André Spiegel's Reviews > Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--and a Plan to Stop It

Republic, Lost by Lawrence Lessig
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Dec 18, 11

Read from November 15 to 22, 2011

Compelling diagnosis, eloquently written. An eye-opener for me in many respects — for example, what does rampant obesity among Americans have to do with political campaign funding? Maybe more than meets the eye.

The US political system has become deeply flawed, corrupt, ineffective — all because politicians need to raise hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in order to get elected, and thus become dependent on their donors.

I particularly appreciate Lessig's take that there are no evil people involved in all of this — only rational actors trying to do what they think is right. It's the system that makes it go haywire.

The solutions that Lessig proposes sound somewhat naive. For example, his proposal for »peaceful terrorism«, which involves honorable public persons running for office, without actually wanting to get elected, but threatening to take away votes from politicians who refuse to challenge the system of campaign funding.

It will take a broader movement to actually change a political system that has become so fundamentally ineffective. Fortunately, in the Occupy movement, precisely that seems to be underway.
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