This post is part of the continued series called Nour Minute. On a regular basis I write about people, topics, or perspectives that come across my radar, which may be of interest or value to you. They shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to read, internalize and further explore. #NeverStopGrowing. You can search the category on the right to find other similar posts in the series as well. As always, I welcome your feedback. David
Lawrence Lessig is sending shock waves through the democracy reform movement. In just the last two months, the Harvard Law professor and anti-corruption crusader has helped raise millions of dollars that will fund efforts to elect reformers to government seats. But for Lessig, it’s not so much about the money – it’s about action and inspiration.
For the past seven years, he has committed his life’s cause to illuminating – and weakening – the connection between money and politics, passionately focusing on finding ways to bring more people into the movement. His TED talk last year went viral, quickly capturing the attention of millions; that presentation has since become a book, “The USA is Lesterland,” framing a fix for ending the (legal) corruption that has infected and poisoned our government.
However, Lessig’s most recent initiatives are perhaps most noteworthy: Mayday, the crowd-funded political action committee, and the New Hampshire Rebellion coalition, which kicked off in January with a 185-mile walk from the top to the bottom of the state. These two bold experiments engaged and compelled American citizens to action.
“Even though 96 percent of America believes it is ‘important’ to ‘reduce the influence of money in our politics,’ 91 percent believe it is essentially not possible,” because we are resigned as a people to accept limitations, Lessig explained in a column for The Atlantic. But if you offer a sense of hope, you provide a new way to think, and change becomes possible.
This was Lessig’s parting message in his TED talk earlier this year, which roused a standing ovation – and it’s at the heart of his citizen-centered reform movement. He believes the power to fix America’s broken political system is in the hands of the people.