sobota, 3 stycznia 2009

Good mornink, Poland

Happy New Year 1984+25

The problem, that is to say, is educational. It is a problem of continuously moulding the consciousness both of the directing group and of the larger executive group that lies immediately below it. The consciousness of the masses needs only to be influenced in a negative way.

George Orwell, 1984

Meet the new guys who work for the 0ld guys.

The media seem to be the most important tool to preserve the power and prosperity of the former communists and their friends, most notably the employees and collaborators of the communist secret police. Everyday the propaganda machine does its job. The techniques are pretty simple:

  • Writing article about someone associated with the communist and postcommunist circles always use positive words when referring to them in the title of the article
  • The opening of the article must again express respect and warm feeling towards them
  • The body of the text does not matter much. Here the functionaries pretending e.g. to sympathize with traditional, conservative values can pretend to criticize people of the old regime
  • The ending again must express sympathy towards the former communists and their allies.

One might call it the principle of triple praise. The body of the article doesn't matter much because it is the headlines and the beginning and the end of the text that the reader pays attention to.

This is to be contrasted with writings e.g. about the current president Lech Kaczyński or about Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, the only party posing any threat to postcommunist circles. Typically the title of such article is abusive and derrogatory. The entire article is written in negative terms and is illustrated with carefully selected pictures that are supposed to imprint the negative associations in the reader's mind.

Gazeta Wyborcza, the largest newspaper in the country is run by Adam Michnik, whose father, Ozjasz Szechter, was convicted of treason in 1930s. Szechter was a member of the Communist Party of Western Ukraine (its aim was to break the eastern part of the country away from Poland and join the soviet Russia) and was most likely a Soviet agent.

You can easily read what the propaganda rules are by just looking at - Gazeta Wyborcza's internet site. Three elements are being repeated over and over again in the form of titles of press articles:
  • nice words about Russia (be it Putin's judo skills, tennis player Sharapova looks or Russian culture and wealth)
  • vicious, ugly attack on most things American
  • derrogatory terms about the current Polish president Lech Kaczyński and about Poles in general; the title of an article about Kaczyński frequently appears next to one about killers, rapists and such.

The media are run as an ecosystem whose various parts systematically support each other.
The Internet is also part of that ecosystem. For example some blogs of anonymous authors were publicised as "independent" and simply "the best" in the (post)communist media. Those promoted blogs were supposed to express the centrist or the right-centrist opinion. But when you read them and try to apply some basic logic it turns out they are just elements of that same (post)communist ecosystem. It is easy to prove this in detail and I wrote about it in my blog: kataryna, galba, salon24 and many more. (Remember that the Dutch government set up the phony communist party once they realized such party would be founded by someone sooner or later? Here in Poland it works the other way round).

It is interesting to see how the (post)communists work hard in the Internet, setting up Internet discussion portals, manipulating discussions and promoting propaganda. The basic idea is to carefully control the flow of information, ideas and public opinion. The sites belonging to the ecosystem are mutually linked so that they come on top of Google search. The additional bonus is the monitoring (surveillance) of society's thinking. They probably also monitor Internet activities of individuals opposing the (post)communist dominance. This is quite easy to do in fact.