I have now fully comprehended with a “punch in the face” realization, that “we” fucked up. And when I say “we”, I mean the left. And when I say the left, I do not mean the labor party. I mean those people who have put their bodies and minds repeatedly on the line to safeguard a fundamental belief that all human beings are equal and seek to codify/solidify that belief in human practice and reality.
The “right” on the other hand incorporates exceptional-ism into their reality. All human being are equal except, the Muslims, Christians, Jews, Gays, Blacks, Poor, Barbarians ad infinitum. Depending on which right wing perspective, the exceptional-ism is two sides of the same coin. Our violence, privileged status should be ignored because we are the exceptionally better people. They can be denied human rights and privileges because they are exceptions not deserving the equality of humanity.
So I being a part of the “we” fucked up crowd, started looking back and thinking when did I start “fucking” up. Well first “fuck up” was when I was working in a company that created the databases that we now know are a part of the great surveillance machine which decided that the left was a threat to global security.
I read the project case for creating a database that would be able to store every call made over the network of this mobile company. It was a part of a voluntary agreement by the Telecommunication industry. It would make the private calls of individuals searchable by government agencies that needed this access for criminal investigations. This was before September 11th.
I read the business case to prepare for interview with the Program Manager. I wanted to get on the project because it was exciting, it was working with new technology and I would be learning new cutting edge stuff. I failed to bag the role, to be fair I was sh** at interview.
I remember thinking wow every call we make is kept for years and searchable. All of it. I remember it crossing my mind, wow this is juicy piece of info for a newspaper. What did I do? Nothing. I did not whistle blow. I did not put it in a left wing paper. I did not expose, or challenge the project and its legality. Nothing. I remember also thinking “Of course”, this is what governments do. I had normalized the event and no doubt if I got on the project I would have done my best to do a good job.
I fucked up. I remember even reading in the papers, that now the Soviet threat was over, the number one threat for domestic security was environmentalists and domestic political activists and Kurdish immigrants in the UK. Remember this was before September the 11th. I did not put two and two together. I did not foresee how this would become a systematic international campaign which strengthened the right and weakened the left to a dangerous degree.
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