Beer Kingdom
Part 4World of Things
Because success is so overwhelmingly important, there is always a tendency for the rule-abiding majority to be pushed toward more and more questionable practices by the ingenious or unscrupulous minority. There is little sympathy, and less support, for a failure whose failure is due to a self-righteous refusal to follow a prevailing trend.

People have little use for a man who squeals because another has been smarter than he. Business competition is regulated by temporary rules, rather than by permanent ethical principles.

The public falls more into the category of things, of raw material, than into that of human beings. Continuing the mineral analogy, the purchasing power has to be extracted from the consuming public, as though it were silver being extracted from the baser ore.

To achieve this efficiently the public is assayed and analyzed, using the increasingly refined techniques of market research. Once the possible yield has been determined, any device for flattering, cajoling, or bamboozling the public into yielding up its purchasing power is legitimate.

The devices of advertising demonstrate a consistent and profound contempt for the public on the part of the advertisers and their employers. In the distorting mirror of advertising copy and TV commercials the public is shown to itself as naïve and puerile, driven by lust and greed and fear, without judgment or intellectual curiosity.

For the producer the consumer is never an equal or near equal; fooling the public, "pulling one over" on the consumer, is an act of which nobody need be ashamed; indeed it is a proper subject for boasting.

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a study in national character, by Geoffrey Gorer,
W.W.Norton & Company, NY
Copyright © 1948 and 1964

Copyright 1996 Bahus Enterprises