I risk repeating my ideas here. This is not a text, but a blog; I suppose it’s OK to do so.
To accept a fundamental principle in our society, the retail nature of interaction, one must expect and be dependent on the principles of advertising and sales – not superficially, but down-deep fundamentally, unquestioningly.
In modern retail systems, one manufactures a set of similar products and prepares them for sale. In many cases, the intended purchasers do not even know about these products in detail. Action must be taken to bring these products to the customer’s attention, and make the customer want to own them. What is offered, then, is a choice.
Humans often use their imagination to consider, design or contemplate things which are not presently in existence, but may be created. To undertake the process of bringing such ideas to fruition involves decision.
There is a vast difference between a thing brought about by purchase, and a thing brought about by creative imagination. To choose something means to contemplate a range of finite pre-existing things, and selecting one by its attributes. The model involves a small number of possible endpoints. The contemplation of which selection is to be made is the purpose of retail sales.
If the retail sales market is to be effective, it must confuse the customers as to choice and decision. A customer will imagine the purpose of a purchase is the obtaining of a thin which will fulfill a broad range of wishes and goals. A choice is most effective for the seller if it cloaks the item in the whole range of the customer’s wishes.
A manufacturer’s goal is to produce a finite and small number of things for sale. An overly-broad range of products to be manufactured causes increased costs. The retail goal is not to produce custom-made product, but a small range of product that will be purchased by every customer. The principles of scope and scale can be considered next in a following post.
Something that is custom-made or hand-made is ultimately something created under and individual’s decision process, to a greater or lesser degree. It may have prior form from which the creator improvises. But there is no rigidity under the scope of decisions, except what is needed to conform to practical reality.
Marx began to show the transition from the hand-made to the industry-made thing, and how the transition from decision to choice was made to occur. The benefits of industry-made products are obvious – decreased cost, mass production etc. His ideas considered, and generally foundered on how the principles value and labor contributed to each product, and how the products were distributed.
Understanding Choice vs. Decision is a useful tool to understanding modern society; not just the material objects, but the stereotypes of thought held in each. We consider that we think, and are proud of it. How often are we merely compiling pre-formed ideas into their inevitable constructs? That I am an Objectivist, or a Marxist, based upon my own custom-made rational thought – but perhaps I am really simply putting together pre-constructed pieces that really self-assemble, and reassuring myself that I am thinking?
I think I think, therefore I think I am.