We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

VIDEO: Aaron Swartz And The Fight For Free Information

Click here to access article by Abby Martin from MintPress News.

This tragedy is another illustration of how capitalism turns everything into commodities for the rich to profit from.
The majority of the wealth of human knowledge is owned by a few publishing companies that hoard information and make billions off licensing fees, although most scholarly articles and journals are paid for by taxpayers through government grants. Aaron sought to change this. 
The script in this post is mostly repeated in Martin's video, but the video is better. So, if you are short of time, I recommend viewing the video and skipping the text. 

Her commentary was inspired by the release of a full length film on Aaron Swartz posted at the end of the article. She explains the legacy of Aaron Swartz: his fight to have the internet serve people instead of profits. 

Unfortunately, we lost a brave warrior whose valiant efforts were crushed by capitalist ruling class authorities whose only concern was to preserve their "ownership" of information. We, the living, must join the battle for which he fought or his short life's struggle will be in vain.  (I was particularly moved by Swartz's comments beginning at 5:18m.)