No Logo

by Naomi Klein ⚡

This book was recommended to me by Parry Malm and I'm extremely thankful for it.

Despite being written in the 90's and published in 2000, No logo paves the way in understanding how brands became the giant we now know them to be. Whether that's Nike, Apple or even Trump.

The premise is simple. In the mid 80's businesses began to understand that brand, not product, was king. Thus began a revolution that turned the world upside down.

Despite different cultures, middle-class youth all over the world seem to live their lives as if in a parallel universe. They get up in the morning, put on their Levi's and Nikes, grab their caps and backpacks, and Sony personal CD players and head for school.

No Logo is a story about global exploitation, racism and corporate greed that carries on to this day. It's a story of extreme narcissism that couldn't be more relevant at a time where hundreds of thousands of people are desperate to become "influencers".

Like so much of cool hunting, Hilfiger's marketing journey feeds off the alienation at the heart of America's race relations: selling white youth on their fetishization of black style, and black youth on their fetishization of white wealth.

There's a paragraph I feel was particularly powerful towards the end of the book, in which Owens Wiwa talks about the importance of not making people feel powerless in their fight against a movement.

It is important not to make people feel powerless. After all, they need to fill their cars with something. If we tell them all companies are guilty, they will feel they can do nothing. What we are trying to really do, now that we have this evidence against this one company, is to let people have the feeling that they can at least have the moral force make one company change.

A point that couldn't be more relevant in the face of the current fight against global climate change.

I wish I'd read this book two decades ago. I'd have been a better person for it.