Staunton, July 11 – According to a new VTsIOM poll, 67 percent of Russians think there is a secret “world government,” up from 45 percent in 2014; and of those who believe in the existence of such a power, three out of four say that it is fundamentally anti-Russian and behind efforts to destroy their country a figure up from just over 50 percent four years ago (finanz.ru/novosti/aktsii/dve-treti-rossiyan-veryat-v-mirovoe-pravitelstvo-1027358193).
On the one hand, such attitudes reflect the kind of conspiracy thinking in low information environments not only in Russia but elsewhere as well. People who are looking for an explanation for disparate and otherwise inexplicable to them at least events often fasten on truly absurd notions such as this one.
But on the other, as a study by Moscow’s Medialogiya Company says, the central Russian media mentioned the existence of “a world government” or “a secret government” 22,212 times between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2018, thus providing Russians with a term that Russians can make use of (ruskline.ru/news_rl/2018/07/11/otkuda_ishodit_ugroza_miru/).
Russian beliefs in such a shadowy conspiratorial body simultaneously then reflect their ignorance about the outside world, an ignorance which the central Russian media have done little to destroy but in fact appear to have cultivated, and also show the power of the media to spread an idea normally confined to marginal groups to a majority of the Russian population.
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