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Julian Assange: I never really liked Julian Assange and yesterday it struck me why—he’s a total drama queen. Assange’s whole act is very self-righteous—it’s this idea that he will unveil “the awful truth” about the American government. But, you know, honesty starts at home—governments are never going to be honest, it’s just not the nature of governments. You can’t twist their arms to be honest—it doesn’t work like that.

But in Assange’s mind it works like that. So WikiLeaks, his organisation, has always really been into melodrama—into ideas like “we have a dead man’s switch and, if anything happens to Julian, it’ll automatically release the files we’ve been holding back.” This is melodrama—it’s like a school drama club or, indeed, Assange’s native Australian soap opera Neighbours (“If anyone tells Kylie I love her I’ll literally die!” “Steady on, Bruce!” “I’ll throw myself off the pier at Bindi Point after prom!” “Strewth! Don’t do it, mate!”).

Assange is very like that. It makes sense because his mother is a “visual artist” and his father was “an anti-war activist and builder” (which sounds like a middle-class professional activist larping as a working-class man for street cred—not many builders are “anti-war activists” in my experience). His step-father was an actor—and he lived in 30 different cities growing up. A picture emerges: narcissistic parents, peripatetic unstable home life, and political fanaticism.

So Assange grew up in an alternative and melodramatic environment with a strain of politico-religious fanaticism in it—at one point he was schooled at home, so he has always been outside mainstream society (although that doesn’t mean “an independent self-actuated thinker”—it means he was inculcated with an alternative set of cultural values, he doesn’t necessarily transcend those to really think for himself).

All this is combined with technical facility. Assange studied programming, mathematics, and physics. He’s rational. In fact, his father, who has been involved with WikiLeaks from the start, ended up being an architect—not quite “a builder”. An Assange friend said he has IQ170; but, you know, this is a self-dramatising cult with Assange as leader. I don’t buy it—I think 145.

WikiLeaks is as bad as the governments it claims to condemn. Its hypocrisy is that it holds back the information it collects for “safety reasons”—and then tries to use that information to extract concessions from the government. That’s actual terrorism, information terrorism. And it’s the same as the governments they condemn: the governments they condemn say “for safety and operational reasons, we restrict the information you can have access to”. Okay—then WikiLeaks obtains the same information and collaborates with journalists to selectively release it due to “safety and operational reasons”.

Hypocrites—WikiLeaks isn’t annoyed that the government has secrets, it’s annoyed WikiLeaks doesn’t know those secrets. You know what I’d do if I came into a WikiLeaks trove—publish the lot at once. “But people would die!”. Yes. But if we really think “we must reveal the secrets, the government holds secrets over the people” then we must release them at once—because otherwise we’re just some people, with less legitimacy than the government, who stole some information we are going to “hang on to” for “reasons” (which are “totally good”—because we’re fanatical moralists in a cult led by St. Julian of Assange and Julian would never do anything bad, not like the government).

WikiLeaks tries to get concessions from the government with melodramatic little acts that narcissists think will work, because they live in theatre-land—whereas the government comes on after them because it’s run by functionaries who are “just doing my job, mate” and don’t think “oh my god, Julian knows Mike kissed Shelia round the back of the bike-sheds and he might tell everyone—what will we do?”

They’ll just roll on. Perhaps the information kills some people on a special operation in Afghanistan, but the government just rolls on—it doesn’t live in Assange’s narcissistic fantasy, at least not like that. So the tactic, which is predicated on this libertarian idea “information changes everything”, “just tell people everything on the Internet and the world will get better” doesn’t work.

Because it turns out you can steal information on the Internet but then you yourself with “my precious” like the power this information has and decide to hold on to it (“for good reasons, of course—not like the government, it has this information for bad reasons; but I can handle my precious”).

Assange slipped up due to lack of personal integrity—always a problem for hysterical moralists. He didn’t rape any woman, but he lived in a Bohemian way while he played “white knight”. You can’t do both.

So when a girl was disgruntled with him, the Swedish prosecutors, no doubt lent on by the Americans, were only too willing to say, “Of course, we take any matter like this very seriously—we’re just very concerned for your welfare; now, you take your time and tell us the whole story.” And so it was trumped up—because the government can trump up petty events if it wants, and it can let major indiscretions, even murders, slide if it wants (or just be a “slap on the wrist”—if you’re being a good boy and playing ball).

Assange should have started with not having secrets at home—not trying to prise all the world’s secrets from the government. It’s home truths that change the world—not the release of diplomatic cables which are mostly, actually, really dull; just functionaries exchanging pleasantries and chit-chat.

Assange is a great actor—developed his political storyline into a self-pitying epic in the Ecuadorean embassy—but he’s a total narcissist and hypocrite. You notice Snowden had none of these problems—just slipped out of the country with no fuss (because he’s probably smarter than Assange—but, more importantly, he’s not a massive narcissist; then again, he just might be a double-agent—but more on that anon).


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