IS JULIAN ASSANGE THE MOST INFLUENTIAL ANARCHIST EVER?

Very interesting piece on Julian Assange’s political thinking on Newsnight last night compiled by looking through his personal blogs.Assange quotes frequently from German anarchist Gustav Landauer and shares some of his thinking. Assange believes by exposing the hypocrosies of governments that faith in government will decline and individuals will take on more personal responsibilities for their lives which will in turn see the state row back on it’s own role.Not my kind of anarchism but anarchism nevertheless. Anarchists have tried to bring down governmets but Assange is trying to bring down the lot at once! Assaange has of course rightly  to face his rape charges in Sweden but any attempts by the USA to have him extradicted for the Wikileaks revelations should be strongly resisted.I have heard many on the Left – including anarchists – very half hearted in defence of Wikileaks. The truth is always revolutionary comrades. Let’s not wait till Assange faces life in an American prison on trumped up charges before we realise that one anarchist has taken on  the whole world state apparatus in the most effective anarchist campaign of all time.

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29 responses to “IS JULIAN ASSANGE THE MOST INFLUENTIAL ANARCHIST EVER?

  1. Turpin

    The beauty of wikileaks is that is allows everyone see what liars and two faced bastards diplomats and politicians are. After the whole expenses scandal this can only be a good thing.

  2. Internationalist

    I don’t really care what his politics are and I don’t really care that much about his personality, which is an important point because he is of course going to come in for a lot of character assassination in the media.

    I took much the same view of Scott Ritter, a Republican who got fitted up because he told the truth about Iraq’s WMDs, i.e. that there weren’t any.

    The point is, what Assange has done is brilliant. Latest revelations about the release of Megrahi especially interesting.

    And you are spot-on about the truth. The truth will set you free.

  3. voidoid

    Kevin Rudd (ex PM & current Oz Foreign Secretary) got couped out of power in Oz for trying to slug the mining industry with a tax to pay more more education and health services.

    After Assange’s arrest the straight Oz media started running leaked Wikileaks material from US diplomats in Oz bagging Rudd when he was PM for dissing George W Bush (ie intimating that he was an ignorant fuckwit).

    In response Rudd’s come out in Assange’s corner offering full Oz Consular support, pointing out that it wasn’t Assange that leaked, but the US that fucked up security-wise. A refreshing change from the usual spineless cringe posturing peddled by mainstream Oz pollies when it comes to the US alliance.

    I agree that Assange’s a brave open source warrior whose finger is well on the zeitgeist (in cyberwarfare terms). He confounds the spectacle by subverting it. The man’s an inspiration. Wikileaks will ripple out regardless what happens to him in the hall of mirrors state forces have bound him in.

    The only people that need slicing and dicing in the media and held to account for their crimes against humanity are the forces opposed to Assange.

  4. Ashe

    This article from an Australian website gives some background to the rape allegations

    http://tinyurl.com/32lpvan

  5. The Liberi

    Liberty is priceless, for everything else there’s Mastercard ;-)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/08/mastercard-hackers-wikileaks-revenge?CMP=twt_gu

    For more info check out…

    http://anonops.net/

  6. Internationalist

    You can never be sure but the rape charges seem too much of a coincidence to be taken at face value. It’s probably a roundabout way of getting him into US custody.

    Also a convenient way of getting the feminist harpies lined up against him. They are an important constituency in the world media. They are also the most gullible people on earth – remember they supported the bombing of Afghanistan on the basis that it would liberate women, and then were astounded to learn that the new US-sponsored “free” Afghan parliament voted to allow men to rape their wives, among other things.

    • “Feminist harpies… some of the most gullible people on earth”???
      I find it highly, highly unlikely that Julian Assange is guilty of any kind of rape. The whole case is just bursting with dodginess. But to use it as an excuse to bash some straw woman version of “feminism” is utter bullshit.
      The Revolutinary Association of the Women of Afghanistan certainly didn’t, and don’t, “support the bombing of Afghanistan to liberate women”, Women In Black did not either, most working class and “people of colour”-led feminist organisations did not and do not. What kind of “feminist harpies” are you on about? Sarah Palin? Hillary Clinton? The 2.5-children and a dog named Spot having suburban soccer moms of the N.O.W.? These represent “feminists”?

