Saturday 24 January 2015
It’s 2015 and I have been giving serious thought to personal activism, collectives like Anonymous, whisteblowers, and the media. Pondering a great deal about ideals and beliefs. I’ve come to the conclusion ideals have become a double edged sword for humanity. Ideals appeared because most have lost the ability to view truth directly. Ideals conflict and humans become at odds with one another.
One groups perceives truth should be hidden from the majority while others like Barrett Brown, attempt to make truth, in this instance, the evils of the surveillance state, readily available. Thus comes the the obstacles now being readily waged against journalists, whistleblowers, hacktivists and activists.
Bringing truth to light colours decisions and shapes the outcome of lives. Barrett Brown has been persecuted for his perception of truth per his First Amendment guarantee then locked away for it. His belief in the right to reveal the inner workings of the surveillance state, and the private contractors/companies behind a governmental obsession with invasion of privacy and data collection, while disturbing, ultimately serves the greater good of humanity. Knowledge is the root of freedom. If one is not aware he is being oppressed, one believes he is free but simply exposing the truth, such as Trapwire or PRISM, and writing about it is not enough, unfortunately, as the surveillance state has continued to expand. If exposure was sufficient it would have been abolished expeditiously at the mere mention of the existence of such clandestine activities.
Thought Crime, Word Crime, Face Crime...
Is this the future for journalists, groups and individuals who dare to speak against the surveillance state? It appears to be the case as witnessed in the unjust sentencing and fining of Barrett Brown. The surveillance state continues to grow unimpeded as the majority of the human race fluffs it up on a myriad of distractions, mainly of the pharmaceutical variety while the system of surveillance and control marches on.
The work of hacktivists and activits like Jeremy and Jason Hammond, the chant of voices from members of Anonymous and Occupy, the words of brave journalists like Barrett Brown, Kevin M. Gallagher and Glenn Greenwald, the voices of the intellectuals and professors such as Gabriella Coleman and Peter Ludlow, and the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, along with Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning have opened the door of truth. Now what are we going to do with it? It appears a revolution of the individual is sorely needed.
It may seem that change is too time consuming to some, impossible to others. Barrett Brown, now sits in a jail cell by the will and sanction of the US Government and the DOJ for believing truth is a catalyst and change is possible. Will Barrett’s story reach the masses and cause a shift in thought to create a revolution of the individual mindset? If it does perhaps there is a chance to strike down the whole authoritarian surveillance system through non violent protest and dialog with leaders and those who view the need for these methods of intrusion of privacy as legitimate.
When ordinary people non- violently renounce the surveillance state openly, its methods, and the power of the individual becomes a collective of united humanity, the cult of surveillance will be rendered useless and its handlers will be forced to reckon with the very voices they so desperately tried to silence.