The buch about foreign agents continues. The patriots are glad that they have pinched the tail of the Russophobes, the liberal progressives are indignant at the unfairness of such a decision. It seems to me that the very design of the foreign agent is not very successful. I understand: this is our symmetrical response to the American practice of declaring our media and individual citizens to be foreign agents. But this answer is very secondary and imitative. I have written many times that we are ideologically a colony. Just a little – we immediately remember: how is it done in exemplary and progressive countries and we are trying to arrange it the same way. But you can think with your own head, and not try to write off a control from a neighbor, like a poor student.
It seems to me that it would be better to do so. Without exception, ALL mass media in each issue, in a conspicuous place, announce the source of their funding. Right under the headline, where the newspaper “Pravda” of the Soviet era had the slogan “Workers of all countries, unite!”, And the “Krasnaya Zvezda” – “For our Soviet Motherland!” In TV programs – once in some time to give this information in a creeping line, on the radio – to interrupt the broadcast and report. I would extend this rule to films, performances, as well as conferences, forums, rallies and other events related to mass communications. You come to the performance, and above the entrance and on the program there is an inscription visible to everyone, on whose funds the party goes. Of course, on the Internet there should be a financial report of every opinion leader, ruler of thoughts, and grief-stricken people. Today, practically no media, especially political ones, are able to exist on self-sufficiency, so there is no need to pretend sanctimoniously that they are “free”, “independent”, etc.
I think the described measures would be the execution of Article 29, Clause 4 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation: Everyone has the right to freely seek, receive, transmit, produce and distribute information in any legal way.
After all, the very first step that a person seriously working with information takes is to assess its source. Any professional working with information – for example, a historian or an investigator – starts with this. Without this step, all attempts to “receive, transmit, distribute” are of no value. All this is gossip on the heap or deliberate manipulation of the consciousness of a naive public.
In turn, the first step in assessing a source of information is understanding who pays him. Actually, this is the answer to the classic question that was formulated by ancient lawyers: cui prodest / bono? – to whom is it beneficial / useful? By virtue of the civil law presumption of common sense, it is assumed that a person or organization will pay only for what it considers useful.
With this approach to business, not only the media supported by foreigners, but in general everyone should announce who supports them. There is no need to put anyone on a pillory, to persecute, to persecute, about which the progressists have so sympathetically and picturesquely got the hang of whining. You only need one thing: clearly and unswervingly communicate who is supporting you. There is absolutely nothing offensive or offensive in this. Are you ashamed of your patrons and employers? Are you embarrassed that they are foreigners? There is no need to be embarrassed: a lot of respectable citizens work for foreign companies, I myself once worked for a FIAT group company and am not at all ashamed of that.
I think that gradually it is necessary to come to the conclusion that the source of funding will be indicated everywhere: a book, an article, a film, a program. Of course – mass events. This is a very expensive entertainment. To hold even a small-scale rally, congress, rally, etc., I know from personal experience, is expensive. All those flag T-shirts are expensive. As a citizen, I want to easily find out who paid every time. Then the unexpected may turn out: for example, spontaneous popular indignation may be paid for by big business or a foreign agent. In general, in order to evaluate a social movement, one must first of all ask the question: who finances it.
The communication of false information should form the composition of a serious offense, administrative and, if repeated, possibly even criminal. Does this make you angry? Are you angry? What’s wrong with that? Just tell me who you are walking on – and complete freedom of speech. Of course, you can hide the ends in the water: business people know these tricks: gaskets, ephemeral companies, “garbage cans”, etc. But with persistent desire, this chest opens.
I am far from thinking that the media that finance unsympathetic and even hostile organizations are talking only malicious nonsense. No, something in their products can be true and valuable. But every time you have to remember who keeps them. Once Herzen beat the Bell, exposing the untruths of Russian life. We have been taught to respect this matter tremendously. But when you find out that the “Bell” was ringing at the expense of the Rothschilds, you begin to treat this publication … more restrained or something …
Illustration: Pavel Kuchinsky