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Monday, December 16, 2019

The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, AmericaThe Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a very focused investigation centered solely on Russia's more recent history since the fall of the Berlin Wall, it's becoming a pure Oligarchy, or rather: a Kleptocracy. What's more, we get some rather startling and almost unbelievable details into the nature of Putin's aim.

Let me be more clear: end aim is very clear. He's stated it about a million times. He's so confident in his power and methods that I can't see any truly viable method to stop him. And so he is open and honest about just how many lies he can get away with.

What's unbelievable is how he's been able to revise history on such a massive scale as to make Stalin a hero, rewrite his involvement in WW2 drastically, or taking a relatively obscure philosopher who was a contemporary of Lenin and elegize him to the point of near godhood, projecting his text as the grand narrative of Putin's Russia. Literally. He's had the book printed everywhere, talked about everywhere, and it all boils down to some CRAZY S**t.

Like the unfettered belief that the leader is the soul of the nation, and that nations are always innocent. Harm can be done to Russia, but it will always remain innocent. There can be no double standards if there are no standards. Facts are for other people. Use facts as weapons against those who rely on them, but never be fettered by them.

Trust the leader who will always steer you right.

People in Russia may not believe this s**t, but remember, every media source will be spouting it. Anyone who has ties to America or Europe are immediately branded enemy collaborators. All the western countries are ruled by the Homosexual Agenda and Russia must never fall before them.

This is just a taste of the reality under Putin. He is a master at reality control. After the devastation of the 90's when practically all otherwise well off USSR populace was cashed in and the full reserves of the government power and wealth was transferred to a handful of men, it was absurdly easy to lock down everything. Putin has an amazing amount of combatant hackers at his disposal. Full media control. Banking. And of course the military.

Remember when the Ukraine was urged to give up over a thousand nuclear missiles in 2010? And then Putin invaded them, annexed them, and completely rewrote history about 5 times in order to justify everything about it in 2012? You know, like things saying there is no such thing as Ukraine. Or there is no Ukraine language. It has always been Russia.

This book has an amazing wealth of information in it. Don't take my word for it. It'll shock you.

Let me steal this from another review of this book (and btw, thank you!):
Methods of control:

{--Constant reference to a past era of greatness
--Hyperfocus on enemies who are enemies because of who they are and not what they do
--A profound belief in a zero-sum (or a negative-sum) world
--Willingness to hurt oneself if, in doing so, you can hurt someone else more
--The manufacture of crises and conflicts where none exist in order to control the news cycle
--Constant labeling of information sources as “fake” in an effort to delegitimize any source of truth
--Repetition of blatant, easily verifiable lies with no evidence to back them up other than the fact of the assertion}

His stated goal is to always keep Europe and America as eternal enemies, a-la Eurasia in Orwell's 1984. That means always being on an antagonistic footing, flooding his population with propaganda, and just plain telling any kind of lies he likes, so long as he gets the results he wants. There is no need for any kind of verifiability. He is an Eternal Leader who is Always Innocent and he does NOT need Facts. He just needs to control every narrative. And he does.

The next part of this book is just plain scary.

We've heard all about Russia's supposed involvement with Trump. We've heard both sides make a lot of noise and get nowhere because the signal-to-noise ratio is absolutely atrocious here.

When investigative journalism ACTUALLY does its job, however, a lot of truly damming facts come to light. You know, those pesky little things that Putin cares crap over?

Russian hackers, fully bankrolled by Putin's media empire, is attacking America. This statement isn't just some silly conflation. He's on record of saying it and there are MANY records proving it. Millions of fake facebook accounts with targeted marketing to tight demographics, pandering to prejudices and conspiracy theories, fake movements all across the internet, including millions of tweets by bots trying to influence the political debates. (Successfully, I might add.) Many attempts were also made on the voting machines.

Note the direction almost every convenient "leak" came from during the election cycles. The republican party knew about Trump's many economic connections to Putin, including a Trump Tower with MANY rooms bought by placeholder corporations whose paperwork all led back to Russia, many new real estate deals. The official line was to hush it up. Fire officials that tried to investigate it. And all the while, overwhelming hacker support flowed toward Trump. Let's not forget Trump and Putin's long-standing friendship. They're both fictional characters, after all, telling many interesting narratives, (read lies) that don't need any factual basis. They just need to be plausible for the moment until the power base can be firmed up.

Please refer to the list of power-grabbing methods. Does anyone else see a similarity between Russia and America?

It's almost like all the super-rich looters are playing by the exact same handbook. The goal is to get rich at everyone else's expense. If you don't make the 1% bracket, you're nothing. Just watch for the new grabs.

Look. I said it was nearly unbelievable. But I, unlike radical revisionist leaders, actually LIKE facts.

If this book tells me anything at all, it's to look beyond the noise. We can all be so involved in our little crazy lives so much that we fail to see the big picture. That goes for politics, too. What happens when we realize that a MASSIVE concerted effort to game America's political system actually SUCCEEDS?

Oh, nothing. We're still bickering between blues and reds. Of course, since we do most of that online, it's actually absurdly easy to focus all of one's resources on this choke point. Russia has a veritable army of hackers fanning the flames of all lefts and all rights, stirring up racial prejudices, sexist prejudices, and any other conflict they can dream up. And we buy it. Hell, most of all these "events" might be pure fabrication, but none of us seem to be doing ANYTHING to confirm or deny them. Certainly not our media. They're too busy running ideological platforms, themselves.

See how easy it is to sow SO MUCH confusion and chaos on your enemy...? And the best thing is, WE LAP IT UP, use it all as proof we are right, yet again.

Where are our antibodies? Where is the strong Press that digs up all this crap and shows it for what it is?

Oh, wait... that's what this book is trying to be!

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