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Wikileaks: Shocking to action or reinforcing nihilistic cynicism?

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Wikileaks: Shocking to action or reinforcing nihilistic cynicism?


In the 1960s it worked to mobilize people by revealing how corrupt state-capitalism was, because people deeply identified with this idealized vision of the United States of America (bArberiKa). The vast majority really thought that ‘America’ was some mythical beacon light on a hill, that guided the world towards good and hopeful ideals of what civilization could be. Thus people were truly shocked out of their very identity, and propelled into action like a space rocket kicks in at maximum burn and drops a astronaut through his chair as the 4 Gs propel him out of the orbit of his world. It’s hard to imagine people actually believing that deeply in their bones from this cynical culture, which is my point for why wikileaks shock and awe won’t likely prompt much action from the population.

What, are people at the UN going to be shocked that the U.S., the same country that has ruined UN agents’ initiative, whether by blocking almost every basic charter, declaration, humanitarian program,,,, going to be surprised that the US is spying on them while it actively undermines every one of their efforts? Ah, no.

What, is the Arab street going to be surprised that the Arab League is infighting (against Iran - Iran isn't technically a member and still)!? This notion in the media that the truth will shock us into freeing ourselves from the traditional power structures, is laughable, when you actually think it through.

We are a bunch of pundits who won’t get knee deep in the shit of our rotting civilization to transform it into the fertilizer of the new world even though Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Michael Albert, and countless others have been offering us those viable new-world visions for generations. 

Let’s at least be honest about it. It’s like we’re all at a good up-town house party with the host (the Earth) bleeding out in the bathtub, and everyone who has to go to the bathroom refuses to look behind the shower curtain that someone closed because they didn’t want to look. And the 2 people who want to call the ambulance are shunned as the assholes because they want to ring an alarm and bring in outsiders (the ideas of a different system) that might ruin the swinging bourgeois party. And now the stink out in the elevator shaft  is wafting shit up to the penthouse we’re in (the Global North's educated middle & executive class), so we stuff a towel under the crack of the door out to the elevator, and everyone just positions away from the door… Position more towards the really smart analyst who stimulates our own witty critiques of the wafting shit coming up the elevator shaft, and away from the bleeding out host.  Besides the analyst pundit makes really good martinis.

In the other corner, we the bourgeois ‘thinking’ class, are drawn to the comedian who has the most cutting, ironic one liners. And everyone has a good belly laugh to relieve any tension about how our very comfortable and enjoyable 'reality' is being closed in on from all sides.

The long and the short of it is that the real work isn’t revealing this or that instance of corruption, power-mongering, and systemic violence. But actually doing something. And that’s why you should support your media co-op, because all of us aren’t just the pundits you see here week in and week out. We’re the people sacrificing our financial, physical, familial, etc., security to put ourselves between the corruption, and violence. We’re organizing the conferences, the occupations of public space to get shelters for people who your government has left to die on the  winter streets, the actions to slow down and trip up the tar stands, to organize community co-ops, who are travelling to Mexico in solidarity with activists fighting for community self-management and against the bull shit being spouted at the COP16 in Cancun. Those six examples are what the core people in your media co-op are doing just this week as I write, across the country and internationally.

A really smart bourgeois, educated thinking class won’t change things no matter how witty, revealing or cutting our information is. Applying that analysis and hard fact finding towards navigating through and out of the shit, towards a new world, a new model of discourse and decision making is what will inspire people beyond their depression and nihilistic cynicism.

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The analogy is so contrived

The analogy is so contrived it is left detached and inadequate.  How can you suggest the shit coming from the elevator is distinct from the sight of the bleeding host?  The stink coming from the elevator shaft - what the clever theorist is warning us about - is pointing to how the host is bleeding.  What theorists and journalist are doing is establishing targets.

I agree that sharing information is only as valuable as its capacity to draw a response - real action.  But sharing information is not disconnected from action!  It is the first step!  We need to know about the particulars of these issues in order to target them.

It is not that information attempts to persuade a bourgeois, it is that information equips a proletariat. 

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