My political view are well known to anyone who's frequented this blog, or otherwise been subjected to my opinions. They're not really the subject of this blog however, I just wanted to tone an ever so little black flag before I get started on my subject: privatized propaganda warfare.
Over the last year or so wikileaks has become the most publicized actor in an ongoing information war between peace activists and various governments of the world. Wikileaks ofcourse has been responsible for leaking a great deal of classified material pertaining to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and this upsets the people responsible for sending troops to this wars.
Wikileaks however is not the only opposing actor in this war against government information monopolization and spin doctoring, and the war is not new.
I have previously posted the cultural terrorist manifesto, as well as a video by Emergency Broadcast Network - and both of these posts concern the same ongoing information war. What EBN, the Grey Wolves and Wikileaks have in common is that they represent a phenomema or ideology often dubbed infoanarchism. An ideology they also share with the swedish Pirate Party and several other groups and individuals - including yours truly. The main motto for this loose movement of people is "information wants to be free". If you're into revolutionary romanticism we can call this an "information guerilla". It's a quite accurate description.
In other words it as an ongoing insurrectionist campaign being waged between state forces and comercial media with huge budgets and established channels of communication and technology on one hand, and volunteers with highl improvised means of communication and distribution on the other. In many ways this is an example of assymetric warfare, or fourth generation warfare, but on the information front rather than on the classic battlefield.
Assymetric warfare is seen by many as the most important tendency in modern conflict and it is usually typified by regular military units with training and technology going against a guerilla with little or no training and little common ground with their enemy. Usually wars are fought over territory or ideology, or both, whereas an information war is waged in the field of public image and credibility and over a strictly ideological goal.
The interesting thing is however what history teaches us about what happens when a large military system takes on a guerilla. Quite often the "weaker" party succedes, and the government must accede to loss. Whether we are talking about conflict of force, in the cases of the american revolution, the vietnam war or Gandhi's campaing to oust the brits from India - or we are talking about popular protest movements such as the civil rights movement in the sixties. To retain some shred of legitimacy a government cannot trample the rights of its citizens lest it become a dictatorship. So this wikileaks bout is something of a pickle for the authorities. They must attack the activists while trying to come out as the party that takes care of the public interest. Wikileaks must be made out to look like they are thugs, criminals, sociopaths and evildoers, rather than concerned citizens. Once people start questioning why the government so often feels the need to take on their own citizens, whose will they supposedly draw their legitimacy from, the authorities are quite simply fucked...
I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions, maybe while you check out this wonderful little rap about wikileaks.