Monday, 25 March 2019

The Puppet Master and managed democracy @ Radio 4

We are living in a world where 'managed democracy' might well become the norm:
Futures Forum: Managed democracy: "The deliberate undermining of people's perception of the world, by creating confusion and contradiction ... undermining any opposition to existing power structures ... which leaves us feeling helpless and depressed and to which the only response is: 'Oh dear'."

This blog has looked at some of the ideas behind this norm - and how we might counter them:
Futures Forum: Moving beyond the ideological boundaries and "empowering people to find the solutions to their problems themselves"

Starting today, Radio 4 goes in search of one of the masterminds behind this set of politics:

The Puppet Master

This is the story of the most powerful man you’ve never heard of. He can spot an ex-spy with presidential potential and help turn him into a world leader. He creates opposition movements out of thin air. He’s got a nation’s news directors on speed dial. Billionaires seek his advice. He’s even got his own little war. He’s at the heart of the standoff between East and West. Some even credit him with pioneering the concept of post-truth politics. Yet few even know his name.
He is Vladislav Surkov. His background is in theatre and PR. He has a taste for Beat poetry, American rap and postmodern theory. But his politics are 100% Russian, and they’re spreading. Surkov invented Russia’s ‘managed democracy’ – where authorities arrange not only elections, but the results as well. He guided Vladimir Putin to his current unassailable position atop Russian politics. Now, Surkov is focussed on Ukraine, where the separatist movement he helped create continues its bitter war on Europe’s eastern flank.

BBC Radio 4 - The Puppet Master, Episode 1

1. Snipers

The Puppet Master is a series that gets to the bewildering heart of contemporary Russia by exploring the fortunes of a secretive, complicated and controversial man called Vladislav Surkov. 
Reporter Gabriel Gatehouse speaks fluent Russian and has access to a vast cache of leaked emails from Surkov’s Kremlin office. Using these, plus archive and sources gained over a decade of covering Russia and its wars, Gatehouse goes in search of the man pulling the strings. The journey is by turns dramatic, surprising and surreal, ranging from the battlefield to the theatre and the Kremlin itself. The destination? The post-truth world we inhabit today.

BBC Radio 4 - The Puppet Master, 1. Snipers

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