An Occupier rebuffs Lawrence Lessig’s proposal for taking the movement beyond mere protests

The recent exchange linked below between self-described liberal Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig, author of the excellent new book, Republic, Lost, and The Nation sports editor Dave Zirin, helped crystallize for me why the Occupy movement will continue to struggle to establish meaningful roots.  I’m not going to summarize it; check it out if you’re interested:

Tim Kowal

Tim Kowal is a husband, father, and attorney in Orange County, California, Vice President of the Orange County Federalist Society, commissioner on the OC Human Relations Commission, and Treasurer of Huntington Beach Tomorrow. The views expressed on this blog are his own. You can follow this blog via RSS, Facebook, or Twitter. Email is welcome at timkowal at


  1. In their own way, both are being stupid about this. Lessig sounds like he’s going in circles when he goes from talking about left-right fusion populism rising up and changing how the system works to observing how SFA populism actually matters to it and then back (not to mention he falls into the assumption that stated ideological labels are consistent), while Zirin seems to want to play radical while actually proposing Democrat Harder This Time (Yeah, it’s all deeply corrupt garbage but tax hikes and single-payer health care will make it all better…).

    As for my view on next moves, I like where this one is pointing. The symbiotic relationship between the large financial players and the state is (or at least should be) the main point, and challenging illegitimate property claims based on rent-seeking is consistent with that.

  2. The Tea Party and Occupy may be angry at some of the same outcomes, but they are radically opposed in their preferred solutions.

    Tea Party seems to think that smaller government will somehow result in an end to crony capitalism, while Occupy wants a stronger government that can resist the influence of private interests.

    • You’ll never get to an end to crony capitalism either with big or small government. Big government leads to relationship capitalism, which is to say capitalism that serves cronies by design rather than by accident. Limited government doesn’t hope to obliterate faction; it can’t be done. But it can keep it to a tolerable level.

      • “Politicians are interested in people. Not that it is always a virtue. Fleas are interested in dogs.”—O’Rourke

        Just trying to help.

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