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February 23, 2020 / Congau

Election For Sale

Advertising is not rational – we all know that. The aim is not to convince us that a certain product is the best, but to make its existence as present in our mind as possible and thereby make it more likely that we will buy. We accept that since it’s not really all that important what kind of detergent we use or what drink we grab on a hot day. We are manipulated, most people know it and don’t care.

Does it never matter what we choose, then? Apparently not. Society and the economy are content to observe the smooth floating of money, goods and services. Quality is not an objective standard anyway but is entirely up to the judgment of the trusted consumer, or as it is expressed on festive occasions: We, the people.

No wonder it’s a short leap from capitalism to democracy: It’s all about the people’s choice… and the choice doesn’t matter.

Wait a minute, did something go wrong here? Well, we just observed that advertising isn’t rational and consequently not the choice of product either and if this can be transferred to the political realm, the conclusion will be the same there.

Political advertising is a fact in the greatest democracies and the same principles and techniques are used in this kind of marketing. The goal is to influence the feelings by the mere presence of the candidates and not to bring about a rational choice.

But if we find that acceptable when buying soda pop, it doesn’t sound quite in harmony with what we thought we had learned about democracy. Manipulating the voters ought to be regarded as a great sin in a democracy, since the true will of the people is being asked for. Still advertising, which is commonly known as manipulation, is openly accepted.

Don’t you think it’s a problem that billionaires are trying to buy the election?

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