Wishful Thinking: Why The Economist Wants Social Media
to Replace Blogs
by Anthony Wile
The Daily Bell
by Anthony Wile: Ron
Holland on the Inevitability of Societal Chaos, How the Elites Will
Try to Maintain Control – and How You Can Protect Your Wealth From
magazine is out with an article entitled "The
end of mass media: Coming full circle." It actually provides
us with a kind of sub-dominant social theme that "social
media" take us back to the pamphleteering days of Samuel Johnson,
Ben Franklin, Thomas Paine and others.
This has been,
in a sense, a message of ours for many years. And here at DB, we've
regularly compared the output of the Gutenberg Press and its revolutionary
influence to the Internet. The Economist is about 10 years
late in joining the party.
Even so, I
think The Economist is making the wrong comparison and doing
it on purpose. Blogs and websites are a far more appropriate comparison
to the Gutenberg Press than "social media."
There is likely
a reason that The Economist, a power elite mouthpiece, wants
to talk up social media. Here's the beginning of an article from
Global Research written way back in March 2009, when Facebook only
had 20 million users but was well on its way to success:
the CIA conspiracy ... Facebook has 20 million users worldwide,
is worth billions of dollars and, if internet sources are to be
believed, was started by the CIA. The social networking phenomenon
started as a way of American college students to keep in touch.
It is rapidly catching up with MySpace, and has left others like
Bebo in its wake.
is a dark side to the success story that's been spreading across
the blogosphere. A complex but riveting Big Brother-type conspiracy
theory, which links Facebook to the CIA and the US Department
of Defence. The CIA is, though, using a Facebook group to recruit
staff for its very sexy sounding National Clandestine Service.
starts once Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had launched, after
the dorm room drama that's led to the current court case. Facebook's
first round of venture capital funding ($US500,000) came from
former Paypal CEO Peter Thiel. Author of anti-multicultural tome
Diversity Myth, he is also on the board of radical conservative
round of funding into Facebook ($US12.7 million) came from venture
capital firm Accel Partners. Its manager James Breyer was formerly
chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, and served
on the board with Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel, a venture capital
firm established by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1999. One
of the company's key areas of expertise is in "data mining
has revealed much about the way the world really works. And more
and more it seems evident and obvious that almost NO company in
US, Britain and Europe becomes globally dominant without Intel vetting
and subsequent cooperation with high-ranking government officials.
are proxies, in fact, for Anglosphere elites themselves. And the
Anglosphere elites in my view own almost everything worth owning.
(When one owns a central bank after all, one can print money at
will. Western elites control about 100 of them through the BIS.)
This was a
big secret in the 20th century. It's increasingly well known in
the 21st. The West's "capitalism" is mostly authoritarian,
but the powers-that-be have tried to disguise it as much as possible.
They are still pretending even thought they have been "outed"
by the 'Net.
you can have a successful chain of, say, donut shops without being
bothered by snoops. But to have a world spanning company of any
sort from soda pop, to automobiles, to media, to computers
and software you'll no doubt interact with a friendly spook
sooner or later.
How does it
work? Don't know, exactly ... But probably, the dark-suited gentlemen
sitting erectly in your office indicating that as a "patriot"
and successful businessperson you ought to be helpful to your country,
is politely pressuring you.
the hook. Perhaps you ought to think about making a movie that takes
a favorable look at the military-industrial complex. Maybe you ought
to build a back door into your software so the government can use
it to catch "criminals." Are you making cars? Perhaps
you ought to come up with a special military model.
will be offered money as well. And told that significant, shadowy
individuals have taken a sizeable position in your firm. Most CEOs
will say yes. The ones that say "no" may soon find themselves
under attack via the media, politically or corporately.
This is how
the EU apparently operates. Important politicians and corporate
types are told if they do not cooperate with the Eurocrat vision,
they'll be thoroughly embarrassed by one revelation after another.
On the other hand, if they are helpful, they'll be provided a numbered
Swiss account and a good deal of secret cash. The corruption thus
goes right to the top. Everybody is involved in the conspiracy.
