SPECIAL REPORT: BRADLEY MANNING, WIKILEAKS AND THE CASE FOR ANARCHISM

On June 4th, 2011, the Center for a Stateless Society released a special report — “Bradley Manning, Wikileaks and the Case for Anarchism” by C4SS Director Brad Spangler.

Excerpt: Just over one year ago, US Army PFC Bradley Manning was arrested in Iraq on suspicion of having passed restricted information to WikiLeaks — an international website dedicated to protecting the privacy of whistleblowers. He is currently imprisoned in a U.S. Army prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. If the facts of the charges against him are not true, an innocent man has already suffered a great deal from unjust imprisonment. If the facts of the charges against him are true, though, Manning would best be seen as a heroic whistleblower enduring political prosecution under mere color of law for sake of exposing government wrongdoing. Anyone with an interest in government-accountability and the “rule of law”, as the term is correctly understood, has an interest in Manning’s case and speaking up on his behalf, regardless of their personal political point of view. The Manning case and, more broadly, Wikileaks has a special importance for anarchists, though. The word “anarchism” may have some scary associations for some people, but it ought not to. It comes from roots that simply mean “no rulers”. An anarchist opposes arbitrarily-imposed political authority. Instead, anarchists propose not chaos but a fully consensual social order with law emerging through binding agreements and neutral arbitration of disputes instead of being imposed in a top-down manner. The modern political nation-state exercises a monopoly of law. Like all monopolies, economics dictates that it will have a strong tendency to be expensive, abusive and provide low-quality services. To abolish a monopoly is to open up peaceful competition. In order for such competition to emerge, a basic legal framework has to come about for settling disputes between service providers peacefully, comparable to international law today. When you look closely at the Bradley Manning case, Wikileaks and the rise of their defenders such as the hacktivist group Anonymous, you can see the beginnings of the process by which that framework can emerge. By peacefully fighting for government accountability, people make the exercise of arbitrary authority progressively more and more difficult. That is the anarchist project. Welcome to the revolution …

The full report is available here for download (pdf):
http://c4ss.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/bradleymanningspecialreport.pdf

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