“Bloody energy”


I’ve said on several occasions that we simply don’t know the truth about what’s going on in the Ukraine war.  Both sides are corrupt;  both sides are creating increasingly effective propaganda about their and their opponent’s actions;  and neither side can be trusted.

Nevertheless, for students of propaganda, there’s a great deal to be learned from the Ukraine war.  I’m sure it’ll be studied as a public relations exercise for many years to come.  One of the most effective pieces of propaganda I’ve seen so far comes from the Ukrainian side, targeting ongoing European purchases of oil, natural gas, and other fossil fuel energy from Russia.

Whoever put that together deserves the European equivalent of an Oscar for its brilliant simplicity.  Regardless of where one stands over the war, its basic argument is essentially unchallengeable:  that buying Russian fuel supports the Russian war effort.  I’m sure Russia can (and probably will) produce countervailing advertisements that supporting Ukraine is to support Nazi extremists (which is also true to at least some extent);  but “Bloody Energy” has an immediacy, a connection to everyday life, that is almost unanswerable.

It’s worth looking for this sort of material.  We can learn a lot from it, no matter who makes it.  Also, consider what the US mainstream media is showing you about our current political, social, cultural and economic condition, and ask yourself:  how much of it is also carefully crafted propaganda, designed to persuade us to act in a certain way, rather than inform or entertain us?

I give you, as an example, the brouhaha over Florida’s new law against sexualizing young children, which is entirely appropriate as I see it, but which has led to a barrage of criticism from the progressive left, including being labeled as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill – which it isn’t.  That label was nothing more or less than blatant propaganda, but the mainstream media took it and ran with the ball.  Whose side do you think they’re on, and whose side do you think they want to persuade you to be on?



  1. I’d suggest that one of the outstanding successes in Russian propaganda over the last 70 years, is in positioning themselves as fundamentally different from Nazism. Once you strip away the cosmetics – the slogans and symbols – at a fundamental level, National Socialism, Soviet (International) Socialism and Fascism are members of the same family.
    All three are totalitarian, with Authority resting with an oligarchy formed behind a dictatorial leader.
    All three are based on the philosophy that the State is supreme, legally and morally, as well as physically. Individual Rights do not exist in practice.
    All three base their claim to power on inter-group conflict. (The difference between grouping people according to Race, Class or Nationality being one of the essentially cosmetic factors)
    All three enforce full government control of all forms of Production, Distribution and Exchange. (It matters not who technically “owns” property or industry, if they and their families will end in the Gulag if they do not obey),

    I’ve yet to see a useful definition of Nazism that does not come very close to describing Vlad Putin, yet the claim that a small number of “Nazis” in Ukraine validate an invasion killing large numbers of non-Nazis, is somehow permitted to pass unchallenged.

    Here is further challenge for those who espouse the “Left/Right” dichotomy as differentiating between Nazism and Socialism…
    It seems reasonable to argue that the opposite of a political theory based on group identity is not a different group identity, but an emphasis on individual liberty, autonomy and responsibility. It is obvious that adopting a view that the group identity is paramount, leads inevitably to Socialism in some form. It is not obvious, how an increasing belief in individual Liberty, leads inevitably to Nazism.

    Yet Putin says “but Nazis”, and that makes it alright, then.

    A further observation is that one of the shared characteristics of Russia and Ukraine, is the legacy of Communism. That is, decades of brutal, authoritarian rule-by-oligarchy, the fall of which left a moral, legal and economic vacuum. Those who pay attention to history understand that the development of a functional, free-market economy with a relatively impartial public service, judiciary and police (at least in theory) has taken us centuries. To blame Ukraine for not completing the same transition in a single generation, and to accept without criticism the argument that it justifies invasion by a Russia which has not completed that transition either,…. indicates a rather startling lack of insight.

    1. It is important to note that facism, and later national socialism, split from European communists in the 20s. This was for several reasons: First us Russian/soviet control of them. Second, was the fact that non of Marx's predictions happened and it was realized that uprising of the proletariat would never happen. The Soviet Union wasn't even a result of Marx't predictions.

      That second item created a philosophical, political, and realpolitik schism. Facists in Italy, Nazis in Germany, and later the social marxists/Frankford school in the US are all a result of that breakup.

      As a side note: They all hate Soviets/Russians That last group really hates Russians. I half wonder if they are also angry that they gave Marxism up.

  2. The response to people saying "Don't say gay" is increasingly "OK, Groomer." That's another example of on-target rhetoric.

  3. PeterW can you apply that label to our "American" Socialist-Democrats also?

    Seems they fill your bill of lading as well.

    People are divided between those that want to lead, those that want to BE led and those that simply want to be left alone.

    Startling Lack of insight, eh? Gropey Dopy and the Cabel that has their hand up the puppet's ass.

    Glass Houses and all that, Sir. Throw that rock.

  4. @Michael, Gropey and company are somewhere before the Chancellorship, which means there is still maneuvering room. Same goals anyhow. Also nice trolling with the Rock aside…

  5. Our failure that we have been trying to fight rhetoric with dialectic. It won't work in the short term. You need the rhetorical control to make the dialectic acceptable.

    That is why groomer works so well. It hasn't been over used, it evokes a certain behavior, and they are having a hard time demonizing people who use it.

    Superior rhetoric is one of the reasons Trump won and why memes work so well.

  6. Michael…. “If the label fits…..”
    The distinction being that the possibility of Biden losing an election still exists. Technically, anyway.

    The political falling-out of the Nazis, Communists and Fascists has little to do with their core political philosophies.
    They were no more “opposites” than the various sects of Islam – which have been on conflict for over a millennium – are opposed to Islam.

    Fratricidal wars, purges and conflicts with those regarded heretics, are often as fierce or fiercer than conflicts with genuine outsiders. Hitler and Stalin both had purges within their own parties, and the conflict between the Nazis and the Soviets was driven by a desire for power and resources more than by genuine differences in political ideology.

  7. One problem with these words is that they are now shorthand for propaganda that has nothing to do with their original meaning. Ask a WW2-era Brit to define a Nazi and you'd get a very specific answer. A communist in an older era would be defined similarly. In today's influence wars, "Nazis" voted for Trump, and "Communists" voted for Biden. Each, according to the other, is out to destroy America. There are two irreconcilable camps in America that are in a war for the very soul of America–if you believe the rhetoric.

    Are there communists and fascists in America? Sure! But by the clownishly broad criteria applied to both terms, the only people who fall outside those camps are "moderates, which both sides categorize as lazy or weak-willed. After all, the very existence of America is at stake! How could you not choose one side over the other?

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