Monday, January 14, 2013

Aaron Swartz, America’s Mohamed Bouazizi: We’re in the midst of a revolution, which side are you on?

The United States is ripe for a revolution. People are pissed, and rightfully so. The only question that remains is if the restructuring will be peaceful, like what we saw happen in Iceland, or will it be violent, like what we see happening in Greece and Spain.

As Chris Hedges has implied on multiple occasions, the revolution is well on its way:
I have seen my share of revolts, insurgencies and revolutions, from the guerrilla conflicts in the 1980s in Central America to the civil wars in Algeria, the Sudan and Yemen, to the Palestinian uprising to the revolutions in East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Romania as well as the wars in the former Yugoslavia. George Orwell wrote that all tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but that once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force. We have now entered the era of naked force. The vast million-person bureaucracy of the internal security and surveillance state will not be used to stop terrorism but to try and stop us.”

All of that has been used to essentially, in this reconfiguration of American society… into an oligarchic state, a neofeudalistic state—you criminalize dissent, because they know very well what’s coming, as they reduce roughly two-thirds of this country to subsistence level.”

Chris Hedges: "America is a Tinderbox"

Full episode list of “Reality Asserts Itself - Chris Hedges”

The most revealing feature of our current economic and political model that points to a systematic failure is how the banks have been able to commit and profit from the most heinous crimes without being held accountable, while individuals have been relentlessly hounded for the most minor of infractions. Our society is full of such stories, from banks getting a slap on the wrist for laundering money for drug lords and terrorists while quadriplegics are arrested for smoking a joint and left to suffocate and die in prison, to our leaders having private hit lists and rebranding civilians as combatants and terrorists while peaceful civilians are incarcerated without being charged for any crime just because they refuse to take part in a witch-hunt.

Our current economic and political system is a joke and the latest victim of this corrupt system is Aaron Swartz. What Aaron accomplished by the time of his death at the tender age of 26 was astonishing, and the events that led to his final decision to take his own life will make your blood boil. The following two videos provide detailed information on what took place and who Aaron was. Keep this information in mind because the story of Aaron Swartz is very similar to that of Mohamed Bouazizi, the catalyst the gave birth to the Arab Spring.

"An Incredible Soul": Lawrence Lessig Remembers Aaron Swartz After Leading Cyberactivist’s Suicide

F2C2012: Aaron Swartz keynote - "How we stopped SOPA"


  1. Official Statement from the Family and Partner of Aaron Swartz:

    "Our beloved brother, son, friend, and partner Aaron Swartz hanged himself on Friday in his Brooklyn apartment. We are in shock, and have not yet come to terms with his passing.

    "Aaron’s insatiable curiosity, creativity, and brilliance; his reflexive empathy and capacity for selfless, boundless love; his refusal to accept injustice as inevitable—these gifts made the world, and our lives, far brighter. We’re grateful for our time with him, to those who loved him and stood with him, and to all of those who continue his work for a better world.

    "Aaron’s commitment to social justice was profound, and defined his life. He was instrumental to the defeat of an Internet censorship bill; he fought for a more democratic, open, and accountable political system; and he helped to create, build, and preserve a dizzying range of scholarly projects that extended the scope and accessibility of human knowledge. He used his prodigious skills as a programmer and technologist not to enrich himself but to make the Internet and the world a fairer, better place. His deeply humane writing touched minds and hearts across generations and continents. He earned the friendship of thousands and the respect and support of millions more.

    "Aaron’s death is not simply a personal tragedy. It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach. Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s office and at MIT contributed to his death. The US Attorney’s office pursued an exceptionally harsh array of charges, carrying potentially over 30 years in prison, to punish an alleged crime that had no victims. Meanwhile, unlike JSTOR, MIT refused to stand up for Aaron and its own community’s most cherished principles.

    "Today, we grieve for the extraordinary and irreplaceable man that we have lost."