Here’s a really hard problem that Larry Lessig is not sure how to solve. In his own words, here’s what he wants to tackle in this roundtable:
“Let’s assume we’ve got a fundamentally corrupt government, in the precise sense that the dependence upon ‘funders’ corrupts the intended dependence upon ‘the people alone,’ and that too many within that system are too deeply connected to it to push for its change. That means any effective movement for change has got to come from the outside.
But how would that be done? How would a grassroots movement in the Internet Age motivate enough outsider force to create the pressure such a change would require? How would the people who exploded the internet, who brought the Internet to scale, tackle this problem?”
Larry Lessig and many of the key people who brought the internet, and internet politics, to scale hit this roundtable out of the park. This one on how to Reinvent Money in Politics was the best we have held so far for several reasons:
Everyone at the roundtable was A-team calibre and could have anchored a roundtable in their own right: Internet pioneer Tim O’Reilly, Change.org Founder Ben Rattray, Moveon.org Executive Director Anna Galland, VC Brad Burnham, Executive Producer of TED Media June Cohen, Bram Cohen, creator of BitTorrent, and Markos Moulitsas, Founder of Daily Kos. They all brought something valuable to the table and fully engaged to help solve the problem at hand.
We took on an absolutely critical problem that needs to be solved soon in order for America to take on the many other challenges we face and get back to showing real leadership in the world. We have to find a way to crack the hold that Big Money has over Washington and in politics at all levels around the country. To do that, we must scale up the kind of outside public pressure that could force real system change on how money from corporations, special interest lobbies and a relative handful of wealthy people funds our elections – so they can then block real change.