October 17, 2004

Power to the "Wired" People - Mitch Kapor

Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corporation and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a principal in OSAF (Open Source Applications Foundation) has written a piece on our current political process:

Our nation is founded on the principle of self-government -- a government "of, by, and for the people" in the words of Abraham Lincoln -- but we know in our gut that this ideal is in such peril today that we have to ask whether self-government is even a meaningful concept in 2004 as it was to the Greeks who invented democracy 2,500 years ago.

Greek and Roman traditions inspired the Founding Fathers when they framed the Constitution and brought democracy into the modern world. But if you could reanimate Thomas Jefferson, James Madison or Alexander Hamilton in present-day Washington, they would be horrified. They would find a system both corrupt and dysfunctional, one that has 13 lobbyists for every representative, in which money buys undue influence and the real deals are made out of sight of the American public.

Now, it's easy to look at this process and blame the politicians. They are certainly culpable. But let's look at the other end of the Washington purse strings. Who buys the politicians? It's the corporations who would rather game the system than create something of value in a competitive marketplace.

Posted by James Zellmer at October 17, 2004 12:57 PM | Subscribe to this site via RSS:
Posted to Politics