Just when you think capitalism can’t sink any lower…

“The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere.”

Despite the fact that Marx first wrote about the concept of “commodification” one and a half centuries ago, it is only in the last 25 years or so that the term has come into popularity (leave it to liberals to ‘borrow’ one of Marx’s ideas 125 years after the fact and then call it their own and praise themselves for their magnificent brilliance).

But, given that new items are being commodified at alarming rates, maybe liberals can be forgiven for coming slightly late to the party.

There are countless examples of items which have become, as of late, owned and thus commodified by corporations.  Two examples include: Human and animal genomes which are now owned by corporations every time a new discovery is made; Fox News successfully countered a court case challenging their right to own the phrase “Fair and Balanced”; and the song ‘happy birthday’, to which every sung performance must be met with royalties to the song’s owners, as Girl Scouts of America learned the hard way.

There is nothing particularly new or secretive about this development.  However, when I learned of this new development in commodification, I was at a loss for words:


Marketing a product that claims to connect one to God is nothing new.  The Catholic Church practiced something more or less similar to this for hundreds of years under their practice of the ‘buying of indulgences‘.

But actually copyrighting the phrase “Believe in God”?  Chutzpah, pure chutzpah.


7 Responses to “Just when you think capitalism can’t sink any lower…”

  1. 1 aniche 14 February, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    When was God ever out of the clutches of Capitalism? Why are there so many freakn versions of the same holy book?

  2. 2 scaryreasoner 14 February, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    What’s really galling is that the product doesn’t even work! I tried to get my money back, but the 900 number on the back seemed to be a misprint. It was some sort of disgusting perverted, I don’t know what. People these days.

    There’s some new kind that you apply directly to the forehead. I’m switching to that one.

  3. 3 ian in hamburg 15 February, 2008 at 4:08 am

    I saw the same thing on a box of condoms. While using them, I saw God.

  4. 4 Jamie Burnett 15 February, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    I think it’s a gag product. Where’d you find it?

  5. 5 ian 16 February, 2008 at 4:53 am

    i’ve seen other similar gag products, most of them secular. rather funny

  6. 6 Geoff 16 February, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    I looked at that story of the Girl Scouts – I could hardly believe it. But it was actually a story from 1996, and it looks like they (ASCAP) made a special allowance for camps. The story of Girl Scouts being sued just didn’t go over well in the media, and they quickly backtracked.


  7. 7 PeBo 20 February, 2008 at 11:55 am


    “God” isn’t a registered trademark???

    What U.S. patent office was asleep at the wheel when they missed that one???

    (and I would find it to be greatly satisfying if one could contact all those televangelists
    and sue them for copywright infrigement)


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