Okay. Before you read this, check under your bed for Russians. Once you’re done, check under your desk for Russians. Then check your computer for Russian robots.
You won’t find any, of course, but you’ll have assured the left and the mainstream media (but I repeat myself) that you aren’t being manipulated by Russians.
The backstory of this is kind of funny since we on the right were accused for years of believing there were Russians (Soviets, actually) under our beds. We didn’t, of course. We believed there was Soviet propaganda in our heads, which was rather more to the point.
So imagine our surprise when the left, after their defeat in November 2016, decided it was all the Russians’ fault, and went from unfounded accusations of “hacking the elections” which seem to indicate that Russia had hacked the vote gathering or counting apparatus (they didn’t) to claims that Russia had, somehow, hacked our national psyche with their few purchased ads on Facebook, their trollish comments on political blogs, and their organizing of a half-dozen demonstrations.
Even then, it is almost impossible to understand why they think this helped Trump, since ads, demonstrations and probably the trolling were on both sides of the political spectrum (not sure about the trolls since the Russian IP ones on my blog were uniformly either crazy-religious or racist. Neither of which, by the way, tracks with supporting Trump, really).
Almost impossible, but not impossible if you realize two things about the left:
- They have no conceptual model under which they fail. They simply never expected another Republican would ever be elected president, and though I’m not willing to spend time looking, I’m sure you can find dozens of articles saying that. Heck, they taught it as revealed truth to my kids’ generation. So, when they fail it must be due to something underhanded or evil. Even when they install their favored centralized government and it fails, it becomes the fault of “Wreckers and Hoarders” because their model doesn’t plan for or admit failure.
- They’re born and bred oikophobes. ALL other countries are better than the U.S. All of them. But Russia is particularly good because most of these red-diaper babies or their parents were raised on the idea that Russia had founded the perfect communist state. Even after the Soviet Union fell, they lamented “the good guys lost” and even now if you want to wind one of them up, any mention of the Stalinist massacres brings foaming-at-the-mouth denial. So, of course, if some mastermind could be really sneaky and “hack” America, it must be Russia. And as they all know the “good guys” lost in Russia too, hence, of course, they might sabotage them here.
It has taken me a while to write this article because I didn’t think that the fact that Russia has no such wonderful abilities to read/interfere with America needed to be stated.
Sure, the Soviets had an amazing propaganda machine. By dividing the rest of the world into victims and oppressors, they managed to inject their poison into otherwise functional societies, even in the U.S., making academia and the arts and several other societal structures pits of oikophobic vipers.
But that type of subversion which relies on Marxism being a sort of intellectually self-sufficient system that appeals to those who consider themselves smart (but might not be), on an heretical twist of Christianity which makes charity a governmental function, and on the perfect being the enemy of the good (a human failing) is markedly different from what the Russians are accused of doing in this election.
What they’re accused of doing – and probably tried to do, though not necessarily in Trump’s favor – is changing the result of the election by, so to put it, changing the national mind.
To do that, Russians would need to have an exquisite understanding of the U.S., to the point that their spending — which was about a tenth of what the Democrats spent to fail to elect Hillary — would be enough to turn the election.
This can only be said irrisorily. [That means “derisively,” but I’m damned if I’m going to change it, it’s too good a word. — Ed.]
Of all the societies that the Russians can’t fully understand, ours is probably the one they understand the least.
If you look at the rest of the world, you can tell the societies that Russians understand best. Those are the ones in which the colonial philosophy of communism had the strongest impact.
They are, almost to the last one, societies with traditions of strong ethnic identity and strong central government, many of them in Africa or Asia.
While no society was entirely safe from Soviet agitprop, even Europe didn’t take to it as fully as nations in what is called the third world, because culturally Europe wasn’t as uniform or as centralized.
And the U.S.… Well, those parts of the U.S. where Marxism took the most hold were those that were top-down centralized oligopsonies. So the arts were taken over first, and education and journalism – both centralized – next. To the extent they are now taking over the rest of society, they are doing so not as a result of direct agitprop but as a result of the local boneheads having become de-facto enemy agents, convinced their every failure must be someone else’s fault, and thus wanting to destroy society in order to save it. The Soviet Union has been dead for decades, but the tail still twitches.
On the other hand, as far as direct action, the U.S. keeps disappointing the Soviets/Russians. That’s part of the reason they work so hard against us on the world stage.
Because they can’t control us, and they can’t understand it.
As far as we can tell, their intent in the interference they did undertake before the election and immediately after was not to have a particular candidate win, but to divide us.
Hence the crazy trolls and ads and demonstrations against both sides.
What the Russians fail to get about us is that their intended subversion got lost in the noise of our normal, national fractiousness.
Poor things really, really don’t get us. Even countries in Europe with a less totalitarian tradition fail to get us. They can’t believe, for instance, that what our press publishes isn’t approved by the government. (I often find myself fighting with my brother – a European intellectual – over this.) Which, by the way, tells you why they think we must be terrible. If our press is publishing the best possible version of who we are, how bad are we?
Yes, I know European countries have free presses, technically. However, all of them know that they’d get slapped hard if they published something the government doesn’t like. (The exception seems to be Great Britain.) And Russia is even more so and does not, in fact, have a free press.
There is in other countries this idea that if a country is not unified before strangers as to who they are and what they want, they are falling apart.
From the point of view of that kind of country, what Russia did made perfect sense. In fact, Russia has been convinced we were falling apart for a long time. Part of this was a projection of what happened to them after the end of the Cold War, and part a fundamental misunderstanding of we are. And it is not helped by our press taking them seriously, such as with this old chestnut, which can’t help but make anyone who knows the U.S. laugh, not least because the zones this idiot identified make no sense.
Countries in which “intellectuals” can make such reality-disconnected predictions about the U.S. are not countries that can have a heck of a lot of influence over our elections.
We are not, nor have we ever been an oligarchy that speaks with a unified voice. Our most fundamental principles have been a matter of argument since the miracle at Philadelphia that gave us the Constitution. We’re a republic founded on argument, discussion, dispute. Our natural element is chaos and we thrive in it. Even our military forces — when compared to others — empower the individual.
Attempts to deconstruct and manipulate us by reading how we’re supposed to operate fail because we never read those. We just bump and argue and fight our way to success unimaginable by any other country or culture since the world has been a world.
So if the liberals and liberal wannabes can just pull their heads out of their nether orifices and stop giving Russia quasi-magical powers for understanding and manipulating us, and if Mueller can stop his fishing expedition, maybe we can start talking like human beings about foreign attempts to divide and conquer us.
Attempts that are being made more effective by those who see more Russians under their beds than Russia could ever dream of.