Failed Liberal Mag Dreams of a Communist America

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


A liberal reviewer writing about the state of the media dismissively mentioned Salon Magazine as reading like it was written by the students of Evergreen College. And he was probably right.

Salon was a major presence on the liberal web before Atlantic, Slate and the Daily Beast began gobbling up all its traffic. Now it’s become a student newspaper tackling hot button issues involving transgender cafeterias and microcelebrity twitter outrages.

Considering how badly Salon is failing, it makes sense why it would look forward to the nationalization of the media, but it’s also just as stupid as you expect it to be. Case in point, this

Imagine a world without the New York Times, Fox News, CNN, the Wall Street Journal, and countless other tools used by the 1 percent to rule and fool. In a socialist society run by and for the working people it represents, the mega-monopolies like Walmart, Halliburton, Exxon-Mobil, and the corporations that run the tightly controlled “mainstream media” will be a thing of the past.

Socialist countries do have independent media outlets. Salon and Fred Jerome apparently mean Marxist-Leninist. They just don’t say so because even their readers might question what there was to admire about Pravda.

A democratic, accessible-to-all media will move to center stage in a socialist USA. In some ways this democratization of the media is already happening on the Internet. But the government’s ability to spy on and even turn off the Internet belies any real democracy. In a socialist democracy, working people will control the political process, the way in which they make a living, and collectively and individually, they will influence mass culture.

If you’re following this megaton level of stupid, Salon envisions an all-powerful Socialist state where the government will not be able to spy on people or control the internet.

The government will control everything… but not the internet.

Yet the media business, for those who now own and run it, is more than just a money-making operation. The owners also promote their political agenda.

That’s the one thing that never happens in a system where the government literally controls the media.

But what will the media be like in a socialist USA? There is no blueprint, but in a society that has erased corporate control, the articles in newspapers and magazines and online will not be filler between ads for teeth whiteners and weight-loss pills. There won’t be TV commercials for Coke, cars, or million-dollar condos. There will be no private corporations to create and sponsor the news.

Sounds great, Fred. What will this free and independent ad-free media be like?

In a socialist society a portion of the media would be reserved for news disseminated by the democratically elected governing bodies, that is, working people elected by and for working people.

That is… the media will be controlled by the state.

But state ownership is not the only way media can represent the interests of working people, to speak with or through their voices. In most cases, the media would be owned and operated by working-class organizations—labor unions, neighborhood associations, and cultural centers.

Which would be funded by and controlled by the state.

Funny thing about working-class organizations like labor unions and cultural centers, they’re rarely run by working class people. Either in the USSR or over here. The people running them are usually as working class as Salon readers and writers.

So news (and views) in a socialist society will be brought to you by a plethora of noncommercial sponsors.

By plethora, Fred means the state. Most people don’t think of the “State” as a plethora.

The government media will report on and discuss, for example, the major government plans for production, how to improve education, and more.

I’m sure people will be rushing to tune into that…

Union dues today pay for the publication, including staff salaries, of many union newspapers. In a socialist society, where money is allocated based on assessed social need and not on projected profits, government will subsidize many salaries in social, economic, political, and educational areas… So salaries at the media operations of smaller unions will most likely be covered by government subsidies.

So all these media operations will be subsidized by a Socialist government that will in no way to try to dictate their content… unlike every other Socialist government on the planet.

But at least this amazing Socialist news will be really exciting…

Some news will still come from local and national governments that set product-distribution quotas or help to negotiate them, sponsor trade and international exchange with other countries, and—if the world is still partly controlled by capitalist powers—organize defense against economic (as well as cultural, and possibly military) assaults.

The harvest has been brought in with 99% efficiency, Socialist media reports. Workers have voluntarily, and not at all gunpoint, been herded to help in the harvest. Reports of bread shortages in the cities are being spread by Capitalist agents. Call 1-888-SQUEAL to report such subversive messages to Socialist media representatives.

There will be many other features in the media of a socialist society. One would certainly be “never forget,” stories in words and pictures—on-air or online or both—describing battles waged previously during life under capitalism: tent cities for homeless families, “stop-and-frisk” police policies that singled out young black and Latino men, and the experience of unemployment and long-term joblessness. But “Never Forget” would also feature stories about fighting capitalist oppression through strikes and marches, and about heroes of past struggles.

