Friday, 18 June 2010

PR lessons from the Soviets

Well, I thought, catchy title. But what can the Soviets really teach sophisticated Westerners about PR?

Pretty much everything, it seems. But first, some background:

Was the end of the reign of mass terror in the Soviet Union just a lucky break caused by the death of one man responsible for nearly all Soviet executions: Vasili Mikhailovich Blokhin?


Who?

Could it be that the end of the Soviet Union itself was a lucky break — in the form of the Soviet healthcare system ending the life of Mikhail Andreyevich Suslov?


Who?

Seriously, how good could Soviet PR be if I haven't even heard of these people? I mean, everyone knows Alastair Campbell and Andy Coulson.

The Soviet Union produced the most effective and successful propaganda machine in the history of mankind. Mikhail Suslov was that machine, and that machine was Mikhail Suslov.


Piss off. Never heard of the cunt.

Probably his greatest work was what I call the "Suslov Maneuver." Facing the possibility of being accused of an atrocity, or facing any form of an ideological attack, one should immediately accuse the opponent of precisely that atrocity or ideological failure. For example, if the deaths of Korolov and Suslov seem to suggest some problems with the Soviet healthcare system, and some idiot American wants to bring that up, the best way to approach this is to immediately issue a statement condemning the inhumanity and failure of the American healthcare system.

In one of the most entertaining examples of the Suslov Maneuver, immediately upon invading Afghanistan in 1979, the Soviets issued a statement condemning Western intervention in the internal affairs of Afghanistan.

Suslov was such a master of propaganda that the Western politicians seemed like rank amateurs in any ideological confrontations with him. The most effective counter to Suslov came not from any professional ideologues but from popular jokes about communism. Those jokes conveyed much greater wisdom and understanding of the situation than all the pronouncements of all the Western political scientists put together.


Oh! Right ... yes, I'm beginning to see how this might actually be true.

Turns out to be quite a fascinating article. Go read it.

6 comments:

Kingbingo said...

I followed your suggestion a while back to join the Labour Party for a quid so I could vote for Balls. Great success so far, they have sent me at least £4 worth of post. The letters I get from the local MP all start ‘Comrade’. These fuckers still hero worship the Soviet Union and their International Socialism. Even if they actually more closely resemble Germans National Socialists.

The crimes of socialism in all its favours, International Socialism / National Socialists / Social Democracy / Environmentalism has ruined countless lives in Europe. It has also ensured the rest of us are less free, less happy and less wealthy than we otherwise would be. Socialism is intellectual cancer.

Ἕκτωρ said...

Don't forget about the propaganda machine of the Nazis. If it weren't so taboo it would probably be widely taught as the masterpiece on PR and propaganda. I have it on good authority that JFK wanted as much information on how it worked so that he could turn it to his advantage.

Roger Thornhill said...

If anyone goes back to see some of my comments across the net, this is what I sometimes refer to as "Socialist inversion".

When not planned by a bureaucracy, but just appears in the mind of the individual, it is psychological projection.

I see it all the time. Lefties calling Libertarians heartless, selfish etc. is a classic.

AntiCitizenOne said...

and don't forget the biggest one, lefties (who want to stop them take other people money) calling other people selfish!

Jeff Wood said...

"Socialism is intellectual cancer."

Kingbingo, I like that very much.

A lot of us contracted it when young, but it is fortunately curable.

A useful prophylactic, at least for society at large, would be to raise the voting age to 31.

g1lgam3sh said...

"Socialism is intellectual cancer."

'Nuff said.