Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rootstrikers: Republic Lost

A blog reader recently sent me a few links to Lawrence Lessig and his book Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress - and a Plan to Stop It. In an interview with Charlie Rose he is asked: "That’s not a democracy in your judgment because the few are making the decisions because of the power of their money and influence."

Then responds: "Right. So our framers gave us what they called a Republic. And what they meant by a Republic was a representative democracy. And what Federalist 52 says is that a representative democracy would be a government dependent upon the people alone.

Now, whatever that means, what we know is congress has evolved a different dependency; a dependency upon the funders and that dependency is different and conflicting with the dependency upon the people because the funders are a tiny slice of the people. If you ask who in 2010, what percentage of Americans maxed out in a contribution in a congressional campaign, the answer is .05%. So Occupy Wall Street says we’re the 99%, that’s bad marketing. They should be saying we’re the 99.95% who don’t have access and influence inside the system because we are not the .05% with the extraordinary power that funders within the system have."

Who is this guy? He even quotes the Federalist Papers. All of a sudden we have someone who makes sense. He's a professor of law at Harvard. Yet he's smart, he's not arrogant, and most importantly he makes a lot of sense. Turns out he has his own blog and has started and activist group called Rootstrikers which claims Wall Street should buy stocks not politicians. He even quotes Michael Geist. Three cheers!

The name of his activist group appears to come from a quote by Henry David Thoreau which states: There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. One would then assume that Rootstrikers are committed to striking at the root of evil.

Lawrence Lessig's point is how lobbyists can buy government. We clearly see the same thing happening within the Harper government. Lawrence Lessig has articulated the problem well which was also dramatized in Eddy Murphy's movie Distinguished Gentlemen. My focus's is how those bought votes are taking us away from democracy and how preserving the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is essential to preserving a democratic system.

I will add that the idea of the rich buying politicians is a scam in itself. Obviously the rich aren't going to share their wealth. I'm sure the banks didn't donate $75 billion to Harper's campaign even though he gave them that much of taxpayers money. For them it's a high yielding investment. Micheal Moore pointed out that by spending a few million dollars to buy Congress, Wall Street was given billions.

The key thing to remember is that it effects both political parties. Michael Moore was told to cool it when reporting about Senator Dodd yet he also reported stuff on Clinton.


  1. Your stuff on the well-known & respected L. Lessig is more meaningful than the Defense Authorization stuff; the world is not coming to an end. Obama will veto it or it will be watered down to nothing; compared to the economic ills you mention it's nothing. Professor Lessig has good ideas, buying stock is a top one, and is at least intelligently focused on his ideas, not having Anarchist hand-movements idiocy. What is precisely needed is get-ahead intelligent Leadership, not leader-less solidarity workshops. Individuals are always the ones who come up-with the paradigm-shattering moments; Edison, Marconi, ain't no committee ever came up with any such ideas.

  2. Obviously I agree that Lawrence Lessig is intelligent and well spoken and disagree that the National Defense Authorization Act isn’t a huge concern. What if Obama doesn’t veto it? The fact that is passed Senate is an absolute outrage. Clearly one of the biggest problems in our society and the biggest threat to our liberty is apathy.

    Alex Jones pointed out that England has just branded the Occupy movement as domestic terrorists. That means if you dare claim your right to lawful assembly, then they classify you as a terrorist and remove your Charter rights. They can arrest you without a charge, detain you without a trial, deny you a lawyer, the list goes on. It is illegal, immoral and an act of war.

  3. "Individuals are always the ones who come up-with the paradigm-shattering moments; Edison, Marconi, ain't no committee ever came up with any such ideas."

    Absolutely right about that. The group is how some clever politician/revolutionary/small group gets the backing for what comes next. And it's never what is promised. This is why a society that raises individual rights over the collective is to be preferred. Problem is you must stand ready to defend against the constant assaults upon this individual rights. As long as they exist, things will not go the way of the tyrant, which is why they are the constant and ongoing target of those who wish to seize power. They cannot do this unless the group can be persuaded to vote them away, under the false promise that they will be returned when the (manufactured) crisis has passed. This in a nutshell is the method by which power is seized. The only variable is the time line.

  4. Another example of how individual rights are eroded is when “right” wing politicians who pay lip service to small business and free markets actually implement roadblocks to small business and promote large corporations having monopolies on the market. Eroding lawful assembly and the freedom of association by labeling someone a domestic terrorist for their political affiliation then removing their charter rights is a bad precedent for everyone.

  5. Absolutely. It's all about how to lie to people without admitting what you're saying is a lie. And to this end we have public relations consultants and spin doctors, etc., all paid for by the tax dollars of the citizens they steal from. Nice work if you can get it.....

    Who needs a political consultant to tell the truth? A liar, that's who.


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