Alienated connections between the economy, marketing and globalization


Conexiones alienadas entre economía, marketing y



Conexões alienaram entre economia, marketing e globalização





Jorge Enrique Garcés Cano [1]


Reflective Essay


Date of reception: 16 oct 2014

Date of approval: 25 jun 2015




The orientation of enterprises towards the market or consumer (Garcés, 2010), as a work focus of a non-neoclassical/neoliberal marketing theory, and one that is not centered on operational activities that seek, on the short term, to maximize the sales and profits of individual producers, is a task that is overdue in this discipline. Restructuring it tied to the theories of Marx and Keynes seems to be the only safe refuge, where all demand generates its own supply, contrary to the old “law” of Say (Say, 1803). This article constitutes a theoretical-conceptual and descriptive effort to understand the connections between marketing theory with a real customer focus (the role of demand) and the socio-cultural, ideological, political and economic aspects of the authors of macro marketing, who are assumed to be divergent from micromarketing, the neoclassical origin of which has impeded its conceptualization from the point of view of science and its method; especially in this stage of capitalism, where the effects of globalization are manifested on the inhabitants of planet Earth, all consumers and human beings with the right to develop themselves integrally, in coexistence with other species.



Keywords: dialectics, economy, globalization, micromarketing, macromarketing, neoclassical marketing, historical materialism.


JEL: A12, D11, F60, L10, L13,  M31.





La orientación de las empresas al mercado o consumidor (Garcés, 2010), como foco de trabajo de una teoría del marketing no neoclásica-neoliberal, y no centrada en las actividades operacionales que persiguen a corto plazo maximizar las ventas y utilidades de productores individuales, es una tarea pendiente en esta disciplina. Refundarla amarrada a las teorías de Marx y Keynes parece ser el único refugio seguro, donde toda demanda genera su propia oferta, en contravía de la vieja “ley” de Say (Say, 1803). Este artículo constituye un esfuerzo teórico-conceptual y descriptivo por entender las conexiones entre una teoría del marketing con real foco en el consumidor (el papel de la demanda) y los aspectos socioculturales, ideológicos, políticos y económicos de los autores del macromarketing, que se asumen divergentes de un micromarketing cuyo origen neoclásico ha impedido su conceptualización desde la ciencia y su método; máxime en esta etapa del capitalismo, en que los efectos de la globalización se manifiestan sobre los habitantes del planeta Tierra, todos consumidores y seres humanos con derecho a desarrollarse integralmente, en convivencia con las demás especies.


Palabras clave: dialéctica, economía, globalización, micromarketing, macromarketing, marketing neoclásico, materialismo histórico.




A orientação das companhias para o mercado/consumidor (Garcés, 2010), como foco de trabalho de uma teoria do marketing não o neoclássico/neoliberal e não centrou nas atividades operacionais que procuram a curto prazo para maximizar vendas e utilidades de produtores individuais, é uma tarefa pendente nesta disciplina; refundarla amarraram às teorias de Marx e Keynes parece ser o seguro só refúgio onde toda a demanda gera sua própria oferta, paren contravía da velha “lei” de Say (Say, 1803). Este artigo constitui um esforço teórico-conceitual e descritivo para entender as conexões entre uma teoria do marketing com real foco no consumidor (o papel da demanda) e os aspectos socioculturais, ideológicos, políticos e econômicos dos autores do macromarketing que é simulado divergente de um micromarketing cuja origem neoclássica impediu seu conceptualização da ciência e seu método; máxime nesta fase do capitalismo onde são manifestados os efeitos do globalização nos habitantes da terra de planeta, todos os consumidores e seres humanos com direito ser desenvolvido integralmente, em coexistência com as outras espécies.


Palavras Teclam: dialético, economia, globalização, macromarketing, marketing neoclássico, materialismo histórico, micromarketing.






According to the theoretical perspective of this work on science, in agreement with the statements of Bunge (1980 and 1985), the central problem is transferred to the method; and at the same time, the functional interaction between hypotheses, laws, theories and models cannot be either linear nor depend on the level of “aggregation” or “reduction” with which we approach the object of study, much less, the route or trajectory taken to address the constructs. For this reason, induction per se (of extensive use in neoclassical marketing[2] and by new neoclassical economists) or simple deduction, are not absolute or superior routes in themselves, so as to confirm the presence or not of scientific research; this interaction is as dialectic as the connections of the universe and demands going from the general to the particular, or vice versa, depending on the nature of the phenomenon under study; that is to say, always beginning from reality, the only possible point when it comes to science and method.


Equally, it demands the integration of the theoretical level with the empirical, a line of work validated in the theory-practice relationship that is reflected in the work of Marx[3]. For this, prior to any empirical validation experiment, exists the need to have a real theoretical hypothesis (Popper, 1957 and 1967), which allows the basic research proofs to be correctly addressed. A relevant aspect is if it is taken into account that in neoclassical marketing, logical empiricists have put emphasis on the gradual and increasing verification of statements that are called “theories”, insisting reiteratively in case studies and their statistical mechanisms that they are the only probationary arguments (a profound questioning can be read in Martinez, 2000); when in these fields of knowledge, which are above all social, historical-dialectical materialism as a method, is a  basic precondition of scientific treatment.


The academic teaching, spread through “gurus”, speakers, consultants, and other experts en vogue, and the practical use (corporate) of real marketing (not only academic), has been submerged since its origins in neoclassical or neoliberal theoretical concepts (suppliers and productionists), with emphasis on the operational marketing of the 4Ps[4], as administration of objective variables to secure private individual short-term sales and profits of the macroeconomic units called enterprises. Their clearest tendency in the micromarketing world has been the use of magical formulas to attain such corporate results. Thus, modern management seems to continue to be immersed in the old problem of the capitalist method of production, which gave rise to the concept of marketing: how to get rid of their products ahead of their competitors in the context of  great competition and inertial structural overproduction, in the face of amorphous groups of consumers that appear to be passive, malleable, easily influenced, easily manipulated, etc; some that supposedly react to Say’s Law[5], or the law of the markets, according to which, all supply creates its own demand (Say, 1803) and the markets tend to structurally balance in a magical and inertial manner.


It is from the works of Marx and Keynes, who in their time contributed to the disruption of this conceptual structure and its accumulation of assumptions, that is possible to identify the true law that supports a serious theory of marketing: all demand creates its own supply. And it is evident that the world needs new ways to frame and understand the relationship with consumers; the old classical and neoclassical ideas that support the ancien régime will not, in the future, be able to adequately support an integral theory of marketing, with a real focus on the consumer. For this reason, although Marx could show the macroeconomic grounds that underlie the micro problem; or Keyenes could make a point regarding the microeconomic aspects that weigh down the aggregates, a task pertinent to the development and advancement of marketing is precisely being able to link the connections between what some thinkers call micromarketing (understood to be exclusively directed towards the actions of economic units, organizations, enterprises, consumers, and households), and macromarketing that few management authors have been able to frame in the study of their dialectical interrelations with society; not only the simple linear cause and effect relationships that they believe they can observe in their superficial analysis.


At the end of the 90s, some macro-marketing writers accentuated five relevant topics, as regards the relationship between marketing and: a) the environment; b) justice and ethics; c) economic development; d) quality of life; and e) market behavior. One more topic is added that not only seems to be in fashion, but that also, in the current context of the capitalist production method and its most recent crisis, would be most relevant; globalization. But not neoclassical-neoliberal globalization of  Fukuyama (1992, 2012), understood as “a final and perfect phase of capitalism”, where supposedly, “marketing”  reached market oriented companies and “the consumer is king” (micromarketing?); but rather a real-history that sheds light on the process that arose in the imperialist context of advancement and development, as opposed to the capitalist production method, linked to the need for the expansion of capital flows beyond national borders (macro-marketing?); one that, as well as the two world wars and countless localized wars, has led to the expansion and deepening of all social relationships of production, distribution, accumulation, and consumption among countries[6], and thus, has generated greater interdependence between nations and cultures of diverse ethno-geographic origin, in contrast to an economic model that continues to defend the XVIII century homo oeconomicus, individualistic, selfish, hedonistic and “of the strongest”, from both fields: micro and macro-economics.


Understanding the connections between an integral theory of marketing (micro or macromarketing) with a real focus on the consumer and the sociocultural, ideological, political and economic aspects that the authors of neoclassical marketing put forward, is a key task in this process of conceptualizing and working with marketing as from science and its method; a maxim in this senile stage of the capitalist production method, where the effects of globalization are felt worldwide, with consumers who seem to lose their social nature, their essence and control as individuals-live social actors: human beings with the right to develop integrally and in harmonic and peaceful cohabitation with their fellow human beings and with all the species that inhabit the earth, but structurally marginalized from such decisions.


With all of this, this article begins by approaching a relevant discussion about the historical connections between neoclassical economics and its different schools[7], and marketing, which possesses a neoclassical structural orientation and theorical vocation. Afterwards, an alternative and conflicting theoretical vision is put forward, from the point of view of the dialectical model of marketing developed by Garcés (1994), as the only social mechanism to guarantee the orientation and focusing of organizations on the market (the consumer), or in general terms, of production to consumption. Later on the concepts of macromarketing and micromarketing are delved into, which like in their basic science (economics) reflect another of those separations based on their neoclassical theoretical orientation. And finally, some realities and myths about the possible relations between marketing and globalization are revealed under the critical lens of both concepts. At the very end some conclusions and observations are presented, which arise from the historical-dialectical analysis carried out.




It is necessary to emphasize a historically evident fact that has scarcely been approached in the traditional literature of marketing: the evolution of economic thought and the way its main schools were outlining a mechanical vision, static and balanced, of the economic process and its actors (suppliers and demanders), with the consequent producer-supplier focus of markets that self-regulate and self-sustain in a natural way, so as to perpetuate their perfect functioning, all of these elements that gave rise to the neoclassical marketing theories and which have adequately accompanied its literary production until today.


Table 1. Main schools of economic thought.


Mercantilists (1500-1750):

M. de Azpilicueta, T. de Mercado, J. Bodin, A. de Montchrétien, W. Petty, etc.

“Le Tableau Économique ” or economic table

François Quesnay (1759).

Physiocrats (S. XVIII - La tierra)

François Quesnay, Anne Robert and Jacques Turgot  (Francia).

Classical Economics (1776 to 1870)

J. B. Say, 1803 (O=D), J. Bentham, A. Smith, D. Ricardo, T. Malthus, John S. Mill, James Mill, etc. The Wealth of Nations, by A. Smith (1776).

Marxist theories (comprehensive)

Karl Heinrich Marx (1818-1883). Capital, V.1 (1867).

Neo-classical theories (micro and macro) and the school of rational expectations (stagflation)

1.      Marginalistas-Escuela Austriaca: W. S. Jevons; K. Menger; E. Bohm-Bawerk; F. Edgeworth and B. Wieser (concept of continuous time).

2.      School of Lausanne: L. Walras, 1874 (General Equilibrium Theory); W. Pareto, 1909 (optimal allocation); K. Wicksell, 1898 (Theory of Capital).

3.      Partial Equilibrium Theory A. Marshall, 1890; y  A. C. Pigou.

4.      Monetarists: K. Wicksell, I. Fisher and M. Friedman.

5.      Sinthesis of “Keynes” – Model IS-LM: J. R. Hicks (1939) and A. Hansen.

6.      Neoclassicists: P. A. Samuelson.


T. Veblen (1857-1929), J. R. Commons (1862-1945) and W. C. Mitchell (1874-1948). The Theory of the Leisure Class, 1899, T. Veblen.

