Most Racist Ad I’ve Ever Seen

I am somebody who argues, based on first-hand evidence described here and here, that racist stereotypes continue to play a very important part in the planning and execution of corporate television ads and other forms of sales communications.

And I am not one of those who thinks fascism is remotely likely in the United States. Fascism as an actual social and political movement requires lots of outdoors activity and apoplectic political behavior. As such, it is simply not compatible with market totalitarianism, one core requirement of which is that the vast majority be kept in the softened, amused, apolitical, lightly entranced and addicted audience-state that is most conducive to successful commercial media/advertising/sales/”politics” operations. I also believe that, despite the existence of a quarter or so of the population who do seem to hold proto-fascist views, ordinary Americans are way to the left of not just Nazism but their own “leaders,” and will not stand by and permit fascists to take over, even if the overclass were to permit it.

Nevertheless, this, which I happened to catch last night while cooking dinner and momentarily tuned (to avoid the political ads on my usual channel at dinner hour) to a bad-ass crime show that was running a soft-pedaling “expose” of a Nazi prison gang, just might be the single most racist thing I’ve seen on American television in my lifetime:

Crass and childish and uninformed and just damned dangerous. Truly, a fascist, Hitlerian ad.

8 Replies to “Most Racist Ad I’ve Ever Seen”

  1. Wow. I can’t even think of how many things are wrong with that ad.

    The racism is overt, as you’ve stated.

    The idea that China would consider our stimulus spending “enormous” or “so-called” when their stimulus spending is far larger than ours (and arguably more successful) is ridiculous. And their decrying of government takeover of private industry… seriously?

    There’s little doubt China will pass us up in many areas in the next 20 years, and it’s the insane tax- and spending-cut policies of the tea party that will help hold us back.

  2. Yes, the level of economic illiteracy and sheer counter-factual propaganda here is almost as paint-peeling as the naked race-baiting. That’s another reason fascism will never arrive in the US. Its would-be leaders have absolutely no clue about how to re-kindle the corporate capitalist economy.

    As you say, every aspect of this ad is atrocious.

    Dig all the fantasy-land high tech in that stuffed university room…Those damned tricky Asians and their wily electronic ways!

  3. I had a little laugh as I watched it again as I tore apart some bits on my own political blog, and I noticed Chairman Mao and other communist-style banners hanging on the wall. I’m confused here, are these Chinese communist or capitalist? And why are they using 2010 era technology in 2030? Wouldn’t they have more advanced computers than iPads, or fancier headset microphones? Maybe they’re just sitting on their laurels owning the US and taking it easy. Either that or they’ve taken another page out of the US book and have classrooms that are 20 years out of date.

  4. My favorite is how the Chinese professors of the future so uncannily parrot the same old tired “all taxes are bad” rhetoric. Name that tune! By that point in the ad, you’re like “OK this is Republican bullshit, not Democrat bullshit.” Nowadays if you can figure out which species of bullshit it is, you’re actually doing pretty well. Good luck trying to distill any other useful, verifiable, non-scurrilous information out of it.

    I also like how their in-depth historical analysis, made possible by 20 years of distance, doesn’t look any further back than 2009 for the causes of the USA’s demise. Everything was great until that darn 2009!

    PS questions of racism aside, we already work for the Chinese. Most of the money you spend on manufactured goods goes to China. Your federal taxes also go to China in the form of interest payments. It’s not news.

  5. The supply and location of work in the USA is overwhelmingly determined by the same fucksticks that sponsor ads like this. They are so out-of-control, they think it’s possible to have their cake and eat it, too. In this society, it almost is…

  6. I wish I shared your optimism, as it were, about the improbability of fascism’s ascendency. Personally, I see the following things being quite amenable — both in isolation, and how they interrelate and reinforce one another in a possible historical evolution — to laying the foundation of a fascist takeover:

    – the economic crisis and capitalism’s inability to offer a solution to it (which means it will get much worse, simply put), which is generating a whole bunch of pissed-off white people who, lacking a scientific framework for understanding capitliast crisis, will alot the blame to things other than capitalism. These folk are likely to be easy prey to false prophets, as the market totaliltarian dream runs smack up against the hard reality of their lot in life, and the discrepancy, combined with the poverty of their analysis, will mean a thirst for answers and a voice to compensate for their lost vitality

    – the empire’s continued imperialist exercises, which will be done largely to shore up its declining power rather than just shoring up its own bourgeoisie, and its last ditch efforts to ward off its imperialist rivals China and Russia (leading to calls for all-class unity, i.e. “patriotism and sacrifice”)

    – the blowback from these operations could lead to another major terrorist incident, which could spark a major race-hate campaign by anti-immigrant proponents and other conservatives

    – the pretext of fighting terrorism, which is a necessary pretext to shore up the military apparatus, to justify continued spending that favours the military-industrial complex at the expense of needed social services will provide the impetus for the continued emergence of the surveillance state and the quelling of dissent, creating an atmosphere of “institutional anxiety” as exists in police states. Interestingly, this new emergency-rule state might be required just to keep the newly energised white supremacist movement from lynching Black and Latino workers. Thus, the state will enforce all-race and all-class “unity”, while leaving intact — indeed, defending at all costs — those power structures and societal relations that give rise to racism and intra-worker divisions

    – the ascendency of mercenary outfits like Blackwater, which could be contracted to help put down disorders and rebellions (particularly in “minority” areas); a veritable army of snitches and informants could supply these thugs with the names of troublemakers in an attempt to endear themselves to the imperatives of state and corporate power (dressed as “protecting our values”)

    The rulers will avoid fascism if they can afford to; they much prefer to rule through their democratic facade. But I don’t see the situation being as infertile to fascism as I’d like it to be. Fascism, it seems to me, just doesn’t seem that hard to come by, and bubble-gum market totalitarianism just doesn’t seem to me to be a strong enough cushion/distraction that can absorb the shocks the system lands upon its victims. All you need is an economic crisis to knock the wind out of the good times and leave many people disillusioned or emasculated, and thus making them amenable to wanting a restoration of “ancient, organic ties” to the “community” (something that the pop-culture totalitarian system, which turns everything into a commodity, tries to downplay and eradicate, ultimately without success as material reality hits home and SOME answer must be provided); throw in some hard-hitting preachers and demagogues; and portray “the country” as being under threat from outsiders (whether communists, terrorists, or whoever) and mass-alienation can make way for mass-hysteria and bloodlust. With the false consciousness of religion and racism, such a state of affairs is perfectly obtainable.

    And if there happens to arise a genuine mass-based, well-organised, socialist movement to overthrow capitalism, I don’t see the ruling class having any qualms about unleashing fascism, but it may have to unleash it anyway.

  7. This is certainly one of those topics where reality is big and complex enough to render prediction impossible. I certainly don’t oppose maintaining an awareness of the dangers invloved.

    But I also think it’s hard to overstate the power this overclass still retains, and fascism is simply bad for business. IMHO, it will never be willingly unleashed by the powers that now be. Doing so would be an admission of defeat.

    That isn’t to say it won’t happen, of course. But, if it does, the situation would be a true global collapse of a nature that would go far beyond 1929-1932.

    And I personally think the number who would go into the streets for decency outnumbers those who would do so to make fascism.

Comments are closed.