Creating a system that recruits leaders is truly a titanic task. There needs to be a whole class of people with a political course. Ihe problem in Russia is that there is a class, however unlike the political class in the USA it is a colonialist class. It’s a “liberal class” that believes in fundamental Western supremacy over the Slavic world. No self-respecting country in the Western world would ever allow a colonialist class such as one in Russia come to power and convince the public that its future is to be subdued and serve another civilisation. The liberal class took power in Russia in the 90’s. The time has come for Russia to form a new class that believe in its people and its own destiny. Today we see the Slavic world forming a new identity and embracing its past victories. Russia needs to embrace its world mission and stop apologising for its victories for the glory of mankind.
Originally appeared at Regnum, translated by The Russophobian exclusively for SouthFront
There has been a disturbing tendency in the Russian blog-sphere. This tendency can be explained as “false patriotism”. In essence, it is that we (Russia, Putin, Kremlin, the Russian people etc) are beating our geopolitical opponents. (or partners, however you want to call them) on all fronts – financial, economic and informational etc. This view is incredibly erroneous and in fact dangerous.
First. In terms of global politics, in my opinion after 20 years of retracting Russia’s positions and withdrawing from spheres of influences we only just started evening out the odds. At this point it is absurd to talk about winning the “game”. If we look the situation in the post-USSR territory we will see that despite some serious achievements like the creation of EEU and SCO, the situation in post-USSR territory has become more acute. The level of confrontation on Russia’s borders is the highest in the last 10 years. In terms of Eurasian Economic Union, Kazakhstan and Belorussia in particular – those are personality dependent governments, Nazarbaev’s or Lukashenko’s disposition from power is likely to have a negative effect on EEU. The fact that the Russian government is dependent on personal contacts rather than encouraging the population of the country in question to more amicable relations will have serious draw-back effects – Ukraine and Georgia are prime examples.
Syria – we haven’t won in Syria yet, the situation in Syria is such that its sovereignty is likely to remain with the territories that Syria actually controls. We won in terms of Iran but it’s not a fact that Iran has always been positively predisposed towards Russia and is likely to be. Venezuela – remains our ally until the next elections. The situation is like this everywhere, the situation is by in large difficult. In these circumstances to say that we are overpowering USA and the West in general is just reckless. We need to analyze the level of consolidation in the Russian and the American elite. If we assume for example, that USA suddenly chooses new president every month we can be absolutely sure that its national strategic course will not budge an inch. Russia is nowhere near the level of elite consolidation as in USA. Hence we only evened out the odds, nothing else. We need to consolidate our elites, at least to the same level like the one in the US. Otherwise if we wait for the next Stalin, after him will come another Khrushchev – and then everything will be lost.
Second. To talk about Russia winning the financial economic war is laughable – while taking into account that the Rubble is constantly fluctuating, the depletion of government savings, the decrease in average income by half in USD, government dependency in gas/oil exports, lack of many technologies especially in the financial sector that would guarantee Russia’s independence from western financial system and the list goes on. Russia is heavily dependent on external economic factors. It’s true that in the recent years Russia became less dependent on those factors. However it would be a far cry at this point in time to say that Russia, like the USSR can stand alone against the entire world. Here too we must dissolve any illusions and begin long and hard work. A question arises, how can we do such work in the current Russian institution?
Third. Information war – is Russia winning? One bloggers “panug” wrote this about false Russian patriotism: “”Well comrades, recently I’ve been startled by super ambitious, ungrounded sayings and posts. Whoa, we are crushing our enemies but who is against us? The reality is this. WE SHATTERED PRO-WEST OPPOSITION. We had to overcome the tendency of discreditation of everything Russian and Soviet. We have been crushing the ultra-liberals for the past years like Cossacks.
SHATTERED THEM. Now what? There is time to throw rocks and there is time to collect them. Its time to consolidate our positions. Its time to discipline our own forces. Just imagine if “Budeunovki’s” masses upon crushing the white army, simply run around the country singing praises to the themselves. Imagine if they just ran around instead of rebuilding the country, industrializing it and getting rid of corruption.
That’s what we are doing, upon crushing our opposition we just keep running around and singing our own praises. When someone points out our faults we come up with conspiracy theories where someone else has some “secret plans” in infiltrating saboteurs in one’s OWN COUNTRY. In fact we need to create POSITIVE opposition, so that when we see beaurocrats doing what they are not supposed to, the opposition will point out their falts and set them on the right course. True patriotism is different from a false one, by instead of saying “look how good we are” asks “how do we make our country better” (http://cont.ws/post/115 290).
If we in fact analyze the tendency of the recent publication in the blog sphere, we will see that there is great tone of material that accuses all Russia’s failure on some “conspiracy” – it extends to Vasilieva leaving jail, Yieltsin’s conspiracy and many others. IF we take these conspiracies to be true, it’s not far from saying that Nazi Germany’s attack on USSR was product of these conspiracies.
Lets take for example Ignata Barabanova’s “Information conflict: the grandest US – Russia conflict today and Russia is winning It.”: “For a long time the USA has been dominating the world media. It was especially so immediately after collapse of the USSR when Russia was “down at its knees”. With Vladimir Putin in power Russia became stronger. The power of the propaganda has increased as well. Right now it may be even more powerful than that of USA. Perhaps Vladimir Putin realized why the US was more successful than its own country. Perhaps this is why he channeled the entire might of the media in Russia’s favor. Thanks to fantastic endowment into the Russian media machine, US perhaps for the first time in history is on the losing side of the information war” (http://cont.ws/post/115 628).
