STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Last Gasp Transparency Meme to Salvage Big Gov [& OWS Protests?]
By Staff News & Analysis - October 05, 2011

FDA Works to Improve Transparency … The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking steps to increase the availability of its enforcement data to the public. Following a May mandate from President Obama that FDA increase the transparency of its compliance and enforcement information, the Agency Monday issued 8 draft proposals that would make its activity surrounding regulatory compliance more accessible, downloadable and searchable online. This includes information on which facilities have been inspected and the results of those inspections, as well as data sets for major food recalls. As part of its ongoing effort to increase transparency, FDA has also launched an updated homepage and a phone app that allow consumers to more easily search product recalls, market withdrawals and safety alerts. – FDA News Desk

Dominant Social Theme: Sure government is too big. But we can use the modern technology to make even the biggest government accountable.

Free-Market Analysis: There is a specter haunting libertarian reformers … the specter of transparency! It is not necessary to downsize big government after all. Leviathan lives! If you simply insist on bureaucratic openness, then much of the corruption and fraud of big government can be stripped away. You can have big government after all! Whew. We're relieved … Not!

Memes are our themes, did you know? We've got notions about promotions. Today our elves Googled transparency and found, as usual, numerous articles about the efforts being made to inject "transparency" into governments around the world. The FDA announcement above is just one more tale in an ongoing narrative. Increasingly, we think the Occupy Wall Street movement is designed to play into this expanding dominant social theme (see Editor's Note below).

There is even an outfit called Transparency International. Here's how the group describes itself. "Transparency International, the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption, brings people together in a powerful worldwide coalition to end the devastating impact of corruption on men, women and children around the world. It's mission is to create change towards a world free of corruption. Transparency International challenges the inevitability of corruption …"

Now, who wakes up one morning and decides to create an international organization called "Transparency"? We went to Wikipedia to find out … "Transparency International was founded in May 1993 through the initiative of Peter Eigen, a former regional director for the World Bank. Founding board members included Eigen, Hansjörg Elshorst, Joe Githongo, Fritz Heimann, Michael Hershman, Kamal Hossain, Dolores L. Español, George Moody Stuart, Jerry Parfitt, Jeremy Pope and Frank Vogl. Eigen acted as Chairman and Pope was Managing Director."

OK, so it was founded by someone affiliated with the World Bank. Why are we not surprised? The Anglosphere elite that wants to run the world tries lots of gambits and some of them succeed better than others. Transparency is an up and coming meme. It's a contender – perfect for the Internet era.

In fact, we've written about the dominant social theme of transparency for a while now because we see it as a kind of last gasp of the Anglosphere elite that is desperately trying to bring the Internet Reformation under control. The Anglosphere power elite was caught by surprise by the vehemence of the Internet revolution and by the illumination it cast on elite activities. It turns out that many if not most of the major wars, financial crises and resource scarcities may be part of what we have come to call "directed history."

They were seemingly made up, in other words, by a small cabal of intergenerational, Anglosphere banking families to increase panic and centralize power and wealth in global institutions. The modern conspiracy has been ongoing for at least 100 years and had made a good deal of progress toward one-world government until the Internet came along. Now the elite's plans are under pressure, secrecy compromised, mechanisms on exhibit for all to see.

As their memes have fallen apart and the libertarian intelligentsia has become steadily more informed about the way the world really works, the mask has begun to slip. The smile has melted away, revealing the death-head skull beneath. Violence and force is gradually taking the place of persuasion. And meanwhile, a search is on for something – anything – that can be used to justify government and its relevance. Transparency fits the bill.

There's a huge transparency movement going on in India, for instance. We've written about it several times. The leaders, when not on hunger strikes, are calling for the death penalty for corrupt legislators. In China, corrupt officials often DO end up dead. China has a thing for transparency. But did you know that transparency has just visited Britain as well? Here's a public service press release from Britain:

Tories: transparency scaling back waste … Labour's "wasteful" spending and "fine dining" at the expense of the taxpayer won't be allowed to continue now that open data and transparency are holding government to account, ministers have told the Conservative Party Conference, with one insisting he will pay for his own chicken chow mein. Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles used his time at the podium to complain about the previous government's eating and entertainment habits.

And then there is this from Canada Free Press …

Federal government moving towards union transparency legislation … With a new Private Member's Bill now introduced in the House of Commons, Canadian labour organizations, including unions, may soon be required to open up their finances to public scrutiny. "Union financial disclosure legislation is long overdue in our country," says Peter Coleman, President and CEO of the National Citizens Coalition. "Canadian unions have operated in the shadows for too long, enjoying numerous benefits at the taxpayers' expense."

Transparency, like the flu, spreads quickly. Julian Assange was very focused on transparency with WikiLeaks. He wrote about it a good deal. We think Assange, likely an elite asset, was being groomed as the head guru of "transparency" and was possibly supposed to lead a worldwide transparency movement. That's been set back by his unfortunate rape allegations.

Maybe like a notable German leader in the 20th century, Assange will reemerge at some point from purgatory – vindicated and re-energized – book and movie in hand, ready to lead a global "transparency" resurgence using WikiLeaks as his weapon. Stranger things have happened.

Editor's Note: More and more, we are convinced that the OWS movement is the first shot in a larger war to promote "transparency" as a dominant social theme. Adbusters, the magazine that initiated the OWS movement, has written the following in a mid-summer manifesto, that the OWS movement begins with "one simple demand – a presidential commission to separate money from politics – we start setting the agenda for a new America."

The cries to separate money from politics are also heard in India, which has its own transparency movement. Professional investors are positive about the idea as well. "Given India’s favourable demographics and the still unmet demand for infrastructure and consumption, institutionalizing greater economic transparency will serve to further enhance India’s already robust long-term growth prospects," says Paul Mesburis, senior portfolio manager with Excel Funds.

Transparency is, then, supposed to be the "people's" answer to government corruption and inefficiency. It will be sold as a modern panacea making use of the most trendy of all technologies, the Internet. Interestingly, Zuckerberg at Facebook is using the transparency meme to justify Facebook's intelligence-driven exposure of people's lives and intimate behaviors. Here's something from Wikipedia on Transparency and the Internet:

In traditional public relations management, damage control involved the suppression of public information. But, as observed by Clive Thompson in Wired, the Internet has created a force towards transparency: "[H]ere's the interesting paradox: The reputation economy creates an incentive to be more open, not less. Since Internet commentary is inescapable, the only way to influence it is to be part of it … Putting out more evasion or PR puffery won't work, because people will either ignore it and not link to it – or worse, pick the spin apart and enshrine those criticisms high on your Google list of life." Mark Zuckerberg has opined that "more transparency should make for a more tolerant society in which people eventually accept that everybody sometimes does bad or embarrassing things."

After Thoughts

Transparency is brewing everywhere. Watch how it interacts with these latest Occupy Wall Street protests. It's already been enshrined in OWS "demands" for increased "political transparency." Here's the text: "Limit the influence of lobbyists at Congress, and increase political transparency so people know what Congress is up to." Transparency and OWS – perfect together?

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