Brainwashing 101: Start 'em young!

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remind remind's picture

less gullible,  had an education in health care, understood body functions, and went to a Linus Pauling seminar at UVIC.

 

Plus I had grandparents who lived kosher, and lived to be into their late 80's and 90's, with no health problems, at all...as excellent role models, nutritionally.

 

... if I had been a practising Jew, or Quaker, there would have been no issues about child endangerment. ;)

 

 

Brian White

Back in the recent past, someone somewhere allowed mcdonalds to sell flavoured enhanced shite to their customers. That would be our good ole friends in health canada. No doubt they had their hands tied and were threatened by our MPs acting on behalf of high paying lobbiests. No doubt that tests showed that trans fats were bad for people long time ago. No doubt that these results were suppressed.  Now, what we need is a fastfood health warning, like on cigerette cartons. Also, fast food joints need to pay a health tax, 10% on every shiteberger will never pay for the health damage done to kids.  But a ban on shiteberger adverts on tv would be a start to protect the next generation. (they will not have the advertizing buget due to the 10% shiteburger tax). Cigarette advert bans are proof that this can be done.

saganisking wrote:

remind

so is it that you and you're daughter are smarter than the rest of those easily brainwashed folks or just less gullible(as per Fidel recent post)

I hate mcDonald food but what are they supposed to do - not try to market their product ? honestly - they should just tell people don't eat here?

Fidel

Ya I don't like the comparison of less gullible versus gullible. I am my brother's keeper and don't believe that anyone should be taken advantage of in an I'm alright Jack capitalist setup. I don't consider myself smarter than anyone but perhaps more informed than average on certain issues. At the heart of this kind of attitude is an economic conundrum referred to as public choice theory. And it says that democracy produces gross inefficiencies in government policies due to special interest groups lobbying governments to implement inefficient policies that benefit only the few lobbyists lobbying for those policies. The rational ignorance of voters is blamed for our collective inability to elect governments who can make efficient policy all of the time. Therefore, the theory goes, we need free markets to make important decisions for us about the best and most efficient allocation of resources. They neglect to mention infamous free market failures as negative examples.

Quote:
"The absurdity of public-choice theory is captured by Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen in the following little scenario: "Can you direct me to the railway station?" asks the stranger. "Certainly," says the local, pointing in the opposite direction, towards the post office, "and would you post this letter for me on your way?" "Certainly," says the stranger, resolving to open it to see if it contains anything worth stealing." ( Linda McQuaig , ALL YOU CAN EAT)

martin dufresne

saganisking writes: I hate mcDonald food but what are they supposed to do - not try to market their product ? honestly - they should just tell people don't eat here?

A good illustration of the inanity of reducing solutions to what the abuser can/will do, on the strict basis of his self-interest. Not unlike wringing our hands in the hope that wife batterers will "get help" (even more than that they are getting from our collective denial of their crimes).

 

saganisking

so if mcdonalds serving food is like a man beating his wife - shouldn't fast food be illegal then

good luck with that agenda

If you've read Dostoyevsky you should know that human beings are not rational - people already know fast food and smoking are bad but they consume them anyway

people do things against their best interest all the time -even you

al-Qa'bong

saganisking wrote:

um I believe the word you're looking for is advertising not brainwashing

Potato/ potato

 

Someone mentioned Edward Bernays upthread.  I think he was Freud's nephew.  Anway, interest in how the human mind works was a common fascination, although the kid was more interested in manipulating minds than was the founder of psychoanalysis. 

Bernays made his bones as a US government propagandist in the 14-18 War, then went on to invent modern PR and advertising, including a major media event in the late-1920s that got millions of American woment to start smoking - to demonstrate their freedom.

This PR whiz kid also literally wrote the book on propaganda.

 

By the way, my kids haven't ever so much as entered a McDonald's.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Since this has, to some degree, turned into a kind of grab-bag of contributions relating to (capitalist) advertising and marketing, I thought I might make a contribution on a completely different point as it relates to advertising and marketing.

