Posted 14 февраля 2023,, 14:48

Published 14 февраля 2023,, 14:48

Modified 14 февраля 2023,, 20:15

Updated 14 февраля 2023,, 20:15

The strengthening of crafty doublethink in Russian society is beneficial for the authorities

The strengthening of crafty doublethink in Russian society is beneficial for the authorities

14 февраля 2023, 14:48
Дмитрий Михайличенко
The analysis of the "crafty man" by sociologist Yuri Levada is still relevant, as it helps to understand how the authorities achieve the necessary reaction from society on a wide range of issues.

Dmitry Mikhailichenko, Doctor of Philosophy

The 1990s, unlike the last decades of the Soviet era, were characterized by a decrease in the need for citizens to obey the institutions of power and their standards.

However, since the real opportunities for political participation were limited in the 1990s (the inertia of the nomenklatura government), and later were actively suppressed, the culture of active civic participation was not sufficiently rooted in the country. Later, there was a slow but obvious rollback to the Soviet practice of ruling. This rollback has not yet been completed, but it is showing more and more signs of implementation.

The state is more and more actively and persistently intervening in the lives of ordinary citizens and actualizing not only control mechanisms, but also regulation. The current level is far from totalitarian, however, the potential for subordination and regulation is increasing, but for society the algorithm of "being left alone" remains the defining marker of normal existence.

It is extremely difficult to reconcile these incompatible intentions, but crafty doublethink helps a lot here. According to sociologists, the Soviet sociality of the late stagnant time differed from the Orwellian "reality" precisely in that the society itself was ready to be deceived and perceived it as a conscious necessity, a way of survival. The crafty perception of propaganda stamps needed constant self-deception (including psychological) for the purpose of self-preservation and justification of one's own position (including citizens before themselves). In conditions when it is directly impossible to resist the ideologems and narratives of power, slyness, their kitchen ridicule or repetition at the level of stereotypes without penetrating deep into consciousness is the most characteristic reaction of individuals.

The authorities do not need an Orwellian reality based on total lies, and massive propaganda is not enough for them, which, in the conditions of a sufficiently educated Russian society, cannot by itself provide high controllability. The authorities need society to treat propaganda narratives in two ways: to demonstrate external loyalty to them, but not too imbued with them. After all, imbued with the narratives of "let's destroy the USA" and other militant jingoism, as one deputy and an experienced political strategist recently stated, this is the threat of Maidan. Such a citizen can very quickly "hyrkinize" and openly declare his dissatisfaction with the "indecision" of the current leadership of the country.

In this regard, crafty doublethink works to lower the bar of expectations from the authorities, strengthens conformity and atomization. In kitchens, citizens can say whatever they want, but in public space they must demonstrate loyalism. And loyalism itself in these conditions means a willingness to reproduce what the authorities say here and now. It is quite possible that tomorrow and the day after tomorrow the authorities will say something different, but the crafty doublethink does not seek contradictions and, moreover, does not emphasize them. It helps to adapt to these turns and retains a crafty compromise almost always.

Society does not support targeted repressions, but it will accept them thoughtlessly, because crafty doublethink is looking not so much for clear rules of the game, as a way to circumvent all rules and being on the principle of "it does not concern me".

In this regard, the last 12 months have been characterized by an essential strengthening of this doublethink, which has recently been working to reduce jingoism. Crafty doublethink is very convenient for the authorities, as it is multi-layered, flexible and allows the authorities to lay and pack into the public consciousness any semantic constructions without worrying about their compatibility with previously presented semantic arguments and theses.

Especially for the "Kremlyovsky Bezbashennik"