Kevin Phillips is an author, syndicated columnist, lawyer and publisher, with the American Political Research Corporation. A graduate of Colgate University and the University of Edinburgh, he received his degree in law from Harvard Law School. Among his many publications are Mediacracy: American Parties and Politics in the Communications Age and The Emerging Republican Majority.
This presentation was given on the Hillsdale College campus in the seminar of the Center for Constructive Alternatives titled "Centers of Power and Influence: Shaping the Course of Events"
There are a few people in the national media who will deny the great power they wield, but only a few. Even a magazine solicitation for the Columbia Journalism Review makes no bones:
Today's news media in America wield power that staggers the imagination. With fully 75% of our population now living in urban areas, a relatively few metropolitan newspapers reach and influence millions of Americans each and every day. Television and radio newscasters, using the powerful immediacy of their media, can—and do—introduce new heroes (and villains) overnight to vast numbers of people.
More argument comes over whether this new role is indeed really new. After all, talk about the press being a fourth branch of government began in the French Revolutionary era. All of our great presidents—from Washington through Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and Roosevelt—tangled with the press, and their supporters made frequent reference to its power and ability to set the agenda of the national debate. Which brings us to the central question: If today's argument about the media power is to be differentiated from those of the 1790s, 1860s or 1930s, what new factors make it so?
In this paper, I intend to elaborate the thesis that America has undergone a Post-Industrial or Communications Revolution elevating the major media to an economic size, technological sophistication and cultural (political socialization) importance totally unmatched in the day of Edmund Burke or even Robert A. Taft. Increasingly, we live in a polity and society that can be described as a "mediacracy"—where communications mechanisms and the "Knowledge Industry" elite play the dominant role that 1) land ownership, landed elites and their values played in aristocratic societies and 2) manufacturing, capitalist elites and the rising middle class values played in the Western democracies of the industrial era.
If one accepts this notion of media power having reached a new critical mass because of Post-Industrialism, a lot of other things follow. So let's back up and look at some reasonably solid data.
In 1790, when Edmund Burke and others were talking about the press as a fourth branch of government, what was it? Newspapers alone with a circulation of a couple of hundred thousand in countries with populations of 5 or 10 million. No more than that. The communications industry—the production, consumption and dissemination of knowledge—might have accounted for a few percentage points of the Gross National Product. Even a century later, when manufacturing had displaced agriculture as the mainstay of economic life hi both Britain and the United States, knowledge and communications industries were small potatoes, totalling no more than several percentage points of the GNP.
All of this began to change with the rise of electronic communications in the 1920s and 1930s. And the other economic segments of the Knowledge Industry grew, too—vast research, swelling bureaucracy, massive education, mushrooming skilled professional ranks, proliferating service workers. As a result, the percentage of the GNP accounted for by the production, consumption and dissemination of knowledge soared. In 1920, it had been about 12 percent; by 1950, perhaps 20 percent; by 1960, about 25 percent. By the early 1970s, Peter Drucker and others put it at between 30-40 percent of the GNP. The Knowledge Industry, broadly construed, had replaced manufacturing as the critical element of the U.S. economy.
Quite a few scholars have already painted this upheaval with a richness of statistics and theoretical amplification. Daniel Bell has called it the Post-Industrial Revolution. John Kenneth Galbraith, in his book, The New Industrial State, observed that "one should expect, from past experience, to find a new shift of power in the industrial enterprise, this one from capital to organized intelligence." Organized intelligence is a short description for the Knowledge Industry—an admittedly over-generalized but nevertheless useful term.
Irving Kristol has provided elaboration of another useful point—the notion of a "New Class." To Kristol, the rising Knowledge Industry elite is anti-capitalist, and anxious to flex its new muscle. In bygone days, the press used to reflect competing segments of aristocratic or industrial society. Now—at least in the national media—that is less and less true. The major national media represent the interests of the emerging New Class—their own class. This is unique. It has not happened before. Until the Post-Industrial revolution, the New Class of the Knowledge Industry was too small to be a power elite in its own right.
