In the first two parts we have given a high level overview of how fear, throughout history, and nowadays again, in TV series, has been used to facilitate public support for social and geopolitical integrations and, also, to justify the necessary financial support for such integrations all the way up to sovereign states and their primary function, the protection. Such methods are not unlike a subset of many similar ones but in the context of news media, were analysed and defined by Noam Chomsky and E. Herman as Manufacturing Consent in their famous and ground-breaking equally titled book. Consequently, they could probably be used in a similar fashion for facilitation of public consent for strategic geopolitical shifts such as the interstate and international associations aimed at facilitating mutual businesses, trade or, particularly, their transnational, collective protection.

It is particularly in those times of internal problems, like when recent economic crisis unsettles political and nations' spirits, said to be usually good to “Wag the dog...”, and, as the title of a well known (geo)political satire, an almost foresight-full 1997 film [1] is suggesting to find, or create an imaginary reason to rise public's concerns with some audacious, outer-world issues and so to distract attention of the public from the ongoing internal problems towards those outside issues and threats, and so, to re-“manufacture” the nation's inner integrity.

One tool in such “education” and priming is a widespread support for both new media and old published fiction aiming to maintain awareness of dangers and the associated fears from strangers. Many block-busters, “B”, and TV-only films are subtly spreading fears from foreigners, either through their malicious behaviour, but also, by casting the baddies using foreign and foreign-accent speaking actors. One of the latest examples in this long-standing and, in my own belief, subliminally priming xenophobia film industry practice would be, ironically, Detroit, a film about racism in US where an English, foreign-accented actor, Will Poulter, plays a racist policeman.

But, the irony becomes apparent only as it was the US liberal cultural industry that supported the film's production. However anti-racist and liberal it aims to be, it is, apparently, also aiming to integrate traditionally segregated, or even opposed, racial and ethnic groups already existing within the US and in its nation building. One may therefore wander if a mild, or even not-so mild, xenophobia may be tolerated, if not even sometimes facilitated, even by those so-called cultural liberals when aiming to unify their multiracial nation by finding or inventing an evil outside its community.

Moisi's eloquent, elaborate presentation is alike a phenomenological immersion into the object of interest, but, without the needed next step, the Husserlian bracketing and the transcendental ego view from “above” so to see the wood from the trees. The explanatory reasoning is something, somehow still missing from the Moisi's book full of descriptive details but a bit still short on the concluding part and its points. Having to fit the elaboration into a short, pocket sized boot, it is not surprising that it fails to critically deconstruct all the reasoning behind the given geopolitics that is underlying those popular TV series and remains mainly as a “policy-taker”. That is, in this short book he is mainly adopting the geopolitically correct (“GPC”) affirmative image of the given subject, as being thought by the academic centres of the western countries.

If it is to be judged by his detailed phenomenology of geopolitical influences on those five series, three from the US and one British and Norwegian each, all Western countries belonging to the NATO military block, one could be inclined to conclude that he may be simply guiding students how to unquestionably design series based on the new-old Cold War mainstream PC geopolitics.

Manufacturing consent in support of NATO, or of an old-new partner?

The earlier expressed hypothesis could be even enforced by choice of the single non-English language series being Norwegian Occupied, only initially concerned with the threat and fear from rising sea due to climatic changes, but, inevitably, extending that to its main subject – the threat from the new Russian (old Soviet) occupation yet again. Although author himself has to bring this story explicitly into the context of NATO, he is implicitly denoting the series as a new, cultural and fictive iron curtain, based on imaginary (though plausible) threat. But then, why not to also provide another threat that can justify another “raison d'être” for the NATO and manufacture a consent for its further support.

What Moisi seems also to forget to mention is that aversion and fear building in face of Russia and Russians is there to give, whether through conscious channels or through subconscious, subliminal priming channels, both rational and deep emotional justification for their cultural and economic isolation ...but, of course, also their economic marginalisation on the world oil and gas markets. As it happens, Russia is one of the main, local, market competitor and thus threat mainly for the commercial future of the Norwegian oil and gas exploration and their sales based wealth, and so, the future well-being of Norwegians based on their would-be future-proof sovereign fund financed welfare system.

But then, there is a new boy in the block. Since Obama's administration liberalised export of the US extracted shale gas, its production in the US rose ten-fold since the 2007 economic and the 2008, financial crisis. the US successfully positioned itself as a supplier to some of those new EU countries whilst significantly contributing to its own post-2007 crisis recovery. Needless to say, it also joined now even stronger push for Russian isolation on all plans. And now, even the role of EU, depicted in that very fictional TV series as abandoning and failing its obligation to aid Norway in those hard times, gains an additional dimension and its fear-machine, a GP rationale.

Moisi has, thus, as the author himself claims in his conclusion chapter was his main aim, skilfully produced a “didactic if not even a pedagogic” manual. And, by my own opinion, it certainly does appear to be practically useful and easy to use, a business school-like MBA didactic training manual on how to find, and not just bluff, your way into creating a modern Western, GPC acceptable, TV series ... by copying …and without having (or needing to be able) to understand the full trickery behind the scene of the geopolitics or of the culture of fear.

I also believe that a more accurate title for the book would probably be Geopolitical [TV] Series (“Les Séries Géopolitiques”) since its focus is more on the phenomenology and analysis of the series dealing in geopolitical issues than analysis of geopolitics behind them, and, neither on the analysis of the sitcom series “modelling” the every-day dramas (e.g. Coronation Street). That would than give book another, more accurate, almost academic dimension and quality and enabling us to group such series and define them under the new genre as “geopolitical”. Nevertheless, it is in any case giving Moisi, its author, credit for being among the first to define that genre and to create its very insightful how to-do pocket manual - that is, of course, as long as one does not intend to ask “why”, or try to seek those “economic rationales” behind the curtains of the GPC scenes as one may then slip on oil.

An Epilogue

Following the more than well publicised recent stories of accusations and excuses of its main actor for inappropriate sexual advances over than 30 years ago, the producers of The House of Cards announced an end to its future production [2] but refuted the claims that the scandal was the reason to end it. One however may wander if the harassment scandal provided just a good framework to announce an end to the series whose, initially far fetched fiction has, within the last year, become perceived by some as becoming far too close to comfort as a critique of an nightmare-come-reality.

[1] Wag the Dog
[2] or Netflix met fin a House of Cards

Read also the First Part and the Second Part