Emopolitikal Dominance and the Geopoliticization of the Internet

Colin Liddell

Back in February, around the time of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, I wrote an article Let the Internet Clone Wars Begin.

The point of the article was that America, either as a conscious entity or as an unfocused manifestation of its evil essence, exerts an undue amount of its power through its internet hegemony; and that any nation, civilization, or ideology determined to stand up to this, needs to construct its own alternative systems.

The specific reason I wrote the article was because of the obvious attempt by various social media organizations, like Google, to push the US-agenda of homosexualism and to frame the Sochi Games in a negative light, despite all the efforts and investment that the Russians had put into them. The event turned out to be a kind of prelude to the great proxy conflict that subsequently broke out in the Ukraine, where Russian hard power and realpolitik has, for the time being, won out over American soft power and emopolitik.

“Emopolitk,” let me explain, is a new coinage for a new age of global power politics. It is something that I would define as: the achievement of political goals and the destabilization of rival political systems through the selective mobilization and projection of decontextualized human emotions and sympathies through social media.

Luckily, during the Ukrainian conflict, Russian realpolitik also managed to create some effective emopolitik tools to counter the dominance of the West, most notably using Russia Today to effectively counter Western propaganda. But, with massive social media and internet dominance, America still has the upper hand in terms of emopolitik, and, given time and opportunity, as we are now seeing in the street protests stirred up in Hong Kong, such weapons remain dangerous.

Emo ObamaIn Let the Internet Clone Wars Begin my focus — with one eye on Alternative Right’s own unfortunate reliance on Google and Facebook — was that Russia should create credible alternatives to the main internet brands like Twitter, Facebook Wikipedia, and Google, which, of course, also owns YouTube. There is a Russian version of Facebook, called Vk.com, but it is hardly on the radar globally, and I am not sure if its usability compares well with that of Facebook.

But, with increasing pressure by these major internet corporations to monetize their services and impose political correctness through censorship, there is an enormous potential for a country like Russia (or some other) to provide successful clones to these services in the same way that Russia Today or even Al Jazeera provides an alternative to CNN or Fox News. Imagine a YouTube without intrusive ads, or a Facebook that didn’t charge you for virality. Such services would be a beacon of light in undermining the West’s global stranglehold on social media.

The Russian focus, however, as revealed by the following excerpt from Russia Today, seems to be in quite a different direction, and aimed at creating defensive internet structures that will limit America’s ability to shut down Russia’s internet in the event of a conventional confrontation between the two powers, which, as the situation in the Ukraine demonstrated, remains highly unlikely.

The measures outlined in the video are obviously sensible in an old-fashioned realpolitik sort of way, although, with America clearly emerging as an emopolitik power rather than a realpolitik one, those days may be gone forever. It’s bit like digging anti-tank ditches outside Moscow — great idea, wrong war! — although the points about protecting data and limiting USA spying remain relevant.

But beyond that, Russia, or the Multipolarity, has to realize that the Internet is not a realm of realpolitik, but rather an emopolitikal one. Realpolitik measures, like directly controlling Russian Internet space, attest to a sense of weakness, and point to a future Russia, off-balance and destabilized by the emopolitikal tricks of its enemy, finally playing its last card of a martial law lock down.

This is essentially the technological version of Russia’s inward-looking application of the ideology of traditionalism, attacked by Daniel Barge in his article Traditionalism in One Country: traditionalism for domestic consumption, with a version of Cultural Marxism projected outwards through Russia Today, with its predominantly left-leaning content, to stir up trouble in the West.

It should be pointed out that Russia Today using leftist tropes to attack America, essentially a leftist entity, only strengthens the globalist behemoth, and shows that Russia has failed to realize who the real opposition in the West is.

As with ideology, so with technology. Instead of looking inward, Russia can best challenge the West by looking outward: creating viable alternatives to the vile, rent-seeking internet brands that seek to carve up the free spaces of the internet in order to exploit us financially and impose the orthodoxies of liberal totalitarianism on us.