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Alan Moore on V For Vendetta and the Rise of Anonymous 286

First time accepted submitter tmcb writes in with a piece by Alan Moore about the influence his comic has had on the hacker group Anonymous. "On Saturday protests are planned across the world against Acta — the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The treaty has become the focus of activists associated with the Anonymous hacking network because of concerns that it could undermine internet privacy and aid censorship. First published in 1982, the comic series V for Vendetta charted a masked vigilante's attempt to bring down a fascist British government and its complicit media. Many of the demonstrators are expected to wear masks based on the book's central character. Ahead of the protests, the BBC asked V for Vendetta's writer, Alan Moore, for his thoughts on how his creation had become an inspiration and identity to Anonymous."
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Alan Moore on V For Vendetta and the Rise of Anonymous

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  • At Least... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 10, 2012 @11:28AM (#38995297)

    ...the V for Vendetta guy had the decency to die for what he believes in.

    When will we see Anonymous punks start offing themselves? I suggest they do self immolation. Doesn't hurt anyone else really and the spectacle is great!

  • Re:At Least... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rufty_tufty ( 888596 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @11:43AM (#38995443) Homepage

    You say that though
    I was re-watching the film recently and it was the scene at the end where the mob marches on the armed police and the police use their own judgement and decide not to fire. Maybe I've been spending too much time on /. but I can't believe that in the current climate in that situation in the real world the police wouldn't fire and then chase them down.
    After seeing what happened at the recent protests with police attacking protesters with disproportionate force, the kettling, the staying away from areas where riots were actually taking place I can't believe that with today's police force would do what happened to V's supporters. I honestly found the resolution to be unbelievable because they have shown they're willing to attack huge crowds of protesters for political gain.

  • Re:difference (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 10, 2012 @11:43AM (#38995447)

    Indeed, instead of opposing a fascist government its now about opposing a government controlled by big corporations.

  • Re:difference (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 10, 2012 @11:47AM (#38995487)

    except that even as a non-pirate I can see that the means employed to stop these "anonymous thieving pirates" are becoming increasingly fascist and removed from the principles of enlightenment. Take special note of how "trade agreements" which "must" be agreed upon in secret are used to introduce laws in a step to side-step national parliaments, the overwhelming police brutality and tactics (like transporting people 20km away from a city center and dumping them by the roadside, in the middle of the night if they so wish to, without needing to ensure that they have any means to get home safely. In fact we have had at least one death due to this already as a man froze to death. All perfectly legal) used to make sure protesters can't be there to voice their displeasure at avenues (such as trade summits) covered by the media.

  • Re:At Least... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 10, 2012 @11:51AM (#38995527)

    The also rolled back from targeting the Mexican cartel the moment it was clear their lives would be in danger...

  • Re:At Least... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TFAFalcon ( 1839122 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @11:59AM (#38995627)

    My guess is that today's police forces are slightly more independent then the one in the movie. Their commanders are unlikely to be executed or disappeared if they do something that the political leadership does not approve of.

    In the movie, the country was extremely centralized, and both of the 'leaders' were dead at the time the barricades were breached. The army could easily have stopped them, and probably wouldn't have felt bad about it. What they didn't dare do was act without orders.

  • Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @12:04PM (#38995685) Homepage Journal

    To be honest, i never thought that i would see such thoughts and philosophies, and such awareness about the depravity of the current system in mainstream in my lifetime.

    im quite pleased in the direction the awareness is going. i think, even if i dont see the full materialization of these ideals immediately in my lifetime, i can still die a happy camper. however, at this rate things are going, i may actually see the realization of those ideas before i bite the dust.

    its exciting. i thank everyone who is participating in these awareness movements to change the world for the better.

  • Re:At Least... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pope ( 17780 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @12:09PM (#38995731)

    My parents were my creators. That at least is provable.

  • by characterZer0 ( 138196 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @12:09PM (#38995743)

    There would be some news reports about alleged police brutality with no facts, images, or video, but with a few interviews of older white middle class people saying that they are glad the police are protecting society from the dirty hobo looters.

  • by hellkyng ( 1920978 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @12:12PM (#38995799)

    Really.... []

    or perhaps this.... []

    Doesn't matter where you live, people can still lose it...

  • Re:difference (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dasher42 ( 514179 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @12:13PM (#38995803)

    "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

    I assume that's the quote you wanted! And since we see Monsanto execs running the FDA and regulatory officials literally sleeping with BP execs, it sure seems spot on.

