The appeal of conspiracy theories is that they are virtually impossible to debunk. The premise on which they are based is the fact that everything is going on behind the scenes; behind veils, covertly, in the shadows, carried out by the world’s most powerful people with limitless resources. The complete absence of proof of the existence of the Shadow Rulers is actually the proof that they exist and that they are successful. We have encountered this logic in other cases as well. Any attempt to disprove the concept will be met with the counter-claim – “Yes, of course, you deny it; you are also part of it!” As the Shadow Government, the Deep State, by definition is covert, it must, logically, be malign. Why would they hide if they weren’t into something bad?
The concept is usually cultivated among die-hard conspiracy theorists, and it occasionally appears in popular culture. We find conspiracy theories involving powerful people in James Bond movies, in Tintin comic books, in novels like the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown or Science Fiction thrillers with Reptilians, ruling the world. It is a potent element for creating an enticing plot in thrillers.
And it is a potent element in propaganda too.
As late as 2016, one columnist of the Russian daily Komsomolskaya Pravda referred to the “Elders of Zion” in an article describing how the Brexit referendum in Britain and the election of Donald Trump in the US proved that the “Shadow government” was really not omnipotent. The same publication has on several occasions brought forward the idea of “The Rothschilds” controlling the world.
Recently, the same paper gave space to an elaborate conspiracy theory that the Yellow Vest movement was the manifestation of a struggle between Donald Trump and “The Rothschilds”, the latter using the alleged threat of global warming to promote their own pecuniary interests: Trump (and Komsomolskaya Pravda) knows the Paris Climate Agreement is just a waste of resources.
A recent study demonstrates how today’s Russian media has become more and more prone to referring to various conspiracy theories. And this has an impact on the audience. A poll performed in the summer of 2018 by the State Russian Polling Institute VTsIOM states that two-thirds of the Russian population is convinced of the existence of a “World Government”. Most of the respondents are also convinced that this World Government is hostile towards Russia. Interestingly enough, the number of “believers” has risen from 45 percent to 67 since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea.
The goal of the Shadow Government narrative is to question the legitimacy of democracy and our institutions. What is the point of voting, if the Shadow Government already rules the world? What is the point of being elected, if the Deep State resists all attempts to reform? We, as voters, citizens and human beings, are disempowered through the Shadow Government narrative. Eventually, the narrative is designed to make us give up voting or practicing our rights to express our views.
Promoters of the Shadow Government narrative depict themselves as “straight talkers”, dissidents; heroes of the public discourse… “Question everything!” they call. The irony is that, in reality, the shadow conspiracy is based on blind belief in authority.
- Moscow TV revives infamous anti-Semitic forgery ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’
- EU Activities to Combat Anti-Semitism
- Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia Today – leading outlets for anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda
- Anti-Defamation League on “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”
- New York Times sheds light on decades-old tradition of Kremlin disinformation campaign
- November Surprise: an Anti-Semitic Anniversary
- Anti-Semitism on the rise in Russia and Moscow sends the wrong message about this trend
- Antisemitism and pro-Kremlin propaganda
- ‘Beat the Jews, Save Russia’ – an ugly old slogan returns in Putin’s Russia
- Everyone against Russia
- Addressing the great “Jewish Communist” conspiracy
- Conspiracy: The US creates bioweapons in 400 countries (there are only 195)