Aaron Boyd
2 min readFeb 21, 2024


This is pretty much the thesis of Russian propaganda, and you're falling for it: Everyone is a total piece of shit, everyone's a murderer, everyone has child sex slaves and killed their own mom and blah blah blah

This form of conditioning, which Russia has been using nonstop for like 15 of so years now, isn't aimed at a single particular target, though we do know there have been coordinated campaigns using this strategy.

It's more about cultivating a general feeling of helplessness, of distrust, of suspicion, of feeling just completely overwhelmed and wanting to just give up.

And as propaganda techniques go, it works well because it's based on a partial truth: Yes, politicians/the media/experts/activists/whatever can be liars, or manipulative, or self-interested.

What Russian propaganda does is dial that crank up to 11. NOBODY can be trusted. every politician, everywhere, murders their enemies. The media NEVER reports the truth and is lying to you 24/7. People who talk about human rights are ALWAYS phonies who pretend to care about others to manipulate you.

And because we all know that, yeah, all those things can happen, it's easy to laugh and call someone naive when they tell you not every politician has murdered 50 journalists. It makes dumb people feel smart.

It's also total bullshit.

So what does Russia stand to gain from this? A lot.

First, these are all things Putin does constantly. His defense isn't "I don't do these things", because if it was convincing, using violence to intimidate journalists/lawyers/human rights activists/opposition politicians into silence wouldn't work nearly as well. The killings have to be public, and they have to be obvious.

But don't worry: Everyone does it.

Same for Russia's endemic corruption and criminality: Putin is a criminal. He has always been a criminal. He's a street thug first, politician second. He doesn't know how to build a government where everyone isn't insanely corrupt and embezzling everything they see.

But don't worry: Everyone does it.

Now Putin is causing the greatest European humanitarian crisis since World War II. He's invaded his neighbor so he steal whatever he wants and kill, maim, rape, and torture every man, woman, or child who gets in his way.

But don't worry: Everyone does it.

No they fucking don't. There's a reason everyone on earth hates Putin, and it's because we're all such ridiculously hardcore hypocrites. It's because we're human, and because we're capable of this weird thing called *empathy*.

Russian propaganda is miserable and pathetic. It genuinely believes that empathy is something you fake to win arguments. Whenever I talk to these people and get worked up and angry about children dying, or women getting raped, or homes being destroyed, these fuckers just laugh. Because they think I'm faking it. They cannot wrap their "minds" around the idea that not everyone is a huge piece of shit.

Don't be like that. Life is so much better when you aren't.