The Free Lunch: Value of paid-access networking

Posted on October 24, 2011 by

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The Free Lunch
In the latest PBS documentary by Ken Burns, Prohibition, reference was made to The Free Lunch. While many of us were still raised hearing the old adage – “There’s no such thing as a Free Lunch” – there are many, more youthful, left-wing activist that do not seem to understand the implications.

Prior to Prohibition, saloons across America offered a “free” lunch. People entering the saloons were encouraged to eat as much as they wanted for lunch. The patrons were offered very spicy and salty, yet quite tasty, food items. The hitch – The customers had to buy the drinks to wash down their thirst. The cost of the food was factored into the drink prices. Hence – There’s no such thing as a Free Lunch.

Now on to another topic: Televangelists
Televangelists use the sincere faiths of their audience to make money. Money is sent to these televangelists to fund “Gods Work,” which is code for – Subsidizing the lavish lifestyle of the televangelist who allegedly works for God. The televangelist is a good analogy for some people with positions of status within the left-wing activist movements.

There are those among the left-wing activist movements that are less than sincere in their activism. These “right-wing” lefties use leftist activism as their source for gaining a sense of status for themselves. These Professional Activists actively undermine the efforts of other socialists. These professional activists disparage the socialists who have opposing opinions. They demean new ideas in order to protect their own spheres of influence. Some of the professional activists have even more at stake than just ego-stroking status; they are willing to sacrifice the movement they allegedly represent in order to protect their paychecks.

Seasoned activists understand how stressful it can be to maintain long-term enthusiasm in a given cause. Consequently, seasoned activists are relieved when a newer person comes along to continue the cause. Seasoned activists are always excited when they can finally step back into a more advisory role. Activists must carefully scrutinize the sincerity of any long-term activist who is unwilling to let new ideas move the movement forward. Sincere activists must be on the watch for professional activists that undermine the movement in order to protect their own status.

The wrap-up
The recent Socialist Party – USA convention demonstrated professional activist tendencies. An exclusive core of long-established National Leaders undermined the efforts of the organization to introduce new people and fresh ideas. We have seen this same inner circle drive opponents out from the organization in the past. This inner circle has not offered the organization substantive guidance or growth. In fact, they have dominated over the organization’s demise. They have simply consolidated their power base in order to maintain their status and, in one case at least, a paycheck.

To maintain their influence and control, these Leftivangelists preach the message that, in fact, there is a Free Lunch. And, your free lunch only costs the price of an annual membership. To maintain their influence and control, these Leftivangelists warn the faithful of the evils of New Ideas. The Leftivangelists shepherd their flock past the “scams” and the “frauds” of opposing views. And, so their flock can afford to send money to the Leftivangelists’ cause, the Leftivangelists encourage their flocks to feed on the free lunches offered by capitalist corporations.

The FREE Lunch (revised)
Social networks appear to offer free lunches. Nevertheless, they are capitalist corporations that are providing the service for a profit. The company tracks the user’s activities. The company quantifies those activities. Then the company sells that information to corporations that develop elaborate marketing profiles on every user that uses the FREE network. The profits from selling the user’s information pays for maintaining the infrastructure and funds the network owner’s lavish lifestyle.

Paid-access networks are different. Users pay a network access fee upfront. That fee pays for maintaining the infrastructure. The user can than network with other activists in relative privacy. Their activities are not tracked, quantified, and sold to corporations.

In the end, there is no free lunch; the user pays either way. The user can either pay a paid-access network provider for privacy; or the user can sell his privacy for “free” access. As socialist activists, the choice is the same. Network in private on a paid-access network provided by a nonprofit political organization; or allow the very capitalist corporations that you oppose track your socialist activism.

The Socialist Central Committee, Ltd. (SCC) is a nonprofit, Sect. 527 political organization with a mandate to foster and develop the socialist movement. To assist in that mandate, the SCC maintains the Social(ist) Network. The Social(ist) Network is a paid-access network within which liberal activists can coordinate local activities and collaborate on national issues.

If you are interested in joining the Social(ist) Network – Click Here.

Network access is only $5.95 per year.

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Posted in: General Interest