Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 7:31 pm

Two quick thoughts on Aaron Swartz: Lambert Strether’s and mine

Filed under: Evil — Lex @ 7:31 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Strether, via Rick Perlstein at The Nation: ¬†“Our society should be selecting for the Aaron Swartz’s [sic] of this world. Instead, generous and ethical behavior, especially when combined with technical brilliance, turns out to be maladaptive, indeed lethal. If Swartz had been Wall Street’s youngest investment banker, he would be alive today.”

Mine: A nation that cannot find places for its Aaron Swartzes is a nation in decline. A nation that persecutes its Aaron Swartzes has turned its face from God and deserves whatever disaster befalls it.

(More on  Swartz by Strether here and here; by Lawrence Lessig here.)

Charlie Pierce, as he so often does, catches the big picture here: Criminal prosecution is the primary means by which powerful government and business interests combine to quash uprising, even of the intellectual variety. Viewed in that sense, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz (for whose removal you can sign a petition here) didn’t screw up and neither did the criminal-justice system. No, they did exactly what they were supposed to do, even though, by any sane measure, ther only two legitimate targets left in this country for the Racketeering-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act are the Roman Catholic Church and Goldman Sachs.

And if even half the wingnuts screaming that the government is coming for all their guns realized that this is the real way the government is coming after them, we’d have fewer mass shootings in particular and a safer, saner country in general.

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