There is obviously something profoundly undemocratic about this state of affairs. In order for a democracy to function, it is necessary for the citizenry to have significant access to information about matters of state. Particularly when it comes to American foreign relations and American overseas adventures, the citizens of this country are very much — too much — in the dark (obviously this is generally true of every country). WikiLeaks or any similar organization thus carries with it a democratizing potential whereby information that has been unnecessarily locked away becomes available to the average citizen. On the whole though, liberal and conservative elites are united in their belief that this ought not to happen, and thus WikiLeaks is either demonized or shrugged off as fairly insignificant. Even some liberals, such as Jon Stewart, who are presumably more skeptical of American foreign policy than the average Beltway insider, don’t particularly know how to react to an organization that has the potential to provide the kind of information that could, theoretically, inform a movement that would seek to utterly transform American foreign policy. Stewart’s scathing, ironic style is absolutely topping when it comes to eviscerating the powers that be, but it has no idea how to respond to the possibility of acting in a manner that would challenge America’s imperial presence in much of the world, something which is at least made more possible by a transparency organization like WikiLeaks.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Wikileaks: Beyond Good and Evil
One of the better pieces I've read out there on the WikiLeaks story can be found on the Advocate site -- it was written by Advocate Staff and covers a few instances of the differences in media coverage and reaction. One small part: