You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the band, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows.
The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.
Sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release.
The public buys your bull.
They aren’t contributing anything to the social discourse which is so vital for their dictatorship of the proletariat. They merely dismiss any arguments against Marx by using ad hominem attacks. Marxists, stop making fun of anarchists and debate us on the line by line!
The current capitalist system oppresses all to a certain extent — some more than others. Yet this is not a new occurrence. The feudal system oppressed when it was intact, as did the Roman dictators. The reason why all these systems oppress is because they used violence as a means to achieve their power. When they have achieved power, they still lust for blood, and thus the oppression and death continues, yet a different set of people sit upon the throne.
There is no reason to believe that any “communist” who would also kill would be any different. Indeed, all history points to the opposite being true. Death, quite simply, is oppression, yet by no means the only means of oppression. Madmen, under the banner of whatever political system is in vogue, will attempt to oppress others as a means to gain power. Indeed, Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” killed 45 million in four years. The Khmer Rogue killed 2 million. Do I need to mention the fact that Stalin caused a famine in the Ukraine and sent millions of people to their deaths in forced labour camps (the exact number is unknown, many wildly ranging estimates differ)?
By no means am I claiming all Communists are evil people who mean to mass murder. Also, by no means am I suggesting that Communism is worse than Capitalism, indeed the USFG/Haliburton had killed about as many people in Iraq because of oil by ‘07 than the Cambodian genocides. I am merely saying that even though capitalism is worse than a bloody revolution, you are creating a false dichotomy by saying those are our two options. A peaceful anarchist society can exist (as evidenced by the FAI-CNT in Spain).
In countries where the levers of power are in the hands of a state bureaucracy, the monopolistic control over the media, often supplemented by official censorship, makes it clear the media serve the ends of a dominant elite. It is much more difficult to see a propaganda system at work where the media are private and formal censorship is absent. This is especially true where the media actively compete, periodically attack and expose corporate and governmental malfeasance, and aggressively portray themselves as spokesmen for free speech and the general community interest. What is not evident (and remains undiscussed in the media) is the limited nature of such critiques, as well as the huge inequality in command of resources, and its effect both on access to a private media system and on its behavior and performance.
A propaganda model focuses on this inequality of wealth and power and its multilevel effects on mass-media interests and choices. It traces the routes by which money and power are able to filter out the news fit to print, marginalize dissent, and allow the government and dominant private interests to get their messages across to the public. The essential ingredients of our propaganda model, or set of news “filters,” fall under the following headings:
1. the size, concentrated ownership, owner wealth, and profit orientation of the dominant mass-media firms;
2. advertising as the primary income source of the mass media;
3. the reliance of the media on information provided by government, business, and “experts” funded and approved by these primary sources and agents of power;
4. “flak” as a means of disciplining the media; and
5. “anti-communism” as a national religion and control mechanism.
These elements interact with and reinforce one another. The raw material of news must pass through successive filters, leaving only the cleansed residue fit to print. They fix the premises of discourse and interpretation, and the definition of what is newsworthy in the first place, and they explain the basis and operations of what amount to propaganda campaigns.
In their analysis of the evolution of the media in Great Britain, James Curran and Jean Seaton describe how, in the first half of the nineteenth century, a radical press emerged that reached a national working-class audience. This alternative press was effective in reinforcing class consciousness: it unified the workers because it fostered an alternative value system and framework for looking at the world, and because it “promoted a greater collective confidence by repeatedly emphasizing the potential power of working people to effect social change through the force of ‘combination’ and organized action.” This was deemed a major threat by the ruling elites. One MP asserted that the working-class newspapers “inflame passions and awaken their selfishness, contrasting their current condition with what they contend to be their future condition - a condition incompatible with human nature, and those immutable laws which Providence has established for the regulation of civil society.” The result was an attempt to squelch the working-class media by libel laws and prosecutions, by requiring an expensive security bond as a condition for publication, and by imposing various taxes designed to drive out radical media by raising their costs. These coercive efforts were not effective, and by mid-century they had been abandoned in favor of the liberal view that the market would enforce responsibility.
Curran and Seaton show that the market did successfully accomplish what state intervention failed to do. Following the repeal of the punitive taxes on newspapers between 1853 and 1869, a new daily local press came into existence, but not one new local working-class daily was established through the rest of the nineteenth century. Curran and Seaton note that
Indeed, the eclipse of the national radical press was so total that when the Labour Party developed out of the working-class movement in the first decade of the twentieth century, it did not obtain the exclusive backing of a single national daily or Sunday paper.
One important reason for this was the rise in scale of newspaper enterprise and the associated increase in capital costs from the mid-nineteenth century onward, which was based on technological improvements along with the owners’ increased stress on reaching large audiences.
