Eternal Maidan – Three Sources, Three Components


Eternal Maidan – Three Sources, Three Components

November 14, 2018

By Rostislav Ishchenko

Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
cross posted with

In Ukraine there is talk about the first Maidan, the second Maidan, a future Maidan, and an aborted Maidan (“Ukraine without Kuchma” event). Politicians, political scientists, journalists, and already even scientific historians (if it is possible to call as such the people representing Ukrainian historical science) discuss the quantity of Maidans in the history of the “European nation”, as well as their correct periodisation and world-wide/ historical value.

This is good and correct. An exact definition of the quantity and quality of Maidans – both realised and not realised ones, both peaceful and not peaceful coup attempts – indeed allows us to come to global generalisations, and to define – being accurate within one year – the exact moment when the US transitioned to a regime of a confrontation with Russia (without reporting about it officially yet). Consequently, when the “multi-vector policy” stopped to suit them (we will note, a quite pro-American multi-vector policy), which is characteristic not only for Ukraine, but also for all the post-Soviet space.

This is a very important moment of a strategic geopolitical U-turn. It is precisely the decision of the US not to drag things out, biding their time for when Russia suffocates from their “friendly” embraces, but to finish it off within the framework of a direct and open confrontation, having created a belt of hatred along its borders out of the former Soviet republics, that gave Moscow the chance to do a U-turn in a lost geopolitical game in its own favour, which Russia was able to take advantage of, despite all the scantiness of this chance.

The creation of a belt of hatred demanded to remove the compromising (from the point of view of the domestic policy of the relevant states) “multi-vector” regimes and to replace them with radical nationalist, “Euro-Atlantic”, forces, whose representatives didn’t enjoy special popularity in their own countries. It wasn’t a question of the elites of post-Soviet states being against integration into NATO and the EU, but of radical contradictions between semi-marginal groups of “ideologists”, who fed themselves from American grants and in principle weren’t interested in the economy, and the emerging national oligarchy, which fed itself from the national economy, desired to control the domestic market, and had some interests and ambitions in foreign markets – in particular, the Russian market.

Creeping “suffocation from embraces” assumed taking into account the interests of the national oligarchy. Such “taking into account” excluded a transition to a forced offensive on Russia. National economies should have been sacrificed for the nationalist ideological mobilisation of the peoples against Russia.

It was possible to achieve success in such a situation only by a coup. But the open putsch of marginals would be suppressed by the authorities and wouldn’t be supported by the world community. That’s why it was necessary to mask it under a color “people’s revolutions”. Nevertheless, the coming to power of radical nationalist-russophobes was so destructive for the interests of local elites that in most cases the coup didn’t take place, and pathetic attempts were easily suppressed by the authorities, despite the sluggish protests of the “civilised world”.

The coups succeeded in separate cases, but even here in most cases the old elites were able to preserve control over the situation and also the “multi-vector” strategy. Only in Georgia and Ukraine did Russophobic regimes (Saakashvili and Yushchenko) remain in power for a long time. But in the end Saakashvili’s regime in Georgia fell, and his successors are quite “multi-vector” russophobes. Whereas in Ukraine Yushchenko’s regime, having degraded in five years towards full marginality and having lost power, was again revived in 2014 in the form of a direct radical nationalist dictatorship, which was carelessly veiled with the pseudo-democratic regime of Poroshenko.

Now the new “opposition” tries to unite against Petro Poroshenko on the basis of this same “multi-vectorism”. And it seems that they are having some success. But here it is a question of changing the person who is the president and about firing several dozens (or maybe only several) of his closest employees, who have compromised themselves too much by their proximity to the criminal regime. It isn’t at all a question about changing the principles of governance. They speak about the need for reconciliation with Russia, but not about recognising the Russian status of Crimea. They speak about terminating the war, but not about recognising the People’s Republics of Donbass as equal partners in negotiations on solving the crisis. But there is no talk about condemning the coup or about holding accountable those who violated the constitution and the laws of the country, committed massacres and illegal arrests, humiliated people, used the army against their own people, and bombed and shelled their own cities. They also don’t oppose the plans to create a local church. The “opposition” is “anti” only Poroshenko and corruption – because it is connected to Poroshenko, and “pro” everything being like it was before the coup, but without a revision of the political results of the coup.

We can ascertain that irrespective of whether or not the “opposition” appeals to the East (BoykoRabinovich) or to the West (Tymoshenko), whether or not it has a pro-American (Yatsenyuk), pro-European (Klitschko), or pro-Russian (Medvedchuk) reputation, we are dealing with the opposition of Maidan, and not the opposition to Maidan. They fight not against the results of the coup, but for the power in the country created by this coup. They – being in the center of events, unlike many Russian experts, who consider that Ukraine becomes stronger – directly say that the state crumbles and not very optimistically estimate the timeframe of the final disintegration. They understand that the resource for the stabilisation of the situation and the preservation of statehood is situated in Russia, and they want to receive this resource, but at the same time not refuse any of Maidan’s “gains”.

They are ready to sacrifice Poroshenko. But not because Poroshenko somehow doesn’t govern the country as he should. Ultimately, today’s oppositionists to the “corrupt regime” have had serious parliamentary representation. For more than two years Poroshenko hasn’t been able to implement his initiatives via the Rada without the support of the opposition, i.e., the opposition has a formal parliamentary majority, albeit non-united and non-structured. The head of the government also pursues a rather independent policy, and the decisions of the Cabinet of Ministers are influenced more by Avakov’s position than Poroshenko’s. The sources of the influence of the president are the Ministry of Defence, the SBU, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Prosecutor-General’s Office. This is enough in order to remain in power, but it isn’t enough to pursue an independent policy.

