Truth, Society, and the Whistle-Blower

It is perhaps the real measure of how truly a society honours and respects truth in how it responds to its whistle-blowers. In the case of the Iraq War Documents, published by WikiLeaks, the name of private first class Bradley Manning has been all but eclipsed by that of Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks (who many people, apparently frightened of truthfulness, have named “the most dangerous man in the world”, which was the former title for Osama bin Laden. Now Assange’s truth-speaking has become equated with terrorism).  The virtual anonymity of others persecuted and prosecuted for whistle-blowing says a great deal about a society’s real (and not just pretentious) respect for truth, despite the lip-service it so often pays to values of truthfulness, sincerity, and honesty.

“Honesty is the best policy”. So says society. But, in effect, it is your honesty and your sincerity that is requisite and mandatory. I myself, however, reserve the right to be as dishonest and insincere as befits my own “pursuit of self-interest”. And my pursuit of self-interest by even devious and deceptive means necessitates that you be morally responsible, truthful, and honest. Thus commands society (and pollsters).

This article, appearing in The New York Times on the War Logs, names two others, besides Bradley Manning, who have  recently been, more or less, quietly disappeared through anonymity or imprisonment. Their names represent embarrassments for being the contradiction to the self-serving social  fiction that society-in-the-main honours and respects honesty, sincerity, and truthfulness. The whistle-blower is an evident contradiction and refutation of that pretense. Rather than face the truth about itself, however, society-at-large connives to make the whistle-blower and truth-speaker disappear through inglorious anonymity, so that mainstream society’s fictions and lies about itself can be preserved and conserved (the truth about our present “new conservatives”) without the irritation of the bad conscience or the moral embarrassment and hypocrisy; that is to say, without actually having to face the truth about itself — the truth that the name of the whistle-blower represents as if a reflection in the mirror “warts and all”, as they say. In contrast to the media-generated socialite and celebrity, whose names are celebrated by the masses for being no more than “media personalities”, the name of the whistle-blower as truth-speaker is dishonoured and reviled, and is forcibly buried and entombed, because his or her name is always a reminder to society-at-large (Nietzsche’s “herd”)  of its own innate falsehood, hypocrisy, and pretense.

The pressure on the potential whistle-blower to remain silent about the truth he or she knows is society’s pressure. This is why it takes genuine courage and bravery to disclose the truth against the pressure to remain silently obedient and “dutiful”. But, in fact, society does not honour at all such courage or bravery except as these serve it’s own self-interest and the self-interest of its members.  The whistle-blower is an anomalous true individual because society-in-the-main is fakery.  And the whistle-blower suffers greatly for his or her courage because an ungrateful society-in-the-main reviles and detests those who remind it that its “absolute” morality and pretentious claims to truthfulness are fictions that have no grounding in truth and no moral foundation whatsoever.

Those who have been “disappeared” today as well as during the Inquisition of the Late Middle Ages (my, how things have changed!) are always mainstream society’s attempt to preserve itself against the truth-speaker by forcing truth-speakers to become nameless and anonymous. (The example, a la Socrates, who was given the choice of exile or death, might become socially contagious). The whistle-blower today (and there have been many who have been made to disappear into anonymity) expose the falsity of a society that claims to respect truth and truthfulness.

The word “exile” is quite instructive in that sense, for it means literally “forced out into the silence” (ex-silio).

Such is Francis Fukuyama’s “end of history”, too. The alleged triumph of a supposedly truthful society.


21 responses to “Truth, Society, and the Whistle-Blower”

  1. alex jay says :

    “… Bradley Manning has been all but eclipsed by that of Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks (who many people, apparently frightened of truthfulness, have named “the most dangerous man in the world”, which was the former title for Osama bin Laden. Now Assange’s truth-speaking has become equated with terrorism).

