The Psychological Origins of American Russophobia

Russophobic propaganda is just psychological manipulation used on the American public

This post first appeared on Russia Insider


The main reason so many Americans buy into the anti-Russian craze is not only due to what people are told by the government and media, but by how they think and process information. For if Americans were taught how to analyze and think properly they would not fall for the blatant propaganda.   

For example, we are told that the Nazis discovered the secret of repetition as a means of programming people into believing something to be true, but we are not taught why this practice is so effective.

The psychological reason behind this trick has to do with “pattern recognition”. Human beings – through evolution – have learned to identify a phenomenon as real and true because it repeats again and again and again. After a while, the mind interprets this consistent pattern as proof of truth value. In psychological terms, “schemata” are created by a layering of memories similar in nature over time so that all events associated with the phenomenon are perceived through a prism of previous repetitions.  In other words, even if a certain type of behavior is different from the norm it will still be identified as belonging to the typical pattern regardless. It is literally a trick of the mind.

The American knee-jerk reaction to the recent Kerch bridge incident is a case in point. Ignoring facts, people automatically placed Russian behavior in the “aggressive” category because they have been programed by constant repetition for many years to think this way. Not having been taught this trick of the mind even educated people buy into the narrative unaware that their schemata dictate that the belief must be reinforced. All experiences regarding Russia are simply put into one box labeled “aggressive behavior”.

Another psychological cause of why Americans buy into the “Russia is aggressive” narrative is due to “confirmation bias”. For a variety of reasons many Americans demonize Russians. Part of this is due to the fact that people actually enjoy having a “bad guy” to hate. This is why outlaw cowboys and mafia gangsters are so popular in American culture. We love our “anti-heroes” as much if not more than our heroes. Putin, of course, is the prototypical “baddie”. He’s a real-life Boris from the Bullwinkle cartoon who satisfies our need to boo and hiss the proverbial bad guy.

To a certain extent, pattern recognition comes into play as well because in America TV shows and films over the past two decades evil Russian spies and mafia types have figured prominently. The repeating portrayals create schemata which then create stereotypes that frame how we think.  

Russophobia, however, will not last forever because it is essentially based upon lies. Truth always wins out over time and fantasy gives way to reality. Despite the censorship on social media and the attempts to silence RT America the truth will eventually triumph.

For gagging the tongue of truth is always followed by a long-suppressed shout that echoes ever louder throughout the ages.      


This post first appeared on Russia Insider

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