Nike And Communism

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Karl Marx, the founder of communism called for equality in the workplace, he was against the oppression that owners demonstrated against workers. He viewed capitalism as the exploitation of workers so that property owners could profit at their expense. Through this paper, an in-depth analysis of Nike as a brand will be executed, based on Marx’ views on capitalism and the use-value and exchange value that are associated with commodity fetishism. Marx’ texts will demonstrate how Nike is a brand built upon the ideals of capitalism, the struggle of classes, and how the value of Nike products is displaced from the labor time that went into creating them, and is instead infused with value that is enhanced through celebrity endorsement, advertisement…show more content…
The working class, are the proletariat class who sell their labor for wages and they do not own the means of production. The exploitation of these workers is what is responsible for creating wealth in a society. Without these workers to grow food, make clothing, work in factories etc., society would not have anywhere near the richness that it does at the moment. This class is paid to produce goods and services that profit the capitalists, they are exploited ((Bohm & Batta, 2010, p. 349). The notion of the working class working long and grueling hours in order to receive a wage is best demonstrated through Nike outsourcing most of its manufacturing process overseas, where they can pay workers less and profit more. This is the same working class that works very long and demanding hours to benefit this multimillion dollar company, and the same working class that must save up their wages in order to purchase the very same pair of shoes that they are creating. Another notion of this class difference is through how the shoes cannot be afforded by all. For example, on their website, a pair of men’s Air Jordan’s retail from $125 USD to $225 USD. That is extremely pricy for a pair of shoes whose main purpose is to be used for sport. This means that generally, the wealthy are the ones who will be purchasing these shoes for their family. The average teenager who works part-time would have to…show more content…
In short, visuals are a simple way to convey messages while transcending language barriers (Morgan, 2013). Not everyone is literate, nor do they speak the same language. When a brand incorporates a symbol into their marketing scheme, it means that everyone, everywhere will recognize that symbol for what it is, a representation of the company. By purchasing a Nike product, it’s symbolic, because it portrays that famous Nike Swoosh Symbol. As LaFeber argues, the “design made it possible for people in faraway lands whose languages did not easily translate the word ‘Nike’ to identify Nike products simply by the Swoosh,” she further contends that “only an image, not words, [is] needed to reap profits in other cultures,” (1999, p.60). How does this incorporate Marx’ exchange value? Simple. By wearing the brand, easily recognized by its Nike Swoosh, the consumer gains a sense of prestige. When they wear that product, everyone will know who made it, and in a sense, they will assume that this consumer has money and is therefore able to purchase luxury items such as a pair of Air Jordan’s. This fetishism of a commodity, in this case the Swoosh symbol is something specific to a capitalist system, it "turns ordinary things [...] into object, abstract entities that are exchanged within an artificially created market in order to make a profit for the owner,"

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