How The Loss Of Net Neutrality and Citizens United Work Together To Create Fascism

Net neutrality protests are going to be happening.

I think that there's a larger frame here and that is that we're looking at a process. Arguably it started happening in 1971 with Lewis Powell's memo to Eugene Sydnor the Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And that letter has been referred to as the Powell memo in which Powell said corporations, businesses, rich people need to start getting politically active.

Up until that point it was considered unpatriotic for a corporation to engage itself in politics because corporations have so much financial power that everybody understood that they could twist politics to their advantage, to their goals, to their ends. And therefore it was highly inappropriate for corporations to be involved in politics.

But in 1971 Lewis Powell argued strongly and forcefully to some of the wealthiest people in America, "you've got to get politically active". And they did. In the 70s they started the Heritage Foundation, which was renamed as the Cato Institute. Within a decade and a half, two decades you had Fox News. Right-wing hate radio really started in 1987, again, in large part as a consequence of the Powell memo, in my opinion.

In 1971 Nixon put Lewis Powell on the US Supreme Court and thus in 1976 in the Buckley v. Valeo case he ruled and wrote the opinion that when billionaires and the corporations who make them rich give money to politicians, that's not considered a bribe, that's considered free speech protected by the First Amendment of the United States.

So Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission didn't really begin it, but put it on steroids - certified it, ratified it. It turned into an industry the purchasing of politicians - particularly Republican politicians - Republicans fully embraced this.

In a similar way we're watching this move for net neutrality. Ajit Pai, the former Verizon lawyer who now is the head of the FCC, is moving to destroy net neutrality in just a few weeks and there are going to be protests at Verizon stores all over the country.

Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press Action Network. Fight for the Future is really kind of leading this. This is going to be two weeks from Thanksgiving: December 7th. Currently there are protests planned for Phoenix, Denver, San Francisco, New York City, Indianapolis, Boston and other cities around the country. There's going to be a special event in DC.

The Free Press Action Fund Field Director Mary Alice Crim said...

"While FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has been busy meeting with industry lobbyists and greedy Verizon executives, he should not ignore the millions of people who are joining together to reject his plan to kill off Net Neutrality"

Mark Stanley, Director of Communications for Demand Progress, said...

"Americans are sick and tired of lawmakers placing the profits of monopolistic companies like Verizon and Comcast above the interests of ordinary people"

Well, that's exactly what's happening and you want to see what happens when you end net neutrality? Look at China. There's a piece in the New York Times, the headline "Skype Vanishes From App Stores in China, Including Apple's" by Paul Moser.

"For almost a month, Skype, the internet phone call and messaging service, has been unavailable on a number of sites where apps are downloaded in China, including Apple's app store in the country."

Apple has said to the dictators of China, "sure, no problem, we'll do whatever you want, just keep making us money."

"This disruption began in late October. While China has long wielded the most sophisticated and comprehensive internet controls in the world, under President Xi Jinping it has upped the ante, squelching most major foreign social networks and messaging apps one at a time."

They've taken down:

"Gmail, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Telegram and Line.. Beijing appears to have disabled these apps because they generally feature encryption options that make messages harder for the government to monitor."

Well, wait until it's just your ISP trying to monitor. It might let you use more apps because after all they're your ISP, if they could read absolutely everything you do unless you're trying to use a VPN in which case they're going to throttle you, or at least Comcast used to do that to me, and presumably to everybody else.

"The move is a reminder of how beholden Apple has become to the Chinese government... Last year, it said it had complied with a request from the Chinese authorities to remove apps created by The New York Times from its China app store."

So the way I've characterized this up to this point is like corporations are going to censor you here in the United States. The government is going to censor you there in China.

But the reality is far greater - it's actually a middle ground that includes the horror, the freak show, of both of those scenarios because these corporations now have bought control of our government. Even though only a very small percentage of Americans actually want net neutrality to be destroyed - actually want Comcast, Verizon, AT&T T-mobile, whatever to be able to censor what you see on the Internet, to provide you with content that's profitable to them at high speed and content that might be detrimental to them or even contradict their official lines at very low speed or even block them all together.

The majority of Americans don't want that, but our FCC, the Trump administration, the Republicans in Congress, are perfectly willing to stick us with that because they're being paid off by these big Internet Service Providers. Another example of the Republican Party putting profits, money and political power ahead of what's right and what's good for America and Americans.

These people don't give a damn about the United States of America. They want their profits coming out of China. They want their profits to be stored in bank accounts in Panama and Switzerland and the Bahamas. They don't give a rat's ass about you or me.


