Thursday, July 04, 2013

Manning, Snowden, Egypt and the 1776 Declaration of Independence

Manning, Snowden, Egypt and the 1776 Declaration of Independence

     "Edward Snowden must be caught and punished at any cost."  Who said that?  Was it some overbearing British sovereign back in 1776 who said it?  Had Edward Snowden just signed the American colonies' famous Declaration of Independence?  The way that Snowden has been hounded, pursued and intimidated in the last few weeks, one would certainly think so.

     According to an essay entitled "The Price They Paid," signers of the original Declaration of Independence of 1776 were also hounded, imprisoned and even tortured and killed because they stood up for their beliefs

     And here we are now, 237 years later, out celebrating the Fourth of July like it actually meant something -- while true patriots like Edward Snowden are being hunted down like dogs on the highway by the FBI, the CIA and the NSA.  And nobody here seems to either notice or care. 

      And ditto for Bradley Manning.

      According to a recent article by Paul Rogers on current revolts in Egypt, Brazil, Tunisia, Turkey, etc., "The sheer unpredictability of mass protest [is] a matter of great concern to political elites and their security cohorts across the world.  That really is deeply worrying for them, and something that will cause them to double their efforts to track what is happening and predict its evolution -- an effort no doubt aided by the use of PRISM and the other forms of mass surveillance.  What, though, if even those systems don't have a proper handle on what is happening [or can actually keep a lid on it either]?  That will give political elites sleepless nights in the weeks and months to come."

     First comes Occupy Wall Street.  Then comes the Arab Spring.  And then Wikileaks, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Bradley Manning, not necessary in that order.  Like in the spring of 1776, popular revolts against economic tyranny seem to be popping up all over like wack-a-moles.  No wonder George III was afraid.

     "So what's your point, Jane," you might ask.  Hmmm.  I guess my point is that working class people, little people, the salt of the earth people like you and me are making our current economic ruling classes just a tiny bit wary on this Fourth of July weekend of 2013.

     But they still haven't started to get pee-your-pants afraid quite yet.  They still have armies and police and the NSA and even the NRA.  And trillions of dollars stashed away in the Caymans and penthouses on Wall Street and Michelin-starred restaurants to eat at.  "What me worry?"  Not quite yet.

     But they are worried enough -- that the salt of the earth might someday finally get tired of being used, trod on and taken advantage of while they continue to be corporate welfare queens -- that they are out there stalking Edward Snowden and torturing Bradley Manning and fretting about what is happening in Egypt and Brazil and Turkey.

      But the economic elite almost certainly know that the little people here in America will never get uppity because they know that most Americans are under their thumb; out celebrating the Fourth of July by watching fireworks displays on TV, drinking Cokes and going shopping at dollar stores.

PS:   I myself am celebrating Independence Day by going down to the Berkeley marina and watching the fireworks in person -- and by reading Keith Richards' autobiography, "Life."  Now there is a true revolutionary, of course.  But he is also someone who has worked really hard all his life and cared about his work deeply.  Richards must have spent about a gazillion hours studying music.   

     True (and successful) revolutions such as Richards' revolution in music require sacrifice, thoughtfulness, talent, courage, compassion and a whole bunch of work -- but perhaps not quite so many drugs. 


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