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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Clay Shirky on Wikileaks and Assange

This expresses a lot of my thoughts and feelings, so just go and have a look and see what you think.


steve oberski said...

As V said in "V for Vendetta":

People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

Christian Munthe said...

One of the better ones I have seen. Making many distinctions needed and a well-balanced mix of passionate reasoning and self-critical scrutiny. I just wonder about his reason for not supporting radical (albeit not the impossible "total") government transparency. If it's pragmatics, it's not entirely convincing, as I argued in my own comment on this affair.

Brian said...

As the linked article points out, Wikileaks is a media channel. However when this is said:
'I don’t think that independent actors who are subject to no checks or balances is a good idea in the long haul.'
Are there any real checks on the Murdoch's of this world, and who elected him to decide the timbre of journalism? I think the article is correct but blind to the problem we already have of extra-legal media entities*.

*Sure, you can attempt to sue News, or it's personal, but as you've pointed out before Russell, suing is such an odious and expensive problem that most ends up in mediation. So, in effect, they're free to coerce and herd the populace as they like.

MosesZD said...

Sorry Russell, but I think he fails. We're not living in some fantasy 'good old days' 1950's Utopian universe. We're in a world where one country is, literally, unstoppable in any actions it chooses to take.

The US has over-thrown democracies to put in brutal dictators. It routinely commits war crimes. It routinely commits crimes against humanity. It routinely violates every principle of it's own Constitution in the interests of itself and it's corporate masters.

We have, for greed and power and revenge, destroyed the lives, health and wealth of millions upon millions of people. For nothing but the squabbling of the rich and powerful.

That a few diplomats get embarrassed over a few hundred (it's less than a 1,000) memos where they spoke a bit too frankly...

Tough. Our governments are, more than ever, not for the people or by the people. But for the plutocrats by the plutocrats.

Our only defense, of which I little belief it will actually succeed, is Wikileaks and other whistle-blower organizations that might swing enough people out of their apathy to vote in lesser crooks instead of the greater that cause these troubles. It certainly won't be our Pravda Press Corps.