We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim | Lawrence Lessig

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HDTVJunkie : At present, 4,429 thumbs up, 90 thumbs down. This is out of balance based on the subject matter. There should only be two thumbs down, a proper representation of the 0.05% of relevant funders. I guess even here at YouTube, people vote against their own best interests.

naperdood : He is now running for president. He says if he were elected, his mandate would be to get this problem solved and resign, letting the vice president ascend and go from there. It's sounds great, but nobody even knows this. So since we have a candidate already vehemently opposed to this donor class ownership of politicians, why doesn't he just put all his effort into getting him elected. He's already pulling in crowds the size of music concerts and he has this very same message.... a message he has held and yelled for years without interruption. Bernie Sanders for President!!! #feelthebern

Istanbul0687 : I'm a Bernie Sanders Supporter, but I wholeheartedly agree with what Lawrence said here. I totally get why Lawrence is running, because simply endorsing Bernie isn't going to catch steam, but he's running his own one-issue platform to get the entirety of the Democratic party (or even just Bernie) to push more for Campaign Finance Reform and Income/Political inequality. An endorsement won't do it, he needs to get up on one of the debates and push his case. Eventually he'll drop out (I don't believe anyone will elect a one-issue candidate), but it's one of the most (if not the most) pressing issue of the decade and our generation, and I'm all for his campaign, even though I feel at the end of the day, Bernie will not only be the best comprehensive Presidential candidate on the Democratic side, but Bernie will push hard as best as he can for the Act that Lawrence is pushing for. #feelthebern

cocoloco818 : God Bless America! Great and important speech. Hope you, the people of the USA will get your republic back. It can not be that (more less) 132 people finance the elections (buy it....). If you loose representative democracy too, like the EU already is and will be continue to do.... where will be democracy left....?? Switzerland is too little to stand alone....

Alan Medina : 17:28 "A Republic Madame, If you can keep it." Benjamin Franklin- A real American American Leader.

David Frank Markham : As hopeless as it seems, We the people must regain our republic!

Indiana Joe : First of all, we do not have a democracy, we have a republic.  The difference being, a democracy is mob rule, winner makes all the rules and laws.  In a Republic, the winner can make the rules FOR GOVERNMENT, but the people retain all of their inalienable rights, including the right to property (cannot tax him).  Any claim to an inalienable right cannot be challenged by anyone within the representative government, as they do not act by right, they act by limited authority and power.  Courts are to decide cases by rights only.

Jason Bonsall : www.wolf-pac.com Become part of the solution.

Davedude111 : Lessig for Supreme Court!

Gummisuperberry : This guy was the greatest presidential candidate but he had a pretty rough week. He was locked out of debates, he was ignored by everybody, and was almost kicked out of candidacy. i wanted him to at least be allowed in debates when i am old anough to run i want to carry his dream to the extreme point and show that anyone can be equal and attack untill the end

Big Guy617 : Who is this guy? I never heard of him. I don't know anything about this guy. It doesn't matter because I am supporting Bernie Sanders but really who is this Lessig guy?

Michael Cain : This message must be heard and understood by Democrats and Republicans. The USA is in the toilet because of big money politics.

Rachel DeRosier : I've known for years that we have a corrupt system in this country of ours, and now I finally understand who's getting the money, and why some of us still love this country so much, how it's all one humongous misunderstanding. Like he said so very well, we all must act as citizens to bring this country, our home, back to the way it was originally conceived by our founding fathers. Overall, excellent presentation Prof. Lessig. Thank you. :)

RedDuppers : It takes a TED lecture to point out the obvious?

Lude Crestfallen : Sanders/Lessig would have just slayed it. This election is horrible.

feetheweasel : We must redefine corporations and special interest groups as non-persons and not afforded any Constitutional rights. We must outlaw lobbying congress except as an individual person. And make the penalties of violation as harsh as imaginable. It wouldn't touch the !st Amendment at all. Basically the bones of it would say, "if you can't pull a lever in a voting booth, you can't influence the process at all"

Ralph Deeds : Lessig is on the right track.

Nic Finn : As long as politicians have the ability to impact the economy, none of these "fixes" or "proposals" will work. All they'll do is make corporate funding slide under the radar or behind-the-scenes. The ONLY effective solution is to take away the power of government...

BobRooney : he should be the next POTUS!

