U.S. Supreme Court by Phil Roeder
Citizens v. United Requires A Fairness Doctrine
"The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, that required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was, in the Commission's view, honest, equitable and balanced. The FCC decided to eliminate the Doctrine in 1987, and in August 2011 the FCC formally removed the language that implemented the Doctrine. The Fairness Doctrine had two basic elements: It required broadcasters to devote some of their airtime to discussing controversial matters of public interest, and to air contrasting views regarding those matters."
The primary issue in a capitalist society is that there be, and remain, a societal balance of power between labor and capital. Wherever a balance of such social and economic "factor" power is lost then all manner of costly distortions and exploitations occur within "free markets" and democracies. History is one long saga of the costly ruin created by the rise of factor imbalance, leading to either a debilitating, destructive, and costly fascism or socialism.
There is no question the factor imbalance scale greatly favors capital today at the expense of the vast majority of wage-earning citizens -- whose labor enriches capital. Indeed, capital now controls our central bank, major media, campaign finance and election processes. In effect, the vast majority now lack control over their own society, economy, and republic. We, the people, do not then set the agenda. Instead, a small, powerful and ultra-rich minority does due to our relative impotence.
There is simply no way that labor -- the wage-earning majority of citizens -- can match the out-of-thin-air money power of capital. This is the very force that owns our central bank and media corporations, and hand picks the editors who job it is to impede and bury any outbreak of economic democracy.
Given the free reign for corporate money and anonymous, untraceable, dark money imputs, the system is now geared for utter plutocracy and fascism, and ever more pressure on wage-earning citizens in the top-down structured race-to-the-bottom that has already decimated the former First World nations and their higher wages and standards.
Given that corporate media cannot even mention the issue of a public central bank, it is clear they have an agenda -- and the agenda is to protect capital's control of society -- a control leading to a dismal global oligarchy, oligopoly, outrageous disparities of wealth, and environmental ruin.
One important way to undue this dismal and tragic imbalance is to foster some semblance of balance in the media that most people see and hear. While the internet helps spread the news and opinion, the vast majority still get their "news" from corporate newspapers and tv " like Fox News.
Speaking of Fox, in travelling around the United States, it is nearly impossible to find any liberal or progressive radio. In place after place it is a steady diet of Rush Limbaugh and Shawn Hannity, et.al. The same one-note politics system applies to legions of basic cable subscribers who are treated to Fox news but no other channels of competing information or debate.
In short, the tv and radio media around the country is completely skewed to capital's agenda -- a fact which explains why so many can vote against their own self-interests, and whose running-for-dollars representatives have become incapable of compromise and so promise endless political stalemate.
Clearly, the time has come to re-instate the Fairness Doctrine for our major media corporations. Only with a legal directive can we, the majority, obtain a fair representation and hearing in a capital owned and controlled media. Either we have a legal requirement for presentation of the widest array of viewpoints, and wage-earning opinion, or we continue to have a complete fascist media setup. Its that simple.
In addition to the extensive discussion of factor imbalance in my 1994 book, CAP-COM, The Economics of Balance, there was also the presentation of the idea of an Editor Freedom Act:
"Where a mostly private, corporate, media environment exists, and editor hirings and firings are the exclusive province of a handful of owners, then the potential for pure plutocracy, and denial of democracy, is complete. Indeed, no effective democracy can exist where information and media are monopolized by either "factor" to the socio-economic equation - i.e. capital or labor. Yet exactly this condition of "factor" imbalance, and one-factor's monopoly of media now serves to distort our media, economy, and democracy.
In contrast to the media estate at the founding of the Republic, for-profit media now spans the globe and ever-increasing concentration of ownership allows a handful of owners, and their hand-picked editors, to shape debate, spin or disappear dissent, and control the very currency of democracy. In this setting, a "five-hundred channel" environment and unread internet sites mean nothing if all major radio and television media channels are controlled by the same factor - capital - and set to its purposes.