Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC) (chemoelectric) wrote,
Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC)
chemoelectric

Deceptive advertising

See http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/12/07/secrecy/index.html

The problems Greenwald discusses are inextricably related to and are instigated by the abuse of advertising terminology, such as using ‘brand’ to refer to the Hollywood fiction maintained by politicians. For this is entirely what is meant by ‘brand’ in politics, with ‘losing the ‘"brand"’ analogous to advertising a product as ‘safe’ and then having it kill lots of people.

When Nancy Pelosi, for instance, advertised ending the occupation of Iraq, she established a ‘brand’—which was pure fiction. When she did absolutely nothing to end the occupation in Iraq, and in fact greatly facilitated that occupation, she lost her ‘brand’—but that is all she lost, because she never had integrity, nor the intention to end the occupation of Iraq.

If we want our politics to be mature and sound, we must divorce it of a language that encourages fiction and suspension of disbelief.

Of course there are companies that deliver products that do as advertised, but my point is that language like ‘brand’ treats this equally with fictions and lies, and we lose, like Matt Miller, the ability (literally!) to tell the difference.

(An analogy would be that people whose language does not include counting numbers cannot enumerate objects. They literally lack the mathematics.)
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