This is not Propaganda – Adventures in the war against reality (Peter Pomerantsev):

Here the different groups don’t even need to meet each other. Actually, it might be better if they don’t: what if one perceives the other as the enemy?” –

You collect them all for a short period, literally for a moment, but so that they all vote together for one person. To do this you need to build a fairy tale that will be common to all of them.

“War Against Reality”. Now there’s a term/phenomenon worthy of isolation & observance.

Roger Stone – a “dirty tirckster’s” “dirty war” against reality, truth & morality.

Considering the dramatic & rapid entropy of our crisis baked times – & the trend for them to exacerbate & cross-infect at an alarmingly expedited gallop – the inception of this book’s publication (2019) could easily be seen as already outdated.

Saying that, part of the current calamity depends on a sustained pernicious pace & constant metastasizing, so that the incrementing & upscaling of the attack is never fully grasped or analysed (& thus effective response or counter tactics are never developed or attributed).

& so, “reading backwards” – or retrospective scrutiny – becomes more important than ever, to understand & combat the current agony.

When Pavlovsky looks at the West today, he sees it undergoing the same changes that Russia underwent during the 1990s, a delayed reaction to a similar crisis.

Peter Pomerantsev produced a rather astonishing work back in 2014 – Nothing is True and Everything is Possible – (reviewed here previously) – that would also serve as a robust portent of the kind of grandiloquent disinformation & major mutilations of facts/information/history/reality that have now become such a critical threat to global stability, “psychological security” & the “perceptive capacity” of the individual.

disgraced, convicted, Trump pardoned cultist agitator & conman corruptocrat Michael Flynn.

Russia, whilst most certainly not the only significant actor & developer in this incredibly dangerous degeneration, has definitely performed a key innovative role, which is very much ongoing & active (Israel, the USA & the United Kingdom are fellow central offenders, as well as both competing & collaborating outliers of this foul destabilisation).

Stewarding a wide ambit & covering a distinctly slippery & amorphous topic, War Against Reality is packed full of bot farms, “white jamming”, micro targeting, reverse engineering, co-option, “flooding the zone with shit”, psychographics, mechanised mass misinformation, psy-ops, “information weapons” grey-zone warfare & chaos actors, all of which can “act like an invisible radiation” & be targeted en masse or individually without traceability, or the awareness or consent of the target (flourishing especially through the fatal over-dependence of our cyber/technological paradigm & unhealthy reliance on virtual connection).

Pomerantsev on propaganda.

Confuse, dismay, divide and delay” to make citizens – “doubt everything and lose their bearings”.

everyone lives in their own reality, everyone has their own truth, there is no reconciliation.

faced with widely conflicting versions of reality, people selected the one that best suited them. “

War used to be about capturing territory and planting flags, but something different was at play here. Moscow needed to create a narrative about how pro-democracy revolutions like the Maidan led to chaos and civil war. Kiev needed to show that separatism leads to misery. What actually happened on the ground was almost irrelevant; the two governments just needed enough footage to back their respective stories. Propaganda has always accompanied war, usually as a handmaiden to the actual fighting. But the information age means that the equation has been flipped: military operations are now handmaidens to the more important information effect. It would be like a heavily scripted reality-TV show if it weren’t for the very real deaths.”

the Filth & the Tory – Arron Banks.

War on Reality’s voyage sees Peter roaming through the varied sepulchral shadow terrain of the trade, & the colourful, saintly (defenders), & sick (perpetrators) congregants that frequent this troubling frontier & it’s liminal battle for the future of understanding & fight over the overturning of “principle foundation”.

It is brilliant, disturbing, heartening & depressing – all at once.

A deft writer with an adroit delivery manner, the book is a fascinating page-turner, rich with adaptive language to calculate & capture this new & emerging threat.

There is one blind spot that is conveniently neglected here (I am sure for perfectly innocuous reasons).

This modern curse of malformation-information & technologically augmented disinformation campaigns is explicitly utilized by the right, the “libertarian”, neo-liberal, neo-feudal, corporatist, “fascist international”, totalitarian regimes (the Gulf States especially) & international oligarchy (moneyed, transnational kleptocratic & extremist bad actors).

It is overwhelmingly a rightist, totalitarian regime & libertarian phenomenon, albeit with a stand-alone & major exception on the other side of the bank (can you guess?).

This is one crucial area & subject that Pomerantsev fails to annotate – possibly as the full ulterior perversity of it had not yet personally dawned on him – is the small but important component on what might be identified lazily as the New Left.

For all the absurdist post truth filth spewed from the corporatist right, we cannot neglect one of the most extreme & blatant contortions/weaponisation in the “war on reality” arsenal – the “trans” & “+” deviant variant that unfortunately finds residence most resoundingly on the New Left.

This is not to dismiss everything within the LGBTQ+ “argument” or “pantheon” as guilty or invalid, but simply to clearly acknowledge the profound “post truth” affront that this quarter distorts among it’s most extreme advocacy (& that advocacy very much has considerable – even unquestioned – mainstream traction & access).

That component should not be ignored when we are ever dealing seriously with the threat of disinformation, propaganda, post truth, deception & double-speak (although I can also forgive those that simply don’t want to even touch this quagmire).

one of the very, very, very worst … disgraced Cambridge Analytica director, old Etonian reality rapist & election rigger, epochal corrupter & political subversive – Alexander Nix.

All the same, another brilliant book from Peter Pomerantsev.

Whatever he is busy working on now, you can be assured that it will be an absolute howler.

in the madness morass we find ourselves, try to resist all reductionist absolutism.

View everything through the “moral lens” & forgo the partisan scripture or the “a & b camp” doctrine.

Keep a nimble & staunchly ethical neutrality (when core convictions are not manifesting with the picture you are presented), that concentrates on the principles rather than the surrounding hoo-ha or given spiel.

They oversimplify what is complicated & overcomplicate what is simple, muddling, derailing, capsizing & adulterating along the way until they render a kind of amoral & terminal cynicism & blindness where “perception & belief” is diminished to only the most base of emotions (easily triggered, easily predicted & easily manipulated, exploited & misdirected).

Sucker free.

As a small demonstration & experiment of the contradictory, contrarian & ambiguous “composite conundrum” we can find ourselves in – here is a perfect contemporary example by way of a recent video.

“none of the above”

Jordan Peterson is an absolute excrescence, Russell Brand is a flawed, dodgy & compromised agent, but one that is sometimes capable of some admiral actions & arguments (he is, at least in his modern incarnation, a definite right off overall). David Pakman is frequently brilliant, although I disagree with him considerably on certain core subjects, classifications & affiliations (or at least his reaction to them), & I find his regular excellence slips here when dealing with Brand (I am not disputing that Brand is not exhibiting crazed behaviour here, he is).

So I share both multifaceted disapproval, fondness, dismay & agreement, all in the same emoticon, & without committing or fully aligning with either/any party.

An ethical skeleton & a flexile exterior to navigate the modern mayhem’s extreme & deceptive terrains, temperatures & climates.

Peter Pomerantsev, 2019, Faber & Faber, 256 pages.