[Marxism] Why defend Assange...

Craig Brozefsky craig at red-bean.com
Tue Aug 21 10:57:04 MDT 2012

Sean Andrews <cultstud76 at gmail.com> writes:

> stand trial and get this behind him.  If there is a trial that should
> be the focus of public concern, it should be that of Manning who is
> actually being persecuted for airing the dirty laundry of the state -
> rather than creating some of his own that the state can use against
> him.

When Manning was arrested much was made of him being a distraught,
emotional, homosexual -- and several press pieces implied he leaked to
get back at his parents, or to prove himself worthy to lovers.  This
included alleged leaked conversations with the informant who accused
him, which were highly edited and released in a form resembling dramatic

The character of anyone resisting power will be called into question,
and slandered, and in an age of omnipresent surveillance of
communications, it is quite easy to find something, or fabricate it from
the bits and pieces.

Once you have people engaging this level, and talking about "supporting"
in abstract terms, or what the proper "ethical" thing to do is, then you
have them trapped in a world where they have limited or no access to the
real, and are reacting to signs and their signified elements in
bourgeois ideological structures.  This is why we see such brazen
pseudo-expertise in the legal history of Sweden or the UK based on a
couple Google searches, or attempts to ground out the situation into
some primary ethical or real-political forcing variable.

> In any case, the "legitimate" in the sentence has the same effect as
> its unfortunate echo with the primitive republican talking point: it
> questions whether the women involved are telling the truth or the man
> has any responsibility for his actions - actions, its worth noting,
> that are wholly separate from his work in Wikileaks.

I don't buy this assertion that it is wholly seperate from Wikileaks, as
they were fans/supporters of WL and that was certainly part of the
mystique that attracted them to him.  How come you make the point that
the personal is political in one paragraph, and then claim in the next
that the political work was wholly seperate from this very personal

My experience with most political activists is that the people they work
and struggle with become important parts of their social life, and thus
the personal and the political meld even more.  Often personal behavior,
and specifically sexual behavior, is a primary frontier for political

> And I think the project of wikileaks is bigger than Assange alone.  In
> all seriousness, there is nothing all that difficult in what they are
> doing other than convincing people to give them sensitive documents.

I think you are *gravely* mistaken here.  It is quite difficult to
execute the technical infrastructure they have in a way that does not
jeopardize informants at the time of submission or after, allows for
sufficient context to analyze submissions and determine their value and
eliminate planted leaks, and also publishes the information in the face
of sustained and well-funded counter-attacks on their infrastructure.

This is to say nothing of managing and maintaining an international
organization with funding from all over the world in the face of attacks
from the global finance sector.  I doubt that most other international
activist organization could even manage the secreterial work of
Wikileaks, let alone the technological/security aspects of it.

In short, stating it is "nothing all that difficult" indicates you know
jack shit about what they are actually doing, and that you are speaking
from an abstraction of what "publishing" leaks is.

> anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist struggle."   I don't think that
> would excuse it, but at least we could have a conversation about the
> charges in relation to wikileaks rather than being forced to
> compromise the integrity of an important project because it's current
> leader wanted to get his dick wet.

The fact that you mention "getting his dick wet" a couple times in your
analysis reveals it as a shibolleth of some sort.  It appears to operate
as a rhetorical indicator of frankness and vulgar realism -- a way to
tie a bunch of hand-waving about the personal/political and proper
ethical behavior of "professional" activists to the ground so that it
doesn't fly off like a bunch of red balloons.

Such are the dangers of engaging the spectacle.

Engage the real:

Donate to WikiLeaks:

Donate to Manning's Defense:

Craig Brozefsky <craig at red-bean.com>
Premature reification is the root of all evil

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