Here is the link ... Michael Löwy - Advertising Is a "Serious Health Threat"-to the Environment

The group of Political Economists over at Monthly Review, going back to Baran and Sweezy, have underlined the critical nature of advertising and marketing to keeping the whole capitalist apple-cart going. Firms compete, in this monopolistic or oligopolistic dominated environment, only in areas of market share and in how much they can reduce the wages/benefits of the workers. (This latter point has only been reinforced by the decades of neo-liberal attacks on working people going back to the late 1970's and continuing to the present.) They don't really compete in terms of price anymore.

Now, in the article, the author firstly notes the following ...

Quote:
the problem of industrial capitalist civilization is not-as is often claimed by some environmentalists-"excessive consumption" by the masses, and the solution is not a general "limitation" of consumption, not even in the advanced capitalist countries. The problem is the prevailing type of consumption based on "false needs": display, waste, fetishism of commodities. What is needed is production aimed at the satisfaction of genuine needs, beginning with those that might be called "biblical": food, water, shelter, garments.

And where do these false needs come from?

Quote:
How can these real needs be distinguished from their artificial and meretricious counterparts? By the fact that the latter are produced by the system of mental manipulation called "advertising." Contrary to the claim of free-market ideology, supply is not a response to demand. Capitalist firms usually create the demand for their products by various marketing techniques, advertising tricks, and planned obsolescence.

We are not here even mentioning "pre-market" studies and such, or products sold by the military industrial complex to government, and so on.

Here's the key point: "Advertising plays an essential role in the production of consumerist demand by inventing false "needs" and by stimulating the formation of compulsive consumption habits, totally violating the conditions for maintenance of planetary ecological equilibrium."

But all this compulsivity is essential to keep the system going. It's ubiquitous and critical.

The author claims that the way to distinguish an authentic need from an artificial one is whether the need persists without advertising?

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The sorts of rationality involved in the advertising system and the capitalist system are intimately linked, and both are intrinsically perverse.

Advertising pollutes the mental, just like the urban and rural, landscape; it stuffs the skull like it stuffs the mailbox. It holds sway over press, cinema, television, radio. Nothing escapes its decomposing influence: in our time we see that sports, religion, culture, journalism, literature, and politics are ruled by advertising. All are pervaded by advertising's attitude, its style, its methods, its mode of argument. Meanwhile, we are always and uninterruptedly harassed by advertising: without stop, without truce, unrelentingly and never taking a vacation, advertising persecutes us, pursues us, attacks us in city and countryside, in the street and at home, from morning to evening, from Monday to Sunday, from January to December, from the cradle to the grave.

Yet this advertising is nothing but a tool, an instrument of capital used to dispose of its output, to unload its shoddy goods, to make its investments pay, to expand its profit margins, and to win "sectors of the market." Advertising does not exist in a vacuum: it is an essential part, a crucial gear in the capitalist system of production and consumption. Without capitalism advertising would have no reason to exist: it could not persist into a post-capitalist society for even an instant. And, inversely, capitalism without advertising would be like a machine with sand in its gears.

Very well expressed and, perhaps, a key of sorts to getting rid of this monstrous system...

More specifically, why is advertising such a huge threat to the environment? It's a terrible waste of planetary resources that can, and should, be preserved or used for better purposes. In the USA alone, we're talking about a trillion dollar industry. That's a lot of waste.

Plenty of effort will have to be made to overcome this massive colonization of minds (brainwashing). But it will have to be done to overcome the harmful compulsive consumption that drives this endlessly rapacious system of unlimited growth to the abyss of global heating. "Advertising harassment and unlimited growth are two inseparable dimensions of the system, two teats from which capital accumulation feeds."

Quote:
Every attempt to put limits to advertising's aggression-until we are able, one day, to get rid of it altogether-is an environmental duty, a political and moral imperative for all those who hope to save our natural environment from destruction. The fight for a different civilizational paradigm is to be waged precisely through that sort of initiative.

A good read.

 

 

 

 

 

Tigana Tigana's picture

Naomi Klein on the Obama brand

"How corporate branding took over the White House"

http://www.alternet.org/story/145218/naomi_klein%3A_how_corporate_brandi...

ennir

Thanks for that link Tigana, well worth reading.

lonewolfbunn lonewolfbunn's picture

Someone should advertise this to the parents that think it's a great family outing to take their children to Rotten Ronnie's.  He's really living up to that name but add pickled rottenness.  Fries with that?

