Alternate universe

It seems pretty clear that the ruskies have been involved in… or better said, interfering in… western “democratic” processes.

Brexit, tRumpelection, Catalonian separatism… it seems that the Kremlin’s been meddling in many afairs in order to destabilize the West.

Needless to say, the West has been doing the same for decades, starting from the Voice of America and ending with the various “colour” revolutions in the Russian sphere of influence.

From the perspective of an alien, it would be hard to see which side is worse, so the outrage of anti-trumpists, EU remainers and Spanish federalists should be put into perspective. Don’t complain when the victims of your manipulation hoist you on your own petard.

Mind – I’m not defending ruskie interference. Nor western interference for that matter. It’s a new mode of warefare, like it or not. The ruskies appear to be more adept at manipulating the unhappiness of western yokels than the west it at manipulating the unhappiness of eastern yokels, go figure.

In this new mode of warefare, the ruskies have a major advantage. They’re prone to paternalistic governments and personality cults (though their tRump experiment might be a shot in the foot), and democracy is notably absent in today’s russia. The CIA’s extensive experience in mob manipulation doesn’t stand a chance in russia, while russia’s web bots have certainly been a success.

As usual, I will be called anti-american when I say that this is just another case of blowback. We’ve been manipulating for decades – how can we complain of our “democratic” processes being manipulated? Ask any of the extreme neoliberal manipulators that abound in the US if manipulation of democracy is easy or copasetic. Or, if you’re inclined towards rw thoughts, if the likes of Soros is copasetic or effective.

The alternate reality is that democracy has a basic weakness. The electorate is easy to manipulate through a relatively small and cheap efforts. Putin’s russia is pretty much immune, so advantage to the ruskies.

What is more, what the ruskies want is pretty much what the Koch’s et al want, so, as usual, the cards are stacked against progressives.

IMHO, progressives are probably more ambitious than ever, with better chances for success than ever. Feel the Bern, Podemos, et al… but the opposition is stronger than ever, and is multinational. Hell – when the interests of capital and the ruskies are aligned, and go hand-in-hand with ultranationalism, the fight is harder than ever. Add gerrymandering and it makes its’ own juice.

Assange has been aiding and abetting the catalonian separatists, despite having next to no knowledge of the catalonian situation. Apparently he’s been garnering information from the ruskies, go figure.

But what blows my mind is the incompetence of the NSA, etc. Internet is an uhmerican invention, and it seems that everyone from ISIS to the ruskies outgun us in this area. To the point that we actually have a manchurian candidate as potus, forchrissakes.

Talk to me, let me know that I’m wrong.

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21 thoughts on “Alternate universe”

  1. “Talk to me, let me know that I’m wrong.”

    IF I am wrong, better said.

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  2. One thing you’re forgetting is there is no moral equivalence between “freedom and democracy” and “tyrannical dictatorship”.

    There is no moral equivalence between “freedom and democracy broadcasting true newscasts into tyrannical regimes to try to help their suffering people know the truth” and “tyrannical regimes broadcasting lies into free democracies to try to undermine their freedom and democracy”.

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  3. “One thing you’re forgetting is there is no moral equivalence between “freedom and democracy” and “tyrannical dictatorship”.”

    Isn’t there? What the fuck is freedom, a word so thoughtlessly flung about, which has become the catchword for any given special interest? What the fuck is democracy when we have an uneducated and a particularly vulnerable elecorate prone to believe whatever lies that special (and wealthy…or foreign) interests spew?

    Putin is a dictator, for sure. But he is a POPULAR dictator by all counts. Put him in a democracy and you have a legitimate leader, for sure. And tRump? Propped by Russian interference… what’s the dif?

    “There is no moral equivalence between “freedom and democracy broadcasting true newscasts into tyrannical regimes to try to help their suffering people know the truth” and “tyrannical regimes broadcasting lies into free democracies to try to undermine their freedom and democracy”.”

    Of course not, and I am not stating such a thing. But both things are happening, and have happened, on both sides.

