Enemies of the free world: Osama bin Laden, Islamic fascist and aspiring totalitarian. Kim jong-Il, communist dictator and the living embodiment of Orwell’s Big Brother. Robert Mugabe, insane money grabber, raping his country’s economy and impoverishing his people while making vast personal wealth. They have many things in common. They need complete control of their governments and their people. They are monarchs, dictators and despots. They stamp out free press, free speech, freedom of thought, of religion, of economy, and the freedom to live safely and unmolested. But now the free world has a new enemy; one who seems to stand firmly and staunchly in favour of freedom of expression: Julian Assange, as the public face of WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks is good for the world. Knowledge is power and the main reason governments would have for withholding knowledge is withholding power; to maintain the current social order, the status quo. Allowing classified documents to surface publically may cause problems in the short term as exposed wrong-doers and liars desperately claw to maintain their privileged positions, but eventually this could lead to a utopia of real democracy and global transparency. I’m seeing a sort of virtual democracy where every individual gets a say in the political process, as opposed to the current structure where democracy ends as soon as the ballots close. I can see a united humanity created from happy equals, a moneyless society, pure egalitarianism; all we need to do now is create a warp drive, and wait for the Vulcans to make first contact.
WikiLeaks is not about Assange, and people calling for his freedom need to get their priorities right. If he is suspected of rape, he needs to face the due process of law. Don’t automatically assume that he is innocent and the victim of an international conspiracy to bring down WikiLeaks. He is just one man; a man who has risen to fame and power incredibly quickly, and that can do weird and terrible things to a person’s sense of right and wrong. If you defend him you intrinsically link him to WikiLeaks and increase the risk of his shame bringing down WikiLeaks. Forget about him, don’t let a cult of celebrity form around WikiLeaks or he becomes just another dictator controlling the flow of information and manipulating the public and the power structure.
WikiLeaks is for the benefit of all of us, and is not personal private army of Julian Assange. Why does it even need a public figurehead, director or spokesperson? Can it be that it is a brand new, power-forming technique, and is merely a way of building a global tyranny ruled by First General Secretary of the WikiLeaks Party Assange? Are those blindly leaping to his defence against the rape allegations just trying to protect themselves against the first wave of Great Purges? It won’t be the first time that a popular movement by the people for the people fighting tyranny, has quickly turned into a personality cult controlling the masses for the personal benefit of the few.
Globalisation and mass communication brings many benefits, but among the negatives it brings new and as-yet unknown opportunities for tyranny and control. Who knows: WikiLeaks may bring down the governments of the world, only to replace them with a single all-powerful celebrity cult – Julian Assange, Eternal First Citizen of the Planet WikiLeaks. Let this be a warning: this terrible vision of the future will definitely happen. As whistleblowers feel the need to throw sensitive information at him, he gets more and more powerful. Someone from google gives him everyone’s internet history; elsewhere he acquires your bank details, ISP info, passport and identification, access to your medical records. He is watching you.
In summation: WikiLeaks, probably good. Blind support of Julian Assange, probably bad. Don’t forget to think; question and mistrust those on the left, as well as the right. And thus I end my preachy rant.
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