To be honest, I know next to nothing about conditions for the press in Russia. I expect there is little if any room for dissent. Would-be critical journalists are up against not only powerful people, but also Government, as the Navalnyj example has demonstrated so dramatically. But then again, Russians don’t expect a free press. Critics were brutally persecuted under the czars (e.g. Dostoevskij was sentenced to death) less so under Lenin, it is true, but certainly under Stalin. Then there was a brief “thaw”, before business as usual resumed with Leonid Brezhnev, as dreadfully dreary a chap as you ever saw. Russians don’t expect a free press. They never had it and they doubt they ever will. People in Russia find out, somehow, what they need to know.
That’s the difference between here and there: knowing what you need to know.
In Five Eyes countries and Europe, people honestly believe they enjoy a free press. All over the world, we watch and ridicule the circus of US politics with its plethora of partisan media outlets, dissent, vitriolic criticism of the currently ruling Democratic Party and even the President, on all sorts of issues. Yet, US citizens can’t seem to find out what they need to know. Else, why is 50–90 per cent of the population there just getting poorer? Why is the top decile just getting very much richer, year by year, regardless of whether the president is from one or the other party?
Have I quoted this guy before?:
The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum — even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.Chomsky, of course. Not that I agree with everything he has written – far from it! In the field of linguistics, for instance…. be that as it may
Take the issue of abortion as an example, a tremendously hot topic in the USA. In effect, if abortions are prohibited, premarital sex will basically be off bounds. Think about it, that is really hot stuff! True, there are contraceptives, but they are not fool-proof or without side-effects. For the Democratic Party, the assault on abortion rights (supported almost exclusively by voters of the Republican Party) must be conceived as a blessing, because many traditionally Republican voters will secretly cast their ballots for the “other side”, the Dems, not least since the two parties no longer differ all that much on key issues.
Both parties are, after all, neo-liberal to the core and basically also militaristic. How much of US tax payers’ money has disappeared, under Biden, into the abyss of an extremely corrupt Ukraine, with support from most of the Republican Party? I am not going to look it up for you. I’m tired of producing facts that are blithely disregarded.
Why do I go on and on, you ask, about the USA? I keep harping, you say, about US iniquities although I live in Europe. True. Guilty as charged. WHY? Because European NATO member states are US vassals, that’s why.
So yes, let’s look at those of us who live in Europe? Do we know what we need to know? “As long as it takes,” Biden said, but what he seems to have meant was: “no matter what it takes”. Do we, in Europe, understand Biden’s and Stoltenberg’s gamble? Have we, in all our European Democracies, been asked what we think about being the playthings of US attempts to crush a rival? We were told only that:
1) “Every country must be allowed to decide what kids to invite to its birthday party” and
2) “He punched first.”
Repeated every day, many times a day, over I-have-lost-count-of-the-number of days, these two puerile arguments have turned Europe into a gigantic kindergarten.
Do we who live in Europe know that we would be well advised to enjoy every last drop of what may prove to be our last months or maybe even weeks? Do we realise we should be making peace with family members we haven’t spoken to for years? Do we understand that we should imagine ourselves terminally ill? In plain words: What would you do, if you knew you might die within the next six months?
In the late 1970-s, I ridiculed USSR animosity to US chewing gum and Levies. Now I understand that the USSR had every reason to fear what we now understand as US “soft power”. Europe flew right into the net of soft power and is now – forgive my French – a Eunuch.
I put to you, though I may be wrong, that holding dissenting views here, in Norway, is now more personally damning than it is in Russia. A friend of mine who has actually survived being a dissenter in a dictatorship, said: This is worse than in a dictatorship, because, there, you had at least fellow-dissenters. Here, in Norway, none are visible. Here, in Norway, if you disagree with the US/NATO destruction of Europe, you shut up.
In this country, Norway, nobody who is not suicidal will dare publish, in any paper – academic, journalistic or otherwise – any criticism of the US/NATO proxy war against Russia.
You will know, by now, that I maintain that the Ukraine issue is not as simple as the New York Times or Klassekampen would have us believe.
So I end my diatribe with a link to a source I happen to trust more than I trust the CIA or even the New York Times:
The article is called: “Where do you get your Ukraine news?”