It is getting harder to keep a secret these days. The collective shadow of our society, once safely relegated to the dark basement of the unmentionable, is now exposed to daylight, forcing us to face our contradictions. I’ll offer three examples: Donald Trump’s leaked recordings, Hillary Clinton’s emails and Wall Street speeches, and the endless procession of videos of police brutality. . . .
I could go on to make similar points about drone strikes, refugee camps, clearcuts, and all the other injury and injustice that technology and social media are bringing into view. For a long time, propriety and ideology have buffered normalcy from the ugly inner workings of its maintenance. . . .
Today these buffers are disintegrating, despite the best efforts of established power to maintain secrecy, prosecute whistle-blowers, and control information. We might thank technology for bringing the dark underbelly of our system to light, but I think something larger is afoot. The trend toward transparency that is happening on the systems level is also happening in our personal relationships and within ourselves. Invisible inconsistencies, hiding, pretense, and self-deception show themselves as the light of attention turns inward. The tools of self-examination are proliferating on every level, from the personal to the collective. Read full essay.