    “Both” sides have lied and manipulated, neither hold the truth in their hands, and both sides can validly claim that they are supporting suffering people.

    So tell me that I’m wrong, and show it.

    You and others voted for tRump. You did so for guns, which, though I think is pretty stupid, I can respect. It’s what you’re into. But how many idiots fell into the BS spouted by russian bots on the net? How many “orange revolutionists” fell into the idiotic nationalism that has caused the Ukranian crisis?

    Uzi, when you say “One thing you’re forgetting is there is no moral equivalence between “freedom and democracy” and “tyrannical dictatorship”.”, think that “freedom” and “tyrany” depends on what you believe in. The whole question is what, and where, and who, foment ideas and news. True or false news.

    News is a business. The media is owned by people with an agenda – they certainly don’t buy into the media as a business investment these days. The ruskies have hoisted us on our own petard by interfering in our democratic process, as we have been doing to others for decades.

    I’m not addressing a moral equivalence here. I see that the ruskies are doing a better job. They have made a potus, for fuck’s sake. The US tried to remove the Ukraine from Russia’s orbit, and failed misereably and created a major superpower conflict.

    ……..

    I think that capitalism sucks. I met a CIA guy who worked in Zaragoza many years ago. He was an incompetent idiot, which is not surprising. A bright fellow would make a ton of bucks in the private sector, so the public sector has to take up the dredges – which includes our armed forces and our politicos. Shit floats. Thus my acquaintance in Zaragoza (where there was a US base back then).

    As for “freedom and democracy” being morally superior, that can only be true where their is freedom of speech. And by “freedom”, I mean that your voice, my voice, or the voice of a major industry or of a multi-billionaire have the same weight. That CERTAINLY doesn’t exist in the US of A. Thus the US of A is a tyranny, a tyranny of an oligarchic special interest. Is that morally superior to a perceived beneficial dictatorship?

    Hell, Uzi, you’re a smart bloke. THINK about it.

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  4. Seems?

    and has the USA done anything like that before?

    HMM!

    Good gods, we don’t even have democracy here, at least not according to the DNC.

    What really gets me is not that the vote was hacked but why can it be hacked? That hacking is a possibility has been around for a very long time, since the electronic voting machines. But it wasn’t addressed, this ability to hack the vote, until it became convenient for political reasons. No one in the mainstream media is addressing the fact that it can actually be hacked by anyone with the know-how. This issue really begs to be addressed.

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  5. I agree that the issue needs to be addressed. But who benefits from the interference, from gerrymandering, et al?

    The answer is clear, the party that’s been hijacked by your hero, with the help of putin.

    So, if you want this issue to be addressed, look in the mirror first. Maybe you might not want it to be addressed since the issue goes in your interpreted “interests”.

    Go figure.

    —–

    I am an anti-nationalist, in any of its forms. I don’t think that any country should interfere in the affairs of another unless all hell has broken loose and there’s a genocide going on. And if such a situation breaks out, there should be international consensus before intervening.

    When democracy is made bankrupt through the use of bots on the net (and the ignorance of the electorate), I’m torn. On one side I think that you get the government you deserve, but my more moral side would like to see that the ignorance of the electorate shouldn’t be influenced by foreign trouble makers. In any country or region.

    But that’s just me, I’m strange in this way. I don’t figure that the ends justify the means, and usually distrust both the ends and the means in any case.

    You got a pussy-grabbing potus that places plutocrats in power and cuts taxes for the rich. Goodonya and on your conscience. I’m sure that he’ll do wonders in cleaning up the swamp.

    I live in another country with problems of its own, also manipulated by the ruskies. But it’s healthy enough not to vote for such a small man as tRump, forchrissakes.

    I’ve often been ashamed of the acts of our gubmint. I was ashamed that the likes of Dubya could be (s)elected twice. But to fall so low as to elect tRump! I don’t think that passing for a Canadian is enough to save face in the civilized world (wink to Timbuk and dinner in Casa Botín).

    Democracy is like the pottery shop. You voted for it, you buy it.

