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Information wars in the structure of modern civilizations

Обновлено 28.03.2024 17:33


In the modern world, the new role of the information component makes it possible to overthrow the governments of many countries of the world. There is no need for military action or bloodshed. So, in Albania, in Bulgaria, in Indonesia, in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and now in Ukraine, as a result of the "rocking" of the waves in one of the social groups of society (for example, among students, depositors of trusts, a national group), the entire state boat turned over. This is a mechanism of resonant technology, with a key aspect in information warfare, which allows you to change the government of any small or medium-sized country for a certain amount of money and with the availability of appropriate specialists. At the same time, the country will not even feel that it is experiencing such influence from the outside.

The impact can be both constructive and destructive. In the first case, the impact is aimed at strengthening the political, psychological and other components of society.

As a result, society will be less exposed to both external and internal influences. In the second case, the influence is aimed at increasing instability, including information support for centers that create such instability both inside and outside the country.

Psychological surgeries can also stimulate new behaviors of both a stabilizing and destabilizing nature.

Ukraine has repeatedly felt the potential of such an intense communicative impact. In 1990, as a result of a student hunger strike, the government of V. Masol was changed. Students as a social group turned out to be suitable for creating a "resonance", since they are not only less bound by social conventions than others, but all other strata of society are strongly connected with them: all were students at one time.

In that situation in 1990, the media were also on the side of the students, which provided the necessary political pressure. By themselves, without transferring this protest to other groups, the students had no power.

In 2004, the pressure of a certain part of the population on the Maidan led to the cancellation of the voting results and the holding of the so-called third round, which was not provided for by the laws of Ukraine, which ensured the victory of the desired candidate. Today, Ukraine is reaping the fruits of another Maidan, which began as a protest against Ukraine's refusal to sign an agreement with the EU, and resulted in the illegal removal of the president from power.

Similar resonant situations were observed in Russia under the presidency of Boris Yeltsin.

In the 20th century, for the first time in history, important results were obtained from the use of technologies to influence mass consciousness. Both the first and Second World Wars showed quite serious possibilities of influencing the mass consciousness, which led to the creation of completely new technologies.

So, in the First World War, the enemy could receive more than 5 million leaflets per month.

Already in 1943, General Eisenhower included in his troops in Africa a unit that was supposed to deal with leaflets and other forms of propaganda to support the military operations of the main units. After the Gulf War, a methodology for conducting psychological operations was developed. It was used in Northern Iraq (1991), Somalia (1992), Haiti (1994). During the operation in Haiti, a special plane of the psychological operations unit sent messages to local television and radio. And a feature of the coverage of the Gulf War, as already noted, was the complete avoidance of showing corpses in photos and videos. This is due to the special importance of the visual component, which directly affects the mass consciousness.

Another paradox is related to the influence of art television, when the prevalence of some parameter in works of art is transferred to real politics. For example, in the United States, the prevalence of teledetective determines that crime issues come out on top for domestic policy, although in real life it is not so significant. Or such an example: Japan spent millions of dollars to buy blocks of shares in American film studios in order to change the image of the Japanese in the American art world. Let's call this paradox the transfer of artistic priorities to reality.

The modern globalization of communications has dramatically increased the degree of influence of the mass media, when, for example, the events in Yugoslavia or Indonesia simultaneously become known to people in all corners of the earth. Mass communication has become an effective tool of modern politics. This is also due to the more important role of public opinion in the current conditions. That is why attention to a particular event becomes a key factor in politics. The British government is convinced that not only it must work effectively, but all citizens of the country must be confident in this. And these are two different tasks.

There is also interesting American data from the Vietnam War. 69% of Americans who had a positive attitude towards the army were focused on television as a source of information. Among those focused on other information sources, the share of those who had a positive attitude towards the army was already 59.9%. Support for the army immediately decreases by 15% when the number of victims increases from 1,000 to 10,000. And regardless of whether this war was successful or not.

The civilizational changes that took place in the 20th century caused and changed the status of the information component in the structure of modern civilization. As a result, society's dependence on information has radically changed, and it has become more vulnerable.

These changes occurred due to the action of such factors:

1) the increased dependence of the successful development of society on information flows both in the field of economics and in the field of politics;

2) the globalization of communication follows from new technical possibilities, when it became difficult to hide events taking place both from the whole world and from one's own people;

3) the increasing dependence of governments on the population: the version of democracy that is developing today relies heavily on appropriate information mechanisms. And often the result of this informational influence is very far from the real democratic expression of will.

