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WikiLeaks - a force to undermine democracy? Watch

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    (Original post by bigmo7)

    The Saudi government didn't say this. The Saudi royalty said this...it most likely won't have any implications on their government.
    Saudi Royalty and Government are the same thing. They might try to give the impression of both being separate.
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    (Original post by jumpingjesusholycow)
    Why would it lead to ineffective government?

    As far as I'm concerned, a more enlightened electorate makes for a more democratic decision.
    Only if they make the decision in the first place - which the electorate doesn't (in the cases discussed). The gov't makes the decision regardless so how is it more democratic if the voters know anything? Do you put democratic decisions above making "good" decisions? Unless what u mean by enlightened is having a sophisticated knowledge of the art of diplomacy and warfare then decisions will not be "better". Enlightened as in knowing the classified things going on behind the scene then the electorate knowing could result in the decion becoming irrelevent i.e in the NK example i said 2 posts ago.

    By democratic you mean that everyone has an informed say and the majority wins. i suppose this is true in terms of general elections in which the voters know more about what the gov't actually did.
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    if governments and officials kept their mouths shut rather than trying to cause trouble in the world e.g. saudi royalty asking to attack Iran etc then none of this would be a problem
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    (Original post by TheRevolution)
    Only if they make the decision in the first place - which the electorate doesn't (in the cases discussed). The gov't makes the decision regardless so how is it more democratic if the voters know anything? Do you put democratic decisions above making "good" decisions? Unless what u mean by enlightened is having a sophisticated knowledge of the art of diplomacy and warfare then decisions will not be "better". Enlightened as in knowing the classified things going on behind the scene then the electorate knowing could result in the decion becoming irrelevent i.e in the NK example i said 2 posts ago.

    By democratic you mean that everyone has an informed say and the majority wins. i suppose this is true in terms of general elections in which the voters know more about what the gov't actually did.
    Truth and Justice are the two tenets that I base my political and philosophical beliefs on. Wikileaks upholds those tenets and the idea that you can dupe the people that put this governments in power is not only wholly abhorent, but undemocratic and a display of sheer fascism.
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    I personally think that democracy is an absolute farce and that the freedom of speech is more important than it is.

    Good on wikileaks for having the courage to step up to governments, although I doubt it will last much longer without them being executed/imprisoned for proofless rape allegations.
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    (Original post by TheRevolution)
    Some people seem to encourage the justice in exposing the secrets and challenging the authority of our establishment - but isn't this a threat to democracy?

    The people that do encourage this must believe that a utopia could exist where governments tell the people everything that goes on and the concept of behind the scenes negotiations and deals is eradicated. I don't think this is actually possible, and that secrecy is a charachteristic of any kind of state - democracy or disctatorship.

    There is a risk that such exposes will undermine public confidence and lead to something like anarchy or at least a state where the authority of government officials is very low and their ability to carry out efficient operations would be severley damaged. The stuff about the Saudis encouraging the USA to bomb Iran behind closed doors just plays into Ahmadinejad's hands and his wish to make Iran go nuclear. Also, what implications will this have on the Saudi government's ability to run their country effectivley?

    On the stuff about foul play in Iraq/Afganistan some months back - mistakes happen and prejudists exist among soldiers (no offense to the brilliance of the majority of soldiers, but some of them are from the lower ranks of society). Perhaps this has exposed the Coalition's peoples to the realities of war and will make them less supportive of their governments' future plans to continue or initiate/intervene in another conflict one day (who knows it might be one that is a matter of immediate national security).

    What makes matters worse is that the technology exists to make this possible without anonymity, so the supply of this is likely to increase and or remain healthy whatever happens to Assange and WikiLeaks.

    I think this is just an example of how the media in general has got too big for its boots. It already has, I think, sufficient if not excessive power to influence government but its ability to infiltrae the most private and confidential matters of government responsibility is a bit too far.

    Probably nothing we can do about it though, what do you guys think?

    Edit: An article for those interested, "Missing the point of WikiLeaks" from the Economist - http://www.economist.com/blogs/democ.../after_secrets
    Remember that political leaders are elected to be servants of the population. If we knew they were going to tell the truth all the time, there would be no problem
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    challenging the establishment is a threat to democracy? i thought the converse was true, and no challenge to the establishment was a threat to democracy.
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    challenging the government and hold it to account is not undemocratic.