Why not recycle old issues of Pravda?

  • Omar

    The left is obsessed with stop-and-frisk, even though 1. The majority of victims of violent crime are of racial/ethnic minorities and 2. the tactic has, despite certain flaws, kept New York City safe for many years. What the radical left really wants in an urban police department is a Lee Brown-style leadership where the police commissioner is helpless at stopping crime, where riding the subway would lead to random muggings and where race riots were regarded as “uprisings” by the left if they were initiated by people of a darker skin color. To the left, Lee Brown is a saint, even though he is remembered as NYC’s worst police commissioner due to his incompetence at his job during the horrific Crown Heights race riots. That incident, along with other incidents, led to Brown being replaced by Ray Kelly (apparently, Kelly’s first tenure as NYC’s police commissioner began under then-Mayor David Dinkins). The change in police leadership was probably to serve as a balance to the corrupt and incompetent mayoral administration in the city at that time. Hopefully, Bill Bratton will serve as a balance to Marxist Mayor Warren Wilhelm, Jr. and his radical left-wing administration and supporters in the City Council.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      And if the left got that free crime zone, most of them would flee to the suburbs

      • laura r

        notice where they live in NY? fairfield county, hastings on the hudson, east or south hampton. upper east side or west village, CPW, CPS. west coast: bev hills bel aire, carmel. florida palm beach, 3 hrs from seattle. if NYC gets weird, threy can just get out to the hamptons, or conn.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          Yup

    • Inane Rambler

      The problem with stop and frisk isn’t that it disproportionately targets minorities in relation to their share of the population (1, it does but not illegally so, and 2 it targets those more likely to commit violent crime.), the problem with it is that it gives the police a reason to interfere with the activity of anyone they damn well please.

      • DB1954

        Hmm, the Inane Rambler? … hmm … hmm …

  • Yulia Demkin

    I don’t know, maybe he has a point:

    “In a socialist democracy, working people will control the political process…”

    So he will not let people on welfare to vote? Had not thought about that before, but maybe it’s an idea worth thinking about.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Ah but working people to the left are union members and those who fall below the poverty line.

      A middle class self-employed plumber is not working class. A welfare recipient is.

      • Yulia Demkin

        It reminds me of that great line from Tom Wolfe’s; From Our House To Bauhaus, when discussing workers’ housing, “…if by worker, you mean someone who actually has a job…”

        • DB1954

          Bauhaus architecture has to be the UGLIEST on the planet. What would one expect from early 20th century Germany? Sorry, had to get that off my chest.

          • Yulia Demkin

            They wanted to throw away their western heritage and start from zero.

            You can see they did not get very far.
            .

  • Toni_Pereira

    I can’t believe that creatures who are always burping how cosmopolitan and progressive they are,even when nobody asked them to, are actually begging for the nationalization of the press!Pass the Prozac,please.

  • laura r

    i looked @ salon for the 1st time several months ago. my first impression was “this is a college newspaper”…. i tried to join in the discussion, but i was attacked & called names. there was no dialoque, just rants. only one person was civilized, it looked like he was new there as well. definitly a joe college operation.

    • DB1954

      With a late adolescent mentality.

  • cheechakos

    If MSNBC,NBC ,CBS & ABC infotainment people see this story they will weep with joy and rush over to pravda erm salon to cheerlead.

    But the important question is ; will salon’s fantasy state tv still show youtube cute critter vids as news like the MSM does?
    And what about the NY demon baby clip? (that probably caused a few hundred abortions)
    Libs can live without reality and real news but cut off their supply of giggles and they get testy

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Not unless the cute critters are teaching important labor principles.

  • Eldjr

    Could anyone with a straight face ever post a clearer confession of
    abject unreason than this pathetic marxist has done?

