The Elites Vs Snowden
One of the most peculiar, but overlooked, criticism of Snowden by mainstream ‘pundits’ and ‘experts’ goes something like this:
He is just a guy who did not complete high school or attend university and does not know what he is doing.
OK.. Let us take this criticism at its face value and see the logical consequences of each resultant scenario based on what has occurred to date.
1. Let us assume that not finishing high school or attending university is a marker of below-average intelligence or capability, adjusted for occupation.
So how could such a dumb guy get hired by the CIA, NSA and all those private contractors who worked for them? Snowden had absolutely no trouble finding a sequence of well-paying jobs requiring high-level security clearance. It also seems that his supervisors in every IT job he ever had never said or wrote anything negative about him. Does that not strike you as rather odd if we assume that he was borderline incompetent?
So either he was very competent or the recruitment system at the CIA, NSA and their numerous private contractors is broken. Take your pick..
2. Moving on to the second possibility, namely that he might be good at what he does but does not understand the “larger” implications of his disclosures?
So what exactly are the “larger” implications of his disclosures? What did he leak about anyway? Did he leak a list of people employed by the NSA or CIA? Did he leak the addresses of people employed by these organisations? Did he leak the names of their kids or spouses? Did he leak their credit card numbers? Did he disclose information about targeting the military infrastructure of its “enemies” or “friends”? Did he leak the technical details about the methods used by the NSA?
He simply leaked general internal documents and information about the NSA and its partners in other ‘anglo-saxon’ countries spying on everybody in the world- including their own citizens. He exposed the utter hypocrisy and duplicity of ‘anglo-saxon’ elites towards other countries and even their own citizens.
And let us be clear about one more thing, Snowden was perfectly aware of the very large impact of his revelations. He was also quite aware of the fate of past whistle-blowers and the amount of effort the american system would spend on hunting him down. The very fact that he chose to hide in Hong Kong instead of a European country or mainland China also shows that he understands the constraints and limits of american power far better than the ‘ivy league’ and ‘oxbridge’ types.
And this brings us to what I think is the real reason behind the fury of ‘elites’ at his real-world impact versus his formal educational achievements.
Higher education in the USA and many other developed countries is not about improving your mind. It is about whetting people based on their ability to jump useless hoops and demonstrate their loyalty to people who detest, abuse and exploit them. It is about finding people who are spineless, malleable, timid, conformist and yet retain a modicum of intellectual ability. It is about finding marginally clever slaves who are willing to betray each other and work themselves to death to gain the approval of their masters.
So far, it appears that Snowden did not turn out to be that type of slave.
What do you think? Comments?