The immortal words of Charlie Chaplin's final speech in The Great Dictator are revisited on this 11.11.11.inverted palindrome of a Veterans Day, by the enigma of our age, Anonymous.
The Night of A Thousand Masks Flood the Streets
Anonymous is a concept that's hard to wrap your mind around. Leaderless organizations must an anathema for an orderly hierarchy to be sustainable. The popular convention holds we must choose leaders to get things accomplished, so we ask which gems should we be stuck with. We don't reflexively think of a leaderless alternative and ask, must we have leadership to accomplish this job?
That's not meant to begin exploring merits of political reform though the OccupyWallStreet General Assembly model has come remarkably close as a prototype, just as an observation of how our conditioned thought process automatically excludes alternatives that may be viable.
What these cultural phenomena have in common is, they force us to rethink how we think, about what constitutes power and what power resides in a collective of hearts and hands working in harmony. Not everyone gets the warm fuzzies from the Anonymous harmonies.
In an effort to impose limits on our access to information Anonymous is an easy target to villify in corporate media plus wonderful political fodder for more cybersecurity. I've put the original Chaplin version here, which is interesting to compare both for what our own reactions tell us about how a message is framed and what we hear based on our relationship to the messenger.
Charlie Chaplin ~ The Great Dictator ~ Final Speech
It is also a stark reminder of the McCarthy blacklists and the same Bankster Cabal targeting sources that expose. Chaplin was an enemy of America, much like Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and so many Anonymous like them.
It's probably natural to have some mention of Anonymous, their collective cyber powers, makes most computer users less anxious to be involved than NYC subway commuters at rush hour. Again we think of the threat with the name as opposed to having worry for so many we are blissfully unaware of.
Something will eventually go wrong, but it's very seldom anything we worried about, instead an event catches us by surprise and we marvel that something we hadn't thought of happened instead! While it's true there's nothing worse for my computer's suffering than to belong to me, the more important idea we should look for in this collective of leaderless brainpower is not what risk it may pose to us as individuals, but what as anonymous individuals we risk without Legions to facilitate a new way forward, without growing centralized power. Srsly, <3 #Anonymous!
To know more about Anonymous choose sources carefully, Wired has a fab piece Anonymous 101: Introduction to the Lulz by Quinn Norton