I wont tell you who Julian Assange is. Also, not what he did. You can view all that information cropped up here, for everyone to see and edit. I will tell you why he is the Epigram Magazine Person of the Year. And why he deserves to be so.
It has been tough to raise your head against the general direction of the crowd since ever. We have seen powerful empires rise and fall in the bloody history of mankind. Some say we are witnessing the rise of another empire, a clandestine one. There are powers who bully smaller nations around. These smaller, weaker nations happen to be rich in natural resources but are not allowed to sell those at just rates because that is not what the Goliaths like. And holy cow, that is what the global power play is all about. Welcome Economic Hitmen.
We thus discuss how the world operates. We thus understand what we live through. Spirit of the time lives through us all, at times in disguise and at times in open rebellion. Sometimes we recognize it and sometimes we ignore how deep it runs and what it means. Julian Assange is one person who has let it be the driving force within him.
Idolising him is not what we are going to do. Instead, it is a wake-up call for each one of us to think again and re-define our life. What do we live for and why do we do all things we do? To earn a living i.e. Money? But it is just a product of the monetary system, nothing beyond that for sure. And we can see for ourselves that it is not working. Rich are getting richer and poor are either dying or getting poorer.
What then? To be respected among a society and be independent? Do we do what we do to be free? What is freedom? If we have a job, we are controlled by our bosses. Our sweat makes them richer. This is often termed as ‘paid slavery’. It is a by product of the monetary system. If we are self-employed, we’re often bound by rules of the society.
Do we enjoy all those freedoms our constitutions have promised us? All these questions can be discarded quite easily by people who claim to be ‘practical’ and ‘successful’. But the truth is, they refuse to look beyond a bubble they have created. And they are willing to die within the same bubble. Pathetic.
Coming back to Assange, WikiLeaks and whatever storms the leaked cables have created. Does it surprise you to find out that so many secrets were being kept from public? Why did the world need WikiLeaks to expose the world governments? Because there are things which leaders feel the public is not supposed to know. That is understandable though.
Julian Assange, editor-in-chief and spokesperson of WikiLeaks, personifies the Zeitgeist. He, with his organization, ripped off the veils covering diplomatic cables and the world stood naked for a moment or so. Let us ignore the damage-control machinery which took over immediately.
WikiLeaks showed us there is much to hide and the world might not function smoothly if all nations and corporations are frank in their communications. Also, lack of transparency is essential in the functioning of the current world system. Unless we are ready to fight for peace, transparency and universal love; This might just go on forever.
Wikileaks ripped off the veils and stood silent. It said nothing but just stood defiant in its motive to unveil as many cables as it could. For its motive is not to change. Its motive is to let the world know. And then the world can do what it sees fit.
And now it is time for the world to understand what is truly beneficial. Are the governments and their current policies aimed at uniting humans or dividing them? Do we need to rethink the rules that we live under? Surely they can be changed. Humans who never knew Facebook wrote them! We can write better ones!
Time has come for a change. The world is not what it should be. Dissolving borders and living together must not be a Utopian concept. Nothing stands the test of time. New ideas should be encouraged. And people should be open to what they feel. Authorities might be wrong and the village idiot (who has been termed so by you, people) might be the most logical person around. Remember Socrates. Remember Galileo. And remember the human who first said that the earth is round. They had the Zeitgeist in them.
Assange has been arrested and will have to go through some nasty things before he is released.
Let us hope he is. For he stands for the spirit of our time.
And Epigram Magazine is in awe of the Zeitgeist in him.
[Was first published in The Blue Issue: Epigram Magazine]