The notion of behalfism, or acting on behalf of the people, is used by the ‘hacktivist’ group Anonymous in its infiltration of companies like Visa, MasterCard and PayPal (Giri). By remaining anonymous, the group assumes the role of anyone – they do not have a public face because they are the public face. Anonymous and Wikileaks are acting on the assumption that the people actually want their representation. Wikileaks is fighting against the liberal, democratic institutions of power on the grounds that the institutions are opaque and need to be more transparent for the people. In doing this, they claim the role of representing the people without the people’s consent or knowledge, therefore without legitimacy. This hypocrisy is further entrenched in Wikileaks claim that it needs to be “completely opaque in order to force others to be completely transparent”. To ...
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...r of social media, the internet and the acceleration of information, and having concrete, ubiquitous problems laid out for the people to understand and struggle against. As former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson said, “The history of liberty is a history of resistance.” Maintaining freedom in face of immeasurable power may be difficult, but this effort is what gives it so much value, and being a part of the struggle for truth and justice, the epicenter of might.
Giri, Saroj. “Wikileaks Beyond Wikileaks?” Mute Magazine 16 Dec 2010: n. pag. Web, accessed 24 June 2011.
Zizek, Slavoj. “Good Manners in the Age of Wikileaks.” London Review of Books Vol. 33 Num. 2, 20 Jan 2011: n. pag. Web, accessed 24 June 2011.
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