The Made in China Problem

What bothers me more than the U.S. Olympic uniforms being made in China—where, sadly, much of our moderately priced-off-the-rack garments are made (and have been since Nixon opened up China to the West)— is what the photograph of the sample suits say about who we are. Ponder these Ludwig Hohlwein posters for a bit. Draw your own conclusions.


Too patriotic?

Heroic, or conformist?

Steven Heller’s The Swastika: Symbol Beyond Redemption? is available at

8 thoughts on “The Made in China Problem

  1. Nina Peci

    I feel these uniforms are a perfect sign of the times. Sombre, streamlined, patriotic (except for the “Made in China” bit).Personally, my first thought was a tribute to DEVO. “Are we not men?”

  2. Greg Golem

    I totally get what Steven is pointing out in the photo used to show the Ralph Lauren Olympic uniforms. The stance of the models, the look on the face, all stern and stiff, emotionless, more automaton then human, more robotic than alive. This does historically represent the type of look and mood used in propoganda posters and photos from autocratic, absolutist, militaristic nation states, be it socialist, communist or other types of hybrid dictorships. Nazism used this type of propoganda to the graphic max, so it’s understandable why he would use Ludwig Hohlweing’s work as examples. When Olympians march together at the opening and closing ceremonies, or stand atop the medal’s stand, they are usually full of emotion, smiling, crying or just plain happy, which is far from the stern focused stare into the horizon that the models exhibit in the Lauren photo with the American flag. Steven is just asking us about what this type of protrayal of the American Olympic team say about us as a nation and as citizens?

  3. Travis Stearns

    Unfortunately, the comments provide even more evidence for Mr. Heller’s comparison as the commenters unknowingly launch their rote attack in a bid to become the most perfect collaborator for “behind the appearance of a laughable neutrality, the most formidable of political oppression apparatuses is on view” [Tiqqun]

  4. vanderleun

    What bothers me, Heller, is that  your mind is so deeply colonized by the propaganda machine of the present day and has become so weak that it immediately draws an analogy that was old when Eisenhower was president. Wake up lest you slide deeper into this intellectual drool cup.

  5. John Butler

    Mr. Heller,
    AGAIN with this eternal Nazi design fixation of yours. Did nationalism exist before National Socialism? Is nationalism’s continued existence after National Socialism an endorsement of National Socialism? Should Olympic athletes be classified by nationality at all, or is nationality itself an endorsement of National Socialism?