UKRAINE: THE MOEBIUS STRIP OF SELF-WILLED “OBSERVER” BLINDNESS IN THE WEST
Listening to western commentators, some of them coming across as what might normally be called intelligent people, you get the impression that something extremely odd is happening in what is supposed to be the free thought region of the world.
This, I would suggest, comes largely down to the psychological condition named ‘Group Thought Syndrome’. Those caught within this condition adopt certain stances that suit particular cultural or political requirements and agendas but which hardly correspond to reality at all. They manifest such fixed prejudices in this respect that though there is an objective reality out there capable of being readily understood, they tend continually to speak to the fantastical construct that is fixed on a permanent basis within their minds.
The current debate about Russia in Ukraine is a very obvious case in point, the most obvious and fascinating I have ever seen. If you are still struggling to picture how this works hark back in your memory to any conversation you had with a cult member or creationist Christian where you will have seen this in operation. You come up against fixed concepts that nothing will shake, even though there is nothing whatsoever that can be said to present an objective reality concerning them. Their fixed conclusions require them to stay thoroughly blind to any possible modification that could tend to undermine their belief system.
There’s another case, one which derives from repetitive conditioning whereby, either through the subject’s willingness to be exposed or unawareness of being exposed, concepts are inserted in the mind by being endlessly repeated until at length they become fixed opinions which are hardly or never inspected against reality.
But in this current case where an entire model is fixed in the mind concerning events in Ukraine we are talking of people who look as if they are normally astute observers and persons used to thinking quite deeply on serious matters.
So what gives?
I suspect in this case it is a perfect mix of the various factors named above.
Vladimir Putin cannot help but have a bad rep in the West. Really, what good have you heard about him if you live there from mass media news sources or the verbiage of countless commentators? Anything? Anything at all? I wouldn’t think so. A veritable cascade of criticisms, accusations, insinuations and assertions have been a quite consistent feature of the last two decades. Whether there is any substance to the accusations about him hardly seems to be the point. The accumulated “evidence” has convinced most, even if it is on the ‘no smoke without fire’ principle.
Did Putin do any of what he is accused of? Who knows for sure… but certainly, no one has presented hard evidence that could be taken to the International Criminal Court. Yet he has been found guilty and bad-mouthed during the last two decades on an almost continual basis. Therefore this “fact” of his “guilt” has arrived as a fixed perception in most western minds. Why would it not? There was no one, absolutely no one as far as I am aware within the western mainstream who was able to mount a comparable counter argument. In fact, truth be told it would have required on advocate for every detractor to truly balance the scales allowing an all round view on him to be formed.
I won’t go into the rights, wrongs, factuality or accuracy of each individual accusation, I only point out here what you will have observed yourself, that essentially only the accusations were heard, never any counterbalancing factors which might reduce the effect of accusations on their own.
This is one aspect of the ‘group thought syndrome’ which I see permeating western mass media discourse currently.
Another is the way thought in general, or its expression, has become far less rigorous in approaching questions and much more inclined than it ever was before to accept certain principles as hard and fast and not subject to re-appraisal. Within the deeply liberal world of the intelligentsia Putin is clearly considered some kind of brutish, authoritarian figure that generates no sympathy whatsoever from this wide band of what would normally pass as urbane thinkers, sometimes lofty figure in academia, some of whom appear on mainstream television programmes to expound of such subjects as Putin.
Now, with the situation in Ukraine, the take is even harsher than before. With no aspect of events leading up to February 24th taken into consideration the fixed and/or conditioned responses come immediately to the fore. Add to these the circular channel of communications where Zelensky and Ukraine is bigged-up while Russia is universally condemned, and you reach a group thought peak.
With this peak having been arrived at, all news from Ukraine MUST be filtered through the fixed and totally accepted requirements for good news about Ukraine and bad news about Russia. Actuality fails to have any merit except if it reflects this two-pole requirement. All views must state that Ukraine is brave, needs our help, is being evilly oppressed and if we all support her the evil plans of Putin and the Russian military will be defeated. It has gotten so bad in this respect that an absolute ban on anything even approaching a positive outcome for or by Putin/Russia is clearly in place, even if not explicitly stated. No one is stating the reality. The reality is forbidden as it does not conform with the required narrative and ongoing agenda to support Ukraine and condemn Russia.
Imagine the shock then when the reality becomes so obvious that the very fabric upon which the current fixed, group thought requirements is based… disintegrates. For that is due to happen within weeks.
Putin, along with his advisers, economic, political and military are about to see their plans come to fruition. Not perfectly, not with every ‘i’ dotted and ‘t’ crossed, but in the essentials of what was planned, to a very high degree of success.
In the midst of mass media pundits and assorted talking heads, many of them academics and experts, saying the exact opposite, that Ukraine is winning in fine form, in line with the group thought factors above, an enormous shock is about to make eyes widen and mouths gape across the liberal intelligentsia seen on mass media.
I do wonder what tactics of denial will continue to be employed to at least minimise the coming very obvious success of both Putin and the Russian army. I’m sure there will be some, no matter how obvious to some of us looking on. Will, as was the case when Russia intervened so successfully in Syria, virtually all its success be almost completely ignored? If this is the case then the moebius strip of self-willed western “observer” blindness will continue and seek its next subject that “shows” how “right” they have been all along.