Manning or Assange: An Enemy of the People?

Is Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, alleged source of confidential government information, an enemy of the people? Is Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, an enemy of the people?

For background, the following excerpt is from An Enemy of the People (original Norwegian title: En folkefiende) is an 1882 play by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. An Enemy of the People addresses the irrational tendencies of the masses, and the hypocritical and corrupt nature of the political system that they support. It is the story of one brave man’s struggle to do the right thing and speak the truth in the face of extreme social intolerance. The play’s protagonist, Dr Stockmann, represents the playwright’s own voice.  Upon completion of the play, Ibsen wrote to his publisher in Copenhagen : “I am still uncertain as to whether I should call it a comedy or a straight drama. It may [have] many traits of comedy, but it also is based on a serious idea.”

The “irrational tendencies of the people” are described and explained by Wilhelm Reich in his timeless book entitled The Mass Psychology of Fascism. Reich was a medical doctor, psychiatrist, sexologist,  sociologist and general scientist, who wrote several books on the topic. Reich calls such irrational tendencies “emotional armoring” that creates an intra-psychic split in each individual, resulting in some degree of schizophrenia and neurosis.

Whether or not Manning and Assange are considered “enemies of the people” depends partly on one’s conditioning and awareness.  For someone who is emotionally armored and identifies with the armoring, they both may appear to be enemies of the (irrational) people. For someone who is not emotionally armored or at least does not identify with the armoring, they both may appear to be heroes of all the people.

Emotionally armored parents produce emotionally armored children as part of the process of social conditioning in each and every generation of every society, since the origin of the family.

Which view of Manning and Assange, enemy or hero,  fits your social conditioning?

Can there be any meaningful communication about these views between two persons who are on opposite sides of the armored/unarmored distinction?

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