220.127.116.11 Political Payments from Foreign Countries
Governments, organisations and wealthy individuals anywhere in the world can use money to influence what happens elsewhere; it can be classified as a political use of economic power (18.104.22.168). They can offer funding with varying degrees of transparency: US aid to Israel is overt, but Russia influence has been more secretive:
● As reported in a Guardian article, Tech giants face Congress as showdown over Russia election meddling looms, Facebook, Twitter and Google were all used as covert channels to influence the 2016 US Presidential election: “All three companies have admitted that Russian entities bought ads on their sites in an effort to skew the vote.”
● Leonid Bershidsky’s article, Russia’s Big Bet on the French Far Right, described Russian connections to a loan made to France’s far-right Front National party led by Marine le Pen. The loan cannot be directly traced to Russia’s President Putin but, as the article noted: “If Le Pen breaks through, Putin will have a formidable fifth column inside the EU.”
Democracies are unwise to allow unlimited political campaign contributions. The money can come from anywhere, including hostile foreign governments.
This page is intended to form part of Edition 4 of the Patterns of Power series of books. An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition04/6454.htm.