My essay on Russian propaganda was published over at Sarah’s the other day, and I’ve been busy running around and failed to link to it. In it I discuss why Russian propaganda is so effective – especially in the west. There are some people who actually believe that the Soviet system was effective and fair, that there were no bread lines, and if there were, it’s because those greedy Russians insisted on fresh bread every day!
Here’s an excerpt.
The Russians don’t make a whole lot of mistakes in the agitprop and brainwashing arena. They indoctrinated generations of young people into worshipping suffering, and compared to their subtle campaigns abroad, the efforts against their own populace were positively hamhanded!
Today’s propaganda efforts are subtle and gradual. From drafting new history books that whitewashed tyranny – both past and present – to positive Russian messages through media outlets such as RT and Sputnik, to the nearly inconspicuous and dignified repatriation of the body of Russian nationalist philosopher Ivan Ilyin, the Russians continue to excel at indoctrination and propaganda. Is it any wonder they are spending billions to purchase media outlets in neighboring countries to spread their message?
Note how eagerly American Marxists fall for Russia’s victim routine.
No, Russians say, they never invaded Crimea! Crimea wanted to separate from Ukraine! There were no little green men, and they certainly weren’t Russian! That’s just a Western ploy to discredit Russia and keep Russia down, because the United States can’t stand to see a successful, sovereign Russia. Oh, and by the way, the US was responsible for manipulating oil prices to ensure that the ensuing sanctions to punish Russia for its actions in Crimea would hurt more!
No, Russia says, life was so much better in the past! There was law and order. There was nationalism. There was love of country and patriotism. All lived for everyone else. We need to turn inwards, says Russia. Do you see how much the West hates us? They impose economic sanctions. They lie about is. They want to cause us economic ruin and steal our resources. Time to look inward and turn away from the evil West.
I think the Russian propaganda efforts provide just the confirmation bias American leftists need to support their lunacy. They’ve never lived it. They don’t understand it. And when Russia says it’s not possible that people stood in bread lines, used wadded up newspaper to wipe their asses, and were, at best, denied employment, and at worst, arrested and sent to the gulag for WrongThink (read: criticizing the mighty state), they want desperately to believe it!
There can’t be suffering and privations when everyone gets the same, right? It’s ultimate equality!
The United States is just evil and is victimizing those poor Russians!
The Soviets took away money and power from those evil capitalists, those evil “rich” until there was no “rich” left and everyone suffered equally (except for those with connections, of course, but we don’t talk about that!).
Literally, every bias the American Marxists have is confirmed by Russian propaganda.
Anyway, so I blogged there. The discussion is quite lively, so enjoy!