Disillusionment, disengagement and despair. These feelings mark the pattern of public perception that have come to define our generation. Decreasing voter turn out in Britain and elsewhere in the world signals both a lack of faith in the political system and more worryingly, has contributed to the maintenance of the status quo. However, perhaps this attitude of apathy is a by-product of deliberate political tactics.
For the last fifteen years Vladimir Putin has dominated Russian politics and maintained his power with the help of a man called Vladislav Surkov. Surkov’s background was in conceptual art, an interest from which many believe he developed a means of population control. The “system of make believe” that Surkov has engineered, means that any opposition is in a constant state of confusion.
Opposing groups such as neo-Nazi factions and human rights organisations have been both publicly backed by Surkov at the same time. Similarly, parties in opposition to Putin have been offered support. Countless similar actions of confusion have been constantly undertaken and been made public. This is in an effort to undermine people’s perception of the world. The impact: the public are confused, opposition is confused and power is maintained.
Although this politics of theatre has seen some amusing results, many involving Putin’s masculinity being modeled for slightly odd photo-shoots; there is a very dark side to this technique. Prior to the Crimean crisis of 2014, Surkov published a short story. The story was about a concept pinned as “non linear war”. This is a war where the enemy could be up to absolutely everything and anything, but there is no way of knowing. Winning is not that aim, rather, the aim is to create a constant state of destabilisation in order to manage and control.
Confusion in Britain
Filmmaker Adam Curtis has suggested that we may also have a non liner world being constructed here in Britain, in order to support the interests of those in power. We target those most venerable in society whilst we turn a blind eye to tax evading corporations. The deficit is said to be shrinking and then is said to be increasing. The government wants to take billions of pounds out of the economy as a part of austerity measures but is pumping billions back in through quantitative easing. We are leaving Iraq and Afghanistan but were we victorious or not? The war on terror has constantly changing and evolving enemies. We are fighting to protect liberty yet increasing security measures are threatening such freedoms on a daily basis.
Nothing seems truly definite or truly constant. The result is confusion and despair, a feeling that many young people in particular have felt in relation to politics of for many years now. In the wake of the upcoming general election, it will be interesting to note whether the public are able to deconstruct this non linear world or whether it will be perpetuated by political coverage that shows contrasting confusing and conflicting promises.
Image: “Vladislav Surkov in 2010” by Kremlin.ru. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vladislav_Surkov_in_2010.jpeg#mediaviewer/File:Vladislav_Surkov_in_2010.jpeg