They are ready to gift Poroshenko’s head to Moscow simply because they themselves need his removal, but removing his head is better. I.e., they want to pay for this support with what they will do anyway – because if it’s not they who will remove him, then it will be he who will remove them. And moreover, it’s not a question of support in the course of elections. They perfectly understand that if they won’t be able to resolve the issue of power in Ukraine by their own efforts, then nobody will help them – neither Russia, nor the US, nor the EU. It is about massive financial-economic support (by granting credits, financing joint production projects, and opening Russian markets for Ukrainian production) for the new government.

In fact, the Ukrainian “opposition” hopes that Russia will financially support a neomaidan government in exchange for its main face being replaced. At the same time, since the issue of power after a coup is resolved not by voting, but by armed support, the “opposition” needs to obtain support or at least the neutrality of nationalist (legal and illegal) armed formations. First of all, this concerns Biletsky, who already declared that since Tyagnibok refused to head the united right-wing radicals, it will be him (Biletsky) who will do it.

Biletsky controls the most numerous and branched structure, which includes, besides the “Azov” regiment, up to 10,000 reservists who have combat experience and who, thanks to accumulated stocks of illegal weapons, can be deployed in two-three brigades, with their own quasi-police formations present in every settlement from the district center and further and with a branched party structure leaning on public and youth organisations. At the moment he, apparently, tries to enter into an alliance with Tyagnibok, due to the influence of “Svoboda” in 3 Galician regions, and the only thing that is left for other right-wing radicals – including the once legendary Yarosh – to do is to join Biletsky as younger partners. In addition, he has Avakov’s support, and thus the Ministry of Internal Affairs too. Moreover, it is especially Avakov who is more interested in preserving interaction with Biletsky, i.e., the latter is rather free in his political gestures.

He already made his first demand. He wants the political system to legalise the carrying by his activists of the illegal military weapons collected by them. It is possible that this isn’t the only price of the neutrality of the extreme-right that he will demand to pay. Of course, it is possible to refuse him, and he will be refused on some points, but there will be an obligation to accept some of his conditions. And it means that the extreme-right will become stronger and more centralised at the back-end of the Ukrainian presidential campaign. Any government – be it old or new – will be forced to reckon with this.

Thus, Maidan – if to consider that it isn’t just the periodic festival of marginals on the central square of Kiev veiling a banal coup, but the steady movement of Ukraine along the way of more and more Russophobic and more and more terroristic regimes emerging – will be continued after these elections, irrespective of their results. Maidan in Ukraine is in general eternal. It started before the declaration of independence (“revolution on granite”) and it will exist for some time after the disappearance of the Ukrainian state, irrespective of whether it will be divided, absorbed, or will simply collapse into many small “gulyai-pole” [power changing hands frequently – ed] and Malinovka.

Three sources, three components feed the Eternal Ukrainian Maidan, which is the prerequisite for, as well as the symbol and sense of, the existence of independent Ukraine:

  1. Non-professionalism of the provincial bureaucracy, which turned out to be incapable of governing an independent state, fatally afraid of its own people and therefore feeling the need to transfer its sovereignty to an external manager, having become its vassal. Such a position initially excluded a union with Russia. Moscow possessed the situation in Ukraine too well and Kiev was afraid that it will demand too big a slice for protection.
  2. The inability of the oligarchy to transition from a burglarious economy to a productive one. Work in accordance with the scheme “stole-sold-stole” doomed not only the country, but also the oligarchy to the quick exhaustion of cash resources and the fight over dividing up what remains, and thus – a split in the elites and their inability to effectively defend state interests. Finally, this resulted in the purely Ukrainian theory that state interests as such are a myth.
  3. Concentration of the people on consumer expectations. The independence of Ukraine, the plans of “European integration”, all Maidans, and a confrontation with Russia were considered by the people as a certain mystical action, after which capitalist communism – when nobody works, but “to each according to his needs” – will immediately come.

Of course, in Ukraine there were sensible managers, gifted politicians, talented businessmen, and simply a mass of adequate people. But the idea of independence is the idea of Maidan, and the idea of Maidan consists of doing nothing but having everything. Independence dooms Ukraine to an Eternal Maidan. Any opposition in Kiev that comes out with whatever very beautiful slogans, but is “for” the preservation of independence, supports also the preservation of the Eternal Maidan.

But in Kiev there is no opposition that wouldn’t support independence. In 27 years such opposition was completely ousted from politics, and now it is being ousted also from life. Kiev fears even federalism like the plague, since it guarantees the fast end of independence. Regions will quickly figure out that nearby there are federal centers that serve the interests of their province much more qualitatively and cheaper.

That’s why during the approaching elections it will become a question not of the fight of Maidan vs. anti-Maidan (this fight was definitively lost by anti-Maidan in the spring of 2014), but only of the form of Maidan. But since neither the vector nor the principles of Ukraine’s development change, we can ascertain that having travelled – within the framework of the Eternal Maidan – the path from a soft nationalist democracy, through an oligarchical republic, to an oligarchical dictatorship leaning on the extreme-right, Ukraine moves towards a barefaced dictatorship of the extreme-right. The only question is will the state live long enough to see an extreme-right dictatorship or will it collapse earlier than it will be destroyed by this dictatorship that yearns for power in order to strengthen it [the state – ed].

