Das Krapital

How You Can Stop Worrying And Learn To Love This Wikileaks Bank Data Dump, Liberals

By now you probably know—unless you rely on Das K for all your news, in which case you must be very, very bored—that Wikileaks is preparing a big financial institution document dump! I am decisively thrilled about this, which makes it about the only thing I really have to look forward to right now aside from maybe death and my next beer, and unlike Mother Jones's Kevin Drum I am not at all confused as to why

This gave me pause when I read it. As I said earlier, I'm on the fence a bit about whether an indiscriminate release of thousands of U.S. embassy cables is useful. After all, governments have a legitimate need for confidential diplomacy. But when I read about WikiLeaks' planned financial expose, I felt no such qualms. A huge release of internal documents from a big bank? Bring it on!

And yet, just like governments, big corporations have both a legitimate need for confidential deliberations as well as many of the same pathologies that secrecy breeds. It's not a perfect analogy, of course, on a variety of levels, but still: it's not all that different either. So why do I feel so differently about it? I'm not quite sure. But it suggests that my thinking about this is not as clear as it should be. I will continue to mull this over.

Okay WHAT ABOUT, Kevin, how we live in a democracy, and how our elected officials passed laws so that the government eventually has to inform the citizenry about how it does things, and no one who who makes his living working for the democracy actually makes that much because we, the voters, decided that would be unseemly, but our politicians and media and elections and central banks and courts and military and legislative processes and universities and Michelle Rhee-endorsed charter schools can all be bought by and outsourced to powerful corporations that abide by none of those rules and pretty much never have to tell anyone anything ever about what they're doing with "our" money, even when it ends up totally destroying the financial system. This dearth of information breeds in turn a dearth of understanding about the operations of the "private" sector, which in turn has bred (among people who, unlike Drum, still have to give the subject more thought) a nauseating mythologizing of wealth and commerce in this country, which is very convenient to the oligarchs who control everything already, but what isn't, the end.

Comments

  1. #1

    Moe you rock so hard. Spider Jerusalem lives, but Warren Ellis got the gender wrong - which fits your scathing essay about how women are acutely aware of the The Nothing-Based Economy being so relentlessly targeted by it.

  2. #2

    I'm all for it. In an internet age, in an allegedly open democracy, government shouldn't keep secrets. And neither should corporations. Let's put it all out there and if they can't make a profit...so much the better.

  3. #3

    and yeah, the end of this post is as pretty close to your going to get to unvarnished truth from people that write about finance and such. good to see (for whatever reason) things rolling again.

  4. #4

    governments and corporations *should* both keep secrets. but we should absolutely delight in finding them out.

  5. #5

    Moe, I encourage you to engage in a test of sorts. From now on, everything concerning the Washington City Paper should be made public, right away. All internal deliberations, memos, emails, policies, etc., should be posted to a wiki. I'll concede that perhaps bank account info should be kept secret (who would want the WCPs debt load anyways?) and some aspects of personnel files, but everything else can go public. Do this for a year and then write about whether it made WCP better, whether it made Washington better, and whether it made the world better. Whaddya say?

  6. #6

    there shall be no mulling!

    imho, what all us dudes are -really- worried about is wikileaks dumping our porn browsing. i think half the marriages in america would collapse overnight and rest of us would get fired for being disgusting pigs.

  7. #7

    What I would *really* welcome would be a big 'ol pack of leaks from one or more of the large pharmaceutical companies. Do they know they are poisoning us or is it all just one extended cluster-fuck?

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