So here’s the thing: with all the endless WikiLeaks and Assange related chitchat and waffle what is really striking is that the hue and cry is coming from a bunch of soft left, ex-socialist aristocrats, hugely successful capitalists interested new variations in philanthropy, and a whole sea of small L liberals.
There’s a tsunami of self congratulatory talk about the new frontier of freedom of speech and how important it is and so forth. But at this very moment Assange’s contemporaries, late thirty and forty-something hackers (and ex hackers), are fussing endlessly about the propriety of the Bradley Manning-Julian Assange nexus and how precisely things came to be where we are now.
Propriety! There were days, not too long ago, when these self same leaders of the e-world were conspiring in all manner of ways to do pretty much the same kind of harm WikiLeaks aims for. Codes of the proper are a long way from bringing down Ma Bell and her whiny brood.
Worrying about the legality, and the liabilities of, the exchange of documents and who knew what, when, is not the stuff revolutions are made of, not at all, not even e-revolutions. You can’t smash the state when you’re all afluster about the etiquette of it all.
Meanwhile the whole current generation of hackers and geeks are rubbing themselves intimately with small plush toys of indeterminate gender. Go figure.