Wikileaks Is Terrorism

Slavoj Žižek's article in the London Review of Books "Good Manners in the Age of Wikileaks" attacks the heart of the political left's mission to democratize or humanize the world under the current political system's conditions. As the left mobilizes behind Wikileaks to support a "free information society" for the people, the base of this struggle is in the system, which inherently strengthens the institutions that have historically neglected basic support for all people. "We shouldn’t forget that power comprises not only institutions and their rules, but also legitimate (‘normal’) ways of challenging it (an independent press, NGOs etc) – as the Indian academic Saroj Giri put it, WikiLeaks ‘challenged power by challenging the normal channels of challenging power and revealing the truth’. The aim of the WikiLeaks revelations was not just to embarrass those in power but to lead us to mobilise ourselves to bring about a different functioning of power that might reach beyond the limits of representative democracy."

Žižek implies that society must undergo radical political transformation if it wants to honestly challenge war, support the poor, or empower people with a more direct democracy. Otherwise, our era of depending on ignorance will continue: "the lie has to be elevated into truth: civilisation, in other words, must be grounded on a lie." Žižek references Leo Strauss: "the aspect of his political thought that is so relevant today is his elitist notion of democracy, the idea of the ‘necessary lie’. Elites should rule, aware of the actual state of things (the materialist logic of power), and feed the people fables to keep them happy in their blessed ignorance. For Strauss, Socrates was guilty as charged: philosophy is a threat to society." 

We should add to George Orwelll's "War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength," because in the USA—Wikileaks is Terrorism. 

In the Wikileaks debate, the fundamental division is along the line of governmental trust. Do you trust the government and do you want want to improve it by tightening this bolt and loosening that bolt? Or do you want to transform its inner machinery?