Cyberporn and "the New Roman Empire"
Attack on Classical Culture and Your Children
by Lance Rosen
When you look at the historical process by which the degeneration of the Roman Empire occurred, i.e., the moral descent of its people (populus, in Latin) into bloodsports, gambling, hedonism, and pagan superstition, you can appreciate the true and actual nature of U.S. economic policy in the course of the last 30 years.
For methodological reasons we will look primarily at those areas of business which the leading so-called economic experts, politicians, and media are pointing to, as evidence that we are in a great economy right now; i.e.; those associated with the Nasdaq and the formerly industrial Dow Jones indexes, computers, and Internet-related technologies, Telecommunications, Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals, and Entertainment. These are the categories of new national "wealth" which our nation is currently tied to as our economic future and principal export to the world. From this you will see that our current generations of Baby Boomers and Generation X'ers adhere to axioms not all that different from the populus of Rome. Rage, cynicism, narcissism, moral indifference to suffering of others, the jaded and ego-driven obsessions with money, status, personal pleasure, their bodies, entertainment, and lifestyles, are the actual foundations for what is known as the New Economy.
The 'Oldest Profession'
When American citizens overhear political candidates and media pundits extolling the virtues of the "New Economy," they should ask the following simple question: "What's so new about the world's oldest profession?" Now, just think about it for a minute. Do you really think that the currently astronomical rates of Apollo-style, crash-program investments into broadband technology and fast connection DSL telecommunications cables are for home shopping or educational purposes? Has your neighbor just purchased a new desktop PC for home use with a 1,000 mhz processor and a 60 gig hard drive in order to browse the Library of Congress catalogue, or download a video archive of National Geographic's special episode on migration patterns of the Australian wombat? Does he really need a 27-inch color monitor to order a wool cardigan online from L.L. Bean, or send e-mail to his relatives whom he hasn't talked to for 14 years? Why do home computers now feature DVD (digital video disk) players and stereo surround-sound speakers with "subwoofers"? So that people can do work at home on "interactive" accounting programs? Really? Don't kid yourself. I think you know the answer to these questions, especially if you happen to be a Baby Boomer, who was raised in the 1960s.
The "dirty little secret" of Al Gore's ostensible creation, the Internet, is that the so-called prosperity it is fueling, is actually being driven by American Baby Boomers' craving for smut. That's right. Pornography. Cybersex. In politically correct lingo, the Internet is now America's "personal choice for in-home sex-care providers." In fact, evidence now in the public record, demonstrates that what is actually driving the so-called "technology market," is a rock-drug-sex counterculture-inspired buying frenzy, which official government agencies factor into their fake economic figures. This new branch of economics even has a name: "hedonics" (as in hedonism).
This applies not only to the Internet and other computer-related areas; it is true also of Hollywood and especially, the telecommunications industries, as we shall see. Despite Gore's pronouncements on the matter of family values and morality, history may judge him as the "intellectual author" of the new porno-millennium, through his efforts to bring America online. And, Dubya Bush, in his economics position papers and Website statements, agrees that the Information Age represents the source of our so-called national prosperity, and, that this is the way of the future. Remember, it was the Newt Gingrich-led "family values conservatives" in Congress who fought to insure the Internet would be free of bothersome government regulation.
What becomes clear, is, that we as a nation, like the predatory Roman populus of the Colosseum, are increasingly unable to differentiate between reality and entertainment. More precisely, the Baby Boomers' concept of economics, is that which can support and give rise to more entertainment, given that our purpose in life is mainly to "feel good about ourselves." Consider the bad joke of those non-productive, service-oriented companies which now comprise the Dow Jones "Industrial" Average. Disney, for example. (Can I interest you in some Goofy Bonds?) How is it that we, in the United States, the nation which landed a man on the Moon 30 years ago, now find ourselves in the humiliating circumstance of engaging in trade war with other nations, over the distribution rights to Madonna's rock videos, in the name of defending our "intellectual property"? This is an indication of how far we have fallen.
The Ugly Truth about the Internet
Like a good doctor forced to inform his patient that he is terminally ill, it is best that I give you this news straight. In the month of January 2000, 17.5 million Web surfers visited pornography sites via their home computers, a 40% increase over the previous four months.
