THE BLOG

Expanding the Public's Wealth and Defending the Interests of the Common Good

08/09/2010 01:39 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The job of expanding and defending the public's domain is falling on the shoulders of a few hearty souls.

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks.org and Captain Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society are doing the job that government organizations and non-government organizations have failed to do: create and defend the public's wealth.

Their approach is a mix of new and old school; relying on Internet 'twitch' sites like twitter and main stream television to spread their message and recruit followers to the cause of expanding and preserving our public domain and common wealth -- while pushing back against the tide of special interests, war profiteers and private wealth hoarders.

Legally, we the public have an inalienable right to our mountains, oceans, meadows, skies, beaches, digital vistas and copy rights. Enclosing these spaces and draining them of their vitality for short term Friedman-gains is proving fatal for the common good.

Assange and Watson are winning battles because they are more efficient than any of the activist groups of the 10,000 or so NGO's dotting the globe. They get incredible bang for every activist buck. So much energy is wasted trying to reform government, corporations and banks to get them to behave better. Assange and Watson are simply taking direct action; taking back what's rightfully ours.

WikiLeaks.org has released over 90,000 vital documents into the public domain. This is like expanding Yellowstone National Park by 1/2 million hectares with one stroke on the keyboard. Captain Paul Watson has reduced the Japanese whaling catch by 50%. His direct actions have given us a huge, lottery-like win against the encroaching arsonists of the Fortune 500.

Those wanting to fight for freedom should support Capt. Watson and Julian Assange with all their might. They work for us, expanding that one thing we all hold precious; wide open, non-enclosed, non-commercial, un-fished, un-mined, free space.

Less understood, but equally important is the work of groups like EFF.org who is working to expand the public's digital domain and copy rights.

Copy 'wrongs' -- cruel extension of corporate monopoly imprisonment of intellectual property -- is the buzz saw that is clear cutting trillions and trillions of bits of information that should have been returned to the public domain long ago. Instead, we weep while it continues to be locked away on corporate balance sheets, restrained by draconian copyright laws.

Rumors of a deal between Google and Verizon to turn the wilds of the free Internet into a cable TV model of pay-for-access should be resisted at all cost.

Private wealth has its place in our society, but it must be balanced with the benefits of public wealth. The actions of freedom fighters like Watson, Assange and EFF.org should be supported not shunned.

We all have an enormous amount of wealth to gain from expanding our vibrant and vital public domain.