Keynesian Theories (macro)

Jhon Maynard Keynes (1883-1946). General Theory, 1936.

Post-Keynesian theories and the school of disequilibrium  

1.      Neo-keynesians: J. Robinson, N. Kaldor, R. Harrod, E. D. Domar, A. Eichner, J. Shumpeter, P. Davidson, E. Weintraub, Minsky, etc.

2.      Neo-ricardians: P. Sraffa, L. Pasinetti, P. A. Garegnani, etc.

3.      Neo-marxists: Michael Kalecki, P. Seezy, J. Steindl, A. Shaik.

Source: the author


Table 1 shows a simple summary of the most important and representative schools of economics grouped by author whose ideas have been similar, such as in the paradigms of Khun (1971); a synthetic review of the evolution of economic thought and its diverse schools and main theories, in real historical contexts, demands seeking the relationship between the origins of marketing and the object of study.


Without going over Platos concepts of common property in depth, if and only if such property was framed within the rights of the ruling classes of the empire, which was of a slave-owning socioeconomic nature, there is not much that can be said as regards the advancement of economic thought between Plato and Aristotle, who was considered one of the first advocates of private property and its virtues. His defence regarding the superiority of private over common property, due to reasons of productivity as well as the cultivation of certain virtues and moral conditions, has without doubt run through economic thought up until today.


All the schools prior to the stabilization of the liberal ideas of Adam Smith and David Ricardo (the classics par excellence), based themselves on the arguments of Aristotle; one of them, the first in history to appear (the mercantilists), defending the interests of groups of merchants in training; and the other (with Quesnay and other physiocrats), trying to give air to the landowning classes who were fighting to defend their interests over land. But it is evident that both were moving in the Europe of the XVI, XVII and the first half of the XVIII centuries, in a period of historic transition which Marx would identify as precapitalist economic formations, with feudal regulations and incipient states and national sovereignties in a process of formation. It is important to highlight those arguments that nowadays are still relevant, simple physiocratic ideas of XVIII century France: the existence of a type of natural law with foundations in its divine origins and under which the good functioning of the economic systems would be secured without the intervention of the governments (their main argument with the first mercantilists), in fact, the essence of this doctrine has dominated classical thought in economics until our times and has permeated neo-classical  marketing, with surprising rejuvenation in modernity, under their old expressions: laissez faire, laissez passer.


And clearly, what better legacy for classic economic thought, whose works were developed in a period of economic boom in the capitalist production fashion, where the industrial revolution was causing massive social changes that promoted and reproduced social organization around capital; that is to say, a production system where each individual had to seek and procure their own individual economic benefit, as the only guarantee of long term collective wellbeing. If this was done, the system rewarded them, if not, it punished them. There, in the inexorable and marvelous world of Adam Smith (as Marx would call it), the economic hedonism of Jeremy Bentham[8] was necessary, so that Smith shaped the mold of his homo oeconomicus: a social being that is calculating, maximizing, cold, an insatiable pleasure machine, always searching for his own, maximum individual wellbeing; one retaken afterwards by neoclassical economists (old and modern), who contributed to the formation of the first ideas of marketing. Thus, tied to an invisible hand, it is possible to assemble the classical as well as the neoclassical model (micro and macro-economic), in order to ensure the harmonic consistency and long term equilibrium of all the productive process; that is to say, the theoretical support of the supposed superiority and perpetuity of the capitalist production method.


The final stitch in the classical argument, which would intertwine with the later theory of neoclassical marketing, is the so-called Say’s Law, or the Law of the Markets, synthesized as follows: all supply creates its own demand. Say (1803) describes a linear process in which, before the consumers can demand goods, the producers should have produced others in order to exchange them for the desired one. This is translated into a simple exchange process, barter style (M-M), with a cause-effect relationship between supply and demand, where money is a simple veil of connection between the acts of buying and selling (M-D-M), and the corollary of which would be simple: there cannot be long periods of overproduction (from the point of view of Marx), or of underconsumption (seen from Keynes point of view), if the market, which is assumed to be perfect, does not suffer undue interference from governmental agents.


But something strange happened in the last third of the XIX century with the simultaneous appearance of the works of W. Stanley Jevons, Karl Menger and León Walras, between 1871 and 1874, who would make the subjective theories of value the central axis of economic study. Neoclassical economics appears on the scene, a group of thinkers whose economic approaches of a positive nature would displace the analysis towards the theory of marginal utility, insisting on the mechanical and harmonic equilibrium between long term supply and demand; and thus, one of the main changes corresponds to the shift in the layout of the object and field of study of economics, now understood as the science of scarcity, with rational human beings, making economic decisions of maximization, in asocial and ahistoric contexts (almost like automatons).


Under this lens, economics stops being a social science and becomes a rational and logical activity, an attractive and sophisticated technique, applicable to the study of the optimal conduct of individuals with restrictive behaviors (supposed). We are no longer talking about social beings making mediated decisions (determined) and, at the same time, determining contexts of class (devoid of its social character), but apparently in an independent and disconnected manner, detached from the historical and institutional framework in which these relationships develop, full of contradictions. And something even more relevant: the economic laws, which defend the superiority of the free system of prices (market prices), become optimal, universal, irreversible, and insuperable. This is another point of great relevance in the origins of the ideas of neoclassical marketing. But, of course, this refers to a hidden strengthening to the set of beliefs that reflect a certain system of values, with their respective ideological support: the neoliberal ideology and its economic model and model of government, focused on the open contest between unequals, the globalization of the markets and the perpetuation of this type of production (capitalism), under supposed organizational superiority (productivity and efficacy) and thus, the so called end of the story (Fukuyama1992 and 2012).


However, it is against the approach of classical economics (not against the incipient neoclassical theories) that Marx reveals himself; his profound criticism of economic processes that are unambiguous, onedirectional, conscious, rational, and lastly, which constituted more a set of beliefs as a reflection of the system of values and its ideological support (liberal ideology), whose objective theory of value had a structural flaw in the way in which Smith and Ricardo interpreted work and its relation to capital. This led him to carry out the most complete diagnosis of the endemically unhealthy functioning of the capitalist production method.


Marx’s theories, presented in Capital, unveil the economic laws of the movement of modern society. They allow us to move progressively closer to the reality of the capitalist production method, from high degrees of initial abstraction (commodity) to ever lower and more concrete degrees with the objective of being able to interpret a reality (the economic phenomena that drive the process of extended reproduction of capital), whose level of complexity is too great to attempt to approach it directly: it is precisely, in its essence, an example of the dialectical combination of theory and practice, logic and history, theoretical observation, constructs and observation-empirical validation, a hypothesis of research (Marx. 1867). For its relevance in the reformulation of a solid theory of marketing, it is only important here to highlight its contribution to the theme, in relation to three topics[9]: a) his pertinent distinction between values of use and values of change; b) his questioning of Say´s main statements; and c) his theory of consumption.


It is necessary to make a clear distinction between the double role of value (use-value and change-value) and of its dialectical interactions in order to understand the context in which the dynamics and interconnections between demanders and suppliers take place, exchanging abstract values in the markets, under the concrete form of goods (tangible and intangible products), but equally, as a specific way of calling into question   Say’s Law, where it seemed as if production was directed in a balanced, magical, and infinite way towards consumption.


In this way, for Marx  “Use-value takes form only in the use or consumption of objects (…). In the type of society that we intend to study, use-values are, in addition, the material support of change-value” (Marx, 1867; ed. 2000, p. 4). It is precisely the quality of goods of possessing use-value, by serving to satisfy human needs, which guarantees their possibility and viability as change-values (this is a change-value determined by its use-value). However, it is not possible in the capitalist society (in any of its stages) to exchange goods only and directly in relation to their use-values (total or marginal), given that what will determine their change pattern (change-value), apart from their potential existence for consumption (use-value), is the extent or amount of work socially necessary for their production: a product (tangible or intangible) may represent use-value without having change-value as such, which is individually acquired (i.e. air) and it will only exist as change-value if it carries use-value for consumption, that is to say, social use-value (i.e. a diamond).


If after production, in the process of circulation and consumption, the product does not become a commodity (it does not somersault, as Marx would put it) it will not have materialized change-value for its producer: although, with use-value, it will not represent change-value and there will be a decrease in value for the producer. It is important to insist in this argument, as therein lie the theoretical bases of the true concept of marketing; if there was a law that regulated the movement of the markets, it would be the opposite to Say; that is to say, all demand creates its own supply. Marx states, referring to Says argument:



Nothing could be more foolish than the dogma that because every sale is a purchase, and every purchase a sale, the circulation of commodities necessarily implies an equilibrium between sales and purchases…Its real intention is to show that every seller brings his own buyer to market with him…. No one can sell unless someone else purchases. But no one directly needs to purchase just because he has just sold. Circulation bursts through all the temporal, spatial, and personal barriers imposed by the direct exchange of products, and it does this by splitting up the direct identity… between the exchange of one’s own product and the acquisition of someone else’s (in barter) into two antithetical segments of sale and purchase… If the assertion of their external independence… proceeds to a certain critical point, their unity violently makes itself felt by producing – a crisis (Marx, 2000, p 72 and 73)



And from the above, Marx identifies the double meaning and role of consumption, in the process of the circulation and exchange of commodities, as a criticism of the classical view of homo oeconomicus, determined in a natural and anthropological way under an idealist view (the connection between Hegel and Smith). For Marx the market is nothing more than the place-time –space (and obviously its context) in which a social process of exchange among human beings takes place, not always as voluntary as neoclassical marketing texts tend to suppose; it is “(…) the stage on which the process of change develops (…)” (Marx, 2000, p. 65), where owners as well as consumers go with particular interest in generating value. The owners are not interested in their commodities as regards their concrete use-values; this only concerns the individual interests of the consumers; for the former


 (…) his commodity possesses for himself no immeadiate use-value. Otherwise, he would not bring it to market. It has use-value for others; but for himself its only direct use-value is that of being a depository of exchange value, and, consequently, a means of exchange (…) Hence, commodities must be realized as values before they can be realized as use-values. (Marx, 2000, p. 49)



In order to be able to produce and generate change-value for their producers, it is necessary to “enclose” use-value for their consumers: “(…) to be able to realize themselves as values, there is no other way than accrediting themselves as use-values” (Marx, 2000, p. 49). This is the dialectic interaction that underlies the dyad of value, which becomes even more complex when the role of money is introduced into the process, before and after these, the commodities (tangible and intangible products) have been produced for circulation and consumption[10]. This means that, while the exchange is for the producer a general social process (that is, objective), for the consumer (including the productive consumption that the owners of the production means carry out) it is an individual process (that is, subjective), where commodities only exist as regards their function as products (use-values). This is a key element to understanding a comprehensive theory of marketing which clearly opposes the neoclassical views on the topic.


Finally, it is in the bosom of the theories of equilibrium where one of Alfred Marshall’s student’s rebels against his school, showing that the neoclassical interpretations of capitalism correspond to idealizations and particular conditions (not general ones) that are difficult empirically validate. Keynes (1936) shows that it is demand that produces income and, like Marx, contradicts Say’s argument with profound implications in economic policy: the variations of production suppose modifications in the use of the existing productive capacity and from this, stagnation; something that could have been verified empirically with the effects of the Great depression that started in 1929, which Marx had already identified half a century earlier, with somewhat different conclusions and effects on economic policy. However, it is in the demonstrations of how the forces and dynamic of the markets come from demand (not supply) that marketing thinkers should turn to in order to reform their paradigm.  


