Colonialism, indigenous peoples and the split in European socialism

Darian Linehan tp8038 at
Sun Nov 28 23:29:06 MST 1999

>Consumers as brainless puppets who have no awareness of the function of
>advertising and who, made brain dead by the smart guys in slick suits, walk
>to malls in a daze to shop, rack up their credit card bills because some
>sleek pychologist found a way to program their brains to do it?  Give me a


I certainly would not subscribe to theory that human brains are
programmed by evil advertisers - the human mind does not work that
way. However, the absurd lengths that consumers go to in shopping,
amassing, etc. are all down to the culture that has been created. or
established in people's minds.

Let me give you an analogy. When I was 13 a boy in my class was
"excluded" from class for a fight. We got an injury report. Aparently,
him and a friend and beat this other kid half to death for motives
that were not too clear at the time. The kid who was attacked was
coughing up blood, ended up in hospital, etc.

Later, I found out why the kid got attacked. He had got his hair cut
in the same style/fashion as the two kids who attacked him. So, in
short this person almost got killed over a hair cut. Maybe there were
others issues at hand, but perhaps not.

Since this was treated like pretty normal behaviour by his friends,
obviously there was a cultural influence of violence in this kids
mind. His peers didn't directly tell him to do it, but they helped to
create the culture of violence that evidently existed in his mind, to
rationalise such behaviour.

Now obviously, you can drag hundreds of other similar examples to
light if focusing on violence, as it is better recorded than
consumerist insanity - but the principle is the same.

Once the culture of violence, or consumerism, or even vanity has been
established then beating someone up for a hair-cut, camping outside a
store for a week or starving yourself half to death for fashion is all
perfectly rational.

In a recent BBC programme an advertiser said that marketing starts to
have an effect at 2 or 3, and they specifically worked hard at getting
brand names established in children's minds before they attended
school. They showed a group of children (about 5 or 6) *all* of whom
could recognise the brand logo's for Nike, Rebok, etc.

These brandishers of corporate identity are the equivalent of the
peers of the kid in my class. They help to make such a system of
behaviour seem perfectly normal. Similarly, fashion magazines do not
*force* people to slim themselves to death, but they certainly help to
rationalise such idiocy.

When thinking of advertising, I am reminded of Bill Hicks:
"For any of you in the audience who work in advertising - kill
yourself. No seriously, kill yourselves. I know you think there's a
joke coming, but there's not. Just kill yourselves now. Please."


More information about the Marxism mailing list