Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Medium and the Message: It's All About Control

This morning, Atrios posted the following on Eschaton:
The Destruction of Politics
It's pretty fascinating that over 100,000 people have clicked
through to watch a campaign ad. During the whole FEC hearing process one of the big concerns by the people who wanted to regulate the internets was that if we didn't then people (horror!) might put candidate videos and stuff online and that would be bad because... well, I was never quite sure but it was going to be bad.With Youtube and similar services anyone can slap video online for free. While the video in question is an official campaign video, Lamont supporters have been putting up all kinds of campaign-related videos. It's all good.
10:15 AM

"that would be bad because... well, I was never quite sure but it was going to be bad."

The answer is that that would be 'bad' because it undercuts and challenges the century-long, multi-trillion dollar campaign to consolidate the media under the direction of a very few, reliable, corrupted, corporate entities-- and thereby to exert as nearly as possible total control over the message (remember McLuhan?). It means that, instead of being completed, that expensive propaganda campaign has to be continued, just when the corpoRats thought they had achieved 'message/medium' hegemony.

The inherent democratizing power of the internets (e.g., Habermas) challenges and threatens to overthrow that hegemony. The internets make it possible (so far, but diminishingly by important increments) for unauthorized, critical, un-approved, non- or counter-hegemonic messages to flourish outside the control of the dominant, corporate/consumerist ideology. There IS bad publicity; it is the kind that the CorpoRats don't control.

This is why the attacks on the internets' message and ideological independence will continue, and grow increasingly heavy-handed. The overthrow of network neutrality is just one stratagem. Many more are in train, being planned, and developed by the very best minds in the 'bidness.'

Enjoy it while you can. This election cycle, even if it doesn't result in the overthrow of the fascist corpoRats, will probably come to be viewed as the the high-water mark of the internets' power. The CorpoRats have got just too much invested in this program to ever let it go.


kelley b. said...

It gets back to legitimacy doesn't it?

In our present economic and political system only "legitimate" Company players have a voice.

All other voices (that's us, people) are illegitimate.

Anonymous said...

Bush at 36%. Somebody's waking up at last.

from Ruth for Holden