The only thing that Ukrainian politicians can do to influence matters is to accelerate or slow down the processes leading towards the inevitable end that they can already see. They try to slow it down, but I think that for Ukraine it would be better to accelerate it, because it is that case when a horrible end is better than horror without an end.


الانقسام السياسي والتحذير من صعود الفاشية في أميركا

04 تشرين ثاني 15:53


رجالات المؤسسة الأمنية الأميركية أيضا يحملون مسؤولية التدهور الأمني لخطاب الرئيس ترامب الشعبوي والمفرط في السطحية. استضاف معهد الأمن القومي التابع لكلية الحقوق في جامعة جورج مايسون، بضواحي العاصمة واشنطن، جلسة حوارية مطلع الشهر الجاري حول “التهديدات والتحديات أمام المؤسسات الديموقراطية،” شارك فيها المدير السابق للاستخبارات الوطنية، جيمس كلابر، ومدير السي آي ايه الأسبق، مايكل هايدن. كلابر كأن أحد أهداف الطرود المتفجرة.

الحزب الجمهوري على أتم الجهوزية ليتحول إلى نسخة أميركية عن حزب (العدالة والقانون) البولندي الحاكم، مستغلاً نفوذه السياسي" الواسع

الحزب الجمهوري على أتم الجهوزية ليتحول إلى نسخة أميركية عن حزب (العدالة والقانون) البولندي الحاكم، مستغلاً نفوذه السياسي” الواسع

تمر أميركا بحالة استقطاب “غير مسبوقة منذ عدة عقود” بمطالبة الحزبين مؤيديهما من الناخبين بأوسع مشاركة في جولة الانتخابات التشريعية (النصفية) وبعض مناصب حكام الولايات: الحزب الجمهوري أرخى العنان للرئيس ترامب للمشاركة في الحملات الانتخابية مطلقاً وعوده وتهديداته في اتجاهات متعددة، والحزب الديموقراطي لا يزال خطابه حبيس هواجسه العدائية لروسيا علّها تنقذ إخفاقاته السياسية في التصدي الفاعل لسياسات الرئيس ترامب. أما جمهور الناخبين فيمضي لحشد وتنظيم معارضته للسياسات الإقصائية متوعداً بمعاقبة قاسية للطبقة الحاكمة في صناديق الاقتراع. بيد أن الجمهور الأميركي، بشكل عام، أرسل رسالة مدوية لصناع القرار حول حقيقة الخطر والتهديد القائم، وضاق ذرعاً بعد تعرض زبائن مطعم محلي في فلوريدا لحادث اطلاق نار دون مقدمات.

وكشفت يومية بوليتيكو، وهي نشرة محسوبة على تيار يمين الوسط الأميركي، عن نتائج استطلاع رأي فور وقوع الحادثة المشار اليها جاء فيه أن “58% من الناخبين اعتبروا ما جرى بأنه عنف سياسي،” توزعت النسبة على ذوي الميول للحزبين الديموقراطي والجمهوري، وحمّلت أغلبية من الناخبين “56% منهم المسؤولية للرئيس ترامب،” لاستنهاضه خطاب العداء والإقصاء وانقسام المجتمع وخرق الاتفاقيات الدولية مما عاد بالعزلة على الولايات المتحدة.

النائبة عن الحزب الديموقراطي، ماكسين ووترز، والتي كانت أحد أهداف الطرود المتفجرة، حفزت جمهور مؤيديها على “مواجهة أي مسؤول من الإدارة قد يرتاد مطعماً أو متجراً أو محطة وقود، ومحاصرته بحلقة من مؤيدين يتواجدون في المكان وإبلاغه رسالة مفادها أنه غير مرحب به في اي مكان بعد الآن.” أما الرئيس ترامب فقد أشاد بتوجيه نائب عن الحزب الجمهوري لكمة مباشرة لصحافي معتبراً التصرف نموذجاً “يمثلني.”

المؤسسة الإعلامية الأكبر، وهي شبكة سي أن أن للتلفزة، التي يكن لها الرئيس ترامب عداءً يردده في كل مناسبة ومن دون مناسبة، علقت في أحدى نشراتها الإخبارية على أحداث العنف السياسي بالقول إن “الرجل الأبيض” المدجج بالسلاح يشكل أكبر تهديد إرهابي على الولايات المتحدة، ووجهت النقد للجهات الرسمية لعدم “فرضها حظراً على الرجل الأبيض” المسلح.

رجالات المؤسسة الأمنية الأميركية أيضا يحملون مسؤولية التدهور الأمني لخطاب الرئيس ترامب الشعبوي والمفرط في السطحية.

استضاف معهد الأمن القومي التابع لكلية الحقوق في جامعة جورج مايسون، بضواحي العاصمة واشنطن، جلسة حوارية مطلع الشهر الجاري حول “التهديدات والتحديات أمام المؤسسات الديموقراطية،” شارك فيها المدير السابق للاستخبارات الوطنية، جيمس كلابر، ومدير السي آي ايه الأسبق، مايكل هايدن. كلابر كأن أحد أهداف الطرود المتفجرة.

كلابر حمل الرئيس ترامب المسؤولية المباشرة عن تنامي أحداث العنف “نظراً لأن مفردات خطابه لها دور مباشر في تجسيد نزعة التطرف .. وهي ليست بعيدة عما خبرته في التعامل مع تنظيمات مشابهة كداعش، الذي أتقن استخدام وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي لتجنيد عناصره،” في إشارة واضحة لمواقع التواصل التي تروج للخطاب العنصري والشعارات النازية في الداخل الأميركي.

