By Stephen Boni
Source: Ghion Journal
In the opening to a piece published here on The Ghion Journal a few weeks ago, The Noir Detective, Julian Assange and What Comes Next, I mentioned how important the keeping of secrets is to empires (and most authoritarian societies, for that matter). I’d like to follow up on that today.
The people and institutions who own and operate the U.S.-centralized empire not only gain enormous wealth and privilege from doing so, they also get something even more intoxicating—for one, they hook into an enveloping energy that’s greater than themselves (a need shared by most human beings) and, for another, they enjoy a feeling of extraordinary power, a mastery over the world and the people in it.
It hardly matters that this feeling of control is an illusion because the feeling, however false, is so exhilarating that the fallout from it—nothing major, just the violent deaths of millions and the unraveling of eco-systems on which we depend for life—seems insignificant compared to the rush.
If you dare look through the eyes of the empire’s inner circle and see how much the imperium nourishes something deep and hungry and malignant within them, you can begin to understand how much they have to lose from the exposure of horrifying imperial secrets. That kind of exposure could lead enough citizens away from their current compliance with the status quo that the empire could crumble—and with it that glorious feeling of omnipotence savored by its most prominent players. The difference between these two potentialities, the extension of the status quo or empire’s dissolution, really does lie on a razor’s edge. There’s a reason, after all, why the words “omnipotence” and “impotence” are so terribly similar.
Fortunately for our shadow rulers, the darkest secrets of empire are extremely well concealed, and many of the ones that aren’t take both work and courage for regular people to seek out. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. Caitlin Johnstone already touched on the issue of secrets last week in one of her typically penetrating pieces of writing.
As upsetting as those hidden secrets are likely to be, and as helpless as many of us feel about our ability to master the complex games played to keep us away from those secrets, we need to be a lot more honest with ourselves. To make decisions about how to approach our citizenship, the bulk of what we need to know is already metaphorically basking in the sun, smack-dab in the middle of…