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Echthrocracy or antagonist-oriented government

Based on this work of Fabricio Moraes

It’s well known, that a common enemy is able to unite even irreconcilable parties, that would confront otherwise. The history knows many such cases. Thus, communist USSR joined the capitalist West in the fight against Nazis, but certainly their relations became tense again right after the end of the World War II.

Like many other similar tactics and human behavior peculiarities this feature can be and is used for different kinds of manipulations. At the moment it’s complicated to determine, who was the first, but USSR like many other communist countries used this feature to control its citizens. After the USSR dissolution the corresponding management strategy was inherited by the Russian Federation, certainly, being improved a bit. And this is the management strategy, we will discuss in this article…

The prehistory

The communism arose approximately at the same time, when the (so-called) democracy did. But, unlike the latter the communism, in fact, ignored the human nature, assuming, that people live in some sort of ideal world. Therefore, being saner the democracy developed more intensively and produced better results. This way, having appeared in some kind of competition with the democracy the communism had to choose – either to recognize its mistakes or to attempt compromising the success of the democracy…

That’s why the powerful long-term campaign of lies, misinformation, fact distortion and garbling was started. Thus, such phenomena as poverty, vulgarity, serial maniacs, prostitution, homosexuality, cruelty, terrorism and everything else, that Soviet people did not like, was attributed to capitalist “peculiarities”. But, of course, this had not influenced the human nature and, therefore, with time due to the mass media progress these “capitalist peculiarities” appeared to be peculiar to Soviet people as well. This way the Soviet propaganda engine was forced to adopt to the reality and to be more careful, when choosing, what to distort and what just to conceal. Due to these circumstances the manipulation techniques used in USSR became only subtler and it became harder to recognize the truth.

It should be mentioned in palliation of the Russian Federation government, that in result of the USSR dissolution the government got not only the well-adjusted propaganda engine, represented by appropriate experts, but also the inhabitants, that had been deceived during many generations. In such situation it would be, perhaps, too dangerous to expose the truth, so authorities were forced to keep the propaganda. Certainly, it was not efficient to oppose the communism with the capitalism any longer, so the accent was changed, but still main theses were kept. In this article we are going to discuss these theses and what the Russian propaganda did evolve to now…

About the echthrocracy

There is no doubt, that the communist propaganda is an integral part of communism, as a form of government (like the Nazi propaganda was an integral part of Nazism). Without such propaganda USSR would not be able to exist so long. Modified and improved communist propaganda became the basis for the political management system of modern Russia. As it became an integral part of the government, that now has nothing to do with communism, and as the government of modern Russia has a little to do with the democracy, there arose a need to give a separate name to this form of government. I, personally, like to name it as “echthrocracy” – from “echthro” (Greek εχθρός), what means “enemy”, and “cracy” (Greek κράτος), what means “power”. Now, let’s talk, why did I choose this name…

Echthrocracy is so accomplished form of government, that it is attempted to be exported to neighbor countries nowadays. Thus, similar “democratic” form of government is also used in Belarus. During the Eurorevolution the Yanukovych‘s government attempted to establish this form in Ukraine as well.

The antagonist

Any democratic country has: a) the government, which is formed from members and/or sympathizers of one or several parties, b) part of the population supporting this government and c) the rest population, that does not agree with some or many its decisions. In other words, in a country there are the government supporters and the opposition. Success of the government depends on satisfaction not only of its supporters but also of the opposition!

