In our present age, where we digitally knit pick every single aspect of human existence until our brains flip over uneasy as an egg with its yoke solidified, do you ever wonder if there will again be such a thing as “normal?”
Or have you just given up? A fascinating article about Edward Snowden in the latest edition of The New York Review of Books defines the content of the Internet as “paralyzing incoherence.”
If incoherence is not one of your favorite words, it might help to note that it means something that doesn’t stick together, or some things that are not logically connected.
Mr. Snowden, you will remember, is the CIA computer whiz, who exposed thousands of pages of Top Secret American government information and then took off to Russia.
The connection between Snowden and the Internet is simple. When he concluded that many of America’s secrets were illogical, he decided to bring that point to the attention of the American public and all the citizens of the world.
This behavior, of course, did not please the secrecy-addicted political and military minds, and Mr. Snowden was publicly chastised for breaking his oath of confidentiality to his employer, the United States.
Now, I’m not here to argue whether Snowden was simply stupid to break his oath of secrecy, or was justified in doing so. What I wonder is how many of us have read all the secrets Mr. Snowden made public?
I know I have not. The article doesn’t really argue either side of this point. It rambles a lot in my opinion, but seems to simply show that the ultimate consequence of all the massive glob of information on the Internet is the disruption of any logical thinking.
The article claims that the Internet, with all its content and graphic icons, has become the home of “shaming scorn” and “outright lies.” That is of contempt for reason and the embracing of untruths.
Except what Snowden exposed were truths. And his conclusion was that we all need to know much of what our government does in secret because it would return a sense of reason to our own personal brains.
And, his argument was that we citizens, theoretically empowered by the responsibility of democracy, ought to know these secrets and decide for ourselves if we are getting our money’s worth for our taxes.
I believe the article obliquely reveals Snowden’s point was, and remains, that our government is no longer the valid safeguard of our citizen hopes, dreams, and aspirations.
Rather, that it has become in point of fact the safeguard of the wealthy. And to that end, it is the supporting foundation of large corporate financial profits instead of the supporting foundation of the accumulated thinking of the entire population.
His point is that if we were indeed the deciders of what we want America to be, we would not now so predominantly be disturbed with the condition of our country. We would not be so divided. We would not be so at one another’s throats about it.
He was trying, I believe, to show all of us that our being denied access to many of the government’s secrets has denied us of the information we need to decide what is best for America.
It has usurped our role as the driving force of democracy and awarded it semi-officially to the wealthy, while continuing on both sides of the aisle to assure us, whether liberal or conservative, it is watching out for all of us.
What Snowden is saying with his action is that we must reassume our position of political power by regaining access to the real factual information we need to influence the direction of America. Or forfeit our role as citizens.
The question then is: do we care enough where America is headed to fulfill our duty as citizens? Or are so many of us so comfortable that we secretly accept what is, rather than become personally involved in influencing where we are headed?
Until next time,