وأضاف ساخراً من الرئيس ترامب “..استمرار العبقري المتزن في استنهاض نزعات من شأنها تأييد هذا النمط من التصرف، تقود إلى أننا مقبلون على تلقي مزيد من ذلك، وانا مقتنع بما أقول”.

هايدن في مداخلته شاطر زميله كلابر واستنتاجاته التي ذهب إليها في “.. تطابق مطالب المتشددين مع خطاب ينسجه رئيس الولايات المتحدة.”

الدوائر الرسمية والمسؤولون الأميركيون شديدوا الحرص على نفي وجود ظاهرة الفاشية في المجتمع، بخلاف بعض النخب والمفكرين البارزين.

وزيرة الخارجية الأميركية السابقة، مادلين اولبرايت، اصدرت كتاباً منتصف الصيف الماضي بعنوان مثير ومباشر الفاشية: تحذير، باللغتين الانكليزية والألمانية في وقت واحد، استعرضت فيه مراحل صعود الظاهرة وأفولها في اوروبا في القرن العشرين، كتيار سياسي مؤثر يتمتع بدعم شعبي داخل عدد من الدول الغربية بما فيها “بريطانيا والولايات المتحدة نفسها؛” محذرة من عودة الحركة الفاشية لسابق عهدها، وأنه “.. ليس هناك ما يمنع تدحرج الأمور مجدداً إلى تلك الهوة المظلمة.” ووصفت الرئيس ترامب وما يمثله بأنه “أول رئيس معادٍ للديموقراطية في التاريخ الأميركي بأكمله.”
تحذيرات اولبرايت وآخرين لها ما يدعمها من وقائع حية في مجمل الدول الغربية أبرزها “الانقسامات وحالات الاستقطاب .. وتفاوت الفرص والمنافع الاقتصادية دون أفق لتقليصها حتى على المدى المتوسط.” وشددت في تحذيرها على صعود “السياسيين الشعبويين إلى مواقع السلطة” وخطابهم المؤثر “عبر التلاعب والخداع” وتوجيه الأنظار نحو “عدو متخيل” دون التقدم بحلول حقيقية للأزمات البنيوية.

لهجة التحذير المشار إليها أخذت بعين الاعتبار صعود رمز “ومبشر الفاشية” في الإدارة الأميركية، ستيف بانون، الذي احتفظ بلقب “مستشار رئاسي للشؤون الاستراتيجية؛” ومضى لنشر افكاره في أوروبا، بعد اعفائه من منصبه في البيت الأبيض، عبر مؤسسة سياسية وفكرية، أسماها “الحركة،” ترمي لإطلاق ثورة شعبوية يمينية حاضنتها الاحزاب اليمينية الراديكالية، لتشجيع اليمين المتطرف في اوروبا الوصول إلى مراكز السلطة، كانت أولى ثمارها صعود رئيس وزراء يميني في ايطاليا، جوزيبي كونتي.

التحذير من صعود الفاشية الأميركية تناوله الخبير الاقتصادي الحائز على جائزة نوبل، بول كروغمان، في مقال نشره في يومية نيويورك تايمز، منتصف أيلول/ سبتمبر 2018، قائلا “..إن الحزب الجمهوري على أتم الجهوزية ليتحول إلى نسخة أميركية عن حزب (العدالة والقانون) البولندي الحاكم، مستغلاً نفوذه السياسي” الواسع. وأوضح أن الولايات المتحدة في نسختها السياسية الراهنة “.. تعاني من نفس الأعراض العنصرية البيضاء التي تجتاح العالم، والذي استطاع تدمير الديموقراطية في دول غربية أخرى، ونحن قريبون من نقطة اللاعودة.”

التحذير جاء أيضاً على لسان أحد أبرز “مفكري” المحافظين الجدد من اليمين الأميركي، روبرت كاغان، في غمرة حملات الانتخابات الرئاسية الماضية قائلاً “.. الحركات الفاشية لا تتجسد في فراغ ما لم تتوفر لها ايديولوجية متماسكة .. الفاشية لا تنجح (بالبرامج) السياسية فحسب، بل في التفافها حول رجل قوي، باستطاعته التغلب على أي تهديد دون الاضطرار إلى شرح كيف يتم ذلك.” (واشنطن بوست، 18 أيار/مايو 2016)
لعل السؤال المنطقي عند هذا المفصل يتمحور حول مدى “تجاوب” وتناغم مرشحي الانتخابات النصفية مع الخطاب الفاشي. في زمن وفرة المعلومات وآليات التدقيق الفوري لا يستعصى على المرء استكشاف تصريحات متعددة لمرشحين “عن الحزب الجمهوري” تفوح منها العنصرية وتمجد “العنصر الأبيض.”

أحدهم مرشح لمقعد نيابي عن ولاية كارولينا الشمالية، راسل ووكر، أعلن أنه “لا ضير في أن يكون المرء عنصريا.” (الوكالة الفرنسية، 30 تموز/يوليو 2018). ولعل ما يضاعف منسوب القلق حضور المرشح الجمهوري عن ولاية ويسكونسن، بول نيلن، والذي من المتوقع أن يتسلم منصب رئيس مجلس النواب خلفاً لسلفه المتقاعد عن الولاية عينها، بول رايان، في حال احتفظ الحزب الجمهوري بأغلبية مقاعد مجلس النواب.