From there, it can be said that some postkeynesian and neomarxist authors have tried to survive the onslaught of the ideological structure of the neoclassical and neoliberal theories. They can be identified by two main elements: a) the real existence of markets of imperfect competition, where there are no natural mechanisms that correct productive deficiencies; and b) the inherent and secular tendency of capitalism towards structural macrodesequilibrium. For the postkeynesian[11], of clear relevance to the effects of a serious and comprehensive marketing theory, the macroeconomic world is characterized by uncertainty, economic men ignorant of the future, and complex contextual interrelations between the decisions and economic actions of the different actors of the market. The constants are: the structural disequilibrium of the markets, with cyclic crises inherent in overproduction and spiralling growth (nowadays called bubbles); industrial sectors under dynamics of imperfect competition (monopolies), the structural tendency of which is towards oligopolic concentration; and market asymmetries of all kinds and levels, on the side of demand as well as on that of supply (information, sectorial barriers, strategic resources and corporate capacities, etc.).


Marx’s questioning on that vision of selfish, individualistic, hedonist human nature, rewarding individual interest and the search for the optimal satisfaction over collective interests, is probably one of the most pathetic omissions of neoclassical marketing literature. As disgraceful as the structural omission of those who try to see Keynes’ models of efficiency and harmony (certainty) in contexts of equilibrium (all the thinkers of the IS-LM model, that is to say, the revisionist synthesis that the neoclassics made of Keynes thoughts), and they even disregard his main contribution of uncertainty as a main determining factor of demand in the processes of the investment and accumulation of capital (the true principle of effective demand). To conclude this part, it is necessary to make two final observations: a) the definition of economics as a social science; and b) the separation between microeconomics and macroeconomics.


To begin with, as a guide to the theoretical aspect of this work, it will be understood that economics is a social science, the objective of which is the contextual study of real social relationships of production, distribution, accumulation and consumption, among groups of people - human beings- whose interests necessarily appear in clear conflict (social classes) [12]; not only in their behavior as suppliers (producers, sellers, etc.) but equally, in their role of demanders (consumers, buyers, clients, etc.) and among all the actors at the same time, especially when they resort to exchanging somewhere very specific called the market.


Secondly, the separation of microeconomic and macroeconomic aspects has been very much questioned in the literature[13]: not only it is recognized that both approaches complement each other, but also it can be demonstrated how the predominant line of teaching (neoclassic and neoliberal theories) has used such a separation to continue to support its ideology of the functioning and economic behavior of the actors of the market (beliefs). And it is remarkable how the micro and macroeconomic models (all of them of a neoclassic type) require the assumption questioned by Robinson (1973): unless there is perfect competition in an economy, equilibrium cannot exist; the assumption lead directly to the conclusions, and they would not be possible without the existence of such an accumulation of assumption about the reality of the markets and the behavior of their agents (simple and vulgar tautologies).


According to such a separation, while micoreconomics is dedicated to the analysis of the efficiency of productive units (choice theory) for given quantities of product, macroeconomics deals with the analysis of aggregates of supply and demand in order to determine the global product. But beware, because this supposed concretion of their field of study was only used in abstract-logic models, it clashes reiteratively in the practice of macroeconomists who tend to aggregate in the context of industrial sectors, homogeneous supply and demand, of economic goods of all types: tangible and intangible products (services); workforce; and even, liquid assets (money).


As the focus of their analysis is on the relative prices (which are determined exogenously, the reason why they are called free market forces), money always ends up having a neutral role, as a kind of “veil” over the connection between purchase and sale (C-M-C’)[14]. At the same time, after Keynes (1936) work, what had been taught since the forties is the macroeconomic exercise of Hicks-Hansen (the IS-LM model) and, for this, it is possible to affirm that in both cases (macro and microeconomics) there is a profound neoclassic and neoliberal interest in validating the so called conditions of equilibrium and harmony: optimal for production, levels of productive efficiency and social effectiveness, and collective welfare (macro), as a byproduct of the rational, selfish and maximizing actions of the individual actors in a perfect market (micro). All of them are precisely the input of the neoclassic marketing theories which will be mentioned below.




Economists have been trying for over 200 years to interpret the economic conduct of human beings and the interaction between psychologists and economists, in the treatment of these topics. It is as old as these two disciplines and the origin of the human attempt to explain and solve their problems; in fact, it has been the center of the micro-macro discussion in the diverse schools of economic thought and, in this debate, one and the other have tried to frame it as strictly rational or to place it on the other extreme, as something random and chaotic, given that in the observable reality of human behavior it definitely does not appear as one or the other, like all the events and behaviors of energy-matter in space-time (Hawking, 1988).


This, de iure, is a social problem, largely determined by the prevailing economic conditions (of superstructure, or of the macrocontext, in the language of neoclassic marketing) and its interrelation with the other phenomena that could be framed in the classic identification of the microeconomic. Of course, its use applied and normative in excess on the part of the managers of corporate policies and, more specifically, for the analysts of consumer behavior and marketing professionals, it is not but the result of the development of technologies that this method of production has invented in order to try to increase or, at least, maintain productivity at any rate: of work, of the circulation of values, of their realization and consequent monetization of goods (tangible and intangible products), of circulation of financial capital, etc.


Thus, facilitating tasks and processes in the sphere of the circulation of commodities was an urgent and demanding task, in a phase of capitalism where the intensive accumulation of capital went hand in hand with the exacerbated decreasing tendency of the rate of profit to fall; a capitalism that produces a plethora of commodities requires ever more sophisticated and modern mechanisms so as to intervene in the asymmetric relationships of exchange between producers and consumers; and, at the same time, to try to better manage the growing asymmetries between producers and their suppliers, their strategic partners (channels), etc.; that is to say, so as to try to self-regulate a free market plagued by unequal struggles, of unequal masses of capital, in a world more and more interconnected and multidependent, that is, globalized.


Although, as has been indicated, the original ideas of neoclassical marketing should be traced as far as the economic approaches of their “parents”in neoclassic theoretical (see footnote 7, p. 4-5 and Table 1, p. 5), who transferred the discussion from the (objective) labor theory of value to one based on subjective utility, it was only until the beginning of the 20th century and with a pronounced emphasis, in the period between the two big world wars, especially after the great economic depression and overproduction crisis of the thirties, that the real, historical conditions required can be validated for this applied science or technology[15], called marketing, to appear.


The theoretical-conceptual meeting point between economics, psychology, and marketing (nowadays called micromarketing) should be traced as far as there, where the neoclassics would make sure that the emphasis was put in the individual agents (consumers and corporations) to distract adequately from the dialectic approaches of Marx’s work on the historical conflict between classes; likewise, displacing the attention to a specific type of goods: the limited or scarce ones (no longer goods created by and for human beings, in their social context and class interaction), something that would necessarily lead to the revision of the object of study of economic science. The new focus of the analysis would be some logical magnitudes, given and static, of abstract conditions of: a) the homogeneous tastes and preferences of the consumers; b) endowments of productive resources equally homogeneous and perfectly replaceable; c) a given technology, with structures and costs; and d) an economic problem circumscribed to the effective and efficient allocation of scarce resources, in conditions and characteristics typically static (harmonic equilibrium).


It is evident that their structural theoretical roots and origins have to be sought in the neoclassic models of the firm and the first psychological-economic theories of consumption of the Austrian school, but it is after the historic reality of generalized overproduction in the world markets (a problem that would later be dealt with by macromarketing), where its demanding appearance should be located as a real and organic corporate need. It was after this that ideologists and managers, between the fifties and the sixties, managed to consolidate the paradigm of marketing which, due to the explanations given, has been classified as neoclassical.


Because of the multiple versions that exist about the origins and the historical development of marketing, the following would be a key question: historically speaking, is it possible to validate the existence of real business marketing, not as an isolated activity, disconnected from the context of social relations with which it has been identified in this work, or of the any other type of social practice with the same interests or ends, before the great overproduction crisis and the subsequent great depression of the thirties?


Does it make sense to talk about its presence in business activity or conceptual-academia, in a world where the social relations of production, distribution, accumulation and consumption, prevailing and determining, were precapitalist? In the context of the primitive communism of the first homo sapiens; in the slave world of the Greek-Roman society of Plato and Aristotle; in the feudal order with its courts, kings, serfs, and droit de seigneur (feudal lord’s right to bed a servant girl)?


No serious socio-historic analysis would reach such a hypothesis, except if idealistic mechanisms are used (Hegelian) to answer such questions. But without going that far back in history, it will make sense to think about marketing in the context of the first stages of the evolution of the capitalist production method, where it is still possible (given the poor state of progress and development of productive forces) to validate Say’s equation where all offer creates its own demand; that is to say, under structural conditions of a permanent surplus of demand over supply, and where the endowment of resources and the capacities installed are not yet sufficient to attend to the aggregates of consumption (macromarketing). In summary, what sense does it make to propose marketing in a society where anything that someone decides to produce will be automatically absorbed by the markets (demand), which will passively accommodate to its conditions of production; that is, all the pre-capitalist economic formations and even the first stages of the evolution and transformation of the current production method Marx would refer to as processes of simple accumulation (non-sustainable), which validated such an excess of demand over supply. Marketing was definitively never required there.


Once this aspect has been clarified, it is to this historical reality, in the advance and development of the capitalist production method, as a phenomenon objectively observed and measurable, to which we will refer to as something possible to generalize, extensible, and necessarily sociable; something that will be called marketing. This new technology or applied science which arises from the strengthening of the worldwide, expansive phase of capitalism (globalization of production), with its self-sustained processes of growth, accumulation, and increases in labor productivity. It is there that the development of such a productive force actually makes sense, a historic transformation that has a clear initial identification in the period between the end of the XIX century and the beginning of the XX century.


But, like all social categories in a permanent process of evolution and change, as a live productive force of society, which has already acquired a dynamic of its own of movement and change (even, moving against the status quo set out by the prevailing social relations of production, its regime of accumulation and its regulatory framework), there is no argument that supports the hypothesis that it should necessarily have to die with capitalism, like Fullerton (1988) thinks. It is far more probable that it outlives capitalism and acquires a new dynamic in the processes of the exchange of units of value, focusing more on the integral and holistic resolution of the real needs of human beings (all of them consumers and, at the same time, producers), even contrary to the ancien régime; this is, a clear historical demonstration of the relevance of marketing in a postcapitalist society and in the construction of socialism in the XXI century.


The American Association of Marketing defined it in the sixties as that which “…includes all business activities involved in the flow of goods and services from producers to consumers.” The  traditional marketing of the 4Ps was founded based on the vision of those who brought their conceptualization in the 60s[16] and 70s to the operational instruments of the marketing mix (incorrectly defined by many as strategies), where the main protagonists are a set of fundamental variables which appear to acquire a life and relevance of their own, and alienated the problem from its true essence: the consumer. And although in the following 20 years there were so many versions of the 4Ps written as marketing authors and corporate fashions continued to appear (Garcés, 2003, 2005, 2005A and 2006), this did not contribute to the anchoring of this paradigm to real science and to the orientation of organizations towards the market and the consumer (Garcés, 2010).


Afterwards, between the 80s and 90s, the discussion on the strategic base of the marketing problem, where underlies the connection with the consumer and their needs, would be relegated due to a superficial line of works interested in showing that marketing could be extended to all types of portfolios, organizations (private, public, mixed, etc.), and exchange experiences (short and long-term) , where there are some units interested in supplying and others in demanding ideas, causes, political, cultural, and religious activities, etc.; and, in general, any case studies that appeared and allowed for any topic that the discoverer chose to become fashionable. The discipline fell into the deep abyss of superficial crazes (see Garcés, 2003, 2005 and 2006).


