Capital One co-opts Occupy Wall Street
Everything in the popular domain is subject to corporate co-optation. Recent ads pushing Capital One credit cards have appeared on the Web. The ads use an image of a rocketman, seen from the side, depicting motion to the right. Adbusters, the principle instigator of the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon, uses an image of a runner, seen from the right side, rushing off toward the right side of the screen.
The political intent is a brazen move to claim for a Wall Street bank, the public space recently created by the people occupying Wall Street. The ideological war has begun in the two cultural spaces: the physical space of Zuccotti Park in New York, and the cognitive space of the mass media, owned and controlled by a few giant corporations. The power struggle will be played out in both venues as the police and occupiers struggle for control of the park, and as Wall Street banks move to buy public opinion in the faux free press. Images serve as powerful tools of ideological warfare. They always have. Centers of power cannot vilify the Occupy movement, though the corporate media have both ignored and then ridculed it. The class warfare perpetrated by the elites is also focused on siphoning off, displacing, the energy and attention of the greater public mind.
We shall see the outcome of the propaganda war soon enough.