A moving video:
On a separate but related note…
Prof. Lawrence Lessig speaks at DC Occupy, as reported by The American Conservative:
Lessig, dressed like Steve Jobs in dark jeans and a black, long-sleeve pullover, began in a poetic tone. He observed that the “the American Spring” had come in waves: the first, the election of Obama, which frustrated liberals when it became clear that his administration was about “business as usual”; the second wave, the Tea Party, which he called similarly populist in character to the Occupy movement; and lastly the great “third wave,” the Occupy movement itself.
“I am a liberal,” declared Lessig, noting that while it’s more hip to say “progressive” these days, he prefers the old-fashioned L-word. He recited a litany of issues on which he probably agrees with the protesters: abortion rights, gay marriage, redistributive aid. He lamented to the protesters that “our leftist ideas still aren’t those of a majority,” before hitting his stride on his present crusade against big-ticket campaign financing.
The Occupiers, he said, had the potential to expose that “this government is corrupt.” Not garden variety corruption, like Illinois Governor Blagojevich — but systemic rot. The present arrangements, by which politicians must approach donors who can pay $2500, the maximum individual contribution legal under current law, forces them to be corrupt, he contended. He briefly turned his attention to Wall Street, claiming a connection: the current campaign system enabled a lack of new regulation after the 2008 financial crisis.
This systemic crisis could only be confronted by a coalition of left and right, he argued, referring to his recent meetings with Tea Party organizers, which included a conference on the possibility of calling a Constitutional Convention under the amendment process provided in Article V (see the November issue of TAC for a full report by James Antle). The conference had been one for elite opinion leaders like Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds and Harvard’s Laurence Tribe, but Lessig encouraged Occupiers to talk to “tea party members who have been out of a job.” Begin by “not challenging their integrity,” he advised, while cautioning that Occupiers not be as “completely convinced of your righteousness as those on the Right seem to be,” he said.
But Lessig’s biggest applause line returned to the roots of the Occupy movement — Wall Street. The Occupiers could find common ground with Tea Partiers on this issue, he said, because “no one believes in crony capitalism except crony capitalists.”