Arun Kumar on Wed, 23 Sep 2015 13:19:59 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> "Speak Out with Snowden, Assange and Manning"

there is a distinct difference between assange and the other
whistleblowers, in that the others really are whistleblowers, whereas
assange is an outsider. The eternal outsider if you will. to think
about a whistleblower and their psyche, here is someone who obviously
believed in a certain organization and its structure and goals and
mission. but at some point either grew disillusioned by it or realized
that the problem was systemic.

these three aren't the first whistleblowers, there have been numerous
others who've exposed corporate fraud and corruption before them. they
are just the most high profile ones for obvious reasons. but this
statue seems to encourage more people to step up and blow the whistle
on corruption. it reminds me a bit of time magazine's person of the
year for 2000 i think it was. where the person was You, an image of a
mirror on the cover. but i guess when you are blowing the whistle on
a system, what exactly do you decry? is it the specific excesses of
power and authority and abuse of it, or do you decry or critique the
very power itself and try and understand how these systems emerged and
how perhaps we are all party to it, to whatever extent.

places like this mailing list have been talking about the possibility
of things like mass surveillance for a while now, yet i guess thanks
to the leaks knowing about it has allowed a certain mass awareness of
it to arise. rather than these academic discussions.

i guess my own interest in this is more personal than academic. when
you are in a position where you hear about things that you disagree
with, disagree with strongly or vehemently even. you can keep speaking
out against it, but what do you do when a certain dominant mode of
thought arises and the threat of dissent becomes physical? do you
continue to decry that fascism or do you begin to contemplate how your
actions and perhaps lack of knowledge was systemic. and perhaps that
is what has contributed to the rise of that fascism. or is fascism a
concomitant product of conservative systems that seem to connect well
with things like capitalism? to bring critical perspectives into what
is happening currently perhaps requires understanding the history of
that critique and what has been attempted before.

i found poitras' documentary about snowden very interesting.
especially the part about how well he understood media and how
carefully planned his approach to the leaks was. co-ordinating the
leak in such a way as to ensure that he was a few steps ahead of how
he knew media would typically react to a story such as this. i wonder
if there is another approach. i don't mean a socially naive approach,
but perhaps remixing or playing with different cultural understandings
of these things?

On Sat, Sep 19, 2015 at 12:57 AM, John Young <> wrote:

> Yes, there is humor and inherent ridicule in the monumentalization
> as with all monuments enlarging individuals into totems and taboos,
> with giant constructions in capitals of corruption, governments and
> NGOs yin and yang working the rock concert.


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