Our Brand is Crisis

 <br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font: major-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: major-latin;">If there we have talent in anything as a country, it’s selling ourselves to advance our own interests. This week’s film, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Our Brand is Crisis,</i> documents Gonzalo (Goni) Sánchez de Lozada’s second presidential race in Bolivia, which was won due to the assistance of an American consulting firm, GCS. The group employed popular market strategies from the US, taking the concerns of a nation and selling its solution as an image, or “brand” without any substance. While they succeeded in getting Goni elected to office, GCS neglected the concerns of the people and instead capitalized upon them, manipulating points of view to elect a politician <a href="http://sboatman.blogspot.com/2011/04/our-brand-is-crisis.html" name="_GoBack"></a>who would keep economic policies beneficial with external interests. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font: major-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: major-latin;">The Washington Consensus served as a “solution” to assuage the Latin American national debt. It allowed for the opening of economic policy beneficial for foreign interests. According to James Cypher, “</span><span style="color: black; font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: Times; mso-bidi-font-size: 9.5pt;">Transnational corporations, particularly in the financial realm, used their extensive influence to consolidate a policy that promised to open virtually all areas of the Latin American economies to foreign investment and unrestrained financial flows across borders” (Cypher 47). These investments would of course, promise an influx of capital into the nation. However, this form of cash flow did little to be supportive to the development of a nation beyond its debt, going more toward items aimed to create a wealthy minority instead of a stable economic infrastructure independent of foreign interests (49). Under the guise of providing additional assistance to the financial strained Latin American nations, this system worked to exploit this need in order to advance the financial gain and opportunities of foreign markets.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: black; font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: Times; mso-bidi-font-size: 9.5pt;">GCS is a shining example of this exploitation. Hearkening to Perkin’s explanation of the Economic Hitman (EHM), GCS manipulated the nation’s people into accepting Goni, a candidate who was both unpopular and malleable to external influence. The group used data collected from the people, primarily in focus groups, to get an idea of their concerns. However, instead of using this data to help with strategies to improve the country, they molded these ideals into a “brand” used to sell to the people, empty words expounding on the threat of crisis without truly internalizing the people’s concerns. This succeeded in convincing the people to elect Goni. As a result however, with interests that did not ally with his people, Goni trod on making policy decisions that promised capital influx, but nothing that would truly benefit the country. As revolt built against Goni, GCS seemingly hid under the guise of noble intentions. The individuals from GCS in the film are quick to affirm the idea that they were genuinely working with a candidate they believed in. They expressed surprise at Goni’s downfall and take no responsibility for selling him to the people with no real promise of results. In molding Goni, the firm had no detectable hand in the issue and could quickly and easily retreat into plausible deniability. Just as with damage caused by EHMs, GCS suffers no scrutiny or reprimand for their handiwork (Perkins 22).</span><span style="font-family: Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font: major-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: major-latin;"></span></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/6330293596542621957-4432513895152699694?l=sboatman.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>