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EU - Russia Information War, Human Rights and Democracy – Fake news, Fact-checking, Conspiracy Theories and Hate-speech in post-Truth and Illiberal Democracies Age
Deniz Yoldas, Master student at IEP Toulouse, email@example.com
1. Introduction: In the evolution of political communication from Bolsheviks to political marketing looks broken by a new phenomenon: Coming back of propaganda. After Stalinist, Nazi and Americanization (Cold-War) time, the hypodermic needle through the garbage. The two-step flow communication model was new normal. Political marketing offers us to promote political leaders like toothpaste through advertising. Obama’s social media campaign was a case study of reliable communication faculties all over the world. How did the dream break? How we arrive from “Yes We Can!” to “Russian hackers support of Trump” and “RT’s propaganda to revolt the Afro-Americans”? Information War between the EU and Russia is a new normal now. By the EU’s mainstream media, RT and Sputnik are the main sources of Russian ongoing disinformation campaigns. By EU, to defend the democratic world/values against this totalitarian (like ISIS) disinformation campaigns of Russia, it creates its own information war tools like East StratCom Taskforce, “EU vs Disinformation” project. One of the tools is Fact-checking. By Pro-Western mainstream media, Russian disinformation benefice fake-news. Fact-checking tools give us a chance to describe and eliminate the fake news to broke the disinformation. On other hands, fact-checking could be also accused as a censorship/self-censorship and disinformation tool. Universal values are forgotten, the struggle for first, second and third generation human rights are “out” or distorted, the new “in” is anti-civilization/anti-universalist radicalizations.
2. Objectives: The aim of the study is to discuss both two sides of the EU – Russian Information War’s discourses and tools/tactics in contemporary democracy and human right standards. The study makes a discourse analysis on the fake news as the EU – Russian information war’s discourse base in the post-truth age in relation to the evolution of democracy, human right, and political communication. The fake news who is constructed on the base of the conspiracy theories as hate-speech examples how to evaluated by contemporary democracy, human right, and communication science standards? The study discusses the specific relationships of Ottoman inherited countries’ mass with fake news and human rights as well. The authenticity of the study is that the first time the information war subject is discussed in relation to the evolution of democracy and human right standards and universal democracy and human right struggle. Also, the first time the study offers a consistent definition of fake news to explain the impact/influence mechanism. The fake news who are the weapons of the information war who are classified as the hate-speech examples have a large academic literature but the aim of the study is to discuss a definition and contemporary impact mechanism of fake news and conspiracy theories in post-truth and illiberal democracies age. The discussion could give a deepest understand on the definition and the impact mechanism of fake news.
Keywords: Information War, Fact-checking, democracy, human right, fake news
3. Materials and Methods: The study uses Raymond Williams’s Marxist semiotic discourse analysis method as the principal methodology. To consist of the theoretical triangle, Historical discourse analysis (HDA) methodology of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Political Discourse Analysis (PDA) accompany Williams’s Marxist semiotic discourse analysis. Interpretative Discourse Analysis (IPA) is also benefited by the analysis.
Williams offers a fair and consistent Marxist semiotic approach, rather than Terry Eagleton (Eagleton, 1976), Williams uses hegemony concept to fairly and consistently explain the culture and ideology terms in the Marxist approach. Rather than Eagleton’s eclectic ideology definition from Althusser (Althusser, 1970) and Volosinov (Voloshinov, 1973), Williams stays loyal to the fundamentals of the theory. Rather than Vodak Van Dijk and Wodak’s CDA method (Schiffrin, Tannen, Hamilton, 2001), Williams uses consistently the component of Marxist theory like Base, superstructure, Production force to create genius, fair and consistent Marxist semiotic discourse analysis method. CDA’s analysis method for a social fact could be evaluated as an eclectic and inconsistent method.
Marxist approach dismisses the social class/class struggle analysis regardless of the inadequate production and the work division in economy-politic and historical materialism context. Williams refuses to get the definition of the culture neither as the social class/class struggle based analysis without the base (production forces) nor as to the without social class/class struggle analysis. Williams uses base, superstructure, mode of production, productive forces and social class/classes struggle term to get a coherent and consistent definition of culture. Williams also doesn't accept the non-orthodox ideology definition of Eagleton and Althusser. Rather than it, he stays loyal to the orthodox definition of ideology in using hegemony term. By the definition, ideology is a distorted view of reality (that's why by Marxism, Marxism is not an ideology). Marx notices the distorted view's source with the alienation. In a modern society who is divided by social classes/class struggles, to stay out of the production process is a source of alienation like the rupture between producer and product in the production process. Williams gets a response within using hegemony term that by Eagleton, Voloshinov, and Althusser, using the ideology as the orthodox sense is limited and infertile. Thanks to the orthodox definition of culture and ideology of Williams gets a chance to construct a coherent and consistent semiotic discourse analysis. He is against cultural studies. He sees possible to establish Marxist cultural sociology. The using of the "structure of feeling" as a part of the superstructure in this context like the contemporary marketing term: Positioning rather than argumentation. At the same time, the structure of feeling could be understood as Aristotle's pathos on the discourse.
