Welcome to the blog of Miroslav Georgiev - classical pianist and conductor. Here you can read and discuss interesting stuff from the world of music, life, politics and more.

Friday, June 28, 2013

About Snowden and the Superpower

While protests are being held around the world, including in countries everyone thought were 'stable economically' (like Brazil); while there's a bloody sectarian war raging in the Middle East, while the world economy continues crumbling, I'd like to take  some time and reflect on the ridiculous manhunt  being forced on our attention by the mainstream media - the Snowden story.
I won't get into the whole debate of how moral this manhunt is, given the fact that this leak hasn't actually threaten any life (unlike the Sirian war), or anyone's prosperity (like the protests all around Europe and now in Brazil). I'd like instead to reflect on the reaction of the world's only 'Superpower' to something that in fact shouldn't be happening at all - the leaking of confidential information in a world where nobody could really use this information.

We were used to spy stories during the Cold war. We wouldn't hear about it in the news, of course, probably because it was indeed a matter of national security, but we would hear rumors every now and then about another Russian spy caught stealing stuff. Or, if you grew up in Bulgaria, like me, you would hear about another Imperialist spy caught. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that all this wasn't such a big deal - we were understanding that there is a Great Enemy there that Wishes Us Evil, and that our authorities are justified in doing whatever they can about thwarting his Evil schemes (Dart Vader laugh).   
Then the Iron Curtain fell, and suddenly the world became (supposedly) a happy place, where Democracy rules supreme and the Evil Communists/Imperialists And Their Puppets were BANISHED. We could now breath easily that nobody would all of a sudden decide to commit an elaborate suicide by launching nuclear warheads or such.
And then all of a sudden we get this epidemic of spying scandals. Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and now Snowden. All modern-era Evil Masterminds Bend on World Destruction That Need To Be Brought Down. WTF?????

Let's see: what did these people do in fact? Did they steal secrets and sell them to someone that wishes us harm? No. Did they sabotage something? No. Did they lie? No!
What they did was to get evidence of the secret dealings of the government of our beloved world savior, and then spread them around to all that cares to read them. And for that, they're branded TRAITORS.
Again, I won't get into philosophical discussions of whether what they did is right, or not. I want to tell you WHY it is that this is happening. That's why:  

- The USA seems to be suffering of an acute attack of Lack of Enemy. You might be surprised a bit of that statement, but let's think about it:

For decades the two world superpowers (USA and USSR) were coldly at each others' throats, and that seemed to be accepted as normal by everyone. People buckled up and toiled, happy that they live on the 'good' side of the fence. They were resigned with their fate, thinking about the evil capitalists/communists, and happy that our secrets need to held from them, at whatever cost.
Then, one of the Superpowers vanished (or rather, was demoted to just Power). And with it automatically vanished the terrible specter of Termonuclear war and the Great Evil that Wants To Steal Our Lollipop. Now, the remaining Superpower decided that they can now just boss over everyone else, without opposition, and proceeded to do so with abandon. They invaded Iraq, then Afghanistan, they organized coup after coup in countries around the world. And, all of a sudden, each scandal involving them started to feel like a spat on their virtuous public image. People around the world started hacking their computers and revealing their secrets, and the public opinion cheers them. Why? What happened? Are they doing something different than before? Are they behaving more badly?

But they've lost the REASON to do this.

While there was an Enemy Number 1, people were resigned to all actions of the American government (after all, it was all for our own good, right?); now there isn't Enemy Number 1 anymore, and people seem to have realized that it's not justified for a superpower to be doing the stuff that they are doing. They seem to think that this Superpower is being more of a Bully than a Superpower.
After all, what exactly is a Superpower supposed to be when it is the only one? When it's not opposing itself to another superpower to prevent world destruction, then it should be more of a World Guardian, right? A benevolent entity which leads the world to a better Tomorrow, towards common progress, etc. etc.
Instead we have a bully. The US seems to be barring progress, rather than incentivizing it - for example, it is the only important nation in the world that didn't sign the Kyoto Protocol; it is imposing a series of trade embargoes and it has protectionism policies that would cause Stalin envy. Any significant technological advancement coming from them is being patented and commercialized, or other than that is being kept close secret.
Well, they claim that there is still danger in the world: TERRORISM!!!!! That there are countries that support terrorism and they need to be .... dealt with. It's really interesting how they manage to make distinction among a whole lot of those countries in the Middle East: they zero on some of these and accuse them of being dictatorships that harbor terrorists. At the same time, others, not less dictatorial, are angels that don't support terrorists. (Small detail: terrorists usually don't go talk to government officials asking for their support, they just.... do their stuff.). And somehow the countries that don't support terrorists and are good to democracy always happen to be US' allies (at least at that moment), while the others, that harbor terrorists, always happen to be denying American interests. And let's not forget that terrorists exist for a reason. Differently from serial killers, who act alone and in secret generally, terrorists aren't just madmen bent on mayhem - they always have an agenda (as expressed after every major terrorist act in the last 30 years). The scary ones' agenda, which is justifying the wars US is conducting in the Middle East, is .... the presence of the US in the Middle East. Now, ain't that a funny coincidence!

So, the reason more and more leaks are happening within the American power structure, is the fact that people have recognized the real agenda of the US governments in the last .... say, 20 years, and think that agenda is not moral. Nor justified. And they want to show it to the rest of the world.
Let's hope this makes the Superpower realize what they're doing, and improve their behavior. If not.... I think they'll soon seize to be a Superpower. At least in the moral sense of the word.

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