Our democracy no longer represents the people. Here’s how we fix it.

Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig makes the case that our democracy has become corrupt with money, leading to inequality that means only 0.02% of the United States population actually determines who’s in power. Lessig says that this fundamental breakdown of the democratic system must be fixed before we will ever be able to address major challenges like climate change, social security, and student debt. This is not the most important problem, it’s just the first problem.

Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, former director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, and founder of Rootstrikers, a network of activists leading the fight against government corruption. He has authored numerous books, including Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Our Congress—and a Plan to Stop It, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, Free Culture, and Remix.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Thank you Alina.

2 thoughts on “Our democracy no longer represents the people. Here’s how we fix it.

  1. The United States of America is no, never has been, and was never intended to be a “democracy”. Anyone using the term referring to the U.S.A. either doesn’t know what the word means, or has an agenda contrary to the republican principles this country was founded on — republican as in form of government, not political party. Note that Art. IV, Sec. 4 of the Constitution says that “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, . . .”

    In The Federalist, No. 10, which should be required reading (actually all of The Federalist Papers), James Madison discusses the difference between a democracy and a republic, and why the Founders did not a “democracy”. Should read all of it, but here’s an excerpt:

    “Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.
    A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking.”
    _______________________

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