Russia & the West.
Pt. IX: Russian Regression Roulette
Stephen King in his 1984 novella titled “The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet” presents a scary story, which shows how fragile our ‘normal’ consciousness is and that madness is actually contagious. Very little is needed for ‘the roof to start leaking‘ (krýsha poteklá – Russian idiom on going cuckoo).
What’s a Russian regression? It’s a flexible bullet wrapped in an updated version of Russian conspiracy/fake news promoted by the contemporary mass media. Russian regression is born as a mild conspiracy theory, which can seem (or even be to an extent) true. Let’s say – Russia allegedly is trying to influence some processes abroad. Of course, it depends on what processes in particular, to what extent (and was it in fact a success) and – last but not least – is there any actual proof to back this theory. Then words like allegedly, supposedly, etc., are thrown away. It’s treated as fact. And if you question or deny this ‘fact’, you are smeared as a ‘Russian shill’, ‘Kremlin troll‘ or ‘useful idiot’.
It’s rather common in Russia to view the West’s Russian regression and klyukvification as wink-wink-nod-nod-we-know-you-guys-don’t-really-believe-this-stuff. I tend to think that often it’s a serious miscalculation.
Meanwhile flexible bullets of Russian regression are whistling on the air. Who knows who will be hit? We are all taking part in this media game of Russian regression roulette.