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Re: wikileaks and second wave of financial crisis

Released on 2012-02-28 15:00 GMT

Email-ID 1675721
Date 1970-01-01 01:00:00
Who is this? Do you have a link?

I like the way he tries to tie everything together, trying to do that is
difficult and takes balls, so I salute him. However, I vehemently disagree
that the state is fundamentally endangered. The EU is fraying, I will give
him that. But what is coming up to replace it is not some dream of a
information based communal anarchy -- or people's court -- that I am sure
Assange falls asleep to at night. No, in fact the fraying of the sinews
that used to bind Europe during the Cold War has only allowed nationalism
to creep back up in an even stronger capacity.

The problem is that there is still a lot of anti-globalization leftist
capacity out there, they have not been exhausted by the immediate
post-9/11 revival of nationalism. People such as Assange (on the fringes)
and most anti-globalization, ultra-liberal activists/academics (such as
many of my Canadian friends/profs) feel that because they operate in such
supranational circles, that the entire world is amenable to such
intellectual and material existence. The problem is that they have never
been to Oklahoma, or Afghanistan, and therefore ignore just how
non-supranational the world really is. Just how local and very much
national it still is.

The problem that Assange and these new anti-globalists (anti-statists?)
have is in replacing nationalism with something coherent, something that
people can actually touch, feel, smell and pray to. Nationalism came in
the late 18th early 19th Century to replace religion, in effect, in
fulfilling a key societal role of binding un-connected people together in
destiny. Human condition requires such a bond. It is practically universal
to humans.

I therefore really don't think that the nation-state, or states, are on
the defensive. In fact, I think they are on the offensive from the 1990s,
which were a heaven for the anti-globalists and people such as Assange.
They are on the retreat.

Just look at the American public reaction to the Wikileak cables. Nobody
cares. In fact, most people are proud of the State Department diplomats
and their ability to do the sort of cogent analysis that the cables


From: "Lena Bell"
To: "Marko Papic"
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 9:48:20 PM
Subject: wikileaks and second wave of financial crisis

hi marko, this is from a great journo back home... I think it is a
/very/ interesting piece. You might too. Looks at the second wave of the
financial crisis (what is happening now) and the latest wikileaks as two
processes that have come into collision... transforming the relationship
between states, nations, information and economy.

(he's prob reporting from europe - could possibly get in touch with him
if you want)

Confidential communication


As the WikiLeaks cablegate (WL-CG) revelations continue to roll out, the
mood of defiance grows in Ireland, with calls for "default", for an
immediate election, or for a citizens assembly coming from ever wider
quarters. The euro has failed to lift on the market, suggesting that the
vicious austerity package, has failed to convince. Down the road in
Trafalgar Square, in the first snow of the year, the students are
fighting a running battle with the cops, who are trying to kettle them
around Nelson's column. Interpol has issued a warrant for Julian
Assange, based on the warrant issued by the Swedish courts on r-pe

The European Commission is investigating monopoly price fixing practices
by Google, showing surprising backbone. The spotlight is on China, after
WL-CG revelations that China had expressed the wish that Korea be
reunified under Seoul. Now, joining revelations that the Arab world
wants a strike on Iran, is confirmation that the US knows of official
Saudi funding links to al-Qaeda, and that the US feels that Pakistan is
a larger problem than Afghanistan in the propagation of terror.

President Karzai -- dubbed inept and credulous in cables -- pardoned
five heroin traffickers who were caught with more than 250 kilograms of
the stuff en route to the streets of the West. The US began moves to
charge Assange under the Espionage Act, and the Australian government is
dutifully looking for something to charge him with too.

In the House of Commons, the Lib-Dems are in chaos, preparing to abstain
from a vote hiking up tuition fees after pledging to oppose it before
the election, with talk of defections from the party. Revelations in the
WL-CG cables that PMs Brown and Cameron unsuccessfully attempted to make
a deal to avoid the extradition of Garry McKinnon, an autistic kid who
hacked into unprotected US security networks, and is facing decades in
jail under the one-way extradition treaty signed by Blair.

