To spy or not to spy––this must be the question, not simply “a.” For some of US now, who have reason to believe that their need to find out exceeds another’s right to privacy, let us agree to agree to spy on one another––agree to the necessity born of a persistent violation of our privacy by first rationalizing another’s (most likely an institution’s) right to know about us, until we accept the justification for this perpetual, persistent violation of our right to privacy, a right to control our information about us the way a woman insists, Rightfully, to want full ownership of her body. I know they are not identical; body and a body of data; however, they are not as distinct or mutually exclusive as the violators want us to believe. What is it about another’s right we are so willing to agree that institutions or government agencies have a right to, almost with impunity, as if there were no recourse for an individual, as if any assertion in counterpoint was in itself a violation of everyone’s freedom.
However, as voyeuristic as we have become–and the world is just a series of key holes, from one to another crouching like a humunculus with left or right eye peering . . . and thanks in part to Mr. Zuckerberg, we have other forms of voyeurism and exhibitionism. How can we not have spied or consider, seriously, spying on others, our neighbors, our family, our friends or social media friends? We have been moving in a direction that has placed us in a position where we can act more and more like the government, the administrators, the bureaucrats, and many of the people (having already sublimated their membership in the People for the safer and presumably more lucrative role as one of the State serving Public) in the former Soviet Union–it came to point where there was virtually no longer any ability from the People to assert, for themselves among themselves even, that a person had aright to privacy.
Social media is often used the way media was used under Stalinist rule, both in the Soviet Union and even more so in the satellite states of the Eastern Bloc, all too often to manipulate and control while giving everyone at least the artificial sense of being in communique, of being connected to something larger than one’s self––the State in place of god––media the messages no less than the pulpit of former churches. All too human this need to spy on another–this desire to ruin someone’s reputation? No? Let’s look more closely; irony intended.
Mr. Zuckerberg of Facebook has considered spying on the American people, and if you do think otherwise, then you are one of the fools who insists on legalistic documentation and evidence within a rational jurisprudence to govern what you do know in your gut––except, I do understand the difference between a court of law and a bar room discussion, something too many do not. Especially those who have confused something that should be left to rational jurispridentiality for the Crucible of not just Public opinion, but Public judgement, condemnation.
I do imagine that Zuckerberg must have considered doing so for a long time now, spying; that is, if we understand the weight of how much evidence points to how much contempt he had for partners, colleagues and friends, let alone the others he resented for their being too white bread or is it bred?
How can we imagine he did not know what he was doing or his company was doing or just what the effects of his information gathering were going to be–the NSA did not miss a beat, nor did he in jumping into bed with them. His endeavor with Facebook was hatched from a malignant egg, a contempt for the people on Harvard campus he was never going to look like or sound like or be like or have as friends. Finding their foibles and disseminating this information is an orgy of voyeurism is legitimate in the way pornographers claim they are not helping to denigrate women but merely serving as social need, the necessity being determined by the demand. This is also a lot like the rationale given by Nazis propagandists after the war. Yes, the ecstasy of communication is the pornography of our lives, of our personal information, of one witch trial after another in America’s love affair with Protestant Witch Trial Puritanism . . . you do know that the Protestants did burn more witches and conduct more Witch Trials than the Church.
Zuckerberg’s own geekiness being a version of Holden Caulfield’s seething resentment? Holden is the anti-hero of all fictional anti-heroes. Zuckerberg is in this hateful mold. You do miss a key point in The Catcher in the Rye if you read Holden as the hero of the book and not the sociopath he really is.
Zuckerberg spied on us for the NSA, and not by accident or happenstance or incidentally or under extremely dark and manipulative pressures from a malignant government agency–no. He chose to do what he did; he has been spying for the government, and no one really wants to guess how long, let alone find out. The media protects one of their darlings; the media protects its own. Whatever spin has spun since, let it not detract you from the facts of his spying. But the print and broadcast journalism, 90% of which is owned by 6 corporations, keeps him virtually in the shadows; he is a darling of theirs. As much a part of the Media Elite as George W. was one of the Oil Gangster Elite.
There are, though, too many of us who do not consider this seriously enough. The media does help divert attention away from one of their own being maligned. We continue to use his Facebook when we have the power to crash it and crush his worth. His company takes in only about 30M a year, yet he is valued at how many billions today? The number is no longer significant because it is fantasy. Why would the People exercise their power against power? We could easily affect the outrageous prices of beef by everyone deciding they were not going to eat beef; but we do not do that. We instead continue to buy beef at outrageously inflated prices and say to ourselves, That’s just the way it is. I could ask, Why would we formidably oppose his power and his monied influence in our society? We could all tomorrow close our Facebook pages to see what effect it would have, but we fear money in America the way peasants in Russia used to fear the Czar. We need to exert the weight of the People against the monied elite helping the state’s efforts at making us less free (that is, if to be free has gradations).
We cannot believe Mr. Zuckerberg is a fascist–and there are too many parallels between Mr Zuckerberg and the Industrialists and monied elites of Nazis Germany, both in his and their dance with state power and its agenda against the people; and the latter was true whether the German Indistrialists were actual Nazis or not. Zuckerberg is in line with supporting the government’s attempt at spying on the people; in fact, the NSA is using Zuckerberg to side-step the claims that it is in fact spying. If Zuckerberg freely gives information people have supplied to him, it cannot really be called spying, which makes Zuckerberg’s crime even more oily. But then, even helices of Obama deported more people than any other President in history; assassinated more people with his drone assassination campaign than any other President.
