Thursday, March 14, 2013

Beria Lives!

It appears that Soviet hackers have put up a lot of personal information about members of the elite, such as Eric Holder's credit report. The idea is to show that The People can dig up dirt and surveil just as effectively as the elites themselves. It's a truth that the internet age has begun an arms race between authoritarian minded elites and free-thinkers. There's a decided mismatch in power of course. Monkeywrenching hackers can post embarrassing personal data on crabby bosses like Hillary Clinton and fascist creeps like Sarah Palin and get lolz from people like me. But here's the rub, and I hate to be a drag: Who sees it? And what to they do with it? I'm hearing reaction to the selection of the new pope in Rome and there is a section of the population that is absolutely wedded to authoritarianism. Dig up Elaine Chao's recent remarks about how American workers need to be more reflexively obedient. ( ) Add to this the fact that while some state media organs like the WaPo might make oblique mention of the episode of hackery, they will couch it in terms of 'how awful it is that irresponsible people can get their hands on your personal date'. Not the spirit the data dump was presented in by the NKVD or whatever agency of the USSR did it. I think the Bradley Manning episode demonstrated that Americans just can't get worked up over atrocities. If they ever could. There's a new book out on Vietnam focusing on the atrocities. Now I've been a fan of Noam Chomsky for a long time so none of this stuff is news to me. But aside from a little splash in lefty media (Democracy Now, Truthdig &c...), it's not going to lead to any reflection. It should, but it won't. There are many brave voices in the US military, but like any police agency, the wall comes up when dirty laundry gets aired. Deny, Deny, Deny. Then wait for the news cycle to shift to another mall shooting or rancor over some divisive social issue that doesn't involve mass shootings, suveillance and imprisonment. And so with There used to be a saying in politics that once elected you could get away with anything provided you didn't get caught in bed with a live boy or a dead girl. Nowadays, thanks to crusading social activists you can get away with anything. Period.

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