Techdirt Reading List: Larry Lessig's Republic, Lost
from the worth-a-read dept
We’re back again with another in our weekly reading list posts, of books we think our community will find interesting and thought provoking. Once again, buying the book via the Amazon links in this story also help support Techdirt.
As you’ve probably heard by now, Larry Lessig is may be running for President if he’s able to raise $1 million by the end of this weekend — positioning himself as a 100% referendum candidate focused on political corruption and money in politics. His plan is to pass campaign finance reform, and then resign from the Presidency. He’s currently right around $750,000, which makes me think he’ll make it over the line with a last minute bump.
I’m still not entirely sure what I think of the campaign. As I said in my original post about it, it feels gimmicky and a little nutty. Others have raised more serious concerns, some of which Lessig just tried to respond to, which is worth a read. However, equally worth reading is Lessig’s 2011 book about money in politics (and how to fix it): Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress–and a Plan to Stop It.
As with the fundamentals of Lessig’s campaign, I don’t agree with the entire book, and I still worry about the serious unintended consequences that may occur based on campaign finance laws that sound good, but may create free expression concerns. That said, Lessig still makes a very compelling argument about just how corrupt the system really is, and how that undermines nearly everything in government. At the very least, if you’re considering supporting Lessig (or, even hating on Lessig), you at least owe it to yourself to read his book, in which he lays out his ideas in a very thorough manner. And, yes, if you don’t wish to buy the book from Amazon, Lessig also allows for free downloads from his own website, though (obviously) getting it that way doesn’t help support Techdirt.