I doubt anyone was surprised by the news the Koch brothers are considering buying several media outlets, among them the LA Times. Outside the Internet, our sources of information have been reduced to a few outlets owned by a very few people.
What we are seeing may be described as the endgame of capitalism. Monopolies now span the globe. Any attempt to protect human beings or the earth from corporate rapine have been drowned by the charge of “socialism.” Any third world leaders who seek to protect their people and culture from economic invasion by foreign investors are eventually met with the charge of “terrorist.” Any leader who makes it to the top, almost assuredly, is a proven lobbyist for the rich. They speak of the aspirations of the masses and deliver the goods to the few.
Capitalism was not originally a political system. To Adam Smith, it was an economic theory. He assumed there would always be some other, more basic, political system to mitigate the toll of the market upon human affairs. Originally, that system was described as a represenative form of democracy. But an economic system based on entrepreneurial spirit and individual responsibility (euphemisms for greed and selfishness) will not wish to stay in its cage. It will seek to corner every market and rid itself of any leash to democratic control. We are now a market driven nation that gets to vote only on which corporate lobbyist we will pretend represents us.
Just like it seeks to buy the democratic process, capitalism predictably is buying up the news media which, for them, represent the last whimpers of democracy. We will ultimately have to choose between democracy and capitalism. They can exist as uneasy bedfellows, but only one of them can make our decisions. Ultimately we will have to decide which is more fundamental, property rights or human rights?