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The MEME WARS have begun.

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 DarkKnightNomeD    2,079


What is memetic warfare and how it threats democratic values?



Russia will conquer Europe not with tanks and jets

This Saturday, March 5, 2016 Jānis Sārts, director of NATO’s Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, based in Riga, Latvia, told the Observer that Russia had a track record of funding extremist forces in Europe, and that he believed there is now evidence of Russia agitating in Germany against Merkel.

Insisting that he could talk only as an expert, and not as a spokesman for NATO, Sārts said: “[Russia] is establishing a network that can be controlled. You can use it as they have tried to do in Germany, combined with the legitimate issue of refugees, to undercut political processes in a very serious way. Angela Merkel has been a very adamant supporter of continued sanctions against Russia. If it was just punishment, that would be OK – but it is testing whether they can build on pre-existing problems and create a momentum where there is political change in Germany”.

As I’ve been monitoring the process of Russian narratives promotion to the European information space, this is at least fourth affirmation of the fact that Russia interferes in the internal affairs of European countries, that is ignored by European society.

In October 2015 Jānis Sārts said that NATO suspects that a third party working in the hidden fomenting xenophobia in Europe. Information warfare experts tried to find those behind the campaign, but actually we all understand who can benefit from the weakness of Europe.

Many Ukrainian and German experts has assumed that New Year eve sexual attacks on women on the Cologne railway station square were planned and organized by the third party. And their main aim was to change the attitude of Germans to the migrants.

In the end of January 2016 the alleged rape of a 13-year-old Russian-speaking girl in Berlin, supposedly by asylum-seekers, has fuelled anti-migrant protests from Germany's large Russian community. One of their demands was to change the politics of Angela Merkel up to her resignation.

Members of Netherlands parliamentary party D66 have made a request on how Russia can influence Netherlands policy because of the deep concern after US-based investigations on European parties funding by Russia.

As I can see, the participants of almost every conference on propaganda issues are trying to define and figure out the narratives of Russian propaganda towards European countries. There are many of them, but the most efficient ones are very simple and widespread. They are based on the prior needs of every human being – the safety and security. And to activate these needs in people, you should assure them in some real threat threatening them. This is how Kremlin uses refugee crisis to scared Europeans and make them guided by fake ideas, like “refugees attack, insult and rape women”.


Memetic warfare

 One of the contributors of Defense Strategic Communications journal issued by NATO Stratcom COE, Jeff Giesea defines memetic warfare as “competition over narrative, ideas, and social control in a social-media battlefield. One might think of it as a subset of ‘information operations’ tailored to social media. Information operations involve the collection and dissemination of information to establish a competitive advantage over an opponent”.

In Jeff’s opinion “memetic warfare could also be viewed as a ‘digital native’ version of psychological warfare, more commonly known as propaganda. If propaganda and public diplomacy are conventional forms of memetic warfare, then trolling and PSYOPs are guerrilla versions”.

Jeff Giesea also says that this methodology is being actively used in political campaigns. And this is true. The most interesting last cases of spreading memes for changing of political situation are, for example, Twitter hashtags #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain, when American comic John Oliver has launched anti-Trump campaign, or #BundyEroticFanFic, when American actors tried to prevent the glorification of farmers that used their guns to fight for their land (which was perfect illustration of how USA were built).

But, in my humble opinion, memetics is far broader issue then only social media management method.

Vladimir Vernadsky, the first president of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, considered the founding father of the noosphere theory. This is the kind of environment in which the whole conscious intellectual activity of mankind is going on. It is believed that a third-party unceremonious intervention in this environment, which is not fully studied and understood, carries a great danger. Just like human intervention in the nature processes is a serious threat to the ecological environment.

Implantation of ideas is the ancient willing of humanity. Perhaps only for this the religion was created, not to mention things like hypnosis, NLP or “black PR”. The main charm of implanted ideas is that the “object of implanting” considers these ideas as his own. And that’s why they have such a devastating effect. After all, people are often willing to die, and more often – to kill for their beliefs. This destructive force is shown in Christopher Nolan’s “Inception”.

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