نيلن يصنفوه مؤيدوه ومناوئيه على السواء بأنه ركن موثوق لتيار اليمين المتطرف – اليمين البديل، ينتظر ممارسة دوره القيادي ليمنح امتيازات عالية “للقوميين البيض” وتعيينهم في مناصب سياسية وثقافية حساسة. المرشح الجمهوري لعضوية مجلس الشيوخ عن ولاية فرجينيا، كوري ستيوارت، أثنى على زميله نيلن ووصفه بأنه “أحد ابطالي الشخصيين.” تزامن تقييم توجهات (نيلن) العنصرية مع ارتفاع معدل حوادث استدعاء الشرطة من قبل “اميركيين بيض .. يشتكون فيها من حضور أفراد ذوي بشرة داكنة” وهم يقومون بأداء اعمال اعتيادية، أدت في إحدى +المناسبات إلى اقتياد الشرطة لشابين أسودين مكبلين بالسلاسل من داخل مقهى “ستاربكس” كان يجلسان فيه بوضعية عادية

علماء الاجتماع الأميركي مولعون بنظرية “ستراس – هاو العابرة للأجيال” لتعقب الازمات والتكهن بالمستقبل؛ والتي ترتكز على فرضية أن التاريخ البشري يتحرك وفق أربع “حقبات متتالية” تشكل دائرة كاملة من التطور. ما يهمنا في هذا الشأن “الحلقة الرابعة،” والتي توصف بحقبة الأزمات من خصائصها انتشار “.. الفوضى السياسية، الانقسام، التآكل الاجتماعي والاقتصادي” مما يحفز فئات المجتمع الأميركي على التغول والتطرف. أما نهاية “الأزمة” لن تتأتى إلا بعد نشوب نزاع شامل يؤدي بالأميركيين إلى التوحد “اضطراريا” وبناء مستقبل أفضل

حالة الانقسام الحادة والتطرف المنتشرة في مناخ الانتخابات “النصفية” لها ما يبررها وفق النظرية أعلاه. فالمتشددون على جانبي التجاذب السياسي سيرفضون بقوة نتائج الانتخابات، خاصة وان الاتهامات بالتزوير لاحت بوادرها منذ الساعات الاولى لتطبيق “التصويت المبكر،” في عدد من الدوائر الانتخابية. وكلما كانت النتائج النهائية متقاربة بين الفريقين ستتعزز فرص اندلاع العنف والاقصاء تحصد ضحايا جدد من كافة الفئات الاجتماعية والتوجهات السياسية.

‘Cost-Push’ Narrative Formation in the Trump Era

October 31, 2018

‘Cost-Push’ Narrative Formation in the Trump Era

In his 1928 landmark book Propaganda, public relations pioneer and Goebbelsian trailblazer Eddie Bernays offered what amounts to a disingenuous assertion at best:

“It is important that any effort to influence or effect the American public that is not in the public interest be killed by the light of pitiless publicity and analysis.”

Immediately, the statement begs two questions:

  • What if the American public decides at the ballot box that what passes for the prevailing public interest (really a manufactured imposition) runs counter to its own version of said interest?
  • Who orchestrates the “pitiless publicity” aimed at killing competing visions of the “public interest” and by what authority do they undertake this mission?

Bernays references the ‘who’ elsewhere, albeit vaguely as, “…invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions… and shrewd persons operating behind the scenes.”

Conceivably a tug of war could ensue between two competing visions of the public interest; one vision expressed at the ballot box in the manner of direct democracy and the other emanating top-down from managed democracy’s “invisible rulers”.

For Bernays such a conflict would not represent an intractable impasse so much as a cue for redoubling the, “conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses”. After all, only intensified propagandizing efforts can correct the People’s ill-informed sense of the public interest. Undemocratic manipulation is, “an important element in democratic society” under Bernays’ weirdly circular formulation.

Of course self-determination is neither a path to infallibility nor a vaccine against public policy blunders. Direct Democracy merely makes the People the masters of their own fate, which is equally to say the captains of their own errors.

Bernays would have been better to say manipulation is a vital facet of a smoothly running Republic or Oligarchy, not so much a Democracy. His paternalistic subtext clearly reflects the former. Indeed another name for Managed Democracy is Republicanism (not to be confused with the political party of the same name).

A rough but effective analogy can be drawn from what serve normally as macroeconomic terms used to describe two varieties of inflation: Cost-Push and Demand-Pull. For an explanation of the traditional economic context of the terms, see here.

Applied to political narrative formation, Push is the bottom-up, propulsive force of the Will of the People. While Pull is the manipulative, diversionary desires of the Elite. Push is hard knocks and demonstrable scrapes. Pull is consciously engineered wishfulness harnessed to oligarchic solipsism, Empire objectives and atrophying noblesse oblige.

Popular consent should be organically derived and not subject to extrinsic manufacturing at all. Nor should its germination process be invaded by an externally fashioned agenda. The People should be the authors of their own consciousness. That’s the ideal anyway.

The Culture Industry’s mandate is steeped, from the outset, in inauthenticity and misdirection; or, as Theodor Adorno insisted, structurally inescapable insincerity. Through the endless propagation of false consciousness, Media is charged with convincing the People that the Pull is actually the Push. Sustaining this inversion has become a difficult task.

The Pull techniques are many and varied. Here are but a few:

The last chart addresses Russophobia. Anyone who’s walked past an American TV over the last two years can attest to a media obsession bordering on the manic; an intensity not shared by (nor successfully seeded within) the American public as evidenced by a July 2018 Gallup poll showing concern about Russia to be immeasurably unimportant (the issue garnered an * meaning less than 1%).

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein fed the sui generis racialist fires when he referred with casual malice to The Russians (wink-wink-nudge-nudge) in his February 16th indictment press conference for Concord Management officials who happened to be Russian nationals with no discernible state actor affiliation.

