In place of politics, there is performance art. Instead of debate, there is spectacle. In lieu of issues, there is dramaturgia. And in place of reality, there is fantasy.
Russia's politics have long been virtual. But this alternative reality has become more intense -- and more toxic -- of late.
And as the dose of virtual reality gets higher and higher to satisfy the addiction, more and more people have begun to believe the fantasy is actually real.
On the new Power Vertical Podcast, I discuss this phenomenon with two leading experts on the issue: Peter Pomerantsev, author of the book Nothing Is True And Everything Is Possible: Inside The Heart Of The New Russia, and Andrew Wilson, a senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations and author of the book Virtual Politics: Faking Democracy In The Post-Soviet World.
Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to The Power Vertical Podcast on iTunes.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Due to the public holiday, all Power Vertical products will take a hiatus on July 6. We'll be back full-force on July 7.