Unless you have lived in a cave in the past decade, and have less than zero interest in politics and society in general, you might not have heard anything regarding corporate welfare and crony capitalism in the United States, which are both indications that corporate money in politics is beginning to have excessive influence. Harvard law professor and political activist Lawrence Lessig take a look at this growing concern in the book, One Way Forward, where he presents a clear-eyed, bipartisan manifesto for revolution.
Lessig, who sort the Democratic Party’s nomination for president of the United States in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and described his candidacy as a referendum on campaign finance reform and electoral reform legislation, argues in the book that this “legal corruption” can be fixed if every American of all political persuasion puts their differences aside to change the system for the better.
Citing the common-sense idealism of American essayist, poet, and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau, Professor Lessig, who has a J.D. degree from Yale Law School and has served as director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University (2009 to 2015), shows how Americans can take back their country by providing a concrete practical set of instructions for doing it.
Facts You Need To Know About One Way Forward
1. It Identifies Crony Capitalism as that Gateway Problem to All Other Problems Facing America
Lessig identifies the excessive influence of corporate money in politics as the biggest problem facing America, as it makes the business class and the political class conspire together. Due to this, wealth does not trickle down because entrepreneurship and innovative practices which seek to reward risk are stifled. The book concludes that once this problem is fixed, every other major problem facing the nation would be easily rectified.
2. The Book is Based Off Discussions with Occupy Wall Streeters and Tea Party Patriots
In One Way Forward, Lawrence Lessig describes his discussions with activists in the Occupy Wall Street movement and Tea Party. He says that in regards to the well-being of the future of the United States, both movements share a similar concern and would, therefore, be of more use if they joined forces together rather than be at odds. He writes that together, both movements have the energy and commitment needed to create much-needed change but that the progress is currently halted by a tendency to claim treason whenever one side is seen talking with the other.
Lessig further suggests a need for each person to engage another that they feel are different because the goal is not to convert the other person but rather to find common ground by first listening respectfully.
3. He Wants Americans to Stand Up to the Government
Using the 2008-2012 Icelandic financial crisis as an example, Professor Lessig writes that Americans need to borrow a leaf from their Icelandic counterparts and stand up to their government in order for every citizen to have a voice that matters, no matter their wealth or social status.
Iceland was amongst the hardest hit countries in the world during the global economic crisis in 2008. Because of this, the country’s government proposed a bailout of their major banks, a move that was rejected by 98% of the countries voters. Icelanders instead moved on to launch what has been described as the “most ambitious crowdsourced-sovereignty project in modern history,” which has led to the Icelandic economy showing signs of recovery.
4. He Provides Proposed Language for Constitutional Amendment
While commenting on the wrongs and what should be done, One Way Forward also provides the language that would be needed for making a constitutional amendment. The proposed language of what the constitutional amendment should look like explicitly authorizes public funding of political campaigns and public but content-neutral regulation of money spent on political speech.
5. One Way Forward is a Byliner Original Book
One Way Forward, which has a full-text name of “One Way Forward: The Outsider’s Guide to Fixing the Republic,” is the seventh book written by Professor Lawrence Lessig, published on February 12, 2012. The book, which was first released in the eBook format, is a Byliner Original and its 77 pages long.