Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

‘Death to Julian Assange’?

Fatwas from the neocon ruling elite

Capitalist “democracy,” as practiced in the United States and many of its satrapies, is predicated upon certain illusions: that those in power have a valid right to it; that they have received the informed consent of their citizenry to exercise such power; that they are privy to knowledge, which only they are equipped to interpret aright, that guides them through thickets of complications that only they can navigate; that they are experts, educated and trained among the “best and brightest” to lead their nations as supreme didacts of their specialties; that they are morally and intellectually superior to the common herd, and endowed with wisdom enough to conduct the affairs of the world beyond the capacity of the ordinary.

Neoconservative Canadian pundit Tom Flanagan has called for Julian Assange's murder

Cause for cerebration: Neoconservative Canadian pundit Tom Flanagan has called for Julian Assange’s murder.
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To retain these illusions, so necessary to the stability of an elite-controlled “democracy,” the powerful call upon the services of the world’s ultimate public-relations bureau: the mass media. By carefully regulating the content of the public media environment, they can ensure that they are consistently portrayed in a manner that sustains their facade of superhumanity — so long as no one witnesses their lapses into all-too-human fallibility, and near-subhuman fulminations of egocentrism, amorality and sadism.

Enter WikiLeaks.

Now as never before, “ordinary” people around the world — and particularly in the capitalist “democracies” — can read in a myriad of sources the words that the powerful meant for no eyes but each other’s: the words that show them all too plainly as no better, no wiser, no less fallible than the rest of us. And then there are the other words, as well: the ones that show that some of them are moral monsters.

That these psychopaths in power privately despise the democratic tenets they publicly profess is apparent not merely from the WikiLeaks diplomatic cables and other damning evidence presented on that site, however, but also from their reaction to it.

When a neoconservative Canadian pundit, Tom Flanagan, discussed in this article, feels “manly,” this apparently means he is feeling repressive, authoritarian and sadistic — and derives his sense of machismo from his perfect willingness to violate the very “rule of law” that forms the theme of so much else that he has espoused all his life. It is during these Dick Cheney-esque moments of snarling self-perceived virility that the neocons reveal themselves: The mask falls for an instant and shows us the monster within.

In such a masculinoid moment, Flanagan uttered a call — an absolutely serious fatwa, to judge from its emphatic repetition — for the murder of WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange.

Why would a political writer in “liberal,” secular Canada issue such a decree? What could Assange have done so to offend him?

To a neoconservative law-and-order duckspeaker like Flanagan, no offense could be worse: Assange has created WikiLeaks, and WikiLeaks has betrayed his patrons by showing them as they are. When we see the elite as it really is — no better than we and often worse — the spell is broken. No longer can it claim a right to rule, an informed consent to its rule, a deeper understanding, a pristine expertise, a moral and intellectual exaltation, a preternatural wisdom: All of these illusions have begun to melt away, and we have begun to see our “democracy” for the sham it is.

Hail to WikiLeaks, and farewell to illusion.

Originally published as a review of a pulsemedia.org article on media exhortations against Julian Assange.

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