    Enjoy your masochism for 4-8 years, you deserve every fucking moment of it arseholes.

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  6. “The Russian thing way over played.”

    Personally, my concern isn’t so much about tRumpis collussion. My problem is with the bots on social networks.

    In this sense I have no particular moral “outrage”, knowing of how we have manipulated “democratic processes” here, there and everywhere. The ruskies are wrong to do it, the US is wrong to do it. Bot interference makes a joke of the democratic process.

    Parry aside, it’s clear that the ruskies have fucked with the west, in the US, in the UK, and in Catalonia. Just like the US has done the same in inumerable countries for decades.

    On one side I’m having another schadenfreude moment. But on the other I am concerned with whatever credibility that democracy has to offer here, there and everywhere, when it is open to such manipulations.

    Sheesh, we have enough with the Kochs fucking with democracy. Putin is just the icing on the cake.

    Did the tRump admin collude with the ruskies? Yes, no or maybe. Nixon certainly fucked over LBJ with negotiations, and Iran-Contra is certifiable. JFK fucked over S. Vietnam, and Ike did the same in Iran.

    Is the tRump collussion overplayed? Perhaps.

    But I was brought up on the idea that a democracy must be Mr. Clean. The contacts have been made clear. Our minority potus, the pussy-grabber, has certainly benefitted from ruskie bots.

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  7. As for your 2nd source (RT), frankly, it’s risible.

    Nigel has the credibility of… well, I’m hard put to find someone with less. Perhaps RT.

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  8. Not very convincing, especially when it says:

    “the only straw Brennan has found to hold on to, is a few innocuous advertisements posted on Facebook and Twitter that had no noticeable impact on the election at all.”

    There were thousands of bot working during the election period. The article is disingenuous in minimizing what has been quantified.

    Nevertheless, the OP is about all sides interfering. And the investigation goes on, and purportedly another against Billary for something she wasn’t even responsible for (uranium sales).

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  9. Certainly a better article. And I can understand the author’s reticence in believing what he considers unsubtantiated sources.

    I remember well the unsubstantiated sources that got us into Iraq.

    Russian interference is being blamed, rightly or wrongly, for interfering in the US election, in the Brexit referendum and in the whole Catalonian independence fracass. There is an investigation going on with regards to tRump and the other two events, and the results remain to be seen.

    FWIW, I was famously wrong about WMD’s in Iraq – I thought they had them, but didn’t consider them a causus belli.

    Perhaps the level of influence of the Ruskies is exaggerated – neither you nor I nor the various reporters, know for certain. That the influence existed is certainly proven, so I return to my WMD mistake. My “facts” were wrong, my moral stance was right, and I was right in the end.

    Where the question lays is with regards to collusion, not with ruskie interference. That’s where the tRump misadmin might fall or not. And that is generally where both our sources are not so clear. Interference happened. Collusion… we’ll see.

    Re-read the op. I don’t particularly cite collusion, but I decry interference. Have anything that points against interference?

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  10. I do not think that Russia is interfering in all that you have mentioned. I think there is indeed interference tho.

    Someone, some American group wants to keep America divided, so we don’t all unite against the corruption in the USA government. We know it is happening. We know who is doing it. We know that many of these pseudo-controller$ are suffering from severely altered cerebral perfu$ion ($oro$, strangely a paladrome, kicked off his own businesses’ boards).

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  11. “Someone, some American group wants to keep America divided”

    The GOP/teabaggers.

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  12. “I do not think that Russia is interfering in all that you have mentioned. I think there is indeed interference tho.”

    Perhaps it’s the Kochs? Or any number of rw neoliberal wealthy interests that have spending billions each and every year, to possibly a proportion of 100 to 1 compared to progressive interests?

    As for the Ruskies, I agree with the first part of your phrase: “I don’t think”.

    The rest is gibberish.

    BTW, how’s that investigation on Soros going?

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  13. Isn’t there?

    No. There is no moral equivalence between a free democracy and a ruthless dictatorship.