    It makes perfect sense, if you see it from a “full-spectrum dominance” perspective, articulated in the PNAC – “The End of History” – strategy. As you are aware, the flavour of the month is cyber-terrorism. The Osama bin Laden marketing angle has reached its sell-by-date and harder for the propaganda boys to come up with credible actors and sound studio technology to keep the myth alive. How long can you keep a corpse animated? Ergo, you need enough time to nurture new bogeymen to maintain the facade to keep the project of comprehensive social engineering on track. What a better way of accelerating and justifying the agenda to take control of the internet, so that perception management (the mainstream media has been compromised for decades) can be extended to the new information genre that, like an adolescent, is going through a rebellious mode, upsetting big daddy’s unquestioned authority to dictate what is in the “uselass feeders” best interest? Even Plato was a top-down and not bottom-up type of guy as Hegel, and all the other statists (hierarchic) philosophical pimps that have legitimised power-trippers from the church-state-commerce juxtapositions fought over through the ages – like three gangs in the mafia fighting for control over their turf. Guess what? The 3rd estate has won … so far. ‘Cause they got the other two in their pockets … and the 4th estate as well (you can buy them off – like Rupert Murdoch) … except for the uber/4th estate which is the internet. That’s their next project to control, and the Wikileaks (Assange thing) is a wonderful opportunity to persuade the dumbed-down masses to accept censorship for the sake of “security” and compromise “silly” things like freedom of speech to live like an ELOI.

    Back to the Wikileaks smoke-screen …

    This time, I doubt that the tactics will involve a full-scale “shock and awe” invasion of Sweden, the Netherlands or Iceland – where Assange operates from – like it did with Afghanistan and Iraq. Instead, it will encompass the total occupation of the World (wide-web) through the control of information (as recent legislation is working its way through the halls of the prostitues that control the USA government et their lackeys in Europe). How conventient to get the ball rolling to “regulate” the internet by having some hacker flunky, who is about as dangerous to “national security” of the mighty empire as the Tea Party – meanwhile the criminal bankers have walked off with the silverware and have their sights on the china : ). What a joke!

    Assange’s “truth-speaking”, as you state, should be taken in the context of everything you have said previously in distinguishing between fact and truth. It has nothing to do with truth, but rather, it is a selective revelation of factoids (statistics, in other words) that anyone who has been conscious of the subject matter over the last decade (depending on information sources or even an intuitive knowledge of the orchestrated false historical narrative propagandised) should be saying to themselves: ” yeah … big deal! The only revelation – as in his previous revelations on Afghanistan – is the numbers. These days it all comes down to the statistcs, since we have allowed, in our narcissistic stupour to legitimise a dehumanising system of accountants to take over the functioning of society – and their brothers in sophistery, the lawyers, doctors, priests and all the other once trusted “prodigal sons” that need to wake up and return to the source of their raison d’ etre.

    Democracy has turned into a pseudo-science of statistics and polls that determine the managed perception of those that control and manipulate the finances of the agencies. As an old expression I learned in my youth: “money walks, nobody talks”! Enter the Chamber of Commerce … another subject …

    Only the uninformed (the leave me alone, I want to get on with my life in my Hobbit shire), distracted or comatosed, by now, haven’t been aware of the indiscriminate policy of carnage and torture that is, and has always been in control of the levers of power – or pimply little gameboy players flicking their buttons directing a drone discharging weapons of mass distruction on Pakistanian wedding parties from the comfort of their pizza parlour in the shopping malls at Langley. The Wikileak revelations are no real revelations at all – except for documents that implicate Iran in funding the Taliban. Hold on … alarm bells ring … hmmmm? Think about it?

    Why are 4,000 “classified” documents (contents of which most un-programmed people were already aware of) stressing – in the media – Iran? As if …

    Beware of appearances … and weigh your heart with a feather …

    • InfiniteWarrior says :

      persuade the…masses to accept censorship for the sake of “security” and compromise “silly” things like freedom of speech

      By happy coincidence(?), a certain movie is getting an awful lot of airtime in the US. It’s aired…and aired…and aired…and…I, at least, never tire of seeing it again.

      The film is V for Vendetta, another lovely turn at screen-writing by the Wachowski brothers, authors of The Matrix screenplays. (Evey’s transformation is particularly compelling. A lot of people don’t seem to understand what happens there, but I’m betting readers of The Chrysalis do.)

      A slightly more appropriate revolution than “V’s” is called for, methinks. (One without all the unnecessary violence.) But essential to even an appropriate (r)evolution is most apparent in this film and that is, very simply, to face the truth…and the true enemy.

      • Scott says :

        V for Vendetta is a peculiar and provocative movie given the context of the times. It has some interesting themes — the girl-child who reappears in the movie who recognises the truth while the adults still play make-believe (emperor has no clothes motif); Evey’s own self-overcoming, etc.