Needless to say, the process is not complete. In New York, Boston, Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles, the national media do strongly interact with the larger Knowledge Industry—with its scholars, bureaucrats, foundation executives, interest groups and friendly politicians. Thus, the major national media—the television networks, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post—typically mirror New Class values. But not so the television affiliates or local newspapers in many other, smaller cities. Irving Kristol, who believes that "the media are the New Class," and that educators are the New Class, ignores these regional differences. But it was equally true that in William Jennings Bryan's day, smalltown Nebraska bankers did not share the politics or culture of the Wall Street titans.
For our purposes, though, the major national media set the pace. In a 1974 article, Lewis Lapham, the managing editor of Harper's, noted that:
As much as 90 percent of the news that reaches the American public arrives through the channels of the two wire services (AP and UPI), the three networks (CBS, NBC, and ABC), Time, Inc. (Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, etc.), the Washington Post Syndicate (which owns Newsweek), the New York Times Syndicate, and possibly the Knight and Newhouse newspapers. The managers of these enterprises could sit quite comfortably around a small table in a small room.
Thus, their articulation of New Class attitudes is enormously influential. And this new role is a far cry from the old one (which still prevails in many smaller towns and cities) of being a spokesman for local agricultural or industrial interests. The national media are the linchpin of Knowledge Industry interests and values, and this new role has lured many of the most talented members of the New Class. Harvard Professor Samuel Beer says that: "The Media Revolution is as powerful as the Industrial Revolution was. The word manipulators are on top, and like the 19th Century Capitalists everyone considered inferior…will wind up running the world."
None of this would be possible except for the new technological impact of the media. But the same Post-Industrial Revolution that has elevated the Knowledge Industry to 35 percent of the U.S. GNP has given the media—essentially the electronic media, but they all interact—an unprecedented ability to reach people and mold national opinion. As the Columbia Journalism Review proclaims, new heroes and villains can be introduced to the American people overnight.
At this point, it is useful to switch focus and consider just how the new political impact of the media is different than the old. Let's begin by setting aside superficial remarks about bias and loaded coverage of liberals versus conservatives. The real problem is a good bit more complex.
First, if we're going to think about the idea of a mediacracy, it's necessary to think in terms that go beyond CBS, Time and The Washington Post. Use of computerized voter registration lists—central to 1976 GOP New Hampshire primary campaigns—is reliance upon a communications medium. So is use of direct mail for fundraising. So are telephone banks. So is a presidential press conference or a presidential nationwide hook-up. And it would be foolish to forget the increasing importance of rock concerts. The President of General Motors can only give your campaign a thousand dollars. But a rock star—any popular performer—can donate his services, hold a concert, pack in 5,000 young people, and raise $50,000 that will get federal matching funds. This, too, is media politics: Music is a medium. Most of what is important in U.S. politics is now media-based—using this larger view of the words "media" and "medium."
Has this changed politics? Sure it has. The old politics used to depend on local machines, on individuals with a lot of money, on powerful Industrial Era institutions. And thus it took its values and style from those institutions. Today's politics is changing styles. For example, most of the 1976 Democratic presidential candidates have come out for marijuana decriminalization. Otherwise, few rock stars would help their campaigns raise money.
Television, of course, has also changed the style of politics. It puts a premium on mediagenic candidates rather than on the machine loyalists of yesterday—and the national media in general put a premium on people who embrace the general progressivism and value structure of the New Class. For example, Lyndon Johnson is quoted by David Halberstam (in his new book, CBS: The Power and the Profits) as saying this to a CBS producer:
All you guys in the media. All of the politics changed because of you. You've broken all the machines and the ties between us in Congress and the city machines. You've given us a new kind of people…Teddy, Tunney. They're your creations, your puppets. No machine could ever create a Teddy Kennedy. Only you guys. They're all yours. Your product.
Celebrityhood is not a new thing in politics, but the nature of celebrityhood is shifting. The old type of celebrity was a general, a local landholder, a big businessman. Now the celebrities increasingly come from the world of knowledge, artistic performance, and media (broadly construed). The difference is quite real.
Let me digress here to point out that the media are also increasingly the source of new fortunes. Agriculture and land yielded to manufacturing in this capacity a century ago, and now the Knowledge Industry and media are taking over. To paraphrase Marshall McLuhan, the medium is also the money. Consider: When Pablo Picasso died not long ago, his estate was over $1 billion. Why? Because he had so many of his own paintings. Rock Star Elton John will bring in $40 million this year. Peter Benchley, who wrote the book Jaws, will probably make $20-30 million from book and movie rights. Books and movies have become a major source of wealth. And even in the field of business and industry, many of the new fortunes come from the Knowledge Industry—computer technology (both hardware and software), communications, various processes and patents. A growing percentage of America's rich have made their money in—and are interested in—the flow of change, ideas, information, systems. A media-based politics resting on this kind of establishment simply cannot be conservative in the traditional sense.