By Marxist materialism, the images came from reality but they could be distorted, because, individuals get relations with nature indirectly, not directly. Individuals get contact with nature via human society, plus, human society is divided into social classes/class struggles. As Ponzi defends, Marx could be evaluated as a “crypto semiotician” (Ponzi, 2014). The materialist concept gets the connection between reality and image/narration. Reality is the source and narration is the secondary product of reality in a dialectical sense: Narration has an impact power on reality as well. On the contrary of Critical discourse analysis (CDA) school, Williams's semiotic discourse analysis method gives a base for a holistic and consistent analysis. William's method gets the consistent connection between the narrative (as Williams says, cultural and literary) components of analysis as the parts of the superstructure like form, signs, traditions, feelings and the social components like economic and political realities/positions. CDA could not get a consistent connection between the narration and social analysis like Williams's method. Marxist semiotic is established a multi-level theoretical structure: Discourse analysis as an autonomous area in analyzing cultural and literary components is established by economy politic analysis. Economy politic is established by historical materialism and historical materialism is established by dialectical materialism.
CDA's "power relations" concept could give just the singular component of EU and Russian positions as a base for the analysis of narrations but a consistent analysis needs a deepest and holistic approach.
PDA like IPA could be described as a political sciences based discourse analysis methodology rather than semiotics. PDA influence the Marxism but it confuses Marxism and totalitarianism, that’s why it addresses the anti-totalitarian critics to the Marxism. As a problem-driven methodology, it uses problematization, by political sciences discipline, if you describe the problem you propose the solution, it calls problematization. PDA analyzes a discourse in 5 steps:
The theoretical bases of the methodology could be recognized highly easily. It could be evaluated as a mix of Herbert Simon’s cognitive approach, Anglo-Saxon political sciences’ approach about the interaction between actors and repackaging of Marxist terminology components. The misunderstanding of two authors (Laclau and Mauffet, 1985) of the Marxism could be connected with their French-speaker influenced intellectual backgrounds. Jacobin heritage intoxicates the French-speaker intellectual area and it blocks to make a reliable distinction between totalitarianism and Marxism. Also, the translation quality of Marxist classics in French language either by Marxologues or Edition Social school could not be evaluated as reliable in international standard. Even the structure of the French language could be evaluated as a difficulty for translation activities. Samir Amin could be accepted as just one contemporary example of these disadvantages. Even Althusser (he could be evaluated as a victim of same syndromes) notices that “For Marx, who was uncertain of the theoretical capacity of French readers.” (Althusser, 2001). Althusser references the letter of Marx for French publisher Lachatre. The letter published as a preface of Capital Vol 1,
“…..but here is the reverse of the medal: the method of analysis which I have employed, and which had not previously been applied to economic subjects, makes the reading of the first chapters rather arduous, and it is to be feared that the French public, always impatient to come to a conclusion, eager to know the connexion between general principles and the immediate questions that have aroused their passions, may be disheartened because they will be unable to move on at once.
That is a disadvantage I am powerless to overcome unless it is by forewarning and forearming those readers who zealously seek the truth. There is no royal road to science, and only those who do not dread the fatiguing climb of its steep paths have a chance of gaining its luminous summits.” (Marx, 1999)
Also, Marx describes La Chatre as “an abominable charlatan” (Marx, Engels, 2010). PDA founders even as the Essex Discourse Analysis school looks to be influenced the negative effects of French-speaker intellectual areas ignorance, confusing and Jacobin point of view on Marxism.
