What If Governments Were Transparent? Imagine A New Transparency Party!
Privacy is Not the Issue — Why We Should Need Privacy Is.
I wrote this article after watching the CitizenFour documentary a couple of years ago. Reading it back, I am struck by how the need for transparency in government is more pertinent than ever. I have updated it to include what I believe to be a workable option for moving forward.
I am a great admirer of Edward Snowden and I am excited that whistle-blowing is a trend I am sure will continue. I believe a combination of hackers and whistle-blowers are going to systematically reveal the truth about how our governments and big businesses are run, and how dispensable people have become to the military-industrial complex.
The revelations that have come through Edward Snowden’s courage have sparked the debate about protecting our right to privacy, and I deeply resonate with the outrage. However, I believe that…
The entire debate has shockingly missed the key issue.
The direction of this entire discussion about protecting our privacy could be expressed as “How are we going to stop governments from spying on us such that our personal actions remain private?” This could also be expressed more simply as “How are we going to protect ourselves from our own governments?”
What is so shocking is that people are trying to answer this question at all. It is surprising because in seeking to answer the question, we are accepting the premise that it is acceptable that we should need to protect ourselves from own our governments.
The purpose of government is to SERVE us — not control us.
There should be no “us” and “them” when a people think of their government.
I believe the only sane reaction to the mere presence of this notion is to see that after such a series of repeated catastrophic breaches of trust, the current system of government does not work.
We have all witnessed well-intentioned people with bright energy (e.g. Obama and Blair) go into office, and by the time they leave they are shells of who they were, having compromised many of the principles they went in with (e.g. Obama and the NSA, Blair and Iraq).
I do not believe it is the failing of these individuals. I believe if any of us went into the same system it would do exactly the same thing to us. And THAT is the problem.
I do not claim to know what happens to these people. I can only imagine that horrific “Sophie’s Choice” dilemmas dominate their experience, combined with pressures (and probably intimidation) from the fear-based military-industrial complex.
Whatever happens, whatever they learn, for reasons beyond our current understanding, it is clear that no U.S. President has had Snowden’s courage, nor are they ever likely to. So basically, this means it doesn’t matter who is elected — the system will destroy their principles and turn them into a puppet.
And there is no point in getting angry at them (e.g. Obama) because I promise you would have done no better.
What we call the democratic political system has become no more than a decoy that gives the illusion of choice and control, when in reality it does not matter which political party comes into power. None of the current major parties in the West can resolve the root problem to which I am pointing. They are all just playing with the surface-level issues they feel able to effect.
Political parties come in and out of power. Institutions like the NSA and GCHQ are the constant and we are foolish if we believe they allow themselves to be overly affected by what they would see as the whims of those temporarily in power.
The NSA and GCHQ see themselves as the constant.
Here, it must be understood that through their fear-based behaviors, they see themselves as the protector (most conspiracy theories fail to see this and shoot themselves in the foot with wild accusations of their “evil”). And, in their desire to protect us from what they see as “evil,” they see themselves as being above the law. There is no way our political parties could come into power and control the behaviors of these organizations — let alone dismantle them.
For more on the word “evil” check out my article “Evil Is A Myth.”
The idea that we can change this state of affairs by voting for one of the current political parties is not only naïve, it is exactly what we are being conditioned to believe to distract us from taking truly effective action. I can, however, promise you that a revolution will take place because the secrets and corruption that will be revealed over the coming decades will bring us to our knees in disbelief.
But what is the answer?
I am hopeful this revolution can take place through the creation of a new party within the political system; a party whose mandate is entirely focused on ending the current system and birthing a new one. It will present a new system of government designed to return us to the original intention of government being created to serve the people.
Only as a people standing collectively can we do this.
For myself personally, I am excited to imagine what this new form of society could look like. I do not believe the current form of government has the capability of transforming itself — it must be replaced. I am dedicated to imagining a new world that feels connected and acts as a community — because unless we can imagine it, how could it ever be?
My main thought is that this new party should run on a basis of transparency. This would effectively lead to all government officials been paid very well in exchange for agreeing to give up their personal privacy for the duration of their service.
This would mean that politics would attract an entirely new breed of people whose desire is to serve, rather those that seek power or money.
So instead of fighting for personal privacy against the corruption of government, let us create transparency within government. It will be interesting to see who no longer wants to be a politician!