Capitalism in the Age of Digital Technology
Twenty fifteen was “a record year for deals,” the merger market exceeded $4 trillion, trumpets the business pages of The New York Times. Monopoly isn’t just a board game it is the animating dynamic of the economic system. Really existing Capitalism, which relies heavily on taxpayer support, embodies an almost genetic drive to consolidate, to dominate and ultimately to eliminate competition. This leaves people with fewer choices and higher prices, exactly the outcome desired by the monopolists. Democracy, particularly in the U.S., has largely morphed into an oligarchy run by and for plutocrats. As the ranks of the have-nots grow and inequality widens, and as the eco-crisis continues apace, one can expect a future of social unrest.
Robert McChesney teaches at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of many books including Digital Disconnect. He is co-author with John Nichols of Dollarocracy. He is the co-founder of Free Press, a national media reform organization. The Utne Reader listed him among its “50 visionaries who are changing the world.”