Online porno is now nearly a $2 billion-a-year industry, and expects to exceed $5 billion per year within five years. According to the American Psychiatric Association, 20% of all online electronic commerce is now pornography related, and as many as 2 million people, classified as "sex addicts," spend more than several hours a day surfing the Web. Research shows also that e-porn has the highest rate of profit of any online business, as high as 30%, thanks to low labor and advertising costs, as compared to the massive yearly losses of Amazon.com and other Internet giants.
With these kind of staggering profit margins, it was only a matter of time before these companies began to go public and trade over the counter. Playboy.com's IPO (Initial Public Offering) led the way this year and was soon followed by companies such as New Frontier Media and Vivid ("adult" filmmakers). Pornography currently accounts for 70% of the total market for pay-to-view online content, as compared to video games (4%) and sports (less than 2%) Also, e-porn was the critical margin of profit which sustained several of the leading Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in their earliest phases of start-up. In the early days of the Internet boom, 1990-1995, up to 80% of all online traffic was porno-related. America Online (AOL), which tries to present itself to this day as "family friendly" owes its start to sex, having generated $7 million per month through e-porn and sex-related chat-rooms. Nearly 16% of all pornographic material is still accessed through AOL.
In the real world, the impact of the New Economy insanity just described, is precisely the opposite of what most people have been hornswoggled into believing. While a handful of New Age nerds are awash in spectacular cash profits, the Internet is contributing to the collapse of U.S. worker productivity across the board, and feeding the very speculative financial bubble which has already begun to blow out the world's bankrupt financial system. According to Business Week magazine, American workplaces are afflicted with the embarrassing problem of workers using their desktop PCs to watch pornography, as well as engaging in other personal uses, such as online stock trading and shopping, chat-rooms, and personal e-mail. This cost U.S. corporations upwards of $54 billion last year in lost worker productivity, with projected losses of over $80 billion this year! Internet use for browsing porno sites, and also the sending of pornographic messages via e-mail between employees, have forced American corporations to hire Internet security firms to monitor employees, at great expense.
According to various porno Website operators, as much as 70% of their online traffic occurs during daytime working hours! So much for the argument that the great value of the Internet is that it increases American productivity. Also, U.S. financial companies such as Vanguard and Oppenheimer are investing clients' mutual funds in the new mega-porno companies such as New Frontier Media and Vivid, without telling their investors what these companies are. "Hey, profit is profit, and as long as there is a demand...." Of course, this was no surprise to the budding new class of "entre-"porn-"eurs of the Baby Boomer generation. One CEO of a major ISP stated what everyone already knew: "The adult entertainment industry is what drives the Internet."
According to writer Frederick Allen of American Heritage magazine, there is a strong case to be made that this is true of most of the consumer technology market.
"The information technology revolution has not stopped at the bedroom door but has burst through it, deluging us with X-rated cybercams and DVDs and chat-rooms and phone-call services. But something else has happened: Not only have new technologies spurred new innovations in pornography, but the opposite has occurred. Sex has become one of the forces shaping information technology."
Allen retraces the history of consumer video technology, from 8 mm film projectors and the popularity of 1950s "stag films," up to the present-day VCRs, and the "mainstreaming" of hard-core pornography with the 1972 release of the porn-movie "Deep Throat," which played in neighborhood theaters.
"Thus," said Allen, "as cable TV moved in people's homes, formerly illicit fare moved in with it. But not until the arrival of the videocassette recorder and the video camera was that fare a prime force behind technology's spread. The first VCRs, in the late 1970s, were not only very expensive, but were made in two competing formats, VHS and Betamax. Who would buy them? Pornography ... gave people not only a motive for purchasing the machines but also, at first, the only recorded tapes to use with them. Sexually explicit videotapes hit the stores in 1977, a year before regular Hollywood releases, and over the next few years, more than half of all recorded tapes sold were X-rated. By the mid-1980s, that share had dropped to under 25%."
Additionally, the sex industry has driven telecommunications-industry profits through the stratosphere, over the course of the last 20 years. According to Allen, "commercial phone sex was born in 1982 when the Federal Communications Commission in one of its first major deregulatory moves, ruled that the phone company could no longer have a monopoly on recorded messages. That meant the phone company could no longer keep recorded messages clean, and once there were dirty recorded messages there were bound to be dirty live ones too. Local opposition to dial-up sex followed, and local phone sex numbers gave way to long-distance and 800 ones and then international ones. By 1996, an estimated 1.5% of all international phone calls were pornographic. A $2 billion per year business had grown up."