Outback 5 years 16 weeks ago

"a rat's ass"? Oh, surely , Thom, you overstated that. I'm certain they care a little about their cash flow, and that's us. What I'm waiting for is is an army of 16 year old hackers just poised to bring this mother fucker down, if they start pulling this shit! Parden my French.

Legend 5 years 16 weeks ago

How can the trolls support this? Is there not a point when you see the light as to the objectives of this adminstration? I wrote an email to the White House to stop the Axing of Net Nutrality and it was rejected. This is worse than China. I have been there and it is more free than America.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 16 weeks ago

@rick steves

Any facts to support this wild claim?

Riverplunge's picture
Riverplunge 5 years 16 weeks ago

There is an old saying: " if you can't go over something, you go around it.. Time for a "second Internet". The first one is getting too crowded with too much money garbage. (Tech savvyness overcomes all obsticles.)

Outback 5 years 16 weeks ago

So, Riverplunge, are you proposing some central point featuring an array of supercooled servers? Perhaps "gravity wave" routers in each home directly connected to the "DEEEEEP WEB"? It's taken five decades to develop the infrastructure that we have today. I believe our only option is to wrest control of this beautiful architecture out of the hands of these greedy bastards, breaking as meny wrists as possible along the way.

Legend 5 years 16 weeks ago


The response was:

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Last-Attempt-Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2017 20:17:10 -0800 (PST)

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 16 weeks ago


What has that got to do with your proclamation that People in China are more free than in America?

stopgap's picture
stopgap 5 years 16 weeks ago

Remember when they first started selling us on the concept of cable (pay) television, that there would be few it any commercials? Of course, that was a lie, just like convincing us of the benefits of ending net neutrality and Richie Rich's promise of the "All Purpose, One Size Fits All" tax plan. This is just more of "if we just make the rich richer, everything will be fine."

But the peanut gallery of Trump supporters can't pull their heads out of his ample ass long enough to get oxygen to their brains…so we have this dumb-ass, heartless, moronic, nazi/fascist, bigoted, ignoramus clown tweeting-up shit-storms every day, making a total fool out of himself, alienating all our allies, while this cult of Republican lemmings are rushing to jump off the cliff with the rest of us in tow.

Go ahead trolls. have your little laugh. After all, the joke is on you and your children and grandchildren. If you thought the shit had hit the fan by the end of W's reign? Trump will make even that hapless goober look like a genius.

Legend 5 years 16 weeks ago

What I was writing about is the fact that I wrote an email to the POTUS about saving Net Nutrality and it was rejected. This is a first. Are you not concerned about Net Nutrality? Or do you just not care what rights this Fascist Administration takes away from you. Our internet is on the way to be worse than China's, which I had no problem with when I was there. I understand that somethings are blocked but it did not affect me at the time.

Go to China Diane. Maybe you will see what I mean.

Willie W's picture
Willie W 5 years 16 weeks ago

This was the subject of a radio talk show. (Rush) He likened it to paying more for two day shipping instead of waiting a week. Or better TV picture quality for a higher price. I understand paying more for better service, but when a company cuts back on an existing service unless you pay more to restore it (like the nickel and dime airlines) well, that's a different animal and it needs to be squashed. (I wish.) I think he made just enough sense of it to sell it. And so, corporate greed will creep on.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 16 weeks ago

@rick steves

I am happy China's internet did not affect you. After all it is apparently all about "you" not the other 1.4 billion people living there.

After you touting the benefits of living in China's "free" society perhaps you gather a robust band of leftie/socialists and set up a community there. I am sure their government would welcome with open arms your group all dressed in pink pussy hats standing on a soapbox and screeching at the sky calling for the removal of government leaders.

BTW, they kill you guys first.

Merry Christmas

Legend 5 years 16 weeks ago

Your opinion is based on ignorance and what right wing media has told you. I was there when the police at Berkley sprayed the sitting protestors with high powered pepper spray. Of course it made the headlines and every Engineer at the site that I was working at brought the newspapers to show me. They were truly shocked at what a society we live in. They also act this way after every mass murder that we have that makes the headlines in China.

Yes China has some control of its internet. How do you think that it will work in the USA when controlled by unregulated capitalism? Notice that you do not answer the hard questions.

gulfshor's picture
gulfshor 5 years 16 weeks ago

Do y'all realize that your streaming app cuts out and cuts off frequently? Love the show! Thank you for all you do!

