Gintautas MAŽEJKIS: the Russian propaganda machine began to stall,


That is propaganda, and that only seems to be on it? This issue has been raised in conversation with Professor University. Vytautas (Kaunas, Lithuania), philosopher Gintautasom Mažejkisom, which closely monitors what ideas are reflected in the global information sphere and influence on society.

V.d.: how, in your opinion, in recent years has changed the view on promotion?

G.m.: the word "propaganda" over the past two years has become completely worn-out. "Merit" in that first and foremost belongs to politicians-populists, which traditionally pick up emotionally coloured themes. In the returned to life phantom propaganda they saw a new opportunity to gain popularity. Then all started talking about propaganda. After politicians — most notably journalists, then intellectuals and experts, as well as a variety of commentators in social networks. They all enjoy the term propaganda as horrible, put into it all kinds of meanings, which ultimately leads to the fact that this term loses content.

When we start talking about promotion or study — primarily need to agree on what we mean by this word. For example, there is a definition of propaganda, which invited Edward Bernays, and Jacques definition is Èlûlâ. You can use any other wording that such propaganda. Even if it is a definition that gave Goebbels — here the important thing is that we understand what we say when we say the word "propaganda". Even Lenin in his time formulated a clear definition of propaganda, which he, by the way, separated from the notion of propaganda. Under the propaganda he understood the overall ideological conviction, rather than the belief of individuals, i.e. agitation. He did not think the latest propaganda. All these examples, I only wish to stress that the different researchers and practices understand the term "propaganda" differently. So for constructive dialogue should initially arrange always the meaning of the term.

V.d.: in other words, not all the propaganda that it is called?

G.m.: Yes. Today I believe it is important to talk about processes and phenomena that are not propaganda, but generally are very similar to it. On the basis of the theory of poststructuralism, propaganda can be briefly defined as institutionalized ideological belief of subjects, or the appropriate manipulation of the actors. What resemblance with this phenomenon?

One of similar phenomena is inertia. For example, the so-called "Soviet people" possess the relevant principles of the perception of reality and inertia. They laid down certain habits, traditions and schemes. Costs them be in public space — they start to speak and act in accordance with their learned schemas. For this you don't need to convince them there might not be any facilitators — they all do: raise the banner of communism, will praise Stalin, oplačut themselves lost Soviet times, etc. This is the inertia of thinking.

It is important to note that people exposed to such inerciâm somehow come in contact with the public sphere. For instance, this manifests itself in the decorum of the so-called social networks where people begin to popularize his views. As a result, it is difficult to separate the communicating such inertias of propaganda. But still it is two different things.

V.d.: rather than whether there can be the same inertia is included in the propagandist discourse?

G.m.: of course, good can try propagandists referred to inerciâmi, but they don't always succeed. For example, sometimes a State or the Institute authorities need to make ideological turn or u-turn. In such a case, the propaganda may encounter inertia. For example, today in the media debate that after the events in Ukraine, the Kremlin is not able to make a turn in the conversation with the so-called Novorossiia or so-called separatists of Donetsk and Lugansk, because they have their own inertia. In a Word, Kremlin propagandists like to one shift, but the masses because of its inertia require another. Change momentum very difficult. We see that the Kremlin's conviction that the participation of the Syrian conflict could quickly change the inertia of people, turned out to be false: here differ in the different sides of people's beliefs, fighting for Novorossiju, and the Kremlin propagandists. In fact, we are seeing a conflict that arises between the donbasskimi separatists and the Kremlin. This conflict did not exist.

E: what other phenomenon similar to propaganda, but in fact are not?

G.m.: another similar phenomenon is the habits and needs of users. They resemble inertia, but it's still different from it. Users create request for certain information. Today there is a widespread phenomenon of "infotajment" (a portmanteau of. information + entertainment-e), i.e. news entertainment. Media luring the user information that is shocking, intriguing, etc. They thus indulge to the needs of the consumer. These needs are not institutionalized and are not necessarily associated with ideology, but may be associated with the same inertia. For example, users can create a request for pictures of war, and the media have to react.

Also, when you read in social networks squabble Moscow and Kiev "patriots", it seems that they get pleasure from that fight with each other. Such skirmishes occur constantly, despite the fact that they have no propaganda value and do not represent any value. Thus, there is a mass communication phenomena that resemble propaganda, but it is not.