    What the fuck is freedom, a word so thoughtlessly flung about, which has become the catchword for any given special interest? What the fuck is democracy when we have an uneducated and a particularly vulnerable elecorate prone to believe whatever lies that special (and wealthy…or foreign) interests spew?

    Americans are able to disagree with Trump with no fear of repercussions.

    Russians who disagree with Putin end up being murdered in various gruesome ways.

    But both things are happening, and have happened, on both sides.

    No. We broadcast truth into tyrannical regimes. Tyrannical regimes broadcast lies into free democracies.

    The reverse does not happen.

    both sides can validly claim that they are supporting suffering people.

    There is no validity to the claims made by tyrannical regimes.

    How many “orange revolutionists” fell into the idiotic nationalism that has caused the Ukranian crisis?

    The crisis was not caused by Ukrainians wanting a free and uncorrupt government. It was caused by Putin launching a war of aggression against Ukraine.

    Uzi, when you say “One thing you’re forgetting is there is no moral equivalence between “freedom and democracy” and “tyrannical dictatorship”.”, think that “freedom” and “tyrany” depends on what you believe in.

    No. The difference between freedom and tyranny depends on how a government deals with people who disagree with it.

    The ruskies have hoisted us on our own petard by interfering in our democratic process, as we have been doing to others for decades.

    This is incorrect. We have not been interfering in Russia’s democratic process.

    Also, Russia no longer has a democratic process.

    The US tried to remove the Ukraine from Russia’s orbit, and failed misereably and created a major superpower conflict.

    I wouldn’t use the term “the Ukraine” in front of any Ukrainians. Russians use that term to refer to Ukraine in the same way that Klan members use the N-word to refer to black people.

    Whatever conflict there is was created by Russia’s aggressive invasions of its neighbors.

    I think that capitalism sucks.

    We certainly need a strong social safety net. But “no capitalism” means “no iPhone” (or Samsung equivalent).

    As for “freedom and democracy” being morally superior, that can only be true where their is freedom of speech. And by “freedom”, I mean that your voice, my voice, or the voice of a major industry or of a multi-billionaire have the same weight. That CERTAINLY doesn’t exist in the US of A.

    I don’t find that my ability to speak out is limited by the fact that I am not wealthy.

    Is that morally superior to a perceived beneficial dictatorship?

    I prefer the country where the government won’t murder me for speaking out against it.

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  14. Uzi, sometimes I think that you are deliberately obtuse.

    I am not judging between the relative merits or demerits of either Russia’s or the US’s respective regimes. Without a doubt, between two evils, the US is the lesser one.

    Read the OP without being nationalistically defensive.

    The US has a long history of interfering with democratic processes around the world, including amongst our democratic allies. Russia’s interference has been more recent, since their previous meddling was more over-the-top and authoritarian. Operation Gladio vs. outright intervention, for example, although we’re not far behind (if not ahead) in the outright intervention side if you take a close look.

    The OP was about how the Ruskies have become particularly adept in manipulating democracy in Western countries, while we have been particularly inept in doing so in 3rd world countries.

    I find both sides execrable in intervening in the internal affairs of other countries, fwiw. The Ruskies do it better, simply said.

    As for the Ukraine (wherin I use “the” in a geographical context which has been used for centuries), when I mention the “colour revolutions”, these predate any Russian military intervention. Kiev, fyi, was one of Russia’s 1st capitals, and Ukranian nationalism is closely aligned with fascism. The Crimea was “given” to Ukrania (happy with that name?) by Kruschef, it had never really been a part of Ukrania in the past.

    As for the rest of your predictable response, I think that a large portion of the US population might think that they are victims of a tyrannical regime, though they might not use that particular nomenclature. At the same time, having numerous Russian friends (and an ex), probably a majority of Russians don’t think that they live under a Putin dictatorship.

    You, of course, having lived all your life in the US of A, with its renowned education (towards the bottom of the list of developed countries), having visited (perhaps) Canada and Mexico, have an absolute and adamantine knowledge of the world.

