The Most Important Article You Will Read This Year!

I hate corporate slogans, celebrity spokesmen, logo-infested products, and the like. Make something well and tell me about it. If I like it and think I need it, I will buy it. Do not lie to me to try to sucker me into buying your product. Do not pay some famous actor or singer to “represent” your product as a means of cajoling my mind with an infantilized variant of argument from authority — a logical fallacy is a logical fallacy, regardless of how it is being employed. Do not waste my time or insult my intelligence.

If you and I were neighbors, and you had an extra lawnmower you no longer needed, and noticed that mine had broken down so that I needed one, you would knock on my door and ask, “Would you like to buy my extra lawnmower?” You would not try to catch my attention by hiring a sexy girl in tiny shorts to use the mower near my house, or by hanging a banner over my fence reading “Bob’s old mower is the only machine you will ever need for the rest of your life — guaranteed!” or by appealing to my moral trendiness by blasting hourly announcements through a megaphone, “If you care about ending poverty and protecting the environment, then you will buy Bob’s old mower.”

So why do we accept, or even learn to expect, such horse manure from corporate behemoths? After all, a global conglomerate is just a neighbor — though typically not a very good one — with a lot more extra lawnmowers on his hands.

A lot of what we encompass under the faulty term “capitalism” is just a quasi-economic rationalization for suspending the normal rules of moral behavior and good citizenship, not to mention spreading a general crassness and vulgarity through society. If your neighbor made making money the overriding and singular focus of his every move in daily life, you would despise him, and rightly so, judging him a low and underdeveloped soul, a craven being with corrupt and corrupting priorities. Remember that when you defend the free market. Freedom is necessary and worthy of defense. But it does not follow that everything a man does with his freedom will be defensible. 

Truth in advertising!

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