But a serious propagandist with all these phenomena must be considered, in that they are not always at hand. For example, if the Kremlin now conceived any serious reform, he would be faced with the fact that the masses would not only not ready, but hostile to such initiatives.

V.d.: That is the driving force behind the propaganda?

G.m.: Propaganda is connected not only with the facts and manipulation and, primarily, with the values. For example, traditional family values not seen, but conservatives around the world suggests that the ideal State should build on them. Therefore, the promotion of primarily relies on values and goals, and only secondarily engaged in manipulation.

In this sense, it is very important to the emotional field and all connected with it-music, songs, films, works of art. Those who argue that propaganda is the only genus of disinformation, apparently never studied what propaganda actually. Propaganda can generally dispense disinformation. She enjoys it, but may act without it. Note that in such a situation, every State needs to identify the set of objectives and values, which is not propaganda. This is because all goals and values in one way or another connected with the system of beliefs and popularization. Thus, popularizing each idea blindly can be called propaganda. Because of this and rises. Kremlin analysts might argue that "in Lithuania around American propaganda", as the country has a specific set of goals and values. According to them, it turns out that the only country which has no goals and values, lives out propaganda. But, in my opinion, it would be the greatest country in the world.

V.d.: But what values uses Russian propaganda? Whether such "value" the constant search for enemies? For example, we can see how easy it is to place the main enemy in Russian discourse now occupies, displacing the Turkey with that position the same.

G.m.: one thing, as evidenced by pro-Kremlin media, and quite another matter, as people say, actually. Active discussion about Turkey in the same social networks lasted about a week after the incident with the Russian bomber. Similarly, certain conversations were conducted and when Russia began to participate in the conflict. However, if you look at what has been and continues to be a broad discussion is the subject of Ukraine. These events are of interest and concern to people much more than ephemeral events related to Turkey or Syria.

I would say that nowadays Russian society increasingly inclined to discuss their problems. Discusses serious communal problems unsolved economic problems, economic problems. All cares much more than the relationship with Turkey. Therefore, in my opinion, the "Turkish" propaganda was short-lived.

E: Ie propaganda is no longer as effective?

G.m.: it seems to me that today the Russian propaganda machine began to slip. It is no longer as strong as in the times of the active phase of the war in the Donets Basin, because it now no clear vector and prospects. On the contrary, the power of persuasion of the Ukrainian media remained fairly strong because, in addition to the issue of the war in the East and captured the Crimea they have clear objective is cooperation with the EU, economic development and that too it is necessary to note the phrase contempt for Russia. I would say that in this situation the Ukrainian media feel better than Russian. It is also interesting that the Russian media almost every day a certain message republished by Ukrainian media — of course, with his comments.

V.d.: the reason for the loss of positions of the Russian propaganda?

G.m.: this is because, as we have said — Russian propaganda in General has no value. For example, in relation to the Baltic countries applied the tactics of derision, when they are exposed as weak and stupid, and are referred to as Grozny NATO outpost against Russia. Practically on the same day in different Russian media can meet both these versions. In other words, we are talking about conflicting messages and corresponding contradictory analysis information.

V.d.: I would also like to know your opinion on how Russian propaganda is the successor of the Soviet propaganda?

G.m.: firstly, between Soviet and new Russian propaganda has no direct connection. Soviet propaganda died around 1990, and even a little earlier is still, in fact, until the collapse of the Soviet Union. The new Russian propaganda was born around 1999-2000. In General, her appearance was associated with the second Chechen war. When it became clear that the cliches of Soviet propaganda did not fit to the new conditions. New principles of Russian propaganda were largely carried over from the Western technologies PR'a and communication. Next walked the stage of active development of the Russian propaganda, during which she mastered all new technology — the same so-called "factory of trolls" or splicing of propaganda and cyber attacks. In other words, gaining what Soviet propaganda was not and could not be.

On the other hand, Soviet propaganda always had a clear vision. It was a definite purpose, vision, though, and utopian. All this existed as a unifying motif, like a great prospect and the path to the goal. Contemporary Russian propaganda is nothing. She's all time rushing around, all of its short-term goals. All projection — whether new conservatism or Novorossiya-a year-another are ideological. It seems to me that nowadays Russian propaganda in general there was no idea, it has no purpose. I think that the Kremlin is a tragic mistake, because Russia still not accustomed to live without global ideas and a vision for the future.

Interview By Victor Denisenko, Newsader

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