Benjamin Geer on 14 Nov 2000 20:15:23 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> No Logo is a good Logo

On Mon, Nov 13, 2000 at 06:23:53PM -0000, matt king wrote:
> Naomi (Calvin) Klein's book "No Logo", is being promoted rather
> heavily here in the UK, and perhaps globally. Her anti corporate
> capitalist stance is something I have strong sympathies with.
> However I feel that the promotion of her work in the media has been
> given a one-dimensional branding all of its own. It seems that this
> book with its large flat coffee table form will become another piece
> of christmas present gloss that is talked about rather than read (I
> probably wont read it).

I think that if you read it, you would realise that it's exactly the
opposite of what you think it is.  In reality, it's a lucid, biting
critique of branding and its effects on society.  Far from being
self-aggrandising, Klein's analysis of the origins of the
anti-capitalist movement shows remarkable humility: she faces up not
only to the folly of her youthful brand worship, but to the naivete of
leftists like herself who, during the culture wars of the 1980's,
believed that everything would be all right if they could just get the
media to show positive images of women, blacks, and homosexuals.  (The
media were happy to comply; meanwhile, corporations were busy turning
schools and universities into brand shrines, censoring any research
that would be embarrassing to them, hiring third-world populations at
starvation wages, etc.)  She then ties together all the issues that
led to the anti-WTO protests in Seattle (which occurred after the book
was written).  I think that this book deserves all the favourable
press it can get, and that it can only have a salutary influence on
the anti-capitalist movement.  Not only is Klein's historical analysis
very solid, and supported by copious research, she is also doing an
excellent job of identifying common goals and useful strategies in a
very heterogeneous social movement.  Any newspaper editor who has the
courage to publish an article about _No Logo_ should be praised for
doing so.

Benjamin Geer

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