The Strange Drama of Julian Assange And Ross Ulbricht

Both Julian Assange and Ross Ulbricht have been condemned to frightening prisons: Assange for daring to expose the truth and Ulbricht for daring to build a free market. Legal vocabulary just clouds the issue; they’re in prison for truth and markets… and for acting on their own will.

Those of us who’ve paid attention know that “the law,” as applied to both men, was driven by the necessities of power: Assange was setup and the legal processes used against him were rigged. Ulbricht’s trial was manipulated and his sentence was based upon charges that were never tried.

These men, then, are martyrs… our martyrs.

Their martyrdoms, however, service power in a strange way.

Learned Pessimism

There is a profound psychological effect called Learned Pessimism. Put briefly, this is what happens to people when they are repeatedly unable to affect outcomes. It leads to apathy and depression.

In other words, once people see that nothing they do affects their results, they slump down into apathy. That is, they lose faith in their own will.

Ulbricht and Assange, then, are props in a drama that teaches us to distrust our wills and comply with power. Their protracted martyrdom is far better for this than quick martyrdom, and so we see that the drama is directed at us.

What Power Fears

From this drama, we learn what truly threatens power. And that comes down to two things:

  1. Cryptography.
  2. Active will.

What power fears, then, is the combination of cryptography and will. Both our martyrs notably combined these.

So, please keep this in mind. And please do whatever you can, small or large, for Ross and Julian.


Paul Rosenberg