(An attempt to describe the near future in Europe, Britain and USA that is fast emerging.)
And so it was that the more the Russian military succeeded in its campaign across Ukraine the greater was the pressure to extend the war mode that had informed both political and media elites to the general public of all nations within the collective West.
This process had already been well advanced during the years after 9/11 and came to the fore especially during the Trump years. These were the years of ‘cancel culture’ and of naming those who did not take the official western line on Russia as ‘Putin’s Puppets’. Fear was stoked from one end of the USA to the other claiming that a powerful but hidden Russian influence posed an enormous danger to the normal running of the USA, including that of its electoral systems.
While a new McCarthyism was awash across the USA something very similar was being attempted in the USA’s closest ally, Britain. It seemed that as in America with Trump’s face selling magazines and all the profits attendant on that phenomenon, so in the United Kingdom the face that sold magazines through their covers and newspapers through their headlines, was that of Vladimir Putin. Anyone who dared talk of these money-making and fear-spreading tactics in anything but glowing appreciation but instead cast doubts upon their propriety found themselves a social pariah.
In those families where such “black sheep” refused to remain silent but argued for a fairer hearing of the Russian case or who cast doubt on what became known as ‘Russiagate’ experienced a near permanent split in their relationships. Those who depended upon their positions at work quickly became aware of the need to remain silent on such topics. Self-censorship became the norm for most of the people who retained an open mind on these matters.
What had occurred was that the two principal and most powerful elites across the western world, the political and media elites had united in a joined-at-the-hip allegiance to one single and unchangeable narrative on both Putin and Russian influence. This was extended before too long to include China also but with Russia’s intervention regarding Ukraine on the 24th of February this year the preponderance of the West’s focus returned with a vengeance to Putin and Russia.
The phenomenon above has a name. It is called ‘War Mode’. Though a war has not been declared against Russia a war is indeed being waged against it. In a war, or within the confines of ‘War Mode’ nothing positive is allowed to be said about the enemy. Such behaviour is regarded as traitorous. In wartime it is subject to extreme penalties such as incarceration in specially created camps. The difference between a declared was and ‘war mode’ in this respect is perilously little and this is why, as Russia took ever more land from Ukraine the difference in mentality and action disappeared completely.
It was when the Russian military broke through the main defences of the Ukrainian military opposite Donetsk City and in both the Kherson region and that of Izyum that we saw the effect of the ‘war mode’ mentality deepen across the West. With the fall of Odessa only a week later in mid-September it appeared the final straw had been laid upon the veritable camel’s back. First the British government, led by Elizabeth Truss and then the Biden administration began to pass the draconian laws that they insisted were necessary.
The security of the nation was at stake was the common sentence heard on both sides of the Atlantic and therefore the measures being taken though much regretted had proven unavoidable in the circumstances. The European powers were reluctant to follow suit but after consultations behind closed doors they complied less than a week later with admonitions that these measures would be purely temporary.
Temporary however, they were not. And the effects were immediate.
Unknown to any but a few a comprehensive database had been created of all so-called “subversive voices spreading misinformation” Talk of misinformation, disinformation and fake news had been a common enough topic across the political and media elites for some time, but now the determination to close down all sources of unacceptable opinion became all-pervasive. One by one and sometimes in groups of up to a dozen at a time website began to disappear from the internet. ‘The Duran’ channel was one of the first, and though there was massive speculation and outrage at first regarding the unknown whereabouts of the primary figures associated with the site at first, as those who spoke out were also apprehended soon silence began to be all that prevailed.
The atmosphere of self-censorship that had been seen increasing from 2016 onward now took on similar characteristics as the ‘normalisation’ process which had post-dated the Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia. Those who chose to voice their protest at what was going on or who continued to spread “unorthodox views” criticising western state “truths” concerning the now mortal enemy, Russia were simply ‘disappeared’. The remaining population continued life much as before even expressing great approval that the ‘troublemakers’, ‘traitors’ and ‘Russian Agents’ had been suitably punished for their malignant delusions regarding the evils of the Russian monsters who had made such a heinous and unprovoked attack upon the innocent population of Ukraine.
Several hard-hitting publicity campaigns had reinforced this majority prejudice against the so-called ‘Russian Supporters’ to heights unseen since the second world war ended though only historians were able to comment on this, the populations of the West being in the majority too young to make sense of these remarks. Several historians too were subsequently no longer to be found, or at least to be heard from again in the public sphere.
A special police force was required, complete with an army of analysts in their back office. The database of ‘subversive personalities’ was being added to significantly on a daily basis as the ‘Russian Spy Hotline’ was deluged with calls by “friends”, parents and neighbours reporting on those they suspected of holding ‘order contravening’ or ‘security risk’ views. The original camps set up in remote locations were doubled in size, then tripled, quadrupled and so on. Entire cities of the non-conformists were constructed where ‘political reorientation’ and ‘in-depth deprogramming’ took place.
Various suggestions were made for a more secure environment going forward. One of the most popular was for microscopic chips to be implanted in the soft brain tissue of every fetus so that adequate monitoring and potential preemptive punishment for forbidden thoughts could be effected. This was considered far too extreme when it was first broached in the British parliament in late 2024… but by 2026 it had become a common, if hidden practice.
Much has become hidden now as I write this on 2030. We live in a time where great care must be taken in all things. Each adult that wishes to maintain a life without attracting trouble, one where an income can be earned and a family raised must exercise extreme control over things said, associations maintained and even places visited (certain locations have been named as ‘potential insurgent hotspots’). We watch each other like hawks, unable to know whether those around us are beneficiaries of the ‘State Medal for Heroism’, those who have named beyond 1,000 criminals and traitors who have wished the downfall of the state. You may think that is a high number to reach. Not at all. The current figure for the United Kingdom is currently 17,586 and rises by up to a dozen each day.
No one talks freely about the disappeared anymore. Whispered rumours in safe places among friends do take place. We wonder constantly where John Pilger, George Galloway, Max Blumenthal, Aaron Maté, Alex Christoforou and Alexander Mercouris and many others may be, and even if they are still alive. But even this is becoming more and more dangerous as by satellite and roving surveillance units held by the ‘SMh’ (State Medal for Heroism) holders are becoming ever more sensitive as devices to hear even the most whispered speech.
Those of us who have survived the database searches live in fear. We exist in a darkness surrounded by the blithely ignorant who continue to indulge themselves with mindless passion in the new, state-sponsored ‘bread and circuses’ entertainments. We are naturally sick at heart and can barely endure the permanent falseness that pervades everything now with not a trace of any of the relief we felt hearing some of the down-to-earth reality as transmitted daily by The Duran and others. We now live within a vacuum chamber of darkness, one from which there appears no possible escape… save one.