Is Communism cutting into Capitalism’s market share?

It looks like Capitalism’s 19 year monopoly in the market place of ideology may be getting a little frayed. Communism is beginning to show some signs of life. A German book publisher reports a steady increase in sales of Das Kapital. German publisher Joern Schuetrumpf says he has already sold 1,800 copies this year. In 2005 he sold 500 and 1500 in all of last year.

In business terms, this was inevitable. Since Capitalism is showing some serious weekness in its brand, someone had to step up and fill the void. Because nothing else has stepped up to the plate, consumers turn back to the only competition there wasy. Let me make one thing very clear: Communism is a great idea only if you live in a theoretical world. Communism in the real world did indeed totally suck. Stalin & Mao? All they were good at was murdering millions of their own people. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989? A landmark and wonderful event.

But, as Capitalism knows, Capitalism needs competition. It was only a matter of time before the thought-leader suffered the problem of all monopolies and became less and less reliable and responsive. When that happens customers turn elsewhere. I expect Fascism — which has never really gone away — to also gain more market share.

As one of the truly great Marxists — Groucho — put it: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.”

Marketers keep stumbling over that other N-word, part 2

Leaders of India’s Jewish community expressed outrage Sunday over a new line of bedspreads called “The Nazi Collection” from a Mumbai-based home furnishing company that used swastikas in its promotional material. The furnishing dealer said the name stands for “New Arrival Zone for India” and was not meant to be anti-Semitic.

“It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place. ” — Mencken

See earlier post here.

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Marketers keep stumbling over that other N-word

antiThat’s Nazis. It gives me the creeps just typing it (and no way was I going to put it in the headline). But 65 years after World War II proved exactly how terrible they were, Herr ‘s Schicklgruber‘s party is still causing trouble on the marketing front.

A month ago we had Barclays Bank drawing flack (88mm, no doubt) for a corporate symbol some thought resembled a N symbol even though it pre-dated Adolf & co. by a century. Since then:

A German public television network Sunday sacked a popular talk show host and former news presenter after she had praised the Nazi’s family policies at a news conference for her new book on child-rearing.

And

Canada‘s biggest phone company has apologized after a punk-rock reference to the Holocaust appeared on billboard advertisements for its cell phones.

And just today

A prosecutor in Bolzano, northern Italy seized wine bottle labels on Wednesday bearing a portrait of Hitler and other Nazis from a winery near the Austrian border, the company said. The 20 labels from the “Der Fuehrer” line show Hitler raising the Nazi salute and his generals, including Hermann Goering, the Reich’s economic minister, Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Gestapo, and Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy.

Y’know there are a lot of tricky complex issues in marketing. This isn’t one of them.

UPDATE:  Fashion chain Zara withdraws swastika handbag

(Image courtesy Catalyst magazine from an article on current anti-fascism efforts in Russia.)