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Or, how about we just get rid of advertising?  While basic critical thinking skills are well and good, why should it be necessary to use them every day, everywhere we look, day after day, to slog through an avalanche of self-interested lies?

Seriously - what positive role in society does it play?  What public good does it perform, that makes up for all of its negatives?  Insofar as it funds the cultural industries, I think there are better ways to do that.  Why allow it at all?

by Zwackus on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 05:06:44 AM EST
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Advertising is the Capitalist Religion equivalent of the prayer pulpit. It's a means of social control which exhorts worshippers to acts of holy consumption, and also defines the moral basis of society - conspicuous and competitive egotistical materialism.

You can't take advertising out of the picture without pulling down everything around it. Removing it won't make everything better on its own, because there are so many other elements - work culture, resource exploitation, human exploitation, corporate sociopathy - acting in concert with it.

The best you can hope for is an attempt to claim some media space of your own for alternative values and goals. 'Buy media' would certainly help, but it would help more to have a clear social goal which isn't just about Jobs™ or any of the other standard cliches.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 07:31:36 AM EST
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I find I generally agree with the position you've been outlining on this thread, and I don't want to argue because I find our agreements are stronger than our disagreements.

That said, I think advertising is among the most obviously toxic and least redeemable of the various aspects you've described.  Not all of capitalism is 100% bad. I think it beats feudal rent extraction quite handily.  At some level, work does need to get done, and stuff does need to get made.  At no level I can imagine do people need to be surrounded by a blanket of lies.

by Zwackus on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 07:38:36 PM EST
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