The farcical social media trolling charges relate to “spread[ing] distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general”, as if the American populace wasn’t already immersed in boatloads of domestically-inspired skepticism. Chances are slim the politically-motivated indictments (announced on a Friday in part to the get the Parkland, Florida shootings off the front page) will ever come to trial despite Concord’s heroic efforts to have their day in court (see 3:48 here).


Surely it surprises no one that Putin is simply too busy to plot subterfuge at every table of every Russian boardroom engaged in Stateside business. Attempting to dampen Western media’s impression of his fearsome omniscience, the Russian President had this to say at the Jul 16, 2018 Summit Joint Press Conference:

Today’s Russophobic dog whistles recall John Maynard Keynes’ 1932 assertion that Bolshevism sprang from, “some beastliness in the Russian nature”. Far from dispelling these beastly stereotypes, CNN reinforces them nightly for the ‘higher dual purpose’ of de-legitimizing the Trump Presidency and positioning Russia as the Military Industrial Complex’ Enemy of Requisite Budgetary Scale.

Attorney Alan Dershowitz has routinely decried the ACLU’s MIA status throughout the Trump Russia witch-hunt. The same can be said of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) whose charter states: “We fight anti-Semitism and all forms of hate.” We’re familiar with battles waged on behalf of the former, less so the latter. Here’s an opportune chance to engage on behalf of another besieged group.

Russian-Americans comprise 3.13 million people, a sizable population by any metric. Surely Russophobia (a dark retread of Nazism’s Anti-Slavism) warrants urgent attention. Blessed be the stoic forbearance of our Russian neighbors. One hopes it is a circumspection that will continue to go unpunished, though the Japanese and German internment camps that dotted WW2 America hardly inspire confidence.

Since at least Hillary Clinton’s Putin = Hitler equivalence-setting, the public consciousness has been in the grips of determined preparatory spadework for war with Russia. Frankly, the People are to be applauded for enduring the last two years of cognitive carpet-bombing with their disinterest and skepticism intact. Alas this failed impartation will not derail WW3. Rather it will cause the war to break out preemptively without the embedded pretext of settled consent. What cannot be consented to will occur nonetheless, leaving ‘new realities’ to compel the appropriate consent post-factum, that is, in a manner analogous to journalist Ron Suskind’s recounting of a 2004 quote attributed to Karl Rove:

“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

As we see in Syria and elsewhere this authorial prerogative is increasingly being shared by Russia in either a nascent reemergence of bipolarity or an interim way-station towards a multi-polar actor ensemble.

Another Pull variant is, as Nancy Pelosi so helpfully anatomized for us, the wrap-up smear. This is the technique of creating a false set of facts (the smear), “merchandising” the false fact pattern to the Media, then wrapping the smeared individual in the ensuing tar-and-feathery media glare until the former stops beating his or her spouse lately.

Of course the ensnared victim is obliged to continually reference the false facts if only to mount a self-defense. Perversely, righteous denial further reinforces the falsehoods through repetition. There is, as they say, no such thing as bad publicity if the purpose is to keep one’s name front-and-center, which in the case of a wrap-up smear, it most surely isn’t.

Again, the purpose is to pull the media consumer towards a desired narrative based on falsity and distortion. The news-maker advantages his or her podium to initiate news that only becomes news by virtue of a bully pulpit (one of the top-down trappings of power), and not by the inherent truth-value of ‘facts-on-the-ground’. Putin and Trump, the world’s most potent nationalists, are no strangers to being wrapped in deceptive, pejorative garb.

A crucial point to note is that both leaders enjoy the shared contempt of the globalists.  Putin’s favorability among Americans has been engineered down to 16%, 9% among collusion-besotted Democrats. Thus, while Russia is not a front-burner issue in US households, the Mackinder-MIC catastrophe of a US-Russia rapprochement is rendered all but verboten by these figures as detente would confirm extortioned compromise.

Viewed in this perma-war context, the establishment palpitations caused by Trump ‘being left alone’ with fellow loose cannon Putin make perfect, twisted sense. Suppose a powerful personal chemistry had erupted into a sudden outbreak of peaceful intentions between the two unchaperoned leaders? The prospects for WW3 might have lain in shards. Summit? What Summit? It’s practically been erased from the annals of geopolitics as was the proposed follow-on Summit in Washington. All that can be hoped for are dashed-off corridor meetings at future co-attended events.

Alas, this shell-game is breaking down in the Trump Era. Fake News is a more tactile, street-level term for false consciousness propagation. There’s little doubt Trump has a gift for branding.

The President is routinely accused of thinking in 220-character Twitter bytes, giving way to charges of truncated intelligence. There may be other reasons to doubt his intelligence. With Twitter, he is fulfilling the greater need of bypassing the Media filter for a communication path more consistent with the needs of direct democracy. The truncation is a non-rescindable feature of the Twitter platform itself.

The current Push-Pull narrative divergence –which has the opinion-shapers in conniptions– is on stark display in the recent Gallup vs. Media Research Center numbers (graphic at the bottom of this post). Surely 92% negative coverage evidences Bernay’s “pitiless publicity”.

Even after the desperate steps taken to shut down alt-media (and yes, desperate is the term), the divergence grows. The Media responds with ever more dislocating and lurid material. Bombs –or at least clocks resembling bombs– appear on Democrats’ doorsteps with eerie synchronicity.

