QOTD: Lawrence Lessig

QOTD: Lawrence Lessig

by digby

On Citizenfour:

[It] is the most hopeful fact about our democracy that exists anywhere today.

The reasons? Not because he thinks anything will change imediately but because of this;

[T]hat this film is playing is the reason there is hope.

There will be plenty who will continue to hate Edward Snowden. There will be plenty who will continue to justify a system that would prosecute him, but not the officials who blatantly lied.

But there is a core who will be moved. And I suspect that if you are a public official on the wrong side of this fight, that core will stand against you. They are young. They still believe. They will catch all the internal references (the EFF sticker; Cory Doctorow’s book). And so far, when they have turned out, they have won.

There is a corruption at the core of our democracy: our democracy rests on ideals; it needs leaders who believe in those ideals; yet ours are “a priesthood that [has] lost their faith [but] kept their jobs.”

They don’t believe in representative democracy any more. That’s why we have the corruption I call Tweedism.

Nor do they believe in liberty anymore. That’s why we have the story told in this film.

But we can see this film.

Which means we may still have the power to do something about it.

Which means there still is a reason to try.

Of course you keep trying. Even if the best you can hope for is to keep them to two steps forward one step back it's better than completely accepting it --- or worse, embracing it. There's always a tension in our system between our Bill of rights and the natural tendency of authority to try to circumvent them. If the civil libertarians don't play their part, don't take it seriously, we'll go completely off the deep end.

Because we have done it before. There was a time when the government and the film industry colluded to ruin film makers and other artist for their political views. And it wasn't all that long ago. Nobody should be too sanguine that it can't happen again.