The book „The Propaganda War in the 21st Century“ by George Potšeptsov, fresh from the presses, in the Spring of 2018 is a work on theoretical propaganda.
Initially I have to say that this is a very valuable book, although the 173 page „pseudo brick“ printed on thick paper does not give that impression.
Reading this book, one needs a clear head, time to absorb it thoroughly and a pad for taking notes.
The first couple of chapters give the impression as if we were dealing with a brick wall that is missing binding cement between the bricks. Reading further the concept of the book becomes clearer and its actual value begins to emerge.
Potšeptsov’s book is just like a condensed version of a contemporary and topical, lengthy propaganda dissertation.
The author has collected the thoughts of various theorists in the book and tried to formulate a total picture from them. Potšeptsov’s vision is a definite framework for describing propaganda guided by the choice of quotations, which form a fascinating picture
Going through the book there is an immediate need for taking notes because the thoughts collected in the work, which are well chosen and descriptive are short and unfortunately there is no register of references and sources that would allow further exploration.
Through quotations, the book describes the current situation in terms of the nature of propaganda, the environment in which it operates and the extent to which techniques have been used. Potšeptsov proceeds from material representation of physical, informational and a virtual space trinity model, changing the material presented and making it more valuable. He writes: „ Propaganda is a physical, informational and virtual space aimed at influencing the fourth or cognitive space, or an opponents mind. You can move troops (physical space) talk about horror in a neighbouring country (informational space), see an enemy in it (virtual space) so that you can convince your people for the need of military intervention, even mediated.“
The author has from a practical point of view introduced the experience of Ukraine, which is placed with long sections within the theoretical part.
Potšeptsov’s latest work is compulsory reading for those who are trying to understand the practical impact of Russia’s influence, the nature and potential of integration as well as the potential role of a channel like ETV+ and the important and significant parts of this program.
For example, he writes: „Communication and virtual space are protected not by the construction of walls, but by the creation of a similar space. As a result a personalized world model will evolve, which will reject the attack of different world model products, in case they are aggressive. They are considered unreliable, funny, and stupid but definitely not ones that could replace your own product. This is a filter not a wall.
Such a barrier in the form of its own world model will not arise before the creation of its bestsellers, serials and heroes, who and which would not come from the past as much as from today. Heroes who are recognized by only half of the people and not the other half are more destabilizing for the country rather than uniting it.