Panama Papers: Ordinary people don't seem to want to be a part of it

Published 13.04.2016 23:23
Updated 14.04.2016 11:13

Ordinary people have intense suspicions about the good intentions behind the Panama Papers leak, as they think that a hidden plan will soon come out from the offshore holdings case

Rich, privileged people use loopholes in the tax system to avoid paying taxes and conceal their wealth, while ordinary people are overwhelmed by heavy taxes. Average citizens in almost all countries pay a high price because of unjust tax systems, and the rich use tricks like offshore bank accounts. In fact, poor countries are more affected than rich countries and pay the price in the global tax system.

That is why you would expect that the Panama Papers, leaked from the database of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, would trigger some kind of spirit for justice among common people. But some people react with skepticism to the papers - over 11 million leaked confidential documents that reveal that some of the world's powerful people use offshore bank accounts and shell companies to avoid taxes.Many politicians, business leaders and celebrities are among those with offshore wealth. The mainstream media in the West loudly claims that the papers raise many questions about secrecy and corruption, if nothing else. Because of that Western media has quickly taken control of the discourse and interpretation, common people are suspicious of the good intentions behind the massive leak.


During WikiLeaks or Edward Snowden's NSA revelations, Western media created headlines and controlled public perception. People connected the dots between the WikiLeaks scandal and the following Arab Spring, and after a while revolutions on Arab streets were replaced by counter-revolutions. They also intuited that U.S. President Barack Obama was pressured to change his foreign policy, especially in the Middle East, due to the NSA leaks. People noticed at the same time that the Western media turned the Arab Spring into the "Arab Winter." Neither the term Arab Spring nor Arab Winter was the Arab world's choice to define what was happening; they were products of Western media. In addition, although there were whistleblowers and figureheads during the two leaks, it was obvious that both revelations cost a lot, and today nobody knows who was really behind these leaks.

Inequality is one of the greatest concerns of our era. When you take a deep look at democratic or economic crises around the world, you find corruption, embezzlement or schemes using tax havens. People should get excited about a revelation like the Panama Papers: Documents that could pave the way for a better world. However, events that came after similar leaks in recent years hurt ordinary people and cost them a lot. Without a doubt, the documents are genuine, but people are afraid of what will come after such a revelation, and they ask who is behind the leaks. So they follow the money.

German paper Süddeutsche Zeitung shared the records with the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and its Eastern Europe-based partner, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP). The paper says they obtained the documents from an anonymous source, which increases skepticism, while the funders of the ICIJ and OCCRP make people get cold on the records. According to the ICIJ website, the cash flow is mostly from the Ford Foundation, the George Soros-owned Open Society and some other family foundations. Meanwhile, the OCCRP is funded by the Open Society and USAID.

Common people have already lost their naivety about such foundations whose founders are involved in reports or theories claiming that they want to rule the world or whose money can buy anything. In addition, quite possibly skeptical discourse and interpretations regarding the revelations are spread by others like the pro-President Vladimir Putin Russian media and anti-Western political analysts, as it looks like Putin is the main target of the Panama Papers leak.

Therefore, it is just another power struggle to ordinary people. They think the winner will attempt to design the world in line with their own desires, and there is no benefit for the rest. And that is why they do not want to be a part of it anymore. After all, can we blame them?

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