Moreover, a number of scholars have begun to argue that the rise of the media is directly related to the emerging alienation and instability of U.S. society. A media culture wallows in the exciting, weird, negative and different. That's the nature of the beast. Think of the institutions that have suffered: 1) business; 2) the military; 3) the neighborhood; and 4) the family.
As pre-Communications Revolution institutions, these are arguably less important to the New Class than to the average citizen. Irving Kristol and others have sketched the anti-business climate that prevails among the New Class and in the media. Ernest LeFever of the Brookings Institution has documented CBS Television's disinterest in defense preparedness. And the Gannett News Service procured this extraordinary quote from Walter Kronkite: "There are always groups in Washington expressing views of alarm over the state of our defenses. We don't carry these stories. The story is that there are those who want to cut defense spending."
In this same vein, Edward Jay Epstein contributed a brilliant three-part 1973 series to TV Guide on the role of television in Vietnam. At first, he documents, television built up the war. Then, by 1967, network leaders changed their minds. At the height of the antiwar protests, NBC news producer Robert Northshield told the New York Times "TV is directly responsible for 125,000 people showing up at UN Plaza to demonstrate against the war." The irony was well summed up by Epstein:
It is no doubt true that television was to a large extent responsible for the disillusionment with the war, as those in the media take relish in pointing out. But it is also true that television must take the responsibility for creating—or, at least, reinforcing—the illusion of American military omnipotence on which much of the early support of the war was based.
As for neighborhoods, the New Class enjoys townhouses and central city redevelopment areas—the importance of neighborhood is marginal, and lack of any such concern has been writ large in coverage of housing and busing squabbles. Religion is also marginal, and author Michael Novak makes this pithy point about media attitudes towards the family:
In our society, corporations, government and have been devastating to "family people." Almost everything about jobs, work conditions, government programs, and the images flooding out from the media ignores the needs of families, injures families…We desperately need political leaders and social strategists who understand the needs of families today.
Considering all of these points together, the impact of the major media arguably has been to increase instability and alienation. Such is the thesis—and I'm inclined to agree—of Catholic University political scientist Michael Robinson. In a recent study published by the Aspen Institute, Robinson argued:
Television journalism has altered the long-established balance between patriating agencies—segments of society which generally portray our conditions as favorable and preferable—and dispatriating agencies—those which generally portray our conditions as wretched and becoming more so…the networks speak to an audience which contains an enormous pool of politically unskilled individuals—those who rely on an eighth grade civics curriculum to comprehend national politics. Their perceptions are not only limited, they are naive. Television's focus is murderous for these people…We may, in fact, be on the verge of a new era of television malaise.
Let me suggest that this level of media analysis—looking at the impact of the Communications Revolution on the parties, the political process, ideology, society and political socialization—is more productive than elaborate computations of minutes (or lineage) devoted to different candidates in different elections. On the national level, the real, critical power of the media does not lie in hypothetical ability to tip an election to presidential candidate X rather than candidate Y. Instead, it lies in the ability to trumpet an issue, cripple a power center, fan a mood, create a villain (topple two presidents?) or scuttle a war.
Which brings us to the question of the media as a power center ranking—for purposes of this discussion—with the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches. This is the key. Back in 1974, when the Watergate fire storm was raging most fiercely, a survey of national opinion leaders by U.S. News and World Report found that television was ranked ahead of the White House as the country's number one power center. By 1975, with Richard Nixon out of office, the presidency was ahead again, and television was in second place.
By way of background, the big loser in the Post-Industrial power struggle of the last fifteen years has been Congress. During the 1960s, the power centers gaining were clearly the Executive, the Judiciary and the media. The Legislative branch was losing ground. Superficially, to be sure, the toppling of Richard Nixon changed all of that. The presidency lost ground, the Congress gained. But in many ways, the seeming rise of Congress has been a mirror image of the real rise of media power. The Washington Post's Sally Quinn put it best, albeit perhaps unintentionally, in the heat of impeachment hearings, when she observed that impeachment-charged House Judiciary Committee members were only important because La Quinn and other media stars were covering them.