    • LondonVoice

      Internationalist, your comment about custody is spot on. Sweden has always been more cooperative with the US on extradiction than the UK. Julian’s attorney, Jennifer Robinson, has reported that to date, she has seen no evidence of the alleged rape. There is a hearing planned on this for Dec 14, 2010 in London. Some US officials are already publicly claiming Julian’s head (death penalty). In the UK, this would be considered an incitement to cause death and is punishable by law. The US is again showing ts bullying politics.

    • chromalux

      “feminist harpies”

      fuck off.

  7. Pingback: Julian Assange.. « musing from an anarchist

  8. The Liberi

    Assange/Wikileaks is even helping to unmask just how tight-knit governments and corporations really are…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/08/wikileaks-us-russia-visa-mastercard?CMP=twt_gu

  9. The Liberi

    If you’d like to help Operation: Payback visit…

    http://tinyurl.com/OPWikiLeaks

    …don’t forget to follow the instructions at the bottom of the screen before you log into the IRC chat.

  10. If Assange is any kind of Anarchist, he’s an ‘Anarcho-capitalist’ – read why here

    • Tough Love

      “Right” Libertarians want the end of state control over the citizen as much as I assume you do – the difference is in how citizen(s) use that freedom to improve the general good. Personally (as a right-leaning Libertarian) I see the answer as being us all taking responsibility for our well-being and that of others through a balance of hard work, personal responsibility and sound use of available resources rather than the Left vision of dependancy and crushing of aspiration.

    • Dora Kaplan

      Northern voices has delivered a Trotesque hatchet job on Assange. But who really gives a toss about the guys personal politics? Was Daniel Ellsberg an Anarcho-syndicalist? I doubt it, and what difference does it make anyway? Wikileaks has done more in 24hrs than Northern Voices will do in a dreary lifetime of recycled prose and synthetic outrage.

      Northern Voices, my arse. I reckon it’s Andy Newman!

    • NGC

      That article didn’t make it clear that he was an anrcho-capitalist or shed any real light on his politics. In between indugling in traditional anarchist secterian bitching, mixed in with the usual “we know our theory better than you” type comments, it had only one paragraph where it attempted to pin down his politics.

      This had two quotes from an interview with Andy Greenburg for pro-capitalist magazine forbes. The interview doe not touch on visions of future societys, but does look at the types of leaks wikileaks releases and what assange hopes to achieve by these leaks in the short term.

      Assange makes it clear that he is interested in empowerment through knowledge, which then makes corporations more accountable and uses the market to prevent damageing behaviour. This is the same as his belief that goverments only get away with the way they behave, because the majority of people are kept ignorant. In the short term they would have to behave in more ‘ethical’ ways if this ignorance is removed, in the long term they would not be able to function.

      Assange, in the interview, where protein in milk powder was cut with plastics in China. Because one company was doing this and making it more profitable, other companys would have to do it to increase their profits. or face bankruptcy. Yet if the consumers know what is going on then they would not buy the milk powder. So such practices, putting profit before people, can only exist in secrecy. By giving people knowledge, he is empowering people and preventing such practices from continueing. This is not saying capitalism is good or correct, it is saying that you want to give people knowledge so they can control what is occuring, rather than the corporations and governments. In the short term it makes life better, in the long term, it prevents governments and corporations fromn functioning.

      The quote “WikiLeaks is designed to make capitalism more free and ethical” should be looked at in this context. Before this Assange makes clear he is not calling for the opening up and deregulation of markets. He was calling for the destruction of the closed world of corporations and stopping them from acting outside of the interest of the people they exploit. In the interview Assange says “I have mixed attitudes towards capitalism, but I love markets.” In other words he rejects closed and planned economys and feels that the community should decide and control things according to their needs. He is not calling for a hierarchical society and is not an Anarcho-capitalist.

      The newsnight piece above Northern Voices article expands more on Assanges politics and does not attempt the empty caricature that Northern Voices seems to be attempting. I can’t really comment on how Wikileaks actually organise, but in the old anarchist way, if you don;t agree with an organisation or way of doing something, you are always free to go off and do things your own way!

      As Ian makes clear, he thinks Assange is an anarchist, but not in the Class War tradition. I agree and think Assanges politics are flawed. At the same time, though, knowledge is power and Wikileaks is helping to weaken the hold of governments and corporations. This is positive and we should be showing solidarity and welcoming any gains that are achieved with his tactics, instead of whinging that he is not the right type of anarchist.

      Finally, I’m not sure what point Northern Voices was trying to make by mentioning Landauers murder by the Freikorps. But, to me, it came across as suggesting assange should shut up before someone shuts him up.

