One of the great paradoxes of the last twenty to thirty years is the fact that we celebrate constantly the technological advancements that allow us instant communication and complete transparency. It is indeed true that we have the technological means to be connected in a way that we could not imagine some twenty years ago.
At the same time while our capacity to be informed and to have a clear view of what’s going on in the world is increasing and leaps exponentially the actual information we have about the world and what’s going on in the world is actually decreasing negatively exponentially.
This disconnect between steady technological improvements of our capacity to know and what we do actually know about what’s going on in the world is one of the big paradoxes which is dynamite in the foundation of our western societies and which is responsible to a very large extent for the ‘democratic deficit’ not only in the European Union but elsewhere.
Some activists have now turned ‘Big Brother’ on his head, because those capacities for getting technologically connected to the truth have been abused by the powers that be in what has become a form of surveillance capitalism where the benefits of technology being put to use by those who want to deny the rest of us transparency and a view of what is going on.
You heard a number of stories, commentry based on actual documents (that have been leaked or have been presented or discovered) which tells you what it was that ‘Hillary Clinton said’, what ‘Assad said’ what ‘Putin said’ and you don’t have to rely on secondary interpretation by some journalists who work for some conglomerats who’s interests are intertwined with the interests of those who are part of the problem.
Hearing the stories that come out of WIKILEAKS or actually reading them independently, weather you like WIKILEAKS or not, but actually having first hand information and having access to these documents reveals a world that is completely alient to anyone who relies on the media in order to understand.
Those who rely on thirdhand, fourthhand information through the media owned by the oligarchy in order to be informed about the world they are condemmed to be caught up in moments of terror when suddenly the nice fassade that covers of reality dissapears when a bomb of whomsoever goes up.
Then these people revert back to the same media that covered reality and asked them about what had happened.
The activists on the other hand give us reason to be optimistic.
In a certain way technology tends to concentrate power by concentrating the capacity to know in the hands of those who do not want to put this service into the hands of the public.
What activists try and that is the source of optimism:
They do use the very same techniques and technologies in order to say to those who collect information in order to monopolize it: You know what, that information is going to escape and you are not safe in the monopoly.
If information is concentrated and hidden like it is in the European Central Bank (ECB) or in the Euro Group or in the debates about our future with TTIP, TISA, TPP or CETA.
TTIP is one angel of a new global and economic partition of the world. It is the most ambitious concrete plan since the creation of the European Union. You have got TTIP (the US and EU binding), TISA (the binding of US and 52 countries) and TPP (the US-Pacific-Australia binding together) and this triangle covers more than 80 % of the global economy. Two thirds of global GDP are inside the triangle; 1.6 billion people are inside the triangle and the rest is outside. Outsiders are in general all the non-western countries (the non-allies of the United States) in particular China, Russia, South Africa, India and most of Africa. How is this titanic reordering of the global legal and economic system come to be?
Whenever you realize something really big happening you know that there are multiple forces acting. Here you have beside the geopolitical situation a large amount of multinationals who always want to have the opportunity to create special deals and power. So it happens in medicine for example or in relation to copyrights. They always wanted to increase those powers and they always were pushing and lobbying for it.
Finally they were able to play the China card strategically and that got strategic forces involved in the US, in Europe and in South East Asia. They were all on the same page and so it is happening.
Clinton called TTIP a couple of years ago an economic NATO appealing to that strategic vision of merging together the United States and Europe and tearing Europe away from the Eurasian integration.
Others in the US administration called TPP as important for the rebalancing to Asia than another aircraft carrier. Its all about the encirclement of China.
These free trades agreements have nothing to do with free trade. Everyone wants free trade. Who wants enslaved trade? Everybody wants free trade.
These agreements have nothing to do with the barriers of movements of goods and services.
It’s all about specifying: Who owns the right to the idea, that will give rise to a good? Who owns the patent? Who has the capacity to tell a certain industry e.g. a pharmaceutical company: in order to produce this drug you have to charge 80 € to 90 € per pill to those who absolutely need it.
It has to do with the labor standards weather we are going to be engaged in the global race to the bottom where the enslavement of people in far away places becomes instrumented and functional to our capacity to purchase cheap clothes and cheap gatchets on the High Street.
