Hidden Forces – why did the future arrive first in Russia?

Hidden forces

Hidden Forces is een podcast die probeert dieper te graven, op zoek naar de mechanismen die de wereld domineren.

In Episode 229 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Peter Pomerantsev, a Soviet-born British journalist, former TV producer, and author about the break-down in belief systems and shared mythologies that we are experiencing in the West and why this has left so many people feeling increasingly cynical about the world and indifferent towards the future.

Peter was early in his diagnosis, having first experienced this phenomenon during his time living and working in Russia. It was not long after that experience and the publication of his first book “Nothing is True, But Everything Is Possible” that he began to notice some of the things that he wrote about in that book—the cynicism, the sense of surreality, the nostalgia, and what he described as an “aggressive apathy”—showing up in Western countries. And he began to ask himself the question, “Why did the future arrive first in Russia?”

This is the question that we seek to answer in today’s episode, because some of the same forces that were operational in the late-Soviet Union and in early post-Soviet Russia are at work in Western societies today. If we want to understand what the future might look like when trust in institutions has completely deteriorated, when grounding notions of identity and meaning have all but disappeared, when any independent standard of truth has become so elusive that people are willing to believe in anything and the only thing left to unify us is raw and unbridled power, then we would be wise to not only understand the path that Russia has followed in the last several decades but to do everything in our power to avoid following it any further. It leads to only one place and that is a postmodern, repressive society that uses the language and institutions of democratic capitalism for authoritarian ends.

You can access the full episode, transcript, and rundown to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at and clicking on “premium extras.” All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application.

Duur: 56 48 min.

Publicatie 24 januari

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