        By the by, I began going through John Donne’s poem “An Anatomy of the World” (1611) yesterday. I’m going to post something about this in a while. Next year will be its 400th anniversary. I suspect Yeats’ The Second Coming may also owe something to Donne, here. Donne was an interesting character, and this poem in particular, which marks the English Renaissance and thus stands at the outset of what we call “modernity” — as the emerging self-consciousness of the new Era (ie, an era becoming conscious of itself as “modernity”).

    • Scott says :

      Assange’s “truth-speaking”, as you state, should be taken in the context of everything you have said previously in distinguishing between fact and truth. It has nothing to do with truth, but rather, it is a selective revelation of factoids

      “Beware of appearances…”

      The factoids – the “atomies” as John Donne called them — aren’t the relevant issue here, nor are they even the relevant issue in this blog. 400,000 factoids are a distraction. The issue here is, what moves men and women to overcome the pressure to remain silent when they discover the truth as they find it does not accord with the official version nor with the social mythology. And I say “truth as we find it” because human beings are not always the best witnesses to truth as it is, seeing as our capacity for truth is also conditional according to our adequacy for it. The truth is whole and one, while the facts are always particular and mulitply indefinitely. The facts of the matter are like the spectra of the one light as it passes through the prism of the crystalline mind.

      This is not the first time in human history that men and women overcome their fear and speak the truth as they find it despite their society and its institutions. That is the more significant act, this act of self-overcoming which is also a self-sacrifice. Assange has become a stateless man, as you note, because he is a hunted man, while Bradley Manning has become the human sacrifice to society’s “bad conscience”, who must become the nameless man because he reminds others of their own lack of courage or strength to speak the truth of our situation.

      This is the more significant human drama, not the factoids per se. Moreover, this drama has repeated itself throughout human history — the martyr as archetype. The masks may change, the stage props may change, but the drama is the same as historical conditions and the state of society changes. What you call “full spectrum dominance” is just another word for “pursuit of power”, by whatever other name. It is not unique to our time or any other time. it is just another mask that disguises what Sufi’s call “the nafs”, or what David Loy calls “institutionalised greed, ill-will, and delusion” — systemic greed, ill-will, and delusion. Individuals, groups, institutions are only the phenomenal forms that these “nafs” take in history. They are only the masks. The whistle-blower is an unmasker, is the child amongst the crowd that shouts “the Emperor has no clothes” (even though the so-called “adults” know, but keep silent about what they know and dissemble in the face of the evident truth. After all, “good children are seen and not heard”).

      It’s not only a waste of time and energy to rage against masks, it is also delusive. Behind the mask (the persona) is something more fundamental still at work. As you say, “beware the appearances” — that is, the masks, the phenomena, that one does not mistake these for the reality.

    • Scott says :

      I see, today, that The Guardian has more than done justice to my post here. “WikiLeaks v. Washington” illustrates the general tenor of the post. Hats off to The Guardian for being pro-active about this issue.

  2. alex jay says :

    Nice idea, Carolyn Baker’s “appropriate revolution”, but she and the many that are leaning in that direction still have to confront the UN’s “Agenda 21” and it implementation of centralised control – by bankers and their partners at crime, wedged between the strata in a pyramid of greed (like Dante’s levels in the Inferno) to turn the planet into a techno-neo-feudalism articulated overtly, if anybody bothers to do the research – since the latter part of the 19th century; incrementally, like death by a thousand cuts. We are fast approaching the end-game, and the destiny of humanity is finely balanced between death or convalescence. I fear the odds of accomplishing the latter through a localised community approach – though necessary – will not be enough to close the gates of Mordor.

    As an aside, I bumped into a hot-of-the-plate hypothesis that harks back to certain deliberations we had pondered on TDAB. Nice to see that holographs and vibrations/music are beginning to complement the cold abstractions of mathematics. The proposed revelations also meld in very nicely with Mandelbrot’s Set (fractal).


    • Scott says :

      I’m in the dark about what you find particularly sinister about Agenda 21 (part of the Earth Summit sustainability programmes that include the Millennium Development Goals that many governments — including Canada’s — have recently been chastised for procrastinating and reneging on). You might point out the particularly sinister aspects of the Agenda, since the text is online and we can follow along with your research and analysis.

      For some reason, you see it as the sinister implementation of a greed agenda (and how the UN can be perceived as, simultaneously, the most ineffective and feeble organisation of the day while at the same time is the most effective conspiracy of all history is a knotty riddle that must be unwound), whereas Agenda 21 and the Earth Summit seem an effort to mitigate and turn aside the destructive effects of greed.