Marxist determinism is not a mystic determinism. As Lenin notices that, by Marxist determinism, the object/process/factors determine each other in their relations (Lenin, ***). Marx and Engels notice numerous time the capitalism increase relatively the free times and living conditions of workers generation by generation (Engels, 1969). The relative poverty could be indicated between the contemporary social classes in a society/between the societies in the same period of time. Between the different generations of worker classes, even capitalism either non-imperialist or imperialist stages is capable to increase the free times and living conditions in the long term. Maslow pyramid and three generations of human right theories are not anti-Marxist. PDA’s critics about the Marxist determinism to put forward the identity questions rather than social class struggle could be evaluated as a sign of ignorance on Marxism. In contrary, the Marxist political economy shows us the imperialism and social/welfare state politics relatively passivize the struggles. Uneven and combined development law (Lenin, 1963) push the backward countries up to the forward countries. Colonies/neo-colonies could become new imperialist and ancient-imperialists withdraw the advance positions. The increase of medium labour force could get a base to increase the non-productive part of the population in the capitalist system. Marx highlights that Capitalist system even declines itself without any revolution because of the falling rate of profit law (Marx, 1959) and Lenin accepts also it but he adds also that a long time before this “fatal decline” the revolutionary movement is going to crash the system (Lenin, 1974). Lenin could be accepted as highly optimistic perhaps on this point. Marx also notices that work is going to become a pleasure activity in communist society rather than a must to survive life. Even today the robot labour replaces the human labour day by day. Several types of research claim that robot labour will replace fully human labour until 2050. Universal citizenship salary is to discuss the forward countries. Unemployment salary right is accepted by countries year by year. By the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) working days will be increased 4 rather than 5 in China until 2030 (Zinan, 2018). In conclusion, for putting forward the identity questions rather class struggle question to leave either Marxist determinism or the class-struggle point of view, to leave either proletarian dictatorship or revolution concepts is not a must, in contrary, the Marxist determinism and political economy bring us the same result in concrete cases. The national question is not only an identity question but also it is. When Marx notices that in the UK we will not see a revolution before solving the Irish question, he puts an “identity question” forward than class struggle.
PDA authors use the Logics category as Simon’s cognitive sense, but also they shared social and political (and fantasmatic) logics. Social logic could be evaluated as a renaming of Marxist infrastructure and political logic as the superstructure as well. It could be evaluated also as a distortion of Simon’s theory. The fantasmatic logic could be evaluated as a renaming of the radicalization process in a superstructuralist sense, rather than post-structuralist. By the authors, the fantasmatic logic has two dimensions: Horrific (impotence/victimisation) dimension and Beatific (omnipotence) dimension (Glynos,2009, P.12). The authors of the PDA methodology use the irrational attack on New Age Travelers via UK’s Criminal Justice Public Order Act of 1994 as an example of horrific dimension of fantasmatic logic (ibid, P,12). The example could have a sense of contemporary discussion about migration. By a dialectical sense, even both of side, either migrants or locals sides could be evaluated by horrific and beatific dimensions. By them, The collective mobilisation term could be evaluated as a renaming of classic French “volonte general” term. As a result and resume the PDA methodology like IPA (Interpretative Discourse Analysis( could be evaluated as a mix of Herbert Simon’s cognitive approach, Anglo-Saxon political sciences school description of the political process as an interaction between the political actors and some Marxist approach without any confrontation between Marxism and totalitarianism differences. The PDA methodology has a “law-like generalization against eclectism” (ibid, P.13). For PDA, the “key to thinking about between theoretical categories (logics) and empirical phenomenons is the concept of articulation (ibid, P.13). By Marxism, without the process of causes, the effects could not be figured out. Without a conscious about the division of labour, social classes could not be figured out and without a conscious an underproduction, the division of labour stays as a mysterious as well. It looks that the PDA methodology tries to replace an analysis about the cognitive side and the interaction between the political actors rather than Marxist political economy. The replacement essay could be evaluated as an intervention to get a highly limited consistency of analysis. By the methodology of PDA, Problematization, the first stage (step 1) is a classical political sciences problem definition process. The Retroduction, second stage (step 2) could be described as “to find the particular link in the chain which you must grasp with all your might in order to hold the whole chain” (Lenin, 2002). The Logics stage (step 3) could be evaluated cognitive analysis and Articulation stage (step 4) could be described as the remark on the interaction between political actors. Finally, the critique stage (step 5) consists of normative and moral critics. The moral critics could be criticized as a falling of moralism and normative approach could be criticized on the neo-institutionalist approach as well.
Interpretative Discourse Analysis (IPA) is also a political sciences based discourse analysis approach. It could be evaluated as a basic document analysis methodology as a mix of Simon’s cognitivism and Anglo-Saxon interaction between political actors theory. It could be noticed as a basic version of PDA (Glynos, 2009). Both of two methodologies. Either PDA or IPA could be highlighted weak as the political sciences based discourse analysis methodologies rather than semiotics based.
The research approach of the study is constructive. As the theoretical framework of the study focuses the analyze of the EU and Russian discourses in Information War in the dialectical relations between the social and economic situation (base) of target groups (Eastern European Peoples) and source (EU and Russia) by the Marxist semiotic discourse analyzing the method of Williams. Lack of democracy and human rights could be evaluated as the signs and parts of illiberal democracies as the part of superstructure like Fake news, fact-checking and conspiracy theories as to the hate speech examples.
The materials are “The Strategy and Tactics of the Pro-Kremlin Disinformation Campaign” article of “EU vs Disinformation” project (***, 26.06.2018) to understand the EU’s point of view and position in information war; for the Russian side, RT’s “Fake-check” project website (***,***). For the evolution of human right, democracy, and political communication, the literature review is used. The materials are the main/principal documents of the principal sides of the Hybrid War/Information War. For the figure out the principal positions of the principal actors of the war, the official publications/documents of state (in EU side, supranational) institutions’ official documents are preferred. The documents are up to date and far-reaching on the hybrid war ant the main positions of the actors.
