01 July 2007

On Marketing, Politics and Power

Catching up on some put-aside reading on this Canada Day morning. One item is an interview done a few months ago: Jon Stewart on Bill Moyers's Journal. As I have been thinking about critical (and valence) approaches to marketing lately, I've been noodling about relationships of power, emergence of hegemony and reversing some of the dynamics therein. And given the sorry state of politics and democratic engagement among the major (more-or-less real) democracies around the world, contemplations about politics being sold like so much dish detergent are not far removed from such noodling. So wouldn't you know that Stewart nails it:
Because I don't think politics is any longer about a conversation with the country. It's about figuring out how to get to do what you want. The best way to sell the product that you want to put out there, but not necessarily for the products on you know, it-- it's sort of like, when a dishwashing soap you know, they want to make a big splash, so they decide to have more lemon, as though people are gonna be like, "That has been the problem with my dishes! Not enough lemon scent!"
That's the problem with politics lately - too much scent, and it sure ain't lemony fresh!

Is it too much to wish for, as we collectively blow out 140 candles on our nation's cake, that our politicians at every level of government reflect honestly and authentically on what it means to have true democratic engagement with the public, rather than trying to sell us more soap at every turn. Happy Canada Day to all!
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