Modern propaganda, both state and capitalist, exists for the purpose of manipulation. The American war party has unleashed a vast propaganda machine against Russia that aims to emotionally prepare the American public for a new cold war or even a hot war against Russia. At the center of this campaign is the demonization of Putin as a Stalin come back from the grave, at the same time that the language of “Terrorism” is being used to demonize the Russian majority in Ukraine. Russia is being framed as a nuclear armed criminal state in league with terrorists and separatist extremists, led by a new Stalin.
This is all tiresomely familiar to those of us who fought against the war with Iraq. Remember that Saddam was a “a nightmare out of the nineteen-thirties” after he stabbed us in the back and stole Kuwait, (although not before, when he was using our chemical weapons on Iranian cities). That framing of Saddam was a critical component in the political packaging of both Iraq wars, and millions of Iraqis paid with their lives for Saddam’s sins. The same machine, run by mostly the same people and towards the same ends, is clearly being turned upon Putin in order to justify and morally sanitize the destruction of Russia.
This is a long term project but the basic scaffolding of the cold war and anticommunism is right at hand. The immediate tactical objective is to increase institutional funding, save big ticket weapon systems from budget cuts, and to polarize the coming presidential race into a hawk contest. The long term strategy is apparently to commit nuclear suicide in a new war with Russia, but as Dugin has explained this final lunge is the product of the implosion of Liberalism, and has deep ontological roots.
At the core of all the framing is an emotional narrative that is entirely immune to reality as such. It is constructed out of a scaffolding of day to day lies and spin but it transcends them and outlives them. The emotional narrative-Putin as a murdering dictator-is all most of the western public will remember or even pay attention to in the first place. This narrative-not the day to day lies-is thus the backbone of the war party’s popular support. While we must always contest the day to day lies with total intransigence, we must also prepare a strategic offensive against the core of the narrative.
In order to prepare such an offensive it is necessary to understand this narrative at its root. The root is simply enough the American Saturday morning cartoon, the professional wrestling match, or the action movie. This narrative is so idiotic that we overlook the raw power of its imbedded meaning in the collective mind. Yes it is idiotic, so we must weaponize and idiotism of our own with which to destroy it: an absolutely ruthless idiotism based purely on metaphysical force, unavailable for any compromise or rationalism.
At the visible level the enemy narrative is somewhere between a James Bond and a Tom Clancy movie. At a deeper level this is He Man (or She Ra if Hillary gets elected) vs Skeletor. At the ontological level this is the Liberal turning away from the void to find another country full of sacrificial victims. This is the narrative of a ritual that ends in mass murder, and should be understood through both the anthropology of human sacrifice and the political economy of Liberalism.
In his Essay:
Alexander Dugin lays out a solid theoretical understanding of the metaphysical struggle, and the path to victory:
The main idea that liberals will try to advance to define Putin ideologically will be as the shadow of the past, as a vampire: “Sometimes they come back.” That is the rationale behind this attempt to prevent the final implosion of liberalism. The primary message is that liberalism is still alive and vital because there is something in the world that we all must be liberated from. Russia will become the object from which it must be liberated. The goal is first to liberate Ukraine, and by extension Europe and the rest of humanity, who will likewise be depicted as being under threat, from Russia, and in the end Russia itself will be said to be in need of rescue from its own non-liberal identity. So now we have an enemy. Such an enemy gives to the liberalism its raison d’être once more. So Russia is being made out to be a challenger from the pre-liberal past thrown into the liberal present. Without such a challenge there is no more life in liberalism, no more order in the world, and everything associated with them will dissolve and implode. With this challenge, the falling giant of globalism acquires new vigor. Russia is here to save the liberals.
Post-liberal Russia: The first war of the Fourth Political Theory
In conclusion, what I propose is the following:
We need to consciously counter any provocation to frame Russia as a pre-liberal power. We need to refuse to allow the liberals to save themselves from their fast-approaching end. Rather than helping them to delay it, we need to accelerate it. In order to do this, we need to present Russia not as a pre-liberal entity but as a post-liberal revolutionary force that struggles for an alternative future for all the peoples of the planet. The Russian war will be not only be for Russian national interests, but will be in the cause of a just multipolar world, for real dignity and for real, positive freedom – not (nihilistic) freedom from but (creative) freedom for. In this war, Russia will set an example as the defender of Tradition, conservative organic values, and will represent real liberation from the open society and its beneficiaries – the global financial oligarchy. This war is not against Ukrainians or even against part of the Ukrainian populace. Nor is it against Europe. It is against the liberal world (dis)order. We are not going to save liberalism, per their designs. We are going to kill it once and for all. Modernity was always essentially wrong, and we are now at the terminal point of modernity. For those who rendered modernity and their own destiny synonymous, or who let that occur unconsciously, this will mean the end. But for those who are on the side of eternal truth and of Tradition, of faith, and of the spiritual and immortal human essence, it will be a new beginning, ABSOLUTE BEGINNING.
With the Putin-is-Stalinism-reborn industry in full swing we see the confirmation of Dugin’s predictions with the latest round of liberal media hysteria. In all fairness to the liberals, after what happened to the Chocolate Pimp’s Army, they have good reasons to be hysterical. Yet one can detect a greater and greater level of anxiety in the liberals that has roots deeper than the recent defeats. For the post-modern western public, and also for many of the so-called “elites” the entire frame really is a bad horror movie, with Stalinism leaping out of the grave once more, the last scene before the end and the inevitable victory…but…what if this is the kind of horror movie where the monster kills everyone at the end? So the great anxiety as the neo-liberal rat is caught between fight or flight, unable to clearly choose the proper lever to pull.
In response we wish to combine the strategic insight of Dugin with the narrative mastery of the great American horror writer H P Lovecraft:
The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown
Our counter narrative to the consumerist emotionalism that is being packaged in the west as post modern and post imperial politics, is not to directly oppose it but to push it to the side of the worst kind of Stephen King novel or Horror movie. Liberals are arrogant, but they scare easy. Let them have their “back from the dead” narrative and we shall respond:
No we are here to bury you! You are the corpse that will not die and we are the villagers with the torches! Neoliberalism shall not pass! Fascism shall not pass! The armies are raised and the enemy is destroyed in battle! Joy to the people and death to their enemies!