Recently, while at a Christmas dinner party, after the meal, I was struck by the thoughtfulness of a younger man at the table who asked what everyone thought about Wiki-Leaks. After a pregnant pause, the 50 something’s pretty much unanimously agreed that the leaked information would not have a positive influence between nations and that the leaks are an invasion of privacy and should be regarded as criminal acts.
The younger man (30 something?) who asked the question, along with his wife, suggested that the leaks are positive because transparency is a good that will serve towards the creation of a more peaceful world as powerful people and their secrets are exposed. The idea being that exposure can modify their behavior making them better people by diminishing their power to act in secret.
I offered up the possibility that powerful people are more likely to adapt their behavior, in this case by altering the means of communication to avoid any future wiki-leak like situation.
But the question of whether or not transparency is a good or not leads me to ponder the idea of whether or not life, humans, or Existence itself is progressing towards some greater good, and more specifically do I think, or sense that that is true?
There is a felt sense, an intuition, and certainly a desire that the cosmos has directionality, that we are moving towards some goal, even if, like the nature of God, we can’t completely comprehend or even get a glimpse of the Promised Land.
So, it is not from skepticism that I say that the transparency of a Wiki-Leak will not pave the way to the City of God, or Nirvana, or simply World Peace. But, what is it that changes a heart, or hearts, to bring about any change for the better? Has the advancement of technology or the promise of the free press made the difference where one can say yes, we are freer, more civil, more loving? Maybe sometimes…
Civility, let alone the true love of neighbor, seem so fragile, transient and so much a matter of choice and yet ones ability to choose seems rarely fully realized. How do we all choose love as long as we can forever have before us other choices some of which disguise themselves as love? Putting aside the more obvious choices of murder or theft, how do we know when the choice we are making is the most loving?
“The good that I would do I do not.” St. Paul
“We are idiots Babe, it’s a wonder we can even feed ourselves.” Bob Dylan
Yet, can love be love where and when it is not freely chosen?
I greatly admired this young man’s hope for the world and even more for his bravery in presenting the topic for our conversation. I regretted not having told him so and was sorry when the conversation eventually found its way to more mundane topics. I believe more talk (transparency?) between us is useful, necessary and satisfying.
So it’s not that I am without hope…or don’t see any value in transparency.
But I would say if you want to cut off the head of the snake of the most powerful political structures, a more productive use of the flashlight would come by shining it on the Federal Reserve banking system of the US. Since it’s inception in 1913, the US, once a nation who more often than not chose to not involve itself in the affairs of other nations, the Federal Reserve has provided the ability to fund any war of its choosing along with lots of other economic meddling both at home and abroad.