Tag Archives: capitalism
ADVERTISING: THE MAGIC SYSTEM¹ – Raymond Williams
In the last hundred years […] advertising has developed from the simple announcements of shopkeepers and the persuasive arts of a few marginal dealers into a major part of capitalist business organization. This is important enough, but the place of advertising in society goes far beyond this commercial context. It is increasingly the source of finance for a whole range of general communication, to the extent that in 1960 our majority television service and almost all our newspapers and periodicals could not exist without it. Further, in the last forty years and now at an increasing rate, it has passed the frontier of the selling of goods and services and has become involved with the teaching of social and personal values; it is also rapidly entering the world of politics. Advertising is also, in a sense, the official art of modern capitalist society: it is what ‘we’ put up in ‘our’ streets and use to fill up to half of ‘our’ newspapers and magazines: and it commands the services of perhaps the largest organized body of writers and artists, with their attendant managers and advisers, in the whole society. Since this is the actual social status of advertising, we shall only understand it with any adequacy if we can develop a kind of total analysis in which the economic, social and cultural facts are visibly related. We may then also find, taking advertising as a major form of modern social communication, that we can understand our society itself in new ways. Read more of this post
I remembered a film that I had seen some time ago, which was also called Other People’s Money. The film is based on the script for a play written by Jerry Sterner who I am sure would wish to be called a ‘playwrite’, but who nevertheless wrote this play based on his experience as a financier. In 1989 the the play became an an off-Broadway hit in New York. The film, billed as a ‘romantic comedy’ is worth watching for its portrayal of the corporate investment world and its characterization of the players in this story. The film contrives a ‘happy’ yet feasible ending to the story, whereas the original play reaches a more realistic and plausible conclusion. The post Other People’s Money: A Tale of Capitalism and Creative Destruction by Edward W. Younkins provides a good synopsis of both the film and the stage version of ‘Other Peoples Money’. With the benefit of hindsight in the form of market crashes and especially in the light of the current financial crisis, I see the story itself and especially the role of ‘Larry the Liquidator’ as an allegory in the context of these. Read more of this post
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