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Re: <nettime> Digital Anarchy and Wikileaks.
Griffis Ryan on Mon, 13 Dec 2010 05:29:10 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> Digital Anarchy and Wikileaks.


Hi Patrick,
i have a couple of questions about this theory in relation to wikileaks that i'm guessing you've pondered based on this writing.
I find myself reacting to this idea that wikileaks (and, really, any info-utopian project) is based on transparency as a political limit of nation-states, authoritarian or otherwise. 
a) A question specific to this case derives from the impression (mine) that the information in question (cables) is primarily of interest only to the governing class of other nation-states. The information, based on what is written about it anyway, doesn't provide much "actionable" information from the perspective of non-governing actors. Of course, I can imagine how I could be very wrong about this, but so far...
b) Another is this general idea of info-war and the potential for radical democracy through info-egalitarianism. Coming from a US-centric context, it's all too easy to see the limits of this ideology. The US right rules IN SPITE OF information. Rush Limbaugh has a pretty big listener base and regularly says things like "If blacks should get reparations from white america for slavery, Anglo-Americans should get reparations from Native Americans for lung cancer caused by smoking tobacco."
http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201011240022
Sure, this is an obviously ridiculous example, but for anyone paying attention to national politics in the US, it's easy to see that there are pretty serious decisions being made with such insanity happening in the background. Ideology seems pretty immune to whistleblowing.
And information like this is regularly "released":
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/12/business/12advantage.html?ref=business
Yet, the "populist" movement here doesn't want big gvmt bailouts of the banks, but it wants gvmt protection of hereditary wealth. And it doesn't see the relation between the two.

And, as CAE has acknowledged, the limits of ECD can be understood much better now (things obviously looked a little different in the early 1990s), and is better situated symbolically as part of a multi-facteted set of tactics.

Or maybe as Pavlos put it earlier:
<quote>
>From the perspective of the hacktivism’s ethic, Wikileaks is crucial since it is opening “the source code of government”. Even if we don’t argue against this, what does this source code reveal exactly? And now that we have it, what can we make this code to do? Pretty much nothing: the code is defunct.
</quote>

from the snowy midwest,
ryan

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