What's Driving Social Discord: Russian Social Media Meddling Or Soaring Wealth/Power Inequality?

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

The nation's elites are desperate to misdirect us from the financial and power divide that has enriched and empowered them at the expense of the unprotected many.

There are two competing explanatory narratives battling for mind-share in the U.S.:

1. The nation's social discord is the direct result of Russian social media meddling-- what I call the Boris and Natasha Narrative of evil Russian masterminds controlling a vast conspiracy of social media advertising, fake-news outlets and trolls that have created artificial divides in the body politic, or exacerbated minor cracks into chasms.

2. The nation's social discord is the direct result of soaring wealth/power inequality-- the vast expansion of the wealth and power of the nation's financial elites and their protected class of technocrat enablers and enforcers (the few) at the expense of the unprotected many.

Core to this narrative is the view that the elites and technocrats have engaged in a massive, coordinated official/media propaganda campaign of fake news aimed at persuading the bottom 95% that their prosperity and financial security are expanding when the reality is they have lost ground they will never be able to recover.

This propaganda campaign includes official (i.e. gamed/distorted) statistics such as unemployment and inflation, a reliance on the manipulated stock market to "signal widespread prosperity" and a steady drumbeat of corporate media coverage promoting the Boris and Natasha Narrative as the primary source of all our troubles.

The reality the elites must mask is that the few (the elites) have benefited at the expense of the many. The rising tide of financialization, globalization and neofeudal-neocolonial neoliberalism has not raised all boats; the yachts have floated higher while the rowboats have either sunk or are leaking badly.

The Boris and Natasha Narrative is the primary propaganda tool of the ruling elites and their technocrat/ corporate media enablers. This is of course classic propaganda: misdirect/distract the public from the reality of explosive wealth/power inequality; blame the other i.e. the enemy for the nation's self-generated woes, and claim to be helpless victims rather than oppressors: garsh, we'd all be just fine and dandy if the evil Russkies hadn't meddled in our election. Poor us, we're victims!

Look again at the chart of soaring inequality above and tell me the Power Elites of the nation are helpless victims of Russian meddling. Isn't it painfully obvious that the Boris and Natasha Narrative is just a tad too convenient and a bit too well-oiled not be a carefully planned and executed propaganda campaign to distract the public from the greatest divide in the nation's history between the elites and those they exploit/rule?

Orwell would approve of the Elites' Boris and Natasha Narrative, as it reverses the polarity of fake news: the elite campaign labels Russian-generated fake news as the problem to mask its own reliance on fake officially sanctioned news: everything's going splendidly because assets owned by the wealthy keep rising.

If you turned off the corporate media and social media for a week and asked yourself to identify the core causes of rising social discord, would you really think the Boris and Natasha Narrative was the dominant cause, or would you look at the greatest wealth/power inequality in the nation's history as having some causal connection to the rise of populism, social discord and a sense that we're less secure, less prosperous, less free and increasingly powerless in a nation dominated by elites slavishly served by a well-paid class of technocrat/ media enablers and enforcers?

Believe what you want, but history is clear: declining social mobility, declining access to political power, declining financial security and the rising concentration of wealth and power in elites are what drives social discord and instability, not the meddling of "outside agitators."

The elite tried the same strategy in the era of social discord created by the wealth-power extremes of The Gilded Age: to distract the nation from the obvious source of instability-- unprecedented concentrations of wealth and power in the hands of the few--the media was filled with stories blaming "outside agitators."

Don't fall for it. The nation's elites are desperate to misdirect us from the financial and power divide that has enriched and empowered them at the expense of the unprotected many. Every story and every broadcast about Russian influence is another brick in a Great Media Wall designed to block our view of the grim reality of American life in a society defined by vast inequality.

Always start an inquiry with this question: cui bono, to whose benefit? Who benefits from us buying the Boris and Natasha Narrative?

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J S Bach SmackDaddy Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:29 Permalink

"What's Driving Social Discord: Russian Social Media Meddling Or Soaring Wealth/Power Inequality?"Agreed, SmackDaddy.There's another big "Or"...Or... could it be two generations of public-school and collegiate brainwashing of our youth?  These poor souls grow up completely confused having been taught that everything unnatural is good and should be fought for.  Everything that is debased and sinful is to be championed.  Communism, feminism, homosexuality, pedophilia, miscegenation, open borders, etc... are drummed into their heads from kindergarten on.On the other hand, all who adhere to traditional morality and natural law are labeled as "fascist" (hence "antifa" {anti-fascist}).Could THIS be an underlying reason why there is such social discord?  This humble writer believes so.