4. A. Fake news, fact-checking, disinformation, hate-speech in Post- Truth and Illıberal Democracy Age:
Woloszyn’s definition of Fake news:
“Fake news is created with the intent to mislead in order to damage an agency, entity, or person, and/or gain financially or politically, often using sensationalist, dishonest, or outright headlines to increase readership, online sharing, and Internet click.” (Woloszyn, 2017)
Woloszyn uses the description of Barone (Barone, 2018, p.6), and Barone notices that the definition is from Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not a scientific source. The definition is theoretically weak. It notices three points: misleading, increasing readership and sharing. The three points could not explain the modern fake news as an information war tool in a post-truth age.
Also, Lucas and Pomeranzev don’t offer a consistent and detailed definition of fake news (Lucas, Pomeranzev, 2016). By them: “Modern Russian information warfare theory directly derives from spetspropaganda, first taught as a subject at the Russian Military Institute of Foreign Languages in 1942, but with origins lying deep in Marxist-Leninist ideology. Agitprop—the combination of agitation (speech) and propaganda (words)— dates back to the years immediately following the Russian Revolution. 10 Propaganda and dezinformatsiya [disinformation] efforts were familiar features of the Cold War, and, despite the contrary conviction in Western policy-making circles, they did not stop when it finished.” (Lucas, Pomeranzev, p.6)
The text could be evaluated as a perfect example of Cold War inherited anti-Russian, anti-communist hate and communication studies ignorance mix. The language is Cold-War inherited. The definition of agitation and propaganda by Marxism is superficial, incomplete an in that sens wrong (Lenin, 1902). Leninist agitprop and Stalinist disinformation are two different political communication lines like political marketing and Nazi propaganda. Lucas and Pomeranzev defend their anti-communist Cold-War inherited claims in a report of CEPA. One of the financial supporters of CEPA is the European Defence Agency, and CEPA has its own STRATCOM program for CEE countries. Anti-communism (not anti-totalitarianism) could be evaluated as an opposite extremist point of view against the universal democratic aspect. This point of view could not help to improve universal democracy and human right standards. By CDA, the same results could be found. By the PDA and IPA approaches, the cognitive side of the text is obvious and consistent by Williams’s methodology’s results on the text: The cognitive base of the discourse could be described as a Cold War inherited anti-communist, anti-soviet and anti-Russian ideological background.
Fake news as the main tool of information war/disinformation campaigns could be described an information/discourse/message as a Call to Action (C2A) on the distorted or full synthetically fabricated “fact(s)” in using professionally an highly effective mix of Ethos, Pathos (like victimization-revenge dialectic) and Logos and the special insight for each target group. It uses diabolization/radicalization dialectic: Diabolize the enemy and radicalize the target group(s). It’s hate-speech. In the Post-truth age, fake-news as well is a psychological self-satisfaction object. If news satisfies a consumer, the consumer could ignore to check the news.
Fact-checking in the media area is a tool to check the info on news that they are correct or not. But also it’s manipulated. First of all, fabricated information also uses the facts as distorted or misframed. Second, the criteria of fact-checking could be manipulated. For example, if the Mainstream media publishing could be described as a source checking standard, the news who is censored by mainstream media could be evaluated as fake news because of this criteria. Third, fact-checking check the simple facts but for the complex and reinterpretable social phenomenon, the criteria don’t work. For example, EU vs Disinformation project tries to use EU budget data to prove that the EU doesn’t treat Romania as a colony. Colonialism is a complex subject. Colonialism study is an independent research area. Budget data can prove neither negative nor positive for the claim about Romania. Forth, Factchecking could evaluate only examples, some arguments and simple fact, for positioning in the human mind, it doesn’t work as well. Fifth, Factchecking easily convert censorship, self-censorship. It makes a kind of discrimination between different argumentations. Each argument could not be classified as disinformation or fake (Alemanno, 2017). Fact-checking as a tool of censorship, auto-censorship and a tool of stigmatization, allow the credibility of dissidents could not improve the universal democracy and human right movement.
4.B. EU and Russia Information War Cyber troops and contents: By EU’s official documents, the EU is under disinformation attacks by Russia. EU’s official project “EU vs Disinformation” gives its own definition of the disinformation mechanism of Russia:
“The disinformation campaign has an unknown number of channels and speakers, some of which are operating in a non-public environment, like closed events, direct messaging platforms and through people-to-people contacts. The scale encompasses the highest public authorities, diplomatic networks and security services; NGOs, GONGOs; official, “white” Russian media, unofficial, “grey” pro-Kremlin outlets and disinformation-oriented projects financed by pro-Kremlin oligarchs; local extremists and conspiracy theorists; social media trolls and bots; and individuals who simply get persuaded or attracted into the disinformation ecosystem. It adds up, every day, to a plethora of channels spreading a plethora of multilingual disinformation messages, and seeking to win new hearts and minds to continue the job. The sheer volume of disinformation and the constant repetition is key to the campaign’s success in creating a plethora of seemingly independent sources repeating the same message.” (The Strategy and Tactics of the Pro-Kremlin Disinformation Campaign, 2018).
