Marketplace of Ideas? — Oh, and does an imbalance in the marketplace of ideas even make sense? At the commencement of their theory of conservative hegemony, the Commonwealers cite the following, under the heading “There is an imbalance in the marketplace of ideas“:
It is the purpose of the First Amendment to preserve an uninhibited marketplace of ideas in which truth will ultimately prevail, rather than to countenance monopolization of that market – US Supreme Court, 1969, Red Lion Broadcasting vs FCC (Upholding the Fairness Doctrine)
Why is this there?
The implication seems to be that inspired right-wing strategy has lead, or is leading, to the monopolization of the marketplace. However, since the First Amendment is as robust as ever (that is, the market is operating under conditions of fair competition), thanks in part to libertarians and classical liberal Republicans, the obvious implication of the quote is that the truth is coming to the fore, and that’s why the left is doing so poorly. Of course, you can’t be of the left and believe that your principles have been found wanting in the process of free deliberative discourse. So you have to devise an alternative explanation. Hence the conspiracy theory. And hence the conviction that there is an imbalance. If the equilibrium state of the market tracks truth, and you know your ideas are true, but the market isn’t tracking your ideas, then there must be some factor distorting the market.
It seems a rather desperate set of ideas to be founding a think tank upon.