Empire of Illusion, Chris Hedges: The Death of God & franchise propaganda

EmpireofIllusionThe title caught my eye.

Is franchising an empire built on brand-induced self-delusion?

If it is, then it appears to be just one in our post-modern world where any means justify the economic ends. So says a Pulitzer Prize winner, anyway.

The first chapter (The Illusion of Literacy) starts off with a bang. A quote from one of my favourite thinkers, John Ralston Saul that I’ve mentioned before (1., 2., 3., & 4.).

I especially like his contrary opinions about expertise: see Experts? We don’t need no stinkin’ professionals. Franchise law is an example of the hollowed-out perfection of the expert literate man.

Hedges lifts this quote from Saul’s 1992 book, Voltaire’s Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West:

Now the death of God combined with the perfection of the image has brought us to a whole new state of expectation. We are the image. We are the viewer and the viewed. There is no other distracting presence. And that image has all the Godly powers. It kills at will. Kills effortlessly. Kills beautifully. It dispenses morality. Judges endlessly. The electronic image is man as God and the ritual involved leads us not to a mysterious Holy Trinity but back to ourselves. In the absence of a clear understanding that we are now the only source, these images cannot help but return to the expression of magic and fear proper to idolatrous societies. This in turn facilitates the use of the electronic image as propaganda by whoever can control some part of it.

Again: …the use of the electronic image as propaganda by whoever can control some part of it.

Case in Point: A new television show named How’d You Get So Rich? features, of all players in this drama, a franchisee attorney (YouTube). This “news” is then picked up the industry-financed social media apologists, not just once, but twice.

Nothing says sincere, honest and authentic in both a visual and journalist sense, as the two words together: Joan Rivers. Celebrity spokespeople have been used in franchising brand management for a long time but sometimes it’s a double-edged sword.

Is this a too cynical interpretation of this type of modern myth-making?

Humble but poor outsider +  scrub toilets + Harvard MBA/law + In Communion with the holy American Church of Franchising = A Saint’s story (millionaire, cars, 2nd wife, fame).

I wonder what the majority of mom-and-pop franchise investors would like to say to Mr. Zarco? Is he their champion of the underdog? Does his story reflect this people’s:

  1. life reality or
  2. is this just another in a long line of cheesy attempts to lure more life savings into a dying empire, noteworthy since this is an unbelievably desperate economic/employment times?

An inspiring story on a marketing and franchising level.

And personally, to me anyways.

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One Response to Empire of Illusion, Chris Hedges: The Death of God & franchise propaganda

  1. Kudos to Joan Rivers for being honest about the effects of hysterectomy! In the new book about hysterectomy, THE H WORD, Chapter 48 is titled “Joan Rivers”Liars: hysterectomy didn’t improve sex life.” You can read about why hysterectomy ruins sex at http://www.hersfoundation.org.

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