Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Global Premiere of Oliver Stone's Swoden movie and the Global Security State

Back from the premiere of liver Stone's Snowden movie; quick notes of an amateurish political theorist:

1. The movie has a scene towards the end that presents an operation run from Hawaii that purports to show shutting down much of Syria's electricity network in late Spring of 2013. Turning the country dark--to be torn apart by al Qaeda brigades and their supposedly "moderate" allies.
2. The after-the-movie interview with Snowden ought to be made part of the movie; one of the key statements made there (by Oliver Stone) is that the United States being a national security state is now in fact a global security state.
3. The rule of this GSS (Global Security State) is described by Snowden's CIA mentor in the movie: secrecy is security and security is victory, and that's what Americans really want, not freedom. Telling Congress the secrets is as good as telling the enemies about them. Snowden, however, appears to present a different view (see below).
4. Among other things and perhaps most importantly, what this GSS means, thanks to new technology, is that, by controlling communication, information, network and access, the GSS effectively "owns" other (all? most?) countries' communication networks and can shut down these countries, their banking, power networks, command centers, economic, financial life, armies ... This, therefore, also radically changes and redefines not only the meaning of "privacy," but also of ownership, property, power, security, and war.
5. Wars and political struggles and destinies of nations are thus decided in cyber space, and the physical space is now but an outward enactment of what often happens unseen for the public in the space of electronic communication. The world's center of gravity, the key to global rule and domination lies in the control over the flows of electronic signal, information and communication. Here the power of the United States is towering high above anyone else.
6. This (the last sentence) also appears to be a key, maybe, even the main message of Snowden's disclosure (putting a band-aid over one's laptop camera is just a decoy and a sleeping pill for the most uneducated). Through Snowden or his global revelation, the US (and the point was made enough audible to me in the movie) is now in a position to shut down whole countries, whether allies or enemies of the day. The Chinese try to have their cyber divisions, but the field is not much very little even as it is a steep mountain of Olympus, the top of which is lost in space and clouds for the rest of the denizens cohabiting the bottom of the pyramid.
7. The new GSS and its capabilities might or do call for some serious conversations, which we don't actually have. In part because the vast majority of us are not even remotely sufficiently qualified to be part of any meaningful conversation.
8. The new GSS is a fact, it is a cardinal change and fact that calls for or demands its new "constitution" or change in the existing constitution.
9. In this regard, Snowden is both a whistle-blower and messenger of the arrival of this GSS.
10. In the post-movie interview, Snowden emphasized the issue of privacy, which, in the light of the GSS and its communication technology, control, and power, also needs to be rethought again and redefined. As I understood Snowden, he says that privacy is the issue of the self (whether one has or whether it is empty or made for us or the self into which we have been manipulated). Freedom of speech means little if one has nothing to say or/and when one has no courage to say what he thinks (or when one does not know what to say). Further, privacy boils down to a question of a free mind. The question of the free mind was very much where the movie and the interview stopped, making it as if their (for now) last word. But Snowden also said or implied (for me) that a mind that cannot share with others what it knows is not really free or effective. This would mean that freedom is meaningful and effective, if it can be somehow shared with other (potentially) free or freed minds.
11. One of the key issues raised by the movie, the Snowden case, and also the social media is the question of the relation between such free and potentially free minds and our friends and enemies existing among such supposed or assumed free minds. In addition, the corollary question is then that of the relation between (self-identified?) free or freed minds and the minds that are not free and those that are fundamentally opposed to the freedom of our minds.
12. Furthermore, from the point of view of political theory, all this also raises (at least for me) an interesting question of the GSS and its constitution in relation to what I believe is the actual constitution of Great Britain (and the global state)--Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan with John Locke providing for it a more palatable, softer, more moderate, "liberal" (and hence also more superficial and shallow), but therefore also more popular shell.
13. Somehow I took Snowden's high intelligence for granted and in this I have been confirmed.
14. Ashley88 (?) asked Oliver Stone and others what "one thing" she should take from the movie. Oliver Stone refused to answer this reductionist question, saying that it is a drama and, as such, it is not to be simplified. I assume that the question reflects the culture of the un-free minds and their attitude, "Tell me what I am supposed to think and, please, make it just one thing and something simple."

As with nuclear weapon, its utility and effectiveness is largely due to the fact of the people being aware of its existence and power. Were it completely secret, people would have no reason to be concerned or afraid about it. In this respect, Snowden is a memo sent from the US to the world.

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