Social Action Now!

An objective view to worldwide social issues

Julian Assange from other points of view

Globalization has carried out an impressive amount of information, the most of mankind´s history. We can see straightly what is happening now in Sydney or in Los Angeles very easily and with a big accuracy. This development of the information exchanging comes from all the devices invented in the 20th century and the improvement of them and, of course, from the invention of Internet. But at this point a question comes to our mind: is there some kind of hidden information? do governments keep in secret some other matters? So here appears the figure of Julian Assange, the creator of Wikileaks a website that has the aim of giving to the people everything all the information hidden by the governments such as how much do they truly invest in the army or some secrets of politician´s private life. Of course, this is legit in a democratic and free world and undoubtely Wikileaks has helped revealing some unbearable aspects of politician´s life but still there are some critics and writers like Mario Vargas Llosa or Fernando Savater who claim exactly the opposite. But what do they argue? For structuring the article, I will use some articles written by Vargas Llosa in his book “La civilización del espectáculo”(2012) and an article written by Fernando Savater called “Transperentes abusos”(2010) and published in the “Tiempo” magazine.

Starting with Fernando Savater´s viewpoint, he starts claiming that nowadays it is impossible to keep something in secret, from our daily routines to top secret diplomatic papers from our politicians. Linked with Wikileaks, Savater indicates that usually these statements are irrelevant because they are showing things that previously all of us think or believe. After this, he claims that this tendency has affected himself personally for a few years and he accepts that it is very difficult to maintain a medium stantard of life-quality with such a lot of journalist and people trying to show your most hidden secrets which provides a situation of “overopenness”. Then, he explains that there are two kinds of openness: governmental (related to what do the governments do with the money, what decisions they make, etc) and the related to the people who work in that institutions of power such as ministers or presidents or, in other words, how much they earn, which and where are their bank accounts. Despite this distinction, people is used to involve this two kinds of openness and there appears, according to Savater, the main issue because these both are not the same.

Other important point of view is the one given by Mario Vargas Llosa in his book “La civilización del espectáculo” (2012). In this book, Vargas Llosa gives his opinion of these days´ society and everything that surrounds it (religion, sexuality, politics, economy). Among the chapters of the book he rewrites or recalls some articles written by himself for different newspapers. The article that interests us is “Lo privado y lo público”(2011) an article that is strongly linked with Fernando Savater´s one, in fact the article is based on Savater´s one. Vargas Llosa starts praising the work of Savater and his attitude towards this issue. After a quick summary of Savater´s main ideas, Llosa continues clarfying some aspects of Savater´s speech. Vargas Llosa makes a point in the importance of distinguishing public/private dicotomy. This dicotomy has disappeared because of Internet and the false right of openness that has appeared with it,  which provides and defends a lack of privacy. In addition, Vargas Llosa indicates, as Savater does, that the information given is not important because the average citizen already knows that information or at least intuits it. As a consequence, Vargas Llosa claims that the power of lots of institutions will decrease and their ability to answer some social or economical issues will be very slow because they will always be spied on. At the end of the article, Vargas Llosa accepts the disappearance of the privacy and the sad consequences that comes with it.

To sum up, we can see that these two writers have a lot of things in common (in fact Vargas Llosa is a very big follower of Savaters work) and they have very similar ways of approaching this issue (maybe Vargas Llosa is more academic and theorical). It is true that Vargas Llosa´s speech is quite similar to Savater´s one and maybe he does not introduce neither new arguments or points of view to the discussion nor a way to take over it  but, on the other hand, he shows which could be the reach of the issue if we do not stop it, in other words he is trying to make a sketch of the future mankind´s privacy.On the contrary, Savater´s speech is much easier to understand. Despite not being a very long and hard article, he sets the basic ideas of his way of thinking and, by using a personal example, he makes the issue closer to us. However, Savater also fails to make a way to answer the issue. If we want understand the issue it is very important to be open-minded and try to match the ideas of the two speeches in order to have a full view of the issue.

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