Republic, Lost

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-10-02
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

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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.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 1
The Nature of This Diseasep. 11
Good Souls, Corruptedp. 13
Good Questions, Raisedp. 21
1 + 1 =p. 37
Tellsp. 41
Why Don't We Have Free Markets?p. 43
Why Don't We Have Efficient Markets?p. 53
Why Don't We Have Successful Schools?p. 61
Why Isn't Our Financial System Safe?p. 67
Where Were the Regulators?p. 84
What the "Tells" Tell Usp. 87
Beyond Suspicion: Congress's Corruptionp. 89
Why So Damn Much Moneyp. 91
Demand for Campaign Cashp. 92
Supply of Campaign Cash: Substancep. 96
Supply of Campaign Cash: New Normsp. 99
Supply of Campaign Cash: New Suppliersp. 100
Economies, Gift and Otherwisep. 107
What So Damn Much Money Doesp. 125
A Baseline of Independencep. 127
Deviations from a Baselinep. 131
It Matters Not at Allp. 134
Distractionp. 138
Distortionp. 142
Trustp. 166
How So Damn Much Money Defeats the Leftp. 172
How So Damn Much Money Defeats the Rightp. 193
Making Government Smallp. 196
Simple Taxesp. 199
Keeping Markets Efficientp. 207
How So Little Money Makes Things Worsep. 214
The Ways We Pay Congressp. 216
The Benefits of Working for Membersp. 221
Two Conceptions of "Corruptions"p. 226
Solutionsp. 249
Reforms That Won't Reformp. 251
The Incompleteness of Transparencyp. 251
The (Practical) Ineffectiveness of Anonymityp. 260
Reforms That Would Reformp. 264
The Grant and Franklin Projectp. 265
Strategy 1: The Conventional Gamep. 273
Strategy 2: An Unconventional (Primary) Gamep. 276
Strategy 3: An Unconventional Presidential Gamep. 280
Strategy 4: The Convention Gamep. 290
Choosing Strategiesp. 305
Conclusion: Rich Peoplep. 309
Afterword to the Paperback Editionp. 319
Acknowledgmentsp. 329
Appendix: What You Can Do, Nowp. 333
Notesp. 337
Indexp. 381
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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