Joe Rogan has a conversation with Edward Snowden.
I recommend everyone to watch and listen to this to arm themselves with the knowledge to drive the direction of how we are governed.
Here are some of the highlights, for which I had time to write down but the entire show is full of insights and analysis that is important for every citizen of a country to consider.
- In moments of fear, people vote for authoritarian governments.
- When people hear "National Security", they think it is about their security, but it isn't. It is about protecting the State, especially in relation to covering State secrets that are held secret because they could be deemed immoral, unjust or illegal, not necessarily what is good for their citizens.
- We the citizens ought to know what people in government is doing so that we can police them. Instead, now, the situation is reversed. People in government see what people their citizens are doing, but the citizens do not know what the government is doing.
- 1:45 — Shows how public officials are lying about what they are doing before institutions who are supposed to be investigating them for the benefit of the citizens, and yet, their citizens are powerless to do anything about it.
- 1:52 — The distance between speculation and fact — the distance between what you know and what you can prove in front of everyone else in the country is everything in a democracy. What you know does not matter. What matters is what we all know. This means that having proof and evidence is important. The opportunities when we can really get any proof or evidence of government wrong-doing comes from whistleblowers. But then, governments put in place laws that punish whistleblowers for exposing their wrong-doing.
- 1:55 — When new presidents come in, the incentives are aligned for them to hold on to dark, questionable, illegal programs like mass-spying on their citizens, as a valuable resource for a president to rule and manage.
- 2:00 — More peaceful states have the power of distributed and not centralised on their president.
- 2:10 — The current Espionage Act in the US do not provide fair opportunities for whistleblowers to defend themselves. They prosecute what are called "Strict Liability Crimes". In a normal crime like murder, a murderer is given the chance to explain why he murdered someone. A murderer can argue that it was self-defence or some other defence. The courts can then take that into account in establishing a verdict. With 'Strict Liability Crimes', the jury is not allowed to consider whether your crime is justified or defensible. The government only wants to know whether you did the 'crime'. But in the case of the Espionage Act, these 'crimes' are simply the act of telling the truth. This is indefensively wrong. All Snowden wants to have is for the government to have a jury to decide whether his disclosure of the government's mass surveilance program was or was not of interest to American citizens. The government refused this.
- 2:18 — American Government has also been interfering with Russian elections. Source New York Times and The Washington Post.
- 2:20 — It is important that when the media and intellectuals separate a country's governments actions from its citizens.
Should I shut up and be quiet in the face of things that I see are injustices, because it makes me safer?
But I didn't come forward to be safe. If I wanted to be safe I'd still be sitting in Hawaii making a hell of a lot of money to spy on all of you and nobody ever would have known about this. The system would have gotten worse but the system, the world, the future, gets worse every day that we don't do something about it.
Every day that we stay silent about all the injustice as we see, the world gets worse, things get worse and yeah it's risky, yeah it's uncomfortable but that's why we do it, because if we don't, no one else will. All those years I was sitting hoping for someone else to come forward and no one did. That's because I was waiting for a hero but there are no heroes: There's only heroic decisions. You are never further than one decision away from making a difference. It doesn't matter if it was a big difference or if it was a small difference because you don't have to save the world by yourself. In fact you can't.
All you have to do is lay down one brick. All you have to do is make things a little bit better in a small way so other people can lay their brick on top of that, or beside; and together, step by step, day by day, year by year, we build the foundation of something better. But it's not gonna be safe but it doesn't matter. If the world ends, it's going to affect you.
We make things better, we become safe together collectively. That is our strength. That is the power of civilization. That is the power that shapes the future because even if you make life great for you, you're gonna die someday. You're gonna be forgotten someday. Your cans of beans are gonna rot someday you can make things safe or you can be more careful. You can be more clever and there's nothing wrong with that but at the end of the day, you have to recognize if you're trying to eliminate all risks from your life what you're actually doing is eliminating all possibility from your life. You are trying to collapse the universe of outcomes such that what you've lost is freedom. You've lost the ability to act because you were afraid.