A number of prominent political commentators have recently spoken out about the dangers of Russian propaganda. In some cases, they’ve traced the Russian disinformation and propaganda pushed in the last three or four years back to the Soviet propaganda work all the way back to before World War Two.
There is considerable reason to agree with the conclusion that Russian – previously Soviet – propaganda has indeed influenced the world strongly for nearly a century. The Russians do indeed seem to be masters at the art and science.
That does not mean that their efforts are perfect, or always successful. As the last few months and the debacle (or so claimed) in Ukraine demonstrates. (Of course, the Ukrainians themselves are heirs to the Soviets and the Czars before them: indeed, Ukraine is the motherland of the Motherland: the Russian state and empire had its beginnings in Kievan Rus.) but still, Russian propaganda has a good track record dating back at least to Vladimir Lenin and the 1920s.
One of the biggest success stories in Russia’s propaganda program against the States – and the FedGov – may be the environist movement, starting during the American-Vietnamese War of the 1960s-1970s: a half-century ago.
Several historians note that the rise of the Green political philosophy in both North America and Europe had ties to the Communist (International Progressives) organizations and movements then. In the 20-plus years since the end of WW2, the various Communist-International movements had succeeded (with Soviet arms, of course) in Eastern Europe. It had again succeeded in various ways in China, Korea, Indochina, Cuba, and a few places in Africa. The successes were as much due to the stupidity, cupidity, and division in the West as to Soviet brilliance. But it had failed in Western Europe and the Mediterranean, and so something new was needed. And tried.
This was the environmental movement.
Modern demigods and heroes of the environists mostly had ties to the socialist and communist movements. This, given the record of the Soviets at home and in Europe, is actually kind of strange. The vanguard of the proletariat exhibited virtually NO concern for the ecology, conservation, preservation, nature, or even of replacing God the Creator with Mother Earth. As found later (1980s Chernobyl, post-Soviet 1990s revelations of environmental conditions in their old Empire), environmental protection and quality were not even on the list of priorities for the central planners and apparatchiks and commissars.
But if such a movement – long a fringe and fad element in the West, including the States – could be used to weaken and create vulnerabilities in the West? Ah, what a wonderful idea! Mother Earth must be protected – and restored! Evil resource exploitation (mining, ranching, even farming) and nasty industrial and commercial activities (manufacturing, processing, distribution) must be ended or reduced to a bare minimum. And all must be micromanaged by the State to provide environmental protection.
Not only that, but it could be used to further denigrate the capitalists and their system – and free markets. And freedom itself. People cannot be allowed to make their own decisions. And even the idea of private ownership of land and resources can be questioned. Indeed, environmental protection as a creed leads to many strong arguments for broadband socialism and communal limits. As well as an excuse for more and more tyranny. The various aspects: tenets of the faith; lend themselves strongly to tyranny without a need to have nasty foreign enemies to rally against.
The result? Fifty years of increasingly harsh regulatory schemes taking away economic freedoms in the cause of saving the earth. Fifty years of more and more denial of free enterprise, of control and elimination of free markets, and worse. More reason to condemn industry and even those holdouts against socialism: farmers and ranchers in particular. And increasing opportunities for polarization, for division of society and economy and the various nations.
Back to the propaganda successes and abilities of Russians and the old Soviets – and the remaining modern Communists: none of those successes would have been possible without the development and use of propaganda here in the Fifty States and the other once free parts of the world: indeed, it was American, British, and French ideas and techniques that were taken and used by the Soviets and Russians. And in turn seized upon by their western partners: not shills of Moscow (or today of Peking), but mentors and even masters of Soviets, Red Chinese, Cuban, and others. For the millennia-long goal of power, of domination, and of uncontainable wealth.
As with inflation, is it any surprise that government in 2022 so supports the mindless environism of the green movement, even while pretending to hold them back? Environist activists and groups have, as always, been watermelons: green on the outside and red in the heart.
They don’t call the movement “Water Melons” for nothing. (Green on the outside…..)