We said last week that Russian TV commentators are rude and vulgar, intoxicating the masses. They stand in front of the camera and shout primitive, Dantesque, gruesome slogans against the Ukrainians. They are very clumsy, old and outdated ‘agitprop’ systems. Now in the ‘Sixth Key’ Rodrigo Blazquez taught us that they also use other, more effective and refined methods.
And he showed us the image that the television networks controlled. PutinLarge posters were also printed and pasted on walls and fences in Moscow and Saint Petersburg: This is a picture of a grandmother, apparently a pro-Russian Ukrainian from Donbass, waving the flag of the former USSR. This is Babushka Z, as the Kremlin baptizes, standing in front of the camera and saying “Mass sterilization of Ukrainians”.
There is a classic text written by a sociologist. Gustave LeBon‘The Psychology of the Masses’ (republished by Editor Morata in 2014), which explains how well the emotional factor works when used to manipulate audiences. A grandmother, modest, fragile, alone, placed in a dilapidated place and waving a flag with her hands, makes a tremendous impression on the psyche of the audience. This mass penetration technique also works very well with children. In 1937, then head of the Propaganda Commissariat of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Jaume Miravitlles He ordered the creation of a figurine of a child with a flag and a raised fist, called el més petit de tots. It was established as a symbol of the anti-fascist struggle of popular Catalanism. It was extraordinarily successful. It cost three pesetas. Thousands of copies have been sold. It also had a feature: the flag could be changed to suit the receiver. With the ‘quatribarrada’ flag, with the red and black anarchist, the communist, the republican…
Ah! If this were Babushka’s changeable flag, it could be used ambiguously as pro-Russian or pro-Ukrainian. The emotional impact on the viewers of the networks on both sides will be the same. Ah! Flags, those pieces of dyed cloth.