December 26, 2005
This is by no means a new post from my colleague Jennifer Rice, on the fact (western) people are withdrawing into themselves, and the idea of family that plays together is dismantling, called ‘Brand Humanity: From Processes to People’.
I make two remarks. The ﬁrst is: will this swing back any time soon? People are discovering there are strengths to their families, and the eastern nations that are growing rapidly and on target to overtake the west still have the family at the core. As the east gains in inﬂuence, we may wish to learn from it. Secondly, if the family is disintegrating, just as governmental services once did in the wave of Reaganomics and Thatcherism, then will corporations take their place? They did for the ﬁctional Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, when she called her WJM-TV colleagues her ‘family’; and that was a 1977 script.
If so, then some of the fears of science ﬁction are coming true, with corporations running people—and it won’t work with corporations retaining a proﬁt motive. They already demand our loyalty through loyalty programmes. They expect our love. Some of us identify more with their brands than with our own surnames—we know their origins ahead of our own genealogy.
We might need an Andrew Niccol movie (like Gattaca and The Truman Show) again to jog our memories. permalink
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