 

http://www.rabble.ca/babble/labour-and-consumption/yum-ammonia-burger

"With the U.S.D.A.’s stamp of approval, the company’s processed beef has become a mainstay in America’s hamburgers. McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast-food giants use it..."

al-Qa'bong

Tigana wrote:

Naomi Klein on the Obama brand

"How corporate branding took over the White House"

http://www.alternet.org/story/145218/naomi_klein%3A_how_corporate_brandi...

 

I wrote on babble a few weeks back that Obama was nothing more than a brand or a slogan.  Mind you,  I was reading Klein's No Logo at the time, so branding was on my mind.  Anyway, I like this passage from the linked article:

Quote:
  Obama, in sharp contrast not just to social movements but to transformative presidents such as FDR, follows the logic of marketing: create an appealing canvas on which all are invited to project their deepest desires but stay vague enough not to lose anyone but the committed wing nuts (which, granted, constitute a not inconsequential demographic in the United States). Advertising Age had it right when it gushed that the Obama brand is "big enough to be anything to anyone yet had an intimate enough feel to inspire advocacy". And then their highest compliment: "Mr Obama somehow managed to be both Coke and Honest Tea, both the megabrand with the global awareness and distribution network and the dark-horse, upstart niche player."

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

The amount of technique and science at the service of fooling the people is remarkable. What is also remarkable, but only in the imagination right now, are those same techniques at the service of social justice and a better society. You may say I'm a dreamer, etc., ...

Merowe

I've long thought that post-war western societies deploy the most sophisticated propaganda systems ever developed to maintain a veiled but coercive capitalist social order. Carrot-covered billboards right in your face, the stick concealed in the shadows or deployed against brown people on other continents. They've learned from the great leaps forward of Mr.Goebbels and the Stalin's propagandists, both of whom were expert at motivating the masses into all sorts of counter-intuitive behaviors through elaborately staged rituals and props. I think of Debord's Society of the Spectacle here as well.

We have been up to our necks in advertising for so long we hardly see it, it no longer strikes us as the bizarre contrivance that it is. I am constantly marvelling at the talent and resources that go into it. As a visual artist, a painter, I can only drool at the billboard-sized computer enhanced photograph-based images that can be seen in any short walk from my home, indeed out my very window; and every few weeks these visual marvels of technology are replaced with a whole new wonderful set of images! It's magic!

It's just so sad the language and content of this imagery is limited to the depressing and insulting monoculture of promotional advertising, all calibrated sound-bite style to quickly grab the attention and penetrate the subconscious, shorn of the deeper and more reflective possibilities of imagery. It ratchets up the visual noise level of the street but like empty calories provides only superficial stimulus and ultimately abrades the nervous system.

It is hardly radical, but equally unthinkable that billboards be used to deploy socially useful or informative content; only in the rarest occasions do we see visual polemics not associated with commercial self-interest. How shallow and one-dimensional, how modest of our culture!

It's a huge and fascinating subject.

mansav76


The advertising industry spends $12 billion per year on ads targeted to children, bombarding young audiences with persuasive messages through media such as television and the Internet. The average child is exposed to more than 40,000 TV commercials a year, according to studies. And ads are reaching children through new media technologies and even in schools--with corporate-sponsored educational materials and product placements in students' textbooks.


A simple fix for this is Don't Watch TV!! We don't have cable or satelite at home. If kids watch something it will DVD collections that we purchase. Seriously.. Why do people even bother paying for Cable? you're mostly paying for commercials! You get at least 20 minutes worth of commercials on a 1hr program! Our connection to the world is with the internet and through social media radio!

This solves the problems of kids always demanding the latest toys and gadgets.

Take resonsability of your kids and stop letting your TVs tell your kids what they want and must have!!

Take your kids out and play! Take them to Adult restaurents!

 

Michelle

saganisking wrote:

so if mcdonalds serving food is like a man beating his wife - shouldn't fast food be illegal then

good luck with that agenda

No, I agree that it wouldn't fly to make fast food illegal, even though it's killing so many people.

Perhaps MARKETING unhealthy food should be illegal.  Especially marketing it to kids.

Snert Snert's picture

Is the problem really the food?  I'm not suggesting that a Whopper is health food, but then neither, really, is a club sandwich or a pizza slice, or about half of what most people cook in their homes.

