If a friend were to entrust you with personal information, would you be able to maintain that information solely for yourself? In the article “What Secrets Tell” by Luc Sante, it talks about how the hidden remains serve as a purpose that is stronger than ever.
Throughout the article, Luc Sante gives a numerous variety of secrets that he explains to his readers and mentions that the importance of secrets is too valuable to throw away. If you pause and take a step back to think about this question: how would you describe the word “secrets” and what does it mean to you? The word “secrets” could be a confidential thought that you would not want a majority of the people knowing due to the importance of how it is towards you. Some people may say that secrets are a thing of the past or some may say that it is a present theme. Based on a historical view, secrets have played a role in both the past and play a role in the contemporary United States society. As mentioned earlier, Luc Sante gives a numerous variety of secrets that he explains to his readers. For example, in the article there is a section that talks about Trade Secrets. You may ask yourself well what are trade secrets? Trade secrets have three different key elements. The first definition of a trade secret would be information that has value by not being generally known; the second would be information that has value to others who cannot obtain the information; and lastly the third would be that trade secrets are information subject to reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy. Trade secrets are of importance to companies in all sizes. The failure to identify and protect trade secrets can result in a loss of competitive advantage, loss of poor business technologies, and reduced profitability. In this section it talks about how anyone with a degree of power in the market always has the tendencies to keep secrets from anyone who is an outsider. For example, in the reading they mention how a new car model can differ from the previous year yet with a hint of “improvements”, which will catch the outsider’s attention and will increase public interest (Sante 3). This is an example of the idea of secrets being incorporated in the public realm of our contemporary United States society.
Another example of secrets being in the public realm of our contemporary United States society is through Freemasons. Freemasons are the longest lasting secret society that people know of that is still in existence. Freemasonry is the teachings and practices of the secret fraternal order of free and accepted masons. Many of these groups appear to promote belief in God, but however it is found that the only belief requirement is not that you must believe in God, but you must believe in the existence of a supreme being. Some people have the inclination to be a freemason due to the fact of other close friends or family members having a history of being a part of freemasonry, so they want to continue the trend. The initiation process for joining the freemasons is an everlasting impact to many due to the amount of preparation they do to make the experience personal to have a chance to reflect on who they are and have an environmentally friendly atmosphere.
The freemason initiation ceremonies are also very secretive. During this process it makes you realize the aspects of learning, personal development, and the assistance you will receive to progress in life as they are aware of social status isn’t all the same. The freemasons also emphasize that people only have so long on this world and that us as people need to make the most of our time left. With secrets being displayed in the contemporary United States society there are also secrets that were displayed in the past. One example of secrets that were being displayed in the past was the Red Scare. The Red Scare was based on the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 which removed the monarchy that ruled Russia and replaced it with a system based off the ideas of Karl Marx also called as Communism, which is based on individuality progression and status. It wasn’t until the final stages of WWII that the American people began to see a threat from communism. A method that was used during the Red Scare was red-baiting, which was attempts of picking out suspected communists within the United States government. In 1938 the House of Representatives created the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and within this committee suspicious people were brought in for questionings to see if they had anything to deal with the uprising conflicts of communism. The United States Senator, Joseph McCarthy, presented a piece of paper which he claimed to have a list of known communists who were working in the state department. The presentation of this paper brought the whole country into fear which lead to the concept of McCarthyism, the practice of making accusation of treason without adequate evidence. According to the article, Luc Sante claims that, “People need secrets because they need the assurance that there is something left to discover…”. This type of mentality of people makes them want to find out many mysterious situations which brings out the childhood excitement in them such as opening presents on Christmas morning. Luc Sante also mentions “that a prize might lie in wait like money in the pocket of an old jacket…”. This quote shows the reason as to why some people reveal secrets as they expect something in return might happen in their favor. Based on personal experience, people may want to hear about secrets to try to learn and connect pieces of a story to find out if somebody is telling the truth or not. A benefit of secrets in the personal and public realms is that you’ll have less reasons to fight over a situation such as the new car model example as given earlier, and a disadvantage of secrets in the personal and public realms could be that if one finds out a secret that was supposed to be between one another then there could be a sense of betrayal.
Based on evidence given throughout this paper talking about car model “improvements”, freemasonry, and the Red Scare you can now see that secrets play a role in both the past and in the contemporary United States society.