Countering Free-Market Capitalism Propaganda

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Pondering
Countering Free-Market Capitalism Propaganda

In a democracy, however weak or poorly executed it is the people who decide.

Supporters of free-market capitalism have enormous power. They own the means of production. They own mass media. They influence politics through massive spending.

We have a David and Goliath situation, but sometimes a David does win. We at least have to proceed as if that is possible.

Propaganda can be defeated by revealing it as a lie. In the case of free-market capitalism a mountain of lies.

It is my belief that right-wing think tanks focused heavily on using language to conceal rather than illuminate. They came up with phrases like "right to work" and "people deserve to keep the money they earn" among others. Who can argue with those statements? There are even more subtle ways that thought is being molded.

This example prompted this thread:

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/alberta-diary/2018/01/tim-hortons-brew-h...

"This is not the first time the media have gotten worked up about the wrong numbers," observed Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives analyst Michal Rozworski in a thoughtful commentary on how the note was reported and what it actually said. "This is only one example of a recurring pattern of business-friendly bias in the media."

 What does business-friendly mean? By calling it "business-friendly" it implies that support for minimum wage is anti-business.

Is the media business-friendly? Is no minimum wage better for business?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Which country are you referring to when you refer to "free market" capitalism?  Ours?  Because there are literally no rules?

WWWTT

Here’s another term use by the corporate media to brain wash people “democracy”

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Democracy is pretty simply defined:  people get a say, rather than just the King, the dictator, the emperor, the sole State Party or God.  The term "democracy" doesn't promise PR, a different flavour of PR, yet another flavour of PR, or that the littlest among us will take the wheel.

WWWTT

People get a say? Ya that sums it up pretty good actually. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
People get a say? Ya that sums it up pretty good actually.

You can't really hold out for "only WWTT gets a say".  In the same way that "Hell is other people", the Achilles' heel of democracy is that even people you don't agree with get a vote.

cco

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Democracy is pretty simply defined:  people get a say, rather than just the King, the dictator, the emperor, the sole State Party or God.  The term "democracy" doesn't promise PR, a different flavour of PR, yet another flavour of PR, or that the littlest among us will take the wheel.

It seems that the definition is more complicated than that. After all, democracy apparently doesn't mean that the candidate/party that gets the most votes wins (USA 2000/2016, various Canadian examples at the provincial level), that the majority of the population be allowed to vote (Israel), or even that the leader be installed by votes and not the miiltary (too many Cold War examples to count). On the other hand, in countries where the people do get a say and make the choice Canada and the US don't like, they can expect to be immediately reclassified as non-democracies (usually because they voted for left-wingers, but not always).

None of this is to say that democracy doesn't exist, or even that it's impossible to define, rank, or categorize. It's just to say that since "democracy" itself is a legitimation buzzword, using it to neatly sort good states from bad states is oversimplifying a bit. Asking people to sort Venezuela, the Philippines, and Israel on a spectrum from most democratic to least democratic will tell you more about those people's ideological beliefs than the nature of their respective political systems.

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Which country are you referring to when you refer to "free market" capitalism?  Ours?  Because there are literally no rules?

I'm not referring to a particular country I'm referring to a worldwide trend happening over the past half century or so that includes Canada but I don't care about specific definitions and academic games. I'm interested in being an agent of change. Are you?

Do you agree that the term "business friendly" is misleading or not? Do you believe propaganda shapes public thinking?

Pondering

It is reasonably easy to form new political parties in Canada.  Canada is a democracy in which it is possible to have a revolution through electing a different political party. No need to resort to violence.

The right has convinced the majority to elect their favored representatives. The left has not.

Seems like an interesting topic to explore.

JKR

To avoid the problem of vote splitting created by FPTP, a political party can also merge with another political party in order to enhance its chances of winning FPTP elections.  It worked for the former Reform and PC Parties. In order to avoid vote splitting and win FPTP elections, the NDP could join the Liberal Party.

Pondering

JKR wrote:

To avoid the problem of vote splitting created by FPTP, a political party can also merge with another political party in order to enhance its chances of winning FPTP elections.  It worked for the former Reform and PC Parties. In order to avoid vote splitting and win FPTP elections, the NDP could join the Liberal Party.

How would that counter neoliberalism? How would it challenge right wing propaganda? What is the point of winning an election if the public still supports neoliberal principles?

