Tag Archives | Lawrence Lessig

Lessig Would Use a Scalpel Where a Machete is Needed

Lawrence Lessig
This article originally appeared on Center for a Stateless Society.

Harvard law professor and political activist Lawrence Lessig is mounting an intriguing run for President. Lessig’s symbolic campaign will be entirely funded by crowdsourced donations since he has a one-issue platform: campaign finance reform. If elected president, Lessig would attempt to pass a single law through Congress which would scrap existing private campaign financing in favor of a public system under which citizens could fund their favored candidates through small tax vouchers. Lessig has said after passing the law, he’d resign from office. Like many others before him, Lessig denounces the multi-billion dollar industry that American electioneering has become but proposes an inadequate remedy.

Lessig isn’t wrong to detest the baldly corrupt American political system. In the 2016 presidential race, less than 400 of the country’s wealthiest families will contribute nearly half of the overall money raised. The well-known billionaire business magnates that make up that list (the Schwabs, Larry Ellison, and Norman Braman, to name just a few) have a lot riding on the success of their presidential racehorses.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Don’t just sit there with a broken remote!

If it’s broken, you fix it. Whether it’s a remote control or our government…

Exclusive interview with Lawrence Lessig before the Killswitch premiere in Seattle last week. Hear what he has to say about the power and importance of the internet in socio-political change, fixing the broken system and all hands on deck for this lost generation.

View the full episode

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Four marches, two weeks, one goal: The NH Rebellion to #GetMoneyOut

Republished with permission from Occupy.com.

In his “I Have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.”

King was well aware of the power of a march. The New Hampshire Rebellion is too.

What began last January as a walk by a handful of people turned into a statewide march involving over 200 – and included an international media campaign that reached over 3 million people, raising awareness about the corrupting influence of money in politics.

Then, taking that initial New Hampshire Rebellion momentum into a July 4th weekend march along the state’s coast, more than 500 people showed up. In the year since its founding, organizers of the New Hampshire Rebellion have proved not only that they don’t walk alone, but that they have no intention of turning back.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Lawrence Lessig Asks, What The Hell Is A Lawyer For?


Photo: Joi Ito (CC)

If you’ve ever wondered, allow the freedom of information champion explain. Excerpted from his commencement speech at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, via Lessig Blog:

There is no one in the criminal justice system who believes that system works well. There is no one in housing law who believes this is what law was meant to be. The disputes of ordinary people. The law of real people doesn’t work, even if the law of corporations does.

John Marshall — whose name this law school borrows — was not among the framers of our constitution. But among those framers, there were businessmen, farmers, scientists, physicians and some lawyers. No one could doubt the progress that business has made in the 225 years since our constitution was drafted. That progress is extraordinary. Likewise, the drafters would certainly be in awe of the progress in farming too. We could, if we chose, feed every human on the planet, three times over.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Lawrence Lessig: How to Get Our Democracy Back

Change CongressLawrence Lessig writes in the Nation:

Editors’ Note: We encourage readers moved by this essay to sign the Change Congress petition, a drive to enact solutions proposed in this article. Click here to sign. A video commentary by Professor Lessig can be viewed here.

We should remember what it felt like one year ago, as the ability to recall it emotionally will pass and it is an emotional memory as much as anything else. It was a moment rare in a democracy’s history. The feeling was palpable — to supporters and opponents alike — that something important had happened. America had elected, the young candidate promised, a transformational president. And wrapped in a campaign that had produced the biggest influx of new voters and small-dollar contributions in a generation, the claim seemed credible, almost intoxicating, and just in time.

Yet a year into the presidency of Barack Obama, it is already clear that this administration is an opportunity missed.

Read the rest
Continue Reading