Monday, October 25, 2010

Hacking at the Branches of Evil



“We don’t have a democracy where the Congress depends on people alone anymore. People have increasingly been replaced by the funders ... The problem in this Congress is in plain sight. It is corruption, alive and increasingly sickening.” - Lawrence Lessig

On his way to a conversation about campaign finance and election reform, Lawrence Lessig of Harvard Law School quotes Henry David Thoreau: "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root." In this bizarre season of campaigning and fear mongering, it strikes me that we have even bigger problems than the Tea Party. Carefully, clearly, Lessig's getting at these. He traces three huge social concerns - the economic collapse of 2008, the crisis of childhood obesity, the Gulf oil spill - to campaign finance and an unaccountable congress. Or, better said, a congress solely accountable to corporate donors.

His remarks begin at the 6 minute mark. Well, well worth the time.