Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Corporate Media

"Fascism is the merger of governmental and corporate power"- widely attributed to Benito Mussolini.
Almost all major media in the United States is now owned by six gigantic international corporations. The all sell more than media, and make money selling advertising to other giant international corporations. Once upon a time big corporations just wanted to be left alone from government interference. At that time they were a force for smaller government. Now they are the driving force for larger government, a soft fascism which will turn to tyranny once the system fails and the people grow resentful.

Getting this next part is essential to understanding what has changed in our country and why: Global corporations have come to realize that there is less profit in selling you stuff directly than there is in lobbying your government to force you to buy what they are selling through taxation and government programs. Marketing to you becomes progressively less important and lobbying "your" government becomes increasingly more important.

There is a feedback cycle at work here that will eat away at America like a deadly cancer. As the government controls more and more of the economy, corporations see more and more money to be made by "investing" in buying "shares" of government by means of political contributions and offering lucrative post-Washington jobs to policy-makers. Soon, the money in the system from these interests dwarfs the money available from ordinary citizens who donate to candidates out of what they see as the best interests of the country. The global corporations are not giving out of the bests interests of the country, but rather to maximize their own profits. They are not tied to any one country anymore, and so have no special attachment to the United States. Without this attachment, the United States simply becomes another profit center, such as a patch of land that can be stripped-mined and then abandoned when the ore runs out.

The six large corporations who control FOX, NBC, CNN et al have a special place in this new fascism. Their job is to tell the public who the "acceptable" candidates are. They endlessly repeat the names of those whom they favor and ignore, or if need be attack, the rest. They may pick one of their trusted servants to wear the "outsider" label in order to misdirect the frustrated part of the population into wasting their efforts backing another establishment stooge. The media holds up one candidate as the "insider" and the other as the media-designated "outsider", but the way the second candidate got the "outsider" label is that the insiders picked him to wear it. The very fact that they mention the outsider's name with admiration day after day is proof that the label is a sham.

There is only one peaceful solution to this mess. The American people must quit letting the corporate media tell them who "their" leaders are. We must disabuse the public of the notion that the goal of the corporate news-makers, and I include FOX and Rush in this group, is to inform the public. The real goal may very well be to prevent the public from being informed by distracting them through hyped-coverage of trivial matters while selectively ignoring what is really important. Today's media is about distraction and selling the candidate "brands" that the mega-corps find acceptable to them, not about informing you so that you can make a rational choice about what is acceptable to you.

I recently worked on the Ron Paul campaign. We were the only campaign with a real campaign HQ in the state, in fact we had three of them. We dominated in getting signs up across the state. We had meet-up groups around the state distributing literature like no other campaign. We won the most important straw poll in the state. And yet even after all that, people would ask me "but does he have a chance here?" They have been trained to ignore what is going on in their community around them and instead get their idea about what is happening from some guy in New York. People have to return to community. We have to talk to one another more and listen to TV talking heads less. We have to use the power of the internet to make our own media whose motive is disconnected from global interests.

Global corporations have come to realize that there is less profit in selling you stuff directly than there is in lobbying your government to force you to buy what they are selling through taxation and government programs. And the media, including FOX and Rush, are part of these global corporations. There is no reason to believe they are really trying to inform you or are acting in your best interests. Quit listening to them. That is the word for our time, and I ask you to tell it to your neighbor.