Email to a friend, Share on Facebook, Tweet this: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and socialite Jemima Khan led a protest in London Saturday against the war in Afghanistan, 10 years after the United States and Britain went to war against the Taliban. Organisers of the Stop The War Coalition claimed 5,000 people attended the protest in central London's historic Trafalgar Square. London's Metropolitan Police did not give a figure." – AFP
Dominant Social Theme: Julian Assange is making a public comeback and all is well with the world.
Free-Market Analysis: In our top story today, we discuss a pincer movement of two dominant social themes. The first is the little known direct democracy meme and the second is the transparency meme as embodied in Julian Assange.
These two memes in our view could constitute the framework for a more aggressive brand of global governance. The transparency meme, which we have analyzed numerous times before, makes the case that government is broken and only Internet transparency can fix what is shattered.
Julian Assange was to be the poster boy for the transparency movement, using WikiLeaks as the vehicle to address the issue of malfunctioning secrecy. But Assange got himself arrested for rape, which may have temporarily derailed the implementation of the meme. Now Assange is back in the news and leading demos again. Here's some more from the article:
"There comes a moment when you have to ask what is more dangerous, terrorism or counterterrorism," Khan, the former wife of Pakistani cricketer turned politician Imran Khan, told the crowd. "Afghanistan is still the worst place in the world for women to live…. So by any standards, our mission in Afghanistan has failed."
Assange, who is currently under strict bail conditions as he fights extradition from Britain to Sweden on charges of rape, compared journalists and soldiers to war criminals. "When we understand that wars come about as a result of lies, peddled to the British public and the American public and public all over Europe and other countries, then who are the war criminals? It is not just leaders, it is not just soldiers, it is journalists, journalists are war criminals," said Assange.
Assange, whose anti-secrecy website has published tens of thousands of leaked US diplomatic cables, won the Martha Gelhorn Prize for journalism in June. Britain is the second biggest contributor of troops in Afghanistan after the United States, with 9,500 troops in the country.
This is obviously a worthy cause; but we are attracted to issues other than the article's main subject matter. Notice the inclusion of the description of WikiLeaks as an "anti-secrecy website." The positioning is clear. Assange seems to us to embody this transparency meme along with "his" website, WikiLeaks.
Anyone else would have slipped into obscurity by now. But this tall, charismatic, white-haired man (sometimes) keeps turning up like the proverbial penny. WikiLeaks has published little of import, at least on a regular basis, and Assange is being sought after for rape (admittedly they seem like bogus charges).
We notice Assange fled to England after the rape accusations. And we notice the spotlight of publicity on him continues to shine. He just published an autobiography (which he has now disavowed). There is a movie in the works about him. He continues to win mainstream prizes at an astonishing rate. We halfway expect to wake up one day and find he's been knighted.
When Assange was young, he was arrested for hacking and it was at that point he may have thrown his lot in with the power elite. Fast forward to the 2000s. He doesn't create WikiLeaks, he buys it. And there are plenty of questions about his background, where he gets his money and what his ultimate goals are.
We think it quite likely that he's backed by the elites – the same group that lobs fear-based promotions at the world and then proposes solutions like "transparency." If government doesn't work, it shall have to be made to work. Its corruption is to be exposed; its dysfunction erased. The "people" are to rise up and demand this.
Transparency movements are springing up all over the world. India's in the throes of a violent one. There's even a formal transparency movement founded by a former employee of … wait for it … the World Bank. What a coincidence, eh?
We've suspected from the very beginning that Assange might be the designated leader of a transparency movement. We shall see now if HIS movement links up with the Occupy Wall Street movement and Assange emerges as the "leader" of both. Power elite directed history in action?
Does all this sound too conspiratorial to you, dear reader? Perhaps so, but it is evident and obvious that strange times are upon us. And when it comes to understanding this strange, new world, you discount anything at your peril.