"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

Understanding Wikileaks and Julian Assange’s Strategy

“To radically shift regime behavior we must think clearly and boldly for if we have learned anything, it is that regimes do not want to be changed. We must think beyond those who have gone before us, and discover technological changes that embolden us with ways to act in which our forebears could not. Firstly we must understand what aspect of government or neocorporatist behavior we wish to change or remove. Secondly we must develop a way of thinking about this behavior that is strong enough carry us through the mire of politically distorted language, and into a position of clarity. Finally must use these insights to inspire within us and others a course of ennobling, and effective action.”

Julian Assange, “State and Terrorist Conspiracies”

The problem this creates for the government conspiracy then becomes the organizational problem it must solve: if the conspiracy must operate in secrecy, how is it to communicate, plan, make decisions, discipline itself, and transform itself to meet new challenges? The answer is: by controlling information flows. After all, if the organization has goals that can be articulated, articulating them openly exposes them to resistance. But at the same time, failing to articulate those goals to itself deprives the organization of its ability to process and advance them. Somewhere in the middle, for the authoritarian conspiracy, is the right balance of authority and conspiracy. Link

It’s tempting to read Julian Assange’s 2006 essays as the master-key to understanding what Wikileaks represents now, tempting because it makes a really hard problem easy. But it’s also quite clear that Wikileaks has changed quite a bit since 2006, and when Wikileaks tweeted my post (which was sort of where the whole experience became surreal for me), it seems important that they praised it as explicating “one of the key ideas behind WikiLeaks.” That is, one of them, and maybe not even the primary one.

So what are the others? What else is it that Wikileaks is actually trying to do?… Link

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