Sunday, December 5, 2010

Business, Media, Power, Democracy and Common man

The separation of powers is a model for the governance in democracy with each branch with separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility so that no one branch has more power than the other branches. The normal division of branches is into an executive, a legislature, and a judiciary. Open Media is considered to be the fourth (non-governmental) pillar of democracy. Democracy was practiced in Greece and Rome during pre-Christian era Europe. Subsequently democracy failed due to the reason that powers drifted and rested with evangelical religious institutions which are fanatic and self-preserving by initially aligning with monarchy and then growing bigger than monarchy. The 200+ year socio-cultural revolution in Europe which is termed as European renaissance, fueled the concept of Separation of Church and state to some extent, though the adaptation still varies country to country.

On a similar note, ever since the second world war, in particular after GATT /WTO the powers of various branches of democracy is drifting towards businesses globally. Today private businesses control over 50% of world GDP and real wealth (people are just holding on to some numbers in their bank accounts) - with the control of Media (forth pillar of democracy or the only touch-point with which common man supposed to have access to the real news and events with respect to the corridors of power that can impact his life) business houses garnered enormous power by twisting all truths from news creation to coverage and reporting to opinion making. Democracy survives on counter-rallying power or separation of power. Where each centre of power survives and provides a counter weight when there are alternate sources of authority. With control of money and media businesses have easily captured the other branches of powers. Independent and critical media are essential to an informed democracy. But mainstream media being in the hands of business and political powers which they should be watchdogging, becomes a puppet to brainwash the common man.

With the earlier models of Church being the main power center the damage to the Earth and there by the common man was minimal. However this new dangerous mix of business & PR/Media controlled so called democratic governance is resulting in catastrophic damage to Earth and common man. The raise of businesses and their control of government resulting in huge damages to the Earth (nature) and common man can easily be witnessed everywhere in the world. Particularly in US where the dignified opportunities of survival for common man is almost none unless he agrees to work for the business on the terms set by businesses. Thus humans are considered among other resources for the growth of business than sentient beings. Though the businesses invariably control the state and people yet they don't have any accountability to people as their proxies run the government in the name of representing people. The media is a main instrument of stoning people for controlling them.

The fact that Indian media scene is controlled by a handful of media houses limits the spectrum of viewpoints that have access to mass media proves this point. While half of the media outlets being controlled by business groups with political afflictions (Times, Hindu, India today, Zee, Sony, Star/Fox, CNN, UTV, TV18, NDTV, etc.) and supported by businesses, corporate advertisers, PR Agencies and the other half by political groups themselves (Sun, Sahara, Enadu, Jaya, Maa, etc.) independent journalism is hardly seen /heard and the actual news never reaches people.

In the drive to maximize profits the business controlled news outlets to produce news (rather than report) more and more news with fewer and fewer reporters. With less time to do each story, journalists are increasingly pressured to rely on the PR (Public Relations) industry to do much of their work for them: Reporters can rewrite press releases rather than do their own independent research, and TV stations can broadcast promotional videos that are designed to look like news footage. This symbiotic relationship between news outlets and the industries they cover, bound to make people real stupids in a so called intellectual wrapper overtime. Medias deliberately choose to debate and discuss unnecessary news items instead of educating the public on policy matters, price raise, high level corruption, how food travels from field-to-fork, etc. Adding insult to injury the unnecessary attention on the rich and famous by promoting their lifestyle, gossips - propagation of tabloid culture - helps the businesses to sell more of their useless products and keep people as slaves.

Yoga started as a silent peaceful rebellion movement in certain respect during the 90s has become a 3 billion dollar business in US.

Transformation is always at individual level yet history proves that social transformation had taken place, but have the past reformers faced such a powerful foe?...

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