Monday, October 24, 2011

Socialists and Marketing

Ex-Marxist, David Horowitz
Everybody 'educated' in the Marxist vein 'knows' that the only reason anybody buys anything is because of advertising.  David Horowitz mentioned this in his autobiographical book, Radical Son, and admitted to surprise that Ford executives actually worried that their new car creations might not sell.

You and I have heard this very same notion from folks in all walks of life.  People who swear to their core to being "conservative" will say the same thing, that the only reason anybody buys [insert something popular here] is because of advertising or marketing.  I had a marketing adjunct professor in college who said that post-WWII marketing was production driven, i.e., a company made stuff and expected their sales staff to get out there and sell it, even if nobody wanted a canary yellow station wagon.  She went on to say that consumers are pickier now and consumer demand drives the marketplace.

Renault Dauphine
I am not sure how true the post-WWII portion of her introduction to the course actually was (I am looking for evidence of this for the book).  I can see how after years of FDR's rationing of consumer goods, nationalization of industry, and the destruction of the industrial base of American competitors, that consumers were ready to buy almost anything new.  I can also see how business, even without excessive federal regulation, could be lulled into the illusion that they could produce anything and people would buy it.  I can also see how American came to the rude awakening that this approach does not work in the face of competition as soon as foreign competitors emerged.

The Socialist makes tremendous leaps of logic through flaming straw-men to sell the point that our consumer culture is, was and will always be the same as the post-WWII culture that my professor outlined.  The Socialists of all types are the most adamant about this false notion.

Now, pause for a moment and think this through.  You have evidence in your face that proves it false, so do they, and ignoring the evidence at hand is the only way to make the notion that marketing campaigns are the only reason that anybody eats, drinks, wears, drives, or rides anything rather than living in a cave.
East German Trabant, they were abandoned in great numbers.

Thousands of crappy products are introduced to the consumer market every year, accompanied by expensive advertising campaigns, that fail miserably.  If you have not visited a "Dollar Store," pop in for a visit and look at all of the products there, frequently marked down below cost, that failed to sell through big marketing campaigns.  The facts on the ground are, if you make a product that nobody wants, nobody will buy it no matter how much you talk about it.  Something else that is observably true, most of the crap that Socialist regimes shove on their consumers as "proper" is thrown into the trash heap of history as soon as they escape Socialism.

A recent set of examples, from the National Socialist Mayor of New York city, Michael Bloomberg and his war against consumer choice with food.  Specifically, his war against sellers of food in his domain.  In short, Mayor Bloomberg decided that everybody who sells prepared food needs to do what Subway does, provide certain types of nutrition information about every menu item.  Subway has done this for years and years.  The Mayor's notion is that if people were only 'educated' better about what they were eating, they would chose to eat 'healthier.'

Of course, the National Socialist solution to this 'bad' consumer choice is forcing everybody to provide the same information as Subway, at the great expense of reprinting every menu and advertising item that they have to please Bloomberg and his regime.  Never mind that the average, or even "sub-average" consumer with identical concerns as the Mayor can already buy from places that freely advertise the fat, sodium and whatever-else-content of their products.  If one is that concerned about this, they would avoid the places that do not reveal what is in their food.

Of course, to the Socialist, no consumer could possibly make the right choice in buying anything and the government needs to "help" them.  In every case, when the public 'fails' to heed the help of government, the government will enact stronger measures to help 'enlighten' the fools who will not listen.  See also Bloomberg and tobacco.

A corollary that refutes Marxist teaching, is that the customer sets the price.  We all hear people complaining about prices of this thing or that, like pharmaceuticals and gasoline.  Socialists (both closeted and "out) will have you believe that consumers have no choice at all in the price.  The Socialists may have done a good marketing job of convincing people of that myth, but more probably the Socialists tapped into the basic human complaint reflex.  In reality, no corporation or shopkeeper sets the price for anything.  They set an asking price and sell at whatever price they can get.  That is how places like dollar stores stay in business, by offering an outlet for failed products to consumers that did not sell in the bigger stores at higher prices.

Lydia Guevara markets carrots for PETA.
The Socialists, especially Marxists, should know better by now.  At least if they were as objective and scientific as they profess to be, they should know after decades of Marxist indoctrination spewing from most every educational, media, and entertainment outlet in Europe and the Americas that Marxism should be "catching on" by now if their theory were true.  The truth is that advertising does not force anybody to do anything that they do not want to do, short of a military takeover.

Sure, the Marxist/Socialists have convinced legions of mush-headed college students, high school dropouts, lone gunmen, and trust-fund hipsters of their obscure notions of "fairness" and "equality", but nobody else is buying the notion.  Of course, the Socialists fall back on arrogance to explain this effect away.  Only the "enlightened" people "get it" and the rest are just a bunch of ignorant rubes.

One area where the Marxists were successful, noted in an earlier post, is in the marketing of words.  These days, Capitalism polls pretty low, equal as low Socialism, which Michael Moore and other use as 'evidence' of Socialism being as popular as Capitalism.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  As you can see at the link, when the descriptive terms "Free Market" vs. a "Government Managed" economy, Free Market wins year after year.

Woody Guthrie, Socialist Song Writer
Yes, the Socialists have another excuse for results like this too.  They range from "Socialism has not been tried yet" (if not, why not with all this advertising?) to "the Capitalists brainwash people against Socialism" (what Michael Moore is quoted of saying at the link).

Just remember, when your favorite Socialists tries to convince you that the non-Apple computer you are using is due only to a Bill Gates advertisement, ask them this, "I have heard about the wonders of Marxism since I was taught Woody Guthrie songs in kindergarten, but I never bought any of that crap.  What makes you think I am as gullible as you?"

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