In reply to by SmackDaddy

Creepy_Azz_Crackaah gatorengineer Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:58 Permalink

"What's Driving Social Discord"

Neither of the author's assumptions. What drives this social discord is the LACK OF MORALS AND VALUES. We have way too many special snowflakes who were taught to throw tantrums and get violent if they don't get what they "deserve." Also, way too many chillns of baby mommas not being raised to be responsible adults, rather, being let roam wild on the streets like apes while baby momma works on popping another out - paid for by tax dollars.

Sorry, lack of money doesn't make people violent. Fucked up values do.

In reply to by gatorengineer

Creepy_Azz_Crackaah gatorengineer Thu, 11/02/2017 - 14:06 Permalink

Yep, parents used to raise their kids. Neighbors watched out and called a kid's parents if he/she was acting up. Etc. Walter Williams (George Mason University Econ Dept Head, used to be Rush Limbaugh radio sub host, and "black by popular demand") tells his story of growing up poor in inner city Philadelphia. You act up as a kid and the neighbor saw you do it the neighbor would smack you one and the parents would thank the neighbor for helping with their kid. There was very little crime.

In reply to by gatorengineer

gatorengineer Gaius Frakkin'… Thu, 11/02/2017 - 15:21 Permalink

Pleae explain.....  In my world view as a younger boomer (last year still called a boomer) many asians and hispanics have asismilated into society, or said another way culture.  Whereas 95%+ of the blacks still have a very differnt culture, that is antagonistic to traditional american culture.  Due to the color of their skin you can as a generalization judget the content of their 95%+ character.

In reply to by Gaius Frakkin'…

Stuck on Zero gatorengineer Thu, 11/02/2017 - 16:09 Permalink

I disagree with the Author to some extent. Elites seem to have nothing better to do than social engineering. They are willing to use their power and money to give us such things as SJWs, welfare, liberalism, common core education, etc. Just look at all the foundations established by the illuminati. They are not established to create jobs, advance technology, or aid the unfortunate. No they are all about social engineering to a socialist paradise that they rule.

In reply to by gatorengineer

yaright gatorengineer Thu, 11/02/2017 - 15:37 Permalink

But you did not grow up with others wealth or perceived wealth IYF (In Your Face)  Today most people are connected to each other 100% of the time.  FB, Twitter, Snap Chat, Tinder…. you name it.  Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame, they feel if people click “like” on FB I must be right about everything in my way of thinking. And then you have the I am entitled too peopleHey Joe got a new car…where is mine?Hey they went on vacation…when do we go?And so on…..  But I do agree with you and Creep.  Morels are gone in this society

In reply to by gatorengineer

rejected tion Thu, 11/02/2017 - 16:56 Permalink

From what I see of Feminazi's like yourself, they're not worth the time to waste on them much less food.  It ain't like most of the female specimens waddling around have missed too many meals. If I were a young man in these times I would buy a love doll rather than get caught out with some fat, unattractive, low IQ, smelly Fem with an attitude. Just came home from Wally World... Not one female in the place over 17 worth even considering a look.  Note that I do not use the term woman referencing these Fems. Those are an endangered species and I do not wish to insult the remaining few.

In reply to by tion

tion rejected Thu, 11/02/2017 - 22:04 Permalink

Yeah dude, I'm totally a smelly feminazi landwhale.  Keep trying to rent, hit and run, and implement double standards, and you will definately not insult women who still love strong men and would love to find one to treat like a king.  My burger comment was not aimed at number 9 personally, but just a rant on the degeneracy of modern day dating in general.  It's really unclear to me where exactly our disagreement is.

In reply to by rejected

Decay is Constant J S Bach Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:40 Permalink

Agreed.  I've been calling this the downfall of society for years.  When I bring it up at dinner, everybody rolls their eyes.From now on I'm going to say with a straight face that it's because of moose and squirrel.  They ignore me anyway.  At least this way I can have a bit of fun.Don't piss off us old guys.  

In reply to by J S Bach

Chupacabra-322 Decay is Constant Thu, 11/02/2017 - 14:16 Permalink

What we’re witnessing is an Epic Collapse of a dark, Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopathic Empire under

Tyrannical Lawlessness.

