Thoughts: Capitalism and the Media

Capitalism was important in America due to the idea that we needed to break away from the power and control of a government run by a few, or at that time the monarchy in England.  Private industry was pushed and less federal government control was needed to separate ourselves from the previously known system in England which is where most of America’s forefathers came from.  Back then it might have seemed like a great idea, capitalism to lessen the power of the elite and give power back to the people.

Well, it failed.  Capitalism now has become so big and powerful that it no longer serves as separate from our supposed “democracy.”  The term democracy only means that the government is representative and held in check by its citizenry that it serves.  Obviously that’s not the case anymore.  Democracy allowed capitalism to go unchecked for many years.  Now they are so rich and powerful that even democracy is bought and paid for.  This is where the media comes into play.  To buy power is one thing, but to keep power you must hold public opinion.

America was warned of the “military industrial complex” many many years ago and we ignored it.  Fear, that’s what is usually used by the media.  Fear of the Russians, Vietnamese, Iraq, Afghanistan, and so on keeps us preoccupied so we do not stay focused on the reality that we are slowly losing rights and our power as a citizenry.  It is almost like a magic trick done by really really rich people using the media to influence public opinion.  Facts are no longer facts and opinions are the only thing that matter because the rich can influence opinion, but facts are facts and those are only influenced when opinion enters into the fray.

The media influences us, through psychological principles keep in mind, and conditions us to view the poor as the problem for all of our faults.  We are learned to believe things about poor people like “Look at those losers who are a drain on our society” or “They are all drug addicts who had their opportunities and wasted it.”  As if some poor guy on the corner begging for money really has that much influence and power over the American economy, sure I believe that.  So if middle class people working 80 hours a week see very minimal gains over years and still feel like they are struggling but getting nowhere start to blame and see poor people as the faults for all of “our” problems as Americans, then of course the rich have no part to play in any of this.  The rich are still helping us as much as they can by providing us with these amazing minimum salaried jobs right?!

By putting emphasis and blame on those with no power, then those with power get to act with impunity.  The elite’s media tries to make the middle and working class relate to the elite, even though I have never flown first class in my life and probably never will, and condition us to detest and blame the poor.  Even though we have a higher probability of needing unemployment at some point in our lives rather than being able to relate to anything the top 1% can relate to.  If it is not class then it is race, cultural, gender based, sexual orientation, or any other number of things we are divided upon just to distract us and keep attention on others that we should “blame” for all of “our” problems here in America.

If there is constant infighting amongst most Americans over a variety of topics, then the real few who are controlling and manipulating the system are allowed to do as they please and again go unchecked.  Unchecked just like capitalism was, the military industrial complex was, and now the media is.  They tell us things like we can’t afford universal healthcare, free college education, or higher wages for such vital jobs such as teachers, nurses, police officers, and many others but yet somehow the rich get richer every year.  “Don’t just teach your children to read. Teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything” a quote from George Carlin.  For a democracy to truly work then voices need to be heard, and questions need to be asked by and of everyone no matter how right, wrong, smart, or stupid the questions are.

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