Putting things another way, could it be that the new visibility—and "power"—of Congress comes from the fact that the legislative branch is the branch increasingly willing to voice what the national media want voiced? Exactly this argument comes from Edward Hunter, editor of the magazine Tactics. The press, he says, used to represent the interests and will of Congress and the people. But "a decisive change has come about, especially since the expansion of the press by the inclusion of radio-television. Congress now reflects the will and interest of the press, and the American people are supposed to think and act accordingly.
Hunter says—and his point is well-taken—that the major media exercise a very effective form of censorship. To gain a place in the media sun, senators and representatives must stay out of the shade of Liberal Establishment disapproval. "The press is now the third estate and Congress is the fourth estate," observes Hunter. "Our legislators—and the administration—first determine what the press will or will not use and set policy accordingly." If this sounds a bit extreme, remember how Lyndon Johnson chastised the media about raising up "Teddy, Tunney. They're your creations, your puppets."
Part of the power shift also flows from increasingly technical political decision making and selection processes. Political writer Richard Reeves says, "The process is so complicated that it begs for interpretation. And we are the ones who make those interpretations…The biggest shift (of power) in the process has been from the political organizations to the press, and I think it's too big a role."
Whatever the dynamics, a growing band of conservative theorists see the power of the media as having dwarfed, displaced and even captured that of Congress. Thus, the national media—linchpin of the New Class—are seen as the principal foe. Consider these words from National Review editor and Dartmouth Professor Jeffrey Hart: "The capacity of the media to dominate the terms of public debate gives it, at least for extended periods, a political leverage that may well be superior to that of a variegated and often ill-informed Congress…The key struggle, on the frequent occasions when a centrist or conservative occupies the White House, will be between the President and the media." And to Patrick Buchanan, the media are a bigger obstacle to conservatives than is the Democratic Party, so that only a powerful presidency can turn the tide.
Presumably, it is unnecessary to add that I substantially agree with these analyses. However, if it is difficult to see any "conservative" politics succeeding unless it challenges the media, it is also difficult to see any politics that succeeds in challenging the media as being very "conservative." In this Post-Industrial era of ours, the national media and Knowledge Industry are too central a part of the U.S. power structure. Any politics that challenges that position—that seeks to wield Executive Branch clout as in bygone crusades against the Bank of the United States, the railroads, the trusts or Wall Street—will have to face up to its very real neo-populist nature. And any such challenge will profoundly divide those who presently wear the conservative label.
It is becoming very difficult for the national media and their New Class allies to deny power elite status. They dislike my "mediacracy" thesis and its implications. Yet American history suggests that major emerging socio-economic elites have generated strong political oppositions, and this one is no exception. Indeed, partly as a result of post-1960 negative reaction to the liberal politics of the New Class, "conservatism" now finds itself strongest in areas like the South and West that were the strongholds of previous populist movements. Elite areas are the least conservative. The affluent East Side of Manhattan voted solidly for George McGovern, and the Harvard Law School went 6:1 for the South Dakotan in a 1972 straw poll.
This is not the digression it might appear. We are talking about power centers and coping with those power centers. To do this, one has to think in terms of classic issues, tactics and constituencies—less traditionally "conservative" than populist. The arguments to which the major media are vulnerable are not piddling analyses of bias but the age-old themes of privilege, concentrated power, secrecy, oligopoly, wealth and arrogance towards the values and institutions of ordinary Americans.
Raising these issues is not easy. At the first sound of tough criticism, many in the media pull the First Amendment out of their pockets and charge us with trying to extinguish freedom of the press. And anyone who is cowed by this simply becomes an easier target. The best argument is the most direct and legitimate: That the rise of major communications interests in the last fifty years has inflated the First Amendment into a protective device in much the same way that the 14th Amendment was perverted in the late 19th century to serve as a bulwark for emerging corporations asserting the amendment's "due process" clause to block public economic regulation.
