December 5, 2010

The conspiracy against us

Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul this unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of statesmanship.
— U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt

[as quoted in an earlier draft ("State and Terrorist Conspiracies") of the essay "Conspiracy as Governance" (click here)]

Also see: "Wikileaks, Julian Assange & Modern Anarchist Praxis":

Most people could probably not name very many anarchists -- historical, contemporary, or even fictional. A few might cite artists like George Orwell or Leo Tolstoy, and fewer still will be aware of prominent historical anarchists like Emma Goldman or Peter Kropotkin. The historical impact of anarchist practice has largely been glossed over in the curriculum of government run, and compulsory, public schools. People generally aren't aware of anarchists fighting for the first labor rights in America or giving the first public talks on birth control. People are unaware that it was the anarchists who brought about the Russian revolution which was subsequently derailed by the Bolsheviks. People are largely unaware of historical anarchist movements in Spain, the Ukraine, and elsewhere. As for contemporaries, most people might only be able to name Noam Chomsky as an anarchist (and that is probably something of a misnomer).

But now, in the headlines of all the world's newspapers, on the lips of all the television pundits, all over the internet, and in the running for Time magazine's "Person of the Year," we have Julian Assange. One may argue about whether or not he precisely fits into the definition of what an anarchist is, and some dyed-in-the-wool anarchists will perhaps turn up their noses at the suggestion, but Julian Assange is engaged in anarchist acts and has presented governments around the world with damning attacks against their credibility and legitimacy.

He is one of the founders, and the public face, of Wikileaks (which publicly leaks damning internal documents from governments and corporations from around the world). With that tool he has thereby presented one of the biggest contemporary challenges to the continuation of state power. In theory, by the nature and design of the Wikileaks project, no national authorities with any degree of power are safe from exposure and subsequent public scrutiny. If that isn't a threat to corporatism and centralized governing power, nothing is. And while that alone isn't enough to make Assange an anarchist, the Wikileaks organization is intentionally designed to exist outside, and in spite of, the control of all nation states. Furthermore, in his own words, "leaking is basically an anarchist act." His organization, and his personal actions, are overtly in support of anarchist acts! At the very least, his tireless devotion to freedom of speech, and his intense scrutiny of governing bodies, is anarchistic at its core -- because most modern governments and major corporations could arguably not exist if people were fully aware of what the leaders of those institutions were actually doing. ...

Earlier in this essay was mentioned the historical impact of anarchist ideals and practice. That praxis cuts across many of the differences that modern states and figures of authority have used to divide the masses. This is because the common person (regardless of race, religion, or creed) does not wish for wars, or prisons, or opulence in the face of poverty. But those in power require these elements to be in place so that they can maintain their control over the various populations.

Consequently, false ideas of racial, religious, and national inequality are instilled and maintained by the governing institutions. At their core, however, most people around the world value anarchistic ideals. Even the masses of religiously-minded people are not usually at odds with the principles of anarchism. The Mahatma Gandhi was a Hindu who identified himself as an anarchist. The Christian ideal of Jesus Christ is fundamentally anarchist in his earthly habits. Lao Tzu (author of the Tao Te Ching and originator of Taoism), practically made a religion of anarchism. And the list of anarchistic saints could surely go on across many other cultures and religions.

One needn't totally agree with the pacifism of those spiritual anarchists to recognize that their anarchistic ideals resonate with many people across most cultures of the world. The point is... many people already value anarchistic ideals but are nevertheless controlled and manipulated by people who have polar opposite values. And it may not be the pacifism of the aforementioned religious figures that enthralls people but, rather, their sense of basic justice. That's why archetypes like Robin Hood, for example, are also held in high regard. And, when it comes down to it, all of humanity descended from, in the not-so-distant past, relatively egalitarian and peaceful primitive tribes. The majority of humanity has the same underlying values, buried in the very needs of our existence, but we have been manipulated, domesticated, and made subservient to those who do not have our best interests at heart. ...