The Problems of Media Ownership Under Capitalism

Savvas Tzionis is an excellent new progressive commenter from Australia. He comments on how US style Republican Party conservatism is attempting to colonize a progressive country, Australia:

You may be interested to know that the Chief Editor of The Australian newspaper (or as we on the left call it ”The American”) is a virulent Right Winger whose mother is from one of the Baltic states. 
The Australian (owned by Murdoch) likes to think of itself as the most high-brow newspaper in Australia. But since 2001, and especially since the election of the ALP (nominally left wing) in 2007, it has lurched to the right (so much for left wing bias in the media).
Also in the past, it never bothered with Latin America, but now with Leftist’s taking over this region, it has decided to print articles from a right wing Latin POV. Shameless.

Yes, this is important news. The rightwingers are making a play to take over Australian media and thereby use the rightwing media to brainwash Australians into making it the new USA, or Colombia or Latvia, or whatever. This is how capitalism works. That’s why it’s important to make the media democratic under capitalism. Under capitalism, the top 1% earners control about 99%+ of the media. Of course they have class consciousness and pursue their class interests. They use their media brainwash machine to create a cultural hegemony (see Gramsci) that ends up making ruling class culture and ruling class class consciousness the culture and consciousness of everyone. So your factory worker thinks like a millionaire, which is obviously not in his interests.
There is almost no way to keep the Far Right ultrazillionaires from taking over say 90% of the world’s media. The only alternative is what Hugo Chavez is doing, persecuting the media oligarchs, confiscating their enterprises and democratizing them (turning them over to the people or the state acting in the interests of the people).
It’s also important to note that the Baltic bastards (some of the most reactionary people on Earth at the moment) are leading the charge to replicate the cancer of US conservatism across the globe. The only real rightwing governments in Europe, the Baltics implemented radical neoclassical economics and were rewarded with horrible economic depressions that have ruined their countries and caused 20% loss of GDP and a 1/3 fall in wages for the public sector. The result has been a horrible brain drain, as anyone with any sense has left the region.
I talked to a woman from Estonia recently. She said that she and her family where without any money and without any food. She has two small kids. I asked her if there weren’t any social problems to help with such matters and she started laughing. Since when do we hear of such things in Europe? This is the US model that the Baltics are trying to implement. I suppose mass homelessness is also on the agenda.
The Baltics is a sorry case. They were not treated well by the USSR and did not have a good experience under Communism. They overreacted and become fanatical anti-Communists and as a result, radical rightwingers, since all hardline anti-Communists become rightwingers. Now they are paying for that delusion dearly. Tough shit. Chew on it hard and good. Let me know how it tastes.

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0 thoughts on “The Problems of Media Ownership Under Capitalism”

  1. A similiar case can be made for the Croatians.
    The Croats suffered less than the Balt’s. The brand of Communism they were ruled by (Titoism) was of a far more benign type than the Soviets. Perhaps that is why they have elected a leftist (Stipe Mesic) in their recent past.
    In Australia they are far more numerous and well known than the Balt’s. The Australian Croats are far more Nationalistic (about Croatia) than the Balts. I would put this down to the Balts coming here straight after World War II and assimiliating into Australian culture, whereas Croats came out here a little later when Australia was more accepting of people retaining cultural identities.
    So, as a general rule, Balts are more right wing, but Croats are more nationalistic.

  2. Bob,
    The Baltic states were NOT treated well by the USSR.A very large chunk of the Baltic population was deported to Siberia, to work in forced labor camps.Most of them persished due to cold, neglect and lack of food.
    Later the USSR deliberately imported huge numbers of ethnic Russian settlers into the Baltic states in an effort to destroy the ethnic character of those nations and ensure Russian domination (actually this is no worse that what the British Labor party did with ‘open borders’).

  3. @Dirty Bull
    That was after a failed coup in 49 backed by the US and Britain when towards the end of WW2 allied nations when using Nazi affiliated nationalist groups where running military operations against the USSR.
    “Even before the end of World War II, the British secret services recruited agents among the Nazi war criminals (specially members of the Arajs Kommando) to fight Communism and infiltrated them in Sweden with the help of the SMT, the local secret service. Thus, an SS unit was formed by 1,500 men under the command of Colonel Osis, aiming at launching an attack against the Soviets. However, this idea was abandoned after the Nuremberg Trial labeled the Waffen SS and all its sections as «criminal organizations». In 1949, these agents were transferred to Hamburg (to the German zone occupied by the British) where they would be trained by the MI6 – British Secret Intelligence Service – («Jungle Operation»). The «best» elements received an additional training in Great Britain. They soon became part of what would become NATO’s «stay-behind» network, jointly directed by Great Britain and the United States [2]. Several parachuting and infiltration operations in espionage and sabotage missions took place but they all failed, causing a cruel repression by the Soviets. Eventually, this method was abandoned in 1952 when it was replaced by psychological operations [3] .”
    http://www.voltairenet.org/article30079.html
    Latvian Jews themselves had a predominant role in the Bolshevik revolution and post BR revolutionary government.

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