[Marxism] Fwd: Capitalism in a Bottle - The Los Angeles Review of Books

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Nov 26 19:23:16 MST 2015


MARION NESTLE is hardly the first person to be appalled by the 
improbable success of Pepsi and Coca-Cola, those twin behemoths of the 
global corporate stage whose instant brand recognition and extraordinary 
cultural influence have been built on, of all things, the sale of 
carbonated sugar water.

The French were complaining about “Coca-colonization” as early as 1950, 
and the first alarmist medical reports about the effects of too much 
sugar on young metabolisms soon followed. Not that these did anything to 
slow the soda companies’ success; if anything, they were taken as 
confirmation that the companies had arrived. Coke and Pepsi were, for 
better or worse, symbols of a carefree, all-American optimism in the 
wake of two devastating world wars — a distillation of an idealized, 
eternal adolescence that broke with the strictures of an older 
generation. No surprise, then, that the more the grown-ups scolded, the 
more appealing the drinks became. The dyspeptic cultural critic George 
W. S. Trow recognized this in his 1980 New Yorker essay “Within the 
Context of No Context” and found it infuriating, one more indication of 
what he saw as the irredeemable vulgarity of popular culture. “Consider 
the real role in American life of Coca-Cola,” he wrote. “Is any man as 
well-loved as this soft drink is?”

full: https://lareviewofbooks.org/review/capitalism-in-a-bottle



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