Friday, January 27th, 2012
Back in 2008, your humble TCT blogmaster still retained some pretty big illusions about the existence of democracy in corporate capitalist America.
Since then, events have proceeded in such a way as to push TCT to proffer a new thesis, one that TCT hereby states as a 97 percent serious, 3 percent hyperbolic claim: In corporate capitalist America, electoral politics is a mere marketing operation.
Selling is the foundational reality, market research and advertising the basis for every peep of the communication and action that comprise an “election.” Brands never change, though their respective sales trends wax and wane. Choice attaches entirely to the minutiae of style and microscopic difference that undergird almost meaningless product differentiation. The degree of democracy involved is perhaps — a big perhaps — 3 percent greater than in economic marketing of goods and services, where it is vanishingly small. In both processes, the odds of the masses changing the range of choices offered by those with the money and the power is exceedingly low. Coke or Pepsi. Jack Johnson or John Jackson.
And, just as in regular product marketing, the amount of money spent from above always increases.