Competition for New Conspiracy Theories Is Open

Until recently most politicians and experts in the West have called people not to believe in various conspiracy theories, especially those spread via social media, there is a category of such theories that are now hailed and widely circulated over the mainstream Western media. One of the most incredible claims that Russia is meddling in democratic processes in the West – the Benjamin Griveaux affairs in France – prompted French journalist Ingrid Riocreux to publish an article entitled Russian interference – an authorised conspiracy theory’.   

She writes that no conspiracy theory is far-fetched and implausible when it concerns Russia. This case involved eccentric Piotr Pavlenski, considered by some to be an artist, who became famous (infamous) by sewing his lips shut, nailing his scrotum to the pavement on the Red Square and setting fire to the doors of the Lubyanka building in Moscow, before moving to France where he also set fire to the windows of the Bank of France in Paris. However, when Pavlenski – an ethnic Russian – circulated on the Internet compromising images of Benjamin Griveaux, who was running for the post of the mayor of Paris, Western media immediately saw Russian, particularly Putin’s, hand behind this affair. This notwithstanding that chances of Griveaux, though running from Macron’s La République en Marche (REM), to win the race were considered by opinion polls to be relatively low and the post of the mayor of Paris, though important for the millions of Parisians and tourists, seems to be far from President Putin’s concerns.

A Poisonous Giant Russian Squid Ate Trump’s Brain!
Anatol Lieven
Whipping up fear of Russia allows elites in both the USA and Europe to continue to structure their institutions and strategies around an adversary that is familiar, comfortable and fundamentally safe. The whole point about NATO during all the years of the Cold War and after is that it never fought Russia and has no intention of doing so now. Not one NATO soldier was ever killed by Russia. NATO’s strategic speciality is shadow-boxing, not war.

Nevertheless, The Irish Times even published an article entitled ‘Griveaux sex scandal threatens to reshape France’s relationship with Russia’ , where it was held against Russia that its authorities had been ‘surprisingly lenient with Pavlenski’ (I imagine what would have been Western media’s reaction had Russian authorities been less ‘lenient’!) and that Pavlenski’s lawyer had ‘heard that Putin laughed when Pavlenski left Russia’. However, as a lawyer, he added a caveat: he didn’t know whether that was true or not. And such idiotism is spread not through social media but published in newspapers once considered respectable! 

I haven’t yet made up my mind on whether this time American intelligence agencies would find that Russia interferes on behalf of Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump in the American Presidential elections. I wouldn’t be surprised if the bookmakers were already announcing bets on the question. In any case, today, as Russians say, only those who are really lazy wouldn’t try to interfere in ‘democratic processes’ in the West. Hackers must be getting ready for European and World championships on the topic so widely advertised.



Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.