The Role of Secrecy
The Melody of Lies and the Spectators to Falsehood
Perhaps irony governs history, or rather greed does, but it does shock one to see the Panama Papers arise almost exactly 45 years after the Pentagon Papers. The flow of time follows that of a melody played from a violin. The populace is the spectator who listens gleefully to the beautiful concerto. The musician is the state, whilst the violin represents policies and legislation. Nevertheless, one piece remains untitled: what is the bow? Secrecy is the bow; it is the piece that will sway upon the state creating the beautiful policies, which entices the audience into giving a final eight-minute round of applause at the end of the concert. Sometimes the notes get distorted and much to Stravinsky’s knowledge, the crowd gets frustrated.
The Pentagon Papers were released in a time where the macro-political balance mattered most. In 2016, it is the balance within the macroeconomic sphere that beholds everyone’s attention, thus the biggest scandal of our time pertains to money. However, we can see that secrecy does not reside in one sphere. In fact secrecy is a constitutional right for the people, and for the government. Western principles value privacy, yet it seems to be one of the most conflicting topics in our society. How does secrecy impact our society?
Secrecy is a principle that allows one to mask another while blinding themselves. Secrets are abstract, they are not a thing, and they hold no physical manifestation. This only entails that they are a tool, something that is used as a means and not as an end. Secrecy, as exemplified earlier with the Pentagon Papers, was a tool that killed thousands of American troops, and thousands of Vietnamese civilians. Nevertheless, it was not secrecy that killed, it was the melodic policies that oozed the enchantments of war. Economic secrecy follows suit by pressing on the strings of legislation that allow economic inequality, money laundering, and every other form of economic absurdity.
We seem to completely shun governmental and establishment secrecy, however we hold on to ours as if it holds our lives, which it may. An idea that was gained through one of Europe’s oldest constitutions, we have even transferred this political idea to psychology: personal space. However, this creates just as much chaos. Whether it would be a break up, an argument, or even a crime, secrecy roots many small scale tribulations. Yet we vow to proliferate it in the name of personal freedom.
There are many arguments that adequately vouch against personal freedom, such as the government would protect its citizens much better if its population’s entire information was at its disposal. On the other hand, close to no rational argument can condemn getting rid of personal privacy for the sake of communal protection. Most arguments base themselves on morality, which in most contexts can be quite irrational and inefficient.
As the bow of secrecy caresses the wrong notes on the violin because of the unveiling of the Panama Papers, we must try to understand the importance of secrecy. If we let the melodic tunes serenade our minds after such grotesque notes, we will be spectators to a lifelong mediocre concerto. Until we understand and fashion secrecy to its efficient functions, we will be undermined and oppressed.