If I think more carefully, I can imagine President Obama singing the praises of Mr. Zuckerberg because the first and the last of Presidential allegiance is no longer to the People––you do recall President Kennedy’s Ask not what your country can do for you; you do remember Bill Clinton’s attacks on the New Deal and how he let the banks off the hook, repealing Glass-Steagall; you recall Bush II signing the heinously reactionary Patriot Act; you do recall Obama giving the banks bailouts and how he owed them big because they bought his presidency back in 2007 before he got elected; you recall the CEO of Chase giving President Obama a list of selections for the latter’s cabinet ministers, no? And Biden is even more of a bourgeois neo-liberal Friedmanesque globalizer than Reagan, Clinton or Obama.
There are, moreover, too many received ideas to the contrary that impede the conclusions we could draw. Fore mostly, Zuckerberg cannot be a fascist because he is a Jewish American, and everyone knows in our contemporary American received ideas, Jewish Americans cannot be fascists. Right? By turn of like reasoning, President Obama cannot be a stooge of reactionary Zionist factions among the monied and power elite in America and Israel because he’s African-American, and this relieves him of all suspicion for being a front for the monied-power elite. No, the President cannot be Wall Streets B#%$*; and W. was not the Oil Gangsters’s baby. Because Obama is African American, we can delude ourselves into believing he has nothing in common with W. Now, because Zuckerberg is Jewish American, he must be of the eternal left, a righteous liberal who stands up for democracy and freedom because anyone from a people who have suffered the horrors of the Nazis and the Holocaust can only be a champion of freedom; no one who suffers oppression ever adopts the methods and manners of his oppressors, no. But then, we continue to talk race and only race when we discuss power in America, to complete exclusion of class and class warfare and the dynamics of Power that exist in a society––in ours––that are incidental to race but use race as a convenience toward maintnaing power, perhaps as a means of dividing the poor long lines of race where race remains sore and more sensational––the one-sided discussion or outrage concerning race and not Power in itself Power is a by-product of many factors, but not so many that they cannot be delineated. Most socio-political discussion of America, in America, by Americans has suffered from the exceptionalism and isolationism that exists in the many POVs that the society at large seems intent on perpetuating decade after decade into a few centuries already.
We have seen from history how formerly oppressed people have always avoided becoming oppressors themselves, right? We have no incidence of this historically, geo-politically anywhere where America has hegemony or influence; we have seen nowhere in the world where the rhetoric and the postures of the oppressors have been adopted by the formerly oppressed. We have no understanding of this psychologically, right? There is a resounding, Wrong! echoing in my skull, Alas! Poor citizen, I once knew you.
We cannot accept that Obama and W are flip sides of a singularly minted political coin, anymore than we can see that Zuckerberg has a lot in common socially with Goebbels. (And I am not engaging in hyperbole.) Policy differences often only mask the politically and ideologically paradigmatic sameness they share. We are unwilling to accept Zuckerberg has more in common with Goebbels than he does Jefferson or Madison, at least until he got caught and had to back track. But we will have to wait and see where he goes after this, what he decides or what decisions he manifests in policy and action. But then we also cannot accept that for every 100 African-Americans murdered annually, approximately 93 to 95 of them are murdered by African Americans, and for every 100 white people murdered annually, approximately 80 to 82 of them are murdered by white people; which means, 18 to 20% of white people are murdered by people of color, and about 5 to 7% of black people are murdered by non-black. Non-white includes black; non-black includes white, neither one entirely. Yet, our media pounds the idea into our heads that we are an endemically racist society because it serves a Machiavellian end toward the reinforcement of power for power by power.
The received ideas we live by that lie to us and lie in us every day that allow us to imagine we think about politics clearly, and answer the questions that arise directly, are all part of the veil of delusion we collectively wear. Psychosis can affect a nation as we have seen manifested time and again throughout the 20th century. But parroting our received ideas, themselves given false weight by one or another media, particularly social media–this is all we are able to do. Yes, this is what we do best.
We, of course, continue to wonder why we are not free, why our liberties are disappearing–or do we wonder these at all? When the Holden Caulfield-like geeks come to power–beware! Do not imagine that many of the Nazis were not misfit resenters in Germany prior to the rise of the Nazis; also do not conclude that many of the Nazis were not everyday Germans or sometimes Germans of excellence and brilliance. Do we not see how Caulfield was born of the horrors of the world subsumed by the Nazis and other totalitarianisms? Caulfield’s rhetoric is a rhetoric of hate, contempt, resentment and the desire for tortuous revenge. Caulfield would have been a perfect Nazis Youth. How do you think the Nazis managed youthful rebellion? Nazis Youth.
Caulfield also manages to articulate the rhetoric of the serial killer–what then were the camps of the Nazis. How to manage your psychopaths?
The organs of the media that should be protecting our freedoms are the organs enlisted by the state to undermine them and the People’s right to them. Facebook is adjunct to the NSA . . . no? It is not? I watch sycophantic talking heads on TV gushing in some common cacophony over the likes of Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates, themselves grossly overpaid . . . but then, who am I? All of this is just sour grapes, and there are no reasons to be upset, or angry, over the margins of greed that we take for granted.
Of course Zuckerberg is entitled to a worth grossly exaggerated from what his company actually brings in every year. He seems also to be entitled to being Chief spy in America, an enemy of the People. I hold that truth to be virtually self-evident. When fascism comes to America it will be American, and no one will fill the newly designed role of the neo-Goebbels better than Mark Zuckerberg.
Nonetheless, I over react, right? I am paranoid, surely, no? I won’t waste time trying to prove otherwise. I have a lot more to say and will continue to say it for as long as I can–for as long as I am allowed to continue. I do not doubt that the likes of Zuckerberg would malign me and cut off my ability to express myself in the essay form here on line more quickly than the Nazis attacked the Catholic Presses in Bavaria principally and greater Germany too, even before Krystal Nacht.