Anderson (1982 and 1983) affirmed that marketing could only acquire the title of a science if it dedicated itself to studying the phenomena of exchange from the perspective of all the actors and participsnts of the process, and not only from the point if view of business or managerial practice, which had become the most widespread corporate-academic practice. Likewise, when Hunt (1991) questioned the theories identified by Bartels (1988), claiming that they did not meet the requirements of a general theory, he was  locating the core of the problem, identifying how this young discipline had (and still has) serious structural problems of fragmentation, identity, and credibility, hanging between two great extremes: a) either it suffers from excess generalization, without having a rigurous base on science (Sarabia, 1999); or it gets entangled in poor and tautological dissertations of elevated nano-specialization, unconnected among its parts (Martínez, 2000).


The discussions posed by Day and Wind (1980), Webster (1981, 1988, 1992 and 1994), Day & Wensley (1983 y 1988), Carlzon (1987), Day (1990, 1992, 1994A, 1994B, 1995, 1996 and 2000), and Day & Van den Bulte (2002); along with the arguments of Grönroos (1983, 1989, 1990, 1994 and 1995) & Gummesson (1987, 1988 and 1991), would establish a new line in the understanding of marketing, which would in the long run return the consumer, and the process of relationship building with the same, and would, in August 2004, pressure for the publication of a definition of marketing by the managing group  of the AMA: "Marketing is a function of the organization and a set of processes directed to create, communicate, and distribute value to the clients, and to direct the integral relationships with the clients, so that the organization and its public of interest mutually benefit” (AMA, 2004). In this definition [17], there are still some topics unlooked at: a) marketing is, above all, an organizational function, such as accounting, purchasing, etc.; b) it is defined based on a set of processes; c) for the first time, the 4Ps disappear from the stage as well as the concepts of satisfaction and exchange; d) the new key words (the fashionable ones), which substitute the extint ones, are value and customer relationship management ; and finally, mutual benefit is spoken of.


In order to prove that marketing uses a scientific model, talking about social and natural science, basic or applied, its explanatory capacity and applicability in all possible contexts (case studies) have to be demonstrated, where social processes of the exchange of units of value are identified, between actors of the market dyad, with asymmetric and diverse interests and almost always in conflict and, moreover, whose explanatory capacity being provable (historically speaking) in the context of those diverse concrete means of production (simple mercantile economy, capitalism, socialism, etc.) where it was possible to verify its presence as a social category. This means, a marketing that answers to that part of the study of the social relations of production, distribution, accumulation and consumption, for which the prevailing paradigm of its basic science (the neoclassical economic theory) could not adequately respond at the time; more specifically, macroeconomics with a neoclassical foundation. From there its lack of focus on the use of circumstancial theories and corporate trends, in the case study proposed by the authors of marketing literature, elements that have only managed to distance it from its true essence and development as a social and applied science.


Thus, what should be discussed is whether it is a science or not; and if it is, to define its nature properly; and if it is a social science (which it definitely is), with all that it implies, it would seem to be redundant to speak, under any pretext, of a supposed social marketing (that would seem to incorporate macromarketing) or another thing that it could not be (old micromarketing); but still more important, if the satisfaction of the needs of the consumer has been, is and will be the main element, the dynamic and interaction of which is the object of understanding and resolution for this young discipline, it makes no sense to speak of some phases of marketing where there has not been a focus on the consumer or the market: difuse language, not serious, which has undermined its credibility. With all this, it is now possible to pose the challenge of defining it bound to a comprehensive and human economic theory, indicating that marketing is a paradigm of science in a process of development where it is possible to identify the elements that bring it closer to science from those that keep it distant, and that have given more emphasis to ideas closer to metaphysics, the esoteric, or any other pseudo-scientific approach.


So marketing can be seen as an applied social science (a technology) which becomes concrete in the study of those contextual aspects that determine social relationships between suppliers and demanders, in order to guarantee the exchange processes that are generated in the markets. It is circumscribed to the identification of some of the socio-economic, cultural, demographic and human behavior (among them psychological) aspects which determine production and consumption so as to secure the exchange of units of value between suppliers and demanders (the dyad); not necessarily of equivalents, nor in harmonic and balanced contexts, such as neoclassical approaches suggest.


Like all social sciences, it uses history as its central method of analysis (information on exchange relation), with the objective of building models of consumer behavior that allow for constant learning from the relations that are established in the markets between producers and consumers; and by understanding how its determining factors behave with time, real strategies (of growth and market participation, in the short term; of positioning, in the medium term; and competitiveness, in the long term) can be definined, as well as commercial tactics (operational marketing), which facilitate the elaboration of models and mechanisms for measurement and prediction, under the  central principle of the uncertainty of markets and not the automatic guarantee of balance between supply and demand.


As a result of the above mentioned, like any other science (basic or applied), it works with possible error margins to establish and measure, under reasonable levels of risk, and associated probabilities of success in the prediction, greater than those offered by intuition or pure chance (50-50). Thus, a comprehensive marketing model, based on science, has to verify the components and elements of its dialectic and dynamic. Although it is not the objective of this work to delve into this topic, as it goes beyond its limits and objectives, Figure 1 summarizes the dialectical model of marketing suggested by Garcés (1994). A detailed explanation on the topic can be found in Garcés (2003, 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2014).




Figure 1. Dialectical model of maketing




Source: elaborated by the author from Garcés (1994).


Figure 1 summarizes the graphic model of marketing under a dialectical view of the process described; a comprehensive model based on science and its method, where the phases, components, elements and functional interactions of its different parts are verified, seen from an integral and holistic perspective, which will be referred to as the dialectical view of marketing from now on[18]. Under the dialectical model of marketing (DMM) described in Figure 1, strategic marketing (phases I and II, components 1 to 5) precedes, but at the same time it includes, operational marketing (phases III and IV, components 6 to 10); demanding the identification of its viability from the phases of strategic thought (phase I) and strategic planning (phase II). Under this theoretical panorama, emphasis is made on two aspects:


1)      Strategic marketing – the strategy-  is only possible where it identifies and attends to the dialectic relationship existing between strategic thought (phase I DMM, with the components 1 to 3 of Figure 1), strategic planning (phase II DMM, with components 4 and 5), and strategic action or tactic (phase III DMM, with components 6 to 9). These aspects will be explained later on.


2)   Although there are strategic topics on the short-term[19], real strategic marketing can not focus on strategic actions in the short term, under the use of different operational variables of the marketing mix, the emphasis used by neoclassical marketing. From the perspective assumed here, they are simple tactics or operations that constitute their independent variables; and the strategy, as a set of variables dependent of the same, demands additional mid and long term approaches (see footnote 19). This aspect is dealt with later on.


The DMM of Figure 1 explains the systemic development of the commercial processes of thought (phase I), planning (phase II) and strategic action (phase III). These last: the tactics, operations, activities, and necessary and sufficient tasks to conquer, draw in, seduce, and retain the market -demand-, with product portfolios or solutions -supply- which satisfy the needs of consumers and thus, consolidate the permanence and profitable growth of any type of organization in said market. The development, monitoring, and follow-up of the history of a possible long-term market-product relationship ensures permanent feedback through the functional operation of a quality system, service audit or “the voice of the client” (phase IV, component 10).


This is only possible through establishing sustainable relationships in time with groups of consumers who aquire the category of clients, in the process of which the consumer is both the starting and finishing point. It is about processes to identify, create, communicate and give units of value: use value or subjective value, on the side of the demand; and change value or objective value, as material support of the capacity of the producer to create value, on the side of supply. It is impossible to make an extensive presentation of the DMM; for this reason, only a few comments on the different phases, components, and elements that constitute Figure 1 are made, explained extensively in Garcés (1994, 2003, 2005, 2005A, 2006, 2010 and 2014). There are three key components to resolve in the strategic thinking phase in marketing (phase I):



1.      The strategic diagnosis of the marketing situation (DESM, by its acronym in Spanish), component 1 of Figure 1, as sine qua non condition of the processes of strategic planning (phase II, components 4 and 5) and the strategic action or tactic (phase III, components 6 to 9), which minimizes the probability of error (a level of probability risk, which is not the same as supposing the absence of risk).


2.      The building of a market information system (MIS), component 2 of Figure 1, as the only continuous and structural mechanism for the valuation and guarantee of the diffusion of the voice of the market within organizations to ensure processes of permanent measurement and thus, a steady decrease of the intuitive-emotional decision making process.


3.      The definition of key success factors (KSF), component 3 of Figure 1, a technique that guarantees the alignment of the organizational strategy[20] with the strategic marketing plan, as an additional mechanism of internal pressure for the orientation towards the market and the consumer.


In phase II of marketing strategic planning (components 4 and 5 of Figure 1), the first step of the process should always be clearly identified, from the previous diagnostic phase, the stable consumption groups with which there will be interest in building market-product relationships, in their different contexts of relation and time units. This is the first strategic decision in marketing that is shown in component 4 of Figure 1: an approach strategy, there the segmentation of the market is not the strategy, it is simply a technique, an instrument, or a tool of the administrative-economic sciences that has to be used in the process so as to be able to determine in its three dimensions[21]  the markets to attend to on the long (potential market), medium (objective market), and short (goal market) term.


And the second step, which initialy consists of the qualitative definition of the three marketing strategies: growth strategy on the short term (using Ansoff, 1968, as a theoretical reference), positioning strategy on the medium term (with Ries & Trout, 1990; and Ries & Ries, 2000, as theoretical references), and competitiveness strategy or the building of competitive advantage on the long term (Porter, 1979, 1982 and 1990). After this, their quantification with indicators of achievement, effectiveness or results is vital, which allow for the measurement and tracking in time; that is, their realization as dependent variables (Yi) of the DMM (output), which constitute the explicit form of measurement of the results of the commercial strategy through its 3 indicators, the marketing strategy objectives (MSO), component 5 of Figure 1: MSO of growth and participation in the market on the short term (Y1); MSO of positioning on the medium term (Y2); and MSO of competitiveness on the long term (Y3).


Finally, phase III of marketing strategic action (components 6 to 9, Figure 1) or tactical-operational marketing, which includes the tactics, operations, actions, activities, tasks, etc. [22], which should be verified according to its highest to lowest level of relevance and contribution to the real MSO defined above [23]. These tactics are the independent variables (Xj) of the DMM (input), which should only be defined when there is clarity as regards what is expected to be achieved. They have been identified using and reorganizing some elements of the neoclassical marketing mix, components 6 to 9 of Figure 1 (MIX), and they are shown as statistical factors or sets of control variables so they can be easily compared:


1.       The integral or global product (component 6 of Figure 1), which includes the decisions and investments in technical characteristics of the product (X1), prices (X2), packaging (X3), and brands (X4).

2.      Commercial communication (component 7 of Figure 1), corresponding to advertising (X5), merchandising (X6) and other ways of direct communication (without the media), public relations with a commercial focus (X7), and promotion (X8), such as discounts and incentives to the final user, on the very short term.

3.       Commercial management (component 8 of Figure 1), in relation to traditional channels of commercialization or sales (X9), physical-geographical distribution channels (X10), direct marketing campaigns (X11) and virtual channels – alternative or complementary – of sales and distribution (X12), And finally,

4.      Customer service (component 9 of Figure 1) with campaigns and reactive and proactive programs for: guarantees and post-sale services (X13); management of petitions, complaints, procedures and claims (X14); repair, retention and recovery of clients (X15); and maintenance, satisfaction, and loyalty – fidelity and loyalty- programs of clients (X16) [24].


