Lawrence Lessig: Join Forces with different others who seek to reform government corruption

| October 12, 2011 | 6 Replies

At Huffpo, Lawrence Lessig has eloquently encouraged all of us to reach out to all others who seek to return control of the government to the People rather than the 1%. We should especially do this regarding people with whom we disagree on many other issues:

[W]hen Ron Paul criticizes the “Wall Street bailouts,” and attacks government support for “special businesses” with special access, we should say, “that’s right, Congressman Paul.” Bailouts for the rich is not the American way.

And when Rick Santelli launches a Tea Party movement, by attacking the government’s subsidies “to the losers,” we should ask in reply, what about the subsidies “to the winners” — to the banks who engineered the dumbest form of socialism ever invented by man: socialized risk with privatized benefits. What, we should ask Mr. Santelli, about that subsidy?

Or when Republican Senator Richard Shelby tells NBC’s Meet the Press that the message in bank reform “should be, unambiguously, that nothing’s too big to fail,” we should say that’s right, Senator, and it’s about time our Congress recognized it.

Or when Sarah Palin calls GE the “poster child of crony capitalism,” we should say “Amen, Mamma Grisly”: For whether or not we are all believers in “capitalism,” we should all be opponents of “crony capitalism,” the form of capitalism that is increasingly dominating Washington, and that was partly responsible for the catastrophe on Wall Street in 2008, and hence the catastrophes throughout America since.

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Category: Corporatocracy, populism

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (6)

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  1. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    I am invisible.

    When I am around other people, they see me, they hear me, they can shake my hand. But it doesn’t matter, because they are invisible as well.

    When I watch television, I see a multitude of commercial ads for brokerage houses and financial services, offering to manage my portfolio of investments. They cannot be targeted to me, for I find I must live from paycheck to paycheck. Obviously, Wall Street doesn’t know I exist.

    To them I am invisible.

    The news reports on all the people scamming social security and welfare, but for many years, my income has been just a few dollars per year too much to qualify for social services. On the other hand, I’ve never made enough in a year to take advantage of tax deductions other than the standard deductions.

    To the tax accountants, I am invisible.

    From 2001 to 2011, the total cost of living has increased by around 28 percent. During that same time period, my income has increased by 4 percent.

    To those who keep and compile the statistics, I am invisible.

    When I call, email or snail mail my representation in government, they don’t hear me.

    To my legislators, I am invisible.

    When the banks and insurance companies take my hard earned money and give me nothing in return, when the phone company bills me for services they do not provide, when the corporations rob me of my right to due process to further their profits,I have no recourse in the law. For the laws have been hijacked to favor the wealthiest 1 percent.

    To the justice system, I am invisible.

    The ranks of the politically invisible are rapidly swelling, as former members of the shrinking middle class are joining our ranks. The time is come that we demand to be seen and heard.

    It is time to cast off our invisibility. The time is come that we, the invisible, shout out, demand to be heard and seen, and put democracy back in government.

  2. Karl says:

    So what do the 2012 election results mean?

    They mean that local majorities of people
    who elect the house of representatives no
    longer share common values/influence with
    more than half of their government.

    Those that wish to win the Presidency and
    Senate seats must now accept compromise
    of their personal values or expect defeat by
    those that have differing core beliefs but share
    a common interest in dissolving the influence
    of local majorities.

    This means the USA has now established a
    combined influence of multiple special interest
    groups who do not believe they are personally
    responsible for anything because they still
    believe they are minorities, so they can’t be
    blamed for what is taking place.

    They believe they have the right to do whatever
    they want with any financial matters they
    believe are at their disposal/destruction.

    Those who seek to pull themselves up by
    pulling others down, remove hope for
    everyone’s children simply because now
    there is not any group that considers itself a
    majority, so there is not any group – only
    individual past leaders who are to blame for
    any currently existing problems.

    This is how most states in Europe operate.
    People have known for a very long time how
    to transform America and they know that it
    is by voting the conservative majority into a
    minority so their is no longer any moral stance
    anyone can take to prevent the complete
    erosion of personal responsibility.

  3. Karl says:

    Anyone that claims to be righteous or not is in for a very rude awakening. Oblivion only awaits those who hope for it.

  4. Karl says:

    Are you saying there is no government corruption or that there is very little chance that special interest groups can ever agree what corruption is worth trying to bring to an end?

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