By the text, Russia has organized and executed the disinformation campaigns via the limitless channel, from people to people contact to mass media. Diplomatic missions, security services, NGOs, and GONGOs are some of the target groups. The Russian media as the main disinformation source is classified into three stages: “White” media: RT, Sputnik. The official media. “Grey” media is unofficial “ pro-Kremlin outlets and disinformation-oriented projects financed by pro-Kremlin oligarchs” and the “black” is “local extremists and conspiracy theorists; social media trolls and bots”. And the last stage is the “active victims”: “individuals who simply get persuaded or attracted into the disinformation ecosystem. It adds up, every day, to a plethora of channels spreading a plethora of multilingual disinformation messages, and seeking to win new hearts and minds to continue the job. The sheer volume of disinformation and the constant repetition is key to the campaign’s success in creating a plethora of seemingly independent sources repeating the same message.” The language is the text is propagandist and it diabolizes Russia. The arguments are like Cold-War period arguments. The language and logic of the text are Cold-war inherited. The tendance of the text is paranoid. By the text, all the message who came from “Kremlin” are controlled by one source and they have own roles and target in the ongoing disinformation campaign of Russia. The problematization of the EU could be highlighted as the Russian destructive and anti-democratic propaganda against the EU as “the castle of democracy and human rights”. On the problematization, the solution is clear: Fight against Russian anti-democratic propaganda as a democracy and human right defence as an obligation. This problematization, it’s positioning, hides the EU’s anti-democratic, imperialist and neo-colonialist character and internal problems who increase the Russian information campaigns’ effects. The problematization looks like a legitimacy gathering essay on the illegitimacy of the enemy. The actors (Articulation, step 4) by PDA could be evaluated the European institutions and their NGO or GONGO pro-Western allies. There is a hierarchy between the actors as well. By IPA methodology the same actors could be noticed as well. The retroduction stage (step 2) could be noticed by the EU to make a well-planned and organized Information War against Russia. By the research, the retroduction stage could be highlighted as the decay of the EU and it’s imperialist. Neo-colonialist and anti-democratic face emerge into the daylight.
By PDA, the EU address the critics to Russia as normative and moral aspect as well.
The text never touche the ideological source of the Russian messages. Only the keywords are used to describe the content like Islamophobia, homophobia, anti-LGBT, anti-migration, anti-refugee. The main dominant ideology of Putin Russia is Euroasianism with different tendencies, from Dugin to Smirnov (Deniz, 2018). The text does not give any information about the totalitarian ideology.
Diabolization is not a reliable tool for defending democracy. Cold-War inherited mentality could not defend democracy. The text could be evaluated ad a sign of the pseudo-democracy and human right champion character of the EU. EU Cyber troops’ content could be classified as a pseudo-democracy and human right champion and paranoid discourse against Russia. It tries to gather legitimacy via the illegitimacy of its enemy.
