Big Brother’s Shopping Cart

For those interested in the institutional workings of market totalitarianism, I very strongly recommend watching this 6 minute, 27 second video on the coming of the Media Cart.

This warm, comfortable little market-totalitarian insider’s video really speaks for itself, if you happen to understand the nature and logic of big business marketing. The only aspect you might miss without my comment is the fleeting but important mention of this extra “added value” to the capitalist: still-further reduction of in-store “labor costs” — i.e., jobs in the already scandalously understaffed retail sector.

This Media Cart monstrosity, you see, is not not just another new emplacement of an Orwellian telescreen for spying on those tellingly called “consumers,” but also a new way to further automate the work of the store clerk. Now, capitalists can run their mega-marts with 6 instead of 10 near-minimum-wagers.

One Reply to “Big Brother’s Shopping Cart”

  1. The other day a Korean newspaper introduced a Korean version of an electronically programmed shopping cart, called SMART CART, in detail. The reporter seemed to be overwhelmed by the fact that the computerized shopping cart can store orders emailed to it from a house wife at home, find the items requested on the screen, and automatically check out items purchased. There was not a single word of warning about this machine, except that the high cost of producing product labels (vis-a-vis bar codes) and carts may slow down the popularization of the cart. It looks like that the machine can control house wives’s compulsory shopping by emailing lists of products to be shopped before she leaves the house for the supermarket. However, the benefit of the new shopping cart for the merchants is to enable them to constantly run “ads” on the screen while she shops, making her indulge in more compulsory shopping. The real danger of this machine is the new ability of firms to obtain individualized consumer behavior of grocery shopping. The firms can use, share, and manipulate these bits of information to perpetuate the consumption trap.

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