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thinkahol on 2011-10-18If, as Lessig conclusively demonstrates, Congress is indifferent to the will of the people and to democratic debate — because it has been captured by monied interests to whose interests it exclusively attends — then the people lose the ability to affect what government does in any realm. It doesn’t make much difference which problem you believe is most pressing: this is the dynamic that lies at the heart of it. Inaction on climate issues is due to the power of polluters and energy companies; the power of the private health insurance industry blocks fundamental health-care reform; endless war and civil liberties abuses are sustained by the power of the surveillance and National Security State industries; and a failure to achieve real Wall Street reform is due to the fact that, as Sen. Dick Durbin amazingly acknowledged about the institution in which he serves, “the banks frankly own the place.”
Without finding an effective way to address that overarching problem, the only recourse for citizens becomes either passive acceptance of their powerlessness (i.e., apathy and withdrawal) or disruption and unrest fomented outside of the electoral system (the driving ethos of OccupyWallStreet).