Re: Commodification of "Revolution"

I work with what is somewhat embarassingly called a "Peace and Justice" center
in Pittsburgh. (ONly because of a certain pretention of these awfully big
words--yet I see the necessity of holding out these themes in certain obvious
ways.) The situationis very difficult, and your example points clearly to
what is involved, although its example, of an explicitly "
political/revolutionary" poster style being lifted (coopted?) for a telephone
advertisement is an extremely complex one: complex because most of the
coopting doesn't take this obvious form, and because in so far as the
"revolutionary" obtains a kind of impotence, then such a poster would of
course be impotent too, such that its important to viewers would be not of a
bold coup by an advertising firm on a prevalent and important revolutionary
image, but rather the use of an antique style. Most of the commidification
takes a much different, and much more insidiously "at home" form.

A narrow (and by this I mean something like a modestly defined) analysis,study
of the kind that you're pointing to would do a great deal to isolte and free
up some of the basic "logics" of such commodification. (The theme is
certainly around: "The commodification of Malcom X")..

The "revolution" in question, the "Revolutionary" is a problem, and not a
simple good to be preserved from such commidificaiton. Yet the
commodification, the whole ground of advertising, is of course a massively
corrupte field, given its tyrannical constraints (time, money driven,
thematic material always suspiciously including a product for sale). The
commodification is, in fact, everywhere, I guess. And this seems to work
on a number of levels, from the level at which our Peace and Justice Center
operaties (in which political button companies are losing a lot of money, in
which it is impossible to get anyone to actually read about Malcom X, in
which the revolutionary impulse is sucked up by MTV's brand of existentiality
and "revolution, yeaahh"), to the commodificationof "Decon
struction/deconstruction". As "everywhere" as Derrida recently said
"deconstruction" is. What was he saying? How was he saying it?

The theme of revolution seems to be a very, very difficult, broad one. Its
sensibility permeates a whole range of moderate/conservative texts to radical
and mega-violent historical events. Arendt's rule of thum is that
"revolution" has historially tended to bring on greater violence than the
original opposed regimes. Why is this important here? Because aside from
certain pockets of naive people, "we", the greater various we's, are aware
of this.

This has everything to do with people's concern or lack thereof about the
status of the revolutionary, or even "the revolution", etc. Which is not to
say that that concern has disappeared, exactly...

But instead of contiuing here, I'd rather draw into a seriou question part of
the forgoing polemos. In point of fact (a rarer fact, I suppose), it is not
"impossible" to get people to read Malcom X, etc. And it is to this "fact"
that I am most devoted, in spite of the thrust of the above. So we might
look for something like a double genitive regarding your querie's import.

No neat end: I'm playing ane exploring in a theme that occupies me a great
deal of the time. Hope to see stuff from others here, 216844.

216844@xxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
>I was interested in this idea of the commodification of "revolution". Can
>anyone point me to any texts which discuss this ? There are a series of
>British ads. for cellular 'phones which use present themselves in the
>'style' of a revolutionary poster, with the title slogan"revolution" which
>was brought to mind, an example of the present seen visually in utopian
>terms, a maneouver which certainly makes radicalizing 'thought-action'
>difficult to take root.
>Does anyone have any thoughts on this ?
>Jon Wilson

Tom Blancato Not satisfied with the progress.

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