Sarah (Palin, that is), where are you? America desperately needs you and Michelle (Bachmann) and Glenn (Beck) and Rush (Limbaugh) and all your Tea Party compadres to save it from creeping socialism.

I never thought I’d say it, but you may be America’s first defense against the Murdochian (Rupert, that is) subterfuge to convert America from out right Wild-West-type capitalism to socialism. And, if you don’t take a stand now, how much longer will it be before Rupert starts pushing America down the path to socialized medicine plans sold under the Murdoch brand? Your buddy, Rupert, has taken that first step down the path to destroy capitalism and you are silent. Now is the time to speak up loudly and tell Murdoch you won’t stand for this subterfuge!

We know it all began with talk radio that transformed into talk TV and that became branded as Fox “News.” Murdoch established his credentials as a right-wing conservative who abhors socialism and embraces capitalism. He then suckered you and your colleagues into believing you had found a bully pulpit to protect America from creeping socialism, a mount from which you could castigate the poor for being poor and for needing government assistance. (Interestingly, you never castigated the rich corporations for needing – nay demanding – government assistance, but then no one is perfect.)

But now eBookville desperately needs you to stand tall and protest the socialization of ebooks, a charge being led by Murdochian forces. As you know (and preach), the basis of capitalism is to let the market dictate success or failure, profit or loss, unfettered by either government or private manipulation. Under capitalism, it is the end consumer who is supposed to decide the fate of a business. In contrast, under socialism, the market is hamstrung so there is no truly free market and no market can dictate success or failure, profit or loss — to each according to his want.

And so it was in eBookville until the advent of the agency system, a system put into place with the help of Murdochian forces (HarperCollins ring a bell, Sarah?). The free market was telling Murdoch that his ebooks were overpriced and to cut the prices until the market found its equilibrium. Alas, the dark forces were not satisfied and the Murdochians decided that the free market in ebooks shouldn’t be so free, and the agency system was founded in collusion with other socialist forces.

Where are the protests from you and your conservative colleagues? Is it that you fear having your paycheck cut? Or is it that you believe in a free market only when it benefits you and strangles others? Or is it that stealth anticapitalism from a fellow conservative is OK?

We ebookers need your help to straighten out this stealth attack on what we value most — free market competition. We need you to stand up to the Murdochian forces and lead them back to the path of competition. We need you, Sarah, and your colleagues to demonstrate that you are much more than empty shills for capitalism; that you are not quitters when it is your paycheck on the line; that you really believe in capitalism, in the free market, and in competition; that you are not simply Murdochian puppets in disguise. We ebookers need for you to be that grizzly mom who defends our public libraries from Murdochian overreach.

Come, Sarah, prove America wrong — prove that you really believe in capitalism. Tell your Murdochian compadres to tear down the wall of socialism with which they have surrounded ebooks; to tear down the wall of anticompetition in ebook pricing; to tear down the wall that hems in eBookville’s free market.

Sarah, give those yearning masses of ebooks their freedom.

Via Rich Adin’s An American Editor blog


  1. How does this political nonsense get published on a site like this ? I sent a reference to a very interesting article in the UK newspapers a month ago and was told it was not strictly ‘news’. Yet this rambling idiotic rant gets published ?

  2. I agree Howard. Is there nothing out there where someone won’t drag Sarah Palin, Fox News, etc. into it, no matter how non-related?

    If I want to read political rants, I read them on political blogs, NOT book blogs.

  3. Ironically, this letter epitomizes the left-leaning socialism that the editor “implores” Palin to save him from. Here we have a person who sits back and expects somebody else to save him—dependent on big government, perhaps? 😉

    This was distasteful link baiting, and offensive to likely 50% of your viewship. It also wasn’t very funny. Please keep partisan opinion out of your news site.

  4. TeleRead is not really a news source. It’s a place where opinions about eBooks are developed and can/should be discussed. I have recently noticed what seems to me to be a reduction in ‘discussion’ and an increase in pontification. Certainly Rich is pontificating in his article… but at least he’s advancing a position and discussing it using metaphors that resonate. The comments don’t seem to discuss Rich’s ideas (that manufacturer-set prices constitutes a restraint of trade), attacking rather his non-hagiographic treatment of Sarah Palin.

    I partially disagree with Rich on this one. Certainly, with the rules the distributors have set (my Amazon royalties depend on the price that other retailers offer my books at), the agency model makes sense (which is why SmashWords had adopted it). Still, he offers an opinion about eBooks which is what TeleRead is about. Those attacking him aren’t attacking his eBook position (I can’t even tell if they agree or disagree with that). Which is too bad–it would be nice to have discussions about eBooks here again.

  5. I have recently noticed what seems to me to be a reduction in ‘discussion’ and an increase in pontification.

    Not to mention a tendency to contentiousness. It almost seems as if it’s become impossible to rationally discuss differences and opinions around here lately… it’s very distressing, because agreements can’t be reached in such a negative environment.

    As to Rich’s article: He suggests that socialism has made the ebook market “hamstruck.” I see it as exactly the opposite: Industry leaders, making irrational decisions, and consumers, making irrational demands, have taken Capitalism to its absolute breaking point, creating a sham market of undesirable products and impossible-to-please consumers.

    Or… has it?

    In fact, we keep forgetting that, as we few discuss these things on this forum and others, the majority of consumers buy ebooks with nary a complaint. Capitalism works fine for them, and those of us who demand change are far outnumbered by those who don’t need change.

    If we are ebooks’ self-appointed watchdogs, we seem to be wasting a lot of time and energy barking at each other, while the market does what it does. We don’t need Sarah Palin… we need Cesar Millan.

  6. Rob: ‘Metaphors that resonate’? really?

    The comments aren’t discussing Rich’s ideas because we can’t get at them, the article is so poorly written. I couldn’t make out what he was on about at all. That’s our complaint. That and that the whole thing was wrapped up in some (also rather incomprehensible) politics that didn’t seem to have anything to do with… well, anything, really.

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