Count on Russian thinkers to formulate imaginative theories that no sensible person could believe. Proud of their distinctive style of doing philosophy, social theory, mathematics, and even hard science, Russians repeatedly breach the bounds of common sense. Sometimes they make important discoveries, but they more often produce sheer nonsense, closer to science fiction than to science.

Russia has given the world its greatest novels, but no one admires its economy. And as Michel Eltchaninoff observes in his recent book, Lenin Walked on the Moon: The Mad History of Russian Cosmism, it offers visionary schemes, not practical improvements.1 There is no Russian Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs. When was the last time you bought something made in Russia?...


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