All nations are known for being “two faced,” as there is one side they will present or emphasize before the world, and another side of them- usually a far less admirable one -that is ignored or hidden away.
America has a long history of moral corruption that she is very open about. However, she tries to keep secret that the country is actually an oligarchy ruled by a few people who, while allowed much, only target that which could truly cause a change. Russia does the opposite, wehre she openly embraced and promotes authoritarianism and smashes down publicly on those who attack/”insult”/”slander” her, but then will try to make herself out to have moral high ground when she is as equally perverse and sometimes worse than the Americans. The American cartoonist Berkley Breathed of Bloom County comic fame captured this well in a comic from April 10, 1986 where Bill the Cat, after having decided he was going to be a communist, was going to be traded to the then USSR in exchange for Vietnam war veteran Cutter John, who was accused of being an American spy, as the two accused each other of their public sins in secret while they both know they do the same things at home.
There are many good things in the US and Russia, as well as many criticism. I have long pointed out the good with Russia, but I have also attempted to point out the bad, which is a general flood of immorality that is not necessarily originating in American geopolitical activity, but from Russia herself, just that the US has her own problems.
As of recent, Russia has been testing an “Internet kill switch” that theoretically would enable her to shut off Internet access to the rest of the world and create a separate Internet just for Russia, in that sense being an “Internet within an Internet”.
A controversial law that would allow Russia to cut internet traffic from international servers came into force Friday, prompting fears from rights activists of online isolation.
The law, which President Vladimir Putin signed in May, requires Russian internet providers to install technical devices provided by the authorities to enable centralised control of traffic.
They will also filter content to prevent access to banned websites.
Supporters of the legislation say the aim is to ensure Russian sites keep working if they are unable to connect to international servers or in the case of a threat from abroad such as cyber attacks.
But rights activists say it is another censorship bid following previous efforts in Russia to block services such as the LinkedIn social media site and the Telegram messenger service.
Human Rights Watch warned that the law means the “Russian government will gain even greater control over freedom of speech and information online”.
– ‘Directly censor content’ –
The internet is the country’s main forum for political debate and opposing voices as well as coordinating opposition demonstrations.
“Now the government can directly censor content or even turn Russia’s internet into a closed system without telling the public what they are doing or why,” said HRW’s deputy Europe and Central Asian editor Rachel Denber.
The bill prompted thousands of people to join street protests in Moscow and other cities in March, with some comparing it to China’s Great Firewall, which heavily restricts internet access.
The Kremlin has insisted it has no desire to isolate Russian internet users.
“No one is suggesting cutting the internet,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said, accusing protesters of suffering from “delusions.”
The bill’s authors say the aim is to protect the country’s websites from external threats and ensure the functioning of the internet is “safe and stable.”
In the event of “threats to the stability, security and integrity” of the internet in Russia, the authorities can establish centralised control by the state telecommunications watchdog.
Internet providers have to take part in annual drills to test the technical devices needed for this.
These devices have not yet been installed by internet providers, however, and are currently being tested, the RBK business daily reported.
One of the law’s authors, nationalist lawmaker Andrei Lugovoi, is a key suspect in the 2006 murder of Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in Britain. (source)
Now it is entirely possible to create an “Internet kill switch” for certain things. However, is this truly able to be realized in its totality, and likewise, is it worth the risk?
Something about Russia that differs greatly from the US is that most people in Russia do not place value into political discourse because they know much better that most politics is a show for the wealthy and not something for them. Poverty in Russia is rampant, and the wealthy private individuals working with state power regularly steal the monies and labors from people who are objectively productive yet expect the producer to subsidize his own costs. This is why Russia, as large as she is and with as many abundant natural resources, has seen no serious growth to her economy and continues to stagnate as well as transform into something that looks more like a sub-Saharan African dictatorship instead of a modern nation.
The reason why people who have money do not want to do business in Russia is because due to the open authoritarianism and irrational seizure of assets as regular practice, no investment has even a modicum of a guarantee from being stolen. Those who do business in Russia, which is mostly German companies due to historical reasons, tend to store most of their assets in Germany because they do not trust Russia, and with good reason, for as much as criticism can and is due to Germany for her history, Russia is also not a bastion of morality nor is she exempt from public scrutiny.
