Gary Rea (c)copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved

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Proof positive that monopoly capitalism is still alive and well, and growing worldwide, arrived in my mailbox this morning in the form of my latest Comcast statement. I have internet access, only, yet Comcast has now added TV service – without my having ordered it and against my wishes – and they have more than doubled my usual rate.

Instead of charging an additional $30 or so for TV access, they tacked on a nominal charge of $1.99 for the TV service and doubled the rate for internet access so that, now I’ll be paying the same for internet access as I would have paid before for both services. Thus, my statement has gone from last month’s $31.92 to $67.61 – all without notice or permission from me! Of course, my only recourse is to either pay the bill or cancel my service altogether, which I cannot do, as I need the service for my communications. Even my phone (Magic Jack) requires cable internet access. Without internet access, I can’t prospect for a job or contact employers. I can’t stay in touch with my friends and relatives, either. So, now I have no choice but to pay the bill in order to continue my service.

Comcast is a regional monopoly, like all cable access providers. The nation has been divided up into territories, much as the Mafia has divided up their turf, and wherever you live, your choice is limited to one ISP, which has no competition at all. This is the meaning of the term “monopoly,” i.e., a situation in which a company has no competitors. Cleverly, by confining their monopolies to regions, as opposed to creating global monopolization of an entire industry, corporations are able to legally skirt the Anti-Trust Act while enjoying all the advantages of maintaining a near-monopoly on the market for their services. Never mind that the very reasons for the Anti-Trust act are allowed to exist on a smaller scale and that these smaller monopolies are just as rapacious as the total monopolies of late 19th century were.

Of course, a monopoly may, at its own discretion and without any hindrance by government (which, in reality, has granted free reign to the monopolies and benefits from their partnership with them) and without any recourse from its customers (except to stop using the services), raise its rates for services at any time, without the slightest notice. That is exactly what Comcast has just done. As a monopoly, they have the power to demand whatever they want and, short of discontinuing our services (to our own detriment), we customers have no recourse but to give in to their demands. Imagine what the world would be like if all businesses were allowed to operate in this manner. Well, get used to it, as this is the direction we are increasingly headed in; i.e., absolute unbridled corporate tyranny.

This state of affairs has been made possible by the fact that we have been living in a fascistic world for generations without even knowing it. The level of fascism has simply been controlled and never so overt as to be noticed as being universal or institutional. Now, things are rapidly changing as the mask comes off and the reality of absolute collusion between government and corporations becomes plainly visible for all to see.

As Benito Mussolini said, “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” The merger has become increasingly apparent in recent years, though it has been with us for generations. Today, only the willfully blind and the totally ignorant could possibly fail to see it.