04 September 2013

vote early

Today at The Guardian - 'whistleblowers play a crucial role in keeping the "public reason" alive. Assange, Manning, Snowden, these are our new heroes, exemplary cases of the new ethics that befit our era of digitalised control. They are no longer just whistleblowers who denounce the illegal practices of private companies to the public authorities; they denounce these public authorities themselves when they engage in "private use of reason".

We need Mannings and Snowdens in China, in Russia, everywhere. There are states much more oppressive than the US – just imagine what would have happened to someone like Manning in a Russian or Chinese court (in all probability no public trial). However, one should not exaggerate the softness of the US: true, the US doesn't treat prisoners as brutally as China or Russia – because of its technological priority, it simply does not need the brutal approach (which it is more than ready to apply when needed). In this sense, the US is even more dangerous than China insofar as its measures of control are not perceived as such, while Chinese brutality is openly displayed.

It is therefore not enough to play one state against the other (like Snowden, who used Russia against the US): we need a new international network to organise the protection of whistleblowers and the dissemination of their message. Whistleblowers are our heroes because they prove that if those in power can do it, we can also do it.'