Throughout Russia’s history, the way that she tends to deal with problems is to pull into herself and seal herself off from the rest of the world, creating an autarky of sorts for long periods until she feels it is safe to re-emerge. During these periods, mass persecution of her own people are commonplace. This is also the reason for much of her hatred of the Catholic Church as well as her nationalism, for the Russian Orthodox Church for her functions historically as an extension of state power in producing “good patriotic citizens”- thus equivocating Christianity with good citizenship -who obey the Czar-now-President in power. There was a part of the Russian Orthodox Church that did resist the intrusion of state power, but this was put to terminal damage after the October Revolution and as some KGB and Russian Orthodox clergy as well as laity have noted, was finally obliterated by complete absorption into the KGB during the 1970s.
What Russia is trying to do right now is what she has done throughout her history. She is attempting to present herself as a “moral” option to the west, is exhibiting authoritarian tendencies, and is also attempting to seal herself from the rest of the world while building her own influence domestically and abroad.
The problems with this approach is twofold.
First, Russia may be capable, but no man is an island, and that includes nations. It is the reason why internationalism has always existed alongside nationalism, for while people are different, they also cannot isolate themselves from the rest of the human race because like it or not, one cannot survive on one’s own and one cannot grow without trading with another. Growth comes from other people, whether voluntarily given or taken by force, and if people will not deal with Russia because she is not a trustworthy business partner, then Russia has to find ways to fix this, for even Russia knows that this is not possible, and is why she is trading with other nations while working on promoting autarky to the public.
The Internet complicates this problem because the version of autarky that Russia wants is one where she can control the thoughts of her people. Unlike samizdat with paper, electronics can go anywhere, are far more fungible, and more difficult to control. If Russia was to “seal off” herself from the Internet, it would be disastrous because it would already frustrate many of the younger people, who know much of what exists in the rest of the world thanks to the Internet. Likewise, it would not be able to be “impenetrable” because there would always be a “backdoor” way in, for even China with all of her controls are regularly defeated by Chinese citizens who go around them reading about what the rest of the world says. The “Great Firewall” of China is talked about by the government but is a joke in practice, and it will likely be the same for Russia.
Second, is that Russia has a massive people problem. I have discussed this before, but Russia is basically falling apart. Prior to the October Revolution, women in Russia had about 7 children. Until 1949, that number was around 4 children. After that, fertility rates collapsed below replacement levels and have continued to lower with no signs of a turnaround. This is a direct cause of the Communist attack on the family, which they wanted to control people, and likewise promoted and allowed drugs, abortion, alcoholism, homosexuality (contrary to what is said, the HIV crisis in Russia today cannot solely be linked to drug use and heterosexual prostitution), child rape (Russia is arguably the largest producer of child pornography in the world and is second to Israel in the trafficking of women and children as sex slaves) to a point where the concept of a Russian family is almost the same as what the modern Afro-American family has become, which is a single mother acting as a father and a mother who dislikes men, raises a daughter to be like her and a son to act effeminately due to the confusion, and a father who either is not present or who is barred from his family because of the immense perversion in the Russian “family” courts. This also does not take into account the massive immigration issues in Russia, declining wages, rotting infrastructure, and a whole general decline that the West has not so much created, but is capitalizing on by accentuating the natural problems to their further logical end.
Russia is trying to control the Internet because she wants to control what people think and believe, especially about her, and to ignore her problems. This is something that the US has been able to manage well, for the US and western nations allow open discussion of most problems and issues, and only wage serious attacks generally against key issues that could expose other ones. For example, one will hear endless criticism of “racism” in the West, be it real, perceived, or just fake, but any story about Jeffrey Epstein or “pizza” will be immediately shut down and destroyed. The former, while an issue, is not a serious one, and the disagreement allows people to express themselves, and a dialogue can be controlled or manipulated. The latter is a direct threat. In the case of Russia, both would be absolutely controlled to the point that one knows that whatever one hears is the “state version” and nobody would believe anything, while in the US, it may be known that attempts to control exist, but they are selected based on value as opposed to a general smothering of discussion.
If Russia shuts down the Internet, make no mistake that the CIA will definitely help “re-open” the Internet for her people, and in so doing, will just continue the general downward trend that Russia has continued to follow, noting that the eventual goal is the breakup of Russia into a series of independent states with “slavic Russia” being generally concentrated west of the Urals. Russia unfortunately is also not helping herself because while there is a place for “closing off”, her self-inflicted wounds by the refusal to reproduce and a century of communism that is being revived by the pseudo-Christian “thinker” and real urine-drinking sodomite occultist Dugin with the direct oversight of Putin have caught up to her. The US has her issues, but nowhere near those of Russia.
What will happen is up to the future, and the Russian people are hearty and will not give up. However, there may be major changes in store for Russia, likely happening after a major geopolitical event or conflict, and while she is “tightening the screws” down on her interests, that barring a major change, she may also be putting the final nails into her own coffin.