SYNDICALISM

http://library.brown.edu/pdfs/1303305402406379.pdf

I am looking at the final advertisement on page 19 out of 20. The title, “Syndicalism and the Co-Operative Commonwealth (How We Shall Bring About the Revolution.)” really stood out to me (probably partially due to the fact that it is in all capitals in the PDF), but also because it talks about a revolution and syndicalism, which I had never heard of. According to Merrimack-Webster, syndicalism is “a revolutionary doctrine by which workers seize control of the economy and the government by direct means (as a general strike).” This reminds me a great deal of some of the communism and socialism memes that I’ve seen floating around Facebook as of late.

After getting past the title and opening, it’s pretty easy to realize that it is an advertisement for a book that it says is written “by advocates of Syndicalism who have a world wide reputation”, then states that “those who wish to understand the aims and methods of Syndicism, must not confine their reading to accounts of what Syndicism is, written by critics and opponents, but must first and foremost, read what the bet exponents of Syndicalist theories say themselves”. This advertisement seems to be a little bit more basic than modern advertisements, but more effective. It has an intriguing title that gives the reader a reason to keep reading and looking into the advertisement and makes an argument as to why you should read it. Personally, I am intrigued and I would read it, so I really like that about this ad!

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4 thoughts on “SYNDICALISM

  1. I agree with the commenter – the advertisement definitely stands out, especially with it’s large block-print lettering. However, I do not necessarily agree that the advertising is more effective than modern advertising. It’s biggest pull is the sense of “mystery” it imparts. By not outright saying what Syndicalism is and using suggestive and inflammatory language (e.g. subtitling it “How we shall bring about the revolution), it certainly intrigues the reader into wanting to be part of some inside knowledge.

    On the other hand, it is a textbook example of logical fallacies. I will list a few glaring examples:

    Bandwagon Fallacy: “Indispensable to all who are interested in the great movements
    of to-day” – Who wouldn’t want to be part of a great movement? And without this book, you can’t be.

    Appeal to Authority: “A book by advocates of Syndicalism who have a world wide reputation” – Since the authors are (supposedly) well-known, then clearly the contents of the book must be factual and accurate.

    Begging the question: “There is no logical flaw in the argument as a whole.” – The article makes a grand claim about the book, with no backing outside the book itself (i.e. there is no cited study saying the book has no logical flaws – mostly because it probably does have logical flaws).

    Ad hominem: “It is hard to see why the orthodox State-Collectivists should be bold enough to think that they have a stronger case” – The advertisement is directly attacking an alternative way of thinking, rather than presenting a case for the the book in question.

    Modern advertising (while still often using fallacies) generally has a different purpose than an article such as this – subtlety. While the commenter stated that they found this more compelling than much modern advertising, that is precisely what most advertising wants – subtle influence over direct motivation.

  2. There are parts from both of the previous comments I agree with and disagree with; however, I mostly want to discuss my takeaway from it. If this advertisement from the article was written today than I would interpret it as a satirical advertisement. Its large bold all-capital lettering begs the reader to notice it and the subject matter uses the bold strategy of direct motivation just as the previous commentator noticed. Advertisements today are subtle because people do not like being directly told what to do (millennials am I right?). However, if this article was written today it would be interpreted as satire and would actually be very effective because it would stand out from most present day advertisements. I can definitely see why the first commentator believed that this advertisement is more effective than modern advertisement.

  3. I also thought that this advertisement was interesting. It did stand out when
    I looked at the PDF in the thumbnail view. I think that it did what advertisements are intended to do by grabbing the attention of the reader. I found that despite what you said about it being more basic than modern advertisements, and I do agree that it is simpler than what is common today, the words that are being used are actually quite similar. Phrases like, “A vivid historical story,” and, “intensely interesting account,” and, “a titanic passion,” all help to convince the reader that they need to buy this book. It even uses a quote from G.R.S.T. in “Daily Herald” the same way that you can find excerpts of reviews on the back of books today.

  4. I definitely agree that the advertisement stands out. The fact that the title is all capitals combined with the wording of the advertisement makes you want to read the rest of it. The wording makes syndicalism sound very important and exciting, which will make the reader want to learn exactly what syndicalism is. However, I would argue that the advertisement is not actually quite as effective as a lot of modern advertisements. It mostly just made me want to know what syndicalism is, not so much actually read the book. In fact, at the end of the advertisement, it even has a few lines that throw me off of reading the book when it says, “this book is not merely inspiring. It is convincing.” Toward the end of the advertisement, I thought that it was praising itself a little too much, to the point that it became unbelievable. In my opinion, the wording at the beginning was very good, as it hooks you in and makes you very curious about syndicalism, but the wording at the end is just so overconfident that you will want to buy the book that it actually makes me less interested.

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