The relationship between free market capitalism, pornography, sex trafficking, and prostitution is real - and cannot exist without one or the other.
On a personal level, pornography degrades, dehumanizes, corrupts and distorts our views of women. Pornography also fosters the attitude that women can be regarded primarily as a sexual object used for pleasure, i.e. women are just a commodity in the male-controlled business world.
Catherine Mackinon, a professor at Harvard Law School states, “Consuming pornography is the delusional experience of easily-bought sexual intimacy, thus helping to create an addictive hunger to continue to purchase, objectify, and possibly act out in life what is seen as real in pornographic imagery.
In a very literal way, pornography is a form of destructive socialization that replaces lust for love - and promotes the harmful lie that frequent and impersonal sexual activity can improve an individual’s self-esteem, primarily in men.
Along with its very profitable cousins - prostitution and human trafficking, pornography treats men as desperate characters to be economically exploited for their loneliness and their social shortcomings. Men, in fact, are as much victims of the “sex for profit” businesses as women.
Free Speech / Choice and Free Markets - regardless of the repercussions?
Should pornography be illegal?
When it comes to criminals involved in child pornography and human trafficking, the answer is certainly “yes” – along with very long prison terms for these worst of all human predators.
However, if you believe “normal” adults should have free speech and choice, regardless of the harmful emotional effects it has on their psyches, families, and personal lives (not unlike cigarettes, most drugs and alcohol, and some guns), then the answer is less clear.
The moral ground is often very confusing. For example, the libertarian ideology of the free markets – as well as our institutionalized big lobby money legitimacy in the current American capitalist system - often gets in the way of our moral compass and the mental health realities of what is good and bad for our society.
In fact, in the current mentality of “business freedom is always good” mentality, we now see huge and 'egitimate global businesses make billions of dollars a year off of pornography - as well as tobacco, alcohol, war, racism. xenophobia, and deadly military weaponry for citizen use.
Ironically, some of these multinational businesses fork out millions of dollars in political donations to hypocritical organizations and politicians that too often talk about “family values” - as being a big focus of their electability.
Corporate Pornography: Leisure means "Lust"
The so-called hospitality businesses are all major hotel chains that offer in-room X-rated movies delivered to the hotel by one of two major independent distribution companies:
Marriott International (symbol MAR)
Hilton Worldwide (symbol HLT)
LodgeNet Interactive (symbol LNET) is the nation's biggest pornography distributor to the US hospitality industry.
Analysts say in-room hotel sex movies generate more money for the hotel chains than revenue from the hotels' mini-bars.
"The 5 percent or 10 percent of smut revenue that the hotel chain gets, that's pure profit to them because they have no added technology cost," says Dennis McAlpine, an entertainment industry analyst. "They didn't put in the wiring system, they didn't supply the programming."
"Here's Johnny" Holmes
Cable and satellite companies channel pornography into millions of homes and take approximately 80 percent of the pay-per-view dollar that gets spent by the consumer, according to Bill Asher, president of Vivid Entertainment, which produces and distributes pornographic movies.
Privately owned pornography Vivid Entertainment provides audio content to satellite radio company Sirius Radio (symbol SIRI).
Originally, AT&T's (symbol T) cable division, AT&T Broadband, distributed to subscribers an explicit porn channel called The Hot Network. But AT&T sold its cable company and its network connection to pornography to Comcast (symbol CMCSA.
Recently, Time Warner Cable, which merged with Charter Communications - now called Spectrum, also sells pornography through their adult movie offerings.
Spectrum is the name of the two cable businesses under the Charter Communications corporate name (symbol CHTR).
Today, both Spectrum and Comcast are certainly the biggest Wall Street listed purveyors of smut in the world.
A hotel chain that said “No to Pornography’'
Omni Hotels (privately held) was the first hotel chain to announce that it would no longer offer adult pay-per-view movies in its rooms. The company's statement noted that it made the decision "in response to what it perceives as a growing need for corporate America to support pro-family issues." Based near Dallas, Texas, Omni has hotels and resorts throughout North America.
In a past New York Times article, Omni's president, Jim Caldwell, said that his company's decision to remove the sex-videos would cost it an estimated $1.8 million per year. The company stated that "[t]he anticipated loss in revenue demonstrates the company's commitment to the issue. Omni Hotels also removed adult magazines from the gift shops at its owned and managed gift shops.
And more recently, the primarily Mormon-run Marriott hotel chain has decided to phase out its in-room pornography offerings. W
Money over Mental Health
Evidently, when it comes to pornography, among other consumer vices, free market capitalism and “family values” morality are always on an inevitable values collision course. So the question must be asked: "Where are the right wing Christians when it comes to pornography addiction profiteering?
Clearly they champion free markets - but only pay lip service to the activism inherent in dealing with the emotional contradiction of "profit for smut."
And what about the "family values" Republican Party when it comes to hospitality industry lobby money and the Wall Street pornographers? Where is their moral indignation when they recieve $Millions in lobby money from capitalist pornographers?
Adult-only themed pornography should probably not be illegal, as it is probably just another slippery slope to an institutionalized evangelical fascism that we are already seeing increase in America.
For sure, pornography is not healthy for the sane development of the mind or the soul. Unfortunately, the proliferation of the internet and its steaming technology may be creating a generation of men (and women) who have a distorted view of the difference between love and lust. If they are expressed in that order, it can be a tool, if used very sparingly.
However, lust, like drugs and alcohol, are physically addicting, unlike gambling and predatory political power. The internet is no doubt creating a generation of lust and sex addicts. On the other hand, most people who have watched pornography do not become addicted to it.
But if you have an addictive personality - in truth, an addict waiting to happen, pornography can be just as destructive as other addictions.
Partial list of publicly-traded Wall Street pornography producers and distributers:
Marriott International - symbol MAR (international hotel chain)
Hilton Worldwide - symbol HLT (international hotel change)
LodgeNet Interactive - symbol LNET (runs pay per view movie operations at hotel chains)
AT&T (owner of Direct TV) - symbol T (international media conglomerate)
Comcast - symbol CMCSA (national entertainment conglomerate)
Charter Communications - symbol CHTR (national cable conglomerate)
Sirius Satellite Radio - symbol SIRI (North American satellite radio business)
Rick's Cabaret - symbol RICK (nationwide strip club operator)