Democracy And The Liberals
It’s funny how liberals view “free speech”. They are vexed by the lies and reactionary politics and prejudices spread and promoted by Fox News and rightwing radio talk shows, but to them having a TV network like Fox News or reactionary radio talk shows is a sign of having democracy and is considered a good thing. This also leads them to disparage the policies of the Cuban government which doesn’t share their view of “democracy”.
It doesn’t occur to liberals that it’s one thing for a wacko to scream nonsense like “Jesus loves you” at the corner of a street and quite another for a corporation founded on spreading and profiting from disinformation and exploiting and exacerbating people’s ignorance for its own narrow interests that go against the interests of the public to broadcast its lies into people’s homes all day long, everyday. They also don’t understand that the “freedom of speech” that’s supposedly afforded to the people in capitalist societies is limited in scope and breadth, as well as being conditional. You have “freedom of speech” as long as you either don’t use it or if you do use it, you don’t cause any change or threaten to cause any change. “Freedom of expression”, which is monitored by the NSA in the first place, is ultimately capped and put an end to by a large number of heavily armed police when it takes the form of a protest on the streets demanding change.
What liberals also fail to understand is that it’s only in capitalism that corporations are independent entities with special rights and powers that put them above the society and are free to use their accumulated money and power to impose their will on the society. In socialism, the physical and mental wellbeing, the needs and the future of the society isn’t left at the mercy of large omnipotent corporations. In socialism, resources are allocated according to and spent on meeting people’s needs, especially their urgent needs, rather than for the interests and based on the dictates and preferences of giant corporations. To allocate resources for creating a “Fox News”, there has to be a real and specific need and justification for it – physical, mental, educational, entertainment, etc. The mere existence of a Fox News in society that dominates the airways, in and of itself, isn’t proof of the need for having it. If Fox News didn’t exist, most would agree that there would be no need to spend badly needed resources to create it and give it such power and influence as their likes have over people and use it to spread lies and fear, but now that it has been created, through the sheer power of a vast amount of money, and does exist, then liberals’ attitude is: let it be. Not only “let it be”, but according to their worldview, it’s even a good thing to have it for “diversity” and “plurality” of opinions. To them, people’s needs and priorities and issues of war and peace and the future or wellbeing of the planet can all be subjected to and determined by the outcome of a “competition” of “ideas” and “opinions” amongst privately owned corporations (or their representatives in a government they own and control) over the airways and communication equipment which only large corporations can own and which the people themselves have no part of or influence over.
Liberals see my writing here, for example, as proof of my “free speech” and comparable to that of News Corporation or GE or Viacom or Disney. Their attitude about this issue is similar to their attitude about the so-called opportunities that “everyone” has in a capitalist society to strike it rich and enjoy the good life. In other words, I have the same opportunity to influence opinions as Fox News and the same opportunity to accumulate wealth and power as Exxon-Mobile and Bank of America, and the same opportunity to influence the politics and policies as the corporate lobbyists who have and use billions to get their laws passed. We all have the opportunity. How things actually shape up in society is all secondary, academic and even considered fair.
Even in the best case scenario of having a counterbalance (no MSNBC is far from providing that counterbalance) to the corporate media, which we don’t, why do we need corporate networks whose mission is to perpetuate their own rule by spreading lies and disinformation and misinforming the public?
Many liberals agree that giant multinational corporations commit “excesses” and degrade the environment for profits or push for wars or they have too much influence over politics and policies, but interestingly, aren’t bothered by their power of brainwashing, which they attribute to “freedom of expression”, not realizing that the first step in limiting their power is in limiting their power of influence and persuasion and the first step in creating a sane society is in having sane information.