Testing the Market Totalitarianism Thesis

Market totalitarianism is the creeping advancement of corporate capitalist control over all the details of modern life, in and across its three major spheres — work, politics, and personal life.

If you doubt this phenomenon is real, consider this fact, as mentioned, all the way from Australia, by TCT commenter Luis Cayetano: In May of 1958, Erich Fromm was interviewed at length on commercial television in the United States.

52 years later, that same thing is so far from being possible, it is almost unimaginable. Picture 60 Minutes, for example, devoting not just one but two segments (see the run-time of the Wallace interview of Fromm) to letting, say, Noam Chomsky explain his present view of the society and the world.

No fucking way that happens now, obviously. Sponsors these days, having grown all the more powerful and having learned well the dangers of unpoliced television, would never permit it, and the producers and reporters, knowing that, would never in a million years propose it.

5 Replies to “Testing the Market Totalitarianism Thesis”

  1. We’re lucky we have the internet to keep the discussion alive, even if it is out of the majority of the public’s eye. With the change in political climate and influence of Citizen’s United, we can be fairly sure that our freedom to opine openly online will be curtailed soon enough, putting the internet in line with the MSM.

  2. Listening to a guy talking – that’s the “alternative”?
    Chomsky and confreres are available round-the-clock on Free Speech TV, and of course on the web. Great opinions, fine minds with tons of research behind them – but that is not social policy, nor a winning way to speak leisure time. Our “heroes” are often plodding speakers with no base of social power whatsoever- which has done terrible damage to Left Q ratings.
    Chart the course from this interview – sorry, I”ll going to to pass on the link – to Wallace’s corruption to his son Chris Wallace’s full-scale Fox conservative “rebellion” – and there is the triumph of market totalitarianism, as you have so supremely formulated – not the wack phrase “inverted totalitarianism” that Parson Hedges is trying to stump for, from some tenured professor’s sermon.

  3. Martin, I wasn’t trying to say watching an interview is the whole alternative. I was trying to keep notes on the progressive, unerring, relentless censorship in the MSM.

    As to Q ratings, I can’t tell if you’re joking or not. Chomsky is a fine speaker, and, if his views were admissible to the system, there would be plenty of people to make them come across sexier. And, of course, the point is about angles of news coverage, not just professorial lectures.

  4. Points well stated.
    I am serious about the Q ratings – others on the correct side have noted the speaking monotone of the research master NC. Were “Dancing with the Stars” to put him on, I am not sure he would have the talk-show verve needed to compete on the Hollywood screen, which, for all of its bombast, still commands through its entertainment values.
    If the MSM is thoroughly debased, as I believe it is, then I refuse to give it any stature, and do other things when my wife is watching it as she cooks.

    You seem to be fighting the good fight against it, and that is to your credit, but I’m not sure Erich Fromm would get the girls to check out the revolution, as happened back in those 60’s days of cultural influence from the left.

  5. And I take your point.

    What we need in the media area is a massive PBS/NEA that was charged with truly providing the people voice and forum.

    As to Chomsky’s style, is that your reaction to his delivery, or just a worry? I find he does what he does to assure his audience he’s not insane, and also to encourage them to question sources, including him.

    And, of course, I know you also have a critical analysis of the idea of Q ratings. Flash and flip are always easy when you’re defending facts on the ground against mere abstract possible alternatives.

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