      We’ll need to see how this contradictio in se resolves itself.

      • alex jay says :

        Oh Jeez … where does one begin? Agenda 21 and its subsequent offspring, which covers every conceiveable facet in controlling human activity,under the laudible euphamism of “sustainability”, is nothing other than the blueprint for a global neo-feudalism. There are a plethora of articles and lectures (especially on You Tube), which wade through the historical background, the intent and the consequences in implementing this Stalinist wet dream.

        Just one brief example: the “Wildlands Project” calls for the USA to return 50% of all land into uninhabited zones (mostly in the West) with corridors (“buffers”) connecting the zones out of bounds to people. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out where this mass of humanity will be relocated? Into “sustainable” human urban centres in pancaked housing to accomodate the maximum utilisation of space, and therefore control. Private property and freedom of movement will be restricted or banished altogether. Depopulation targets – depending on the elitist eugenicist you choose – will aspire to reduce population anywhere from 90% (Ted Turner, slighly less for David Rockefeller) to 15% (Bill Gates).

        In a nutshell, the plan is to set up a global government controlled by bankers and selected “experts” to run every facet of your existence under the guise of preserving the planet. In other words, total slavery, when you will be depenent on the good graces of the Morlocks for your Eloi survival.

        • Scott says :

          50% habitat preserved for wildnerness is nothing. And it is probably already the case in the US anyway. Canada is already 80% uninhabited. Practically the entire population is concentrated in 20% of the geographical area just north of the 49th parallel, and the government is still declaring large parts of ocean and wildnerness “no-go zones” for any unsustainable economic activity. That means, any economic activity not related to tradition sustenance or land-based economics (mostly native).

          No, I don’t know where you source your information, but it is an evident distortion. The setting aside of habitat as no-go zone for the destructive consequences of greedy economic practices is simply the budding recognition, finally, that the economy itself is embedded in the environment and is dependent upon the health of the ecology for its own survival. That’s what “sustainable” means (including forest preservation). How you read “greed” into this is quite beyond me, since it is an evident attempt to buffer the overall ecology from the spreading tentacles and self-destructiveness of human greediness.

          I don’t know if you realise it, Alex, but you appear to be unwittingly making the “bankers” case for them (and the resource extraction industries which stand to lose from this). Just what is the source of these YouTube videos that you cite as proof? I’ld say they are black ops organised by special interest groups with a greed stake in seeing the UN programmes in habitat preservation and ecological sustainability fail, just as the “hidden hand” of the oil and other resource extraction industries have a greed stake in seeing the anthropogenic explanation for climate change fail. Are you sure you’re not being an unwitting “agent of influence” for those very interests?

      • InfiniteWarrior says :

        Is this an open question?

        While it’s not necessarily sinister, there is an apparent presumption that Agenda 21 requires the passing of Law(s).

        Thanks to our present circumstances (i.e. the fact that greed, ill will and delusion have been institutionalized, in Loy’s terms) it even seems to “make sense” to pass sustainability into Law. (I doubt sense is “made”, so I hope to extract this phrase from my vocabulary at some point in the near future.)

        The term “sages” notwithstanding, I think not that there are wise people, but only wise actions — spoken, written and other-wise. Wise actions need not be turned into Law to be performed and yet, invariably, this always has been and (presumably) always will remain the case — especially concerning our “wegos”, when even our “wegos” know full well that sustainable practices are in the “best interest” of all involved.

        Why it is presumed the passing of sustainability into Law is inevitable when we are capable of bringing about the requisite transformation without artificial Law, I think our postmodernists have diagnosed very well. Rather than leave the old era in the drink and begin anew under a mindful, intentional initiative to do so, however, the general consensus is that we require (no doubt, “expert”) leadership either to do this for us or make us do it.

        One would think the “natural law” would be enough to keep us in line as Oren Lyons, et al, suggest. Obviously, it isn’t, but that just makes the situation all the more sad.

        “Why, God, why?”

        PS This comment is not by any means an answer. In fact, perhaps the subject itself mishaps and falls into the category of imponderables.