Of course, the promoters of free trade and globalization have heralded the telecom sector as one of America's unique and vital contributions and moneymakers in the world marketplace. Once again, we see the ugly truth of the matter. Allen elaborates:
"Most of these calls are routed through remote countries, some so remote that most people have never heard of them, like Niue and Sao Tomé.... Their national phone companies charge a very high toll for the calls, split the proceeds with the businesses involved, and then foward the calls via leased lines to some other far off location, most typically Toronto, where banks of multilingual operators do the actual talking."
Nuie is a South Pacific island that now has 10,000 phone lines, four for every man, woman, and child in the land. In Guyana, according to Allen, as much as 40% of its GDP comes from incoming international telephone calls. The infrastructure for the telephone system was paid for by phone sex, as Allen reports:
"According to Frederick S. Lane, III, author of Obscene Profits, the Entrepreneurs of Pornography in the Cyber Age, 'the willingness of consumers in the United States, to pay high per-minute charges for access to phone sex had a direct impact on the ability of small nations to build the telecommunications infrastructure they need to attract other types of business.' "
Indeed, on investigation, Guyana has currently approximately 60,000 miles of telecommunications infrastructure, built up by the telephone companies, as compared to Haiti, a nation of roughly the same population and economic circumstances, which has about 6,000 miles of lines. This is precisely what was alluded to by Prime Minister Mahathir of Malaysia in his speech to the ASEAN economic summit this summer, when he described the Internet and the telecom industry as the spearhead of globalization's attack on the nation-state, and the moral foundations of developing countries, flooding the Third World with the decadent filth of the West's cultural imperialism.
Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals
Before we descend further into this, let's look at the real world for a minute. There is currently a public health holocaust, spreading around the globe, which has now begun to arrive on our shores. Outbreaks of deadly viruses and influenza, AIDS, re-emergence of old diseases like TB, and so forth, are reappearing throughout the U.S. Yet, supposedly, the high cost of health care makes public-health measures and treatment prohibitive for the poor and the elderly.
Currently, there is a holocaust in Africa. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in addition to the AIDS pandemic, one out of five people in Africa, that is, 120 million out of 600 million people, suffer some form of serious disability. Crippling injury, degenerative diseases, blindness, deafness. Disease, war, famine, birth defects and so forth are all on the rise, and yet the IMF, with its policies of debt collection at any cost, continues to turn the screws. There are massive shortages of medical facilities and medication to deal with the crisis. New Economy enthusiasts advocate installing Internet stations in every village to practice "distance" medicine, i.e., medicine without doctors or hospitals; self-diagnosis and treatment with help from the Internet.
Meanwhile, in the so-called advanced economies like the United States, aging Baby Boomers are spending approximately $20 billion per year (roughly the cost of the entire Apollo Moon shot program) on Viagra (the drug hawked by former Sen. Bob Dole for treatment of "erectile dysfunction"), antidepressants, and medically unnecessary cosmetic and sex-enhancement surgery, not because they are sick, but because they want to feel good!
Pfizer's 'Brave New World'
Yes, it's true. The principal market being targetted by the pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer is not senior citizens. It is the 40- to 55-year-old Baby Boomer heading into late middle-age, that is the great source of demand for "lifestyle-enhancing" drugs. It was the announcement of Pfizer's discovery of Viagra that drove pharmaceutical company stock prices through the roof three years ago. On mega-doses of Viagra, they are still rising. In April, Pfizer announced first-quarter revenues of $4.3 billion, a 10% increase over the first quarter of 1999. Their net profit increased by $1.2 billion, an increase of an astounding 45%, this year. The U.S. has a $2.5 billion share of their $4.3 billion world revenues, having sold 19 million Viagra prescriptions to 6 million people in the same first quarter. Viagra sales are up 73% in the last year, 27% in the first quarter of this year, over the first quarter of 1999, with Viagra generating $333 million in revenue, and the anti-depressant Zoloft, increasing its sales by 32% this year.
Viagra's impact on Pfizer was so great, that their current stock value is greater than each of the stock values of the South Korean, Thai, Philippines, and Indonesian stock markets. Now, Pfizer is conducting massive testing of Viagra for use by women as an aphrodisiac, or libido-enhancing drug.
But Baby Boomers want more than sex-enhancing potions to improve their "quality of life." They are also going under the knife. Just look at the sheer number of medically unnecessary cosmetic surgeries performed each year in the U.S.: 31.5 million outpatient surgical procedures, of which, close to 3 million, or 10% are cosmetic in nature. If you knock out 700,000 for tumor removal, burn treatment, and medically necessary reconstruction, you still have 2.3 million, which is astronomical.
