Subject: I have demonstrated a bad effect of capitalism...
Posted on: 2022-12-08 16:01:26 UTC

...namely that it forces people, like Elon, to entirely align their actions with the profit motive to survive. And those who do not? Don't. Under a profit system there are simply no resources to spare for anything that does not make a profit against its competitors, no matter how valuable.

You can see this in the progression of media centralization as documented in Chomsky and Herman's seminal work Manufacturing Consent. In Britain and America, the radical, working class press, despite its own readers ranking it higher than readers of other papers ranked their own papers, was pushed out of business by the fact that they weren't profitable. One factor that led to this was advertising: it used to be that papers had to cover the entire costs of production in their sales. But when advertising came along, suddenly papers that could attract ads could not only afford to produce much lower prices, but could make their papers much more salable. And guess which papers attracted the most ads? The ones which marketed to the affluent of society, the people who had money to spend on purchases -- and, just as importantly, did not threaten the capitalist status quo that advertisers depended on. Working-class papers were disadvantaged on both counts. News readers thus switched to those papers, and working-class papers, no matter how well-liked they were by their own readers (the Daily Herald had twice the readership of the Times, Financial Times, and Guardian combined, and was ranked more highly by its own readers than those other papers were by their own readers), fell apart and died.

Advertising and the profit motive also sanitize the content of existing news outlets: Anything that doesn't put consumers in the "buying mood" risks getting shelved. I'll just post some passages from the book here:

tl;dr the profit motive

These are direct, concrete negative effects on journalism caused by the profit motive, and exactly the same phenomenon as Elon Musk being forced to repeat the previous Twitter admin's policies because that's what is profitable. In a world where you have to make money to survive, money becomes the sole measure of value -- and everything else dies.

Do you have a counterargument?

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