CAN IDEOLOGY SURVIVE IN THE CONSUMER CAPITALISM WORLD?

Ideology in a consumerist capitalist world (where capitalism and market forces are the undisputed rulers, whatever the rhetoric may say otherwise) becomes not paradigm but just another consumer choice; framed with potentially more strident taglines. “Make America Great Again!” shout the Trump-prostrated mob.“Britain for the British!” say Brexiteers.

This isn’t a political or philosophical ideology any more, it won’t drive people onto the streets every day or ferment a rebellion one way or another. It’s little more than saying “I want White Neighbours” as my chosen brand. Yeah, it’d be less preferable to have Nike over Adidas sneakers but when you’re not looking at the logo, what the fuck’s the difference?

Capitalism reinforces its hegemony by taking the best and the brightest, in most cases, motivated if not by avarice then by practicality and pragmatic baby step “what is the lesser of available evils” choices. Thus is creativity and invention and intelligence coopted in service of the behemoth.

It’s a common complaint that those working in marketing, advertising, financial services are hugely overpaid and overvalued but the truth is they’re not: this corpus of talent is the engine and the armour of consumer capitalist dominance. The closer you get to executive producing and/or directing the better your pay, the more share in the revenue you receive.

Meanwhile, sympathy lies with the actors: invariably working under strict contract, investing the script with something like emotion and imbuing the narrative with enough of a human face to keep it believable; to be robust in the face of encroaching contradictions (like reality!).

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