The thing capitalists hate most of all is competition. The aim of good business practice is to destroy or absorb competitors.
Where competition does survive it is not based on giving better and more efficient service to customers. Instead it is based on increasing profits.
Banks, petrol companies, supermarkets, all make sure they are doing same things, charging same prices, cutting same costs, in order to ensure they have the same profit results. Whatever one does the others will follow in case that one somehow gets a break. That is they would rather do something they don’t really agree with than run the risk that being different might be the wrong choice. All a bit like a bunch of runners in a marathon, all watching each other, scared to drop back or make a break.
One garage drops petrol price, all others do in case they lose custom. One raises price all others do in case they lose profits. A bank lowers interest rates, all others do in case they lose custom, one raises, others do in case they lose profits. Same with supermarket prices, cars, restaurants, you name it. In a capitalist society competition between companies reduces the variety.
“Now journalism”, I can hear you say, “journalism is different, represents in pure form the capitalist ideal of nature red in tooth and claw producing excellence and variety”. Journalists all out there trying to get the best story. Well, um no.
These days journalists behave like banks. All move together. You don’t get 100 stories, you get one story 100 times. When one journalist breaks a “story”, no matter how puerile, the rest hurry to reproduce the story identically so that none may gain an advantage. Investigating a different side to the story, or, heaven forfend, finding a different story, is far too risky if the rest of the journalist mob doesn’t follow you. There you would be, all exposed, not doing the consensus thing.
Furthermore, where once journalists would check, analyse, investigate the sources of another journalist’s story, in the process producing a different story, now they will not. There is a one for all and all for one mentality, in which you don’t challenge the work of another journalist because they might challenge your’s.
The result is a media which just runs with a single, unverified, story each day. Every story, no matter how poorly founded, becomes “reality” because every media outlet is carrying the same story. Reality quivers, shakes, finally shatters, as the parallel universe of the media constantly runs stories that have at best a tenuous link with the real universe.
And Thomas Jefferson, quivering, shaking, and finally rolling in his grave keeps muttering ”Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty” alternating with “information is the currency of democracy”.