Wait a minute, you will say. Doesn't the First Amendment and all it implies go back to the 1790s? Yes and no. There was very little interpretation of the First Amendment until after World War One. Consider this historical capsule by the late Professor Alexander Bickel:
The total career, robust or otherwise, of the First Amendment as part of the law of the Constitution encompasses little more than half a century. Of course the First Amendment has been in the Constitution and has had pride of place in the Bill of Rights since 1791, so what we may think of as its admonitory career is quite long. But its legal career in court decisions is a matter, essentially, of the past half century.
Only in the years since the rise of the communications industry has the First Amendment become what it now so clearly is—a legal umbrella of industrial protection. Publishing stolen classified documents, listing the names of CIA agents (who can then be assassinated), printing the names of rape victims, merchandising prejudicial pretrial publicity, showing pornography or staging bottomless dances and nude ballets are or may be protected forms of communication. Fifty years ago, they wouldn't have been—or had yet to become—legal questions. The fact is that law follows power, and the expansion of the First Amendment is no exception: it has followed the expanding power of the communications industry.
Critical mass will come when the major media are perceived as enormously powerful commercial operations—indeed, as among the newest and most highly developed forms of U.S. economic activity—that bear no socio-economic relationship to the struggling backroom press of the 1790s. Gone are the days when anyone could start up the only existing communications vehicle—a newspaper or periodical—with a minimal outlay. Today, it is still possible to start up a local newspaper or specialized periodical, but who can start up a television network, a Newsweek or a Washington Post? Nobody can. We are dealing with economic mass and concentration that would have been beyond the imagination of a Thomas Jefferson or James Madison. To hear their names invoked on behalf of, say, CBS is tawdry and specious. University of Toronto sociologist Lewis Feuer has put it well:
A handful of men, especially of the Columbia Broad casting System, have an awesome grid with which to magnetize the opinions of many millions of people; the affects of their oligopoly, with those of NBC and ABC, have been of a kind that Adam Smith would have predicted. The free market for ideas continues to be steadily undermined by the oligopolistic power of the networks.
Perhaps increasing realization of this commercial magnitude and concentration will lead to more acceptance of the ideas of University of Chicago Professor Ronald Coase, who argues that the normal treatment of governmental regulation of markets makes a unique distinction between the market for goods and services and the market for First Amendment-related commodities like speech and writing. Regulation of the goods market is applauded, regulation of the other condemned. As Coase notes, the ideas market is the only one where laissez-faire is still respectable.
Conservatives may applaud, but more careful analysis is likely to be discouraging. Bear in mind that as manufacturing and industry had its laissez-faire period one hundred years ago, its elite used that freedom to triumph over agriculture and aristocracy. Laissez-faire policies were a tool and expression of that triumph; a hundred years later, with business on the run, there is no more chance of restoring laissez-faire in industry than there is of selling Manhattan back to the Indians. What is more, today's laissez-faire license for the media oligopolies and their New Class viewpoints identified by Irving Kristol can generally be said to further threaten American manufacturing, agriculture and natural resource producers. Indeed, laissez-faire for the media under the banner of the First Amendment represents a threat to non-Knowledge Industry private business and a force for the expansion of the Knowledge Industry-favored public sector just as laissez-faire for mid-19th century industry was a force for aggrandizement of the industrial segment of the economy at the expense of the agricultural sector.
To be sure, the emergence of the Knowledge Sector is a force that will not be denied. But it seems just as certain historically that more and more regulation will be imposed. Coase suggests that although intellectuals "exalt the market for ideas and deprecate the market for goods," the market for ideas is equally commercial—the place where the intellectual does his trading and worthy of regulation in the public interest. As the media gain importance, I think this will happen. Wouldn't it be a fair turnabout if media products advocating busing, forgiveness for criminals and the like could be removed from circulation by an Intellectual Product Safety Commission?
If, as I have argued, the media have emerged as a massive national power center, and if the answer is (as I believe it to be) active and innovative regulation, the last question is: What kind of active and innovative regulation?
In the case of the television networks, it seems high time to more fully assert public control of and authority over the airwaves. Increased competition from cable has by and large proven to be a pipe dream; that retreating hope should no longer distract us from strong measures. If a reformer could work in a political vacuum, the following would seem desirable: 1) strengthening the fairness doctrine; 2) applying tough antitrust measures to break the three networks into eight or nine, and forcing all networks to divest themselves of their owned-and-operated stations in opinion-molding national markets like New York, Washington and Los Angeles (by what logic should Exxon divest retail outlets and not NBC?); and 3) establishing a National Commission (like Ontario's much-applauded Royal Commission on Violence and the Communications Industry) to a) consider the impact of television in promoting crime, violence, social disintegration and alienation, and then b) propose the necessary legislation and controls.
