Why Transparency?

Some people seem to remain unclear on why anyone would prefer transparency over secrecy.  One such group is the government.  But it’s awfully funny that they should not immediately know the value of transparency, since they are renowned for going to extraordinary lengths (including waterboarding, extraordinary rendition, espionage, infiltration, warrantless wiretaps and tracking devices, billion dollar satellites, remote-controlled airplanes, developing mind-control psychotropics, and training cats and dolphins for military purposes) to gain information.

The problem is, I guess, that information in the wrong hands leads to the nations that receive aid in exchange for military cooperation (in secret, due to disapproval of their population) having more leverage in negotiating cooperative agreements.  Information in the hands of the unwashed masses leads to a breakdown of the ability for monopolistic resource extraction by corporations, and it destroys monopolistic supplier agreements.  It leads to greater competition, and it leads to more democracy.

Why is democracy a problem?  It’s a problem because people with the right to choose will seldom choose to perpetuate systems of control in which their children die from dehydration and polluted water sources while water bottling operations continue to ship potable water around the world.  It’s a problem, because illegitimate governments wither away, and sustainable alternatives crop up in their place.

The people that see certain information as harmful must ask themselves why we should continue to operate under such a double standard, and if they cannot satisfy themselves with an answer, they ought to reform their position or resign it.

The western world has claimed to seek the development of democracy around the world for the better part of a century (and in some ways since its inception).  Why stop now, when it’s within reach?