This post is also available in: French
Glasnost means transparency. Gorbachev promoted it in order to lift the veil of secrecy that pervaded the old Soviet Union. The result was the collapse of the system. Some comparisons may be in order.
A little story by the Argentinean thinker Silo, 1969, by way of introduction
“… Once upon a time there was a very powerful man who had many sheep. In order to prevent their escape he built up a fence. However, some broke out of their prison and managed to escape. To avoid this, the man brought powerful dogs that guarded the sheep night and day.
Nevertheless, some could still flee and others were killed by the guard dogs ruining their meat and skin with ferocious teeth. Excited by this, they entered the flock continuing the slaughter.
The powerful man saw that the fence was too weak to contain the sheep and the guard dogs too dangerous.
Then he went in search for a magician who persuaded the sheep to sleep and made them dream that they were free. Upon waking up they continued to believe that they acted voluntarily and no longer wished to leave their master.
Thus, the powerful man withdrew the fence and the guard dogs, and continued to take the sheep at his convenience when he needed meat and skin.
The sheep is the human spirit; the mighty man represents those who want to manipulate it. The fence, the dogs and the magician, are the assistants of the oppressors.
Fencing is to separate the spirit from the world by ignorance. Surrounding it with guards is to keep it docile through violence and force, instilling fear. Finally, making it sleep is to degrade the spirit by persuasion and beautiful falsehoods.
Over time three forms of killing the spirit have been used.
Ignorance and fear are not powerful enough to contain the impulses towards freedom. Moreover, an ignorant and fearful person is not as useful to the oppressor as those who have been conditioned and therefore do not need violence applied to them because they agree with infamy.
When someone does not need fences or guards and is contented with the falsity of their life it is because their spirit is dead.
Some people sell their inner freedom as to achieve security and material welfare. They see themselves as free because they do not want another life and find insulting those who speak of the need of awakening.
When people sleep in this way they collaborate with oppression and produce for the oppressor. They are considered “useful” to the State’s interests that simultaneously meekly serve an empire…”
Information is power, but above all information is awakening
The great Hypnosis of the system: celebrity worship, i-techno toys and the illusion of choice, no more than the power to arrange the deckchairs in the Titanic. But if the Soviet Glasnost was intentional, a huge amount of information is being released within the other side, the West, the Capitalist (subspecies Neoliberal) system by whistleblowers (Snowden, Manning, Assange), specialists in economy, politicians, bloggers, scientists, etc, etc, etc, and echoed ad infinitum by social and alternative Media.
Now we know how the Banks steal from us, how money is created as debt, fuelling concentration and poverty, how speculation caused the crash (and will do it again), how tax havens hide the wealth that could save lives and countries.
We know about drones, collateral damage, depleted uranium, the lies about Iraq WMD, doubts about the twin towers, conspiracy theories falling short of the real conspiracies when records are released and replicated through the internet in minute details.
We know about the risks of fracking and who is protesting, we know about Chernobyl and Fukushima, the fish carrying its caesium to California. After we knew about Mad Cow it became impossible to sneak in Genetically Modified stuff. Knowing about Iraq is making it more difficult to sneak in an attack on Syria. Oil spills, and their unspeakable damage are visible, knowable and questionable. The same goes for the sexual excesses of the macho politicians.
We feel closer to all others on Earth because of the risks we face together: nuclear holocaust, climate change and economic collapse. Also because the new sensibility is also planetary, we find people working for nonviolence and the well being of all human beings in every corner of the world, and we can communicate.
During the M Thatcher government Spitting Image, a comedy TV show referred to telephone hacking with the Prime Minister stating “Nobody can say this is a government that does not listen to its people”. Today the scandal of hacking by Corporate Media and international spying on ordinary people by Security Agencies would leave her dribbling with envy. And we know all about it!
This is unintentional glasnost, the hidden motivations are made transparent, and nobody believes the politicians or the media anymore.
Ordinary people are disgusted by the dehumanised speech of the tycoon who blames the poor for being “lazy”, or the proud racist who is selling neo-fascism as a respectable alternative and a way out of the crisis.
When people have information they do unexpected things, they stop being sheep directed by propaganda. In Latin America people are starting to vote for alternative governments, those who are seeking a different model to the “only possible” we have today. Springs, Occupy, the indignados and indignée, they are all seeking alternative forms, economic, psychological, in human relationships, spiritual. They cannot be dismissed for lack of success in the face of huge opposing forces, as systems change when a critical mass is reached, not before, but they do change.
The new sensibility of the world that is being born is nonviolent, strives for equal opportunities and equal rights, for knowledge beyond dogma, for spirituality without intolerance, for non discrimination and for a new humanism for all, the Universal Human Nation.
The spirit is awakening.