Today’s entry is actually a double feature. Let us begin with the Foil-Hat War.
One thing about conspiracy theorists is that they often have a lot of contradictions among themselves. One guy says the Illuminati’s behind everything. Another says it’s the Masons. Yet another says it’s the Jews. Strangely enough, however, these differences rarely cause major disputes within the world of conspiracy theories. Some people seem able to easily weave parts of other people’s narratives into their own without suffering any cognitive dissonance.
Occasionally, however, disputes break out. I suspect this tends to happen when someone has a book or product to sell, and another
con man businessman has a competing theory that might actually lure potential followers away. If your book says it’s the Illuminati, and he’s saying it’s the Masons, you might have a problem. A lot of times disputes will break out between people on ideological grounds. White supremacists will attack Alex Jones because he doesn’t “name the Jew,” to use their parlance. Interestingly enough, this doesn’t necessarily stop them from believing many of his narratives. On the flip side, you have more “respectable” conspiracy theorists like the anti-Communist John Birch Society, who accuse neo-Nazis and anti-Semites of working for the NWO conspiracy so as to discredit dissenters. Whatever the case, typically targets of these disputes are accused of being government-paid “disinfo” agents.
With the spread of RT, Sputnik, Global Research, and similar pro-Russian media outlets, one is tempted to think that the whole nutcase demographic in the West has gone gay for Putin. Not true. Some anti-NWO conspiracy theorists are on to him, such as this intrepid independent thinker. Also points for the makers of that website. You’re not a real conspiracy website in the 21st century unless you make references to The Matrix.
What might convince a conspiracy theorist to go against the flow, considering that these people will pretty much swallow anything that doesn’t come from what they consider to be “mainstream” sources (except when they seem to support their argument)? I think a lot of the times it’s the Cold Warrior residue. In the 90’s, the John Birch Society used to portray the fall of the Soviet Union as a clever ruse, designed to throw off supporters of national sovereignty and advance Communism via more subtle means. Lately Putin has been portrayed more and more as an advocate of restoring the Soviet Union, and with all those WWII parades and events in recent history, the politically illiterate are easily tricked into believing Putin is actually a Communist.
On the other hand, it’s possible some of these guys actually have an ounce of rational thought left. First of all, if they are libertarians and oppose government intervention in the market, even a cursory examination shows that Putin’s Russia is far from a libertarian state (which has never really existed). These are people who insist that America is socialist now, often comparing it to the Soviet Union. So if neo-liberal America is the Soviet Union, Putin’s Russia would have to be…like…TWO Soviet Unions. Or something.
The other candle of rational thought flickering in the dark is the realization that if there is some kind of worldwide global conspiracy, there’s no real good reason to assume Putin isn’t part of it. After all, there’s plenty of evidence that he cooperates with Western powers. There is still a lot of trade between Russia and the West. If the West really wanted to topple Putin, they could do it very quickly via stronger sanctions, yet they don’t. Thus from a conspiratorial point of view, who’s to say that Putin isn’t in fact another puppet, perhaps controlled by people higher up on the NWO chain of command, intended to play the role of a manufactured villain to justify more wars and spending on the military industrial complex? If you’re able to believe that 9/11 was carried out by the US government, how can you reasonably deny this possibility?
Anyway, it’s always fun to watch these people engage in mental gymnastics. If you’re not interested in reading a long screed about “the banksters,” you should at least savor this quote from the article linked above.
“Second, Putin is threatening to become the main supplier of energy on the planet. With the consummation a recent gas deal between the Russians and the Chinese, Putin is undermining the control of energy that the central banks have enjoyed since the early days of the creation of Saudi Arabia to oversee oil production.”
Don’t worry, Neo, that ship has long since sailed, steered directly for the rocks, and smashed into them at full speed.
Now onto the really exciting news- the latest Russo-Turkish War! You say it’s not a war? Of course it is! It’s a war just like the Anglo-French war against Nazi Germany from 3 September 1939 till the day the Germans actually forced them to fight. This of course was known as the “Phoney War,” or Sitzkrieg, a play on the word blitzkrieg. So what we have here is a new Sitzkrieg, which could better be called Der Blödkrieg, the Stupid War.
Ever since the Kremlin threatened consequences in response to the Turkish air force shooting down one of their planes, people started joking about how the Russian government would start banning things like Turkish delight, Turkish coffee, etc. Turns out they weren’t far from the mark. That’s just how predictable this place has become.
Now if you’re not familiar with the Russian system, it’s important to know that Putin doesn’t direct this kind of thing from the top town. General messages are sent, and then all the little sycophants start “working toward the Fuhrer.” To date I’m not sure what Turkey’s doing in response, if only because it looks like Russia is beating them in the banning game.
The end result of this idiocy, however, is that Putin is essentially dismantling what was supposedly “his” achievement- the creation of a Russian middle class. First they could afford trips to New York, London, Barcelona, and Venice. Then they were stuck with Egypt and Turkey. Then Turkey, and now- no more Turkey. There’s Crimea, but right now that’s roughing it. “Patriots” rub their hands at the idea of Russians staying home and becoming internal tourists, but this could seriously backfire. If you want to promote the idea that Russia is this advancing country, you don’t want people to be traveling around too much in the hinterland. That’s where all the results of years of corruption are readily visible.
In the meantime, NATO has apparently extended an invitation to Montenegro, and already the Kremlin is flailing its arms and making threats about “worsening relations” aimed at Podgorica. So scratch off one more middle class Russian vacation destination.