miércoles, 19 de marzo de 2008

The Imperial Branding of Simon Bolivar and the Cuban Revolution

9 de Enero 2008
ACP, Balboa
Bautizando "Basta YA! USA"
OUT of Irak
FUERA de Afganistan

9 de Enero 2008

ESCALINATAS Administración ACP, Balboa
"Basta YA! USA"
OUT of Irak
FUERA de Afganistan

9 de Enero 2008
ESCALINATAS Administración ACP, Balboa

"Basta YA! USA"

OUT of Irak

FUERA de Afganistan

9 de Enero 2008
ESCALINATAS Administración ACP, Balboa

"Basta YA! USA"

OUT of Irak

FUERA de Afganistan

Foto siguiente: Propaganda Politica Electorera Burguesa, Panameña/Internacional, de Alberto Vallarino, ejemplo de como roban "branding" de los pobres, de los proceres y de las luchas de nuestros pueblos.

Photo by Victor Bruce Sr. for http://thepanamanews.com/

"Basta Ya! USA" branding stolen by Alberto Vallarino campaign branding.

The following articles will give one a better notion of the "bourgoise class" branding intrument for domination by robbery, sacking, destruction, looting and plundering our world and humanity:

Posted By DomzaNet
to Communist University
at 3/19/2008 07:54:00 AM

The examines the bourgeois compulsion for expropriating the symbols of the popular masses, and for turning them into part of the commodity system, as brands.
Capitalism appears compelled to expropriate not only the reactionary folkways that William Makgoba finds comforting, but also the revolutionary political legacy of the people.
There are commercials on TV in South Africa showing people turning into M K Gandhi, or O R Tambo. The idea is to associate the honoured revolutionary symbols with capital. The bourgeois must steal everything, even your thoughts.

See the fifth item below. This is the world we live in. The revolutionaries create new things, but as fast as they can do so, the forces of the bourgeoisie seek to expropriate what we have done, or if not, then to block our work and destroy it.
This is the common experience of revolutionaries, until the revolution.The dispossession of the commons of the prior society that was ordered by the mothers was the prerequisite for individual and alienable property. Class society was, and could only have been, built upon the idea and the brutal fact of such property.
All class societies have therefore to date been based on the imposed ascendancy of men over women.
This was so under slavery and under feudalism.
Capitalist society has historically, and additionally, been based on the imposed subordination of people in accordance with a constructed racial distinction, and racial myth.
In the South African revolution it is recognised that class contradictions cannot be dealt with in isolation from gender and racial contradictions.
All these contradictions must be resolved in the same movement forward. This is our peculiar contribution to world revolutionary history. These are the three sources and the three component parts of our entire revolutionary transition. Liberal intellectuals will continue to try to expropriate any and all possible aspects of our revolutionary thought, at every possible opportunity.The image is of Simon Bolivar, and a map showing Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
Click on these links:
Free State SACP PEC, March 2008, Press Statement (979 words)Two Vice-Chancellors, Heidegger and Makgoba, Paul Trewhela (2407 words)
Wrath of dethroned white males, Malegapuru Makgoba, M and G (1679 words)Coega and the Radiohead song, Reg Rumney, Thought Leader (557 words)
The Branding of Bolivar and the Cuban Revolution, Valdés, Counterpunch (1275 words)
Events Diary


St. Patrick's Day Edition
March 17, 2008

Caveat Venditor (Seller Beware!)

The Imperial Branding
of Simon Bolivar and the Cuban Revolution

"Many people in the world not only lack freedom of thought but also the capacity to think, because it has been destroyed. Billions of human beings, including a large percentage of those living in developed societies, are told what brand of soda they should drink, what cigarettes they should smoke, what clothes and shoes they should wear, what they should eat and what brand of food they should buy. Their political ideas are supplied in the same way."
Fidel Castro, June 1, 2000

"... it is perhaps the greatest triumph of the market to have polluted our most cherished speech about ourselves with the vocabulary of marketing."
Leon Wieseltier, March 12, 2008

In 2007, before leaving for Latin America, George W Bush spoke to a Spanish speaking audience of business people in New York City where he claimed he was a "Bolivariano" and a son of Simon Bolivar. [1]

There are some people who just don't understand the United States government and its foreign policy, so they were puzzled and asked "how can George call himself an 'hijo de Bolivar'?

The answer is simple: branding. Branding has gone global, and it is the fundamental weapon of American marketing. In the old days tangible consumer goods were branded.

Today branding knows no boundaries.

Branding is now applied to people, institutions, political entities, right up to national governments. Nations are brands now, in the logic of 21st-century capitalism.

You can buy or sell the nation as a brand. Simon Bolivar, Jose Marti, Che Guevara and Fidel Castro are only incidentally historical figures involved in anti-colonial struggles. They now exist as brands, trademarks, logos -- in other words, as ways to remember products. If these historical figures are emulated or despised is a function of marketing. Brands, we are told, sell identity, manufactured self knowledge. It is also a hollow shell that might use historical references devoid of historical content.

