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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Lessig: corruption of the US political system « Previous | |Next »
December 13, 2011

Lawrence Lessig argues in his new book, "Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress -- and a Plan to Stop It", that Congress's overwhelming addiction to special interest money is at the root of the problems facing the country and the unprecedented levels of disillusionment with government. Members of the US Congress are dependent upon funding from large donors. This dependency affects the ability of Congress to govern.

Corporate money in the form of lobbying and campaign financing has bought Congress enough that Congress couldn't even respond to the financial crisis. The democratic process is a charade it's clear that what's driving both parties is whatever is the thing that's going to maximize the money. Congress is the problem.

Congress is the problem, not the solution.The corrupt power of corporate money is what blocks reform legislation by Congress eg., copyright infringement, health care, environment, regulating Wall Street, and climate change. Wealth is power.

In this blog post at Huffington Post Lessig says:

ours is not a Congress "dependent upon the People alone" -- or even mainly. It has instead allowed a different dependency to grow within its midst: a dependency upon the Funders of its campaigns. And so great is that different and conflicting dependency that even the worst financial crisis in three generations can't break their obsession with the fix. Neither party dares to cross Wall Street, since both parties know they could not win control of Congress or the White House without Wall Street's money. So they feed the addiction, and ignore the real work that they should be doing.

Lessig's idea of reform is to reverse the corrupt power of money through the public funding of political campaigns.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:46 AM | | Comments (1)


Gary, thanks for yet another in a series of illuminating thread starters.
I wonder if the 'States is not out of control at the moment, the arrest and detention laws being put through their houses shows the consequences of their now mentally enfeebled system, once this was upheld by a regard for the principles of justice and law, the last decade tossed aside like an old dishcloth.
There seems a total dislocation from reality evidenced in some of what is coming out of their rightist dominated system there, they could be slipping back into the middle ages.
What a stupid thing the American public did when brainwashed by Fox, in giving power to nutters like Norquist, Boehner and Bachmann.