I guess we can figure that Julian Assange doesn’t intend to go to Ecuador, I’m sure the British, US, Australian and Swedish governments already realise that.
They are pitted against Assange the master WikiLeaks strategist, using standard western systems that move slowly and still partly in the past, not all their fault, it is the way it is, governments are like liners, big, cumbersome and difficult to move around.
However the world’s citizens have moved on. Years, decades of non regulated banking, alleged corruption, phony reasons for wars (or did Saddam manage to get chemical weapons over the border to Syria before the invasion, a two hour drive?) media giants and politicians co-operating cosily together have left a disillusioned populace who rely more on their own news via social media than the government line. They trust it and love the pace it moves at, a speed so fast that it’s no wonder governments worldwide are finding it difficult to get their message across, to even keep up.
Governments play the man (or women in Russia – Pussy Riot by the way are about to sell a lot of records and be even more famous than they are now, worldwide) but generally governments are playing against the whole team, taking on the whole population, sending a warning, hoping you will head back into your quiet cosy spot.
Well that spot has changed in fact it could be said it no longer exists, where do we all now live? What world or country do we feel we exist in? I say this figuratively, it’s the mind set in a global world that I’m referring to.
Organizations like WikiLeaks although not superficially as similar as Twitter or Facebook are at bottom very, very much the same. They are distributing, providing if you like, pure information.
We all now live in the most information rich society that has ever existed. We need our fix, and we need it every hour, every day with endless updates. A day without information is a day missed, a moment gone.
Some like the fast moving information flow of social media, keeping up with grannies breakfast needs, saying happy birthday across the world, others prefer state securities, war details, government secrets. At the end of the day it is all the same, it is information and we can’t get enough.
Julian Assange is no more responsible for the bigger picture than Mark Zuckerberg. Extraditing him to the US on what is possibly going to be espionage charges will stop nothing. The damage has already been done, there is no turning back, the population is addicted and addiction as we all know is not something you can quit overnight, if at all.
However is this addiction a bad thing? Has corporate capitalism taken on a darker authoritarian feel? How far will the neo-conservatives take us? Have citizens through a need for more transparency created and encouraged WikiLeaks, Twitter, Facebook and the many other social media platforms that now inhabit our world.
Capitalism unlike totalitarian or authoritarian Communism and Fascism has provided for us, maybe not the rest of the world, but for especially the middle classes living under western capitalism a certain amount of freedom, legislated, set in a constitution, a way of life most wouldn’t wish to lose.
Could it really be that the supporters of Wikileaks and social media by default are the true supporters of capitalist ideology, wishing for more clarity in an attempt to preserve or even save the system that corporate industrial capitalism is making an excellent attempt of destroying.
Capitalists destroying capitalism, now that is an irony.
Now I’m not alone in hoping that when Wikileaks release material that lives of course are not at risk, that’s always a basic question that is asked.
I’m not sure how they could ensure this given that the complexity of cross referencing many details and putting a picture together is within most people’s reach, especially at government levels. There are those that fight for freedom of speech who may feel the bigger picture is more important, this ironically would be a government attitude under different circumstances. The individual however is still important.
Those who do vote under a western capitalism system usually have a choice of two, sometimes three parties to choose from and then there’s the possibility of a coalition if the third rises up. Like any ideology the mechanism is in place to ensure it exists for the population in the way the ideology has been set, we are no different to any other ideology and our governments do this under our name as any government would do.
We live under a particular ideology and it is, apart from providing food and shelter, a government’s role to ensure the current system continues. How they do this varies but all governments worldwide do the same. If a government doesn’t protect its ideology then sooner or later someone else’s ideology, will prevail. It would be grossly unfair to suggest all politicians are without reason and empathy, the party line though takes in all of them and a swing to the right sweeps up even the left thinkers. They are in or they are out.
How far should a government go to ensure an ideology survives? How sharp should their knives be? How tough do they go to enforce their way? This of course is the dividing line that we all disagree on. We want to eat at our favourite restaurants, watch our TV in peace, have healthy careers, follow our teams, enjoy our holidays, barbecues etc and the list goes on. Unfortunately to feed the thirst of our state involves not always being palatable to other nations, we are talking about the way life has been for centuries. Only human evolution will tell if we can overcome this and we have a long way to go yet.
No government in “real politik” plays fair and the “there are no good guys” saying is as true as ever. Diplomacy can only go so far and citizens recognize the need to protect a way of life but governments are on shaky ground when they attack any form of the media.
The problems facing the US, UK, Australian and Swedish governments is not Julian Assange, it’s all of us, it always will be all of us. Our insatiable thirst for knowledge, the means by which we transmit this knowledge has changed. In some ways when you attack the media you are attacking the people, this applies also to WikiLeaks.
A lot of what governments do worldwide relies on the ignorance of the population and there are times when for all our national security this is what is required and done. The less people know in this complex world of ours the more they are able to have the wool pulled over their eyes. Individuals who are unaware of what their elected representatives are doing under their name are in a very weak position and thankfully there are people and organizations prepared to enlighten.
The public and political outcomes for the countries concerned should Julian Assange be extradited and put on trial would be significant electorally. There are political systems waiting in the wings, gathering momentum, firing up for the day, for the right moment.
The last thing capitalism needs right now is another nail in its coffin. The lid is slowly shutting and wise politicians would adapt and clearly show that they grasp the consequences and commence the bedding down of the capitalist system into a more democratic, yes democratic, ideology that will benefit all citizens, of all races.
Playing the man, in this case Julian Assange, will not change the outcome, it is foolish and irrational. Oh! and we haven’t forgotten Bradley Manning.
The Genie is well and truly out of the bottle and the world now waits and watches, via the new media.