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Transparency fighters and the rejection of authority

Monday, December 20, 2010


What do whistleblowers, transparency fighters, file sharing activists and defectors have in common? They may all possess the same personality trait: a rejection of authority. According to Esther Dyson in project syndicate:



But you probably need to be a bit weird and callous to devote your life to transparency for others. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the imprisoned ex-CEO of what was Russia's largest oil company, is another example of a flawed, uncompromising person who challenged the flawed people in power and their unaccountability. Such people do not die for our sins; Rather, they sin on our behalf, so that we may live comfortably while they afflict the authorities at great personal risk and in disregard of (authorities' interpretation of) the law and sometimes even ethics.

Information is always used to impose and safeguard an established authority. Because knowledge is power, only the priest are allowed to read the scriptures. This is evident in the ancient Mayan civilization who restricts the ability of reading and writing into a small circle of elite class. The spread of the printing press in the European history allows the Bible to be studied by commoners and along with Luther’s writings, paves the way to protestanism, ending the Catholic church monopoly to human salvation in the Christian world. 
Within the psyche of these leakers – whistleblowers, journalists, spies-- whatever you wish to call them, is the hidden desire to achieve some sort of equilibrium and a resentment to authority. These people are anarchists.