Ou812's picture
Ou812 5 years 16 weeks ago


You are much dumber than I initially thought. Why do do stay in the USA? You say every other country in the world has better health care. You say China has better internet and treats it citizens better. You say all we have in this country are bigots, racist, and to use the words of you washed up lefties, a foxmerized population...It seems to me that if someone really believed all of that, they would have to be stupid and/or crazy to stay here. So what are you stupid, crazy or both?

stopgap's picture
stopgap 5 years 16 weeks ago

Hey Legend, Interesting to hear form these Republican trolls. Apparently through Trump, they want to make this country safe for child fucking, greedy bigots. They confirm it here day after day after day with their undying support for this insane orange head pile of shit. As Trump said, he "could shoot someone on 5th avenue in New York and they would still vote for him." They do get a bit sensitive though, when you point it out to them.

Interesting that instead of competing with the health services and internet services of other countries, they want to race to the bottom, if somehow it can make their rich overlords even richer. They can't get enough of kissing Trump's ring, then kissing his evil, corrupt, rotten ass. And then they can't wait to come here and brag about it and tell us how foolish they think we are…even though they didn't learn a thing from the Bush presidency.

But, when you are the party of child fucking greedy bigots…then you have to keep telling yourself how screwed-up you think everyone else is, because if the reality of who you are and what your stand for ever sank in, you could never forgive yourself.

wmleidy's picture
wmleidy 5 years 16 weeks ago

question for the democratic party: why haven’t the democrats picked up the banner thom hartmann has put out there? the powell memo shpuld be much more widely known, and certainly there must be another bernie sanders out there who is willing to help wake up americans to the fact that they need to take their country back from the oligarchs that own congress, the white house and the supreme court.

Legend 5 years 16 weeks ago

#14. Why do I stay in the USA? Because I was a Vietnam war protestor that was told to "love it or leave it" by your kind. I was proven right and stayed. Your type should have left. I never said that every other country has better healthcare. Do not quote me without fact or reference. I will say that we are certainly not best but we do have the highest costs for medical care by far. I will not bother posting references because I have posted them all before and you just ignore them. " You say China has better internet and treats it citizens better." I did not say that China has better internet and treats it citizens better. With the demise of Net Neutrality (by the Republican Fascist Party) we will soon (through unregulated capitalism) have a worse internet than China. You are supporting that. As far citizen treatment goes, just one small aspect:

"You say all we have in this country are bigots, racist, and to use the words of you washed up lefties, a foxmerized population". Show me were I said that. It is really cheap to post such trash. I expect an apology. I will say that you are Foxmerized.

HotCoffee's picture
HotCoffee 5 years 16 weeks ago


From what I see it's the left going down at about 80 to 1 when it come to inappropiate sexual habits. You know the ones that are always pretending to have the high moral ground.

I don't watch TV...but bye-bye Matt Lauer, NBC, Charlie Rose, Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner, al.

people in glass houses.................

Ou812's picture
Ou812 5 years 16 weeks ago


I'm sorry I told the truth about you. I know how you washed up lefties like to be lied too. I should know better. :))

Legend 5 years 16 weeks ago

You can write better than that OU812. Typical Fascist Republican. The truth has no place in your mind.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 5 years 16 weeks ago


You still haven’t told me if it’s your craziness or your stupidity or both that keeps you in the USA, when you see such a wonderful life elsewhere.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 5 years 16 weeks ago

Legend, Don't even bother to try reasoning with Oh-he eats-shit-2. If these trolls can support child fucking politicians, just to move their warped, greedy, immoral agenda forward, then they are hopeless anyway!!

This fucking pig president of theirs, was just caught tweeting fake videos as a way of validating his nazi fascist, bigoted program...and when caught, all his spokesperson Sarin-gas Huksterscumbag could say is, that its only the point that he was trying to make that mattered.

In other words, facts can never matter to these Trump-bots as long as they can goose-step to their dear leader. No mater how insane, treasonous or criminal he is. And now this shit-head Trump is trying to say that the Access Hollywood tapes are fake, after he has already confessed during his campaign that they were real. He even publicly apologized for what he said on them. Which of course is the only thing that he has ever admitted as a mistake and apologized for.

I did serve in the Army from 1967 to 1969 and I sure as hell didn't serve to support the treasonous assaults on our government by the cabal of anti-democratic, pro fascist, thieving garbage that now stinks up the Republican party.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 16 weeks ago

I can just see you pacing in your coop pecking frantically at the wire cage door.

If we put you and the road runner on a treadmill we could light a small city.

God Bless you for giving us another Christmas day and what a glorious one it is.

PaulHosse's picture
PaulHosse 5 years 16 weeks ago

We are already a de facto Oligarchy; a neo-fascist plutocracy complete with a growing survalliance state. We have the security state. We have the propaganda state. We have the politcal (albeit divided into two wings) and economic state. We have a divided population ready for civil war. They've created the problem and have the solution waiting in the wings. Fascism is here. It's just a matter of the fine points.

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