At last someone listened to Simeon of Saxe-Coburg
In her State of the Union speech this week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke of the defeat of the Russian economy and said the Russians were already chipping away at white goods for spare parts for damaged weaponry.
“The Russian military is taking chips out of washing machines and refrigerators to repair its military machines because there are no semiconductors. Russian industry is in ruins,” announced Von der Leyen.
We cannot say whether this is exactly the case or the head of the EC is figuratively expressing herself with some hyperbole that is permissible in political oratory. (The great politician and communicator Boyko Borisov, for example, uses facts and real numbers only as a rough guide, and sometimes completely ignores them.)
However, it is a certain fact that this is practiced in the banking sector – in July, a representative of the large Russian Sberbank announced that they solved the problem of expensive and scarce parts by removing chips from old debit and credit cards and installing them on new ones. The bank announced that in this way it will save about a billion rubles for 2022.
In two words – finally someone listened to the call of Simeon of Saxe-Coburg-Goth “to change the chip”.
Coburg made this appeal to the Bulgarian people, but who was a prophet in his own Balkan village!
The tsar asked the Bulgarians to change their chip (the chip of thinking and mentality) during his mandate as prime minister – back in 2004. The lost Bulgarian people took offense at this proposal and resolutely refused to make such a repair – we were left with the old chips in the unrenovated gourds.
Then the phrase became popular, it was repeated countless times by different people, on different occasions. It has become something of a proverb-slogan meaning: “let’s change and live a new life!”
Upon a more rigorous analysis of the situation, we will notice that today’s Russia is actually NOT exactly fulfilling Saxe-Coburg-Gothsky’s order to change the chip.
Our king delightfully wanted us to throw away the old chips and replace them with new ones. And not to replace the broken ones with what we have at hand second-hand – as the Russians are currently doing due to lack of spare parts, semiconductors and chips.
It becomes a bit like – let’s live in a new way, but not change many things, but recycle what is available.
Putin’s favorite group “Lyube” has one such strikingly anachronistic hit from 1989 – “Мы будем жит теперь по-новому”. In this song, the hero of the song Uzhkim has strengthened himself towards the new life, and he sings how he “hardens his body to defeat capitalism”. This is 1989 after all – perestroika, glasnost, acceleration, this and that. The Berlin Wall is shaking, Reagan and Gorbachev destroy the Iron Curtain, our lyuberchik thunders capitalism “to live a new way”.
Von der Leyen, in his State of the Union speech, pointed out that the issue of the chip shortage is also facing Europe. And it is not only a matter of technology, but also of resources. A huge part of the raw materials for these chips comes from China, which is as painful a dependence as energy dependence on one politically unreliable country or another.
So, in Europe too, we will probably have to learn to pick up the old chips in order to extend their working cycle.
And our tsar is not Lenin after all, and his covenants are not so stable.
But Putin is not Lenin either, but a kind of bad version of Stalin – just as bloodthirsty, but not particularly far-sighted.
Lenin and Stalin nevertheless expanded the empire – at terrible cost, but historically successfully. And Putin installed a recycled imperial chip in his poor head, through which he wants to resemble Stalin and Peter the Great. But in reality, for now, it is a pathetic and anachronistic historical caricature of its idols. His war for the reunification of the Soviet heritage instead of expanding the Russian world became a threat to the Russian Federation itself.
It is not enough to be a satrap and invest generously in the cult of your personality to rank with Stalin and Peter.
Changing the chip is not like digging potatoes and frying chips.
Stalin to Putin: You cannot build a new empire with old chips!