Sometimes a government attempts, e.g., to improve life conditions, to amend health care, to struggle against corruption and so on, but it’s much easier to attempt resolving a fictitious problem. Especially when such problem was inherited with the USSR dissolution. This problem is the “enemy” of any Soviet man, that now became the enemy of any russian – the “insidious”, “malicious” and totally “putrid” West. The West, which (also according to communists’ beliefs) is just looking forward an opportunity to enslave russians. This problem made it possible to unite the majority of Russian people in their hate to USA and Europe. So, even those, who do not agree with the government, do adhere and support it “temporarily” for the higher purpose – the safety of the Motherland. All they want Russia to be a strong and independent country and are much scared to be placed under the authority of the West, which values only money…

Certainly, many “peculiarities” of the West (like poverty) were discarded, as it became much easier to travel abroad and see things first-hand (while the myth about the terrible poverty in some European countries, e.g., Poland, is still propagated). But, the Russian government already found new ones to replace such discarded “peculiarities” of the West. Thus, recently there is widely propagated the myth about terrible homophily on the West, which is believed to be aggressively popularized even among children.

But existence of a common enemy is favorable not only because this can unite people of different views, but also because many things can be attributed to this enemy… Thus, if people’s dissatisfaction about the government is getting higher – these people are manipulated by pro-West mass media; if a non-governmental organization is calling people to rally – this organization is financed by countries of the West, which ordered it to organize the rally; if a troublesome story was leaked to mass media – these mass media faked this story up on USA order; if someone is writing convincing and well-grounded anti-government articles – this someone is an american agent specially trained to be convincing; if in Internet there are many people dissatisfied with the government – these are a little of individuals, who write under different accounts and work on CIA; and so on. Actually, absolutely any activity can be attributed to americans – good imagination is all needed to do this as believable as possible! Having gotten used to omnipotence of the West people no more notice, that virtually everything, what is not liked by the government, eventually in some way gets attributed to actions of the West. At the same time such people do not get confused with the fact, that in this case the third party – i.e., mere people dissatisfied on their own – do not seem to exist at all.

In Russia the belief in omnipresence of the West is so strong, that during Russian protests in 2012 mere people, when leaving for streets, used to emphasize, that they are going just to stand for a while to show their civil position and are not going to do anything more to “avoid playing into hands of the West”…

A common enemy is not only uniting people but is also cultivating an extreme intolerance to representatives of the “enemy”! Such intolerance is accompanied by the panic fear and undisguised hate, what certainly influence the objectivity and adequacy of haters. As a result this leads to discrimination by nationality, location, and so on (e.g., the anti-Georgian campaign in Russia). In many cases you as an “enemy” will be refused even to be listened…

This way such enemy becomes a significant element of the form of government, for which human rights begin to have secondary importance. The very primary importance is given to the struggle against the enemy and to the neutralization of the “enemy propaganda”, which can appear to be just an alternative point of view. So, the secondary importance goes to the freedom of speech, the right to express own view, the right for peaceful protests and other very basic elements of the democracy, without which the latter just can’t exist!

Of course, the West and USA, in particular, are not perfect (there does not exist a perfect country at all)! Some bad things are really done by american special services – for example, well-known falsification of reasons for the Iraq invasion, interception of many foreign country leaders, and so on. In particular for this reason USA are a perfect candidate for the antagonist, which can be used for government. Nevertheless, if there were no USA, this “position” could be occupied, e.g., by China. But, every sober-minded person should comprehend, that the West is not almighty and that besides the West there are other parties like the nation. In other words, if the nation has impartial reasons to be dissatisfied, the West does not have to be involved in this!

The savior

A mighty enemy is able to mobilize and unite different categories of people. But, in addition to this the existence of such enemy creates a critical need for heroes.

A person, who has saved or just helped you, often instantly gains your confidence and respect – that’s how the human nature works. At the same time such confidence does not usually depend on who actually this person is (only one or several his/her deeds are taken into account). Moreover, usually people are ready to forgive many things to their saviors! A lot of fraudulent schemes, including religious sects, are built considering this peculiarity of human.