    Orwell introduced a hyperbolic description of progressive language deconstruction with “Newspeak” in his novel “1984″, but let not Orwell’s hyperbole detract from the empirical truth: progressive psychosis [pardon the redundancy] sublimates all truth and reality beneath radical political ideology: Words’ fixed meanings are redefined to uphold the progressive narrative; the cause-to-effect rational principle is supplanted by dogma, trading existentialism for cumulative knowledge, experience and history, which are re-classified as ‘opinion’ [In the '60s they used the word, "plastic" to convey this idea].

    The portions of Mr. Jerome’s Salon piece shared in the above article wherein he cites the ‘oppression’ of capitalism is ‘case-in-point’.

    The principle of Capitalism is simply individual liberty in the economic sphere. It is the right of individuals or groups of individuals to negotiate an agreed-upon exchange of property or other value.

    I personally accept Jefferson’s definition of Liberty:

    “What shall I say of liberty? Liberty is, in the whole plenitude of its extent, unrestricted activity according to the will. Rightful liberty is unrestricted activity according to the will, within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I would say, ‘according to the law’, but law is often but the will of the tyrant, and always so when it infringes upon individual liberty.”

    In the upside-down existential universe of the progressive, ‘liberty’ is ‘oppression’, ‘tolerance’ is thought and speech suppression, ‘truth’ submits to dogma, ‘power’ [external force] replaces ‘rights’, individual sovereignty is supplanted by the State.

    The narcissistic absolutism of progressivism is analogous to the husband’s obsession in “Sleeping with the Enemy” [a Sandra Bullock film]: He would either control his wife, or destroy her [and it would be her fault].

    Consider also the pathetic character, “Lenny”, in Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”. All he wanted to do was pet the soft little field mice he put in his pocket while working in the field. The mice would, of course, not want to be in Lenny’s pocket at all, much less be handled and ‘petted’. The mouse would try to climb out of Lenny’s pocket, and Lenny would push it back down’. As the mouse began to really strugle, Lenny would close his hand around the mouse’s body, ‘to keep it safely in his pocket’. The mouse, now in a panic, bit Lenny’s hand, and Lenny, oblivious to the fact that his grip was causing the mouse’s panic, and being afraid because of the pain, reflexively crushed the little mouse. Later this reflexive response killed the farmer’s daughter, and Lenny’s demise was assured.

    Progressives are Lennies. They’re only comfortable, happy and feel ‘safe’ when others are in their control. Liberty is a frightful concept to them. They provoke and cultivate crises in order to act on behalf of ‘society’, whose ‘voice’ they claim to be. In pursuit of Friedrich Engels’ ‘classless society’, they go about pitting one ‘class’ against another, always seemingly finding ways to divide the population into classes, and arrogating advocacy of ‘the oppressed’.

    In the end, progressivism is pathological; it is a psychotic imposition of a narcissistic political agenda, the adherents to which are incapable of admitting the endless failures of the ideology to produce the utopia that would supposedly exist if they only had enough power.

    That’s how folks like this Salon contributor think. They cannot see the errors of their dogma, because it ultimately justifies their power over others, which they must establish, no matter the cost. The Kim family in North Korea sell the same kind of propaganda to their subjects; and in North Korea, the State-controlled media provides all the support for the progressive government of ‘the Kims’ that they need to keep the system going,

    Just like Salon does for its readership, and just like Fred Jerome would have America’s media do for his own chosen, “Dear Leader”.

  • carltjohnson

    They just do not get capitalism, left unimpeded by government, politicians and small groups of special interest that have taken over once private, now public corporations, you would see the incredible values they produce. The smart thing to do is keep corporations private, investors are either in or out according to how that corporation serves the consumer. If they do a good job, the investors make out. If they do not, they get out…simple stupid. The private corporation would be better protected against leveraged stock buyouts, takeovers and then poison the consumer for the profit of those that wish to control our lives, that wish to keep our population at low levels so that they can better control the slaves (us) easier.
    You see, leftist and the ignorant complain about corporations when it is they, that have created the problem, it is they that wish to control…at the same time…they want to blame you and the value creators. They are the value destroyers.
    Democracy, allopathic medicine and Keynesian economics, just like big coercive governments…treat the symptoms but never the cause.

  • DB1954

    I think Fred just wanted to use that word, “plethora.” Makes him feel superior to all the bourgeoisie in fly-over country.