John Perry Barlow: Internet has broken political system

The former Grateful Dead songwriter said those disppointed in Obama are disregarding the extent to which the political system is broken. He blamed the Beltway establishment, which he said is loathe to give up any accumulated influence.

"There is a circle of fat around the Beltway that is incredibly thick" Barlow said. "We can no longer try to run this country from the center. We've got to run it, just like the Internet, from the edges."

A longtime advocate of individual's rights online, Barlow also had some harsh words for the world's leading search firm.

"Google’s capacity to control human thought makes the Catholic church jealous, I bet," Barlow said. "They wish they’d thought of it."

Despite his concerns, Barlow remains optimistic about the Internet's ablitity as a force for good in politics, describing himself as a techno-utopian.

"There are lots of battles to be fought, we can’t give them up," Barlow said. "You folks in this room have the capacity to be some of the greatest ancestors anybody ever had."