They want more slaves to add to the pyramid scheme, to replace those already sick and dying from their covert genocide. They will do this until robots and docile obedient humans are all that are left, if allowed by humanity. Yes that is how sinister the selfishly insane hierarchy and their cult key positioned helpers are. Many are literally demonically possessed and trying to make others possessed by the prescription and illegal drug and scam culture epidemics of earth. They will fail as always, but are attempting to take as many down with them as possible. They've hired around 2 million new rushed through poor public abuse training scam artists to go loot, harass and help enslave others, but they also bring the same and worse upon themselves, for going along with the corruption, endless lies, scams, wrongs and supreme laws of liberty breaking. Unfortunately they have hired huge amounts of unethical people to do these things in government, or as public mostly covert contractors. The clean out from the top down would require millions of arrests. Many of whom are in positions of the political, legal and corporate/ academical law breaking collusion positions. This is what happens when people are intentionally given horrible rights and law violating propaganda and addictions, to get them to do the dirty work. This was a planned recruiting and corrupting for the power and profits of the hierarchy, at the expense of the non "in on it" corporate, government, small business and social systems workers. See the scam clearly now?

The deceivers built the injustice abuse rights and law violating systems. It's poetic, or divine justice that they should be put in them. After all the worst law breakers should be pursued diligently, stopped and held honestly accountable, Just like any other terrible consistent law breakers.

In reply to by Decay is Constant

Snípéir_Ag_Obair J S Bach Thu, 11/02/2017 - 14:11 Permalink

Think you'd appreciate (if havent seen):


I'd add what that author can not:

Cultural Marxism has been incubating in colleges for 30/40 years now its become dominant.

And as with the Old Bolsheviks, commies in ww1 Germany and our neocons... it's definitely not entirely joos.

But mostly... its organized joory.

Same as it ever was.

Truth: It's The New Hate Speech

But Truth is God for the Good.







In reply to by J S Bach

giorgioorwell SmackDaddy Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:39 Permalink

Of course we have created and caused our own problems and elected the cheetoh faced reality star that we deserve, but it doesn't also mean at the same time that Russia is having a ball messing around with us....their intention was never to support one particular candiate or another, it was just to sow division and cause chaos.Russia's intention with much of their foreign policy and election interference (they have a long history of election interference in all kinds of their previous Soviet Bloc countries)  has always been to create enough confusion and distraction in target countries to distract from the out of control oligarchy that is modern Russia.I would say it's working rather well for Mr. Putin...he didn't actually care if it was Hillary or Donald, just wants to watch us tear ourselves apart.  

In reply to by SmackDaddy

lew1024 giorgioorwell Thu, 11/02/2017 - 16:46 Permalink

Everyone is assuming something not at all proven, namely "The Russians Did It".The IP addresses were the Moscow addresses of a Russian Troll Farm? That proves nothing, not even that the traffic came from Russia, much less that Russian-government interests purchased the ads and paid for the content.If any Russian intelligence service had actually run such a campaign, they wouldn't have been so dumb as to leave evidence.No oligarch's minions would allow it to be that stupid either.So, just evaluating the evidence, The Russians Didn't Do This, Either!Just evaluating the evidence, what groups in the world want us to go on believing tht The Russians Did It? They have the reasons to leave the evidence, of course.You can't be too skeptical about the meaning of evidence, but you should damn well try.

In reply to by giorgioorwell

bobsmith5 SmackDaddy Thu, 11/02/2017 - 15:09 Permalink

No, it is not the fucking Talmud. Why do you people want to blame the so call "Jews", whatever that means or is, for everything when it is pure Satanism. But noooo, you won't delve that far down the rabbit hole to find out what is really going on will you?

And this stupid comment got 16 up votes when I post this. Totally shameful and disgraceful lack of real knowledge and truth.

In reply to by SmackDaddy

Bam_Man Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:15 Permalink

The Russians are masters at social media meddling.All their fault.The stupid "deplorables" in flyover country that are killing themselves by the tens-of-thousands with opioids and alcohol don't realize how good they have it.

JimmyJones Bam_Man Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:24 Permalink

I get the sarcasm but the Coastal Sub-urbs are rampant with Opioid addiction and deaths as well.  If you have kids in High School you hear about it very frequently.  Middle aged women are also hooked on the pills and then heroin big time too, you don't hear about them as a big group either but trust me its the case.  Amazing that Women experiencing depression has risen lock step with the increase of feminism.