In the case
of Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, the process seems fairly
transparent. For one thing, Zuckerberg apparently attended a select,
elite grade school along with another famous individual known today
as Lady Gaga.
either. The reason for so much standardized testing these days is
that the Anglosphere elites want to capture mathematically adept
young men and women at an early age. If they continue to show promise,
they are funneled into colleges such as Yale, Harvard and MIT.
ended up at Harvard. Doubtless the idea for Facebook was his own
or at least partially so. But once he had put together a
popular prototype, his "friends" swung into action. If
he needed funding, it was provided. If he needed marketing, it was
The young man
was on a fast track. He wore a hoodie and kept quiet about his government
associations. That's his MO. He's done it well, and he's been rewarded
not only with outsized wealth but also with a major motion picture.
No doubt an autobiography is on the way. Perhaps some sort of Nobel
like Bill Gates, he'll "donate" his enormous wealth to
social causes. Actually, he'll be instructed to. It'll go to some
Foundation the Anglosphere elites control. They don't leave outsize
fortunes in private hands if they can help it. And Zuckerberg is
the hired help. He's not a "real" insider and probably
never will be.
This is how
the elite operates. They both support and control their enablers.
One can see it with Julian Assange, another seeming Intel asset.
Assange has all the elite signatures: a million dollar book contract
and a major movie about his life in the works. He has, in fact,
already been mentioned for a Nobel Prize.
But what exactly
has Assange done? As a young man, he was arrested for hacking and
threatened with a long jail sentence. Apparently, that may have
turned him and the rest is history.
fact, has a close relationship with ... you guessed it The
Economist, which has bestowed upon him several writing awards.
In my view, it's no coincidence this article brings up his name
prominently, as follows:
has said that WikiLeaks operates in the tradition of the radical
pamphleteers of the English civil war who tried to "cast
all the Mysteries and Secrets of Government" before the public.
this is nonsense. WikiLeaks is not a pamphleteer. WikiLeaks writes
nothing at all; it merely leaks. (Though little lately.) Not only
that, but its last big, announced leak came from a gentlemen with
a list of prominent Swiss tax evaders, a list that has apparently
been leaked several times. So much for exposing government secrets.
makes other points, equally questionable. Its main working hypothesis
is that the Internet is contributing to a breakdown of mass media.
Tell that to Matt Drudge who regularly attracts 10 million viewers
per day to his website. That's an audience rivaled only by big TV
No, the Internet
Reformation is not shattering the mass media of Anglosphere elites.
It is REPLACING that media. Big difference. As we've pointed out
many times before, the mainstream media can't compete with the Internet
absent extraordinary censorship which does not exist yet
because the alternative 'Net press is not controlled and
homogenized. It tends to tell the truth, or several truths, anyway.
is trying to present a kind of elite promotion. It is talking up
social 'Net media which the establishment can control fairly
easily from the top at the expense of myriad bloggers and
websites. These are the writers and poets one could compare fairly
to pamphleteers of days past. Not Zuckerberg. Here's some more from
The Economist article:
News is becoming
a social medium again, as it was until the early 19th century
only more so ... there is a great historical irony at the
heart of the current transformation of news. The industry is being
reshaped by technology but by undermining the mass media's
business models, that technology is in many ways returning the
industry to the more vibrant, freewheeling and discursive ways
of the pre-industrial era.
early 19th century there was no technology for disseminating news
to large numbers of people in a short space of time. It travelled
as people chatted in marketplaces and taverns or exchanged letters
with their friends. This phenomenon can be traced back to Roman
times, when members of the elite kept each other informed with
a torrent of letters, transcriptions of speeches and copies of
the acta diurna, the official gazette that was posted in the forum
along social networks because there was no other conduit. The
invention of the printing press meant that many copies of a document
could be produced more quickly than before, but distribution still
relied on personal connections. In early 1518 Martin Luther's
writings spread around Germany in two weeks as they were carried
from one town to the next.
and his supporters argued with his opponents over the following
decade, more than 6m religious pamphlets were sold in Germany.