As early as 1883 Andres de la Morena, from Venezuela, patented a drink to enhance one's appetite, it was called "Bolivar." Ten years later a French entrepreneur copyrighted a perfume with the name "Agua del Libertador" ['water of the Liberator'] But the brand name remained a minor phenomena among some cigar producers in South America. That has changed.
According to this marketing logic, if Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro sell their revolutionary products by successful invoking the name of historical figures in their political marketing, then American capitalism can appropriate the brand name and make a profit to boot. After all, it has been done already with Radio Marti, TV Marti. Marti is also the real "mojito licour" rum super premium which, with "natural lime & mint" becomes "libertador de Cuba" duly owned by GFY Beverages Company of New York. [2]

The Venezuelan liberator "Bolivar" was a perfume, the Cuban one turned out to be a rum. In either case, both histories and symbols appropriated to make a profit.
At Foggy Bottom, Capitol Hill and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, foreign policy is merely a function of proper marketing and branding. And, if it is hip, much better.

On March 11, 2008 the Wall Street Journal published from Michael Casey, Dow Jones Newswires bureau chief in Buenos Aires, an article entitled "Brand Cuba." In it the author wrote, "As Fidel Castro brings his reign in Cuba to a long overdue end, we are left to ponder how a leader with such a dismal economic record could retain power for a half-century." [3]

The answer? The economic journalist turned postmodernist deconstructionist asserted, "if we view Castro's political machine through the apolitical prism of the market, we can attribute its durability to a concept that's alien to his socialist rhetoric, and deeply rooted in the American capitalist system he claims to despise: branding. Castro's political "success" is a case study in managing the global information economy."

But how is that possible? The answer: "This is, of course, a constructed "Cuba," with little relation to the real Cuba, with its dysfunctional, increasingly inequitable social and economic structure. But savvy brand managers are rarely hindered by a divergence from reality." You see, the entire globe is inhabited by dupes and idiots while the only people who comprehend the reality of the world are those who manipulate images.

According to WSJ piece the revolutionary regime has survived because, "Castro has long been blessed with a great ability to manipulate information and images in the interest of self-promotion."

There are numerous capitalist enterprises in the world today involved in the "branding of nation states." In fact there is a journal dedicated to the "science" called Place Branding and Public Diplomacy." The journal describes itself as follows: "Place Branding and Public Diplomacy is a new journal, and the first to concentrate on the practice of applying brand strategy and other marketing techniques and disciplines to the economic, social, political and cultural development of cities, regions and countries." [4]

A country's foreign policy can be marketed as if it were a box of tortillas or corn flakes. All that is required is brand name recognition.[5]

As of now, 35 countries have been ranked and the US under George W. is not at the top.
The ideological guru of branding nations, Simon Anholt, tells us that, "I have always held that the market-based view of the world, on which the theory of place branding is largely predicated, is an inherently peaceful and humanistic model for the relationships between nations. It is based on competition, consumer choice and consumer power; and these concepts are intimately linked to the freedom and power of the individual. For this reason, it seems far more likely to result in lasting world peace than a statecraft based on territory, economic power, ideologies, politics or religion." [6]

The actual foreign policy of a country or its consequences do not matter to the branders, what counts is what people perceive and that is just a function of marketing. If Bolivar sells south of the border, then appropriate the memory/image, claim to be a Bolivariano and keep on collecting the profits. If United Fruit could just take over an entire Central American country, why not do the same to a country's history? To paraphrase Earl Shorris in the Age of Information, the latter is "not the precursor to knowledge; it [is] the tool of salesmen." [7]

That is what the colonialists and imperialists assume, believe and hope, to be true.

But Latin Americans act on the basis of their own history and needs.
Caveat venditor [Seller beware].

Nelson P. Valdés is a Professor of Sociology at the University of New Mexico.


[1] 03/06/078 - Washington Post - Bush Prepares for Trip to Latin America As Counter to Chavez, A11.

[2] http://www.findownersearch.com/brand/4207579/

[3] 03/11/08 - Wall Street Journal - Brand Cuba, A21.

[4] http://www.placebranding.com/

[5] http://www.nationsbrandindex.com/

[6] "Is Place Branding A Capitalist Tool?," Place Branding (2006) 2, 1-4]. By the same author: Competitive Identity: The New Brand Management for Nations, Cities and Regions, Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. There are many others: Eugene D. Jaffe, National Image & Competitive Advantage: The Theory and Practice of Place Branding, Copenhagen Business School Press, 2006; Keith Dinnie, Nation Branding: Concepts, Issues, Practices, Butterworth Heinemann, 2007, http://www.palgrave-journals.com/pb/index.html

[7] The quote is cited by Thomas Frank in "The New Gilded Age," in Thomas Frank and Matt Weiland, The Business of Culture in the New Gilded Age: Commodify Your Dissent, New York, W. W. Norton, 1997, p. 23.

*I would like to express my appreciation to my friend Ned Sublette who provided me with very useful comments and suggestions.

No hay comentarios: