Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Shift in Language- Banana Republic

banana republic

n : a small country (especially in Central America) that is politically unstable and whose economy is dominated by foreign companies and depends on one export.


Each link below connects to the next and it's a unbelievable, horrible, and ongoing story. The term "Banana Republic" is always in the mix because of the store "Banana Republic," but the story and origin of the term "Banana Republic" isn't right on the tip of our tongues. It's some crazy shit.

Banana Republic

United Fruit Company (now Chiquita)

Jacobo Arbenz Guzman


Although there's no concrete proof, several theories suggest that Zapata Off-Shore Oil Co., and George H. Bush in particular, cooperated with the CIA beginning in the late-1950s, including the CIA organized Guatemalan coup. The strongest evidence may be two FBI memos, and close ties between Bush and Felix Rodriguez.

Zapata Corporation


"The United Fruit Company, a U.S. concern, is notorious for having economically colonized Central American in particular, using the support of the U.S. politically--and, on occasion, militarily--to ensure its taking of large profits in the region. Dissent within the U.S. against the U.S. government-United Fruit Company collaboration reached its peak in the second decade of the 20th century."

"In Honduras, the United Fruit and Standard Fruit companies dominated the country's key banana export sector and support sectors such as railways. The United Fruit Company was nicknamed 'The Octopus' for its willingness to involve itself in politics, sometimes violently. In 1910, Sam Zemurray, who 22 years later would take over United Fruit in a hostile bid, hired a gang of armed toughs from New Orleans to help stage a coup in Honduras in order to obtain beneficial treatment from the new government for his own banana-trading company, Cuyamel Fruit. Four decades later, the directors of United Fruit played a role in convincing the Truman and Eisenhower administrations that the government of Colonel Arbenz in Guatemala was secretly pro-Soviet, thus contributing to the CIA's decision to assist in overthrowing Arbenz's government in 1954.


Edward Bernays/United Fruit/CIA/Eisenhower connection video...excerpt from The Century Of The Self - Part 2 of 4 - By Adam Curtis


I wrote about Eddie Bernays about a year ago.
I am interested in the implementation of "the engineering of consent"


The Capt'n said...

excellent work on this, dagger. I'm still trying to get to the video. It only wants to let me have the Freudian crowd control one.

zs said...

dagger, that ain't right! I clicked on it and it went right to the thing...I'll get it for you, dagger.

Carla said...

I love you! I frequently send the store e-mails to ask them about perpetuating this name but of course I've never gotten a response. You'd think they'd have enough self-awareness to go the KFC or JCP route to disassociate themselves from its true meaning but it just goes to show how meaningless "banana republic" is to their consumers--or perhaps it's not meaningless but rather nostalgic to them.

That store started by selling "safari surplus" clothes in stores decorated like something out of a Humphrey Bogart film with 1940s colonialist-themed music piped in. The store in L.A. had a life-sized leather elephant in the center.