Thursday, May 24, 2018

Marx is Back in the Kremlin -- But It’s Groucho Not Karl

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 24 – Responding to questions about reports that recent Russian rocket tests had failed, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov used words that Aleksandr Golts say should be “inscribed in granite.” Specifically, Peskov declared “Listen to Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and believe him.”

            That formula which recalls the immortal Grouch Marx’ classic repost “Who are you going to believe: me or your own eyes?” and, if accepted, the Moscow commentator points out, precludes “in principle any attempt at the analysis of official information” (

            When one is talking about things like secret missile tests, Golts says, “the ordinary person by definition doesn’t’ have any information. He can believe either his beloved president or a hostile television channel.” Andin such a situation, he is likely to choose the former as reported by Moscow television because it doesn’t disturb his “spiritual calm.”

              Only the most ill-disposed will recall that the Russian military does not have a perfect track record in informing either the president or the Russian people and that “in fact, before our eyes, the military is creating a parallel reality, a different world for Vladimir Putin and for the people living under it.”

            In that world, the Moscow commentator says, “all tests of exotic arms are successful, helicopters destroy terrorists, intelligence supplies interested persons of absolutely reliable information about the evil connections of Washington with terrorism, and anti-aircraft weapons created 40 years ago are able to intercept present-day American rockets.”

            There’s just “one problem,” he continues. “In order to carry out such a massive campaign of mass disinformation, one must cerate a super-ministry to conduct it. It must control and direct information which an infinite number of state agencies and committees report. If it doesn’t do this, then confusion about its own lies is inevitable.”

            Not long ago, Golts reminds, “specialists at the Gaidar Institute using official data noted that the growth in the supply to the Russian army of contemporary weapons in 2017 had fallen more than ten times in comparison with 2016 – even though the state defense program was declared to have been completely fulfilled!”

            There is of course a way out of this problem: the Soviet variant which “did not give any information at all.  But if that way is chosen, Golts says, there will be little “to frighten enemies and inspire fellow citizens. Thus, only one thing remains: to require citizens to believe V.V. Putin under the threat of criminal punishment.”

                “Have no doubt,” Golts says, “that a corresponding law will be submitted to the State duma in the near future.”

No comments:

Post a Comment