Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 1 Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
Life Arts

Advertising is the Root of All Evil

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Josh Mitteldorf     Permalink    (# of views)   14 comments

Related Topic(s): , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 6   Supported 5   Valuable 5  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 9/30/18

Become a Fan
  (40 fans)
- Advertisement -

How is it that humans are so obviously murdering the global ecosystem on which all life, including ours, depends, and we can't summon the collective will to change course? Any roomful of 10 thoughtful, aware people will have 10 answers to this question. "We're stupid" is an answer I never could abide. It provides an excuse to feel smugly superior and do nothing. Greed, corruption, the military-industrial complex, sociopathic leaders, international mega-corporations, a lizard race, a global elite who has invested in palatial underground bunkers where they think they can survive the death of the planet" All these answers have merit, and all are tied more or less closely to the central theme of Capitalism Gone Mad.

If there's a media studies professor in the room, he might say, "advertising", and the other nine might stop for a moment to consider an answer that had never occurred to them.

Advertising. It's the water we're swimming in, so we don't notice it. We tune it out, and imagine that it has no effect on us, but they know us better than we know ourselves. Research into subliminal influence is a science invented and spearheaded by Madison Ave, beginning with Sigmund Freud's nephew in the 1930s. They were using focus groups before any of us knew what a focus group was, and in recent years, they have directly monitored people's brains while watching different ads. They know which brain centers bypass rational thought. They know how to promote addictive behaviors, in which trying to satisfy a craving just creates more craving.


(Image by Amazon)   Permission   Details   DMCA

- Advertisement -

Technology 90 years ago was already well enough advanced to satisfy the basic needs of every human on earth with modest requirements of labor. But capitalism requires expanding markets, and without profits that grow year by year, equities lose their value. So the logic of capitalism spawned the need for new needs. People must be convinced to want things without limit.

We live in a culture that starves our needs for love and belonging, for community and family and meaningful work. It is the job of advertising to convince us that all this can be ours if we choose the right brand of toothpaste or the right car or if we take the right antidepressant or attend a life-changing weekend with Kumare .


(Image by Youtube)   Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

Sut Jhally, professor of media studies at University of Massachusetts, tells us that even if we're too smart to believe these messages individually, their cumulative effect has altered our culture, and altered each one of us in that culture. We believe that happiness is an individual state that we can pursue on our own, making our own choices. We believe that freedom to choose how we spend our money is essential for our wellbeing. We may even believe that products have something to do with happiness.

It's not just that advertising drives us to consume; worse is the culture of isolated individuals that advertising promotes. We are inhibited from seeking the collective solutions that alone can save our planet from devastation.

Watch Jhally's new movie,Advertising at the Edge of the Apocalypse.



- Advertisement -

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 6   Supported 5   Valuable 5  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com


Josh Mitteldorf, a senior editor at OpEdNews, blogs on aging at http://JoshMitteldorf.ScienceBlog.com. Read how to stay young at http://AgingAdvice.org.
Educated to be an astrophysicist, he has branched out from there to mathematical (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Artificial Earthquakes

Cold Fusion: Tangible Hope in an Age of Despair

New Scientific Study: Smoking Gun Evidence of 9/11 Explosives in WTC Dust

PayPal cuts off Bradley Manning Legal Defense; Backs Off under Grass Roots Pressure

Daily Inspiration — Suppressed Science

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

11 people are discussing this page, with 14 comments


Don Smith

Become a Fan
(Member since Feb 25, 2009), 22 fans, 124 articles, 557 quicklinks, 1494 comments, 45 diaries


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

I'm surprised you didn't mention the effect of political advertising -- in particular, the success of right wing media outlets such as Fox News, Infowars, and Breitbart News in brainwashing tens of millions of Americans into believing fake news and destructive ideology.


Likewise, former Facebook data guru Jeff Hammerbacher laments that the brightest minds of our generation spend their time figuring out how to get people to click on ads and spend more time immersed in social media.

Submitted on Sunday, Sep 30, 2018 at 6:44:58 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (3+)
Help
 

Daniel Geery

Become a Fan
Author 1198

(Member since Jul 9, 2009), 72 fans, 225 articles, 3392 quicklinks, 14952 comments, 180 diaries


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

Humans have been trading goods since the dawn of civilization, and almost certainly before. How many were truly necessary or useful, as opposed to owning for status, is surely open to debate.

While I admittedly "skipped through" the hour long video, it certainly rang true. The most pivotal historical character in advertising, Sigmund's nephew Edward Bernays, has had much written about him. Hailed as "the father of public relations" in his obituary, he is an interesting case study in and of himself click here for more info on this character.

It was Bernays who changed the image of women smoking cigarettes, once greatly frowned upon, by referring to them as "torches of freedom"--"the thing" for progressive women to latch onto click here.