JKR

Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:

To avoid the problem of vote splitting created by FPTP, a political party can also merge with another political party in order to enhance its chances of winning FPTP elections.  It worked for the former Reform and PC Parties. In order to avoid vote splitting and win FPTP elections, the NDP could join the Liberal Party.

How would that counter neoliberalism? How would it challenge right wing propaganda? What is the point of winning an election if the public still supports neoliberal principles?

If current NDP'ers were part of government they would be able to establish social democratic policies.

josh

Is the media business-friendly?

Does a bear . . . .  Any media dependent on corporate support and commercial advertising is "business-friendly."   And their coverage generally leans that way.

josh

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Which country are you referring to when you refer to "free market" capitalism?  Ours?  Because there are literally no rules?

 

I think the reference was to propaganda. 

Pondering

josh wrote:

Is the media business-friendly?

Does a bear . . . .  Any media dependent on corporate support and commercial advertising is "business-friendly."   And their coverage generally leans that way.

So you agree that minimum wage is bad for business? I don't. I think it's good for business. It's just bad for some business owners which isn't the same thing is it?

If the left agrees that minimum wage is bad for business then aren't we joining the right?

josh

Huh?  Where did I say, or even imply, that?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I'm interested in being an agent of change. Are you?

Would it mean having to agree with all of your opinions?

That was kind of a weird throw-down. (?)

Quote:
Do you agree that the term "business friendly" is misleading or not?

No more so than "gay positive" or "environmentally aware" or any other two words that can't possibly replace two paragraphs.

 

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:
 Would it mean having to agree with all of your opinions?

No but it's frustrating being met with games when I am sincerely trying to find a path between the left and the general public. I find it difficult to watch the majority of the population vote agains their own best interests because of propaganda.

Mr. Magoo wrote:
No more so than "gay positive" or "environmentally aware" or any other two words that can't possibly replace two paragraphs. 

I don't think that "gay friendly" or "environmentally aware" mean the opposite of what they say.

I do think that "business friendly" means "business owner friendly" which isn't the same thing at all. "Business friendly" is good for everyone because most of us work for businesses.

From what I have been reading the minimum wage increase is good for local businesses because people at the lower income scale spend more of their money locally. As Ford proposed, employees who can afford to spend are good for business.

Propaganda works because it creates a false reality that creates false logic arguments.

The media is not therefore "business friendly".  You may read "business friendly" as "1% friendly" but it is not how most people interpret it.

People may still support this minimum wage increase as needed including next years increase but after that they may think "okay that's enough now, we don't want to make it too hard on business" because the common wisdom "minimum wage increases are bad for business" has been accepted.

Minimum wage, including by the left, is being framed as anti-business. It is a fundamental misunderstanding of how the economy is constructed and how arbitrary the division of profits is.

 

Pondering

josh wrote:

Huh?  Where did I say, or even imply, that?

The article says the media is business friendly. That seems to be an accepted "fact".

The media has been focusing on the negative impact of minimum wage. If the media is business friendly that implies that minimum wage is bad for business doesn't it?

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Pondering wrote:

The media has been focusing on the negative impact of minimum wage. If the media is business friendly that implies that minimum wage is bad for business doesn't it

LMAOROF

This logic made my day. I was not in a good mood until I had a hearty belly laugh.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
No but it's frustrating being met with games when I am sincerely trying to find a path between the left and the general public.

I think that path looks like someone with Parkinson's trying to draw a treble clef with their left hand, but your sincerity is noted.

Pondering

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Pondering wrote:

The media has been focusing on the negative impact of minimum wage. If the media is business friendly that implies that minimum wage is bad for business doesn't it?

LMAOROF

This logic made my day. I was not in a good mood until I had a hearty belly laugh.

Not the reaction I was looking for but a good laugh is good for your health so that's positive. I wouldn't mind hearing where my logic is wrong if that is the case.

josh

Pondering wrote:

josh wrote:

Huh?  Where did I say, or even imply, that?

The article says the media is business friendly. That seems to be an accepted "fact".

The media has been focusing on the negative impact of minimum wage. If the media is business friendly that implies that minimum wage is bad for business doesn't it?

 

 

No, I agree that the media is business friendly, not that the minimum wage is bad.