It can also be said that the difference between strategic and operational objectives is given in relation to the existing dialectical relationship, defined already, between strategy and tactic: the operational objectives are subordinate to the strategic, but at the same time, the strategic incorporate, direct from their conception and suggest the viability of the operational strategies; whereas the strategic correspond to the output variabes, the latter correspond to the input variables. The former (SOM) will aways be dependent variables of the DMM (Yi; where i=3); and the latter, the MIX, will correspond to their independent variables (Xj; where j=16).


It being an applied science, apart from the graphic (Figure 1) and verbal models (its detailed conceptual explanation), its summarized representation as a mathematical model is required (Garcés, 2010 and 2014); an abstraction and synthesis of reality, which allows us to simplify the phenomenon by its categorization, study and measurement in time. For this, a simple matrix system of simple linear regression can be used[25]:



Yi = ˆβo + ˆβijXj + Error


Y1 + Y2 + Y3 = ˆβo + ˆβ1(X1Y1) +ˆβ2(X2Y1) +…+ ˆβ16(X16Y1) + ˆβ17(X1Y2) + ˆβ18(X2Y2) +…+ ˆβ32(X16Y2) + ˆβ33(X1Y3) + ˆβ34(X2Y3) +…+ ˆβ48(X16Y3) + ϵ%


As is indicated in the verbal and synthetic description of the model, there are always three dependent variables (Yi; i=3) and only for the synthesis presented in this work, 16 independent variables have been proposed (Xj; j=16); the former correspond to the indicators of achievement od the three strategies of the DMM, explicit through the SOM (Y1, Y2 y Y3); and the latter correspond to the possible set of tactics or MIX (X1 to X16), listed in their four groups of variables (conglomerates or statistical factors), the elements of which have already been briefly identified for each of them.


In this mathematical explanation of the DMM, ˆβo is the parameter that indicates the proportion of the results (SOM) that cannot be explained by the marketing tactics used (MIX), that is to say, factors which are exogenous, random, and uncontrollable. The ˆβij correspond to 48 parameters or unbiased linear estimators that can identify existing mathematical correlations in time, between each pair of dependent (SOM) and independent variables (MIX). Finally, ϵ% identifies an acceptable degree or level of error, corresponding to the same modeling exercise; ϵ% is the error margin obtained in a regression, associated with the quantity and quality of the series of data in number of years used to obtain the parameters of regression,  in this case, the matrixes correspond to the annual series with indicators of results obtained in the three strategies (SOM) and their corresponding monetary investments in the 16 variables of the marketing mix (MIX) [26].


The possibility to obtain a greater probability of achievement in the implementation of plans will depend on the capacity of the marketing analysts and scientists to study, model, and understand such relations. Strengthening such long-term relationships between producers and consumers is a marketing task in its casuistry, whether it is of local, national or international application; an aspect that will not be developed without a continuous follow-up on the history of such interactions and exchange relationships, not only mediated and guided by pecuniary objectives and maximization of profits, but also with short-term individual appropriation.


Thus, marketing as a builder of models can contribute to establishing better connections in the markets to facilitate an efficient use of the society’s productive resources, in accordance with the real needs of the people. Nevertheless, neoclassical management is still immersed in how to get rid of products, instead of how to discover and get closer to those who really need them, those in whom they can find the expected value. Society requires new ways of approaching the relationship with consumers. Nowadays, in an ever more pronounced way, a product is much more than a set of technical characteristics, tangible or intangible; and its price is never validated in isolation. The price (in a capitalist framework) is not formed under passive supply/demand interactions and markets of perfect competition, in organizations that calculate points of financial balance, but rather in markets with asymmetric sectorial structures and tendencies of monopolic or oligopolic concentration.



Neoclassical marketing has reiteratively bet on the laws of chance and intuition; historical/empirical evidence ratifies a pretty poor indicator, with only 1 out of 10 cases that are probaby right. From there, the urgency to implement scientific processe3s of analysis in order to fullfil the three great strategic objectives suggested in DMM (SOM), as dependent variables: with higher probabilities and lower error margins than the ones given by pure chance. Making predictions on the markets’ behavior is one of the main objectives of marketing’s scientific approach. However, it is important to remember that production factors are looked into. The behavior of the human beings is studied, in their social relations of consumption: that is, all the determining elements of demand and the way it influences supply. If psychology, sociology, and antropology provide relevant information to marketing, it is necessary to continue advancing in that line. And the low level of conceptualization, the lack of strategic clarity, the conjunctural excess, the trial or testing without any measurement –without learning from experience-, have been the evident norm of the corporate style and of the neoclassical marketing questioned here.


The world and its “modernity” require new ways to approach the relationship with consumers. Say’s Law will not help for much longer. In most companies of the third world, even some large ones that operate on a transnational level, they do not have appropriate budgets for market research and the development of new products, even less to implement permanent monitoring systems of the level of satisfaction of consumers: a central key to the processes of marketing. More than 60 years ago Drucker (1954) affirmed that the ojective of enterprises was to create clients, he said:


“It is the customer who determines what a business is. What the business thinks it produces is not of first importance- especially not for the future of the business and to its success. What the customer thinks he is buying, what he considers “value”, is decisive- it determines what a business is, what it produces and whether it will prosper. The customer is the foundation of a business and keeps it in existence.”


It is not possible to continue improvising to the beat of circumstances or fashion, and feeding in all types of organizations the idea that as we are talking about peoples behavior (supposedly unpredictable), the best thing to do is to act quickly and take advantage of the great experience of those who have been handling business, or of some

“guru” consultants. The low level of conceptualization, the lack of strategic clarity, conjunctural excess, the trial or testing without measurement (learning from experience) are blatantly norms of neoclassical marketing; especially in the Latin context of administration (paraphrasing Sallenave, 1995), which not only shows some immaturity and poor development in organizational marketing, but that is also reflected in other activities, such as: a) improvisation in the planning of income and expenditure budgets; b) deficiencies in staff recruitment, especially in managerial positions which have technical relevance; c) the little or inexistent orientation towards team-work (something that is reinforced in recruitment processes, very much oriented towards individual qualities and aptitudes in general, to guarantee stars in the field; d) the belief that the boss is the one who sets the direction of the organization (almost like feudal lords) and their tribes should follow them to the letter (like serfs), which is translated into low levels of empowerment.




After setting out the discussion on micro and macroeconomics, it is pertinent to revise the rise of these two tendencies from within marketing: how is it possible that there was a beginning to and an evolution of marketing, which focused on problems and operational aspects, exclusive from the context of the interests of private investors (micromarketing), behind the back of the great macrodeterminations (before the 70s); an how and why, under social marketing in the early 70s  (Kotler & Zaltman, 1971) there arose an interest in revising the conception of the paradigm (its expansion into new activities and topics), which seemed to have left behind some key and relevant aspects of macromarketing.


In fact, the first arguments of the current trend of corporate social responsibility (Garcés, 2007, 2009 and 2012) have their origin here, in the ideas of Lavidge (1970), Kelley (1971), Dawson (1971), Feldman (1971), and Spencer & Moinpour (1972), who proposed that the marketing director added the following elements to the classic 4Ps: a) consumerism; b) cleaning (ecology, eco-friendly products, recycling); and c) resource conservation (prudence, efficiency, and justification of resources used). Furthermore, some of them insisted on the formation of organizations that cared about social interests and they also talked about the need for government intervention; an anti-neoclassical heresy, surely taken from Keynes work, but never acknowledged as such.


Perhaps, the first to openly work on the concept with the term macromarketing were Moyer (1972), and Bartels & Jenkins (1977). Later on, in 1976, the American Marketing Association organized a number of seminars on the topic, which would contribute to the creation of the Journal of Macromarketing in 1981. In the work of Bartels and Jenkins (1977) it is mentioned that under that name different aspects were being revised in a wide range of senses in order to designate systems and groups of institutions related to the microenterprise problem of marketing: distribution channels, private and public institutions, associations, unions, etc., which had not initially been taken into consideration in the main components of micromarketing (understood up to that moment as a type of  marketing for individuals and companies of private accumulation of capital).


But it is vital to highlight that this theoretical-conceptual omission openly obeyed the original source of the rise of marketing and its starting point: the neoclassical microeconomic theories; and to the related fact that the marketeers believe that there is only one line of thought when it comes to economic theory (from Smith to Ricardo, the classics; and from Walras to Marshall, the first neoclassics), disregarding or eliminating through theoretical incompatibility the contributions of pioneering and revolutionary works which allow for relevant qualitative leaps in the economic debate; and of course, in the development of an alternative macroeconomic theory: the criticism of the classical political economics of Marx and the attack on the neoclassical postulates of Keynes. Logically then, to the later developments on the Marxist and post-Keynesian lines, and the rise of alternative paradigms to the explanation of the micro and macroeconomic interactions, such as, for example, the works of Piero Sraffa, which would result in the start of the neoRicardean school.


But the line of development and separation between micro and macromarketing is very recent, given that it dates from the beginning of the 70s, whereas the discussion between micro and macroeconomics is a debate which has its origins in the XIX century and starts with force with the publication of Keynes’ General Theory; he is nowadays considered the father of modern macroeconomics. The first serious attempt at the separation of the micromarketing approach was the work carried out by R. Moyer (1972), for whom, while micromarketing only focused on organizational topics, macromarketing should approach its relation with the general context of the economic system as a whole: paradoxically, this sounds more like an argumentation made by Marx than that of a XX century, neoclassical business administrator. Later on, Hunt (1982) would suggest that while micromarketing is exclusively directed to the actions of economic units (organiations, enterprises, consumers, and households), macrmarketing is framed in the study of the interrelations (cause-effect) between marketing systems and society, and vice versa.


I must agree with  Quintanilla (2002) when he affirms that from there, the scientific production on topics related to macromarketing has been quite poor, and also, the main reason for it is found in the way in which this young discipline was born, highly biased by neoclassical microeconomic influence and its emphasis on the elements that relate it to corporate decisions on products (supply), in subordination to the decisions of consumers (demand): with the belief in the perfect functioning of the markets and Say’s Law.


But it is not possible to agree with the same author, when he gives Katona (1963) the credit for the origin of the central topics of economic psychology; for example, by indicating that his work allowed to establish how economic behavior depends on the capacity and will of individuals to consume or save, when any economics freshman knows that this is one of the most important of Keynes contributions (1936) to economic thought: the backbone of Keynes work is the principle of effective demand; and there, part of the theoretical definition of both sides of the macroeconomic process in the income equation (consumption and saving), managing to establish that it is a certain psychological situation (the marginal tendency to consume or its opposite, to save), the explanatory basis of how human beings distribute their income between consumption and saving.


In general terms, it is not possible to find in the works of some marketeer of the last 50 years, the origin of the emphasis on supply-related topics; that change in perspective and emphasis in topics of the economic process of the side of demand was seen in the works of Marx, by disrupting all the basic postulates of the classical economic theories; and de iure, in Keynes, by doing the same with the approaches with which he was educated at Cambridge (the neoclassical economic theories). Both, Marx and Keynes, would contribute in their own way to disrupting the conceptual structure of the main assumption which underlies them: Say’s Law, or the law of markets; a law that in the neoclassical beginnings of marketing would harm the focus given to commercial processes: production, product, the salesperson’s work, advertising communication, brands, and any other action that, in an underhand way, has always been marked by production, strength of the supply, entrepreneuring spirit, etc. All of these are simple manifestations of a world that still does not accept the role that demand has in the dynamic of these relationship processes, within or outside of the capitalist production method.


