In Soviet times, Moscow sent out a single ideological message to the world; now, the Kremlin sends carefully targeted messages to different groups, an eclectic approach that makes it vastly more effective than its Soviet predecessor, according to Russian sociologist and commentator Igor Eidman.
Sometimes these messages contradict one another, he continues; but that is not an indication as some have suggested that Moscow has no ideology at all but rather that it has a well-defined “ideology of hybrid war” which makes it a far greater threat to the West.
[quote]Moscow has ideological messages for “all strata of Western society,” Eidman continues; but it specifically targets right and left radicals, Russian speakers and those who are dissatisfied with one or another aspect of their lives.[/quote] Supporting these groups, he continues, is designed to boost their influence and to undermine and then destroy democratic institutions.
For the right, it calls attention to those of other faiths, gays and George Soros, Eidman says; for the left, it talks about the crimes of the world financial oligarchy and transnational corporations; for Russian speakers abroad, it plays up the idea that the West is working to harm Russians.
And for the right, the Kremlin “positions itself as the last defender of traditional Christian values” while for the left, it suggests it is “an opponent of American hegemony and the international bourgeois elites.”
[quote]“For all its eclecticism,” the sociologist says, “the propaganda of the Putin regime has a definite ideological core consisting of anti-liberalism and anti-Americanism (for all except the Americans themselves).” And for all, including the Americans, it is intended to undermine the trust of the population in democratic institutions and values and in North Atlantic unity.[/quote]
According to Eidman, the Kremlin’s chief ideological message for Europeans and residents of other democratic countries is that “the US is guilty for all misfortunes in the world and that your ‘democracy is only a cover for being an American puppet. Putin wants peace but the Americans are heading toward war.”
The Kremlin’s message to Americans, of course, is different. For them, Moscow says that “Europeans and other allies are deceiving and robbing you.”
Thus, Eidman concludes, “the ideology of hybrid war is extremely eclectic but it does exist. This is an ideology of a new type, corresponding to the era of targeted advertising when each is told what he wants to hear. Therefore,” the sociologist says, “it is particularly dangerous.”
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