In the media frenzy over WikiLeaks, this familiar dialectic has reemerged: On the one hand there's the incrementalism of those like Steven Aftergood, of Secrecy News, who on a recent Democracy Now segment advocated a more restrained approach to revealing corruption, condemning the Wikileaks strategy as "extremely primitive" and "reckless." And on the other, there's the fervor of guys like Salon's Glenn Greenwald, who on the same show echoed the skepticism I once heard from the anarchists, i.e., that it was "incredibly unrealistic" to think that our political system is "somehow on the verge of starting to bring about meaningful increases in transparency" on its own. "WikiLeaks," Greenwald went on, "is really one of the very few, if not the only group, effectively putting fear into the hearts of the world's most powerful and corrupt people, and that's what they deserve."
This, basically, was the same argument for overthrow that I had dismissed two years ago at the anarchist camp. The only difference was that the anarchists hoped to topple the political state, and WikiLeaks aims to topple the information state. Except this time, I find myself siding with the revolutionaries.