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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:52 AM

I'll never understand people who take the actions of Snowden as a personal insult. [View all]

DU and other media have been ablaze with people calling the man a traitor, a criminal and other things. It is pretty obvious that his actions struck a nerve with some people and that people take his actions personal. I can't for the life of me understand why.

Here is the thing: Nothing he has done will have any negative effect on the everyday life of anyone who is not part of the ruling elite. There is a small chance that it will have a positive effect, but most likely it will have none at all.

So why would someone who is just an average citizen (which I assume that many of those denouncing his actions are) even care?

Me personally, I approve of what he did and is doing. Here is why: I am a both a romantic and a cynic. I take delight in seeing representatives of a seemingly invincible power structure appearing powerless and foolish in their words and actions. I find it inspiring and empowering. I find it to be a reminder that we are all human and that even the seemingly most powerful structures in the world can be painfully stung by small individuals, if such a sting comes at the right place and at the right time. The sting might not change the world immediately, but it may serve as inspiration to others, and over time things change for the better. It serves as a reminder that "Even the smallest person can change the course of the future." (Tolkien). I also think the information he revealed is useful and will empower small people.

If there were any evidence at all that his actions made the lives of common people somewhere more difficult I would see things differently. As of now, there is no such evidence. The worst that will happen is that maybe some rich person in a suit will have some explaining to do at the next board meeting or something. Nothing I could care the slightest about.

As for Snowden as a person, I care little about his politics or who he is aside from the role he is playing right now. Maybe he is a complete jerk and I'd never want to "have a beer with him". Maybe he is a Ron Paul supporter, which I am most certainly not. Does not change that I approve of what he is doing now.

I don't expect others to share my romanticism or cynicism. But I fail to see how anyone who is not amused or delighted by what Snowden did could be anything else but indifferent. Several abstract non-arguments have been made along the lines of that "it will make diplomacy harder" (which ultimately means that some guy in a suit with a huge salary might, oh the horrors, have to take their feet of their desk or something) or that "spying will now be harder" as if any of us serfs had reaped the benefits of said spying. Ultimately the world will keep turning and no one outside of the power structure will feel any effect.

I think it is because some people identify with the ruling elites and feel like the interests of said elites are their own. That is, IMO, pretty tragic. Ultimately, a worker in China and a worker in the US have more in common than any of them have with the ruling elites of either country.

I should add that nothing of this has anything to do with partisan politics in the US. Some of the loudest denunciations of Snowden come from people who self-identify as Republicans. I expect no less from them. What I wonder is why would a progressive denounce him.

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Reply I'll never understand people who take the actions of Snowden as a personal insult. [View all]
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