Our minds on media.

Musings on the effects of media on cognition.

Book Review: No Logo

Naomi Klein’s No Logo documents the anti-corporate movement from a number of perspectives. She points out the dangers of corporations that behave with only short-term profits in mind. What is interesting to see now, is that as economist John Gray points out, these coporations are no more taking over the world than any one else. Acting only in the interest of profits, they are forced by the global market of capital to seek ends to make their products cheaper. The resulting effect, which Klein spells out eloquently, is the destruction of indigneous people’s lands and rights, slave wage labor, the disappearance of jobs in First World countries. Anyone looking for information regarding the full extent of the damage that corporations have done to the environment and our culture needs to pick this book up. A number of books I’ve read in this vein do little more than rant about the situation — not Klein. She’s got facts — and lots of them. From getting an intimate picture of sweat shops in parts of Asia to examining advertising in high school bathrooms, Klein does a fantastic job of unearthing the numerous problems that coporations have created in their quests for market dominance.

There seems to be little question that our current brand of capitalism (no pun intended) needs to be re-examined. Pundits of capitalism like to discuss its ideals (fair distribution through speedy interchange) without really looking at the facts. Most markets are dominated by a few firms that have more price control than they would like to admit (because that would be anti-capitalist and anti-capitalist is bad). Corporations aren’t evil — they’re not actually sentient, you know — but they are misguided. When profit is the only driving motive it becomes too easy for a corporation to overlook its civic duties, costs that the public pays, and ultimately treat people in very inhumane ways.

Klein doesn’t have all the answers but she is asking all the right questions and asks them in a very fair and rational tone.

Me, personally, I’m going to start selling advertising space in my artwork. 😉

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