Snowden Has Become “Anti-Citizen One”

The latest development in the Edward Snowden saga is that three countries in south america have offered him political asylum. There is of course the question of how he will get there, but the very clever trick pulled by Russia and Bolivia earlier this week has made it very hard for the USA and other “western democracies” to stop him.

Some morons are already yammering about how the CIA might try to target him in South America, how “those” countries are shit-holes or wondering about what he will do for the next few decades. I have one quick answer to that.. Bradley Manning. The fate of Bradley Manning and other recent whistle-blowers who did not (or were not able to) escape the USA after leaking evidence of systematic wrongdoing is enough to convince any sane person that Snowden did the most rational thing. In any case, why should he care about the opinions of people who have no interest in actually helping him? Would you bother pleasing people who wanted to see you suffer?

Others have said something about how he has broken the “law”, how he should trust the american “legal” system or martyr himself like MLK. My suggestion is.. you go first. If you believe in the whole “nation of laws” and “fairness of legal systems” bullshit.. you are either retarded, brainwashed or just playing dumb. Furthermore, why should anyone martyr themselves for a bunch of retarded assholes? Has he not already sacrificed enough? What kind of moron will accept daily humiliations from the bully and yet question the methods of someone who is standing against the bully?

There is however an interesting, if little noticed, parallel of this story with events in a video game series – Half Life 2. The main protagonist in that game series and the prequel (Half-Life) is a physicist known as Dr. Gordon Freeman. As you can see below that character has more than a passing resemblance to Edward Snowden, something that has been previously noted on other blogs.

Gordon-Freeman-01

But the parallels between Snowden and Freeman run even deeper. The Freeman character just like Snowden did not start out as a person out to bring down the system. Infact the first few minutes of ‘Half Life’ shows him to be an otherwise unremarkable scientist at a secret government facility. He becomes what he ends up becoming the main character largely because of a combination of circumstances and events beyond his control, or G-man puts it at the beginning of ‘Half Life 2’- “the right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world.”

I find it fascinating that the society in ‘Half Life 2’ has more than a few parallels with the USA today, or more precisely where it is heading. It is a society where a few alien overlords and their immediate human collaborators (the ‘Combine’) enjoy unimaginable luxury and power. It is also a society where the rest of the population live on daily food doles in dilapidated buildings and constant surveillance. The only real jobs are in the police and security apparatus who have monthly quotas for beating, torture, harassment, SWAT-style raids and all the other spectacle accompanying such a system. Did I mention ubiquitous propaganda, surveillance drones and killer drones. In this dystopic society ‘well-behaved’ subjects are known as ‘citizens’ and those who rebel and join the underground are considered to be ‘anti-citizens’.

Anticitizen is a term used by the Combine to designate a person as a threat to their control. The Combine use the term ‘anti citizen’ because the behavior of Anticitizens is the opposite of that of citizens (or at least, the Combine’s definition of a citizen as a person under their rule who does not resist them). Each Anticitizen is given a number representing how dangerous they are to the Combine, and ranked in descending order.

As the story progresses in ‘Half Life 2’ Gordon Freeman ends up becoming “Anticitizen One” or the living being who poses the most danger to the Combine. But what danger does a physicist running around in high-tech hazard suit with a crowbar and a few other weapons pose to the Combine? What damage could he possibly do? His only allies in the beginning are a bunch of people in the underground, a few friendly aliens and the mysterious G-man. In contrast the Combine has all the military resources and equipment that you could want.

The answer to that question becomes clearer you play ‘Half Life 2’. To make a long story short, he becomes a symbol of the non-omnipotence of the Combine. The very fact that he manages to stay alive, out of the Combine’s clutches and keeps on damaging the system in increasingly public ways makes it increasingly harder for the Combine to keep the subdued rabble under control. His continued existence makes it increasingly harder for the Combine to make their ‘subjects’ keep on being good compliant slaves.. I mean ‘citizens’. The ‘subjects’ already know that they don’t have much left to lose and now they have an example of somebody who is defying the system and staying alive.

If you have followed the current events and read a few of my previous posts on Snowden, you know what I am talking about. The brouhaha over Snowden is more about what he represents than what he has leaked or will leak in the future. It is more about the damage to their image of omnipotence than about specific names, facts or figures. And that is why Snowden has effectively become “Anti-Citizen One”.

What do you think? Comments?

This entry was posted in Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism, Technology, Thoughts on Economics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Snowden Has Become “Anti-Citizen One”

  1. EvilOne says:

    Meh.. I prefer Serious Sam to Half Life.

  2. hans says:

    Beautiful.
    For now us “Anticitizens” are still ridiculed. But I think phase two is well on it´s way.

  3. Anon says:

    AD makes a blog post about getting laid and 86 people comment.
    AD makes a blog post concerning the loss of freedoms of the average citizen and 3 people so far have commented.

    • hans says:

      Bingo!
      Military experts are calling this “a hint”.

    • P Ray says:

      It’s not like governments can freely provide women that are erection-worthy,
      and neither can they stop meddling with private citizens …

    • looks reality says:

      Getting laid is the #1 incentive for men to be alive other than eating and breathing. For men who don’t get it (the majority of men who post on online forums/blogs), it is even a bigger concern and ocd-like fixation. Get real bro.

  4. P Ray says:

    And also about the loyalty of his girlfriend, from pmf of Shitty Advice:
    “Lindsay Mills’ new boyfriend Paul Horner told the BBC News earlier this month that Snowden couldn’t handle commitment. “He’s just using this whole whistleblower thing as an excuse. The truth is, Lindsay is a great girl and Snowden really blew it by leaving her,” Horner said.”
    is this real?

    wrote a letter 2 weeks ago about how she was “heartbroken”, “crushed”, “Sick, exhausted, and carrying the weight of the world,”, “As I type this on my tear-streaked keyboard I’m reflecting on all the faces that have graced my path”

    very honest i see. took her how long to find comfort, 24 hours? ::giggle::

  5. arbias says:

    If we accept this comparison I would say Snowden is in a far more favourable position than Freeman is in. Half Life 2 has complete dystopia. When I first played it (many years ago) the feeling I got was of hopelessness: I could do nothing really, just somehow try to find a way. I didnt even know who was on my side until the game progressed. With Snowden, I see a far prettier picture – not everyone thinks like the NSA or US government. In his position I would not feel hopeless.

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