A recursive self-consciousness has now infiltrated the system contributing further noise, not unlike how the pings of a too-high-octane fuel destroy the kayfabe experience (instilled by the car salesman) of a frictionless magic carpet-ride. The clunky mechanics of the process overwhelm the message itself.

The collective wisdom of the People has fully determined their passenger status in a vehicle driven by a malevolent chauffeur. Managed Democracy will be hard-pressed to recover their prior innocence.

The divergence also implodes the notion that the media is in any way reflective of the population it claims to derive its news from. Clearly the reportage has become prescriptive which is to say, not reportage at all. We’re not happy with the facts where we find them. Thus we will be moving them over here instead, beneath the canopy of our desired narrative.

The breakdown of the Pull hasn’t stopped the usual talking heads from pushing endlessly on strings deemed mission-critical by their managers. Like deer trapped in the klieg lights of an indiscernible new reality, they fumble along, in thrall to a dark comedy that takes its cues from absurd representations of untenable narratives.

Though opinions on Trump differ sharply, few can dispute his disruptive role in fomenting managed democracy’s narrative crisis, and for putting back onto its heels a myth-making prowess whose influence up until now had been considered unassailable.

Why might Trump be an authentic change agent, albeit one with a high probability of derailment or self-betrayal? Because the bifurcating narratives cannot be denied. If the divergence is real, the systemic stress must be equally real. Why, one has to ask, does the corporate press protesteth so much? Therein lies a telling litmus.

There’s a tendency to forget Trump’s formal political career is less than two years old and that he contends against a hostile, entrenched security-media complex seventy years in the making. Whether he is already capitulating to insuperable neoconservative power centers or is engaging in tactical ducks-and-feints cannot be confirmed either way. His post-midterm demeanor, and inevitable staffing changes, will reveal much. A verdict today is premature.

For the moment, we applaud small mercies and encouraging signs…

A breakaway bloc now exists in America along the lines of the red pill, blue pill demarcation. Many have been ‘dispelled’. Let us hope more can Push away from the master’s table forever.


The US Cyber Command has launched an offensive against Russia by Ruslan Ostashko

Via The Saker

Latvia Bought Almost All Export Rye From Russia, by Ruslan Ostashko

Via The Saker

October 27, 2018

Translated and captioned by Leo. Make sure to press CC for English captions.

Latvia showed by its own example that the Russophobe only squeaks about the “damned Muscovites” while it still has something to eat. As soon as the food runs dry, he is immediately ready to skip to Russia, buying almost all the export rye.

When the Balts with all their strength struggled to get European integration, and even without handing out cookies and promises to try on lace panties, it was assumed by default that in the European Union it was an earthly paradise.

Right now, after a rather long period, the behavior of the same Latvians who buy rye from Russia looks very strange.

Sputnik news: “Latvia bought almost the entire export volume of Russian rye in the 2018-2019 agricultural year, which began in July. Of the 110.9 thousand tons, 88.99 thousand tons were supplied to the Baltic republic, the Rosselkhoznadzor reports.”

In this blatant step from the point of view of the Latvian “patriots”, Riga was pushed by a record crop failure that befell the local farmers.

“In Latvia this year, due to a long dry period, the rye harvest was significantly lower than the average – by 30-50%. At the same time, in 2018, an anti-record of rye crops was achieved in the last 18 years – only 5% of the total area of grain fields. Such a “double blow” compels Latvian flour millers to buy rye abroad. Due to drought, the grain harvest in Latvia in 2018, compared with 2017, is projected to be 23% less, including 33% less wheat, 30% more barley, oats 47% more, rapeseed 26% less.”

That is, if Russia did not sell grain to Latvia, then rye bread would have to be replaced with oatmeal, because the proud Baltic republic gathered an excess of oats.

A question arises: why did the Latvians, offended by the damned communist regime, decide to buy rye from Russia? After all, they are sitting in the EU, there are no internal customs barriers, the agrarian sector of the European Union, if taken as a whole, blooms and smells good. Then what is wrong? The answer is obvious – in Russia it is cheaper to buy it. European farmers work for a full-fledged euro, whereas our agricultural producers work for cheaper rubles, therefore this is clearly about economics, which as it’s known, should be saving costs.

But then the second question arises: what about political expediency? After all, all the nonsense that the Latvian authorities are doing, starting from the end of the 80s of the last century and up to the present time, is dictated solely by this expediency. What, when it comes to the stomach, the expediency doesn’t really stand in the way? Exactly like that, my friends.

No, I do not say that our farmers sold rye to the Latvians in vain. I support the domestic producers, and, of course, let them earn the money. But here I would put special prices in their place for Latvia. Yes, lower than in the EU, but not by much, but so that the benefit for the Balts would be minimal. They would still buy it anyway.

And also – our people would receive deep moral satisfaction, emphasizing that this price is specifically for those who prohibit the Russian language. But if you don’t want it, don’t take it, we have Arabs and Indians waiting in line. They will rip it from your hands.

You can’t, just can’t sell food to Russophobes at the same price as our normal partners. The Russophobe must be hungry, and he must know that this sucking feeling on an empty stomach was led by the previous tumultuous activity on the basis of hatred of Russia.

By the way, buying rye still won’t save Latvia from extinction. And when the last Latvian dies from alcoholism or goes to Britain for permanent residence in Britain, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if our so-called western “partners” concoct the myth that this cursed Moscow has changed the climate over Latvia, causing crop failures in order to cause the Baltic Holodomor. Seriously, you’ll see. After all, in Ukraine, this had such a success, so why not repeat it in the Baltics?

