Thursday, November 7, 2013

On the Resurgent "Great Man Theory" and Sarah Harrison's Harrowing Heroism

One of the most interesting factors of the current series of crises afflicting the human species and the globe is the resurgence of the Great Man Theory of socio-political operations.

Now, I've never been much into the Great Man notion, though many, many people are. They seem to believe -- sincerely -- that the only way out of our predicament is through the agency of a Great Man, and they go to extreme lengths to identify and promote likely candidates. They also interpret history as if only the actions of the Great Men of the past mattered. It's a pernicious concept in my view, one that leads to authoritarianism at the least, totalitarianism if taken to a logical conclusion.

The Great Man, of course, could be a Woman; there may be a lot of lingering gender inequality, but when it comes to Leadership, women are now thought to be almost as capable as men. Almost.

Recently, Jesselyn Radack produced a somewhat shocking piece of Great Man propaganda and posted it over at dKos. It turned my stomach. But this is the kind of thing that happens routinely when the objective is to drive adherents away from one set of elites and toward another, by fostering extreme levels of truly mindless loyalty toward individuals -- selected by other Great Wo/Men.

In this case, the individual is WikiLeaks' legal personality, Sarah Harrison, who has apparently "been with" -- Jesselyn says "heroically rescued" -- Young Snowden for the last four or five months. Or so. Accounts vary.

Now wait. What is going on here? Sarah Harrison "heroically rescued" Edward Snowden? From what? The clutches of the ChiComs? Spirited him away to the clutches of the Freedom Loving KGB? What the fuk, anyway? Oh, the American Security Services were on his tail? If they were, there's been no sign of it. No, what we were told is that while Snowden was in Hong Kong -- and known by everyone to be there -- the Spooks were engaged in a "world-wide hunt" for him. Oh yes. World-wide. We were told. Endlessly.

In fact, Our Vaunted SuperSleuths seemed very slow off the mark in the Snowden case; he was able to travel quite without incident, first to New York to meet with the Guardian folks (something few seem to know about or remember), thence back to Hawaii to pack, and then on to Hong Kong to meet with Greewald, Poitras, and Ewen Macaskill (the last named is rarely mentioned in the historical record), and then it was off to Moscow with Sarah -- who just suddenly "appears" -- deus ex machina-like -- to spirit Young Snowden to his formal exile and asylum in what's still referred to as "the Soviet Union" -- even though such a political animal hasn't existed for more than a decade two decades. It's like calling Germany "The German Reich" or "Nazi Germany" still in 1955 1965, even though there was no such place anymore.

Radack says of Sarah:

She is the unsung hero in the harrowing saga of history’s most significant whistleblower who fearlessly and consistently put protecting a whistleblower above protecting herself.

Oh my goodness. Oh my great goodness.

This is pure, utter, and complete propaganda. "Harrowing saga?" "History's most significant whistleblower?" Give me a break in my lifetime. Please.

This is beyond hagiography into realms of pure fantasy. But propaganda for the susceptible just the same.

Radack goes on:

Despite that she has had to sacrifice so much in defending a whistleblower

Right under this picture of the sacrificial one:

Sarah Harrison in Moscow at an Awards Dinner for Edward Snowden
What exactly has she sacrificed again? She's been on on an international adventure that will likely become at least one movie and possibly quite a few more, and before the movies are released, I'm sure she will be featured in books and articles endlessly. Sacrificed? What? When was this again?

No, what she's done is translated one role with WikiLeaks which may have been getting old and going sour into a glamorous new and highly publicized role as "heroic rescuer" and companion-in-exile of Edward Snowden, Whistleblower for the Ages.

Bow down.

Sacrifice? Where? When? How?

It's absurd, but these are the absurd lengths that propagandists go to.


  1. I've noticed the "Soviet Union" thing elsewhere too, including major MSM outlets like Time. Somehow it gives me the heebie-jeebies more than almost anthing else that's gone on of late. Full-bore psychosis of that sort wasn't something I'd ever associated with anything but the most extreme despotisms. We truly do seem to have gone down the rabbit hole now.

    1. Even I, in my addled state, sometimes forget, as I did in the piece, that the "Soviet Union" was formally dissolved more than 20 years ago; but to see and hear and read so many contemporary references to said place as if it still existed is disconcerting to say the least. In fairness to Jesselyn, she didn't fall into that error. On the other hand, her hagiography of Harrison would fit right in at the Soviet Commissariat of Information.