Submitted on Sunday, Sep 30, 2018 at 7:01:42 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (6+)
Help
 

Mrs. Fuxit

Become a Fan
Author 508454

(Member since Mar 18, 2017), 1 fan, 1 quicklinks, 234 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

GEORGE BUSH JR. was declared President by SCOTUS.

BARRY SOETORO was hired as The Getaway Driver.

HILLARY CLINTON was promised a job. Trump that.


**Supreme Court Justices can not run for President.

Submitted on Sunday, Sep 30, 2018 at 10:48:05 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help
 
Indent

BFalcon

Become a Fan
Author 28059

(Member since Dec 20, 2008), 21 fans, 3 articles, 15919 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Reply to Mrs. Fuxit:   New Content

"Supreme Court Justices can not run for President." ???

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2018 at 2:34:05 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

David William Pear

Become a Fan
Author 500873

(Member since Nov 29, 2014), 45 fans, 67 articles, 292 quicklinks, 3106 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

Thank you Josh for bringing up a topic that has a great deal of interest for me, and that needs to be studied, exposed, debated and dealt with if there is ever to be a "post-capitalist" society, assuming we survive long enough, which is in great doubt.

You have opened a can of worms, and I will just pull out a few to discuss.

1. It has been well known for at least 60 years that there is enough production to sustain every man, woman and child on earth with the basics. The problem capitalism faces is overproduction and unequal distribution. The solution is to produce less and distribute it more equitably. That means that people could work less and have more leisure time for other pursuits, especially as AI continues to develop. People could actually be paid not to work, and work could be made more fun and fulfilling.

2. The value of equities is based on dividends not growth. The need for constant growth is a lie sold to us (advertising, propaganda) by Wall Street. The price of a stock is its discounted value of future dividends. If dividends don't grow it does not mean a stock is worthless. It only means that its value will be somewhat stable. There is not much of a need for stockbrokers and stock analysts in stable markets. The historical test is that stocks used to pay higher dividends than the interest paid on bonds, because stock dividends are not guaranteed they must pay more to attract buyers, because dividends are not guaranteed, while bond interest is guaranteed, thus bonds are less risky. Bondholders are also paid off first if a company fails. P.S. There is an old saying among old stockbrokers that stocks are not "bought" they are "sold"...that is the stockbrokers job to "sell" stocks.

3. Overproduction is a result of greed, not advertising. There are several ways to get rid of excess production. One is to buy more and consume more by creating needs through advertising. Even worse is through war, producing one-time use products that self-destruct, thus requiring even more bombs and bigger and better ones. That is why advertising and war propaganda are pretty much the same thing.

4. For more on this subject you might want to read an old article of mine NEOLIBERALISM: Austerity vs. The Affluent Society.

Submitted on Monday, Oct 1, 2018 at 5:18:11 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (6+)
Help
 

Lois Gagnon

Become a Fan
Author 61784

(Member since Mar 21, 2011), 36 fans, 1 articles, 9 quicklinks, 4707 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

Thanks for posting this Josh. Sut is an acquaintance of mine from way back. Media Education Foundation has been doing great work for a long time.


One of the simple things we can do is to reuse consumer goods rather than always having to buy new. Repair broken items when possible. There's certainly enough stuff to go around. My laptop is a factory refurb. I bought my used smart phone on EBay. They both work great.


Part of the problem with advertising is it pushes status. Like pushing designer clothes on young kids. If no one told them that there was a difference between no brand and branded jeans, they wouldn't care what they were wearing. It plays on the class consciousness so prevalent in neoliberal economics.



Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 2, 2018 at 1:18:54 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (4+)
Help
 

John Jonik

Become a Fan
Author 10030

(Member since Jan 16, 2008), 14 fans, 38 articles, 1969 comments, 6 diaries


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

Fortunately, advertisers tell us, when they have product prices like $99.95, or $3999. or even $19, that they know we are gullible dupes who are glad not to face seemingly bigger costs like $100, or $4000, or $20.....where they'd have to say the dreaded word "Dollars". They never say "nineteen DOLLARS and ninety-five cents".

Elsewhere, when we may WIN a prize, or GET money off some deal...THEN they're glad to say "dollars". No advertiser says "save (or win) nineteen ninety five". They'll say "save (or win) twenty dollars" in that situation.

This is to say that most product advertisers ADVERTISE that they are trickster con-artists. But, since so few notice...we got what we got.

Basically....if the price is a cute $9.99, instead of Ten Dollars, consumers ought reasonably recognize trickery, or worse, elsewhere....such as related to product safety, ingredients, quality, effectiveness, etc.

Alternative might be...products priced on cost of manufacture/production plus then a percentage for reasonable profit. Then we'd have advertised prices like Seventeen Dollars and Thirty-Eight Cents...or whatever. If they'd like to round it off to a DOLLAR figure...fine...but the "Nine ninety nine", w/out mention of the word "dollar", scam needs to be recognized and treated as a Turn-Off.

