The inevitable US default could unexpectedly interfere with the course of events.

Also, a predictable and big financial crisis can happen in the US any time. I am referring here to the "sword of Damocles" that has long been hanging over the heads of all Americans and about which I have already written in some detail.

This deepening crisis is about the regular need to raise the US national debt ceiling legislatively. Earlier, Democrats and Republicans have somehow agreed on this issue, but since about 2016, both parties openly hated each other and would not agree at some point. That is why a default of the US federal government is bound to happen, though each time everyone hopes it will be “not tomorrow”. The next "not tomorrow" for the US is set on June 1, 2023. The consequence of disagreement between two main US parties will be a major financial US and global crisis, the end of the USD as the world's reserve currency and the subsequent breakdown of the US into separate states. Some financiers call that “financial Armageddon». The parties have not yet agreed as of May 24, but they were close to an agreement. Another increase in the national debt ceiling simply postpones the global financial crisis indefinitely.

The federals will not give up their permanent living in debt and the inflation targeting policy, which devalues the US dollar around the world. So, the Americans in 2024 will face the same choice between "bad and fast" and "bad and slow" path to collapse, just like it is now in Turkey, if there will be no earlier default of the US federal government.

If the Americans elect Mr. Trump (he will most likely be the RP nominee) as the president in 2024, he will quickly escalate conflicts between the major parties, their followers, and break the country into separate states, I think, during his presidency. The most important thing here is that the well-armed American voters can turn their right to free speech guaranteed by 1 Amendment into a civil war. The good news here is that each state's infrastructure is there in working condition, so the transition will be somewhat unexpected, but not hard, if it doesn't come down to shooting the political opponents.

If the Americans elect Mr. Biden in 2024 (and he is likely to be nominated by the DP), the country will continue its policy of accumulating debt and depreciating its currency with the help of constant inflation which will also gradually exacerbate internal conflicts and tear the US apart, but later.

In any case, the Americans will wonder after how and why such a powerful country collapsed and will be very upset about it. I saw that in Ukraine after the collapse of the USSR. The answer is: it is because the political leadership of the US (both DP and RP) leads the country in the wrong direction (or rather, they do not know where to go), and the people of the US, like the people of Turkey and Russia, do not see that and are not even interested in it.

No one forces the Americans to vote for DP or RP. The people are free to make their own conscious choices and armed well enough to stand up for them. All that is missing is the right seeing and understanding of what the country (means you personally) needs. That’s why every nation deserves its rulers. Actually, they are mirrors. It can’t be otherwise.

P.S. Dear Reader! I am very much interested in your opinion on the subject of this article. Please, write a comment or ask a question if you want to clarify something.
Igor Chykalov
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