WikiLeaks and Rambam
WikiLeaks and Rambam? Yes, there is a connection!
WikiLeaks' stated goal "is in exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we also expect to be of assistance to people of all regions who wish to reveal unethical behaviour in their governments and corporations." That sounds reasonable, but one does receive the impression that the fundamental value guiding WikiLeaks, and certainly many of its supporters, is that all information should be available to everybody - in particular, sensitive information about national politics and security.
But many people - and I mean fine, democratic people - consider this to be a harmful enterprise. It is understood that even governmental bodies who have the best interests of the people in mind will sometimes have to conceal certain information. Sometimes this is for the sake of national security, sometimes for diplomatic objectives, and sometimes for the peace of mind and well-being of the citizens. Of course there are countless benefits of an open society with free speech, but, like everything else, you can have too much of a good thing. Not every truth is beneficial for everybody, and caution must always be exercised.
This is a fundamental dynamic of Rambam's thought. Rambam broadly divides everybody into two classes: the elite and the masses. There are certain philosophical truths which are important and beneficial for the sophisticated elite to know, but which would be harmful to the unsophisticated masses and which should therefore be concealed. This attitude often provokes a visceral reaction, and there is certainly legitimate concern about who is entitled to make such judgments for others. However, the underlying idea - that not all true information is beneficial to all people - is surely correct.