Dear Alissa Miller, I realize this story is over 300 words (719 to be accurate), but i feel it should be printed as all of it is relevant. I’ve asked friends, parents, and teachers questions about what I’ve found in my research and they had no clue about any of it. I think the campus should be aware of certain events not covered in mass media and how to find different avenues of information. I hope you take it into consideration. thanx (my phone is 274-1811).

Covert Capitalism

By: Marcus DiLauro

Democracy and Capitalism are synonomous these days in the greatest nation of all time, our very own U.S. of A. And why shouldn’t they be? We meld the two in our own unique blend of saturated comestible. But you don’t have to take my word for it: just take a look in the news (television, internet, radio, newspaper). They are brimming with the sights and sounds of patriotism, optimism, aggression, and calls for return to normalcy. Enron may be bankrupt along with Global Crossing, but as for the market things are “gradually recovering”. Most Americans are attempting to heal from or forget September 11th, generally unaware of any detrimental effects other than our ego. The media also assures the reason Third World, “Banana Boat Republics” (as my dad calls them) aren’t benevolent towards America is because they lack our democratic/capitalistic freedom. All that remains, our affairs being tightly wrapped up, is to assure that we are safe from abroad. “War on Terrorism” is the Bush Administration’s sure-fire pill for that ailment. So, having this neatly laid out for us, what is the problem? Apparently nothing, I thought, until I got tipped by a friend out of mainstream and found myself in the fringe of independent media. I found a link to an essay by Michael Moore (www.michaelmoore.com) and it appears he’s been busier than just watching reruns of Canadian Bacon. The picture being painted before my eyes and ears wasn’t nearly as rosy as George W.’s cheeks. We all know of Enron’s collapse and the false profits they reported to bump up stock value (which Kenneth Lay, and other high level employees, sold at the last second for a collective 1$ billion). But the aforementioned president and his cabinet started to filter into the story. Lawrence Lindsey (Bush’s chief economic advisor), Thomas White (Secretary of the Army), Robert Zoellick (Federal Trade Representative), a federal judge in back in Texas, the chair of the Republican Party, two employees of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay: all former or current Enron employees. If you want more truth (going unpublished in most major media) check out more independent media (Such as www.thenation.com), and also read Michael Moore’s “Stupid White Men”. So we are presently being lied to, unless all of what is in Michael Moore’s book is common knowledge? From what I’ve heard and seen it isn’t at all. Could my previous notion of the state of our nation be wrong? What about this great system we have of Capitalism and Democracy? The words of my dad were still ringing in my ears when I found a story at www.thenation.com dealing with the FCC (Federal Communications Committee). It seems, as I type this, there is a debate occuring behind closed doors concerning the ownership of media, involving the Committee and lobbyists from big corporations. These corporations want deregulation of all media, meaning that any one company can own as many media types (television stations, newspapers, etc.) as they desire. Their argument: open competition will give the consumer better quality entertainment and news. If this were at all true these companies wouldn’t dare suggest deregulation (as I recall Enron pushed heavily for it and look what happened to greedy Kenny Boy and the thousands of unaware workers). Being businesses, they want to make money, not competition. Hence in 1996 companies like Viacom cheered when Congress (which probably has many compromised officials as Enron suggests) deregulated radio. Now I was really questioning the landscape of our great nation. I couldn’t believe how intertwined these large corporations were with our government. So many powerful positions this country entrusted to people whom have sold their interest to the highest bidder. Including the single most powerful seat in the world, the President. It made sense that business would want to protect its’ assets and future, but in the process they have trampled over our democratic rights so well most of us are unaware. The first step in regaining our rights (including the 4th Amendment: see Bush’s Patriot Act for the explanation) is to know how and when they are being taken away. One of the most effective is reading independent news: www.thenation, www.villagevoice, www.zmag.org/ to name a few. Also reading Noam Chomsky or Michael Moore is a good start to regaining our democracy.



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Editor’s Note (5/4/24): This article is no longer being updated. For our most up to date coverage, look for articles…