As for the print media, the leading cartels and concentrations deserve careful attention. We should begin by thinking of companies and market places and narrowing the expanded industry-wide First Amendment protections of the last forty or fifty years. For example, the Washington Post has a dominant or substantial share of the market on four levels—newspaper, newsweekly, television and AM-FM radio—in Washington, D.C., a market which differs from others in the country in that it serves as a national news dissemination center. Concentration in this market—or in New York—should be treated differently regarding a national information product than a similar concentration in Boise. New antitrust legislation ought to differentiate media products and markets.
There is another aspect to considering media conglomerates as commercial entities rather than sacred First Amendment cows: Should an editorial or other favorable media accolade be considered as a corporate contribution? Take the example of two corporations in the drug business: one also owns a newspaper, one doesn't. The one without a newspaper may not be able to use corporate funds to run advertisements in support of industry's political goals. But the one with a newspaper can: a) run all the editorials it wants in support of drug industry political goals; b) endorse any candidate it wants without giving space to an opponent; and c) run all the editorials (or advertisements) it wants in support of the First Amendment and other items of political and commercial importance to the media industry. In the future, I expect this paradox to become clear, with more attention being paid to the public or shareholder interest in restraining the self-serving acts of media as well as other corporations. For example, in Ohio, the Willoughby News-Herald has been threatened with legal action by a mayoral candidate concerned about the newspaper endorsing his opponent. Candidate Christopher Acquilla charged that the News-Herald would be making an illegal corporate contribution. Ohio Assistant Secretary of State James R. Marsh said that this was a "first," that newspaper space and endorsements were always deemed covered by the First Amendment. Is this fair? Should this one powerful industry he allowed privileges other industries do not have? The debate is likely to grow.
At this point, it may be appropriate to discuss that other great protest cry of the major media—"the public's right to know." Whenever a media corporation is seeking a privilege, like the right to boost its sales and peer group reputation by printing stolen classified information or other secrets, we hear about "the public's right to know." What they are doing is not really for themselves, but for the people. However, in the privacy of court or legislative deliberations, there is none of that. The major media, when other privileges are involved, dismiss the public. Consider this very candid American Enterprise Institute symposium colloquy involving Floyd Abrams, a lawyer who frequently represents NBC and the New York Times:
MODERATOR: Do you think, Mr. Abrams, that there is a right to know on the part of the public?
MR. ABRAMS: Let me say that that's a phrase that troubles me because if there is a right to know, then I suppose, the public has a right to compel the press to print things, or the Judiciary may have the right, or someone may have the right, to decide what it is the public should know.
Exactly. I would also argue that the major media have become so important that they exercise some quasi-public functions in which the public clearly has a regulatory interest. This could prove to be a critical tool and approach. Using the 14th Amendment which prohibits states from denying anyone equal protection or due process, courts have held that this prohibition on state action can be extended to private corporations wherein the case of Metropolitan Edison (York, Pennsylvania), Avco and Gulf Shipbuilding—corporations are working for the government or performing a public function. In this connection, bear in mind that thirty-odd years ago, the then whites-only primaries of the Democratic Party in the South were deemed to be private affairs beyond the reach of federal law. But in 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the Texas Democratic primary was, in essence, serving so critical a political function that it amounted to governmental action, and (15th Amendment) regulatory jurisdiction was thus established.
If the whites-only Democratic primary of Texas in 1944 represented so much of the political process that it could no longer be called "private," how long will it be until the major media fall afoul of a kindred standard? Richard Reeves, Edward Hunter, Jeffrey Hart, Pat Buchanan and others have all bluntly described the relentless flow of political and quasi-governmental power into these private hands. And even New York Times reporter Les Brown, urging greater TV coverage, has characterized the networks a "government of leisure" because of the average 6-7 hours the average American family views TV each day.
Which brings us back to the question of "the media" as "a power center." Speaking of the national media, of course, they are—one that will get bigger and bigger and bigger without effective counter-measures. And the politics of the next few decades will be in no small measure determined by what people like us are courageous enough to do about it.
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