"News ballads", which spread news in the form of popular
songs, covered the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, among
many other events. In January 1776 Thomas Paine's pamphlet "Common
Sense", which rallied the colonists against the British crown,
was printed in a run of 1,000 copies. One of them reached George
Washington, who was so impressed that he made American officers
read extracts of Paine's work to their men.
By July 1776
around 250,000 people, nearly half the free population of the
colonies, had been exposed to Paine's ideas. Newspapers at the
time had small, local circulations and were a mix of opinionated
editorials, contributions from readers and items from other papers;
there were no dedicated reporters.
We can see
from this narrative how The Economist twists the analysis.
We've written about this before. Social media are to be THE transformative
enterprise. There's a reason of course. One need merely work with
a Google or a Face Book and data mine to one's heart's content.
Blogs and websites are not easily controlled. Social media is.
makes other dubious claims in this article. It claims that "the
mass-media era now looks like a relatively brief and anomalous period
that is coming to an end." How the anonymous writer(s) come
to this conclusion is a mystery. Google, Drudge and numerous other
blogs and websites probably reach together and separately MORE viewers
than 20th century media. The Internet is big. And so are its biggest
does get some things right: "The biggest shift is that journalism
is no longer the exclusive preserve of journalists. Ordinary people
are playing a more active role in the news system, along with a
host of technology firms, news start-ups and not-for-profit groups."
But then it
swings right back to its main theme: "'Social media are certainly
not a fad, and their impact is only just beginning to be felt. 'It's
everywhere and it's going to be even more everywhere,' says
funny! Huffington didn't create a social media site, she created
a socialist-oriented news and information WEBSITE. In order to bang
the drum for social media, The Economist writers are actually
misrepresenting what Huffington created (and subsequently sold to
a continually desperate AOL).
The Economist ends the article: "Successful media organisations
will be the ones that accept this new reality. They need to reorient
themselves towards serving readers rather than advertisers, embrace
social features and collaboration, get off political and moral high
horses and stop trying to erect barriers around journalism to protect
their position. The digital future of news has much in common with
its chaotic, ink-stained past."
all these points before (with the exception of the social media
one). In fact, we've kinda helped pioneer the point of view that
the Internet is the new Gutenberg press and that it's driving the
elite-controlled mainstream media crazy. You can see my latest analysis
Murdoch's Failing Attempts to Control the Internet Reformation.
I'm glad The
Economist has hopped on board (some 10 years later), but the
decision to emphasize social media distorts the tale. It's obvious
enough WHY the editors of this controlled magazine want to emphasize
social media, but it's already a failed enterprise. Rupert Murdoch
tried to turn MySpace into a news and information disseminator and
he couldn't do it. Facebook likely won't manage the trick either,
though it's much larger.
may well remain with blogs and websites seemingly the REAL
stubbornly uncontrollable pamphleteers of the modern, electronic
era. Samuel Johnson, Thomas Paine, Voltaire, Alexander Pope, John
Dryden, etc. none of these individuals would necessarily
have been interested in "friending" people much
less putting intimate, personal information online for the world
Arouet (Voltaire), Jonathan Swift (Isaac Bickerstaff), 17th earl
of Oxford, Edward de Vere (Shakespeare, probably) these men
used pen names for a reason. Telling the truth is often a dangerous
act. But it is also an attractive one and is a reason why Drudge
with a staff of two or three can generate a larger readership than
major mainstream media with thousands of writers and editors.
with articles like this one filled with half-truths at best
provides us a kind of metaphor for the struggles of the mainstream
press. Probably, The Economist is struggling, too. Articles
like this are one reason why.
with permission from The
Wile is an author, columnist, media commentator and entrepreneur
focused on developing projects that promote the general advancement
of free-market thinking concepts. He is the chief editor of the
popular free-market oriented news site, TheDailyBell.com.
Mr. Wile is the Executive Director of The Foundation for the Advancement
of Free-Market Thinking – a non-profit Liechtenstein-based foundation.
His most popular book, High
Alert, is now in its third edition and available in several
languages. Other notable books written by Mr. Wile include The
Liberation of Flockhead (2002) and The Value of Gold (2002).
© 2011 The
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