The revelation has dealt another small but visible blow to the special
relationship. And the UK "put in place" measures to shield the US during
the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq War. According to WL-CG. And Portugal
has announced, in the past 15 minutes, that its banks may fail.

Clearly something is under way, a larger shift than can be explained
merely by the individual occurrences, substantial as they are. Two
massive processes have come into collision -- the second wave of the
global financial crisis, breaking strongly in Europe, hitting WikiLeaks'
rolling wave of information storms, changing the relationship between
state and power. The transformation of the relationship between four
elements -- states, nations, information and economy -- has been
categorical, and even if it recedes in the next few days (which it is
unlikely to), it will not retreat back to the status quo.

Something has happened, and it is worth trying to work out what, while
it is going on.

Taken at the broadest structural level, one could say this -- a series
of crucial shifts going back 30 years have now come together in a manner
that has pitched the global power system into a potential crisis of
legitimacy. In the early 1980s, global financial transactions --
hitherto substantially bound within states -- began to be extended
internationally in real time, due to greater use of information
technology as "virtual" markets, and then the only arena in which
transactions took place.

The Reagan and Thatcher victories detached economy from state
politically, deregulating finance. The transition from the EEC to the
EC/EU detached state structures from nation, translating them into a
European super-state. The spread of the internet in the late '80s and
'90s changed the relationship of information to state, making it
materially impossible to regulate information flows via old means of
censorship and control.

With the global financial economy dictating terms to the superstates in
the late '90s -- Glass-Steagall was repealed at the same time as the
euro was launched -- and using the global net as both its medium, and
domain for creation of new assets, the nations, the ethni rallied around
increasingly crude expressions of solidarity, increasingly with a
religious charge.

The most brutal expression of this was 9/11, and the state responded by
trying to regain some of the power it had since given up to information
and economy. By now it was too late. The new culture, subjectivity and
legitimacy of the cybersphere implicitly undermined the state. WikiLeaks
is theorisation and operationalisation of that moment, which is an act
of (collective) thought, and a changed material reality.

The autonomous processes of a global economy, operating at the
hyperspeed -- effectively light speed -- of an autonomous global
information system, eventually came apart, and the debris rained down on
the nations. The Greeks, the Irish, the Portuguese, maintaining a sense
of community separated from the state were initially powerless. The
states -- the EU and the US -- had a relationship only to the economy,
not to the nation, and promptly bailed out the former at the cost of the
latter, stealing their life, to pay off debt.

At this point, with the legitimacy of state and economy at historic
lows, the three major blows of WikiLeaks have decisively shifted the
power relationship between information on the one hand, and
state/economy on the other. From the other end, the nations are
rebelling. "Peoples of Europe, rise up" the Greek Communist Party's
slogan hung from the Acropolis chimes with WikiLeaks material and
categorical challenge to the very fabric of state power, as expressed in
the notion of "inviolable diplomatic communication".

In Europe, oft dismissed as the old dead world, but really the cutting
edge of the world-island, it will only take one crucial challenge from
the nations -- a citizens challenge to state power in Ireland, for
example -- to join the two up, in an equally dynamic fashion. Assange's
announcement, in Forbes magazine, that WL may do a Wall Street document
dump next effectively closes the circle.

You can feel the change in the air, read it in every report. The more
that the fused political-media-administrative elite try to write it off
as "entertaining anecdote" while at the same time mobilising state power
to destroy the organisation, the more they reveal that something has
happened. The old process of leaks -- a document here and there -- only
served to reinforce the idea that the state had an unquestionable right
to control information, and that there could be no other way to organise
society or create law.

That legitimacy has had a fatal crack put it in. The whole question of
who should know what has been put into play. There will be reversals,
but we're used to those. As I may have mentioned, something is happening.

Marko Papic

C: + 1-512-905-3091