  • Re:At Least... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @12:23PM (#38995961)

    Your country (assuming you're American) was founded by people who were either atheists or had very non-standard (for the time, and even by today's standard) religious views. Certainly not "Religious people" of the kind you imply.

    Believing your rights and liberties are granted to you by your government is obviously a bad idea - it puts the government in charge. Believing your rights and liberties are granted to you by a creator not only doesn't make much sense (you don't have rights in the jungle), it's ALSO a bad idea - it puts the creator, or rather whoever you believe speaks for him, in charge. Religion was harnessed to be an effective means of controlling the people long before governments came along to try the same thing. And to head off the obvious protestant objection, you most likely still regard some form of holy book as speaking for your creator, and if you're Christian, the details of that holy book are nasty if interpreted literally and/or completely.

    You live in a democracy. Your rights are granted to you by society (i.e. the people, i.e. you). When people realize this, democracy will actually work properly and the world will be a better place.

  • Re:At Least... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @12:35PM (#38996125)

    Your rights are granted to you by society (i.e. the people, i.e. you).

    Ha, that is most certainly not true. If it was, how do you justify saying "slavery was wrong"? Or don't you? Because if rights are only granted by society, then if society as a whole decides certain people don't deserve certain rights, then they don't get those rights and that is perfectly justified (if what you say is true). Perhaps you meant to add certain qualifiers.

    You have to say there are certain rights that humans possess by being human. And then there are certain rights that society can grant later. Basic health care would be a good example: it isn't a basic human right, but it can be granted as a right by a society that passes a certain stage of wealth and medical technology.

  • Re:At Least... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tmarsh86 ( 896458 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @01:12PM (#38996613)
    They certainly weren't atheists. The Declaration is one proof of that. Most were deists which, at the time, was a very standard religious view among the more intellectual people, including Jefferson and Franklin. And they most certainly believed in religious freedom.
  • by trdrstv ( 986999 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @01:30PM (#38996827)
    The REAL Irony to him getting satisfaction that the V is being used in protests, is that most people would not of even known of his work if not for the movie (which he didn't want made). Sure there were plenty of comic book fans that were well aware of Alan's work, but not as many outside the medium. Not for the last 20-ish years (Same with Watchmen).
  • Re:At Least... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Eivind Eklund ( 5161 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @01:42PM (#38996971) Journal

    How about we make a deal: I don't make up shit interpretations of your religion ("An important tenet for Christans is that cannibalism can be a good thing. This is especially important to Catholics, who interpret their important Holy Communion ritual as literal cannibalism, brough about by magic.") that completely miss the point and you don't make up shit interpretation of the psychology of faith and atheism that completely miss the point?

    I don't have the skills to reasonably interpret your emotions around the internals of your religion, and you don't have the skills to reasonably interpret the emotions or reason of people that aren't religious, so if we both stay off saying things about it, I think the world would be a better place.

  • Re:At Least... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Urza9814 ( 883915 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @01:42PM (#38996973)

    Don't believe in a creator? That's fine, but understand this country was founded by Religous people and we will always be fighting to govern it, because we know our rights are provided by our Creator.

    "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."
      - James Madison, letter to Wm. Bradford, April 1, 1774

    "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it."
      - John Adams

    "In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot ... they have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into mystery and jargon, unintelligible to all mankind, and therefore the safer engine for their purpose."
      - Thomas Jefferson, to Horatio Spafford, March 17, 1814

    You get the point. They may have been men of FAITH, but certainly not RELIGIOUS. There's a significant difference.

    Furthermore, why must liberties be GRANTED? They're quite plainly something that cannot be given; they can only be taken away. The question is not who grants us our rights, but rather who would try to take them away. To which the answer is almost always government. You are correct that others believing rights are granted by government is a very dangerous thing. But believing rights are granted by some deity is equally dangerous. If people believe that our rights come directly from the Christian God, for example, then denying those rights to people who people who get abortions or are athiest or are homosexual seems justified. Believing that rights are granted to you by some entity only makes those rights easier for others to violate.

  • Re:Huh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:37PM (#38997515)

    Absolutely agree 100%.

    I always vote third party out of principal. Even if I don't agree with what they say. Even if I know they won't win. The US voters have got into a mindset that there are only two parties.

    My vote (and yours, anyones) for a third party is not a wasted vote- it is a vote towards establishing the legitimacy of ANY viewpoint- not just two.

    The more people vote 3rd party- the more people will see it as a legitimate stance- which hopefully one day will lead to more than two parties.

