In the WikiRebels (previous post), an excellent documentary on Wikileaks and Julian Assange, an interesting figure has called my attention: Christian Whiton. Not because he is brilliant, or particularly original, quite for the opposite. He happens to represent what’s wrong with our current system: “we, the citizens, do not need to know what elites governing our societies are doing with our resources, and sometimes with our lives, to defend the so-called ‘national interest’”.
So according to what this person represents, “elites” (aka “a few people using their power on us”) are legitimated to hide from us what they do for the sake of a supposed national ethos they represent. We have no right to know they participation, either by knowing, permitting or even using, in Shell’s control of Nigeria. We have no right to know that Pfizer ‘used dirty tricks to avoid clinical trial payout‘ in Nigeria. We have no right to know that public officials, aka diplomats, work basically for the interests of big (and wealthy) private companies (e.g. Visa and Mastercard) with taxpayer’s money.
No, we don’t have this right, because they work for the national interest. The same national interest that has bailed out for millions and millions the financial crooks that live in the top of the tall buildings overlooking us. The same national interest that is pushing more and more people into marginalisation by cutting social expenditure, increasing indirect taxation and reducing corporate taxes. The same national interest that brought us to a deadly invasion (Iraq), a lost war (Afghanistan) and protects trade of weapons that kill innocent people by the thousands every day.