Of course, it’s easy to be a savior, when your antagonist is mostly fictitious – for your “firmness” and courageous “struggle” against non-existent enemy you gain real confidence and respect. This scheme is well comprehended and used by the president of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

But, it’s also important to conform to the prototype of the hero. Thus, the “hero” can show his valor with shooting, motorcycle driving, martial arts, winter swimming, and so on. Also, pilots are considered to be the example of valor in society, so a fighter flying can make the figure of the hero-savior richer. But, it’s also important to avoid going to extremes – too cocky hero is going to start bothering one day. The true hero must be modest, not too verbose, intelligent and fair.

Heroes are always on their own, that’s why Putin keeps himself away from other representatives of the government. All the dirty work, all the bombastic and provocative statements are first done by someone else. Putin plays the role of a supervisor and a fair sovereign. Often he makes people wait until he shares his opinion on certain issue. All this is done on purpose – if people do not like the work of his subordinates, he undertakes appropriate actions (as a savior)! That’s why he suddenly appeared not to be a member of the “United Russia” party, just when russians began to lose sympathy for it. The rating of the party goes down, and the rating of Putin does not. While, actually, this president and this party represent the same regime!..

It seems like the president-savior is a Putin’s own idea, a brilliant way to become a dictator and to remain a favorite!

The political introversion

Sometimes, when I watch news about some events and then listen to comments on them of, e.g., head of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I think: “My Lord! Are they from some parallel universe?”. That’s how huge is sometimes the difference between, what actually happens, and, what is told by Russian officials! At first it may seem odd – how can people tell such nonsense to their foreign colleagues (and that’s the purpose of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), if it’s obvious, that the latter know quite a lot about discussed events? All right, they do can deceive russians, but not foreigners, who even do not watch the Russian TV! The explanation is fairly simple – whatever Russian officials (including the president) tell they do this for Russian people mainly. Even, if this is a statement of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which normally should be intended for foreigners…

Considering that the West is the antagonist the Russian government should behave accordingly. As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for reacting on any event in the World its official statements certainly must consider the conception of the antagonist as well. But, as not all bad things in the World are actually done by the West and as not everything, that should be presented as a bad thing accordingly to the conception, is actually a bad thing, work on statements of the Ministry turns into a quite creative and complicated process… It’s also especially complicated because no one ever knows for sure, how events can turn out, and therefore there is a real threat, that they turn the way, the lie will be discovered. Therefore, just to consider less “variables” during speech writing the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not care much, how the speech will be interpreted by the world community. After all the major purpose of such speech is to confirm the conception of the antagonist for own people (and Russian “admirers” abroad).

Trust no one

Now, after the USSR dissolution it became obvious, that communist mass media and communist government were telling a lot of lies! Even the Russian television recognizes this (despite this, for some reason, the omnipresence of the West, that was first thought out by communists, is not questioned). Also the Russian media do recognize the fact of censorship in USSR. So, it would be logically correct to assume, that, having inherited the state management strategy, the Russian government also inherited the censorship. The purpose of the censorship in modern Russia is the same – to limit the information, that people can get, for not letting people know the truth and/or for controlling the opinion of the community.

Certainly, the rough restriction of the information (the “classic” censorship, which was used in USSR) does not quite suit the modern information world and the modern Russia, which aims at being reputed as a democratic country. As a result the government of the Russian Federation had to resort to a subtle form of the censorship, that tells you, who to trust and who not to trust. Once again the conception of the omnipresent and almighty antagonist appeared to be very handy…

Any lie can be discovered, if you have an unhindered access to information sources from both sides – from the slanderer and from the slandered one. And such access is quite possible in the world of advanced information technologies! That’s why the goal was not just to hide the information, but to discredit the alternative points of view. Thanks to the same information technologies it’s also possible to question any materials nowadays (so what, that you have a video – it could be generated using computer graphics, and so on)! In other words, you can never be sure, what did actually happen, without being a first-hand eye-witness of the event. So, when Russian people ask the natural question “Who then can we trust?”, their government gives the unambiguous answer “Trust only us!”. At the same time the Russian government labels all other mass media with “foreign agent“, what implies, that they should not be trusted.



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