Putin’s Propaganda, Part II
|Putin may or may not be a “neo-Stalinist” but he surely projects some of the
elements of Stalinism: the cult of personality for one, the reliance on
state-controlled media propaganda, not to mention the Kremlin-funded youth
group, Nashi, whose leaders’ emails were hacked by Anonymous and an entire
network of rather well-paid internet fakes supporting the regime was revealed.
Of course, Putin is not as brutal as Stalin, nor is he a communist, hence
the prefix “neo” which is a catch-all label that can mean anything to anybody
and is a favourite of bloggers everywhere (including yours truly). His support
for more traditionally styled Stalinist regimes in Libya and Syria, while
insisting the growing dissent to his autocratic rule within Russia is
“instigated by the West”, an implicit call to Russian nationalism, makes a sort
of coherence to the point of the debunked propaganda, too.
Artful propaganda depicts the truth, spun in a way that supports the beliefs
and stokes the self-righteousness of its intended audience while attempting to
discredit and dampen the beliefs of the opposing view.
Unfortunately for the ranker of the more populist propagandists, such as we
saw in World War II with Tokyo Rose, the effect of propaganda on the opponents
is often opposite of what is intended. This irony has been confirmed for us once
again in Syria.
So, yes, the essay I presented in Part I was easily debunked by an alert
If I used labels when posting, Part I would fit under “ironic satire,” as it
was mostly aimed at the “neo-Stalinist” pseudo-leftists of the blogosphere who
are currently beside themselves ranting against western intervention in Syria
while gathering their “news” from Russia Today, a Kremlin owned media outlet
that presents pure propaganda in support of the Assad Regime.
Remember that a large segment of the American Communist Party in the 1930s
“Monarchic dynasty” would aptly describe both the Ghadafi and Assad regimes,
which are propagandised as vaguely socialist governments for the people, when
they clearly are in fact corrupt state capitalist entities that used violent
repression of dissent not just since the Arab Spring but for decades, in order
to maintain control of the country and wealth for an elitist, imperialist
bourgeoisie surrounding the autocrats and their families.
Actually, I don’t believe veering into an argument about whether Putin is a
neo-Stalinist or not holds much meaning, in any event. There is plenty enough to
debate about his very real autocratic cult of personality, his heavy use of
propaganda, his appeal to Russian nationalism, his support for a truly
neo-Stalinist Regime in Syria, and a certain tendency among certain so-called
leftists internet addicts to wish to believe everything they read that supports
their own biased (and dangerous, IMHO) duped and spun belief about what is
occurring in Syria, specifically, and the Middle East generally. This tendency
among certain bloggers, too, has been termed “neo-Stalinist.”
Anti-authoritarian regime dissent is even bubbling to the surface in the
US/Western Europe and Russia, slowly but surely. Can a protest movement of
strength even gain solid footing in the power centres of China?