    I'm actually a huge fan of sortition- or an election/sortition hybrid- I believe that will truly give government the full-spectrum of political beliefs of the country- something that isn't represented in our two-party system.

    I also am opposed to political party being listed on the ballot- or the option to vote "straight party ticket". We are electing people- not parties. The party should not show up on the ballot- nothing in our constitution says we are electing parties or that parties should be listed on the ballot. This creates an unfair environment and an unlevel playing field.

    If you don't know what party someone belongs to- do you really know enough to be voting for them?

  • Re:At Least... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by yurtinus ( 1590157 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:54PM (#38997713)
    Slavery wasn't wrong at the time. It was a God given right (and a society given right). Slavery had been perfectly justified for the vast majority of Human existence. Thankfully society decided to make it wrong.

    Let's get down to the brass tacks. If somebody has more power than you, what rights do you truly possess? They can force you to work, force you to starve, force you to die. At some point in our history though, we decided that wasn't acceptable. We collectively decided it's wrong to deny certain rights and we use the might of our society to attempt to protect those rights.

    You can't out of context say "a person has these inalienable rights" because it isn't always true. You can say "In the US, a person has these inalienable rights" because we as a society have decided to protect them. Replace US with Darfur or North Korea and you see it isn't true - because society doesn't have the strength to protect those rights.
  • by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @03:50PM (#38998341) Homepage Journal

    What ticks me off about it is the abuse of history. Fawkes (and others; Fawkes was largely the fall guy) was attempting to kill the Protestant King James I so they could install a Catholic on the throne. And an underaged Catholic at that; they would make themselves the regent, tied to the king of Spain.

    This wasn't a blow for freedom. It was a coup to replace one monarch with another, and a slightly-tolerant regime with an intolerant one.

    The original Fawkes wasn't a hero of any kind. If the book and film have any "greatness" to them, it's in the power of a compelling piece of propaganda to mislead. The anarchists who feel inspired by it were manipulated, and that should be a cautionary tale, not a role model.

  • Re:At Least... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thomst ( 1640045 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:00PM (#38998459) Homepage

    poormanjoe blathered:

    Don't believe in a creator? That's fine, but understand this country was founded by Religous people and we will always be fighting to govern it, because we know our rights are provided by our Creator.

    Advocates of a Christian theocracy in America constantly repeat that meme, despite the fact that it's patently untrue.

    Christian cultists immigrated to America on the Mayflower specifically so that they could practic religious intolerance free from interference by the English government. Other cults followed their lead over the ensuing century-and-a-half or so, but they were not the only sort of people who immigrated to America. Most of those who came here in the 150+ years before this country was actually founded did so for economic reasons - because land was free for the taking, and opportunities to get rich abounded in the New Woirld.

    The founders of the USA - which is to say the delegates to the Continental Congress and its successor bodies - were, admittedly, mostly at least nominally Christian. But the country that they created was, by design, emphatically a secular entity. That, in turn, was because for many decades before (and, indeed, after) the founding of the USA various of those Christian cults mentioned above were in a practically continuous state of war with one another []. Take the so-called Great Awakening [] in Connecticut during the period 1735-1745, a time of tremendous turmoil in the Congregationalist (i.e. - "Puritan) faith. The Massachusetts Bay Puritans even went so far as to hang four Quakers for the crime of not being Puritans. So the founding fathers explicitly made the USA a secular nation, to prevent any of the cults from gaining supremacy over the others and establishing itself as a national religion.

    Basically, you and your ilk want to undo that and make the USA into a Christian theocracy. The problem is, you fail to understand that, if the USA became an officially Christian theocracy, chances are that it would be a Catholic one - because adherents of the Catholic Church comprise the single largest denomination in the USA, with more than 65.5 million members (although there are more Protestant adherents collectively, they are fractured into hundreds of denominations with serious doctrinal and dogmatic divisions from one another, and cannot be considered as a single religious entity), with Southern Baptists at just over 16 million members being the next-largest denomination.

    If you believe that Southern Baptists would be happy at the prospect of an explicitly Catholic theocracy in the USA, you aren't very well acquainted with Southern Baptists, or their ingrained hatred of and contempt for what they like to call Papists.

    So, in conclusion, kindly shut the fuck up, because you obviously don't know what the hell you're talking about.

  • Re:At Least... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Muros ( 1167213 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @05:02PM (#38999367)
    He was not trolling. He is however guilt of feeding a troll. Correlating freedom and religion is a massive troll, particularly humourous when you consider that most of religion is about is telling you what you can and can't do.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas