Evans poses the question, “When Aaron Swartz refused to deal with the devil, did the government “suicide” him?”
Evans points to the fact Swartz was at the top of his field with a number of important achievements under his belt; he co-founded Reddit, started Open Library and Demand Progress to name but a few. He states that he wasn’t a millionaire, but he could have been.
Evans states that Swartz was undeterred by the government’s previous warning to “chill” and continued in his campaign for a free and open internet and the sharing of knowledge. He was instrumental in the campaigns that saw SOPA and PIPA fail and did not look like slowing down.
He then quotes Swartz’ friend and advisor, activist Lawrence Lessig, who stated; “The government was not gonna stop until he admitted he was a felon. In a world where the architects of the financial crisis regularly dine at the White House, it’s ridiculous to think Aaron Swartz was a felon.”
Evans argues that someone as creative and intelligent as Swartz undoubtedly was, could have thought of a less horrible way to die and points out that “you could eat a sandwich in the time it takes to suffocate from hanging.”
Evans says that if he really was as “depressed” as the media claims he was, it would have been easy to get a prescription of Xanex or a similar drug, take too many, go to sleep and never wake up! He believes that Swartz’ hanging was a message, a message intended to deter other activists from following in his footsteps.
Evans then quotes the comment that Swartz’ father made at his funeral where he stated that the government had killed his son and says that the media has taken this comment and spun it as if it was intended figuratively. Evans says: “Don’t you believe it. I don’t like the way mainstream media writers frame Swartz’s hanging as a reaction to ‘bullying’. It implies Swartz was afraid of the government, that he was a coward, or mentally ill. That’s not it.”
He says that throughout Swartz’ career you can see the attempts made to “assimilate him into the system”, offers of scholarships to Stanford, a fellowship from Harvard, lucrative job offers – but they all failed to bring him under control, “so they switched to Federal muscle tactics.”
He believes that the “death warrant” for Swartz was issued after he became an “effective leader” motivating thousands of people and putting a stop to PIPA and SOPA and Evans believes that “effective leaders aren’t allowed.”
He then cites philosopher Bertrand Russell’s theory that geniuses like Aaron are given the opportunity to join the “elite” but if they refused and continued “bucking the system”, they would be “exterminated.”
Evans then lists a number of suspicious “suicides or accidents” experienced by effective leaders, politicians and scientists that “bucked the system” which included the deaths of Beverly Eckert, Gary Webb, Sen Paul Wellstone, John F. Kennedy Jr. and numerous other information technology programmers and microbiologists.
I don’t claim to know one way or another if Swartz killed himself or if it was just made to look that way, but if I did find out he was murdered, I certainly wouldn’t be surprised. But one thing I do know, is that even if he was murdered, his supporters will not let his death be in vain. When he was alive, he was an icon, a leader, someone we could admire and in death, his important legacy continues to galvanize those who believed in his ideals!