Karl Marx 1818 - 1883
Karl Marx was a theorist of social class difference. He wrote the books 'Communist Manifesto' and 'Das Kapital' 1887 vol 1
Markist would argue consumer culture lives governed by what we consume. In commodity we construct out identities through consumer products that inhabit our lives. This is what Stewart Ewen calls the 'commodity self'.
Judith Williamson, author of 'Decoding Adverts' said, 'instead of being identified by what we produce, people identify themselves by what they consume'.
How does commodity culture perpetuate false needs?
- Aesthetic innovation
- Planned obsolescence - gadgets deigned to break.
- Products are given human associations.
- Products perceived as sexy, romantic, cool, sophisticated.
- Buying things makes us richer, but realistically poorer because we spend money.
- It seeks to make people unhappy with existing material possessions.
- It potentially manipulates people into buying products that they don't really need and want.
- Encourages addictive, obsessive ad acquisitive behaviour.
- It distorts language and encourages bad usage and incorrect spelling (u and you).
- Encourages consumers, especially children, to want products they cannot afford, causing feels of inadequacy and envy.
- Uses images that encourage us to buy products and brands that have potential to be unhealthy.
- Encourages unnecessary production and consumption, therefore depleting the worlds resources and spoiling the environment.
- Advertisement has no morals.