Naturally, such changes could not go unnoticed. A new communicative factor influencing politics and economics needed to create new management methods. This has led to the emergence of a variety of specialists and new professional fields where their work is applied. In the USA, for example, 150 thousand people work in the field of public relations, while 130 thousand work in journalism.

There was also an agenda setting problem. Since the media can really bring three to five topics to the discussion of public opinion, the authorities are fighting hard to define these topics based on their own interests. At the same time, the rule becomes an axiom: do not give journalists the opportunity to set these priorities themselves.

Active "muscle building" in this area occurred back in the days of Nixon, who stated: the success of the presidency depends on the ability to manipulate the press, but God forbid you show journalists that you are manipulating them. At the same time, one or another interpretation of events is imposed in public opinion. The corresponding department of the White House is called the Communication Service, which actually performs the functions of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Central Committee of the CPSU. However, this has to be done mainly not administratively by the method of prohibitions, but intellectually, by presenting other information in public opinion. Fifty employees of the department are able to "outplay" both the free press and the more democratic public, which closely monitors the actions of its government structures, forming a fairly strong opposition.

Current events in the United States indicate that the free press is far from being free to choose its position, but is subject to the will of its owners, who, in turn, act within the framework of party discipline. If D. Trump is a Republican, then before the election the press, which is on the side of the Democrats, should criticize him, and vice versa, support candidate D. Biden. The Republican press should act exactly the opposite.

The war of compromising materials in Russia has clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of influencing public opinion by providing negative information and opportunities to combat compromising materials through the efforts of spin doctors. For example, in the case of Boris Yeltsin's unsuccessful statements, his press secretary S. Yastrzhembsky actively acted as a spin doctor, who with his activity blocked any possible deviations from the "general line". His unofficial nickname "Hawk" also flashed in the press, which fairly accurately reflects the external pattern of his activities.

Political scientist A. Migranyan names the value system adopted by the majority of the population among the four main elements that make up the foundations of statehood. However, in modern Russia there is a significant discrepancy on this issue: there is nothing to "seal" the crisis situation with. The role of the media is obvious here, and Migranyan believes that Yeltsin's election was won not by the media, but by administrative structures. But the authorities decided that the victory was achieved precisely thanks to the media and tried to enlist their support for the future. "The owners of the media and television themselves made the most of this, because the authorities were ready to recognize their main role in Yeltsin's election victory. NTV received an entire channel, Berezovsky completely subdued ORT and went on an open assault on the political Olympus. In exchange for everything they received, the owners of the media promised to use television to create a virtual world for the people and solve their problems in this virtual world." As you can see, the world of politics has become extremely dependent on the information world.

The information component has become an important component of future military operations. The United States spends up to two billion dollars a year on research in this area, keeping even the research tasks themselves secret, and not just their solutions. The US Army Field Manual on Psychological Operations very clearly defines the tasks, laying them out into chains of components. Reading it, it is quite clearly possible to identify the mechanisms by which, for example, perestroika was "unwound", since among the goals one can find such as "support for counter-elites". Both states - the former USSR and the USA - can boast of conducting such operations against each other. So, the USSR once linked AIDS and the Pentagon laboratories, the United States inflated the situation with space wars, pushing the Soviet Union to make destructive investments in this area.

Little has changed in the 21st century. The United States and Europe on the one hand, Russia and China on the other, are conducting various psychological operations against each other (the Skripal case, the attempt at a color revolution in Hong Kong).

Psychological operations take into account the fact that it is impossible to change the norms of society by changing the norms of an individual. This can be done in another way - by introducing groups with other norms, under which the whole country can then be rebuilt. This is how Christianity was introduced in the history of mankind. That is why the West supported the dissident movement in the former USSR. It was according to this model that the restructuring took place. By the way, the propaganda of the former USSR did not take into account the fact that there was a change of the leader of public opinion. If earlier such a leader was the leader of the world of production, then later he became the leader of the world of consumption (actor, director, writer, etc.).

Propagandists showed in the program "Time", for example, a noble turner or a collective farmer who talked about his successes, but who found himself in an unfavorable communicative environment because he could not to speak in front of an audience. The leaders of the consumer world naturally look and speak better, attracting us to themselves. That is why we were more interested in director Mark Zakharov, who tore up his party card, than Egor Ligachev, who left his own.

Post-Soviet countries do not have equal opportunities to resist these technologies. We need a different concentration of efforts, a strict selection of our own tasks, on which all available resources should be concentrated.

