America, Compromised: Lawrence Lessig explains corruption in words small enough for the Supreme Court to understand

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Lawrence Lessig was once best-known as the special master in the Microsoft Antitrust Case, then he was best known as the co-founder of Creative Commons, then as a fire-breathing corruption fighter: in America, Compromised, a long essay (or short nonfiction book), Lessig proposes as lucid and devastating a theory of corruption as you’ll ever find, a theory whose explanatory power makes today’s terrifying news cycle make sense – and a theory that demands action.


I need to read this book, because I have some broad disagreements with some of the blurbs I have read on it. I still pin bad acts on bad actors, with an overarching disgust of a culture that rewards bad behaviour.

Yeah, bad actors calculating how to force good actors into seemingly reasonable compromises is bad. Maybe my take is that good people aren’t manipulative enough to plan years of shenanigans that break down good policy one invisible babystep at a time.

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The sad part is that the Supreme Court is itself corrupted. Five of the justices are dyed in the wool authoritarians, who are beyond redemption. And the other four already know how the other five are bad faith bullshit artists, but are hobbled by their morals. And until the bad actors in the Republican party are actually punished, I have no hope.


Ironically, the online behemoth that is Amazon won’t provide me with a non-DRM’ed way of accessing this electronically. Is it available as an epub from somewhere?



It’s not just that some people are manipulative. We could tolerate that. But when you have mega-rich manipulative people, their capacity for manipulation of the system into something that favors them is very considerable.


And what’s worse is that they think they are good people acting in a common-sense way. Who wouldn’t take a 20% return on their hedge fund? People that can’t afford the $10 million buy in, that’s who. That’s just one example.


Thanks, Cory. Will read.

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The biggest problem here is that most people who are doing shitty things do it fully believing that they are in the right.

Ted Cruz thinks he’s the good guy. Seriously. Deep in his heart, he thinks he’s doing the right thing.


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