Just imagine! Imagine a world without Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. Salon.com released an excerpt from the upcoming book "Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA" that asks its readers to do just that.
The writers of the book want a socialist America, one that would have "a democratic, accessible-to-all media" controlled by "working people [who will] collectively and individually…influence mass culture." The book abhors capitalist societies' news, which it says is "selected, organized, and presented by an army of self-important publishers, editors, and writers who…follow their corporate employers' political line."
In this new socialist society that has "erased corporate control," there will no longer be advertisements filling newspapers or commercial breaks on TV. The media would be owned by "labor unions, neighborhood associations, and cultural centers." That way, the "media can represent the interests of working people" -- not the interests of corporate sponsors.
"But what about the cost?"
Socialized media will be "multi-sponsored" to "reflect a range of opinions" and will be paid for by "add-ons to union dues." Plus, with all the new hand-held technology -- cameras, recording, ePublishing -- almost anyone can publish news inexpensively. Any other costs will be covered by government subsidies.
"But what about bias?"
Not possible under socialist media. "With no corporate padlocks," reporters will go straight to the "working-class beats" and get the real side of the story -- not some corporate talking head or political mouthpiece.
No longer will the media report on the stock market.
Indeed, there will be no big businesses on Wall (or any other) Street, and no stock market.
No longer will the media report on "the president's golf game or the first lady’s new dress, or propagandize for war, or lie about and cover up scandals."
Here are a few possible news stories one might expect under the new socialist media:
A union theater group, part of the nationwide New Workers Theater League that is often in the culture section of the media, produces new dramas written by workers as well as old-but-still-popular pieces like “Threepenny Opera,” ”Waiting for Lefty,” and “West Side Story.”
There could also be reports of school poetry slams, neighborhood art shows, music festivals, rival baseball teams cooking contests, and dance parties.
Oh goody! Poetry slams. What year is it, 1986?
But perhaps the most important feature of the new socialist media comes in the form of "Never Forget" stories. These stories would not include thinking back on 9/11 or remembering brave men and women who have fought for their country, or even D-Day. No, these would be stories of reflection -- back to a time of "capitalist oppression," or "tent cities for homeless families," or police that "singled out young black and Latino men."
And thanks to socialism, maybe global warming (obviously caused by capitalism) will be a thing of the past too -- something to "Never Forget."
This guide to utopia will be available January 21, 2014 for the low, low capitalist price of $15.99.