I was recently asked how Putin treats Journalists and the Press. I started writing these thoughts in order to map out the lay of the land in the modern global politics.
The media is a voice for a group. It is important to define which groups the media is a voice for.
With these concepts as launch pad, let us begin to explore the question and start to map out how these concentrations of power interact.
Russia currently has a centralized authoritarian state in which the intelligence agencies and a powerful elite who own corporations and finance have a large amount of control over the state apparatus, there is high a level of state control and censorship over their press. This situation is also the case in the United States.
In contrast we can examine the case of the the recent alleged assassination of a dissident Russian journalist in Ukraine this week. It was faked by a Ukrainian Intel agency and he is still alive, yet the majority of western press and the UK Foreign Office reported it as Putin assassinating a journalist. This is just one example but it shows how easy it is to create an image that is far worse than reality.
The biggest differences between Russian and American Authoritarianism is that in Russia the current central powers are actively working to provide for both common people in addition to the powerful oligarchs. The inequality between the capital owning oligarchy and the common people is vast, but at least the Russian stater is doing significant work to provide for the common people in education, jobs and social safety nets. This is reflected in the huge democratic vote that the current Russian state receives.
In the US since the 1970's the central state has seized more power and has consistently given opportunities to the multinational capital owning oligarch class at the expense of the common people who actually live in America.
In Russia in the 1990’s the vast majority of national capital infrastructure was seized by multinational oligarchs, thanks to Yeltsin, Bill Clinton and Wall St. But since the Russian Intelligence services gained control of the state from oligarchs the central state has been carefully balancing between regaining providing for the common people without completely alienating the multinational oligarchy and hence losing control of the capital required to run a nation state. During the last decade that the Russian Intel agencies have controlled the state, they have been slowly regaining control of national capital infrastructure from the multinational oligarchy, and have been using this infrastructure to provide for the common people and to defend against external attacks that seek to restore the balance power to the multinational oligarchs.
So while Russia is still very dependent on its oligarchs, the state has a lot more control than the oligarchs do. In America this is the opposite. In America the oligarchs have the balance of power.
In America the oligarchs control the media and absolutely silence anyone who opposes them. The Intel agencies and the Oligarchs have become dependent on each other to maintain power and both work together to gain ever more power for themselves.
Meanwhile American democracy is completely dysfunctional, and in no way represents the American people. The powerful centralized state has removed almost all social safety nets, and has given ownership of most essential services to oligarch controlled corporations. The US media, economy and government all serve and represent the oligarchy at the expense of the common people. Oligarchy controlled media, finance and culture is far more powerful than individual citizens. It is against this form of oligarch control that Russia’s state institutions have been increasingly gaining power. It is against oligarchy controlled finance that the Russian state has been fighting for its people. This is a gradual process and it is not perfect and the oligarchs will at times regain measures of power. The Russian state does censor and control the media voices of its oligarchs and this is an important part of protecting the people from the oligarchs.
This is not an ideal situation and I personally am in favor of more decentralized systems and a Swiss style direct democracy. However given Russia’s history and how much it suffered under oligarch control, the strong central state currently gives better results for the common people in Russia.
There is always the danger of the state becoming too controlling and authoritarian, however as long as the intelligence agencies can balance between the common people, the oligarchy and external pressures then there will be a relatively stable balance between the three forces, until crypto-blockchain ushers in new multi polar societies.
In the US, the intelligence agencies and the oligarchy are totally dedicated to helping each other at the expense of the common American people. This has caused the massive societal collapse that we are seeing in America today. The equation is far too unbalanced and the common people have been massively exploited. This is now rapidly causing a massive lack of reciprocal relationship between the American common people and the government that is supposed to serve them. Because the relationship between the common people and the government is entirely one way, vast numbers of people are starting to withdraw from the relationship and are starting to build relationships with more localized, forms of government which actually represent them and provide for their needs.
Meanwhile the American intelligence agencies and the oligarchy desperately tries to spin this narrative of an attack by Russia or terrorists so that the common American people still feel the need to support the bloated, corrupt central government and the oligarchy who feed on it.
Its my opinion that it is too late for the American people to regain control of the central government from the oligarchs. I believe that the central government will continue to collapse and federations of local communities and international metropolises will emerge. Hopefully the oligarchy will allow this to happen without bloodshed and civil war. But unfortunately I don’t think that will be the case.
Many people will not be ready to adapt to changing circumstances, but the forerunners are already preparing future civilizational models.
Once Washington’s empire collapses the whole world will likely move fairly quickly to federated city states. Decentralized cryptocurrency and direct democracy will provide the framework for a new interconnected world. With the threat of American invasion removed, power will increasingly shift away from authoritarian central states and a multi-polar world system will emerge. As blockchain applications become ubiquitous, neither the state nor the oligarchies will be able to control the flow of information or finance. It is in this manner that the common people will gain a voice and hand. The direct control of the flow of information and trade will greatly decrease the power that is currently held by centralized institutions such as the Nation State and the Oligarchy.
Its better to spend your time, imagination and energy on building for the new future rather than being stuck in the old paradigm from the age of nation states and oligarchs. It is a waste of energy to be caught up in cartoonish villainization of other ethnicities and their societal systems. A rational exploration of the current concentrations of power and the manner in which they will shift will allow us to constructively use our energy to better humanity and our local community.