A bookstore chain dies

Borders est mort

First the chains demolished the local stores and then the internet retailers demolished the chain stores. The latest casualty:

Ann Arbor-based Borders Group Inc. plans to liquidate, marking the culmination of a years-long decline for the nation’s second largest bookstore chain, which had fallen into disrepair four decades after it opened its first store in downtown Ann Arbor.

I cannot say that this news makes me happy. The death of the Borders monster only removes another impediment to a market dominated by a few entities. This situation, should it come to pass, could prove dangerous to the exercise of unfettered political discourse and social criticism. The largest media conglomerates already impose themselves on so much of the public sphere that they threaten diversity merely by existing and having interests of their own. They would accomplish this simply by the “framing effects” produced by their preferences and strategies.

The internet, of course, can and does counterbalance this power and influence accumulation achieved though capital accumulation. We can immediately discover the truth of this claim simply by appreciating the fact I wrote about and published this notice on the internet!

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