For this reason, one should not be surprised by the fact that it can and has to establish a connection between the origins of a comprehensive economic interpretation (macro and micro), with emphasis on social elements, like Marx’s; the rise of modern macroeconomics with Keynes; and the first works of a marketing alternative to the traditional view focused on microeconomic aspects: the macromarketing of the 70s, where it seemed vital to revive concepts, such as the quality of life of citizens. At the end of the 90s, macromarketing accentuated at least five relevant topics: a) marketing and the environment; b) marketing, justice and ethics; c) marketing and economic development; d) marketing and quality of life; and e) marketing and markets.




What is the relation between marketing and globalization? What is globalization, from an economic perspective? When did the process actually start and why has it sped up   in the last few years, at a growing rate? What are its main implications in different types of national sovereignties? What can be concluded from all of this process?


In this work the view of neoclassical marketing is dealt with, which is by definition “a set of operations a commodity has to go through, from the producer to the consumer”  (Economia Planeta, 1980, p. 491); and that of globalization, which is described as an accelerated process of dependence of the every day and domestic life of human beings on a set of economic and political forces that go beyond national states, turning into a final and perfect phase of capitalism[27], it is possible to approach the set of interactions that necessarily has to do with the understanding of these aspects that nowadays are approached from so-called macromarketing (its point of convergence). And it is important here to highlight that the term globalization has been used for the last 20 years by neoclassical or neoliberal thinkers in the management and marketing fields as a literary trend. That is to say, an ideology, a sort of recipe and corporate premise, which vindicates the final stitch of the unlimited process of the sustained accumulation of capital all over the planet, under the eternal dream of capitalists and investors: accumulation without protests (Anderson, 1992); a kind of universal society without social classes, where laborers are virtually defenseless to resist the economic dictates of those who possess economic control of the planet (Hirsh, 1995).


It is, to the understanding of its advocates[28],  the final phase, ultimate and perfect, of capitalism, the qualitative transformation of which has allowed it to supply itself with magical and invisible mechanisms of self-regulation, and its functioning is beyond and above the individual. Human beings, no matter their social class (if classes are considered in the analysis) appear to be attending  Fukuyama’s (1992 and 2012) end of history and the dynamic of the system has reached a neutral phase, where the perfect society has finally managed to eliminate all of that which was preventing it from flourishing: the alleged triumph of individual freedom over any type of collective oppression (the economic freedom of those who can make use of it); and capitalist democracy shown as the universal political system. But, is that the real globalization of today? Is it not the case that when facing the historical analysis of this method of production there appears a ferocious globalization that reflects great contradictions, which make it unsustainable? Without such a revision it is impossible to shed light on its connections with true comprehensive marketing, no matter if it is classified under the term macromarketing or not.


Under Marx’s lens, globalization would be the particular way in which the advancement and development of the factors of production are shown; the concrete way in which productive forces exert pressure and erode the capitalist social relations of production, although born from its interior as a concrete method of production; one whose clearest manifestation is the unstoppable advance of the organic composition of capital, in opposition to the evolution of real values (objective) and the materialization of capital gains, with the resulting decreasing tendency in the installments of the average profits of investors; not in their absolute masses (Marx, 1867); and from there, Bonefeld (1998) accurately describes five definite elements of this process:


1.      The significance and the growing importance of the financial structure and the global creation of credit, which leads to the dominance of finance over production (see Lenin, 1917, 1985); where financial capital has turned into an independent force, whose rising power has built a sort of financial superstructure which exerts pressure on productivity.


2.      The growing importance of the so-called knowledge structure, where knowledge is one of the most important production factors.

3.      The increase in the speed of the cycles of technological obsolescence and the growing process of transnationalization, where the industrial emphasis lies on sectors based on knowledge, with a fast rate of innovation and the rapid introduction of new products.


4.      The rise and increase of oligopolies, which appear as multinational corporations, as a result of fusion, acquisition, joint venture, strategic alliance or any other method that allows local corporations to become global and transnational, under threat of disappearing; by their side, large transnational banks with powers and influence superior to those of their national states, or their local economies. And


5.       The globalization of the production, of knowledge and of finance, where old national states retire as possible regulators, in order to eliminate the inefficiencies that this causes in the free market; and, in addition, a globalization of political power, appearing a sort of plural authority structure associated with the United Nations, the G7, the G8, etc. The old national states become states of competition.


We talk about a globalized world, for whom? For the states of competition, which are the heads of economic blocks; for global and transnational corporations with sufficient economic power (resources and strategic capacities) to monopolically impose their productive conditions and their products on the consumer all around the world; for the 100 richest men on Earth[29]. Or for the poorest countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa; for the millions of microenterprises that clearly constitute the anti-Pareto of third world enterprises, registered in their respective chambers of commerce; for the billions of inhabitants (potential consumers), who cannot be incorporated into the demand equation of the majority of the products that are sent to the world markets, not because they do not have needs, but because they do not have purchase capacity (the demand equation in the context of the current method of production); and even, in the most recent paradox of the structural crisis of capitalism, for the millions of typical middle-class citizens (North American and European), who, indignated,  let their discontent with globalization show.


Neoclassicists and neoliberals, staunch supporters of globalization, proclaim that it is a source of individual freedom, which secures economic freedom and guarantees a free system of political order, where the capitalist democracy turns into the very same end of history. Thus, the old bourgeoisie dream is secured: globalization as the start of a transnational sustained process of accumulation of capital without protests. If, in any geographic location, the method of production or its conditions are not accepted, capital decides to relocate to those places where such inefficiencies and frictions do not take place (more favorable areas, with better prospects for investment); the rulers in office, linked to the plutocratic interests of the local bourgeoisies, will make sure that it is so, signing as many international free trade  agreements as they can[30], consolidating the role of the poorest nations as the recipients of the capital surplus and the leftover commodities of the world powers, a condition required in their attempt to escape the turmoil caused by their overproduction crisis and its consequences, a decreasing structural tendency in their average profit rates.


For this, the bourgeoisie has always acted according to the rationality of capital. As a social category (not a factor of production), it does not acknowledge borders, races, creeds, age, gender, or any other element which defined the old national states, that were important at some point to undermine the old feudal regime. But the process of worldwide capitalist expansion (or globalization) is not something that has started socially in the last twenty years, like some marketeers and management writers think, or is it that capital discovered the world market at the end of the 80s?; if it were so, where was capital before?, as Bonefeld (1998) questions. Two world wars, the commercial origins of which seem to be repeatedly forgotten, speak of this and of the participation of the main actors of Wall Street in world economic and financial management, clear evidence from history: a great depression in the 30s (overproduction crisis) and multiple financial, bank and key industrial sector blows, between the 70s (two oil shocks), the 80s (external debt crises), and the 90s and the beginning of XXI century (embezzlement - Enron, Madoff, Stanford, Lehman Brothers, AIG; bubbles – dotcom and sub-prime mortgages; and fake reports on Greek debt, like those of Goldman Sach), all the above is proof of this.


What is clear is that in the current conditions of the international order, the defense of the globalizing process ensures a mechanism to strengthen the liberal and old idea that the process of capital accumulation can take place without crises, as long as the workers [31] get used to being mere factors of production of global citizenry; in this way, the non-observation of social relations among people is secured and any type of class resistance to the process of capital accumulation is eliminated. When the owners of the means of production are mentioned, we refer to those who have the capital as critical mass, this means that they have the real or potential power to become actors of the sustained accumulation process, more demanding now given the transnational conditions and globalization; it is not an apt scenario for street vendors or irrelevant service providers in the third world.


This being the case, it is necessary to understand that globalization is, first of all, a globalization of production; that is, an intensification of the transnational phase of capitalism. As a historical process that arises in the context of the development of the capitalist production method, clearly linked to the needs for expansion of the capital flows beyond national borders, it leads to expansion and deepening of all the social relations of production, distribution, accumulation and consumption among countries. In this way, its corollary is the generation of greater interdependence between nations and cultures of diverse ethnical-geographical origin, in opposition, even, to an economic model that still defends the XVIII century philosophy of homo oeconomicus: individualistic, selfish, hedonist, and with the idea that the strongest prevails. This is an additional intensification of its multiple social contradictions. As with all historical-social processes, this method of production will continue to advance within the dialectic of its own contradictions. For this, those who study the economic-administrative sciences, whatever their condition or place is, must learn to read the signs clearly and discern which possibilities of intervention countries, industrial sectors, enterprises, organizations, consumers, and any other actor that is affected by the process, have.


Technological developments, innovations, and increases in productivity, as well as major reductions in geographic distances and almost unlimited growth in virtual communications, have shown an advancement in the prevailing method of production, even under unthinkable conditions, and with results not yet measured: an ebullient world of production amid the most profound squalor of the majority of humanity. The most visible and quantifiable result has been a rapid growth of the global process of capital accumulation (with its cyclical phenomena of overproduction in most of its productive branches), amid abundant poverty and squalor: an insurmountable contradiction.


Some management and neoclassical marketing writers still think that globalization is a process that started a few years ago; especially for countries like Colombia which opened up indiscriminately to the neoliberal model at the beginning of the 90s, and it has intensified with the last three governments with the application of macroeconomic policies for its nationals. This ahistorical fixation, of strict neoclassical (economic) and neoliberal (political) origin is linked to the assumption of a supposed new validation of the conditions of market perfection. This is a theoretical assumption which is impossible to verify on an empirical level in the capitalism of the early XX century and even less so in the present: the so called conditions of balance in the markets are, as defined by Robinson (1959 and 1973) theoretically impossible to sustain and empirically impossible under the current oligopolic competition.


It is worth making some final comments regarding the relation between marketing and globalization, given that the advocates of liberalization at any cost are equally supporters of the idea of erasing any trace of state participation in the economies of poor countries, and for that matter, of privatization, the destruction of the public enterprise and the oniric fixation of turning everything into a commodity (tangible and intangible products). Its promoters claim, in their argumentation, that private enterprises are by their nature efficient and there is no corruption in them; thus, the best contribution of a government to its nationals is to put an end to the public sector and allow private enterprise to intervene in all operations (private business). For this reason, all around the world, the neoclassics/neoliberals managed to restructure even sectors that were strategic as regards social development and that produced great achievements in constitutionally protected universal rights, into large for-profit businesses. Among those felt the most are: basic public services (drinking water supply, sewer-treatment, electricity-natural gas and basic phonelines); health; education in its different levels; and the management of individual pension savings and long-term savings for workers. 


Fedesarrollo (Foundation for Higher Education and Development), a non-profit private entity, which defines itself as “independent in the study of the best economic public policies in Colombia,” emphasizes on a supposed causal line between globalization and democracy, where democracy guarantees and promotes economic freedom per se; this means that, it ensures the strengthening of the private sector while the presence of the public sector is eliminated; and where political freedom  is interpreted as a synonym of the strengthening of the largest and most traditional political parties which support said democracy,  with the risk of eroding and breaking up national unity even more. In opposition to what the economic process indicates, its followers fall into the typical contradiction that surrounds liberal philosophy, when it comes to giving a scientific explanation or a social justification for a process whose evaluation is carried out on a purely technical plane, with the aim of hiding the social relations of production which dynamize this process; logically, it is the old process of capitalist accumulation, whose phase of transnational expansion (globalization) is as old as the origin of capital (Wallerstein, 2007).