    These leaks (even though they are not as revealing has hoped) gives the people a better insight in what our current government is doing. Thus, make it possible to vote them out if we dont like their conducts.

    That my friend, is true democracy! :P
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    How is it undermining democracy. If anything, it's giving us the truth about everything, which is needed. It's nice to know what the US government (and the others) really think.
    I think it's excellent.
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    Problem with Wikileaks is that they have gone from a force against all governments and corporations to focusing purely on the US, no other country.
    That's because America are the masters of capital and therefore the greatest exploiters of cheap sources of labour, human rights and the environment in the world.

    (Original post by TheRevolution)
    Some people seem to encourage the justice in exposing the secrets and challenging the authority of our establishment - but isn't this a threat to democracy?

    The people that do encourage this must believe that a utopia could exist where governments tell the people everything that goes on and the concept of behind the scenes negotiations and deals is eradicated. I don't think this is actually possible, and that secrecy is a charachteristic of any kind of state - democracy or disctatorship.

    There is a risk that such exposes will undermine public confidence and lead to something like anarchy or at least a state where the authority of government officials is very low and their ability to carry out efficient operations would be severley damaged. The stuff about the Saudis encouraging the USA to bomb Iran behind closed doors just plays into Ahmadinejad's hands and his wish to make Iran go nuclear. Also, what implications will this have on the Saudi government's ability to run their country effectivley?

    On the stuff about foul play in Iraq/Afganistan some months back - mistakes happen and prejudists exist among soldiers (no offense to the brilliance of the majority of soldiers, but some of them are from the lower ranks of society). Perhaps this has exposed the Coalition's peoples to the realities of war and will make them less supportive of their governments' future plans to continue or initiate/intervene in another conflict one day (who knows it might be one that is a matter of immediate national security).

    What makes matters worse is that the technology exists to make this possible without anonymity, so the supply of this is likely to increase and or remain healthy whatever happens to Assange and WikiLeaks.

    I think this is just an example of how the media in general has got too big for its boots. It already has, I think, sufficient if not excessive power to influence government but its ability to infiltrae the most private and confidential matters of government responsibility is a bit too far.

    Probably nothing we can do about it though, what do you guys think?

    Edit: An article for those interested, "Missing the point of WikiLeaks" from the Economist - http://www.economist.com/blogs/democ.../after_secrets
    Oh, oh, anarchy, oh the injustice!

    Seriously, it will take more than a few WikiLeaks to bring about anarchy (though you have not explained why you think such a system will be "ineffective").

    I don't want the Government to take sneaky backhanders from crooked corporations. I don't want corporations like Shell to carry on getting away with polluting Nigeria. I don't want MPs to carry on claiming expenses on just about every small thing you could imagine. So to WikiLeaks: keep up the good work, I say. The bourgeois media are never going to expose their many, many failings. You would clearly just prefer to carry on living in a world where you can wrap yourself up in cotton wool, bury your face in the sand and wear ear plugs. Do you not ever get sick of the propaganda that covers up the thousands of injustices of capitalism?

    And as for anarchy: bring it on!
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    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
    Oh, oh, anarchy, oh the injustice!

    Seriously, it will take more than a few WikiLeaks to bring about anarchy (though you have not explained why you think such a system will be "ineffective").

    I don't want the Government to take sneaky backhanders from crooked corporations. I don't want corporations like Shell to carry on getting away with polluting Nigeria. I don't want MPs to carry on claiming expenses on just about every small thing you could imagine. So to WikiLeaks: keep up the good work, I say. The bourgeois media are never going to expose their many, many failings. You would clearly just prefer to carry on living in a world where you can wrap yourself up in cotton wool, bury your face in the sand and wear ear plugs. Do you not ever get sick of the propaganda that covers up the thousands of injustices of capitalism?

    And as for anarchy: bring it on!
    How did you post relate to what I said?:confused:
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    Problem with Wikileaks is that they have gone from a force against all governments and corporations to focusing purely on the US, no other country.
    Can't believe people haven't responded to this.. have you seen the stuff they've posted? On their website they have (used to have, as they're down due to the attacks, so called free press eh) loads of stuff on almost every country, not specifically their powers in charge but on the dealings of groups in those countries too.
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    How did you post relate to what I said?:confused:
    I meant to respond to it but I forgot to, sorry. See edit.
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    (Original post by AndroidLight)
    Can't believe people haven't responded to this.. have you seen the stuff they've posted? On their website they have (used to have, as they're down due to the attacks, so called free press eh) loads of stuff on almost every country, not specifically their powers in charge but on the dealings of groups in those countries too.

