Failed Liberal Mag Dreams of a Communist America

A democratic, accessible-to-all media will move to center stage in a socialist USA.

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?

Tags: Salon