In another hand, Russia accuses to EU to establish the same disinformation mechanism as well (RT, 2012). By Russian mainstream media, EU support pro-Western NGOs to improve the information war against Russia and organize the colour revolutions in Russia and pro-Russian countries. (RT, 2015)
In Putin’s Russia side, RT explains the mission of the “Fakechecking” project like this:
“Facts are the first victims of information wars. With today’s overabundance of sources and prevalence of social media streams in news delivery misinformation can spread like wildfire, with unverified reports, rumours and outright falsehoods getting serious news treatment. RT helps you separate fact from fake.” (Fakechecking, about the project)
The text does not position Russia in a unique position. EU’s text positions the EU as a democracy, human right and truth defender against totalitarian Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaigns’ fake news/hate-speech. The discourse analysis shows that the EU’s claims on itself could not be verified and dismissed. EU’s propaganda discourse who is executed by East StratCom Taskforce and supported EED diabolizes also Russia and it could radicalize the target groups of EU and could mobilize them for the future possible wars against Russia. The discourse could be evaluated as a warmonger discourse. The fact-checking practices of the EU are also criticized very detailed and consistent by reliable USA and EU academics (Alemanno, 2017). As Sputnik’s motto “Telling the untold”, Russian mainstream media positions itself as an alternative to Western mainstream media, it’s a negative description/positioning. The apparently, positive and consistent positioning of Russian media could be made impossible by its own Eurasianist ideology for large target groups. Defend the totalitarian ideology openly could get lost some of them. Russia’s side discourse from “White” to “Black” classes is suffered by Euroasianism. As the lightest version, the ideology could not be defended openly and consistently. The discourse is limited with just a critic of EU’s pseudo-democratic attitudes and as the main source of argumentation, the old/primitive version of human right and democracy are put in the opposite side of the contemporary democracy and human right standards. With this tactic, the totalitarian core of Euroasianism is tried to hide. As an example, a pseudo-champion of second-generation human rights (social and economic rights) are unnaturally put into the third generation human rights (identity rights) to hide the homophobic core of Eurasianism. By PDA and IPA the cognitive base of the ideology could be defined as the same: Extreme right, xenophobe, homophobe, anti-semite and hypocrite. The actors by IPA and PDA also the same like EU’s side analysis: Institutions and NGO/GONGO allies, this time they are Pro-Russian and anti-Western. The strick hierarchy also exists between the actors. By the Russian side, the retroduction is the immoral effect of Western societies, more particularly EU. The decay of EU is just a positive argument in Russian propaganda. By the discourse step 2 Retroduction and step 5 Critique are connected. Russian criticises the EU as being immoral and disrespectful against international law. The problematization of Russian discourse could be noticed the arrogant and immorality spreader Western societies, more particularly EU. The solution via the problematization is “increase the awareness against Western side’s/EU’s attacks and immoral and “out of date” “values”. By the research, the problematization of Russian propaganda is to erase EU and Western allies in post-Soviet and post-Yugoslav regions and retroduction could be to support all anti-EU forces either wig-right or “wig-left” to accelerate the EU’s fatal decay. HDA methodology could not help to analyse consistently the case. With the same data, the methodology could give the same results but it’s no guarantee. It's just a question of interpretation by HDA. HDA as a method that it’s born against the “determinism of Marxism” is flexible but at the same time, it lost the consistent quality as well.
The video news of RT “Vigilante Politics” introduction text is:
“Remember when the political left stood up for free speech and equality for all in public life? Remember when the mainstream media called for the same? The tone and tenor of political discourse appear to be at a turning point. If you don’t agree with the left, you face insults, harassment, and even violence. Is a new civil war on?” (RT, Vigilante Politics, 2018)
The text could be evaluated as a fabricated text. It starts with the word “Remember when...” it calls nostalgy and action like “remember, remember 5th of December”. The text starts with a positive sense for the left and after that, it turns, it claims the irrational relations between the political left and mainstream media. Mainstream media represents a negative image. And the following sentences produces a victim/passive psychology for the target group. And the last sentences use the fear to influence/mobilize the target group. The text uses a distorted fact. European left could be accused to not get the opposite position against the imperialist nature of the EU and its contemporary openly colonialist and militarist transformation as fast as possible. Europen left’s pro-EU positions block the political energy of left and get free spaces for wig-right politics. But Europen left’s claimed faults could not be used as a legitimate argument to prove fascist “cultural Marxist rule the EU” conspiration theory claim. The text could not be evaluated as a journalistic text. The Ethos, logos, and pathos are used very effectively and high standard professionally. It could be evaluated as a propaganda text.
By the three generations of human rights theory, now we are in the third generation period. By the history of political communication, now we are in the two-way communication age. In this case, why the zombie of Bernays is now on stage?
Neither EU’s nor Russian information war activities could not be evaluated as the positive contribution for universal human right and democracy’s evolution. Reactionary Propaganda and/or PR is a function of power. Democracy and human rights are the fruits of the struggle of peoples against absolute powers’ States. In this case, the contradiction between reactionary propaganda/PR and human rights and democracy is evident.
The main force of Russian discourse comes from two sources: Lack of reliable anti-EU opposition in EU and lack of universal humanitarian values awareness. Russian discourse uses distorted fact about the EU. As Marx said, “they do not know it, but they are doing it”. The target groups of EU don’t know what is wrong in the EU, they do not know how to truly criticize it but they criticize the invalid conspiracy theory hate-speech arguments of Euroasianism. European left forgets the historical critics of the United State of Europe projects and deeply engage the imperialist project. EU passed the most brilliant times in plumbing the heritage of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. After the 2008 crisis “party is over”. Now the new agenda of the EU is “multispeed EU”, regional inequality and total dissolution on the Union. Identification with EU and forget the social class differentiation block the democracy and human right struggle because both of two come from the struggle against oppressor social class(es)’ State and complication/evaluation of the life/society. The European left has put itself the position as a democracy and human right beggar from EU imperialism and it becomes the radical defender of EU imperialism. After Brexit, the table changes positively day by day for Europen lefts. The progress of democracy and human right conscious by mass depends on the objective (Deniz, The Roots, 2018) and subjective factors. Without an ideological rupture with oppressed social class(es)’ state as a subjective factor, increase the human right and democracy awareness of mass could not possible by Marxism. The conscious just could be a tool for profit. It could not be internalized by mass. The lack of consciousness is the second best friend of Russian mainstream media. The fake news is on the base of conspiracy theories like secret word government or similar anti-semite hysterias/paranoias. The theories could be accepted easiest in an ignorance and crisis ambience by mass. Either in EU or in Russia and in pro-Russia countries, conspiracy theories as for the hate-speech examples and the eternal source of fake news has the large potential/contemporary consumer groups. By RT’s news “Two-thirds of Russians believe secret groups conspiring to rewrite history & harm nation”, 67% of Russians believe the existence of a secret world government (***, 20.08.2018).