    But those are just the diplomatic cabels. All the stuff on wikileaks is now just aimed at the USA.

    They used to have loads but much of that seems to have gone now
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    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
    I meant to respond to it but I forgot to, sorry. See edit.
    But Wikileaks seems to be aimed at all governments they lose a bit of credability if they only target the US
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      (Original post by TheRevolution)
      WikiLeaks - a force to undermine democracy?
      Not saying I agree or disagree with wikileaks, but your thesis itself is wrong: a well-informed electorate is more democratic than an ill-informed one. Whether or not information leads to self-destruction is another question, unrelated to wikileaks.
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      (Original post by TheRevolution)
      What you call "corruption" is what I call the healthy level of privacy that exists in any stable democracy.

      Where exactly would you draw the line between what the press can and can't know?
      Nowhere. The bigger the body, the greater its transparency.
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      I'd say it's a triumph for democracy, more than anything, ableit feasibly precipitating more threats to national security...
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      (Original post by bigmo7)
      The Saudi government didn't say this. The Saudi royalty said this...it most likely won't have any implications on their government.
      Would just like to add that while the Saudi royal family did say this the actual government called for caution when dealing with Iran or something to that effect. They didn't explicitly state that the US should not get involved with Iran quite the opposite actually.

      Unless something mind blowing is released soon this whole cable-gate leak will do nothing but undermine and endanger international relations and certain people. I mean all it's done so far is aid Israel's cause (something evil and terrible if you ask the typical TSR user), make the US look less terrible and demonize Iran further. How is this a victory?

      JAnthony
      Julian.
      I am a former British diplomat. In the course of my former duties I helped to coordinate multilateral action against a brutal regime in the Balkans, impose sanctions on a renegade state threatening ethnic cleansing, and negotiate a debt relief programme for an impoverished nation. None of this would have been possible without the security and secrecy of diplomatic correspondence, and the protection of that correspondence from publication under the laws of the UK and many other liberal and democratic states. An embassy which cannot securely offer advice or pass messages back to London is an embassy which cannot operate. Diplomacy cannot operate without discretion and the
      protection of sources. This applies to the UK and the UN as much as the US.
      In publishing this massive volume of correspondence, Wikileaks is not highlighting specific cases of wrongdoing but undermining the entire process of diplomacy. If you can publish US cables then you can publish UK telegrams and UN emails.
      My question to you is: why should we not hold you personally responsible when next an international crisis goes unresolved because diplomats cannot function.
      Needless to say Assange didn't answer this question and instead chose to comment on the length of it even though it says at the bottom "My question to you is". He also answered similar length questions further down in the Q and A.

      Again... Unless there's some sort of HUGE revelation then this particular leak is terrible and will do more harm than good.
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      (Original post by TheRevolution)
      I disagree.

      If WikiLeaks is used properly there will still be some secrets; perhaps ones that will be released when it is safe to do so (not politically but in terms of national security). WikiLeaks should have access but as long as it doesn't get to a level that is extremly dangerous. Assange himself said he's balancing the leaks with the effects it will have on soldiers lives in Afganistan. I'm not sure whether i feel that he has no right playing God and balancing the lives of soldiers as he has no authority to do that or whether the ends justify the means.

      Double dealing is somethimes necessary to national security as are Government's having secrets. look at my example in my previous post.
      You are under the (very mistaken) impression that the Governments are in place to serve the populace. "National Security" in all it's synonymy is just a cover to veil the vested interests of the ruling circles.

      What you are advocating is keeping the masses deliberately misinformed so that they persist in a state of infrangible apathy. Quiet antithetical to your username. How is that Democracy? What is your definition of a Democracy?

      What you call "corruption" is what I call the healthy level of privacy that exists in any stable democracy.
      The "corruption" remark is based on the actual doings of the Governments, the"healthy level of privacy" is what is being used to hide it. If you can understand the difference?
     
     
     
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