    Good for you! It’s great to posess the absolute truth, even if you have no basis. It makes making up one’s mind much easier. It’s also known as cognitive dissonance.

    ————-

    See the world, Uzi. Speak to people from other continents. Listen to them, open your mind.

    Otherwise you’re stuck in a 1950’s false reality.

    No disrespect, mind. I think that you’re a very bright guy. You just don’t have the information base to have a proper world view.

    Gawd knows (as I do) that I have MY shortcomings. I constantly seek information that confronts my preconceived notions, as a challenge and as an opportunity. I can change my spots when I see that I’ve been mislead. It’s a liberating experience.

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  15. Liberating and sometimes embarassing.

    At one point I was a xtian (between 9-11 years old). I was once a democrat. I used to believe in a lot of bs patriotic crap. I thought that Saddam had WMD’s (though I didn’t think that it was a causus belli). I used to be attracted to the big-titted, square-jawed sort of US female paradigm. I have tons of things to be ashamed of, I admit them.

    But I keep my mind and eyes open. I don’t have adamantine ideas, though I have heart-felt values. If I’m wrong in an interpretation, I’ll admit it – and reinterpret other things in light of what I’ve learned.

    I’m not perfect, and I certainly don’t hold the absolute truth in my hands.

    But you, Uzi, my friend (said because I have absolutely no animosity against you and I respect you despite our differences), come across as having the absolute truth on your side.

    You don’t, ‘cos truth ain’t absolute.

    ——-

    Just hoping that you open your very bright mind up a bit, in good faith.

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  16. I am not judging between the relative merits or demerits of either Russia’s or the US’s respective regimes.

    In that case, I don’t know if I have any objections to your posts here.

    It had seemed that you were equating us with some truly evil regimes.

    We’re not perfect, but we’re not all that bad, and we’re doing the best that we can.

    truth ain’t absolute.

    I strongly disagree. People can be mistaken. But there is such a thing as absolute truth.

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  17. “But there is such a thing as absolute truth.”

    There we enter into the realms of philosophy and even metaphysics.

    As I get older (and I’m pretty old as it stands), I find that “truth” is interpretation. Often times, what “seems” or “looks like” is held as truth, especially if one adds preconceived notions.

    1+1=2. But even the simpleist mathematics are based on our interpretation. The Babylonians did maths on a 6-base, and while the answers to even mathematical equasions seem “true”, one could consider that we’ve merely created a “game” with well-written rules. In the end we interpret reality from a subjective POV.

    I consider intelligence as a sort of empathy. You come to your conclusions based on what you know and what you see – but true intelligence is in the realm of those who stray outside the box and consider that “what you know” might be wrong, pushing you to look at any given problem from a different POV.

    Try it out. Try imagining yourself, say, as a Ruskie or a Cambodian (or whatnot). Don’t take “democracy” (which is sorely lacking everywhere) as an article of faith, that it is the ultimate good. Your eyes might open up a bit.

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  18. “In the second century of the Christian Era, the empire of Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilized portion of mankind. The frontiers of that extensive monarchy were guarded by ancient renown and disciplined valor. The gentle but powerful influence of laws and manners had gradually cemented the union of the provinces. Their peaceful inhabitants enjoyed and abused the advantages of wealth and luxury. The image of a free constitution was preserved with decent reverence: the Roman senate appeared to possess the sovereign authority, and devolved on the emperors all the executive powers of government. During a happy period of more than fourscore years, the public administration was conducted by the virtue and abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines.”.

    “If a man were called to fix the period in the history of the world, during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus. The vast extent of the Roman empire was governed by absolute power, under the guidance of virtue and wisdom. The armies were restrained by the firm but gentle hand of four successive emperors, whose characters and authority commanded involuntary respect. The forms of the civil administration were carefully preserved by Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the Antonines, who delighted in the image of liberty, and were pleased with considering themselves as the accountable ministers of the laws. Such princes deserved the honor of restoring the republic, had the Romans of their days been capable of enjoying a rational freedom.”

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