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Tuesday, 04 June 2013 11:01

Assange starts name-calling

Written by Nick Farrell



Only way to get attention

While the rest of the world has forgotten that Julian Assange is hiding in an embassy to avoid facing the music on his poor dating record, it seems that he has had to revert to name calling to get attention. In an book review for “The New Digital Age” in the New York Times, Assange has resorted to slagging off authors Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen so that someone will take notice.

While you could slag off Schmidt for a lot of reasons, Assange has opened for calling them witch doctors for technocratic imperialism. We think he must have been up all night thinking about that term. Assange claims Schmidt and Cohen are all part of a cunning plan to construct a new idiom for United States as global power in the 21st century. This involves a closer union between the State Department and Silicon Valley, as personified by Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, and Cohen, a former adviser to Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton who is now director of Google Ideas. The authors met in occupied Baghdad in 2009, when the book was conceived, said Assange.

“The book proselytizes the role of technology in reshaping the world’s people and nations into likenesses of the world’s dominant superpower, whether they want to be reshaped or not. The prose is terse, the argument confident and the wisdom — banal. But this isn’t a book designed to be read. It is a major declaration designed to foster alliances,” he said.

While we agree with Assange, that the two offer an expertly banalized version of tomorrow’s world. We are not so sure that the consumer technology process is exclusively American. In fact the move towards its development has not assisted the US at all, but rather lifted China out of Mao’s cultural revolution.

Assange hits out about Schmidt and Cohen’s dislike of the what Assange calls the “Egyptian triumph” of 2011. He says that the pair dismiss the Egyptian youth claiming that “the mix of activism and arrogance in young people is universal.” However while the Arab spring did not really work the way Assange claims it did. Sure they got rid of repressive dictators, but they bought governments to power which were conservative and religious which are the opposite to the sort of freedoms that Assange aspires too.

As a commentator, Assange ends up resorting to name calling. Admittedly they are long names, but they do not have the same punch as “sex pest.” 

More Assange ranting here.

Nick Farrell

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