Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Monday, January 14, 2013

a pretty naked full body verbal takedown of american cultural forces

i hope it really isn't as bad as all this, but the whole article is definitely worth reading because i think we've all seen things leaning this way from time-to-time...

As we think about what happened to Aaron, we need to recognize that it was not just prosecutorial overreach that killed him. That’s too easy, because that implies it’s one bad apple. We know that’s not true. What killed him was corruption. Corruption isn’t just people profiting from betraying the public interest. It’s also people being punished for upholding the public interest. In our institutions of power, when you do the right thing and challenge abusive power, you end up destroying a job prospect, an economic opportunity, a political or social connection, or an opportunity for media. Or if you are truly dangerous and brilliantly subversive, as Aaron was, you are bankrupted and destroyed. There’s a reason whistleblowers get fired. There’s a reason Bradley Manning is in jail. There’s a reason the only CIA official who has gone to jail for torture is the person – John Kiriako - who told the world it was going on. There’s a reason those who destroyed the financial system “dine at the White House”, as Lawrence Lessig put it. There’s a reason former Senator Russ Feingold is a college professor whereas former Senator Chris Dodd is now a multi-millionaire. There’s a reason DOJ officials do not go after bankers who illegally foreclose, and then get jobs as partners in white collar criminal defense. There’s a reason no one has been held accountable for decisions leading to the financial crisis, or the war in Iraq. This reason is the modern ethic in American society that defines success as climbing up the ladder, consequences be damned. Corrupt self-interest, when it goes systemwide, demands that it protect rentiers from people like Aaron, that it intimidate, co-opt, humiliate, fire, destroy, and/or bankrupt those who stand for justice.
More prosaically, the person who warned about the downside in a meeting gets cut out of the loop, or the former politician who tries to reform an industry sector finds his or her job opportunities sparse and unappealing next to his soon to be millionaire go along get along colleagues. I’ve seen this happen to high level former officials who have done good, and among students who challenge power as their colleagues go to become junior analysts on Wall Street. And now we’ve seen these same forces kill our friend.

Read more at 

There's a petition you can sign about Aaron's death. I did not know of him until he was already gone, but I do think it is telling that the guy who posts JSTOR articles gets threatened with 30 years and more, while the banking and financial sector get their wrists slapped, and no criminal charges, with all the evil, evil shenanigans they were doing recently that took our way of living in this world to disaster's edge.

1 comment:

Matthew Bey said...

The wisest thing I've heard anyone say on this subject is "you know when you're over the target when you start picking up flak." Which is another way of saying, activism is only working when they feel threatened enough to try and destroy you.