Friday, 5 October 2012

Power To The People!

You may remember Gerard Hastings from past mentions where he advocates banning alcohol advertising and is part of the systematic rigging of the plain packs consultation.

See, Hastings hates popular businesses and loves the public health driven state. He's a real defender of the proletariat, so he is (well, except when he is resisting state laws on transparency he doesn't like, of course). He just wants to protect you from bad choices, that's all.

His latest book, though, states his position more clearly than ever before. There we were thinking he was just a regular public health bore, when in fact his agenda is far further reaching than that. Here's the synopsis accompanied by some entirely-unrelated random images.
In the hands of the corporate sector, marketing has turned us into spoilt, consumption-obsessed children who are simultaneously wrecking our bodies, psyches and planet. Given the fiduciary duties of the corporation, notions like consumer sovereignty, customer service and relationship building are just corrosive myths that seduce us into quiescence, whilst furnishing big business with unprecedented power.
Corporate Social Responsibility, the ultimate oxymoron, and its country cousin, Cause Related Marketing, are just means of currying favour amongst our political leaders and further extending corporate power.
So it is time to fight back.
As individuals we have enormous internal strength; collectively we have, and can again, change the world ...
... (indeed marketing itself is a function of humankind’s capacity to cooperate to overcome difficulties and way predates its co-option by corporations). From the purpose and resilience Steinbeck’s sharecroppers (‘we’re the people – we go on’), through Eisenhower’s ‘alert and knowledgeable citizenry’ to Arundhati Roy’s timely reminder about the wisdom of indigenous people ‘are not relics of the past, but the guides to our future’, there are lots of reasons for optimism. If these talents and strengths can be combined with serious moves to contain the corporate sector, it is possible to rethink our economic and social priorities. The book ends with a call to do just this.
This compelling and accessible book will be of interest across the social sciences and humanities – and indeed to anyone who has concerns about the current state of consumer society. It will also be particularly useful reading for those marketing students who'd prefer a critical perspective to the standard ritualization of their discipline.

I think we all know where Gerry stands now, don't we? He has painted the tone of his book on Amazon quite clearly, I reckon. 

His previous effort - referencing Naomi Klein and George Monbiot - only received one review, which I'm sure Gerry must have found quite disappointing. Hopefully, he'll get lots and lots of really good ones this time. 

His Amazon page is here, in case you wanted to have a look around.


Jay said...

Looking at that book cover, I would think that Louis Vuitton has a decent case for trade mark infringement. Just sayin'.

ivandenisovich said...

Thanks for the link to the Telegraph article on hijacking Amazon reviews Dick. I laughed out loud several times and scared the cat. The reviews of Penetrating Wagners Ring are particularly good or perhaps I just have a juvenile sense of humour.

I read the Kindle taster for Hastings first book. Your characterization is spot on and we have to ask why a Marxist with a bit of a god complex and hatred of all industry was put in charge of a government review of any kind. I thought that government reviews were supposed to at least look objective.

Any idea what the difference is between social marketing and state propaganda?

Sam Duncan said...

Whenever I read stuff like that I always come away with the impression that Marxists think Corporations are run by evil space robots rather than, you know, actual human beings from planet Earth. If they protest that they're only trying to reign in the power of large organizations of people acting corporately, then they'll have to accept that this means curtailing the freedom of political parties, governments, and NGOs as well. But they won't: Lefties love to try having it both ways.

Frank J said...

And the turd wants £28 for it? Hint: Go down the library and borrow 'Das Kapital'.

If the Govt. listens to this twerp either they're brain dead or we're on the way to the New Soviet. See, it didn't die. Reds under the bed? Nah, they own the house now.

prog said...

I googled Red Gerry.

Random result.....

'It's still a free country - and
getting freer'

JuliaM said...

"In the hands of the corporate sector, marketing has turned us into spoilt, consumption-obsessed children.."

He should write for thr 'Guardian' - that's the theme of about 30% of their articles!

Edgar said...

Yay! let's fight Marketing! Now, how do I get this message across to people ... ?

BriarTuck said...

I see our mate Gerald is from the University of Bent Figures (Stirling). What is it about that place? The air?