Personally, if fast food is making a person unhealthy, I'd start by asking how often they're eating it, what kind of portion sizes they're choosing, and what other factors are exacerbating it.  I find it very hard to believe that a moderately active, otherwise healthy person who eats a Whopper once in a while is really chopping years off their life. 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Perhaps you haven't read the contributors immediately preceding your contribution,  Snert. It's not just the harm from a bad diet, but also what might be done with those social resources released from the wastefulness and harmfulness of corporate marketing and advertising. We have plenty of problems that need solving but, somehow, advertising and marketing get, e.g., a trillion dollars in the US every year, but schools have to have bake sales to raise money for kid's books. Am I clear?

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Am I clear?

 

Not really. You seem to have a bit of a gap in your plan. Why, pray tell (and I hope the answer isn't "goverment takeover") would a company decide that if it can't use its advertising budget for marketing, it'll donate it to a school, or whatever? How, specifically, does the advertising budget become public money?

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I'm starting from the point of view of what's a good use of resources in society. Period. You seem to be starting from the point of view of the idolatry of private property. Big difference.

Sven Sven's picture

[url=Report:">http://www.theonion.com/content/node/38887][u]Report: Hostess May Have Marketed Unhealthy 'Twinkies' To Minors[/url]

Back in 1998 when that was first published in The Onion, that story was a far-fetched Onionesque joke.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
I'm starting from the point of view of what's a good use of resources in society. Period. You seem to be starting from the point of view of the idolatry of private property. Big difference.

It's always easy if you just start with Utopia and work backward. Anyway, you still seem to believe that the resources in society are all communal. You should probably check with the population to see if that's what they really want first, and then we can worry about how we use them.

j.m.

Snert wrote:

Quote:
Am I clear?

 

Not really. You seem to have a bit of a gap in your plan. Why, pray tell (and I hope the answer isn't "goverment takeover") would a company decide that if it can't use its advertising budget for marketing, it'll donate it to a school, or whatever? How, specifically, does the advertising budget become public money?

I suppose we can just put our hands together and pray that corporations will have a conscience in the amoral world of accumulating capital. Oh, wait is that what we really want? No, we want the media to tell us what to think; after all, they do that for a good part of our conscious lives. Carry on with business as usual!

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Private property is leading humanity to death. Death of the planet, death of the biosphere, death. Keep worshiping that idol ... right up until everyone, and everything, is dead.

OTOH, It's a fair question to ask how to get from the current shithole of the rule of capital  to a better future. However, the clock is ticking. If a remedy isnt' found, and quickly, we're all dead. And our children as well. I don't think the defenders of the rule of capital really get it.

Michelle

Retire Ronald!

Quote:

Why Retire Ronald?

For nearly 50 years no one has been better at hooking kids on unhealthy food, spurring an epidemic of diet-related disease.  Ronald deserves a break, and so do we!

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Great link, Michelle. There's a really significant point made on that site about the efforts to disguise marketing as charity. But then, that's capitalism for ya. The section deserves a lengthy quote ...

Quote:
In 1963, the McDonald's Corporation unveiled a clown with hamburger bun-shaped shoes and a food tray hat that has since profoundly shaped advertising, eating habits, and the global food system.

Never before had a food corporation so sharply focused its marketing beyond (and around) those with the purse on those with the greatest pull on the purse strings. The strategy was simple and ingenious: build brand loyalty among children and you will have customers for life.

Today, there is scarcely a child who doesn't recognize Ronald McDonald nor a parent who hasn't been nagged to visit the Golden Arches. The use of the iconic clown has propelled McDonald's growth into an international fast food juggernaut.

But success has come at the expense of our children's health. Since the inception of Ronald McDonald, obesity rates have more than tripled among American children and the prevalence of diet-related conditions like type 2 diabetes has skyrocketed.

Click on the links to the right to learn how Ronald has become not only the face of, but the engine behind the health epidemic. Find out about the clown's pioneering efforts to market unhealthy food to kids, disguise marketing as charity, and outflank the most well-intentioned parents. There are also new findings about American attitudes toward the "hamburger-happy" clown.

In all, find out why it's time the huckstering was reserved for talent night at the retirement home. If Ronald continues at the job he's been doing, the joke will be on the health of future generations.

 

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