In reply to by Bam_Man

fbazzrea Number 9 Thu, 11/02/2017 - 15:28 Permalink

mothers who are forced/encouraged to work outside the home to contribute financially are not given the "pass" most men possess. in the majority of middle-class two-earner families, mothers are solely responsible for ensuring their children are actually fed, bathed, clothes laundered, mentored and loved in addition to household chores, spousal time, shopping, etc., all on a (real) diminishing household income... asked to stretch shrinking dollars further and further. plus, competing with men in the workplace is particularly stressful, especially when most receive less pay, less respect and fight glass ceilings. add the backstory and it's quite overwhelming.and the larger problem is both women and men are being robbed of their wealth, forced into an overpriced, impersonal healthcare system designed to addict, sedate and diminish one's health, resigned to the reality that the food you feed your children is poisoned with unpronounceable additives or GMOs. seeing your children receive less than a good education that you pay dearly for in property taxes but due to all your other responsibilities are unable to give sufficient tutoring to overcome the shortfall. severed from the natural world, on the treadmill morning to night, most lack sleep, good nutrition and emotional satisfaction.the world is messed up. we all know it. but there's hope. it's just that few will hear the good news. so many awesome technological advances coming our way but MSM, which unfortunately, is all most people are exposed to, will never tell you about it. their mission is to keep humanity in disarray, feeding depression and hopelessness. sadly, many succumb.personally, i'm striving to spend more time outdoors, avoid processed foods, and ride my bike approx 15 miles twice/week. small things but major contributors foundationally to a healthy and happy life. each of us must find ways to balance ourselves with Nature, limit the propaganda exposure and seek ways to be a better friend, lover and person. it's a beautiful day here and i'm really enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. hope you are too.

In reply to by Number 9

tion fbazzrea Thu, 11/02/2017 - 22:37 Permalink

I am guessing your downvotes came from men who want/expect the benefits of feminism but hate feminists, and are suffering from cog-dis.  So many within both genders have been force fed the ideals of feminism from youth, but at some point people need to take a step back and do some thorough critical re-examination, including self-examination. It's pretty crazy that I could get my total cost of living minus healthcare down to the same as what my healthcare premium was going to go to, and I ended up forced toward going to a private doctor anyway.  It's really out of control.  We just do without the healthcare for now, hopefully prayer will go a long way but I'm also a realist.There is much joy that can still be found in simple pleasures in this troubled world though.  Sometimes it's easy to focus on what you don't have, instead of focusing on what you do have and choosing to appreciate/improve on it.  Letting go is hard to do.  I'm hoping the faux winter melts away soon so we can do more forest romping.  Peace be with you :)

In reply to by fbazzrea

Albertarocks Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:22 Permalink

"What's Driving Social Discord: Russian Social Media Meddling Or Soaring Wealth/Power Inequality?"As if those were the only two possibilities, neither of which are likely causes.  How about adding "negative media 24/7".  How about adding the name Soros to your list and try the survey one more time.  Maybe throw in "Muslim invasions" just for shits & giggles?  If you want honest answers how about starting off with an honest question!!

what happened Albertarocks Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:27 Permalink

 Neither, it is the pension crisis which is forcing states to distribute almost 50% of its income from taxes and other sources to pension and benefits and interest on debt.  The poor and disabled are being squeezed out of their benefits, targeted by CPS and other agencies of the Deep State.  A police state type atmosphere exists in the states that are most in debt.  Reasonably paying jobs are more scarce in some areas as there is plenty of work paying under 13/per hour making it difficult to keep up while rents and health care costs continue to inflate.  Good times.

In reply to by Albertarocks

Goatboy Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:18 Permalink

Obviously Russian meddling! Thousands of dollars spent is a big deal!Imagine if CIA/MIC spent the same amount in Syria. ISIS would win a long time ago.

koan Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:20 Permalink

Both, people can see the divide of wealth even if they don't fully grasp the implications and social media is a well tuned cattleprod for the masses.

Goatboy koan Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:26 Permalink

Social media is far from "well tuned cattleprod for the masses". Its more like out of control tornado of everything most banal and stupid. It has potential to be much more but we are still not used to it, so our reptilian brains are expressed through it most of the time.

In reply to by koan