QUOTE(gomi @ Thu 29th March 2007, 2:31am)
Has anyone else seen this recent film? I saw it the other night, and could not stop thinking (I know, sick!) about Wikipedia. The movie depicts the East German secret police before the fall of the Berlin wall, and their surveillance of a German intellectual/playwright. A senior minister takes a fancy to his girlfriend, and a capable underling is dispatched to spy on the playwright and, in effect, to find an offense where there is none.
Now, I do know how horrid East Germany was, and no one at Wikipedia is thrown in prison or shot. So spare me the histrionics. But the depiction of the way in which the Stasi went about controlling everyone was such a perfect analogy to the wikipedia admin's control of things, it was astonishing. The depiction of the fundamental corruption of unchecked power and the creation of a climate of fear was subtle but devastating.
Forgetting Wikipedia, see the film — it is sad but very worthwhile.
Back to the less diverting aspects of the theme in question.
I've been trying to understand the dynamics of fascism for quite some time now, long before I found myself morosely marooned on the mega-moronic shores of Wikipedia — sorry, DT, the alliteration made me do it.
What strikes me now in reading the plot recap that you give above is the theme of using "polite" excuses as a cover for acting on personal motives.
Something to muse on ...