Henry Stradford : Lawrence Lessig: We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim

Ji Ruan : Lessig is a fantastic speaker. The last part is very emotional. 

RantKid : Who are the 89 people who disliked this video? Ironically it's almost representative of the people who would vote for status quo.

Waterfrontworker : why doesn't lester talk about politician lining their pockets as well as rtaising $ for re-election? 99% of congress are millaires many times over

Pop Schlepp : As accurate as this is, I fail to see how anything can change from talking about this. Action must be taken, and talking is not sufficient action. States can do whatever they want in the way of adopting a good idea here and there but when these jackwads sit in their orifices in DC, everything changes. Big Money buys them and their votes. What changes? We KNOW what has to change, but WE DON'T VOTE IN DC. We only send these assholes to DC to vote on laws, bills and regulations FOR US. They DON"T. They vote the way they are paid to vote by big money. Talk is cheap. Until the pitchforks come out NOTHING will change.

May Ngan : It s great !:-)

Jason Ortiz : LOL the systems corrupt, but the answer isnt a "referendum president who will stay in power as long as it takes to end corruption!"  Thats a dictator, even if it is for peace he will be dictating for peace! Not to mention this is exactly what Hitler said and things didnt go so well for Germany!  What we need to do is fully revolt!  Go down to washington, burst into congressional hall, throw all these treasonists in jail, end the fed, and you'll see how fast things change!

Patrick Healy : I've shared this before and I will keep sharing it. I'm a little disturbed that it doesn't have nearly as many views as some of these other silly videos out there. #Seriously   +Lawrence Lessig nails it and people need to know it. This system is corrupt by the very definition of corrupt. We need to change the way we do this. #RootHackers  

jannmutube : There's no Republic without it's foundation in the Judaeo-Christian faith.

Diogenes : The attack on people spending money on politics breaks down once you understand that to avoid hypocrisy you'd have to constrain all political speech to what is equally available to everyone. So for example, no media outlet would be able to express a political opinion because it would disproportionately bias the national discussion. How many people are there in teh media? how many people own media companies? What are the percentages of versus the general population? By this logic, the media would have to be censored. But it goes beyond that because we have lobbying groups... not just the evil "lets have oil so we have gas so your cars and jets work" lobbies... but consider the "lets save the fuzzy animal lobbies" or the "lets help poor people" lobbies. All of these lobbies collect money from a disproportionately small portion of the population and megaphone their opinions throughout the culture and the political landscape. So if you hate the citzen's united outcome, consider the price of it not working that way. All your lobbying groups would be toast. Here's the thing, EVERYONE has a right to speak and everyone has a right to speak as loudly and consistently about something as they want. And if you're rich then you can of course leverage that money to have other people speak on your behalf or buy a captive audience. And if you don't like that... consider that to avoid hypocrisy... you'd have to shut down the media and you'd have to silence all the lobbying groups... even the ones trying to save the fuzzy kittens and poor people. Unintended consequences. What is my solution to the lester issue? We're seeing it in action. The media organizations are diversifying and atomizing. The mechanisms for social discourse are democratizing away from centralized media organizations. Those bottle necks are the vulnerability that make the lester's dollars matter. Why after all do you need all that money? Media buys. That's what it goes for... advertising. Now consider that when the media loses control over the ability to play gate keeper to the political process, you don't need to give them a dime to get heard. You just need to get bounced around by the social networks and the alternative media elements that tend to be the last mile delivery mechanism for a lot of media delivery these days with the likes of Reuters and the AP being mostly a source supplier that is paraphrased in the final delivery.

George Gallagher : Lessig serves on the Board of the AXA Research Fund - Bilderberg members: Who's going to the 2015 secret summit? Castries, Henri de Chairman and CEO, AXA Group FRA Henri de Castries might just be the most powerful man in the world. He is chief executive and chairman of one of the world’s biggest insurers, Axa, and a member of France’s illustrious noble house of Castries. But De Castries is also chairman of the Bilderberg group, a collection of political and business leaders from Europe and North America that meets in private every year to debate “megatrends and major issues facing the world” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/11659892/Bilderberg-members-2015-Whos-going-to-this-years-secret-summit.html

Scott Baker : With McCutcheon, we have lost any possibility of small source funding of elections. The only remaining solution, short of revolution, which never turns out the way people want and expect (e.g. Egypt, Libya, etc.), is sovereign money.  Debt-free money under Art. 1, Sec. 8, Clause 5 of the constitution, with enough carved off for public financing of elections, so that finally, politicians can get off the corporate teat. Then, we need similar moves for much of what government currently spends our diminishing taxes on too.