Thus the first filter - the limitation on ownership of media with any substantial outreach by the requisite large size of investment - was applicable a century or more ago, and it has become increasingly effective over time.
In arguing for the benefits of the free market as a means of controlling dissident opinion in the mid-nineteenth century, the Liberal chancellor of the British exchequer, Sir George Lewis, noted that the market would promote those papers “enjoying the preference of the advertising public.”  Advertising did, in fact, serve as a powerful mechanism weakening the working-class press. Curran and Seaton give the growth of advertising a status comparable with the increase in capital costs as a factor allowing the market to accomplish what state taxes and harassment failed to do, noting that these “advertisers thus acquired a de facto licensing authority since, without their support, newspapers ceased to be economically viable.”
Before advertising became prominent, the price of a newspaper had to cover the costs of doing business. With the growth of advertising, papers that attracted ads could afford a copy price well below production costs. This put papers lacking in advertising at a serious disadvantage: their prices would tend to be higher, curtailing sales, and they would have less surplus to invest in improving the salability of the paper (features, attractive format, promotion, etc.). For this reason, an advertising-based system will tend to drive out of existence or into marginality the media companies and types that depend on revenue from sales alone. With advertising, the free market does not yield a neutral system in which final buyer choice decides. The advertisers’ choices influence media prosperity and survival.
The mass media are drawn into a symbiotic relationship with powerful sources of information by economic necessity and reciprocity of interest. The media need a steady, reliable flow of the raw material of news. Economics dictates that they concentrate their resources where significant news often occurs, where important rumors and leaks abound, and where regular press conferences are held. The White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department, in Washington, D.C., are central nodes of such news activity. On a local basis, city hall and the police department are the subject of regular news “beats” for reporters. Business corporations and trade groups are also regular and credible purveyors of stories deemed newsworthy. These bureaucracies turn out a large volume of material that meets the demands of news organizations for reliable, scheduled flows. Mark Fishman calls this “the principle of bureaucratic affinity: only other bureaucracies can satisfy the input needs of a news bureaucracy.”
Government and corporate sources also have the great merit of being recognizable and credible by their status and prestige. This is important to the mass media. As Fishman notes,
Newsworkers are predisposed to treat bureaucratic accounts as factual because news personnel participate in upholding a normative order of authorized knowers in the society. Reporters operate with the attitude that officials ought to know what it is their job to know…. In particular, a newsworker will recognize an official’s claim to knowledge not merely as a claim, but as a credible, competent piece of knowledge. This amounts to a moral division of labor: officials have and give the facts; reporters merely get them.
Another reason for the heavy weight given to official sources is that the mass media claim to be “objective” dispensers of the news. Partly to maintain the image of objectivity, but also to protect themselves from criticisms of bias and the threat of libel suits, they need material that can be portrayed as presumptively accurate. This is also partly a matter of cost: taking information from sources that may be presumed credible reduces investigative expense, whereas material from sources that are not prima facie credible, or that will elicit criticism and threats, requires careful checking and costly research.
“Flak” refers to negative responses to a media statement or program. It may take the form of letters, telegrams, phone calls, petitions, lawsuits, speeches and bills before Congress, and other modes of complaint, threat, and punitive action. It may be organized centrally or locally, or it may consist of the entirely independent actions of individuals.
If flak is produced on a large scale, or by individuals or groups with substantial resources, it can be both uncomfortable and costly to the media. Positions have to be defended within the organization and without, sometimes before legislatures and possibly even in courts. Advertisers may withdraw patronage. If certain kinds of fact, position, or program are thought likely to elicit flak, this prospect can be a deterrent.
Freedom House, an example of a well-funded flak organization which dates back to the early 1940s, has had interlocks with AIM (Accuracy in Media), the World Anti-Communist League, Resistance International, and U.S. government bodies such as Radio Free Europe and the CIA, and has long served as a virtual propaganda arm of the government and international right wing. It has expended substantial resources in criticizing the media for insufficient sympathy with US foreign-policy ventures and excessively harsh criticism of US client states. Its most notable publication of this genre was Peter Braestrup’s Big Story, which contended that the media’s negative portrayal of the Tet offensive helped lose the war. The work is a travesty of scholarship, but more interesting is its premise: that the mass media not only should support any national venture abroad, but should do so with enthusiasm, such enterprises being by definition noble.
