Seeing the Wood for the Trees

This website continues to plough a lonely furrow with its claim that the Media Class has captured power in the USA, the UK and elsewhere in the Western world. This does not surprise Radical and Right. Few people today are well informed about history and geography, let alone economics, sociology and political philosophy. Consequently, the concept of class is an alien one. Marxists and other socialists, being proponents of class war should understand, but most are stuck in the old theories in which industrialists and bankers control everything from behind the scenes, whilst crushing ‘the poor’ and destroying the environment. Global capitalism for today’s Leftists, is simply a modern reincarnation of Carnegie and Ford, the old enemy in new clothes. Then again, Leftists of all persuasions have so many sympathizers and fundraisers amongst the Media/Showbiz class that they can be excused for not wanting to bite the hands that feed them.

Other students of politics find the idea that movie stars, entertainers, newscasters, editors, film producers etc might now be the movers and shakers of our world, preposterous. Such people seem so – well – intellectually lightweight! How could the likes of Sean Penn, Dan Rather and Stephen Spielberg be that important?

The fact that we all get our daily information and most of our opinions through a process controlled by Media people, is for Radical and Right, the key. Also very relevant is the Media’s ability to turn the spotlight on others as well as on themselves. In any case it has always been difficult for most of us to see the wood for the trees in our own era and it usually requires perceptive historians to look back and discern the underlying fundamentals of changes of power.

Of course, the Media’s power is not absolute, just as Industrial Capitalists never had absolute power in their heyday. Nor, in a democracy is a ruling class ever seamlessly homogeneous. There are rival factions and internal splits over particular issues, but we think the Media Class is more cohesive than past ruling classes. For one thing, it is in the business of communication, so well able to communicate within itself. For another, the Media is extremely geographically concentrated. The old Industrial Capitalists never had centers of concentration the equivalent of Hollywood, Miami, San Francisco and Manhattan. So many of the Media Class live, work and play together.

Newly acquired wealth is telling evidence of power. The swift acquisition of wealth indicates a powerful tide is flowing in a society and the wealth itself, once concentrated confers power. The Media Class has become, and continues to become, enormously wealthy. Property acquisition gives the game away, as newly wealthy people always invest in expensive and desirable homes and estates. We can identify who is getting wealthy by monitoring the purchase of expensive property. Radical and Right have been tracking luxury property acquisition for some time and surprise, surprise, the members of the Media/Showbiz elite have been gobbling up nearly all of the desirable places. Large waterfront homes in Miami, big estates on Martha’s Vineyard, rolling ranchlands in the West, to island retreats as far the Dubai Project – everywhere it is Media people who are buying and selling where prices are high and the privileged can relax in safety and congenial surroundings. Their rush to grab the desirable parts of our planet does not seem to be fettered in any way by environmental concerns or compassion for the underprivileged.

Reading the names of the Showbiz / Media purchasers and sellers, one is struck by how many are not household names. Of course, one finds the names of Oprah, Jagger, Tommy Hilfiger, Rod Stewart, Cher, Costner and countless other big name stars and Fashion Kings and Queens, but there are countless relatively unknown members of the Media Class who are now ‘in the money’. Drummers and guitarists of briefly popular rock groups, small part actors from films and TV series, football players, basketball players remarkable only for their height, little known ‘media magnates’, celebrity photographers, political reporters, Hollywood talent agents, playwrights, fashion designers and radio personalities are the purchasers and sellers of all the hot properties. Only California’s high-tech winners are able to keep pace with them, but they are few in number compared to the Media people. The overwhelming preponderance of Media people with big money to spend surely tells us something significant, especially given that taxation prevents the rest of us from accumulating capital.

Even more telling is the way that we are conditioned by the Media to view all this. When the CEO of a large company gets a big payoff we are invited to be outraged and when an oil company earns big profits politicians are urged by Media scribblers to impose special punitive taxes. When a film, pop or sports star receives a huge fee, we are invited to celebrate his talents and elevate his standing. Similarly we are invited to keep track of film profits and share in the delight when box office receipt records are broken. No talk of punitive special taxes here on ‘windfall’ profits! No talk of exploitation of the environment or of the poor! Have we ever been exhorted to consider a Media person ‘greedy’? No! But we are invited to take seriously their posturing on world poverty, Third World debt forgiveness, environmental damage and corporate greed.

Radical and Right concede that there are small town newspaper reporters, local radio broadcasters, musicians and others who work in the Media and in Showbiz who are not making fortunes, but no doubt many are motivated by being on the first rung of the ladder to the fabulous riches that the Media world generates.

The evidence of a powerful, increasingly wealthy and dominant Media Class is right in front of our eyes, and dare we say, right under our noses.

What's Your Opinion?