Before Wikileaks, before Ed Snowden, there was Cryptome. Manhattan-based architects John Young and Deborah Natsios founded Cryptome.org in 1996 as a repository for documents no one else would publish, including lists of CIA assets, in-depth technical schematics of sensitive national security installations, and copyrighted material. As leaking has created a vibrant media ecosystem in recent years, complete with favored outlets, journalists and sources, Cryptome has positioned itself as its curmudgeonly ombudsman, quietly but blisteringly cutting down the hype and blather it sees in its competitors while advocating a form of radical transparency as straightforward as Cryptome.org’s bare-bones website.
The ruling dogma of our political economy is corporatism. Corporatism claims to draw legitimacy from the free market theory that all vendors who do not meet market demands will go under. Corporatism uses this illusion to exert power over all aspects of our political economy.
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In 2012, it emerged that while the SKS IPO was making millions for its wealthy investors, hundreds of heavily indebted residents of India’s Andhra Pradesh state were driven to despair and suicide by the company’s cruel and aggressive debt-collection practices. The rash of suicides soared right at the peak of a large micro-lending bubble in Andhra Pradesh, in which many of the poor were taking out multiple micro-loans to cover previous loans that they could no longer pay. It was subprime lending fraud taken to the poorest regions of the world, stripping them of what little they had to live on. It got to the point where the Chief Minister of Andrah Pradesh publicly appealed to the state’s youth and young women not to commit suicide, telling them, “Your lives are valuable.”
Teaching my children about the oligarchs and the current state of our leaders in government is not something that I take lightly. I realize that some of our core values, like the belief in liberty, respect for all life, and individual sovereignty will make them the odd kid out sometimes.
Being surrounded by people who have been taught, just as I was, to pledge allegiance to the state, is the unfortunate reality we are all confronted with. something that is so deeply ingrained that the best I can do is teach my children to think for themselves and decide on their own. Figuring out how to best teach my children the danger of such blind allegiance is without a doubt the most difficult task I face as a father.