It has to do with environmental standards, weather our societies and our people and politics have the right to say for instance that this pestizide or this genome is not be used in our land because we consider it to be dangerous for the soil and the water that we drink.
These are the decisions that will shape the future and they are being made without you knowing about it. In exactly the same way like the ECB is making its decisions.
If they want to break the law and have meetings prior to the offical meetings let them break the law. Then we have to chase them.
There is no law and no legal system that is full proven against abuse, but the fact that we don’t have a law and that we don’t have regulations in Europe and the only regulations are there to preserve the monopoly of information for those who use it to keep us in the dark and to separate us from each other from the foreigner (whereever he/she is): this is the main game in town, in the global village in which we live in.
Capitalism is not critizised because it is generating inequality and injustice. The problem with capitalism is that it is a very inefficient way of using and wasting human and non-human ressources.
It wastes human capacity, whole generations, it creates conflicts and antagonisms in order to preserve certain interests and injustice and inequality are byproducts of failure of rationality and efficiency.
The left has failed in its critique of capitalism: we turned our humanism into a gulag. We turned our good intensions into a misantropic power structure.
That is why since 1991 the left is on retreat. But capitalism will be overthrone even without the left.
The technology that the capitalism produces will overthrough capitalism:
The 3-D printer or the blockchain technology; the capacity of designers to collaborate without going to a corporation structure will undermine the purpose of corporations. They will depleat the value generation process at the very same time when the output of gadgets is maximized.
In the United States Apple has started building factories for the first time shifting production from China back to the United States, except that no Americans will be employed in them because they will be fully robotized.
The question is: who is going to buy the Apple Macintosh machines and the iPads? The robots will not.
So there is going on a crisis of realisation so to speak. The same technological process which now concentrates information so that we do no see the terminus of our history, of our present and of our future in which people like the activists are acting by creating mechnisms which will in turn use technology against those who want to deny the knowledge of and the access to the concentrated information.
This is creating a chance and a light of hope that we can democratize the economic, social and political dimension of our existence.
I choose to be optimistic. I have no evidence that humanity can’t be the master of it’s faculties and it’s faith.
I choose as an axiom to believe that we can, simply because the moment you start to think further on the basis of this axiom there is a possibility that the probability of democracy increases.
Hope feeds hope. There is no evidence that this hope is justified but there is plenty of evidence that without hope the fear will win and that the terrorists and others, in whatever form they come, will take us all against humanism.
If you are able to understand Silicon Valley you are quite frightened of the world view of people like Google’s Schmidt and others. The intellectual world view and the poverty in that world view is circulating around Silicon Valley and it is now the most aggressive ideology on earth – the high tec liberalism.
This high tec liberalism is dominating the competition of ideas and the competition of all and in general.
It’s all about the question where the future is proceeding. Google produced the book ‘the new digital age‘ about two years ago. They explictly try to claim the intellectual leadership not just in relation to economics but in relation to geopolitics. Google would be Washington’s geopolitical visionary. The geopolitial visions of the world in the US are now coupled with Google’s and Silicon Valley’s high tec vision of the world.
The vision is that a Silicon Valley company can manage everything better through their scale and competency and they are replacing various elements of even local governments now.
What you can hear back from people in India and China when you ask them: ‘what do you want to do in your life?’ the answer of this smart young people is: they want to work for Facebook. If they are radical then they want to start their own Facebook.
But in both countries, India and China, the surrounding ideological context is a adoption of Silicon Valley. There is no message like: ‘We do it the Chinese Way’. The Chinese Way is that we are doing it like Facebook in China and it is run by Chinese; that’s it. There is no other ideological alternative and that high-tec liberal ideology is progressing at such a rapid rate that I think if there is not a decent alternative put on the table then we completely abondon the domain of high tec and it will turn against humanism with it’s expansion.
On the other hand we see the radical Islam as the other radical expanding ideology. These two force will shape our future in the upcoming years.
The very positive effect of platforms like Wikileaks is, that we suspected it all the time but now we know and from thereon we cannot act as if we hadn’t known.