Marketing could have been conceptualized comprehensively from the very beginning, that is to say, by incorporating both its aspects (micro and macro) which underlie the problem of how to ensure the focus of production on consumption and the real resolution of the needs of the inhabitants of planet Earth, not only the basic and reproductive ones that perpetuate our species, but also all those relevant to the advance of productive forces in the context of valid social relationships of production, or in the societies that are to be built in the future: XXI century socialism. This seems to be the most relevant affront of humanity in this phase of production with intensive accumulation of capital in world and transnational contexts, called globalization.


But as is taken from this article, this emergence was doomed to failure given the neoclassical and neoliberal approach of the paradigm, which had given it theoretical life at the end of the XIX century. This failure has been ratified by a history of endemic and structural behavior in the crises of overproduction of the current capitalist production method. The economic apparatus that gave life to marketing as a social force for change, and as a historical necessity of the process of sustained accumulation of capital, has rapidly turned against it and the integral economists tied to the most advanced approaches of the theories of Marx and Keynes, owe a debt to humanity. It is necessary to recontruct marketing into something that actually guides production to consumption and guarantees the focus of all types of organization on the market, that is to say, on the consumer (Garcés, 2010 and 2014).


It is possible, by way of conclusion, to make some final observations concerning its relationship to the current crises of the capitalist production method, inserted into the context of globalization, where the phrase socialism or barbarism[32]  returns with a new meaning. Questioning from there the reductionist and linear view of history, which some thinkers made, is of the utmost importance; just as capitalism had many historical forms of gestation and implementation, the postcapitalist societies which will arise from the breast of their historical contradictions will have “embryos” as diverse as the diverse national configurations of today allow for. That is to say, as well as humanity, which marks the pace at which the process of the sustained accumulation of capital advances in its cyclical process (a growing spiral), unsustainable in the long run[33], where generalized misery amid relative abundance will continue to be the norm (globalization at present), humanity itself, as a social collective, will be the one to decide what path to follow; and it has as many possible future stories as there are types of social construction that  are gestating in the diverse parts of the planet.


But independently of that, the society that arises from the ashes of the present one will be as the historical-social process dictates; and what the data shows (not only the social data) [34] is that just as capitalism in modern times represented a profound advance after the previous organizational forms, it has ceased to be a revolutionary engine of the transformation and advancement of humanity, in the middle of productive forces that are barely controlled and that erode everything. That insurmountable historical-social contradiction, which has been the engine of the history of humanity, is one of the few social laws that can be referred to, and marketing is playing and will continue to play a relevant role there.


It is evident that in the last interventions of Krugman and Stiglitz on what is called the present bubble, although it advances ahead of the neoliberal and neoclassical “caverns”, they are promulgators and believers in the salvific policies of the capitalist production method. As Skidelsky (2009) affirms, these neokeynesians only have an old family dispute with the neoclassicists: they are like siblings which share the same mother (though of doubtful reputation), disputing the political scenario every five years. Some are even more daring by associating them with a left wing (Democrat Party) and an extreme right (Republican Party) in the United States, something that can only cause laughter.


Skidelsky (2009) poses the topic by indicating that both try to hide their theoretical outbursts with mathematical overloading, attempting to show purity in the method, but in both cases omitting the real contributions of Keynes and, of course, of Marx, namely: that in capitalism uncertainty is a constant of the investment process and uncertain expectations about the future make it a weak, faltering, cyclical, and speculative system; that is to say, a system that structurally involves boom and bust cycles, in which the assignations and calculations of probabilities do not always make sense; they are not mere bubbles, but structural forms of endemic and sickening self-destruction in the long-run, as a result of the same inertial intervention of investors who share the same uncontrollable passion of the usurer; not irrational, it is the liberal philosophy per se, elevated to the category of law.


The neo-neoclassicists simply deny the phenomena due to their beliefs, ideology, and assumptions, which manage to hide behind the vulgar category of economic laws. And the neokeynesian believing that the problem is simply reduced to information asymmetries, which can be solved by the good management of the intervening state. Both are incapable of explaining the tendencies of the structural crises of the markets where, as Skidelsky (2009) puts it, the blind lead the blind. "This is a crisis of symmetric ignorance, rather than one of asymmetric information."


In a different line as regards the form, but close to it at its core, Akerlof and Shiller (2009) show some Animal Spirits which are inscribed within the currents of behavioral economics, affirming that the behavior of economic agents is totally irrational: something that the old Marxists (under the thought and work of Marx) know to be incredibly stupid; each regime, according to its method of production, involves a specific way of producing and, for that reason, of consuming. In this case, capitalism is oriented by private investors, whose passion is to accumulate and to continue to accumulate, becoming richer is their leit motiv, which leads them to compete fiercely[35], something that they share with usurers, but what in the latter is a vulgar, unstoppable passion (irrational), in the former is the same form that moves their process of extended and cyclical accumulation of capital (not always sustained, in general in a spiral). It is their social reason of being, the nature of their class, there is nothing irrational there; there is nothing more rational than the liberal philosophy, its concept of class, and all the ideological structure that has been built over more than 200 years to make humanity believe that the end of history is here (Fukuyama, 1992 and 2012). In the local panorama (Colombia), it is only necessary to observe the role of the bourgeoisie: traitor to the country, plutocratic, corrupt, which when they took hold of power only sought their own benefit and the individual profit that their business relationship with the North facilitates; it is not about something really human, but it is liberal rationality per se.

At the same time, the analysis of consumtion behind the back of the very same production process, or its categorization as irrational for focusing in the subjective/individual problem, of cleat neoclassical and neoliberal tradition, behind the back of it being seen as a social category (men permeated by a superstructure), which imposes a way of life proper of its method of production (culture, ideology, regulatory framework, etc.), it is another of the archetypical ways that modern times and  globalization  assume to mascarade the actual problem. This means that, it is shown as critical in the form, when in de iure, in fact, it accepts all the exposure that the statu quo fosters in order to defend the ancien regimé, that today more than ever is fatally wounded.


John Gray, a modern philosopher (as he describes himself), suggests that "although Marx was right because the world of the bourgeoisie has been destroyed, at the same time he was wrong, because communism has also been defeated (Gray, 2011); and paradoxically, in the same line, with an apparently contradictory title, Lord Meghnad Desai, member of the House of Lords and emeritus professor of the London School of Economics, indicates that, contrary to Marx, "capitalism is alive and well, but not in the west, it has migrated to the east" (Desai, 2011). Both positions are disjointed from the true essence of Marx's thoughts, but most importantly, correspond to journalistic, showy, ahistorical, idealistic interpretations which do not resist a debate from historic-dialectical materialism, and for that matter, observations on this case need to be made.


Although the title of Gray's book is true, his explanatory arguments could not be more misguided. In the first place, because Marx did not build a model of how communism would be managed in the practice, and his scattered notes on socialism were more descriptive than normative, a reason why political re-elaborations on the topic and the visualization of the socialist model of development as an alternative path or way to savage capitalism, which would remain as pending tasks for future generations; and even, so-called real socialism, does not invalidate its importance and historical relevance, in this necessary and possible path towards the construction of the XXI century; or is it that all the bourgeois revolutions were not involuted by the enfeoffing restorations: every Napoleon was followed by their Louis XVIII.


In this way, what these modern philosophers do not understand, and in that they match the defenders of the ancien regime, is that Marx was a real thinker: integral, holistic, a scientist who dissected in all the possible levels, the way in which the capitalist method of production was gestated, was born, developed and entered its senile stage (even within its historical youth), as the method was condemned to its self-destruction, in the same way as all those that came before. Their conclusions could not be less unfortunate: the bourgeois world has not been destroyed, on the contrary, the ancien regimé is still alive, it is going through its most destructive metastasis; the bourgeoisie, the true bourgeoisie ever more global (plutocracy in the exercise of power) has managed to destroy almost all the old relationships and has transformed all the places and social relationships on the planet; it has magnified out of all proportion Marx's premise that with capitalism everything would turn into a commodity (tangible and intangible goods), even the most profound of human relations.


Their levels of economic concentration today (power, wealth, assets, utilities, etc.) have reached this point, that the 600 global corporations and their real owners (the shareholders; not the managers and administrators of capital, vulgar white collar workers, as Kalecki, 1977, would call them) concentrate more than 70% of the strategic assets of the planet (Bonefield, 1998); and thus, just like Amin (2009) shows, 20% of the inhabitants of the planet (logically located in the so-called rich countries) consume annually more than 80% of its strategic resources. This means that the neoclassical and neoliberal model of globalization only manages to deepen those economic conditions (production and consumption), which sooner or later will necessarily cause problems.


Gray, the philosopher, is right when he affirms that Marx was right, but not due to the arguments he presents, but because of the relevant facts from a scientific-historic-dialectical view, that Marx's thought is valid simply because of his scientific method used to deal with social phenomena. This made him a visionary and an exceptional mind, a ideology of class, despite that the dominant ideology still maintains the prevailing conditions of superstructure which allow it to control the system for some time, (for how long?), that is the question, because as Rosa Luxemburg states (1871-1919) borrowing a phrase from Engels[36], humanity faces an inalienable historic reality: socialism or barbarism. And, of course, when we refer to barbarism, we are talking about this experience historically ratified by the globalized civilization of capitalism; one that with two world wars and the many localized small wars subject to the circumstantial needs of the US empire (structurally open, such as the double invasion to Iraq; to the most atrocious and genocidal practices of corralling whole nations that do not align with the globalizing view, for instance, the Cuban blockade for more than 50 years) clearly show that there was never more barbarism than during this stage of advancement of modern capitalism.  


Finally, on the intervention of Lord Meghnad Desai, according to which capitalism is still alive and well, but not in western countries, it has migrated to the east. As a corrupt Colombian politician would put it[37]: more false than falseness. Socialism did not die 20 years ago, what died was the attempt of a model which was flawed in its form of political management and social development; that is to say, a model that concentrated power and wealth in the hands of some burocratic castes which did not represent the interests of the Russian society (in particular) and the Soviet (in general) ended up destroying itself in its own contradictions and internal disputes; and what is paradoxical about it all, is that that model and pattern of extended production-accumulation proved to be quite efficient (some identified it as a monopolist capitalism of the state) and, in fact, it is one of the tendencies of the concentration of the globalizing capitalism of our times, with its plutocrats at the service of the world’s financial capital. The Soviets implemented it so fast, that they threatened the power of the regent empire of the west and its coalition forces.


SOCIALISM (in capital letters) and its multiple and possible forms of historical birth and development, as a form of social organization which rewards the interests of collectiveness and the social, on top of taste (Bentham-Smith) and individual kindness (Moore-Keynes), has the constructive task of the real revolutionaries, social scientists and left wing thinkers. Re-reading Keynes, it is possible to observe, without any problem, that his ideas correspond to those of a shameful moralist of capitalism, who cherished an advanced, superior, post-capitalist society, clearly copied from the ideological designs of Marx about scientific communism: one where production and scientific-technological development had reached such an advanced level that human beings would not have to work to subsist and their needs would be covered by the world’s productive apparatus: there would not be incentives to produce with the prospect of a market where such things would be exchanged in order to gain individual profit. And thus, one in which its socialist transformation phase, still in market economy, requires an efficient connector in the processes of value exchange between suppliers and demanders, of integral marketing, human and focused on the consumer, as it has been described in this work, under the dialectical model of marketing (DMM).


