Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tonights additions to "myth is alive in business"

(first draft)
Despite the exciting creative possibilities posed by new media in regard to myth, they do not come without a price. The danger presented by the presence of myth in modern media is paramount. Though the propaganda of Fascist mythologies such as those of Nazis or the U.S.S.R. serve as the clearest example of these dangers, they exist in more subtle forms in the media produced by modern Capitalist states. Though media is ostensibly the watchdog of the government, both the government and media agencies of the Capitalist state are behooven to international corporations and their interests. As we already explored, the contextual nature of truth makes myth in media a potential form of national or even international coercion. The story of American politics and News media between the 1960's and the present serves as a cautionary tale of such possibilities.

There is no ensuring that mythological images, and the powerful psychological forces that they represent aren't being used by corporations for benevolent purposes, though they invariably present themselves in such a light. This myth of benevolence presents itself on a National level as well. American culture in particular has a need to present itself as a benevolent superpower, leading the rest of the world into an Enlightened era of growth and commerce. This is not unlike Britain's Empire, upon which the sun never set. In both cases the hubris exhibited was not merely of capacity, but more importantly, more catastrophically, it represents the rigid and wholesale self-congratulation of a myth that has so overshadowed reality that the two share nothing in common.

However, many countries integrate elements of America's capitalism without bringing its culture along with it. Samuel P. Huntington explores this fact in great detail in his book The Clash of Civilizations, in which he provides both the myth of the New American Century, where we are approaching integration and the ascension of the American nation, contrasted with the myth held by most of the rest of the world, that America is in fact in decline and its contribution to the ascension of other nations and state unions will take the form of the co-opted systems of commerce and government we developed. These systems will nevertheless grow in truly unprecedented ways within non-Western cultural soil.

This amalgam presents some very interesting possibilities for the future of Asian capitalism, though at the same time we mustn't forget that in times past, Asian nations seem to have no cultural fear of appearing tyrannical, though no more or less so in reality. Thus, we will likely see the myths of the brand developing in unexpected ways as the various elements of these cultures blend and come into conflict with one another, and it is unlikely that these forms will be clear of malevolence and oppression.

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