      • Mark

        I posted a comment on his blog precisely because of what you say. There’s something dubious about the post. Have any idea what the guy’s motivations are for (lamely) trying to depict Assange as an anarcho-capitalist?

    • I don’t care if he’s an anarchist or not – he is blatantly being framed up in a [pathetic] attempt to silence wikileaks and hence should be supported.
      As for John Pilger and his “uncritical support” of Hugo Chavez – I haven’t read whatever articles or statements are in question but I would be dubious about this. Pilger is a fairly high-profile guy and critical comments about Chavez could be taken out of context and used to support the U.S. etc. He (and Noam Chomsky) may be choosing his words carefully based on this. But like I said – I’d have to look at whatever statements Pilger made or is alleged to have made about that to make my mind up. He is someone I have a lot of respect for though. In fact, can you think of any single individual who has done more to bring under-reported stories to light than John Pilger?

  11. Tough Love

    For those of us who really want to see the diminution and eventual collapse of the state – what wikileaks are doing is many times more effective than the self-indulgence of breaking a few windows and bruising a few coppers in London.
    Wikiists are bringing down state web networks today – that hits bureaucrats and the political class where it hurts – better that those thousands of demonstrators turn over their PCs to the cyber struggle, where it will really hurt the state.

  12. Dora Kaplan

    List of Wikileaks mirrors.

    http://wikileaks.info/

  13. Mark

    I agree that Assange is an anarchist and certainly a leftist. But I hesitate somewhat since he does not, to my knowledge, openly embrace anarchism like the great thinkers did in the past.

  14. http://indymedia.org.au/2010/12/11/melbourne-rally-to-defend-wikileaks-declares-youre-the-voice#comment-8411

    A crowd of 1000 plus people attended a Melbourne rally in support of Wikileaks held on Friday 10th December. An array of speakers included criminal laywer Rob Stary and barrister, Indigenous activist Robbie Thorpe, Brian Boyd and Jacob Grech from Trades Hall,

  15. Pingback: Ten Thoughts About Julian Assange and WikiLeaks | Andy Worthington

  16. warneford

    I’m so late in adding a comment to this topic that I’ll probably be the only person who ever reads it (I should probably just ring myself up and leave a message)

    .. but here goes though …

    for what it’s worth I’m not sure I ‘get’ Julian Assange, I understand Mr Assange is currently staying with a senior military intelligence officer at that officer’s ten-bedroom stately home in Norfolk; now by common consent I’m NOT the world’s most influential anarchist, but even if I was just a tiny bit influential and also in trouble, I assure you I’d find it difficult to know someone in a tower block in Hull who’d put me up beyond a week, let alone someone with a house the National Trust would salivate over!

    As for his Wikileaks themselves, well I appreciate the term ‘wiki’ implies Julian’s organisation publishes whatever is sent in to it so ‘leaks’ might well be deliberately planted propaganda rather than top secret dirt … and fair enough I suppose, but from what I’ve read about the most recent batch of Wikileaks so far (supposedly stolen by US marine Scott Bradley) they seem to actually have been drafted by the CIA’s own fantasy department rather than having being genuinely leaked diplomatic cables (eg. they contain a ‘cable’ that China ‘secretly’ regards North Korea as a ‘spoilt child’ and agrees with US policy in the region – errm, total, total gibberish), and there’s not a single mention of real intelligence secrets (like the Kosovan President being the head of a gang that kidnapped civilians and sold their body parts on the black market – real-life ‘Zombie-Nazis from Hell’ or what?!).

    My conspiratorial take on the latest wikileaks is this, the Bradley Cables were deliberately ‘leaked’ by the CIA, for a variety of reasons (eg. psy-ops as Iran has alleged), but mainly to draw the world’s attention away from the real giant ‘Leak’, of the Dodd-Frank Act revelations, these statutory disclosures forced the US Federal Reserve to reveal that between 2007 and 2010 it had to bail out every major bank on earth for $3.3 trillion dollars (6% of the world’s entire income to save 5,000 or so bankers’ bonuses) and that every bank on earth (including Goldman Sachs which financial journalists had hitherto claimed they knew had secretly profited from the credit-crunch) had in fact gone promptly bust immediately after Lehman Bros’ collapse and had to effectively, be ‘globally-nationalised’ .

  17. Benny Rudeboy

    For fear of repeating myself I have posted a link to my comment on the more recent Assange related blog.

    http://ianbone.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/wiki-leaks-protests-spread-round-europes-streets/#comments

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