You, like so many others seem to be under the impression that there was some 'golden age' of capitalism where stock market trading was a level playing field and anyone could waltz onto the NYSE floor and bid up some stocks. There have always been barriers to entry to directly trading on these markets, back then it was buying/renting a seat on the exchange. Now it's technology costs and fees to co-locate in the exchange's datacenter. And most exchanges these days will spool fiber within these datacenters so each entity has equal latency to the matching engines. Of course it's only the most serious players who can participate like this but then again, it was only the most serious players who bought seats on the trading floor in the good ol' days. The everyday Joe has always had to operate through a broker and it's no different today, except spreads are smaller and fees are cheaper.
That's not to say there aren't problems with the current paradigm of algorithmic high-speed trading. I think there's significant risk in turning over billions of dollars to algos that may interact with each other in unpredictable ways that distort valuation before humans can intervene. But I take issue with people pretending these markets were somehow more fair to everyday investors before they became electronic, because that simply wasn't the case.