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Re: <nettime> "Offshore Leaks" clickthrough
Brian Holmes on Wed, 11 May 2016 18:41:25 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> "Offshore Leaks" clickthrough


On 05/11/2016 02:23 AM, John Young wrote:
On the other hand it satisfying to graze among the 1.7M
items released by ICIJ yesterday, to ogle the 100,000s
of offshore officers entities around the world, led by China
and the Five Eyes, Russia a distant third, Europe hardly
in the running. Then see North Korea and South Korea
in a near tie of stashing Dollars and Renminbi.

Indeed, I think this whole thing is moving ahead pretty well.

John, the absolute respect I owe to you is based on your refusal of
censorship. So in this case, I'm not going to self-censor my critique.
Here it goes:

When you simply insist on the full disclosure of all these papers
you miss two boats. The first one is that, until a complete reform
of public universities to fulfill their mission of public service,
there is no competent man- and woman-power to sift through millions
of legal documents to produce valid results. Professional journalism
backed by foundation money is necessary. Where we most urgently need
transparency is in the realm of the processes and the criteria applied
to reach significant conclusions. Your new call for the ICIJ to state
"what study is needed to sort the legal from the criminal, and who
or what organizations are qualified to make that assessment" goes in
exactly that direction, bravo.

The second boat you're missing is, alas, the ship of state. Whatever
one's knowledge, isolated members of civil society do not have the
power to go after the transnational capitalist class with its yachts,
gated communities, encrypted satellite communications, personal jets,
private armies and all the rest. So politicians have to do it. They
can't be trusted, they'll only do it under duress and they will cover
for the power players whom they depend on, but still, we need them to
act, however imperfectly. To force them, to watchdog them and to turn
up the heat when the fire goes down, requires access to communication
machines of global reach and sustained social and psychic intensity.
The only usable such machines right now are what we call the media.
The collaboration between leakers, hackers and the media, pioneered by
the much-maligned Julian Assange, is the greatest political invention
of the early 21st century. The irony is that through this process, the
anarchist becomes a new kind of statesman.

I'd say you are one of those.

best, Brian



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