707westy : I still think it will take a constitutional amendment.  All his suggested and referenced ideas are good ones and are a great start and/or bridge to limited spending by candidates; but until that spending is limited the 132 (the .0042%) who gave 60% of all superpac money will rule the day.... and the country.  Remember, it's about to get worse.  The Supreme Court will soon decide on "total individual contribution limit".  Everyone expects it to be eliminated.  Soon all it will take to legally bribe a candidate is just simply put the money, say a billion, into however many PACs you need and they can give it straight to your guy or gal.  Done deal and all completely legal.

S. GA Patriot : Any time voting for Bernie Sanders is better spent fishing,....... but a way better choice than your other democratic candidate.  If you really read his bio than you would know Bernie's past doesn't exactly reflect a LOVING, PATRIOTIC ATTITUDE toward our U.S.A. based on MORALS AND VALUES indicative of a TRUE LEADER that loves his country.

msvenezia : This is partly correct with the problem being more fundamental.  Essentially, our Representative form of government was gamed by insiders in the early 1900s when our representative form of government was fundamentally changed allowing the floodgates to open for lobbying and funding.  Prior to 1911, the size of the House of Representatives increased in size every ten years based upon the results of the census.  The census wasn't created to simply fight over the divvying up of a fixed number of congressional seats but rather, in order to calculate how many seats would need to be added in order to continue being representative.  Congress fixed the size of the House at 435 rather than allowing it to continue growing in size as it had for the prior 120 years.  The Constitution states that there should be one Representative per 30,000 citizens.  In 1911, there were 117,000 citizens per representative.  Now it exceeds 1,000,000 in certain districts.  By fixing the size of the congress, they systematically made it easier for lobbyists and funding to thwart democracy by making it more efficient to gain power with lobbying or funding since they only need to get to 218 House Members and 50-60 Senators.  Congressmen have essentially become "mini-Senators".  The 2nd thing that was done was allowing Senators to be subject to a popular vote within their State instead of being appointed by their Governor and approved by the State legislature.  By subjecting Senators to a popular vote, every Senate seat has become a national election with money coming from all over the county rather than from the power of the State.  Once a Senator gains election, they only represent the State in name while swearing their allegiance to the central commands of the party.

Mishko S. : The "Funding" Fathers!

Alexander Maxhall : Wow... America... <3... My years of worrying what direction you would take or at least consider taking is at last settling...  Knowing that this has been in the process for some years, and that it is also picking up speed makes me feel more relieved about the future, and the steps my country and other countries that are bound by your country, is taking. I know that the USA is and has been for a long time, the trend setter/setting "the bar" and also paving the way for how many of its allies will indoctrinate certain policies, rules and regulations and even other ideologies. That's why I have been nervous for what the U.S.A does. Therefore I have always tried to sense what direction the US is taking and why, cause I know it will indirectly cast a shadow/touch and influence the direction that we in my nation and probably (other nations) will make as well....  Thanks for sharing this fantastic talk about how this establishment works and what makes it go around, you are being ideal trend setters. ;) <3 

randy hyden : I think this guy said he would consider running for vice president under Donald Trump. Will never get my vote. All we have to look forward to is the chaos of our military rounding up little kids who only speak english and sending them back to Mexico. Another reason the radical right will lose.

firefoxhits : What Lessig sees must absolutely be implemented to save this country and our freedom. And power must be wrested back from the corporations, but it may be a snail-paced and herculean task if we don’t also have a way to hold politicians accountable for their words, and a system where laws are passed alone and not bound along side a mass of others, related or not. I see us voting in officials on their word, only to have them turn the moment after they are elected; and I see laws that should be passed, become lost, and those that should never see the light of day be pushed through because of the manner in which they’re packaged, and not on their merit. If there is no power in our vote; if we don’t have the power to take back our support; it’s useless and we all lose faith as self-interests have their way with us, on our nickel and at our peril. There is no transparency anymore. There is absolutely no accountability. A politician’s word as his honor has become a joke. And this whole exercise in democracy, has been become a play for power and a venue for the corrupt to truly ply their trade. Is there not a way to simplify the election process and get totally away from the big dollar productions that just blind us to the truth?? Can we not just get back to a politician’s word as their election platform and promise?? This all came to light for me with this latest power play – GMOs. How does Obama go from saying he will set Food Labelling in place specifically for GMO foods, and then turn and sign the Monsanto Protection Act? GMOs: an unproven, untested product gets Republican and Democratic support; and just like Bush with Haliburton, politicians are prepared to move heaven and earth to support their funders. Good God, the sooner we turn this around the better. Who is going to take the reins??

