A Look at Russian Civilization: Power, Truth, Trust, and War

The second of my two essays on Russia:

“Westerners must appreciate the abandon with which the Kremlin lies and stop being surprised by it. From the perspective of the Power Civilization, words are another weapon, and the tenancy to believe them and, even more so, act on them, is an exploitable weakness.”

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/a-look-at-russian-civilization-power-truth-trust-and-war

Nine Lessons of Russian Propaganda

After visiting repeatedly, I moved to Ukraine from the United States in 2012. My parents had been born in Ukraine and taught me some of the language during my childhood in Queens, NY.

Being so close to Ukraine’s Maidan revolution and the subsequent Russian invasion gave me perspective on American perception of these events. The audacity and effectiveness of Russian propaganda has left me in utter awe. After two years of close observation, some strategies and motifs of Russian propaganda have become evident. Hopefully these lessons will lend some clarity on the information war which overlays the kinetic one. . . .

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/nine-lessons-of-russian-propaganda

Have I become more devout?

Not exactly.

But long after my literal belief in the Bible waned, I’ve gained deep appreciation of what Christianity does for society. I believe in believing.

Curt Doolittle’s advice to Hollywood (also applies to writers)

HOLLYWOOD, LET ME HELP YOU
The movie business doesn’t scale any more than national narratives do. Understand? Anything interesting for everyone is impassionate for anyone.
the hero’s journey may be universal but the properties of that journey cannot be universalised.

I gave the same speech to the newspaper industry in 2008. There is a limit to scale. After that you must represent mini and micro-group interests.

But this destroys the evangelical self importance of journalists and the financial incentives in news distribution.

Like government, there is little advantage to scale except credit. Unless studios start getting into the military business they have run out of scale.

Movies and news are regional, meaning cultural, phenomenon.

Hence why americans don’t like movies: no heroes are possible without opponents.