        • Scott says :

          It will either come through law, or it will come through revolutionary violence. Those really are the stark choices at this point (which is already past the point). I suspect that, in the not too distant future, there will also be “green dictatorships”. As one of the foremost students of the history of revolutions, Rosenstock-Huessy, once wrote: “we hang together or we will hang together”. And since he foresaw quite some time ago that the fifth revolutionary principle (in the series of revolutions that mark the Age of Revolution) would be “health”, it doesn’t much imagination to realise who might be swinging from the lamp-posts, as it were.

  3. alex jay says :

    Re: Scott’s comment No.10 — boy have you got it topsy-turvy! Rather then go through a catalogue of reasons why I believe you are wrong in seeing Agenda 21 as some altruistic plan to save the planet, I’ll refer you to the article below, which comes fairly close to my interpretation (though not entirely – I rarely agree with anybody entirely on anything) of this social engineering neo-feudalist elitist project. Siding with the bankers??? Moi! You’re obviously unfamiliar with much of how Agenda 21 is to be implemented (and is being implemented), namely through a “Public-Private” partnership (an euphamism for Fascism). As I stated in a previous comment, you can’t really appreciate Agenda 21 without going back to its ideological roots formed earlier by the neo-Nazi think-tank calling itself the Club of Rome. The article starts off with a quote, which sets out the true purpose behind this control freakery.

    • alex jay says :

      Oh yes … one of the main aims of Agenda 21 is to turn environmentalism into a global pan-theistic religion (a dogma) to replace the current anthropocentric ones. In summary, I evoke Khayam’s caution when dealing with Agenda 21. There’s a fine line between utopia and dystopia.

    • InfiniteWarrior says :

      I call bollocks on Canada Free Press. I hear this reactionary bullshit all the time.

      There’s nothing inherently underhanded or conspiratorial about Agenda 21 as its laid out on the UN site. The documentation calls primarily for the promotion of sustainable practices. All well and fine.

      Here’s the thing…. If left to the governments of the world to “implement”, true sustainability will be (and is being) botched, confounded and ruined — guaranteed and, about this debasement, we can expect confabulation galore.

      Conservatives are quite right, at least, that “elites” will attempt and are attempting to turn the public outcry for sustainability to their financial advantage come what may. After all, “sustainability” to them means maintaining business as usual at all costs — “re-engineering” Nature; weaning ourselves off fossil fuels and onto biofuels just as ludicrous and toxic; promoting non-existent technology, such as “clean coal”, to protect their buddies’ coffers at the expense of the public’s; changing consumerist patterns into a slightly more green-looking variety; etc. and so on. — Health and well-being be damned. Worse, people are buying into it, but…so much for what we must keep a vigilant eye on.

      Meanwhile, local and regional groups and initiatives are actually doing the work of ushering in (or attempting to usher in) true sustainability ranging from single-payer healthcare to sustainable farming practices to an economics rooted in communities of place to…. More power to them.

      There’s an old saying: “The children shall lead them”. It’s not an impossibility that such local and regional efforts will wind up leading the leaders into the light. Speaking of which….

      What the material world values does
      not shine the same in the truth of
      the soul. You have been interested
      in your shadow. Look instead directly
      at the sun. What can we know by just
      watching the time-and-space shapes of
      each other?

      Someone half awake in the night sees imaginary dangers;
      the morning star rises; the horizon grows
      defined; people become friends in a
      moving caravan. Night birds may think
      daybreak a kind of darkness, because
      that’s all they know. It’s a fortunate
      bird who’s not intrigued with evening.


    • Scott says :

      Yes, I had a look at this Canada Free Press, and agree with infi that it’s a reactionary rag promoting a muddle-headed and self-contradictory laissez-faire ideology, and for all the reasons I gave in my latest post on narcissism.

      There are degrees of understanding/realisation of the meaning and reality of freedom, and these folks don’t have a sniff of a clue what they’re talking about. Their own freedom is a slavish obedience to the idol of private property, which is their Golden Calf.

      The Sufis speak of spiritual “stations”. Likewise, Christianity speaks of “the stations of the cross”. In a lot of cases, the meaning of this has been forgotten, for these “stations” are realisations of degrees of freedom culminating in the Absolute (ie, totally free). A narcissistic Libertinism is little better than a form of licentiousness, but even from here we can progress through the various stations to higher degrees of authentic freedom. The “truth that sets free” is the meaning of the Absolute, and it is the highest degree of freedom.

      What these folks preach is not freedom at all.