Mobo2000

I think the solution to mass media neo-liberal /capitalist propoganda is fairly obvious -- worker owned and worker run media.    Chomsky bangs on about this a lot -- in the 1930's to 1950's, there were many union or worker owned newspapers, upwards of 40% of the market in the US, and they had large readership.  In the 1960's, as newspapers consolidated it became less than 10%, to now where they are virtually non-existant and without reach or audience.     I suppose there is more potential for this now that publishing and distribution is so cheap.

Mobo2000

Here's Noam Chomsky talking with Canadian Dimension magazine about this:

"Somebody’s got to keep the spark alive. If you think back a little bit, there was a time when there was a very vibrant Left press. In the US in the late 19th century – the period of the freest press, in the West at least – there were labour newspapers, ethnic newspapers that were quite radical, and they reached a lot of people. There was actually a high cultural level of working people.

People on the farms and elsewhere were reading what we call classics, contemporary literature and so on. The same was true in Britain. And there was a lively working-class culture which survived for a long time.

Until the 1960s in England, by far the best-selling newspaper was the Daily Herald, which was kind of social-democratic. The tabloids, which by now are so far to the right you need a telescope to see them, were labour newspapers publishing people like John Pilger. That was up to the 1960s. In the United States it ended earlier, but even as late as the 1950s there were about 800 labour newspapers in the United States, pretty radical and anti-capitalist, reaching maybe 30 million people a week.

All that helps keep alive activism, interaction among activists, stimulating organizational efforts and so on. Canadian Dimension has been doing that for 50 years. That’s pretty impressive. It’s a battle these days. The free independent press could not sustain itself against two factors: capital concentration and advertising. As soon as the press began to rely on advertising, the opportunities for a really independent free press sharply declined, for obvious reasons: the advertisers became the bosses."

https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/the-greening-of-noam-chomsky...

 

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
No but it's frustrating being met with games when I am sincerely trying to find a path between the left and the general public.

I think that path looks like someone with Parkinson's trying to draw a treble clef with their left hand, but your sincerity is noted.

Well so far I have been an abject failure so that seems like a pretty apt description.

Pondering

cco wrote:
None of this is to say that democracy doesn't exist, or even that it's impossible to define, rank, or categorize. It's just to say that since "democracy" itself is a legitimation buzzword, using it to neatly sort good states from bad states is oversimplifying a bit. Asking people to sort Venezuela, the Philippines, and Israel on a spectrum from most democratic to least democratic will tell you more about those people's ideological beliefs than the nature of their respective political systems.

The only distinction I am making is that because Canada is a democratic country there is no need to take up armed revolution to completely change how the country is run or who is running it. If the people of Canada wanted to overthrow neoliberalism tomorrow we have the freedom to do that.

The barrier is not lack of freedom. It's lack of support. In my opinion propaganda is the barrier to gaining the support needed.

Energy East was canceled because we live in a democratic society and because environmentalists convinced enough people that pipelines are a threat worth feeling strongly about. The mayors group in Quebec that spoke against the pipeline did so because they knew that it was a popular stand to take and because they didn't stand to benefit much themselves. If people had instead been in favor of the pipeline, for job stimulation, the mayors would have been supporting the pipelines. The will of the people make the difference.

Consider the environmental movement proof of concept. They defeated propaganda.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Consider the environmental movement proof of concept. They defeated propaganda.

Kinder Morgan is going ahead because the Canadian oligarchy wants it to. The people of Quebec often get what they want in our federation. The people of BC always get what the rulers in Montreal and Toronto want us to get. That is the reality of democracy in this country. We saw cronies from Central Canada appointed to the NEB and they decide that local municipalities have no right to enforce their normal bylaws.  So in Burnaby we are going to get a monster tank farm just above residential neighbourhoods housing toxic bitumen and chemicals without any local oversight or inspection. Did I mention that SFU is about a l kilometre away as the wind flies? No you are right the people of Montreal would never have such a travesty imposed on them.  

Of course given that majority Liberal governments are made in Quebec what you are spouting is in fact the current Liberal propaganda. "You stopped a pipeline, The Eastern Red Herring, so you Quebec progressives can pat yourselves on the back and still vote for us." 

Pondering

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Kinder Morgan is going ahead because the Canadian oligarchy wants it to. The people of Quebec often get what they want in our federation. The people of BC always get what the rulers in Montreal and Toronto want us to get. That is the reality of democracy in this country.

