Home | About | Donate

Monopoly or Democracy?


#1

Monopoly or Democracy?

Jim Hightower

America's political history has been written in the fierce narrative of war — not only our country's many military clashes with foreign nations, but also our own unending war for democracy in the U.S.


#2

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.”
–George Orwell

Such is the nature of monopolistic power, be it political, economic, or religious in character.


#3

Putin is said to have ended the free press in Russia by buying it. I think when all the newspapers, magazines, internet sites, and TV stations are included the US still has a pretty good free press. The biggest problem is not monopolist ownership, it is lies being spread at amazing speed across the internet. Hightower needs to get up to date with his criticism. Facebook now poses the biggest threat to democracy and other social media such as Twitter, Instagram, etc also pose a threat. The Russians in particular are using social media to undermine mine US democracy and so far this problem has not been adequately dealt with.


#4

Dude, I could see you trapped in the bowels of steerage on the Titanic, at the bottom of the ocean, water filling your lungs, and you’d still be telling the other passengers that the Russians want to sink the ship.


#5

Sorry, but time and continued technology development will eventually eclipse the FAANG companies.

For example, when the Dow Jones was started in 1896 there were 12 companies that comprised the index and represented a significant portion of the wealth on the stock exchange. None of those companies are in the index today, and only 4 are independent companies.

Companies are founded, grow, shrink and (sometimes) disappear. Wealth gets concentrated and dissipated over time.

Elites, like everyone else, watch out for themselves. Fortunately, life isn’t a zero sum game.


#6

Like all of the other “thoughts” (daydreams?) that you have posted here over the past couple of years, your statement has no basis in fact.  While it’s true that there are a great many niche magazines, niche internet sites and niche T-V stations, the vast majority of D’Uh-murikans pay attention to only three or four “news” outlets — Fox with its continual barrage of lies, or MSNBC et al which cover only what their owners allow them to (most of which is distorted into a trivial horse-race between the pro-Korporate DamnocRats and pro-Theocrat RePoop­Lickens).


#7

Thanks to Jim Hightower for yet another excellent and accurate commentary!

“Yet, in the stunningly short period of the last couple of decades, corporate political money and the public officials it bought have enshrined monopoly power as a legitimate form of business in our land, aggressively protected from public “meddling” by lawmakers, regulators and judges. For example, after our grassroots economy was crushed in 2007 by the greed of too-big-to-fail Wall Street banksters, officials bailed out the villainous banks at the taxpayer expense and deliberately made them bigger, more powerful and more dangerous than ever. Today, just five banks control nearly half of all financial assets in the U.S.”

The powers that have made such great strides toward total domination have had accomplices and those Quislings have been politicians and the total absence of a real opposition party! The Democratic Party has, thru its power-brokers and sellout swine, been absorbed into the con and become complicit - its “leaders” from the Clinton’s to Obama, “the great progressive fraud”, to the DINO DNC DLC party mechanisms taken-over by reactionary profits first elements that serve vast wealth and the growth of monopoly power!

We expect to be ripped-off and screwed by R’Cons who tell us to our face that;s their agenda but the DINO betrayers speak soothing words while buggering us!


#8

Typical fantasy propaganda rubbish we have come to expect from you…always wrapped in a pretty package but ugly and devious inside…“undermine US democracy” - are ya daft? That ship has sailed long ago and it was home-grown!


#9

Hightower has it right. Big Money/corporations control/dominate/own both our government and the media. Mainstream news is corporate news, they tell us what they want the sheeple to believe and so they do.

Why doesn’t anyone here ever talk about the number one cause of wealth exploitation in this country - the PRIVATE corporation deliberately misnamed The Federal Reserve System? There is always enough money for another corporate-driven war. You don’t have to tax the people or convince them to buy bonds (loans) to support war - just fire up the ol’ printing press. Ditto all the Fed-funded alphabet agencies that instead of reining in the corporations rein in the sheeple. Corporations own/dominate/control the Demopublicans so it is damned near impossible to “voter the bastards out.” Corporations cultivate the in-fighting that is going on in both political parties and divide and conquer is working rather well as they march to their banks with their ill-gotten loot.

America is a corporatocracy. A government of, by, and for the PEOPLE remains elusive. That’s the problem as I see it, now what is the solution? Gopherit


#10

Hightower’s got it straight enough, at least as far as commercial media go.

I have to wonder when we might collectively put the old media and its broken standards of authenticity aside. Because its failure has become systemic and general, there’s no point waiting for the NYT or CNN to fess up:

In the 19th and 20th centuries, roughly, what your teachers called “a good source” was a source produced by an institution that had a vested interest in being respected as reliable. To an extent, this worked: papers debated over putting out The Pentagon Papers, but did so because they finally could not afford to be scooped. To analyze this per Chomsky and Herman’s 5 filters, the papers worried about offending sources, but relented because they could not afford to lose the attention of readers, which they intended to sell to advertisers.

In the 21st century, this has changed. Ad revenues became generally inadequate to sustain professional investigative reporting. News agencies compensated by giving air time and column space to sources who had PR issues–the military, the government, and large bruiser corporations. Selling viewers, then, became less important, and conforming to the demands of sources became more important.

At the same time, what was called “journalistic objectivity” eroded. There had been no “objectivity” in any rigorous philosophical sense, but there had been some restraint on editorial invention. At first, this meant the withholding of obvious editorial opinion in “straight news” articles, though bigotries could generally be easily embodied in loaded language. Eventually a style was hammered out in which opinions could be assigned to news sources, whose identity could usually be obscured as “sources inside the White House” or whatever. This led to a corruption in which “objectivity” was often understood as “presenting both side,” which of course tended to be Republican and Democrat, not rich and poor or invader and victim.

Nowadays, the largely pretentious mantle of “objectivity” has been largely cast aside. This does not mean that reporting is necessarily less factual, though that is often the case. It means that in the relative absence of institutional reliability, individual authors do not withhold opinions but foreground them and confess perspectives and circumstances as a kind of due diligence. This sets them apart from traditional sources like the NYT, who hide their vested interests, usually with at least partial success.

In this context and given these motivations, the old media has been persistently scooped by alternates, amateurs, and foreign institutions. Sadly, the dollar-driven response has been to not compete in revealing news, but to try to shut down whistleblowers and popular discourse.

The free press right now is what’s left of the one online. And they’re carving away at that.


#11

It seems to me that the very base of the problems we have today is a loss of base values. Everything is bought and sold. No intrinsic values to anything just money, money, money and more money. Greed for money and power. Respect for anything else is long gone. No one has the time to search for truth because truth is not important.


#12

Small town newspapers are being destroyed --and what has happened to papers like the LA Times. These papers play an important role in holding local authorities accountable—and some still do real investigative reporting. I have seen many issues covered by my local paper that never get mentioned anywhere else----Nestle stealing water from our mountains–the on goings in the state legislature and many more.