Today’s media is full of condemnation (again) for Wikileaks even though none of the latest revelations are particularly earth-shattering. Our press are much more comfortable feigning surprise when, thirty years after the event, we’re told what we all knew already – i.e. stuff like: there was a plot to knobble Wilson; the army was used against the miners; Harry IS James Hewitt’s lovechild ; etc. They call themselves the ‘free press’ and yet they’re shit scared of freedom of information!
Remember kids, the only good media is MediaLens!
The main thing we got from the latest leaks was confirmation that so called ‘leaders’, ‘officials’ and ‘voices of authority’ are childish and inept and frankly not up to the job they claim to be doing (no surprises there, you only have to watch 5 minutes of parliamentary debate to know that they’re all completely clueless). Once again the facts give lie to the myth that somebody, somewhere is actually in charge of this sinking ship. As Alan Moore observed in Margeret Killjoy’s interview:
“It … occurred to me that, basically, anarchy is in fact the only political position that is actually possible. I believe that all other political states are in fact variations or outgrowths of a basic state of anarchy; after all, when you mention the idea of anarchy to most people they will tell you what a bad idea it is because the biggest gang would just take over. Which is pretty much how I see contemporary society. We live in a badly developed anarchist situation in which the biggest gang has taken over and have declared that it is not an anarchist situation—that it is a capitalist or a communist situation.”
Not only do our bloated political, legal and military institutions basically equate to ‘mob rule’, but ALL hierarchical systems guarantee that the wrong person will always end up in the wrong job. Wikileaks’ leaks certainly help to reinforce what Robert Shea said in his 1990 article, ‘The Empire of the Rising Scum‘:
[T]he more an organization succeeds and prospers, the more it is likely to be diverted from its original ideals, principles and purposes. While Francis of Assissi was still alive, the religious order he founded, dedicated to poverty, had already started to acquire real estate.
Every combination of two or more human beings has both a useful aspect and a political aspect. These tend to conflict with each other. As the political aspect becomes more and more influential, the organization ceases to be useful to its members and starts using them.
Why does this happen? Because the better an organization is at fulfilling its purpose, the more it attracts people who see the organization as an opportunity to advance themselves.
The ability to get ahead in an organization is simply another talent, like the ability to play chess, paint pictures, do coronary bypass operations or pick pockets. There are some people who are extraordinarily good at manipulating- organizations to serve their own ends. The Russians, who have suffered under such people for centuries, have a name for them– apparatchiks. It was an observer of apparatchiks who coined the maxim, “The scum rises to the top.”
The apparatchik’s aim in life is to out-ass-kiss, out-maneuver, out-threaten, out-lie and ultimately out-fight his or her way to the top of the pyramid-any pyramid. Appropriately, Russia produced a superb specimen of homo apparatchikus–Josef Stalin. Many American novels have described the wheeling and dealing of apparatchiks in various occupations; perhaps the classic fictional character of this kind is Sammy Glick, the movie tycoon in Budd Schulberg’s novel, What Makes Sammy Run? Niccolo Machiavelli wrote a handbook for apparatchiks that is unsurpassed to this day–The Prince. But the most successful of this breed need neither exemplars or hand-books; they seem to know instinctively what to do.
It often happens that when a person possesses a particular ability to an extraordinary degree, nature makes up for it by leaving him or her incompetent in every other department. Thus we see owners of baseball teams who lack any understanding of the sport, heads of banks who couldn’t balance a checkbook, industrialists whose main industry is riding around in fancy limos, and generals who know more about playing golf with congressmen than they do about fighting wars.
Unfortunately, the existence of this talent means that every successful organization will sooner or later be taken over by apparatchiks. (emphasis added)
Edward Abbey knew what to do about apparatchiks…
So let’s stir thing up!