Saturday, March 05, 2011

Robert Manne has a lengthy essay in the March edition of The Monthly on how Wikileaks evolved from the Julian Assange's association with the first famous public act of hacktivisim in 1989 and the 1990s cypherpunks, a hackers information-sharing revolution that fought US government oppression of cryptography technology. The essay also goes into detail on the political philosophies of Julian Assange, which can be best summed up, in Manne's words, as "anti-establishment but genuinely beyond Left and Right."

Assange is often accused of being secretive himself, or vague at best, about what he is trying to achieve by leaking the secrets of both illegitimate and legitimate governments. But Assange has already revealed all on why's he doing this.

The Manne essay includes many excellent quotes from Julian Assange's past essays, interviews and emails, that tell you more about what Assange is trying to achieve with Wikileaks, the revolution he has mounted, his war against the war industry, his repeated calls for an uprising against government secrecy deceit, than ten thousand articles written about him by journalists who are more interested in the sex scandal angle and who've never bothered to go back to see what Assange himself has had to say; the ultimate, world-changing, mission he has so clearly spelled out over the past four years.

Julian Assange :
"The more secretive or unjust an organisation is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in the leadership and planning coterie. This must result in minimisation of efficient internal communications mechanisms (an increase in cognitive 'secrecy tax') and consequent system-wide cognitive decline resulting in decreased ability to hold on to power as the environment demands adaptation.

"Hence in a world where leaking is easy, secretive or unjust systems are nonlinearly hit relative to open, just systems. Since unjust systems by their nature induce opponents, and in many places barely have the upper hand, leaking leaves them exquisitely vulnerable to those who seek to replace them with more open forms of governance."

"Mankind has successfully adapted changes as monumental as electricity and the engine. It can also adapt to a world where state-sponsored violence against the communications of consenting adults is not only unlawful but physically impossible. As knowledge flows across nations it is time to sum the great freedoms of every nation and not subtract them. It is time for the world as an international collective of communicating peoples to arise and say 'here I am'."
It's not really that complicated. And it's already proving to be an enormously effective way of fermenting & inspiring great change in the world.

But Assange's mission, as outlined in his statements above, has clearly only just begun.

Look at what has already resulted from the release of just over 2% of the CableGate documents. Three months ago, most of the Middle East was regarded by "experts" as moderately stable. There has been a revolution almost every fortnight since, and dictators and self-appointed royal leaders have already fallen from power, or about to lose power, due to mostly non-violent acts of public dissent and street-clogging demands for democracy, freedom and reform.

If Assange makes the US embassies cables available at the current rate of release, it will take until 2017 before all they're all out there.