Assault on Net Neutrality. How Capitalism Can Hinder Productivity
"Bourgeois want an Existing state of society minus its revolutionary or disintegrating elements… They wish for a Bourgeois without a proletariat. The Bourgeois naturally conceive the world in which it is supreme to be the best"— Karl Marx
Capitalism is the means by which the economic landscape is controlled by private entities rather than State actors, such as kings or politicians. In the modern sense, capitalism is based on the industry of producing goods for a profit. From this system of production, comes private ownership and wage labor. The capitalist’s primary judgment is based on developing a lucrative means to produce more wealth. Now it is a human quality to want others to perceive things as they do, so as a capitalist they perceive a world where everyone seeks capital gain, wishing to protect the materials they’ve acquired and abolishing any revolutionary or disintegrating tendencies from those with fewer resources. By convincing those with less resources that the products produced by the elite capitalist are a form a wealth rather than a distraction, these elite capitalist maintain power. Elite capitalist “naturally conceive the world in which it is supreme to be the best.” To be the best one must be better then someone else. To be better than someone else, there needs to be a sort of disparity in which one party holds power over another. In capitalism power is represented by financial wealth, the means to control production. This is also true in communism and fascism, though wealth and means of production are merely distributed differently within these systems. In Feudalism power is represented by territory, a king dividing their land in exchange of labor or services. In “The State of Nature” power is purely physical ability and mental prowess.
It’s argued that a free market stimulates competition, which in return fuels growth and advances a society technologically. In theory this concept uses the reasoning that competition or supply and demand determines what is available to the consumer. A Capitalist in control of the supply has to provide a product which is economically competitive to make a profit. Now when elite capitalists use their wealth to successfully influence policy instituted by a government, it jeopardizes a free market. It's similar to when a religious actor influences government, it’s beneficial of those applicable to that said religion, and detrimental to all those who oppose it. If a concentrated mass of wealth has the ability to construe policy in their favor, there is no competition only oligarchy. An oligarchy is when small group controls a state for selfish means. Selfishness/greed tends not to be productive. In fact throughout history this vice has hindered and doomed many civilizations. The Roman Empire, Persian Empire, and even the Spanish Empire all had this vice which contributed to their decline. The following are examples of how corporate identities either develop a resource purely to create a "lucrative means to produce wealth", take advantage of the government through the free market, and what attempts are being made to funnel more wealth to select wealthy individuals.
We all love cell phones. They make life more convenient, and allow us to always stay connected with our friends and families. Yet cell phone companies are great example of an industry developing imaginary resources to create a “lucrative means to produce more wealth.” In early conception of cell phones for all, they limited the amount of minutes one could talk on the phone. Minutes being the valuable resource. Then texting arose and they limited them, basically charging whatever they wanted if a customer sent single text more than was issued in their existing contract. Now in our current state, rather than providing towers which can supply endless Wi-Fi for a monthly rate, it is much more lucrative to create a new resource called “data” which has limits and overage fees. It’s a simple business dynamic - provide something with limits, unless the consumer pays a premium.
Now in the current system of the United States health care, many companies provide all sort of different products to fix the same problem. These companies take advantage of the free market, providing a cost for their products which aren’t necessarily what they are worth, but due to lobbying and the capitalists need for a “lucrative means to produce more wealth” these institutions are left to keep making a profit at the expenses of government taxes and the lower 70-80% of the population. Even though data shows it would not only be more economical, but also more efficient to designate one manufacturer to any specific medical device or drug. For example, let’s say we have a group of companies producing prostatic legs. Each one of these in the free market is able to set their price and in return hospitals and insurers choose which prostatic leg they want based on design and competitive pricing. Now this competitive pricing isn’t base on the cost to make the product or the wage of the workers who built it. The price of the prostatic leg is solely dependent of the market, or rather what the agreed price should be by the capitalists funding the endeavor. An alternative solution is have the government research what it would cost to produce a prostatic leg, tell corporations how much they’d be willing to pay, then select one manufacture who could provide the best cost and quality to be the sole provider of government issued prostatic legs for the entire country.
The method behind television is that an individual pays for subscription out of a list of options, Cable or Satellite, Basic Channels, HBO or other premium channels. The individual doesn’t choose what is presented to them they can only subscribe to what appeals to them. Then measurements called ratings are assessed to infer whether content is worth investing in by elite capitalists. This leads to advertising. Whether it’s an advertisement for a product or a self-promotion of the network, all television advertises so that it may make a profit in some capacity. Regardless television is a closed system. The consumer can only participate by choosing to watch or not to watch. There are many options on television, much more options for those willing to pay a premium, but the amount of content provided by television is vastly inferior compared to the freedom catered by the internet. Now subscriptions and advertisements also exist on the internet, but the ability for an individual of average means to participate in the creative processes behind internet content is impeccably more advanced. Anyone with access to the internet has the ability to view content and more impressively create content of their own for others on the internet to view. Net Neutrality is the principle that internet service providers must maintain the same access to all content on the internet. Internet service providers cannot intentionally block, slow down or charge a premium for specific websites. Currently, in the year of 2017, there is a bid to try to dismantle Net Neutrality. At the head of this campaign is Ajit Pai, a former lawyer for Verizon Wireless and now head of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). Clearly policy is being influenced or rather attempted to be influence by elite capitalist so that they may have a new “lucrative means to produce more wealth.” In essence they want to add restrictions to free flow of the internet, suppressing content and for that matter stunting the cultural productivity in place by the internet so that a few individual can amass more wealth.