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Fox Hunting: Oligarchy in America

December 12, 2010

OLIGARCHY (from Greek ὀλιγαρχία, oligarkhía[1]) is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small segment of society distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, corporate, or military control. The word oligarchy is from the Greek words “ὀλίγος” (olígos), “a few”[2] and the verb “ἄρχω” (archo), “to rule, to govern, to command”.[3] Such states are often controlled by a few prominent families who pass their influence from one generation to the next.

Oligarchies have been tyrannical throughout history, being completely reliant on public servitude to exist. Although Aristotle pioneered the use of the term as a synonym for rule by the rich, for which the exact term is plutocracy; but oligarchy is not always a rule by wealth, as oligarchs can simply be a privileged group, and do not have to be connected by bloodlines as in a monarchy. Some city-states from ancient Greece were oligarchies.

We are not yet at the tyrannical stage yet, but it would seem there are trends towards less personal liberty, Bush suspension of habeus corpus, restrictions in travel, access to quality education and healthcare, Net Neutrality reduced to a small group of service providers, concentration of news outlets, corporate influence in elections, and calls for “smaller government”. I was educated years ago that when you hear calls for a smaller government it means concentrating power in the hands of the few. That is a perfect fit for oligarchy. What few? Who is making that call for smaller government? The Tea Partyists. Who is the major backer of the Tea Party? The billionaire oil barons, the Koch Brothers.

NPR Reports, The Brothers Koch:

The brothers own Koch Industries, a Kansas-based conglomerate that operates oil refineries in several states and is the company behind brands including Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Lycra fibers and Stainmaster carpet. Forbes ranks Koch Industries as the second-largest privately held company in the U.S. — and the Koch brothers themselves? They’re worth billions.

And in the past 30 years, they’ve funneled more than $100 million into dozens of political organizations, many of which are trying to steer the country in a more libertarian direction. Among the organizations they’ve backed are the Cato Institute, a Washington think tank that has recently raised questions about climate change, and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia — which one Democratic strategist called “ground zero for deregulation policy in Washington.”

The influence of the oligarchs can be seen in NewsCorp, Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal and Fox News. The medium is the message concept is in full swing in these powerful media organizations. They control the message rather than report news. The fundamentals of journalism is to remain objective; to report who, what, where, and when. The ‘why’ is reserved for the opinion page. But, the news media organizations, like NewsCorp, have switched the basic principles of journalism around where op-ed is now the main thrust of their ‘news’ reporting. This is a form of propaganda where small bits of facts are weaved within an opinion to further an agenda not being fully revealed.

The most important of all freedoms in America is freedom of expression and freedom of the press. This is being tested right now with pending FCC vote on December 21st regarding Net Neutrality combined with the well-timed WikiLeaks disclosures. What we are seeing is a challenge to whether people like me — Asheham Press — will be able to continue with my blog! Yep folks, that is the challenge. There is a chokehold being applied to our most important of all freedoms. Get it? It is like a vicegrip being slowly tightened over decades and you hardly notice it, but we are at the point where we are being choked of our basic rights to pursue happiness – to our life and liberty.

Read my next post on Freedom of the Press and the current challenges we are facing.

Sources:
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129277651&ps=rs

The Brothers Koch: Rich, Political, and Playing to Win
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129425186

Billionaire Koch Brothers – Covert Operations
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer

Billionaires Bankrolling Tea Party
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/opinion/29rich.html

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