Umair Haque is a technologist and future thinker whose writings are insightful. A few days ago, he posted an article asserting that World War III has already started, and we are asleep. It is well worth your while to read this article in full. He argues that Putin has cleverly sowed dissension in the U.S., in the U.K., and in Europe. Based on new evidence, he believes that Putin helped Trump win the election in 2016. Trump advanced Putin’s goals by threatening the future of NATO and bringing about division in the U.S. He also argues that Putin funded BREXIT, which weakened the Atlantic Alliance.

He writes:

Do you remember the story of the Trojan Horse? Troy accepted it as a gift, knowing full it shouldn’t have — because it was a gift to their gods, fine and beautiful. It was made irresistible by the Greeks. A Trojan horse was delivered to our societies in the West — one that glittered, too. It was made of Russian money, Russian oil, resources, finances. And we accepted it, without a second thought.

That was just after the fall of the USSR, as Putin came to power, in the late 2000s or so. What happened next? Our societies in the West began to destabilize, badly. A new far right movement began to emerge. It gained power and ascended in influence. Where had it come from? Nobody could quite say. And yet it spoke literally the language of Putin’s philosophers — figures like Dugin and Ilyin, who called for a “planetary confrontation” against “globalists” and spoke of the soil belonging to the pure of blood and true of faith.

This new far right movement had seemingly emerged from nowhere all across the West. From America to Britain to France and beyond. Mighty coincidence, no? An even bigger coincidence that it spoke the literal language of Putinism. An even bigger coincidence that it deployed the Kremlin’s Orwellian “firehose” model of propaganda: gaslight reality, turn it inside out, call the peaceful people the Nazis and fascists, call freedom the enemy of peace, bombard innocent people with those messages a million times a day on Facebook and Twitter. Carpet-bomb them with the inversion of reality — War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength — until their weary minds, baffled, finally gave out…and gave in.

What a coincidence. Of course, it was no coincidence at all. That the far right had suddenly emerged in the West all at once, in unison, like a choir of idiocy. That hate had begun to proliferate like a pandemic, and a kind of bilious populist rage was shaking the foundations of the Western world. That it used tactics from a literal Kremlin propaganda manual. As we know now, all this was funded, financed, organized, and coordinated by Russia.

But back then? The West was still innocent. That the first stages of World War III were beginning. Instead of worrying about these obvious links, the West still revelled in the easy money oligarchs gave it, as they bought up entire districts like Mayfair and Chelsea, and straddled Cannes and Nice in their superyachts. The West was still seduced by how the Trojan horse glittered and shone — even as the soldiers poured out.

What happened next? The attacks began. The big ones. All the disinformation and propaganda that was by now being poured across the West like a great toxic oil slick had a point. And now Russia smiled, and flicked a match.