In one scene, the protagonist is taken to the main studio where 3-D holograms of Russia’s Duma deputies are churned out according to scripts, and presented to the public as functioning democracy. By his very nature every politician is just a television broadcast.
Pomerantsev’s book is purportedly an inside look at how the Kremlin propaganda machinery functions, from a British repat who purports to have spent a decade working inside the state propaganda apparatus.
Glaring omissions of context, that had me start to question if Pomernatsev wasn't manipulating the reader by poaching the rhetoric of leftist critical analysis, and putting it to use for very different, neocon purposes . And then of course there's the larger nagging question—what the Hell is a presumed journalist/writer like Pomerantsev, who claims to have been most influenced by literary figures like Christopher Isherwood, doing lobbying the US and UK governments to pass bills upping psychological warfare budgets and imposing sanctions on foreign countries?
Where does the independent critical analysis stop, and the manipulative lobbying begin?
Amazingly, 27% said they thought the media were biased against Yeltsin. After the elections, a Petersburg journalist denounced the aftermath in an article, “The Virtual Reality of the Elections.” A general sense of unreality and nihilism spread throughout the creative class in the aftermath of Yeltsin’s victory.
Falsifying reality and staging politics became the new avant-garde, attracting figures like Vladislav Surkov—the “political technologist” behind Vladimir Putin’s curtain.