Certain information mechanisms have become a component of modern politics. They are also interesting and important because material resources are not decisive in this area. The intellectual resource comes out in the first place, which is very important for countries with a transitional type of economy, which include the CIS countries.

M. Jowett and O'Donnell emphasize hidden goals and hidden sources of communication as characteristic of propaganda influence. The standard communication scheme undergoes significant changes in the case of propaganda. J. Brown also focuses on the fact that there is always something that is hidden by the propagandist.

We can imagine the tasks solved within the framework of psychological operations as various variants of deviations from the standard model of communication. In this case, new tasks arising within the framework of psychological operations can be considered as a conscious deviation from the standard scheme.

The solutions may be as follows:

1) Changing the source. There is a substitution of another source, for example, a Soviet source prints revelations of the CIA's connection with AIDS in an Indian newspaper. As a result, Soviet newspapers reprinted this material as Indian.

2) Channel change. Switching from official to unofficial channels. For example, generating rumors to spread the right messages.

3) Change the recipient. Information leakage is when a consumer receives information that was allegedly not sent to him.

4) Changing the message. Here, the goal can be either a change in the priorities of an event in the world model, or a change in the status of an event.

5) Changes in noise. The role of noise may increase dramatically, in the standard scheme, on the contrary, only interference, for example, Russian experts in psychotechnology proposed, in the case of hostage-taking in the United States, to let the voices of their relatives and friends as noise in order to subconsciously try to influence a peaceful solution to the problem, i.e. noise in this case, on the contrary, becomes the main thing a source of information.

If the previous set of techniques provided reinforcement of the message, then the task of counter-propaganda is the opposite of counter-propaganda activity. We need techniques that reduce the effectiveness of someone else's message. This is a set of actions, conventionally denoted by words that reflect their physical characteristics.

Umbrella is a technique, as a result of which other people's messages simply do not reach the consumer, for example, jamming radio stations during the Soviet period.

Watering can is a method of neutralizing a message by the cumulative effect of other messages.

The wheel is the technique of replacing a message in the mass consciousness with another one due to the introduction of messages with more important priorities.

Substitution is a method of refutation based on the emphasis of other blocks of the communication scheme (for example, links "the fool himself", when it is not the messages that cause doubt, but the one who speaks).

An extremely important feature of psychological surgery is working in an alternative communicative environment. For example, Soviet propaganda practically knew no alternatives, solving the problem and using quantitative coverage of its audience, before creating a propaganda site near houses so as not to leave the population without control at any point in time and at any point in space. The non-alternative communication environment to which Soviet propagandists are accustomed and to which we involuntarily turn our eyes is fundamentally different from where work takes place in the case of psychological operations. The enemy is trying to convince them to surrender in a situation where the bulk of the messages they receive are directed to the opposite.

An alternative communication environment is generally characteristic of democratic media. In this case, messages that are ahead of others often come out on top. For example, the first interpretation of an event that happened to an official will attract everyone's attention, since the population always wants to hear this interpretation from the authorities.

Procrastination is generally one of the main mistakes in conducting crisis communications.

It is also possible to introduce the concept of an aggressive communicative environment as characteristic of an impact situation, since it is necessary to change existing ideas that are actively defended by someone else.

In some cases, such a message may not be perceived at all.

Therefore, communicators use a series of techniques that support the message and increase its effectiveness.

Focusing on the coincidence of interests, the task of which is to maximize rapprochement with the audience. The good relationship between the speaker and the listener is transferred to the message itself.

Using authority to create the desired message. Here, too, the credibility of the speaker is transferred to what is being reported.

For example, Soviet military specialists filed rumors in Afghanistan as reports to the BBC, since this radio station had the greatest authority among the population.

Joining the majority opinion. The message is presented as the majority opinion ("everyone thinks so", "everyone thinks so"), and the opponent is presented as a representative of the minority. Color revolutions in post-Soviet countries took place in this way, when the opinion of a part of the population (who came to a rally, protesting, etc.) was presented by the media as the opinion of the majority.

Presenting the proposed solution as progressive, and the opposite solution is one that comes from the field of the past.

This is quite actively used by modern politicians.

Moving the dispute into the plane of the negative characteristics of the opponent himself, exposing the opponent in relation to other areas, since a bad person cannot say the right things.

We actively use numerous purely informational means of influence. Thus, today's civilization is in many ways a "hostage" of its information component, which makes it necessary to invest more and more significant resources in this area.