“In early July the VTSIOM centre released the results of research showing that about two-thirds of Russians believe in the existence of a shadowy world government, with most of those also believing that this alleged organization is hostile to their country.”
“In the same poll the majority of Russians – 63 per cent – said that they believed in the existence of a certain powerful organization that seeks to destroy their spiritual values through promoting non-traditional sex and same-sex marriage. The proportion was even higher among people between the ages of 45 and 50 years of age and people without higher education.” (***,20.08 2018)
In another hand, the EU uses Cold-War inherited anti-democratic discourse/war propaganda against Russia. The discourse diabolizes Russia and radicalizes/mobilize the target groups against Russia. It’s also an anti-democratic, warmonger propaganda. The propaganda stigmatizes/allow the credibility of all the reliable critics as well against EU as pro-Russian disinformation lies.
As the base analysis part of the study, in the academic sphere, the description of EU as an imperialist union by reliable academics from different schools is not rare (Zielonka, 2006, 2008, Carchedi, 2009, Mavroudes, 2010, Sepos, 2013, Mavroudeas and Paitaridis 2014). EU is evaluated in a transformation of militarization from 2008 (Ozdemir, 2008, 2010). As all modern imperialist, the EU has an expansionist nature. This nature is determined by capital export ambitions of finance-capital (Lenin,1916). To deepen the exploitation of interior markets like Romania and Bulgaria and occupy the new markets out of EU in Europe like Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia could be evaluated as the imperialist ambition of EU. In this case, it's obvious that the expansionist ambition focus on Eastern Europe and the Balkans. After the Yugoslavian Civil War, now the new borders of the EU is Turkey and Russia. The area of the conflict between three imperialist powers is the two regions. This conflict of interest could be evaluated as the root of the EU-Russian Information War. That's why the EU-Russian Information War's target groups are chosen as the Eastern Europe (and the Balkans) peoples. Russian imperialism struggle against the new predator: EU imperialism.
5. Discussion: If the human right appeared against the absolute power of State on the people to protect the people in Western Europe, the principal contradiction between State and people could be evaluated as the main force of the human right movement. On this affirmation, the leak of the human right movement in Turkey could explain the leak of the State-people contradiction or the leak of the State-people contradiction’s conscious? If social conscious (as a component of the superstructure) came from the infrastructure, what is the material-social-economic base of the lake? The response could be found in regard to the different genocide/ethnic clarification histories of the different societies. Marx discusses the plumber characteristic of the Ottoman society in his articles on Eastern Question and supports the independence of Balkans people against this plumbing system (Marx, 1897, Şişmanov,1965). In Balkans, Turkish and Caucasian history, we remark that the genocide and ethnic clarifications could be evaluated as a basal economic activity who comes from the Turkish colonial system as an internal and external plumbing system with the mass and cyclical characters as a tool of wealth transfer (Estukyan,2017). The Balkans and Caucasia regions (out of Turkey) the internal/external plumbing system could be evaluated as a Turkish colonial system heritage. “It was the Turks who first introduced a sort of feudal ownership of land in the countries conquered by them in the Orient.” (Engels, 1877). The relatively large proportions of society benefice the profits of the victims. The properties of the victims are owned by these groups. Modern capitalist (Turkey), Sovietic style Socialist (Caucasia) and Yugoslavian style socialist (Balkans) societies have the same genocide/ethnic clarification characteristics as the heritage. The heritage/the plumbing economy creates identities as economic profits. The identities constructed as the economic benefits and stay artificial. The nation formation process has never been completed neither for ex-Turkish colonies nor for Turks. The Turkish colonial system creates the amputated nations/identities and even the Turkish identity stays as the most amputated: A State-dependent, assimilation/discrimination based artificial and economic benefit (plumbing) motivated identity is created. The Turkish colonial system is still alive even today as the imperialist and colonialist contemporary Turkey with the military bases in abroad, the colonies, the capital outflows from Russia to Sudan; the construction sector and real-estate(rentier) fetishism of the society in plumbing/wealth transfer context. The heritage of the Turkish colonial system creates toxic, weak and negative national identities. These identities could describe themselves only by an enemy (for Turks, it’s Kurds and Armenians, For Armenians, it’s Azeris and Turks vice versa). Without enemies, these weak identities cannot survive. The plumbing economy creates a common sense between these large proportions of mass and State via wealth transfers. This mass identifies themselves with the State. In this case, the conscious about State – people contradiction could not be grown, the human rights and human right movement could be evaluated as an impoverishing power for the mass as well. The universal general culture and conscious could be developt by the human right conscious on a mature State – people contradiction and the conscious. Without the maturity, the minds could be much more vulnerable to conspiracy theories. The conspiracy theories are much more associated with Ex-Yugoslav and Ex-Soviet societies than Western European countries.
