Lawrence Lessig

Lawrence "Larry" Lessig is an American academic and political activist. He is a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark, and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications, and he has called for state-based activism to promote substantive reform of government with a Second Constitutional Convention. In May 2014, he launched a crowd-funded political action committee which he termed May Day PAC with the purpose of electing candidates to Congress who would pass campaign finance reform.
Lessig is director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University and a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Previously, he was a professor of law at Stanford Law School and founder of the Center for Internet and Society. Lessig is a founding board member of Creative Commons and the founder of Rootstrikers, and is on the board of MapLight. He is on the advisory boards of the Democracy Café, Sunlight Foundation and Americans Elect. He is a former board member of the Free Software Foundation, Software Freedom Law Center and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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Lawrence Lessig
Revised and updated for the 2016 election with 75% new material.
In an era when special interests funnel huge amounts of money into our government-driven by shifts in campaign-finance rules and brought to new levels by the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission-trust in our government has reached an all-time low. More than ever before, Americans believe that money buys results in Congress, and that business interests wield control over our legislature.

With heartfelt urgency and a keen desire for righting wrongs, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig takes a clear-eyed look at how we arrived at this crisis: how fundamentally good people, with good intentions, have allowed our democracy to be co-opted by outside interests, and how this exploitation has become entrenched in the system. Rejecting simple labels and reductive logic-and instead using examples that resonate as powerfully on the Right as on the Left-Lessig seeks out the root causes of our situation. He plumbs the issues of campaign financing and corporate lobbying, revealing the human faces and follies that have allowed corruption to take such a foothold in our system. He puts the issues in terms that nonwonks can understand, using real-world analogies and real human stories. And ultimately he calls for widespread mobilization and a new Constitutional Convention, presenting achievable solutions for regaining control of our corrupted-but redeemable-representational system. In this way, Lessig plots a roadmap for returning our republic to its intended greatness.

While America may be divided, Lessig vividly champions the idea that we can succeed if we accept that corruption is our common enemy and that we must find a way to fight against it. In REPUBLIC, LOST, he not only makes this need palpable and clear-he gives us the practical and intellectual tools to do something about it.
Lawrence Lessig
Something is clearly rotten in our Republic. Americans have lost faith in their politicians to a greater degree than ever, resigning themselves to Òthe best Congress money can buy,Ó as the comic Will Rogers once put it. It doesnÕt matter whether they are Democrats or Republicans, people are disillusioned and angry as hell. They feel like outsiders in their own nation, powerless over their own lives, blocked from having a real voice in how they are governed.

But all of this can changeÑwe have the power. Lawrence Lessig, the renowned Harvard Law School professor, political activist, and author of the bestselling ÒRepublic, Lost,Ó presents a clear-eyed, bipartisan manifesto for revolution just when we need it the most. ÒOne Way ForwardÓ is a rousing, eloquent, and ultimately optimistic call to action for Americans of all political persuasions. Notable in these viciously partisan times, Lessig pitches his address equally to Occupy Wall Streeters, Tea Party Patriots, independents, anarchists, and baffled citizens of the American middle. Despite our serious political differences, he argues, we canÑand mustÑchange the system for the better.
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At the core of our government, Lessig says, is Òa legal corruption.Ó In other words: money. The job of politics has been left to a tiny slice of Americans who dominate campaign finance and exert a disproportionate influence on lawgivers as a result. This, he writes, Òis a dynamic that would be obvious to Tony Soprano or Michael Corleone but that is sometimes obscure to political scientists: a protection racket that flourishes while our Republic burns.Ó

ÒWe donÕt need to destroy wealth,Ó Lessig declares. ÒWe need to destroy the ability of wealth to corrupt our politics.Ó

With the common-sense idealism of his hero, Henry David Thoreau, Lessig shows how Americans can take back their country, and he provides a concrete and surprisingly practical set of instructions for doing it.

In a season where Americans are poised between the hope for real change and the fear that, once again, they wonÕt get it, One Way Forward charts a course to a thrillingly new American future in which every citizen has a voice that matters, no matter how fat his or her wallet.

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