“The Chavista Venezuela has been a super active field of experimentation about the Reflexive Control Theory,” the security expert Alberto Ray assured on Twitter on October 17. Through a Twitter thread, he identified how Russians have manipulated Venezuelans and Americans to destroy the social fabric and destabilize the democratic system.
The Theory of Reflexive Control is an experiment developed in the Soviet Union in the 60′ that evaluates the context and induce two options in the public opinion and makes belief the citizenship that they decide voluntarily. About this subject, the expert talked with the executive editor of El Pitazo, César Batiz.
Besides creating two options that polarise, the Russians and Cubans also create a narrative that coves very well in the digital platforms of the Nicolás Maduro regime, according to Ray. An example is the case of gasoline. The government sold two options to face the shortage: pay it at a subsidized price or an international price. But this is not an improvisation, Ray says. These are a previous evaluation, and a conclusion introduced publicly to society, who see themselves forced to choose among only those two options.
“It is a formula to manipulate masses. With a structure to massify the messages, they turn people into a social experiment. It means they are evaluating and dismissing the ideas until they find which works,” highlight the expert.
Twitter, for example, is a network useful for Maduro because people can communicate easily and directly; through that platform, they may introduce information that could go against the principles of people, even.
Ray uses another example: the government forces Venezuelan to choose between elections with its rules or take him by force. According to the theory, this gets called simplified reductionism, which obligates people to decide between two options and does not allow other ways.
Whatsapp is another tool useful to Maduro’s regime. Selective pressure gets exerted there to stop a possible protest: a video that shows a National Guard repressing a protest for gasoline or entering a house to arrest a demonstrator gets viral. The objective is to create fear, and people don’t claim.
Ray highlights that through the Russians and Cubans, Maduro uses the Reflexive Control Theory to destroy Venezuelans morally. This theory is attached to the destruction of the social fabric.
How to neutralize the Reflexive Control Theory?
When a citizen notices that there are only two options to achieve a goal, he must turn on the alarm and identified that there is induced information that, at the same time, is antagonistic and radical. In this matter, the press plays a significant role because it must check the truth and show it.
“We, the Venezuelans, are passive consumers of this theory. We have been manipulated. We always fall into the trap. To revert it, we must develop an individual conscience and be more demanding of ourselves when we receive information,” Ray explains. He also says that the fact that Twitter shows up an infinite amount of information does not mean that it will be entirely consumed. On the contrary, there is a risk that the manipulated person be also a propagator of information.
Russians have also intruded into American business. Ray, who also is an expert in risk management, reminds us that the 2016 elections demonstrated the interference. That year when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump competed for the USA presidency, the Russians outlined the undecided and located them through Facebook and started to spread fake news that served to argue or deny what they thought.
Ray warns that Russians do not favor a candidacy, they only show that the American system is vulnerable and that they can manipulate the electorate.
Now, when Donald Trump is looking for reelection, the theory is applied again. For example, they try to induce that Democrat candidate, Joe Biden, is communist, and Trump is from far-right. These dichotomies options influence the confused citizen who decides, thinking that he chose naturally and willingly.
Recently, the chief of the Federal Body Investigation from the United States, Christopher Wray, denounced in the Congress that Russia was promoting agitation and disinformation in social media to interference in the presidential elections. However, the US official cleared that the action capacity of the Russians is much limited than in 2016.