And the Latvian plumber will sit at his leisure and count the damage that was caused to his extinct republic and to him personally by these terrible Russians. They will next count billions, like the Estonians…

… And next, they will try to fall asleep, feeling an unpleasant movement in an empty stomach.

Two Stories from the Propaganda War

By Philip M. Giraldi


Two recent stories about Russians have demonstrated how the news is selected and manipulated in the United States. The first is about Maria Butina, who apparently sought to overthrow American democracy, such as it is, by obtaining a life membership in the National Rifle Association. Maria, a graduate student at American University, is now in detention in a federal prison, having been charged with collusion and failure to register as an agent of the Russian Federation. She has been in prison since July, for most of the time in solitary confinement, and has not been granted bail because, as a Russian citizen, she is considered to be a “flight risk.”

Maria, who has pleaded not guilty to all charges, is now seeking donations to help pay for her legal defense as the Russian government renews demands that she be released from jail or be tried on whatever charges the Justice Department can come up with, but her release is unlikely as she is really a political prisoner.

The media has been silent about Maria Butina because the case against her is falling apart. In early September prosecutors admitted that they had misunderstood text messages used to support claims that she had offered to trade sex for access to information. Demands that she consequently be released from prison were, however, rejected. Her lawyer observed that “The impact of this inflammatory allegation, which painted Ms. Butina as some type of Kremlin-trained seductress, or spy-novel honeypot character, trading sex for access and power, cannot be overstated.”

In an attempt to make the Butina embarrassment disappear from the news, the Justice Department has proposed an unprecedented gag order to prevent her attorney from appearing in the media in a way that could prejudice a jury should her case eventually come to trial. Currently there is no court date and Maria remains in jail indefinitely, but the press could care less – she is just one more Russiagate casualty in an ongoing saga that has long since passed her by.

Given the Maria Butina story and the hysteria over all things Russian it was perhaps inevitable that the tale of Kremlin interference in American elections would be resurrected and repeated. Federal prosecutors are now reporting that another Russian woman has illegally conspired with others to “defraud the United States” and interfere with the U.S. political system, to include plans for conducting “information warfare” to subvert the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.

The complaint was filed on October 19th at a federal court in Virginia which handles most national security cases. According to the court documents, Elena Alekseevna Khusyainova, a 44-year-old resident of St. Petersburg in Russia, has worked as the head accountant for “Project Lakhta,” a Russian influence operation backed by an oligarch close to President Vladi­mir Putin. According to the Justice Department, the operation “spread misinformation about US political issues including immigration, gun control, the Confederate flag, and protests by NFL players. It also used events including the Las Vegas mass shooting, and the far-Right rally in Charlottesville, to spread discord.”

Khusyainova, who is not likely to be extradited to the United States for trial, allegedly purchased advertising in social networks and also supported dissident groups. The accusation of the American authorities emphasizes the connection between Khusyainova and St. Petersburg businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, who was previously identified by the media as the owner of a ‘Troll Factory’ in St. Petersburg. In the U.S., several charges have already been brought against him and his staff, including interfering in the presidential elections in 2016.

The Maria Butina story reveals how there is a fundamental flaw in the justice system in the United States. When someone is found guilty by the media there is no way to right the wrong when the story shifts and starts to break down. The New York Times or Washington Post is unlikely to leap to the defense of the accused. Maria Butina has been raked over the coals in stories that were partly true but mostly false in terms of any criminal intent. She is still waiting for justice and will likely be doing so for some time.

The case of Elena Khusyainova is Maria Butina redux, only even more idiotic. No actual evidence is presented in the indictment and since Elena is in Russia and not likely to visit the United States, the entire affair is a bit of theater intended to heighten hysteria about the U.S. midterm elections. Is the U.S. electoral system really so fragile and what did Elena actually seek to do? The Justice Department is silent on the issue beyond vague accusations about trolling on the internet by Russians. One wonders who in the federal government ordered the investigation and signed off on the indictment.

Both Maria and Elena are victims of a politicized miscarriage of justice. Maria Butina should be released from prison now and allowed to pay her fine for being an unregistered agent before leaving the country. There is no justification for holding her in prison. And the indictment of Elena Khusyainova is not worth the paper it is written on. It should be torn up and thrown away.





Lately, Russia has been countless times the news focus in the western media. We must recall the so-called Skripal affair when Moscow was blamed for poisoning the former Russian spy and his daughter, Russia’s alleged involvement in chemical attacks in Syria, and interference in the American presidential election.

However, as research shows, the population of Western countries tends not to believe everything the media tells them.

Almost half of respondents in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States do not believe in their media coverage of Russia.

Thus, 53% of the French who participated in the survey responded that they do not believe what the media writes about Russia. They are followed by Germany, where the percentage corresponded to 50%. The same opinion is shared by 47% of respondents in the UK. In the USA, this number corresponds to 43%.

The number of respondents – from the countries cited above – who rely on their media reports on Russia is considerably smaller: only a quarter of the French and a third of Britons. In Germany and the USA the percentage is slightly higher – 39%.

It is noteworthy that in France and Germany it is young people (less than 35 years old) who believe least in fair coverage. While in the US and UK the situation is the opposite: Respondents over the age of 35 tend to have less confidence in the news about Russia offered by the local media.

The survey was conducted by France’s oldest public opinion firm, IFop, between August 9 and 20, 2018. A total of 4,033 respondents over 18 years of age from France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States participated in the poll. The sample is representative of the population by sex, age and geographical location. The margin of error of the sample is approximately 3.1%, with a confidence level of 95%, making this a highly regarded poll.

%d bloggers like this: