Pinko is a derogatory term that was used against people who supported communist philosophy during the Cold War in the US. The Pinkos were tried under McCarthyism. Careers were ruined. People were devestated. But ‘Pinkos’ stood strong and proud and railed against an insane witch hunt.
Pinko, tied to socialism/communism/marxism (whatever one wants to attack) is, loosely, a commons-support. As a marketer, you can never truly claim neutrality, but you can support those who support you.
Number two, Pinko Marketing is about the commons itself. It celebrates the rise of the ‘consumer’ voice. It strives to tear down top-down power and message structures. It does away with classes and celebrates the impact of the tiniest voices. Yes, these principles are very tied to Marxism. Deal with it.
Where to begin?
Firstly, Ms. Hunt, McCarthyism was an attack on free thought in a democratic society. McCarthy and his partners in crime labeled anyone who disagreed with them Communists. Pinkos did not stand strong, Ms. Hunt. People who believed in the truth of democracy did – whether on the left or the right.
“Socialism/communism/marxism“? Are they equivalent to you, Ms. Hunt? I recognize that you were born in the Soviet Socialist Republic of Saskatchewan but do you really see them as a monolith. St. Tommy of the Clan Douglas would be greatly offended. (Be careful, his grandson, Jack Bauer might come after you, eh!)
Now regarding the commons. Let’s examine the etymology of the word – kindly removing it from the crumbling claw of Karl Marx. With roots in the societies of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, the commons referred initially to a piece of land that although it might be the property of one owner was accessible by others. In more urban areas, the commons were represented by Village Greens – areas open to anyone. London’s Hyde Park would be a great example of a commons – an area where people could relax, play, socialize and even debate. Speaker’s Corner being one famous part of the park where voices on soapboxes debated the crowds. (And from which Karl Marx thought the English revolution would come.)
Tying the commons to Marxism is fallacious. Recognizing the power of the commons in democratic society would be a more accurate connection.
You profess love for the Cluetrain, Ms. Hunt. But you want to hang the truth of the Cluetrain’s “communist” roots on the word “manifesto”. Yet Locke, Searles, Weinberger and Levine use Luther’s imagery of the 95 Theses nailed to the Wittenberg door as their metaphor for the end of business as usual. Luther attacked a corrupt system from within that system – calling it back to the truth of its origins. The Cluetrain brothers fairly attacked the perversion of our present market system. Liberals, no doubt. Communists, hardly!
A Nazarene carpenter suggested, over two thousand years ago, that we could judge people and systems, not by their words, but by their fruit.
And what is the fruit of communism, Ms. Hunt? The USSR under Stalin. Cambodia under Pol Pot. Cuba under Castro. China, where bloggers like you and I would be imprisoned. Where the very nature of the commons is not just controlled but quashed under iron fists holding hammers and sickles.
Your metaphor appears to come from the naiveté of a middle-class, Canadian-raised, historically-challenged individual. You use symbols of evil, Ms. Hunt to advance your theories for marketing commons. It is a perverse argument. One more accurately labeled The Clueless Manifesto.
UPDATE: Tara responds with Okay…okay…I give – proving her basic premise of the power of the commons.