Recently the word ‘digital terrorist’ has been used to slander Julian Assange. The term mostly congeals around supporters of Hillary Clinton. Regardless of anyone’s views of Assange personally or his organisation Wikileaks, it seems that these people have forgotten what a terrorist actually is.
A terrorist is someone who perpetrates violent acts designed to strike fear and exasperation into the hearts and minds of a population. Some have specific aims or demands, some have a vague ideology they seek to promote through violence and for some destruction is a means and ends simultaneously.
Assange and Wikileaks do not fit this definition at all. By stating that they do is to immediately expunge any and all personal credibility in the public sphere. In fact Assange and Wikileaks have accomplished something antithetical to terrorism. Wikileaks as an organisation and Julian Assange as an individual have inspired hope and optimism for millions around the world.
Those who have felt betrayed by dishonest government, those who have indicated that the wars western governments have ceaselessly waged are done so under false pretences and with ulterior motives, those who seek the hard facts to back up their generally correct instincts, those who have felt powerless to make governments behave in a more humane fashion; all have been given a serious voice on a global platform, backed up by solid facts that cannot and has not been ignored.
It seems there are only two classes of people who live in fear of Wikileaks: those who have neglected their own political duties and refuse to tell the truth of their misdeeds and those who take the arrogant attitude that people living in self-professed democracies should not be informed on the issues and individuals they will have to vote for.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, the democratic process has been shaken due to the alliance between big media and big government being undermined by the ‘bottom-up’ approach of new media. This new media includes professional outlets from countries whose news organisations challenge the prevailing orthodoxy of the BBC/CNN news axis, social media where all individuals can voice opinions and exchange information and most importantly it has allowed for the appearance of on-line whistle-blower organisations who cannot be intimidated into withhold information which is highly valuable to a public hungry for information.
No such organisation has been more important than Wikileaks. Wikileaks has shaped the political conscience of a generation and cast doubt upon the credibility of news organising which practice self-censorship and enforced censorship at the behest of the powers that be. If information is power, than Wikileaks has provided the information to transform the contemporary understand of democracy.
The democracy that Wikileaks has created is an empire of ideas wherein individuals cast their votes by expressing their opinions in an international constituency of people increasingly opposed to war, corruption and economic programmes which do not benefit the majority of the world’s people.
Wikileaks and others have opened the doors to what one should refer to as an ‘alternative globalism’. First of all, there is the old globalism of governments, super-national organisations (EU, IMF, NATO, World Bank etc) and corporations who seem to exercise jurisdiction beyond the laws of traditional sates.
But then there is the alternative globalism, one which sees people from around the world, from all ethnic, national and religious backgrounds interacting in the realm of ideas, conducting business, labouring at artistic endeavours and challenging a status quo that ‘big brother knows best’.
The alternative globalism has exposed the old globalism as a sham. It’s not about connecting people to others around the globe, it’s about making it easier for corporatist super-states to do what they’ve always wanted to do, erode the organic traditions of interaction and cooperation between people and cultures that is the only genuine way of building a world more at peace with itself and more assured of future prosperity.
Julian Assange, far from being a ‘terrorist’ is a hero. He has shown people that a better way of conducting the affairs of politics is possible, even if this bright future may yet be many years away. The only people who ought to fear Assange are those who fear reality. Assange has ‘made honesty great again’ and has done so in spite of great risks to his own health, happiness and life.