Monday, July 15, 2013

The Evolutionary Need for annienomad-cyberpoet

Why we need to consider very carefully the cases of Bradley Manning (Wiki-Leaks), Edward Snowden (NSA) and Bradley Birkenfeld (UBS) before we apply the label of “Traitor”.

The debate over the morality and destructive impact of any Empire’s geopolitical footprint is nothing new. But today, in the age of information, unprecedented surveillance and tech-fueled financial fraud, the debate has risen to international, trans-global proportions. It has, in fact, reached a fever-pitch.

With a camera in every corner of the globe we can no longer ignore the suffering that expansionism creates. We as, a nation, can no longer escape the stunned question upon waking – no, not the familiar question of “Where are we?” But the infinitely more telling question of “Who are we?” 

Whether it be North invading South, East expanding West, or the non-geographical new frontier of cyber-dominance…the question remains. Are we humans genetically programmed to invade, conquer, sabotage and wage endless war in a desperate attempt to stay on top for as long as possible?

This is now America’s burning question. And truth be told, it always has been even from the beginning, in that we were conceived (as George Washington himself described America) as an “Infant Empire”. A deliberate and expanding Empire, that Thomas Jefferson characterized as a “nest” that would spread out and colonize the entire continent - doing away with the red man, eliminating the Latinos and sending the slaves back to Africa when they were no longer needed.
Since the inception of our nation the United States has been struggling to bridge the disconnect between the stated ideals of our Founding Fathers and their strategic policies to expand the empire…first here at home, and then abroad.

And in that struggle, some of our best minds have put forth the kind of work that questioned America’s “exceptionalism”.

Artist As Whistleblower

Most people know of George Orwell's cautionary tale "1984" about just how far down the rabbit-hole we can get if surveillance and mind-control go unchecked and unchallenged.

But few remember that during the invasion of the Philippines, Mark Twain wrote an imagined history of a twentieth-century America.  In it, he predicted that a “lust for conquest” had already destroyed “the Great [American] Republic,” because  “trampling upon the helpless abroad had taught her, by a natural process, to endure with apathy the like at home.”

Thoughtful, creative types have always felt it was their duty to question the wisdom of those blinded by the quest for power and the satiation of greed. That it is our human imperative to keep ourselves, as a species, evolving rather than devolving.

Keeping our elected leaders on track, serving the will of the people instead of kowtowing to power, is an exercise that, by definition, requires Critical Thinking - the kind of thinking that can identify and illustrate the incongruity of words in a speech or document, verses actions taken on the ground, in our name...with our children.

The inherent hypocrisy of a seeming all-embracing statement such as, “All Men Are Created Equal”…unless, of course, you were born outside the author’s esteemed circle of landed-gentry, a woman, a person of a different color who happen to be a convenient source of free labor, or to a tribe that has been living for centuries on lands rich in natural resources that, rightfully or wrongfully, will be claimed by a superior force…becomes obvious when exposed to the merest hint of a well-formed question.  

Thankfully, as in the parable of “The Emperor Has No Clothes”, even a child can provide a simple reality-check. The absence of which contributes to a myriad of human abuses that continue unchecked and unabated when people of conscience refuse to take a stand. 

In a world where no one will question the rationales of their leaders for fear there won’t be enough for themselves – the end result will always be that the "lower classes" and the unprotected native populations of the world will have to endure the fickle “benevolence” of their land-grabbing, money-hoarding oppressors…in perpetuity. 

Well, maybe not "in perpetuity"- just right up to that terrible moment when the strategic political planners of the invaders decide they have built a strong enough case against their “burden” and no longer see the need for keeping up appearances.  

It then becomes a foregone conclusion that our “enemy” will die, en masse, at the hands of a military (domestic or foreign) saddled with whatever label our leaders have leveled against them to justify their extinction.

Their only crime being...they were living in the path of Empire.  

Whistleblowers are necessary when institutions and governments no longer serve the greater good. They are, if ethically motivated, agents of evolution because the goal of a whistleblower is to demand that those in positions of authority live up to the ideals and mission statements contained within their company charter or government constitution. 

So, I ask you to consider carefully before vilifying the revealers of harsh truths, because the only thing standing between truth and lies…is transparency. 

At least, that’s the way is seems to me,