These include: breast implants, 132,000; breast implant removal, 43,000; breast reduction, 70,000; and untold numbers of cheek and chin implants, laser skin resurfacing, tummy tucks, thigh lifts, nose jobs, liposuction fat removal, fat injections, face lifts, forehead lifts, ear reconstruction, penile implants, collagen injections, buttock enhancements, hair transplants and more. Is all of this really medically necessary? You could probably make a case for Madeleine Albright, but mainly as a public-health measure!
Keep in mind, these figures do not include the astronomical rise in sports injuries resulting from the insane and increasingly violent sports culture of the U.S.
We are consuming huge chunks of our national health-care resources so that a bunch of 50-year-old adolescents, in mid-life crisis, can feel good about themselves. They hate the idea of aging, because Baby Boomers fear the implications of their own mortality, preferring to live for their next moment of pleasure to compensate for their sense of emptiness and boredom. It's all "How do I look"? "Am I cute?" "Am I sexy?" "Am I popular? "Do I look young?" "What do people think of my body?" And it's not just Baby Boomers, or women now, either: 40% of all cosmetic procedures in 1996 were performed on people under age 34. And, there has been a 35% increase in cosmetic surgeries for men over the last four years.
We have already looked at the Internet, and the new role of the computer as a home-entertainment center. New Internet technology will enable people to download and watch full-length movies at home (especially useful for porno-addicts who prefer to stay "undercover"). Hollywood, and the home-video explosion, are increasingly bestializing the population with sex and violence, and the moguls of these industries are firmly ensconced among the world's richest individuals.
For example, take professional wrestling, the modern-day gladiator sport. According to the October 2000 issue of Fortune magazine, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), which had its Initial Public Offering this year, is now over a billion-dollar-a-year mega-entertainment business, with its owner, Vince McMahon now a member of Fortune's "World's Richest Persons" list. The ratings for WWF cable TV specials show as many as 50 million fanatical viewers, surpassing Monday Night Football in popularity, and their profits have increased over 450% this year! What is drawing these numbers is an ever-increasing level of real blood and violence in the arena, just like ancient Rome?
Wrestlers inflict real injuries with metal chairs and other objects, and several have either been killed or suffered broken necks. The main superstar of WWF is known as "The Rock" who, like most of the male stars, sports a satanic, skin-head, biker-type of persona. The Rock was a speaker at this year's Republican Convention, along with Generals Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf, and has helped the WWF register over 100,000 voters this year.
Often, the more satanic the character, the more popular he or she is. Today's wrestling features female sex-stars in bikinis, wrestling and beating up men, in the modern-day Roman arena. Two of WWF's female stars have been featured on Playboy's cover this year. The WWF's Website gets more visits than the National Football League and National Basketball League Websites do, and is financially backed by media giants NBC and Viacom. According to investment analyst Larry Haverty, "it's a totally spectacular business, one of the best consumer businesses I've ever seen."
Gambling, Lotteries, and Contests
The Internet has also discovered gambling. I am not referring to the practice of day trading in derivatives, either. In October, the Nevada gaming control board cleared a company called Virtgame.com to set up an online sports gambling system to handle wagers on the Web. It will operate 24 hours a day, and have a $1,000 limit on bets. (Due to fears that last-minute betting, based on injury reports and weather changes will break the bank, a 24-hour pre-game cutoff has been established.) Virtgame says that this is a pilot project, and that their next plan is to take over the $41 billion per year state lottery business.
Internet gambling will explode the rate of gambling addiction in America. The U.S. already has 12 million compulsive gamblers, each of whom has an average personal debt of $80,000. Ninety-six percent of all gambling addicts start before age 14! According to lottery experts and surveys, 70% of all lottery-tickets are purchased by the poor, blacks, and Hispanics. In California, 18% of adults purchased 71% of the tickets, each buying and average of 20 tickets in 45 days, confirming the compulsive nature of gambling. For the poor and minorities, this is suicidal: Studies have shown that you are seven times more likely to be hit by lightning, than to win a million dollars in the lottery.
Furthermore, despite the claims of the gambling lobby, legalized gambling does not discourage organized crime; it doubles it. In every state where non-lottery gambling is legal, illegal gambling has increased by over 100%, because the "culture" of gambling is encouraged. If you place an illegal bet with a bookie, you can use credit, and you don't even have to pay taxes on your winningsif you have any.