By the way, has any Picasso painting ever been sold for a price like $1,999,999?

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 2, 2018 at 2:22:39 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (2+)
Help
 
Indent

Josh Mitteldorf

Become a Fan Follow Me on Twitter
(Member since Sep 14, 2006), 40 fans, 447 articles, 320 quicklinks, 719 comments, 11 diaries


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Reply to John Jonik:   New Content

Here's a factoid from Harper's Index this month.

The average price of a product in America in 1980 was 10% over its manufacturing cost. That number has increased to 60% over manufacturing cost today.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 2, 2018 at 11:48:32 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (5+)
Help
 
IndentIndent

Leslie Johnson

Become a Fan
Author 500983
Follow Me on Twitter
(Member since Dec 9, 2014), 17 fans, 12 articles, 1 quicklinks, 927 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Reply to Josh Mitteldorf:   New Content

The creative genius of f**king advertising... in some places you can pay to have ads removed. Have I mentioned that I loathe Capitalism?

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 2, 2018 at 1:02:47 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (4+)
Help
 
IndentIndentIndent

shad williams

Become a Fan
Author 63282

(Member since Apr 13, 2011), 23 fans, 44 articles, 1 quicklinks, 2063 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Reply to Leslie Johnson:   New Content

Unabashed extortion and a resort to murder if opposition does not stf up and for whatever reason get with the program. In my opinion, if one can compartmentalize cognitive dissonance caused by participating in evil enterprise by keeping its influence from interfering with good, one can become a successful capitalist of the sort that we have allowed to rule the world today.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 2, 2018 at 2:32:09 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (2+)
Help
 

Chuck Nafziger

Become a Fan
Author 24101

(Member since Oct 12, 2008), 15 fans, 6 articles, 9 quicklinks, 1667 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

Advertising, propaganda, and other forms of mind control are killing us. How can a rational species know that making, consuming and throwing away junk stuff and toxic food is poisoning and stripping our earth, our only home, and then keep it up? We are not a rational species, we are tribal, believing what our respected members tell us. We have been trained to think money deserves respect. We are perfect targets for the psychopaths who feel good screwing other people. We will add another room on our house and buy a boat we have no time for, and at the same time we think we are saving the world by reusing a plastic bag.

Orwell had it right. We fight to put information on facebook so Big Brother can better peg who we are and how to get us to buy crap or vote for people we should know are only out to screw us. Advertisers no longer need focus groups. They have convinced people they must use the internet to tell the advertisers which lies are working and which ones need tweeking.

I do not use facebook, I do not have a TV and seldom listen to a radio. Even though I have an aluminum foil hat, I know that I am influenced by the omnipresent advertising and propaganda. TV sucks out your brains!

Can you see this changing before we kill our environment? Are you changing your buying habits and consumptive lifestyle? Why should you cut back when no one else is and we have been convinced that our happiness and our place in society is determined by our over consumption.

There is an answer that relates to a re connection to nature, but a trip to Safeway or Fred Meyer shows me that will not happen in any useful time-frame.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 2, 2018 at 5:21:44 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (2+)
Help
 
Indent

shad williams

Become a Fan
Author 63282

(Member since Apr 13, 2011), 23 fans, 44 articles, 1 quicklinks, 2063 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Reply to Chuck Nafziger:   New Content

It is difficult to break away. Just as it is for quitting most addictions. It is a personal challenge that i must vigilantly on guard to just stop my own mindless acquiesce, every day. I cannot throw in the towel.

If I were a tenth of the way toward rejecting the control in this reality as I believe you are, I would be happier. I am not. This is evident in my commenting. Kill my landlord, speaking mostly metaphorically...of course.

Submitted on Wednesday, Oct 3, 2018 at 11:43:20 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help
 
IndentIndent

Daniel Geery

Become a Fan
Author 1198

(Member since Jul 9, 2009), 72 fans, 225 articles, 3392 quicklinks, 14952 comments, 180 diaries


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Reply to shad williams:   New Content

I'll send you my switchblade that I don't use as much as I feel I should. Looking loosely for a taser to zap cops (Pissed Off Lice, aka POlice) in the ass as I pass by them harassing a usually innocent person.

Submitted on Wednesday, Oct 3, 2018 at 6:32:48 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (2+)
Help
 
IndentIndentIndent

shad williams

Become a Fan
Author 63282

(Member since Apr 13, 2011), 23 fans, 44 articles, 1 quicklinks, 2063 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Reply to Daniel Geery:   New Content

Community control of policing in accordance with a standard of human rights as the basis for the rule of law.

Submitted on Friday, Oct 5, 2018 at 12:49:30 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help
 

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment