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I can think of new media that vilifies Russia. For example, The Boys.
The Boys villifies one fictional superhero who was very much American, but was frozen in Russia. And a few other nameless Russian villains, in addition to a whole bunch of named and nameless American villains, and a few other villains around the world.
Never heard of that. This: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Boys_(TV_series) ?
The wikipedia page at least doesn’t sound like Russia is even a topic in that?
Here, if you look for the word ‘Russia’ it appears in 5 out of 8 episodes. They literally infiltrate a Russian facility, where the Russians appear as the antagonists, plus Russian characters act in other vile ways in the plot.
Good thing all the Americans in that show are so great…
But why Russia specifically? You can only demonize yourself or your enemies, and Russia is the enemy here.
no, like, most countries get villified somewhere or another. The Iranian regime is under a lot of fire right now for obvious reasons. Everybody has some gripe or another with China (especially the Uyghurs). North Korea, Qatar, Brazil, Belarus, Mexico, both India and Pakistan, both India and Palestine, Australia when it tries to deal with the Internet… You know what, can you name a country that doesn’t get villified? I’ve even heard people spread FUD about Canada.
And almost none of those countries are doing anything right now as bad as invading Ukraine for… still basically no reason other than vague fear that they might have one day joined NATO.
This isn’t about ethics. Countries are not people, they only act in their own interest with exactly zero regard for anything else. Russia attacked Ukraine because it was the least bad option for them (Ukraine joining NATO would be very bad for them), and the US imposes sanctions because it is also the best possible move, and now they can do it without facing backlash. And that includes propaganda if necessary, on both sides.
The point I’m trying to defend is that manipulating the public’s opinion is part of the global dynamic, and everyone should be aware of, and oppose it, to get what THEY want, rather than what the large-scale political chaos imposes on them. You seem to agree on that, so that’s great, I don’t see the need for further debate.
“Countries are not people” say that again, but slowly
Heck, I’m not strong in English… Okay, what about “a country is not a person”?
It is for some of us.
and acting in that way is unethical, and therefore villainous, and therefore worthy of villification.
Are you confused about why people villify things they view as villainous?
Okay but one of these things is murder.
Also, no, Russia’s attack on Ukraine was not the best possible move, Russia’s economy is pretty fucked going forward. It might have been the best rule for Putin, idk what internal Russian politics is about.
I didn’t say “I am totally neutral on Russia” or “propaganda is good,” though. Russia is just doing really, really bad things for which it should be criticized.
I’ll clarify then. You’re assuming individual ethics apply to large groups of people, which disregards the reason why those ethics exist in the first place. They exist at the individual level as an “acceptable” set of behaviors to discourage behaviors outside it. There are two important differences between individuals and countries:
For these two reasons, ethics do not make sense at an international scale. I’ll illustrate with an example:
There are 5 people. 4 of them make an agreement to beat up the 5th. This person learns of the plot against them and decides to attack each of the others separately, one by one, by just waiting outside their homes.
In this case, the 5th person should have simply called the police. What they did was unacceptable, since they attacked first, thus escalating the conflict.
However, at an international scale, things change dramatically. There is no police, so there’s just country #5, presented with a choice: either do nothing and get beaten up, or attack first. Did they act right or wrong? Well, it doesn’t matter, since there’s no way to change the result. The country will always choose the second option, and, furthermore, the other 4 countries will know damn well what #5 will do. In fact, they will not plot against it unless they think they are going to win in every scenario.
Now, imagine this happens, and country #5 has already attacked country #4. Now, the remaining 3 would be able to beat up #5. But let’s say #2 and #3 decide to side with #5 and beat #1; maybe in that situation they would suffer less losses, get better profits, etc. But in this case it’s in the best interest of #1 to oppose #5, and thus to keep #2 and #3 on its side, so it decides to convince the people on those two countries to hate on #5. Now they can’t side with it, since they would face backlash, so they need to co-operate with #1.
While a purely ethical analysis only concludes that ‘#5 attacked #4’ (which doesn’t provide any useful course of action), the more useful benefit analysis affords that #1 has managed to obtain the highest benefit, by manipulating #2 and #3 and capitalizing on conflict between #4 and #5. The useful course of action would have been for #2 and #3 to side with #5.
Seems like these episodes were made after the start of the war in Ukraine?
All I can think of is that in the latest season it is shown that an American super hero was captured by the Soviets in the 80s(?) and held captive (well, more like cryosleep) until today.
Yup, and in this case the Soviets (/Russians) weren’t really portrayed as villians IMO.
The Boys isn’t much anti-Russian because (beware of Spoilers):
The captured super hero (Soldier Boy) was actually betrayed by his own comrades and then handed over to the Soviets. IIRC, this betrayal was even coordinated by the super hero company in order to profit off of their new, lab-grown super hero.
If anything, The Boys is more anti-US than anti-Russian due to its underlying anti-Capitalist/anti-Neoliberal messages (The US being more Capitalist than Russia in this case). The show also portrays corruption, illegal business and unethical practices conducted by companies in order to maximize profits. The show is mainly a criticism of Capitalism and Neoliberalism in the US and doesn’t really show anything having much to do with Russia.
Besides that, the most vile characters in the show are actually the american super heros themselves together with the company. From committing murders to doing drugs and even human trafficking. So, I think it’s fair to say that the show isn’t specifically anti-Russian.