So apparently the “Russian propaganda” has become even more powerful than that of United States. What is happening in reality? How is Russia actually portrayed in the world press? As “Komersant” writes in “Russia’s notability in the world press” as of 24t hAugust 2015: “The share of publications on Russia has decreased to 1% in the world press, this is the lowest indicator since May. There has been an increase in interest in Russia due to the Iranian deal where Russia would sell S-300 AA systems at the end of the year. Surge in publications on Russia in India has been connected with recent visit to Russia by India’s prime-minister Narendra Modi. There has been an increase in interest in Qatar press. Interest in Russia in google search engine has been decreased” (http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/2 792 776).
One must note the data objectivity. All the information is taken from “Komersant’s” information centre. One of the main parameters is the “mentionability” (the percentage of materials on Russia our of all materials) and popularity (the proportion of searchable materials involving Russia in the Google search bar on a scale 0 to 100) The mentionability is measured using Factiva (which has 30 000 sources on 23 languages. Popularity is calculated using GoogleTrands statistics. Long term statistics are explained in the following data:
Russia was mentioned in only 2% of the entire world press. There is no media “victory” in question. Lets take this a step further; how often is Russia mentioned in world press compared to other countries in world press? Lets take data available to the public for the year 2013, citation:
“On request by World Communication FORUM in DAVOS, company Public.ru supported by RIA “Novosti” for the first time prepared global “media rating” – the mentionability of 160 countries, measured in 12 languages using materials published in 2013 including more that 50,000 media outlets in 23 different countries, representing all continents. The leader in this global media rating is the USA – is top in the 10 most mentioned countries in pretty much all international media ratings, in top 10 short list the USA is leading as the most mentioned country. China takes second place – with impressive statistics, China is also within the short list top 10 most mentioned countries. In pretty much all countries China is 3rd most mentioned country. The China is most recurring in US, Indian and Japanese press. United Kingdom takes 3rd place. UK dominates press in only two countries Australia and South Africa. Russia is only mentioned in a recurring in only a number half of all countries in the media rating, Russia shares 7-8th place with India.” (http://www.public.ru/g20_davos).
Same question arises here – what kind of “victory” can we talk about in the context of the above mentioned data? Furthermore, key question here – what resources does Russia actually have to win in the information war? What means of mass media does Russia actually possess? The answer is self-evident. Therefore if we don’t possess the resources we need for victory, there can be no victory in the information war. Within Russia, one can confidently say that patriotic forces are more or less represented in the press. That’s while Putin is in power. What if he leaves?
Perhaps the fact the major news networks are controlled by 3 to 5 wealthy families, controlled from one centralized point could have an impact of low Russian representation in the press? This structure may be in fact more effective than any government censorship. Data says that this not the case. Russia is poorly mentioned even in BRICS countries:
“Russia is mentioned in American press at around 1,14% from as of January to July (according to Russia Today the times when Russia is mentioned, it is mentioned in an aggressive manner). Russia is mentioned at the same rate in the press of its allies within the BRICS – India, Brazil and China. In comparison to the US press, there are a number of peaks within the BRICS press. In China the peak was in mid June – it coincided with the G7 summit and negotiations on the “Turkish stream”. In India and Brazil it was the mid July, it coincided with somewhat successful Iranian nuclear negotiations. Our partners did note the success of Russian diplomacy. The press within the BRICS countries was expected to increase the number of times Russia was mentioned, this was correlated with Ufa summit BRICS and SCO. Surprisingly these events did not cause much excitement (http://politrussia.com/world/o-chem-na-613).
Ivan Roschepi makes completely fair comments in this context in “Russia in the international press: statistics and facts”, that “the statistics tells us that Russia’s representation in foreign press makes us wish for better days as Russia’s achievements can be covered quite widely, while narrowing down information the press notes events like Nemtsov’s death. This is most true for countries most favorably predisposed towards Russia.”
There is no need to delve into depression due to circumstances. Neither must we become arrogant in assessing the situation. In 1941 Russia also thought that the war Nazi Germany would end swiftly in Russia’s favor instead what turn out to be 5 years of bloody war. Today the situation is far from favorable. There are victories, even if they are small. However there is titanic work ahead of us. It’s enough to look at who tells what news and to whom the news network belongs to. We do not need to delve far into the mainstream to see such news at work. Even within the country there is no counter offensive against such “calming” news that everything is ok, we only counteract such calming fakes while we should be on the counteroffensive against our opponents. Without establishing complete sovereignty over Russia’s media sphere including its entire sphere – news agencies, the press, e-news, regional news agencies (blogger zergulio notes this in particular) and etc (not even to mention the titanic efforts to change the industry of the consumerist magazines). With this kind of press, there can’t be any talk of any sort of victory let alone a draw with our opponents. Today Russia’s weight in the world is dependent on one man – Vladimir Putin, including Russia influence in the world press. There is a high chance that if Putin goes, most of the patriotic forces will change their course by 180 degrees. The leading Russian liberals will likely overcome any patriotic resistance in the path towards the Kremlin halls they will invite people into their parties and demand to know who you voted for because that will influence on how they will treat you. This is because with the coming of Putin, the Russian elite did not change since the 90s. The liberal clique didn’t leave, it only became silent.
Putin exists without a system. There needs to be a system, a clan, “order” like a “Russian Order”, “Orthodox Christian – Muslim Order”, “the revolutionaries” – irrespective of the name there needs to be a class and it must do its job. A country must have a self-defence system, that if a certain leader exists the system because of certain reasons, there must be people to replace the figure who a just as competent as the one before. If there is no such system, chances are that the next Stalin will be replaced by Khrushchev. What’s the worth of all the achievements in the Stalinist time if all the achievements will wash away by the next leader? There needs a solution for recruiting a new leader. Its good that we have Yuri Gagarin however – we need a vanguard of cosmonaughts. If we do, then the cosmos will be ours.