Cop out. It is the knowledge that attempting to force the pipeline through Quebec would reignite the separatist movement that stopped the pipeline. There was just no chance of convincing people to accept it enough to prevent that from happening.

I wasn't aware that B.C. had given up the fight. I heard a couple of elderly indigenous women were arrested by the RCMP for having a tent on pipeline land. I've been expecting some sort of constitutional challenge over the Burnaby bylaws being thrown out. There are still ongoing court cases are there not?

If enough of the people of BC feel strongly enough on the issue they absolutely can stop it. Thousands would have to be willing to protest and form blockades but it can be done. I read the mayor of Burnaby is willing to be arrested if need be.

It all hinges on enough people feeling strongly enough on an issue to push the government harder than corporations do.

That is, it doesn't matter if 75% of people are against something unless they are so against it they are willing to protest physically and have clear demands.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

What a joke you are Pondering. Starting a thread on neo-liberal propaganda and then spewing the oligarchy's line about our democracy and self actualization over and over again. You should be paid but I suspect you are just a typical dupe of the propaganda and you actually believe it. 

Pondering

kropotkin1951 wrote:

What a joke you are Pondering. Starting a thread on neo-liberal propaganda and then spewing the oligarchy's line about our democracy and self actualization over and over again. You should be paid but I suspect you are just a typical dupe of the propaganda and you actually believe it. 

Don't know what you mean by "self-actualization". Are you saying resistence is futile? We might as well just give up? We don't live in a democracy in which people can change things?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Pondering wrote:

Are you saying resistence is futile? We might as well just give up? We don't live in a democracy in which people can change things?

Too answer those three questions: yes resistence has proven futile in my nearly 50 years of fighting the man. No giving up is not an option it never has been for working class people. Of course I don't think we live in a democracy. But that is becaue I don't think a facade is part of a structure and in Canada we merely have a facade of democracy.

Only people like you who have completely internalized the corporate media's propoganda can actually think that we live in a functioning democracy. That is why I find it hilarious that you want to talk about free market propoganda when your posts clearly show you buy the "big lie" hook line and sinker. So much so you promote the selfie king and think he is a progressive.

WWWTT

kropotkin1951 wrote:

What a joke you are Pondering. Starting a thread on neo-liberal propaganda and then spewing the oligarchy's line about our democracy and self actualization over and over again. You should be paid but I suspect you are just a typical dupe of the propaganda and you actually believe it. 

LOL! Bang on BABY! Actually lots of people in the west will never be able to shake off the western corporate propaganda tatooed onto/into them

WWWTT

Mobo2000 wrote:

I think the solution to mass media neo-liberal /capitalist propoganda is fairly obvious -- worker owned and worker run media.    Chomsky bangs on about this a lot -- in the 1930's to 1950's, there were many union or worker owned newspapers, upwards of 40% of the market in the US, and they had large readership.  In the 1960's, as newspapers consolidated it became less than 10%, to now where they are virtually non-existant and without reach or audience.     I suppose there is more potential for this now that publishing and distribution is so cheap.

I nominate this comment as the best in this thread! 

Pondering

kropotkin1951 wrote:
 Too answer those three questions: yes resistence has proven futile in my nearly 50 years of fighting the man.

That doesn't mean it has to be that way. We have tools now that didn't exist before. Occupy happened and had the success that it did because of communication technology. We've experienced a backlash to the New Deal but times change and the tide can be turned.

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Of course I don't think we live in a democracy.  

I guess it's a matter of degrees. We can overthrow the government through a vote. No arms required. Citizens are free to communicate political views as long as they don't constitute hate speech. Convince the people and government is forced to respond if it is something the people feel strongly enough about. For example. Canadians don't like the new security laws. Last I heard it was 85% opposed. But they don't feel strongly enough on that issue to not vote for the Liberals due to it.

kropotkin1951 wrote:
  So much so you promote the selfie king and think he is a progressive.

I guess you haven't noticed I support Jagmeet Singh now not Trudeau. Marijuana legalization is happening and the NDP dumped Mulcair.

If Singh does win just enough for the Conservatives to take power so be it.  We now have an example in BC of the opposition working together to unseat the "winner".

I have an open question to everyone. Why are you leftist or progressive? I mean when did you decide to be? Was it parents, friends, school? Why do you know what "neoliberal" is? Why do you see through the propaganda of neoliberalism?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Rabble/babble doesn't really have an award for a post that someone agrees with.