But under his argumentation, it was capitalism that would directly lead to that, given that capitalists would become good (a moral and ethical argument), as if by magic, and would eventually be transformed into those philanthropic and altruist people with whom Keynes used to dream: more a religious ideology, in line with the biblical tradition. There was never a class, in the historical development of the class struggle (engine of history), which has renounced their class-group interests; why would this production method bring about a social class that exotic with such characteristics? This is the real interpretative difference between Marx (historic-dialectical method) and Keynes (linear method of cause-effect relationships). It has to be mentioned that the latter, apart from copying many of Marx’s ideas (without acknowledging any of them, except for some private correspondence that have recently appeared in Cambridge), he benefitted from the investment process, vulgar financial speculation and the stock markets, where he managed to amass an interesting fortune (what a paradox!).


From there, the most relevant conclusion of this writing: in the current circumstances and phase of the capitalist production method and its globalizing process of sustained accumulation of capital. Developing a theoretical marketing, robust and comprehensive, is an inevitable task. However, at the same time, thinking from the left is not an option; it is a must for the true social and democrat scientists of the world, who face the only possible condition in the future: socialism or barbarism. 




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[1] Economist, Universidad Nacional de Colombia (1988). Specialist in Economic Theory and Policy, Universidad Nacional de Colombia (1992). Certification –Professor phase- Doctorate in Marketing, Universidad de Alicante (2004-2006). Master’s in Cosumer psychology, Universidad Konrad Lorenz (2010). PhD (C) in Economic Science, Universidad de la Habana. Independent ssesor, consultant, and researcher. Professsor at Universidad del Norte (Barranquilla), Specialization in Marketing. Universidad Central (Bogotá), degree option course in Commercial strategy.

[2] This article uses the expression “neoclassical marketing” to identify the applicable concept, model and scheme of “classic or traditional” marketing, the first works of which date from the beginning of the XX century, it was stabilized and spread at the end of the fifties and the beginning of the sixties, with the works of Philip Kotler, who had been recognized and named by the community as the father of marketing.

[3] Karl Marx (1818-1883) who wrote Capital. A Critical Analysis of Political Economy, between 1864 and 1877; would only live to see Volume I published, in 1867 (see the complete reference of his work in the list of references):

[4] This work uses this term as the most widespread and academically and corporately accepted concept of marketing since  P. Kotler made its use popular in the sixties; marketing centered on the 4 P’s of marketing (Product, Price, Promotion and Place), also called marketing mix or the fundamental variables of marketing; operational elements which focused their transactional aspects and technical vision of the tactical problem of short-term producers, it’s only corporate reason for being: maximizing profits that are individually appropriated.

[5] Jean Baptiste Say (1767-1832), en su Tratado de economía política (1803) argumenta que la producción de bienes genera una demanda agregada realmente gastada, suficiente para comprar todos los bienes que se ofrezcan; por tanto, nunca hay sobreproducción generalizada en el sistema. Jean Baptiste Say (1767-1832), in his work A Treatise on Political Economy (1803) argues that the ´production of goods generates truly exhausted aggregated demand, sufficient to buy all the goods that are offered; for this reason, there is never general overproduction in the system.

[6] The object of study of economic science, not exclusively of macro-economics or microeconomics.

[7] It is possible to link the postulates of neoclassical marketing with the psychological and economic ideas of the Lausanne school of mathematics, led by León Walras and Wilfredo Pareto; the Cambridge neoclassical school with Alfred Marshall and W. Stanley Jevons as the most important representatives; and finally the Austrian psychological school, whose main proponents were Karl Menger and Erik Bohm-Bawerk. This last pair can be considered as the real theoretical parents, and linkers of neoclassical economics, psychology and marketing (a detailed treatment of the topic is found in Garcés, 2010).

[8] Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) and his economic hedonism, as an extensión of the phenomenon of psychological explanation: the central human motivation is to obtain pleasure and avoid pain.

[9]  The rest of the contributions of his work, though relevant and connected with the topic, are not a basis for the reformulation stated: that is to say, his theories of production, distribution and accumulation of capital.


[10] In this concept, services are equally produced and consumed in the circulation sphere.

[11] See Robinson’s works (1959 and 1973), until Stiglitz (1996, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2010).

[12] Different from the neoclassical and neoliberal arguments, for those who economics is the science of scarcity in charge of studying the way in which some supposed technical factors of production can be optimized, the limitations of which are established among the scarce endowment of land, capital and work (the butter capital Ms Robinson will talk about, 1959).

[13] See Weintraub’s work (1985).

[14] C-C’=Commodity1-Commodity2 equal C-M-C’= Commodity1-Money (“Veil”)-Commodity2.

[15] Technology is a Greek word (τεχνολογία) formed by téchnē (τέχνη, art, technique or trade, which can be translated as dexterity) and logy (λογία, the study of somethhing); so, it corresponds to the set of technical knowledge, scientifically ordered, which allow to design and create goods and services to facilitate their adaptation to the environment and satisfy people’s essential needs and wishes. For this reason, technology is defined as applied science; this is, the application of scientific knowledge –about science- in a specific field or discipline, with the objective of improving the quality of life of the inhabitants of the Earth –not only humans- and its sustainability in the long-run. This is a relevant epistemological approach, given that it allows for the distinction between basic science (such as biology, physics, and economics) and applied science (such as medicine, astronomy, and marketing) against techniques, arts or trades with which they can interconnect (for example, advertising). This goes beyond the reduced view of technology based on results, technological gadgets, artifacts, production or consumption instruments, and even, simple products of contemporary capitalism. For Marx (1867) technology was not “neither good nor bad”, and the ethical judgements that surrounded it make no sense, as they do not self-define the disposition and use given to it –social relations of production-, referring to organizational forms of means of production as well as industrial machinery; it in itself is capital, as facilitator of productivity in the concrete production of use-value and thus, subordinated to the  production of plus-values (and, at the same time, sub-products of the process). 


[16] It is an exhaustive time as regards the publication of marketing manuals, such as those of McCarthy (1960), Buskirk (1961), Cundiff & Still (1964), Stanton (1964), Kotler (1967), and Phillips & Duncan (1968).


[17] A definition modified again in 2007, as follows: “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”; and there are even more recent changes.

[18] From a dialectical vision, which incorporates the dynamic –being in itself movement-, what is intended to be identified is the movement of each one of the elements or parts that form it, and understand the real scenario in which the building of relations with long-term clients takes place; the concept of profitability with which their achievements are assessed goes beyond the pecuniary, individualistic and short-term view of the neoclassical-neoliberal paradigm (See a detailed explanation on the topic in Garcés 2010 and 2014).

[19] In this multivaried model, the strategy of growth and market participation on the short-term, which is realized and becomes explicit for its measurement in time with the first of the three strategic objectives of marketing (SOM) indicated in component 5 of Figure 1; the other two strategies and SOM are medium-term positioning and long-term competitiveness, marking a clear difference with the uniform neoclassical marketing model, which focuses on short-term sales.


[20] Business strategy, corporative strategy, integral strategic planning, etc.

[21] After its qualitative idenification, a market must be quantified simultaneously in three dimensions: number of prospects (P), number of units per product (Q) and monetary value (S).

[22] Neoclassical marketing and management have been wrongly called “strategies.”

[23] In a simple model, through the identification of its mathematical corrrelations.

[24] Note that all the time, in relation to this variable, clients are referred to; this means, from all the possible group of consumers who interact with the supply, that part that has been qualified as such and has been transformed from a simple initial, eventual, or random buyer to an objective relation of change, measured based on seniority, frequency and economic value in time; logically, as change-value for the supplier, a measurement of its present net value.

[25] In real markets and for any market/product relation to be studied, the variables of the model will not always show a condition of linear and aggregative relation, as is indicated here in order to synthezise the problem. It is not reasonable either to always assume the absence of colinearity and multicolinearity among them, elements that are convenient when creating the model, more than being empirically valid. Likewise, it is probable that the variables mentioned, the SOM (Yi) as well as the MIX (Xj) present covariants between them and for their modeling it could be appropriate to establish the relations through a system of structured equations, where conditions of less restrictive causality can be set, a topic which goes beyond the reach of this article.

[26] For example, for a 10-year historical record, it would be a matrix-vector 19*10 (190 data), in order to obtain 48 parameters (ˆβij) in the regression, with an excellent level of degrees of freedom.


[27] In the most reactionary tradition denominated “the end of history” by Fukuyama (1992,2012).

[28] A new version of economists, much more vulgar than the ones identified by Marx, given that their thoughts and activities, these administrators and marketeers are neoclassical and neoliberal, without even knowing it or openly defending it.


[29] All of them belong to the 1% of Wall Street (the contemporary sanctuary for speculation at all levels), like “the indignant” (los indignados) from the Occupy movement call them and who are accused of evading taxes, downsizing employment, taking part in mortgage and bank frauds, and receiving scandalous bonuses for any type of speculative action in the markets.

[30] A recent example of this in Colombia, where the last two governments (Uribe and Santos) have strengthened their ties and interests with global financial capital through the signing and coming into force of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States, the European Union, and even with North Korea.


[31] All those who do not own their means of production and they represent a socio-material condition of their real role as investors in long-term productive processes.


[32] In the sense of Marx and Engels, and in line with Rosa Luxemburg and Samir Amín.

[33] And the long run is shorter every time, as a product of the advance of the new productive forces, under their form and scientific-technological manifestations.

[34] For the current view of quantic physicists, as regards history and the evolution of the universo, it is known because of the String Theory that there are at least 10 different dimensions or parallel universes (not 3, as we can perceive with our limited senses). However, thanks to the scientific and technological advance (the same productive forces Marx referred to), two relevant pieces of information are known:   1)that the world expands to a growth rate (speed) that has already surpassed the so-called collapse the collapse threshold and, for that reason, the forces of gravity will never lead us to a type of anti-big bang, but that species, planets, stars, and galaxies (apart from thousands of millions of still unknown to us) will die, cold and distant, one from the other; 2) that there are ten mathematically possible dimensions. This is what perplexes some social scientists: their structural detachment from the scientific method and their renouncing of the observation of realities, their understanding, their measurement, and the predictive capacity associated to all this. This ratifies why Carl Sagan thought, close to the end of his days, that the battle against anti-science was being lost (charlatanism in multiple ways). Paradoxically, Garcés (2005A) manages to prove in a bibliometric study, that through Google it is easier to find people writing and projecting their ideas on topics of marketing, administration, management and neoclassical and neoliberal economics, the volume of which is measured in thousands of millions of pages, than people openly writing about esoteric topics (astral illumination, tarot, aura, chakras, third eye, etc.), which can only be measured in hundreds of millions.


[35] Of course, always making those momentary agreements which allow them industrial re-accomodation (strategic or competitive groups). In order to verify their effects in the specific field of marketing, it is suggested to revise the works of Garcés, 2007A, 2007B, 2007C and 2008.


[36] The phrase socialism or barbarism, with which Rosa Luxemburg is usually cited, actually corresponds to a publication in The Junius Pamphlet, where it literally said: Frederick Engels once said: “Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism” (Luxemburg, 1915, p. 275). Luxemburg said: we can go towards a misaligned and a more rational and humane society, socialism; or we can continue drowning in barbarism, capitalism. Later on, she would say: “Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for those who think differently.”

[37] The former Minister for Agriculture of Alvaro Uribe’s government, condemned by the Procurator’s Office for a scandal to dop with the subsidies of the Agro-Ingreso Seguro program, deviated and given to landowners and rich of some regions of the country, and whom the press had given the name of Uribito: nowadays, a fugitive from justice and emigrated to the US by the recommendation of his political leader.