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The Passion Of Lessig

Publication Date: 
March 20, 2008
The American Prospect Blog
Mori Dinauer

According to The American Prospect blog, Professor Lessig's Change Congress movement comes down to: "improper dependence" on money, an "economy of influence" that breeds "institutional corruption." Professor Lessig is quoted:

Old-style corruption has largely been eradicated, Lessig argued, replaced with something that turns basically honest people into dependents of monied interests. Solving the problem, then, is a matter of "changing the power of money," specifically how it is used in the political process and where it originates.

The Change Congress idea includes Wikipedia-style pledges that "create a relationship between voters and Change Congress candidates, and that involvement creates a sense of purpose -- voters become 'invested' in the campaign."

Lessig described the project not as "all or nothing," noting that however people wished to get involved and on what issues was their business. He cited the example of Creative Commons, the last major enterprise he participated in, as functioning in an essentially meritocratic capacity once it had been established. And that appears to be Lessig's ultimate goal: to get Change Congress off the ground, have it be self-sustaining, and involve people who feel left out of the political process.