A final filter is the ideology of anticommunism. Communism as the ultimate evil has always been the specter haunting property owners, as it threatens the very root of their class position and superior status. The Soviet, Chinese, and Cuban revolutions were traumas to Western elites, and the ongoing conflicts and the well-publicized abuses of Communist states have contributed to elevating opposition to communism to a first principle of Western ideology and politics. This ideology helps mobilize the populace against an enemy, and because the concept is fuzzy it can be used against anybody advocating policies that threaten property interests or support accommodation with Communist states and radicalism. It therefore helps fragment the left and labor movements and serves as a political-control mechanism. If the triumph of communism is the worst imaginable result, the support of fascism abroad is justified as a lesser evil. Opposition to social democrats who are too soft on Communists and “play into their hands” is rationalized in similar terms.
Liberals at home, often accused of being pro-Communist or insufficiently anti-Communist, are kept continuously on the defensive in a cultural milieu in which anticommunism is the dominant religion. If they allow communism, or something that can be labeled communism, to triumph in the provinces while they are in office, the political costs are heavy. Most of them have fully internalized the religion anyway, but they are all under great pressure to demonstrate their anti-Communist credentials.
The five filters narrow the range of news that passes through the gates, and even more sharply limit what can become “big news,” subject to sustained news campaigns. By definition, news from primary establishment sources meets one major filter requirement and is readily accommodated by the mass media. Messages from and about dissidents and weak, unorganized individuals and groups, domestic and foreign, are at an initial disadvantage in sourcing costs and credibility, and they often do not comport with the ideology or interests of the gatekeepers and other powerful parties that influence the filtering process.
Cornel West, Professor of Religion, Princeton University, PROPHESY DELIVERANCE: AN AFRO-AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY CHRISTIANITY, 1982, p. 105.
Exploitative, profit-oriented capitalism is a way of ordering life fundamentally alien to human value in general and to black humanity in particular. Racism and capitalism have set the stage for despoliation of natural had human resources all around the world. Yet those who seriously challenge these systems are often effectively silenced. We view racism as criminality and yet we are called criminals. We view racism as a human aberration, yet we are called freaks. The roots of our crisis are in social, economic, and political power systems that prevent us from managing the reality of our everyday lives.
Peter L. Berger, Professor at Boston University, CAPITALISM AND EQUALITY IN AMERICA, 1987, p. 2.
From its beginnings, America has been a symbol of equality for vast numbers of people, both admired and despised for this by both Americans and outside observers. Today, for many (again, both inside and outside its borders), America has become a precisely opposite symbol—supposedly a society with crass inequalities, oppressive and exploitative, a bastion of privilege and hierarchy. And for most of those who see America in this light, American capitalism is at the very least one of the important factors that have made for inequality.
Cornel West, Professor of Religion, Princeton University, PROPHESY DELIVERANCE: AN AFRO-AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY CHRISTIANITY, 1982, p. 132.
The boomtown character of American industrialization—urban centers which appeared virtually overnight— set the context for the flowering of nativism, jingoism, anti-Semitism, sexism, and, above all, racism. Ironically, this ideology of Americanism became a beacon to oppressed social classes and ethnic groups around the world.
Paul M. Sweezy, NQA, FOUR LECTURES ON MARXISM, 1981, p. 43.
Marx wrote that “the real barrier of capitalist production is capital itself.” I have been arguing in effect that monopoly capital makes that barrier even bigger and more formidable. So much so that stagnation—a combination of sluggish growth, rising unemployment, and a chronically low level of utilization of productive capacity—has become the normal condition of capitalist economies.
Marilyn French, Feminist Philosopher, BEYOND POWER, 1985, p. 455-6.
The oppression of women arose with the concept of private property. Mainly because women could reproduce, they like animals, were defined as property. Because capitalism is founded on the idea of private property, the oppression of women is inherent within it and necessary for its perpetuation. Sexism is functional for capitalism because it allows employers to get two workers for the price of one: the man is paid wages, his wife performs the services necessary for him to live even though he spends most of his hours at work, but she is not paid.
MANIFESTO OF THE 9Th CONGRESS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNIST CURRENT, 2nd Quarter, 1992, p. 4.
If capitalism is plunging into an insoluble economic crisis which is the basis for its convulsions today, if it condemns masses of human beings to misery and starvation while at the same time it cannot find outlets for its production and is closing factories, leaving fields fallow, and laying off workers, this is because capitalism produces, not to satisfy need, but to sell at a profit. The markets are saturated today, not because society’s needs are saturated but because it does not have the wherewithal to buy the goods that have been produced, and capitalism cannot provide this wherewithal without ceasing to exist: a capitalism that gave consumers the money to buy what it produced, in other words gave away its produce, would no longer be capitalism. And the credit which has been so much abused for years will not change anything: by generalizing debt, it has only made the contradictions more explosive.