среда, 2 марта 2022 г.

"The Medvedev effect" (about propaganda in Russia)

When the Nazis came to power in Germany, at first (before the war) there were no mass concentration camps in the country. The Nazis even tried to deport their Jews to Palestine, and they succeeded in deporting about 10% of German Jews:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haavara_Agreement

At the same time, the Nazis launched harsh anti-Jewish propaganda in the media. Ordinary Germans were convinced by the authorities that the Jews were to blame for all the problems of the country - unemployment, the Versailles Peace, and so on. At first, this propaganda had no effect on ordinary Germans, but later it led to anti-Jewish pogroms (“Kristallnacht”). So, neither the SS nor the police participated in these pogroms. Sometimes the police even stood up for the Jews. And Himmler offered to order the SS to protect the Jews, but Hitler considered this inappropriate.

Further, the action of propaganda was intensified many times as a result of the Anschluss of Austria, which awakened the imperial mentality of the Germans, and the war. As a result, Jewish emigration was forbidden in 1941, and the Holocaust happened.

The Holocaust was not beneficial to the leadership of Germany; it happened because anti-Jewish propaganda created a monster in the collective unconscious of the Germans (sorry for my Freudianism), and this monster gained power over the Nazis themselves.

A similar story happened in modern Russia. The Russian authorities (Putin) launched a tough anti-democratic propaganda; the purpose of this propaganda is to instill in Russians a dislike for the West and for the protest movement. In 2014, this propaganda intensified due to the annexation of Crimea, which awakened the imperial mentality of the Russians, and a new “cold war” with the West and Ukraine. As a result, something happened that is not beneficial to Putin himself: he had to dismiss in 2020 Dmitry Medvedev, who was president of Russia in 2008-2012.

Medvedev has not proven himself to be anything bad, but he has made it clear to the Russians that he is a democrat, and there was a “mini-thaw” in Russia under his presidency. Medvedev was a very convenient Putin’s successor whom Putin could trust. But a side effect of the state propaganda was that Russians developed a negative attitude towards the democrats in power, and this hit Medvedev. Now in Russia there is a certain percentage of citizens who blame the democrats in power for all the troubles of the country, and consider Putin himself a pro-Western democrat.

Another side effect of the propaganda in Russia has been the growth of pro-Stalinist sentiment among Russians: according to polls by the Levada centre, more than half of Russians are now Stalinists.

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