    • Scott says :

      In fact, as an addendum, I would say that, like reactionaries everywhere, the basic pursuit of self-interest that is promoted by rags like Canada Free Press is this: democracy is great, as long as I have more of it than anybody else. But when it doesn’t serve my self-interest and my own advantage, well then, so much for democracy. That’s when creeping fascism takes over. After all, even the Nazis thought that fascism was “true democracy”, and managed to deceive many people (all-too willing to be deceived) that this was the case.

  4. tony says :

    The problem is there is nothing on the net from opponents which sets out an intelligent coherent criticism of Agenda 21. Most of it is abstract defensive panic, heavily based on the dubious notion of patriotism.
    I’d be interested to find an informed point-by-point criticism of Agenda 21, since I’m always suspicious of anything which involves the IMF or the World Bank – these are after all the two organisations which did the most to screw up the developing world in the post-war era. So to find them on board a sustainable development programme is amusing to put it lightly.
    On the other hand a brief look at the local councils response to Agenda 21 and you tend to get either an informed analysis of local environmental problems and how they are going to be tackled – or a lot of conscience-cleansing hot air – depending on the local organisation.
    In any case the onus is on the opponents to come up with something more concrete than vague allusions to a big brother scenario.

    • InfiniteWarrior says :

      I’m always suspicious of anything which involves the IMF or the World Bank

      The Campaign 2020 Initiative, to which Duane Elgin’s contribution was The 2020 Challenge, was established and funded in part by one of alex’s favorite bugbears, The Rockefeller Foundation. Donors to the 2020 Fund also include such notables as Visa and Dow.

      For my part, what’s troubling about these initiatives is that nothing has changed about the “strategic” thinking that drives them. It’s as techno-logical as ever, and the general consensus among, especially, male members of the public appears to be that science and technology are the answers to all the world’s problems.

      Contributions of the The Gates Foundation to this or that “cause”, for example, have been described as “largesse”, but I very much doubt the definition of that term in the context used is “liberality in bestowing gifts, especially in a lofty or condescending manner”, but rather “generosity of spirit”. Nonetheless, it’s the “lofty”, i.e. completely out of touch with reality, that most often applies for the most part.

      I don’t wish to impugn the more beneficial programs in which organizations like The Gates Foundation are engaged, but the analogy of Borg drones never fails to pop to mind as the most accurate description of their involvement in most of them.

      Oren Lyons posited that leadership is going to have to come from business, but also warned that leadership should “change their values from ‘power and authority’ to responsibility” in a “lead by example” kind of way.

      That last is precisely what they’re not doing in most cases. Rather, they’re worsening the situation for the most part, imo, by funding and promoting such nonsense as the “re-engineering” of Nature to feed the world’s poor.

      As Gandhi put it, “the earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed”. It’s that institutionalized greed that has to change. Otherwise, as Scott observed, we’re merely “progressing ourselves to death”.

  5. tony says :

    To be honest I don’t even think there’s anything very suspicious about the participation of IMF and the WB in this case. It allows them to waffle in endless conferences and on their sites about reducing poverty, sustainable rural development etc – plenty of statistics, plenty of reports. In short it offers great PR opportunity just as it does for the other major players.

    • Scott says :

      The position of most internationalist groups is “reform them or scrap them”. There is nothing wrong with such transnational fora (despite the so-called “patriot community” — reactionaries who think the national interest is at stake — Deutschland, Deutschland ueber alles). Like the UN or WTO, these transnational organisations are not inherently wicked in themselves. It depends on their agendas, who sets them, whether they are truly “global” or merely doing their master’s bidding — ie, the will of their major stakeholders. As long as The Washington Consensus represented the will of their major stakeholders, the IMF and World Bank followed suit (the Wolfowitz fiasco being a telling case in point of doing the master’s bidding and not taking a globalist stance).

      I don’t think the Washington Consensus now has much credibility or traction since the market meltdown. And despite attempts to reconstruct it in some fashion or another, I don’t think it’s very likely to get a second life. That doesn’t mean that there is a sudden re-orientation. There’s just a lot of self-doubt and disorientation until someone comes up with a new paradigm. It’s actually a very good time to insist on one, while these institutions are faltering and tasting the sour fruits of their hubris. The trouble is, now that push has come to shove, there are few who seem to have a new paradigm or model other than this particular one “Agenda 21”. It’s still one of those rare consensus paradigms (178 nations have endorsed it) that has the possibility to lead to reform of these transnational institutions.

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