Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Lightning Lines

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Lightning Lines

Daniel Critron's "Lightning Lines" spends a large portion explaining the conflicts and triumphs in the monopolization of telegraph lines and companies, which reminded me of many different companies and their situations today.
"Each of the three parties, New York AP, Western AP, and Western Union, signed
contracts with the other two, thus formalizing and perpetuating the existence of three monopolies. Western AP's contract was regional, whereas the New York AP's and Western Union were national. Both news associations pledged not to use the wires of companies other than Western Union and promised to oppose any new telegraph companies." (pg.25)
This behavior of the telegraph industry is reminiscent of the activities that were conducted by the telephone companies. The Bell System used to hold monopoly control over the telephone industry in America until it divested in 1984. Our country has had a long history of monopolization and until reading "Lightning Lines", I was unaware of how blatant it was.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

What were the postive and negative consequences of monopoly? What about the internet? Are we heading towards monopoly there as well? What is the role of government in regulating monopoly?

4/09/2007 11:45 PM  

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