A CITS MEDIA WATCH Supplement
                            March 8, 2000


Nader's list of ills is the description of a phase of
society that Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar documents in his "law
of social cycles" in _Human Society_ Part 2 (Calcutta: A.M.
Press 1967) as cited by Ravi Batra _The Crash of the Millennium_, 1999,
p. 165 (and in earlier books by Batra).

"During the age of the wealthy, the acquisitors eventually
acquire so much wealth that other groups of people have to
spend most of their time at work just to earn a living.  That is
when people get fed up with the rich and overthrow the rule of
money and unprecedented rise in wealth disparity is the surest sign
that the age of the acquistors is about to end."

"After that, warriors come back to power again and the cycle of
social evolution starts over.  In other words, warriors
are followed by intellectuals, then acquisitors, and so on."


It was about half a year ago that I suggested McCain might be
that "warrior" who starts the next phase.


What is somewhat different in this cycle is "mass media" which
the acquistors try to turn into "mass culture" -- a mass culture
that continues to accept the disparities by being fed on the
pabulum of the media and the entertainment industries -- what
I have referred to as the Disneyfication of Society -- and which
Jon Katz, the journalist and media scholar, calls Corporatism.


Journalists such as Ellen Goodman of the Boston Globe (op ed 2/27) have
hard pressed to explain how and why so many Democrats have
deserted their party to vote for McCain.  In a recent editorial
she quite rightly points out that on issues of choice, gun control,
the environment, the military, etc., McCain is far on the right.

In rebuttal to Goodman, Tom McNiff of Winthrop, MA said:

"The Me Generation is represented strongly by President Clinton
and Vice President Gore, and perhaps even Governor George W. Bush,
panderers all.  Does one wonder why lots of folks are swayed
more by character than pander, and why they actually dare to vote
for Senator John McCain?" (letters to the editors, 3/5)


As Super Tuesday has shown, McCain garnished many votes from
the left.  And, despite various ways in which McCain has played
the soft money game in politics, there is little doubt in those
that support him, that, if in the presidency, that this man cannot
be bought by the wealthy.

Whether the first decade of the 21st century is the point in
Sarkar's  social cycles where the warriors overthrow
the wealthy is yet to be seen.  We are talking about long cycles where
in Western society, the Roman empire was an age of warriors, the rule
of the Catholic Church an age of intellectuals, and feudalism an
age of the wealthy -- which was replaced by army generals who founded
kingdoms and dynasties, etc.

In cycles with these long time periods, a single generation is but
a speck.  Thus we may not elect a warrior as president for another
fifty years!


But returning to the issue of media -- there is little doubt that
the wealthy are using their wealth to buy up the media, propelled
not by the desire to bring unbiased news to the people, but by their
need to stiffle or muffle dissent to their rule.

And Tom Palley in _Plenty of Nothing_ dramatically displays the
numbers that show that the wealthy have now both men and women
working many long hours simply to live a "downsized American dream."

As both Palley and Prof. Ravi Batra have shown, the wealthy have
not shared productivity gains as increases in wages and salaries,
so these productivity gains appear as larger corporate profits in
a society oppressed by the denial of a share in those gains -- thus
the longer work hours.


Will the wealthy be able to control the Internet?

The Internet remains a hope and promise that an article such as
this one will receive some attention and thought.

But the Internet, by remaining an unfiltered, unedited medium, has
a high level of noise.

With many of us receiving 50-100 messages a day, what real attention
can most messages get?



           W. Curtiss Priest, Director, CITS
      Center for Information, Technology & Society
         466 Pleasant St., Melrose, MA  02176
         Voice: 781-662-4044  [log in to unmask]
      Fax: 781-662-6882 WWW: