Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Marx View of Chrysler Super Bowl Commercial


     The commercial by Chrysler supports Marxist’s claims on Capitalism and Socialism. The commercial features Clint Eastwood in the middle of a spiel about the state of America. He talks about the downfall of America’s economy and the car city of Detroit. He uses Detroit as an example of how one pulls out of a financial crisis while at the same time advocating people to buy this brand of car. With a Marxist lens we see more then the sale of cars by emphasizing the plight and recovery of America’s financial status. We see the perpetuation of hegemony in this commercial. The car company shows us a problem that we all faced and then shows us the “Normal” way to get out of these problems. They perpetuate a norm or myth that cars help success, while in reality the best way to get out of a financial debacle would be to save money. Using Detroit city as an example, Chrysler normalizes a way of success that may not be unilateral for every financial problem. Marxist would look at the surrounding issues of Chrysler to see what is really happening. We see that this major car company needed a massive bail-out just to survive. While they preach the idea that getting to work is the solution, they in actuality beg the government to save them from bankruptcy. For them Capitalism is a way to make money while Socialistic efforts save them from collapse. Chrysler in this case has presented a “False Consciousness”. They show us, through their perceptions, the way things are so that they may profit. Chrysler tries to “piggy back” off some celebrity that has credibility, to make it their own. They say that the idea to buy is the answer, when in turn they are hording their own finances. A widely known fact is that during past economic struggles small businesses were responsible for getting America into a stronger economy, not large corporations such as Chrysler. They criticize the way things are, and yet profit from the way they have made things. They have made false actions into false norms. Another idea we see in this commercial is the hegemonic myth that money buys happiness. If we buy a Chrysler, this country will survive and show the world we are strong. If we buy a Chrysler, we will be successful and surrounding countries will notice our strength, resolution, and power. While in fact this idea of buying is propitiating the problems we are in.

     The effects of this commercial could be detrimental to our society. With the strong emotions that are evoked by this commercial, people could be influence to do things that are harmful to America’s economy. It could cause people to go out and buy vehicles that they cannot afford. This would cause more people to live outside of their means, causing greater economic distress. The implications of this commercial could be devastating, and in return fire back on Chrysler in the future when there is no possibility for anyone to buy their product.

     Marxist main approach is to look at the background circumstances of a situation to see what is really going on and see the implications of such actions. This view looks past the false norms and sees what is being perpetuated in reality. It also looks at the influence popular culture has upon this circumstance. In the instance of this commercial, he would look at all the news media coverage on this commercial. He would say that the interpretations of the message are as important as the intended message.