The Champions of "Media Democracy" yearn for OligarchyWell, it comes as no surprise to anyone watching the antics of the left in regard to the Swift Boat vets and the Rather phony "memo" that the bleating-hearts of the left who made moo-cow noises for years about the evils of corporate media dominance would besharny themselves to a high degree of stench over the fact that the "wrong" people are taking advantage of the Internet/blog phenomena and the liberalization of media control. Such noble exceptions as Nat Hentoff (whose book FREE SPEECH FOR ME, BUT NOT FOR THEE is a further exploration of what I'm talking about) and Christopher Hitchens only show just how rancidly anti-liberal (in the traditional sense) the Left is these days, and the anti-reason and anti-humanistic garbage coming out of the "reputable" blogs like the Daily Kos and Kevin Drum's only highlight this.
Billy Beck had this to say about it 9 years ago:
From: Billy Beck (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Batch-Processed, Analog, Statism Newsgroups: alt.politics.clinton, alt.conspiracy, alt.current-events.clinton.whitewater Date: 1995/08/16
Millions of people don't even know how to grasp the *concept* of an "information model". Many of them will go to their graves never getting it, and never understanding how close they came to the biggest deal in communications in the past 500 years. (I think my father will be one of them. He sort of understands that something big is happening - but he's content to smile and let it slide by. My grandmother is absolutely flabbergasted when I tell her how many people *around the world* can look at her face on my web page. She simply cannot grasp visibility on a scale which was reserved only for movie stars when she was young...and still *is*, in her world view. She's 91 years old now, and she definitely won't get it.)
*Politics as we have known it will not survive this.*
The government goons need to get this straight. When Donna Shalala sits in front of the Nightline cameras (as she did last night - smoothing the prezgoon's cigarette game) grinning that square-frame grin which is the fading shadow of a 50+ year-old propaganda tool...she should bear in mind that people don't laugh at her *alone* any more. They get to elbow each other around the world and laugh right out loud: "Look at that *fool*"...as they hook up tobacco transhipments and re-arrange markets...
Of course, she doesn't get it. She can't afford to get it. Niether can the charade that she works for.
Their authority is burning down every time somebody logs on.
They operate from a presumption of "representation" which is rapidly becoming flatly absurd. They stand up in front of the old-time scribblers and talking heads, and tell us all about what "the people" want. Who needs that?
Any random sterno-bum can now find out what real people, with individual ethical systems, "want"....think...reason...argue...and become outraged at. Thoreau's "quiet desperation" is well on its way into the dim past. Shalala can never speak down to me again, like I'm a child with no recourse but silent submission to her remote authority of proclamation, batch-processed in a one-way channel.
I can now match the authority of my mind against hers. I get to tell her to go fuck herself, and why.
The coming challenge to civilization is implicit in the fact that the authority she poses is trained to respond to reason with force.
It will be very interesting.