Capitalism, democracy and the media

Just done some reading about Bush’s «new» strategy over at ZNet and CounterPunch. Some pretty good analysis there. One of the more disturbing parts of Bush’s speech (yeah right, as if he wrote it!) is that «he» threatened Iran and Syria, quite explicitly. It’s all in the context of the plan of a «New Middle East», where ther influence of Iran, Iraq and Syria is gone. Iraq has been destroyed. Let’s hope they don’t destroy Iran and Syria as well. If they try that, I can guarantee the region will blow up in flames, and those flames can very well reach the US and Europe as well. Our flames have been burning in the Middle East now for over 100 years. Their patience is surprisingly strong.

I seem to remember that before the US invasion of Iraq, BBC was fairly good. I think they were very negative of the whole affair. Then again I may be suffering from the «things were so good in the ancient past»-syndrome. 4 years back seems like the ancient past nowadays. People’s non-memory from 1984 comes to mind. That book is still very relevant. Perhaps more now than ever. I haven’t watched much of Sky, but BBC now looks like Wall Street TV or something like that. There are «Business News» all over the place, and the regular news is filled with business news as well. Then there is the very biased opinions of journalists, and the small framework they are allowed to work within. It would have been very interesting to see how they got infiltrated and how the elites of the West managed to change their cover of the Iraq war, and more generally the West’s monstrous crimes in the Middle East – now and in the past (not all past is good, see Wink). This is why it was such a relief to watch images from Al Jazeera. They had pictures from the ground on Iraq, of maimed people etc, interviews with people whose house the Americans had just knocked down the door on and partly smashed. This is of course disturbing images, but we wouldn’t know this ever happened based on the cover of BBC, CNN, Fox News or Sky News (or any of the national broadcasts for that matter). They all operate in the «green zone», and even there they are embedded. How do you think the cover of World War II or the holocaust would have been like if all journalists covering the events were embedded with Nazi soldiers? The journalists’ lifes depend on these very same soldiers, so of course they are not going to criticize them in any meaningful way. They could get a bullet in the head from the same soldiers for crying out loud (and some probably have too).

Over to a small analysis of why the media is so biased as it is. We know there is a stark difference between capitalism and democracy. In capitalism there is a deep-rooted hatred for democracy. All capitalists do is to undermine democracy, and then profit from the lack of democracy and popular control. We know the vast majority of the world, even the so-called Western world, is strongly opposed to the illegal and unjust Iraq-war. But the media isn’t controlled by the people, nor written by representatives of «the people». Media institutions are owned and controlled by big and powerful capitalists, and the structures they hide behind (corporations). It should therefore be no surprise to anybody that the media’s coverage of the Iraq war is on behalf of the same elites and capitalists that own them. I have not yet read Chomsky’s and Herman’s «Manufacturing Consent», but I believe this is basically what the book is about – how this relationship works, and examples of it.

So therefore:
(1) There is a strong contrast between capitalism/capitalists and democracy. Capitalism != Democracy (for you programming buffs Wink)
(2) Capitalists control and own the media outlets
(3) It is therefore only natural that the media also show the same hatred and disgust for democracy as its owners do

In the end I think it is therefore more or less meaningless to send letters to editors and journalists of these corporate media outlets. Their cover works within a small framework its owners set. Unless the owners change, this framework will not change. But more importantly, unless we change the economic system, democracy will never be respected in any meaningful way. It’s as if we live in a communist dictatorship without the hatred for individual rights. We live in a capitalistic dictatorship, with its hatred for communal rights and democracy. The most important thing in the world is to change this. All other changes will grow out of changing the economic dictatorship we currently live in. If democracy is established, the power and influence of the military-industrial complex, corporations and right-wing think-tanks will automatically be reduced. It’s simply the results of democracy in action. Since the vast majority of people don’t like those institutions or the results they bring, those institutions will be removed, or at least radically changed.

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