NYT praises Edward Snowden, calls for clemency

I think I’ve developed the ultimate in cynical reactions to all this. Check me out.

We don’t expect our governments to refrain from spying on us 24/7. We know that if this is possible, it will happen.

But we do expect them to have the decency to pretend it’s not happening.

What’s horrible about China is the fact that not only do they not deny it - they blatantly, brazenly trumpet it, proud of their distinctive approach. Google the word “democracy” and the police will come and take you away. Yeah, so what? That’s we do things in China. Get lost if you don’t like it. We in China enjoy the feeling of being much less powerful than our government.

Whereas in the West we’d prefer not to have our noses rubbed in it all the time. This is Snowden’s error: thinking that we’d be (a) that surprised or (b) grateful for the reminder.

If Obama “shuts down” these activities, I think we can all realistically assume that the very same activities will continue, but under more carefully controlled secrecy. Just how we like it.

The New York Times stands in the same relation to the U.S. ruling class as Pravda did to the Soviet ruling class. Thus we cannot say it gets things things ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, either as to facts or theory, but only that it conveys messages between different ruling-class layers. Serving only power, the Times can tell us nothing about actual facts or moral right and wrong, but it can give us clues about the concerns of its masters. In this case, I think the present suggestion of clemency for Snowden indicates that the ruling class is seriously worried about keeping the lower layers of the hierarchy in line, especially in light of the failing economy, by appearing to be ‘reasonable’, especially to those technicians in the same approximate service layer as Snowden.

However, other interpretations are certainly possible, such as that the suggestion is a fake designed to lower Snowden’s guard, or to divide and diffuse the growing resistance to the government’s totalitarian surveillance among the lower orders at large.

In general, a kind of Kremlinology must be applied, since our lords and masters are certainly not going to tell us anything true unless it serves some immediate purpose.

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