May 31, 2018
— RT (@RT_com) February 19, 2018
So, Russia has released a big paper proving that the US is meddling in their elections. It’s all categorized, sourced, indisputable.
Meanwhile, the US has thus far failed to present any evidence whatsoever for their baseless assertion that Russia meddled in the US election. In fact, they’ve now admitted that the only evidence of “meddling” they have is Facebook ads that were bought with a Russian IP address…
Question: does it matter?
A special commission report on foreign meddling in the 2018 presidential election has been unveiled in Russia’s Upper House. The document highlighted the main methods of the elaborate campaign, spearheaded by the US.
The report, presented on Wednesday in Russia’s Upper House (the Senate), was prepared by the Commission for State Sovereignty Protection in cooperation with leading experts and analysts. The publicly available document was presented by the head of the commission, Senator Andrey Klimov.
The document pinned the blame for the meddling in Russia’s election directly on Washington, linking the ongoing surge in hostile activities with the domestic political struggle in the US. Attempts to interfere in internal Russian affairs, however, are not new, as they have been going on since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The US has been the “main violator of international law” since the founding of the United Nations, and has “interfered more than 120 times in the affairs of 60 countries on all continents.” Washington’s closest allies – the UK, Germany, France, NATO, and European countries – are also to blame, since they either participate directly or support US activities, according to the document.
“We tried to show… the areas in which the subversive work took place. We’ve named 10 such areas. We have concrete examples for all of them based on absolutely reliable facts. It’s not someone’s guess, it’s not ‘highly likely,’ it’s something we can prove anywhere, it is backed up by testimonies, documents and it is, by great margin, not disputed by the other side [the US],” Klimov said at a press conference, which followed the hearings in the Upper House.
The main purpose of the commission’s report, according to Klimov, is to show the public – both Russian, and international – the scale and systematic nature of the efforts to undermine Russia’s “electoral sovereignty.” The ultimate goal of these activities is to force changes of Russia’s political course, destroy its territorial and economic integrity, he said.
The election meddling also included wide-scale cyberattacks on government electronic resources, primarily the Central Election Commission. All in all, roughly one-third of such attacks are conducted from US territory, according to the report.
More discreet methods include stirring dissent by intensifying the activities of foreign-based Russian-language media outlets and “independent” bloggers. The use of modern technology and communication methods apparently yielded some results, since the latest protests, while much smaller than those of 2011-13, increasingly attracted younger and even underage activists into the streets.
And the article goes on to outline a bunch more stuff in the report.
I’m sure it’s all very well-sourced and accurate.
The thing about all this here is… no one really cares.
Very, very few people are dealing with fact-based realities. Sadly, even within right-wing political dissident movements – as I’ve been loath to admit to myself, but have eventually bullied myself into doing – actual facts are irrelevant to most people.
So having facts on your side is almost a completely irrelevant factor. Even if you have facts, you’re still going to need to use those facts to build a moving narrative – and I have not seen any evidence that facts build more moving narratives than lies.
The key determining factor of belief or lack thereof in a specific reality is whether or not it is perceived to be in the interests of the individual making the determination. And that perception is based on emotion. And often the interests themselves are based on emotion and/or psychological problems. For example, it is in the perceived interests of a masochistic person to hurt himself.
The biggest drive though is a desire for social acceptance. That is the core interest of most people.
So, the real game is not presenting facts and reality to the people – that has nothing to do with anything.
In fact, the real game is not even manipulating information to make a person believe that a certain reality is in their interests.
The real core game that is being played here is manipulating the perception of the individual as to what their interests are, in particular by manipulating the terms of what is socially acceptable. From that point, they will begin to create their own realities to meet these interests you’ve implanted in them, and all you have to do is confirm these realities. Whether you use facts or lies to confirm them is completely irrelevant.
Russia does not have the ability to manipulate social norms in the West, however. So they have to deal with those which have developed already, and form realities that appeal to those.
If I was Russia, and I was attempting to make the Russian state appear sympathetic to the average American, I would be focused on creating a reality in which the perceived interests of the average American overlap with the interests of the Russian state.
Of course, “average American” is too broad a target, you would instead split the population into segments and use different methods to target different segments.
Definitely would not be doing this “but it’s not fair tho” thing.