Chapter 22: Violent brands: from neoliberal vessels to far-right fantasies
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This essay explores the established anti-capitalist idea of brand co-creation as a vessel for systemically violent relations, in the light of a radically changing political landscape in the Western world, namely the burgeoning populist far right. What happens with anti-capitalist brand co-creation critique typically targeting the neoliberal fantasy of free markets and responsible consumers, through the systemic relations assembled into brands, when more brands come to embody far right fantasies about authoritarian, systemic relations? How are we to understand critique of neoliberal brand co-creation as a depoliticizing distraction, if the very premise of critique evaporates? I will argue that the systemic relations governed by authoritarian far right movements will increasingly be assembled into brands and co-created in mainstream consumer culture. I will also discuss how this nascent movement may challenge the established critical perspective on brands as vessels of neoliberal relations, and force it to expand across other political ideologies.

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