Mahvalous1 : Solutions for Americans are always at the local level, start there, then County, then State, and stay involved. This dumbing down of Americans and Politicians running 'over' us as voters is stopped by that process. Go Local!! And everyone, I mean everyone, has something to contribute.. People are often not aware that even one hour  a week is a huge contribution.

ams914 : If the 1% pays 99%, why wouldn't they have total control? Don't you get what you pay for? How could I blame these businessmen for being good at business? I blame myself and the rest of the 99 for being woefully apathetic and not participating in our democracy. Don't hate the players... Obviously we must change the game. IF it's possible.

dlusk13 : It is all about big government fascism and money. Money created out of nothing by the Federal Reserve and loaned to the American people at interest. Global warming is just another big government scam and this knucklehead is buying it.

Gnarly Fingers : Nothing can happen until public sector unions are outlawed. It does no good to limit funding by big money donors if the government bureaucracy itself has a vested interest in its own self aggrandizement.

Mr Monstr : It's easy for people to blame this group or blame that group. I blame myself, just as any citizen should, for allowing this county to writhe in agony for so long. I vote we stop blaming others and start working towards a solution and a better future. I want my children and their children to be free. (For the record I have no political or religious alignments)

Mordecai Walfish : MayOne is only $1000 away from hitting it's 1 million goal, with 18 days left in the campaign. Professor Lessig hits the nail on the head with this talk.  It certainly *is* of the absolute utmost importance for reform to go through our government and the money greasing the wheels to take a vastly downgraded role.

YusifRock : I'm pretty sure his presentation here is the type of intelligent talk that stimulates rational debate that the framers envisioned taking place in Congress & the Senate.  Instead, we have C-Span....

Iiiears : Eureka! You say and in that one moment understanding lifts you above the crowd.  So many indicators of waste, fraud, abuse are of a single cause. So many labors reduced to a single issue. You now are obligated to tell others, donate to a campaign, vote!

Paul Chatlain : Lawrence Lessig is my new hero! MAYONE PROJECT! EVERBODY DONATE!!!!!

B-Rai87 : okay all of this sounds good but, whats to say he won't end up like uh i don't don't every other president exept for jfk .. whats to say he himself won't get corrupted by this corrupt government??...

ComicOzzieSU : Nice words, and if there weren't other factors he completely ignores, I might sign on to his goal. He talks about how we need to cut out the funding for both sides by the rich elite who then get "favors" from those they help elect. He claims it would affect both the liberal and conservative sides. WRONG Because the left still has 98% of the media pushing their agenda. Not just the major news networks. You see the liberal agenda in practically every entertainment production there is. No, sorry Mr. Lessig, until you can address that, you won't have fairness.

Gnarly Fingers : One of the fundamental flaws of Mr. Lessig's idea is that so called "in kind" contributions are overwhelmingly from liberals, who, contrary to his professed love of country (which I have no reason to question) are predisposed toward big  and coercive government: exactly the opposite of our founding principles. Furthermore, they (speaking of them collectively, not individually) are not only dependent upon (academia being but only one example), but have an ideological bias toward statism. When the inevitable end result of your ideas comport neatly with your governing philosophy, but are anathema to 60% of the country, your ideas will not gain widespread acceptance. At least he admits to his liberalism, but the fact that he has bought into the proven fraud of AGW theory casts doubt about his judgement in other areas. I agree with him on many of his  points. Our government has become non representative. But I disagree with his solution. We need to overturn the 16th and 17th amendments. Of the two, the 17th is far more destructive to our system of government, and in far more urgent need of repeal. Even FDR knew that public sector unionism would directly conflict with taxpayer interests. It has to go. Voting has to be strictly limited to those who pay taxes, and prohibited to those who receive government funds of any sort, including government employees with the exception of current and former military. Unfortunately, reform of the sort he envisions raises serious First amendment issues. I certainly don't have all the answers, but I freely admit that the problem is a great deal more intractable than he seems to think.