As Etienne de la Boetie explained over 500 years ago, the monopoly of state power rests on the willing compliance of whole populations, gained by virtue of a very human need for a unifying story, and for each other's approval.
The institution of the state appears as a dark menacing iceberg – imposing, intolerant, unmoving, and deadly. The Orwellian future of "a boot stamping on a human face—for ever" is a present reality, a present risk. We are seeing this future/now in the treatment given by the dominant empire on the planet, the largest and most powerful empire that has ever existed on the planet, to a single man who competently challenged that empire with a small dose of transparency.
The torture and permanent destruction of the great mind of Julian Assange – continuing even after the state had extracted his encryption keys for Wikileaks, meaning even after the state has extracted the IP addresses, times, dates, content and ultimately the whistleblowers around the world who were inspired by ideas of truth and transparency over the past decade – is nothing more than a cruel exercise of evil, in the name of the citizens and taxpayers and patriots in those "free" and "good" states of the US and the UK.
The technologies that enabled Wikileaks to publish have evolved, and chasing these technologies, owning them and controlling them, using them against people in the name of state order, is Job 1 for the US Intelligence Community. Trillions of black budgeted dollars in the US alone have created a problem for people everywhere, the American people specifically, and that problem needs to be solved.
We bear witness, via state-directed media, of kangaroo courts, star chambers, courtroom scenes straight out of Idiocracy, and it seems Hollywood. CNBC and Reuters reported Tuesday that "[Julian Assange] appeared in good health, with his white hair combed back and wearing a navy suit over a light blue sweater and white shirt." As an afterthought, we read he understood very little, and was confused and couldn't think. But it's all fine, he appeared in good health, in a clean outfit that he had been physically dressed in by his torturers for Monday's court appearance.
CNBC doesn't name the British judge at all, but she is a woman of mystery, Vanessa Baraitser, who in the past has been quite lenient, but now takes her orders regarding Assange from five American lawyers in the room, two of which whom were CIA. The cheerful reporting by state media is designed to entertain and calm that remnant of the population that is paying attention.
We are witnessing a purge of those the state finds inconvenient, a purge we subsidize and consent to, an amoral passion play where everyone plays a part.