The limitation of the political/State power over peoples/citizens is the main source of human right struggle. State (organized oppress social class’ apparatus) / peoples (disorganized/disarmed oppressed social class) dialectic contradiction is historical and actual. Democracy is still evaluating. From Jacobin terrorism to participative democracy there is an evolution. The power-sharing/check-balance (between legislation, judicial and execution) and limitation of the power against citizens rights are the first generation of democratic evolution (the first generation human rights: the right to live and property...), the social rights struggle was the second generation. The identity rights struggle is the third generation. The three-part division of the power also was just a step on democracy’s evolution. The second generation could be evaluated as the appearance of the media as the fourth power. Anti-monopoly laws, concurrency and media-independency struggle try to save media independence. The universal values and human right standards could be evaluated as the fifth power. Nowadays we can not vote for principal rights. They are out of the elections/referendums. Each generation create the indispensable component of democracy, if there is no life guaranty (the lack of first-generation human rights) in a country, the existence of elections and political parties doesn't not means that there is a democracy there, if the huge amount of mass is dependent the social help that is controlled by the government/State (the lack of second-generation human rights) the existence of the political parties and elections does not mean there is a democracy there. If there is a media monopoly in a country (as Nazi Germany example), there is no democracy there. Without minority rights and identity right, any elections could not be evaluated as a sign of democracy. The illiberal democracy is neither philosophically liberal nor democracy. Jacobin terrorism/plebiscitary democracy could not be evaluated as a democracy in our century’s standards. As a last evolution step of democracy, the universal values of education could be counted. Without an ideological rupture of identification with oppressed social classes’ State, universal democracy and human right conscious could not be aware in mass. Universal values who came from the historical lessons of great human evaluation like anti-racism, gender equality and free-thinking, when they are internalized by mass, the conspiracy theory based fake news hate-speech hegemony could not work anymore and the democracy could not be stopped. Neither the EU nor Russia could not help to improve the universal democracy and human rights standards. As Marx notices in the third tome of Capital, the productivity of average labour increase year by year like the unproductive population as well. Alienation as Hegelian-Marxist term not only come from the work but also from unemployment. Unemployment, anti-socialisation and frustration increase the radicalization and the effect of fake news as the base of hate-speech for the target group as a self-satisfaction object. Against them, now the fruitfull contemporary discussion on the local/sustainable development (Human Development Report, 2016) and evolution of democracy and human rights focus local/radical democracy and communalist alternative experiences and their orthodox Marxist critics as a third way attempts like in North of Syria.
6. Conclusion: For a discursive analysis of EU - Russian Information War, without regard of the social and economic situation of the source and target groups in the contemporary moment of the societies' movement/evolution, to find the true positions of the side could not possibly. In this case, fake news becomes a self-satisfaction object. In Post-truth age, the target groups could look for the news regardless of their truth. The satisfaction capacity could get the advantage rather than the truth. Fake news plays the self-satisfaction role as a piece of hate speech discourse, the unsatisfied individual of target groups in lack of democracy and human right in an illiberal democracy could have a spiritual hunger for fake news as the piece of hate speech. In this scene, fact-checking could be just a censorship/auto-censorship tool for the information war. The individual level analysis in target groups' side for EU-Russian Information War could be incomplete without a social and economic analysis of the source of the message. EU has not the same image before 2008. Russia has not the same image of Yeltsin times. As the economic analysis base of EU and Russia, the EU could be positioned as an ongoing decadent imperialist power. The militarization, anti-democratic transformation and xenophoby/regional discrimination inside and outside of the union increase day by day after the 2008 financial crisis. It could be evaluated as a transformation to illiberal democracy as well. Without figure out the "multi-speed Europe" concept and expansionist economical-political character of EU vers Ex-URSS territories to "solve"/export its own crisis, EU vs Disinformation" campaign also could not be examined consistently. Russia could be evaluated as an imperialist power with inherited and contemporary totalitarianism. Williams’s, HDA(CDA), PDA and IPA methodologies give same/consistent results, except HDA keeps always a flexible and less consistent character, contrary Williams’s looks the most consistent as well.
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