What do you say about a nation that spends $286 billion on legal gambling, while spending only $213 billion on education? Everybody loses. It diverts capital from the real economy, and destroys the cognitive and moral qualities of the population.
Are We Morally Fit to Survive?
Where will this degenerating cycle of sex, violence, and bread and circuses lead us? For the answer, we need only look at the newest form of "Information Age " destruction. It is called "online pedophilia." While pedophiles have been around for a long time, their numbers have been, thankfully, small; they remained underground and disorganized. The Internet has changed all that.
Recent studies show that there are now 25 million children, between the ages of 2 and 17 years old, using the Internet. According to surveys conducted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, last year, one in five children, aged 10 to 17, have received an unwanted sexual solicitation from a pedophile on the Web! That's 5 million children. It is estimated that by the year 2005, the number of children on the Web will increase by 70%. The main reason for this increase is that their Moms are now online: There has been a 400% increase over the past three years, from 4.5 million Moms in 1997, to 16.4 million this year. Parents are buying computers, falsely believing that they will help their children's learning and development.
Thanks to Al Gore and other free-traders, there is no regulation or government censorship of the Internet, and the FBI, which is in charge of tracking cyber-crime is doing little or nothing. Therefore, the Web is a wide-open field for sex perverts.
According to a group called Safeguarding Our Children, United Mothers, the Internet allows pedophiles:
- Access instantly to other sexual predators worldwide;
- Open discussion of their sexual desires;
- Shared ideas about ways to lure victims;
- Mutual support of adult/child sex philosophies;
- Instant access to potential child victims worldwide;
- Disguised identities for approaching children, masquerading as teens;
- Access to teen chat rooms to target victims;
- Means to identify and track down home contact information;
- Ability to build long-term Internet relationships with potential victims long before attempt at physical contact.
These pedophiles have an organization called NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association), whose motto is: "sex before eight, or else it's too late." Their charter is the Boy/Love Manifesto, and they are highly organized. They had a Website until recently, when they were implicated in a number of child-murder cases. One of the boys, a 10-year-old from the Boston area, was kidnapped and murdered by two men in 1997. According to CNN.com, "The confessed murderers, Charles Jaynes and Salvatore Sicari, were both members of ... the North American Man Boy Love Association, or Nambla. Jaynes' diary, it was later revealed, detailed how Nambla's Web site helped him lose his inhibitions about having sex with children" (the American Civil Liberties UnionACLUwhich is defending the child molesters, would undoubtedly call this "freedom of expression.")
Again, according to CNN.com, "Jayne admitted that he regularly went to the public library to access the Nambla Web site."
Even though NAMBLA has temporarily lost its Website, and other Internet servers are voluntarily refusing to accept their business, they are still finding ways to post sites, Webring forums and chat-rooms. They are also fundraising to buy their own dedicated server, and they are soliciting legal advice on what to do when they get caught committing sex crimes. This network of sexual predators is using the Internet to build networks, and to find employment that places them in proximity to children, such as in schools, daycare centers, youth groups, and sports teams. They are an online army of sexual predators, that is stalking your children right under your noses, in broad daylight.
The antidote to the horrors described here, is to be found in the our nation's true culture: the Classical/Renaissance culture brought to these shores by our Founding Fathers (see accompanying article, pagea 6-7, on J.S. Bach and the American Revolution). The hideous rock-drug-sex counterculture in which today's middle-aged Baby Boomers were steeped in the 1960s was an artificial one, imposed on us by our enemies, who intend to destroy every vestige of that Classical cultureand who have, so far, succeeded in doing just that.
Although the time is very short, we can still reverse the process that is hurtling back into the Roman arena and a New Dark Age. The political movement of Lyndon LaRouche, especially through the work of the Schiller Institute, is fighting to revive the culture of beautiful music, art, poetry, and drama. In fact over the weekend of Nov. 11-12, celebrations will be held in many cities by the Schiller Institute commemorating the birthday of Germany's "Poet of Freedom," Friedrich Schiller, who inspired many of our early German-American forebears. (You can call one of our local offices, listed on page 10, under the headline, "What you can do," for more information.)
Along with the cultural offensive, the LaRouche movement is fighting for a New Bretton Woods monetary system, to restore the kind of economic and scientific progress that will ensure that every child receives the opportunity to develop his or her potential to become a Renaissance genius. This was the original meaning of the Declaration of Independence's commitment to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
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