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Shelby D.

Hunt

The Nature and Scope


of Marketing
Can a new model of the scope of marketing help resolve the "nature of
marketing" and "marketing science" controversies?

D URING the past three decades, two con-


troversies have overshadowed all others in
the marketing literature. The first is the "Is mar-
The Nature of Marketing

What is marketing? What kinds of phenomena


are appropriately termed marketing phenomena?
keting a science?" controversy sparked by an How do marketing activities differ from nonmar-
early JOURNAL OF MARKETING article by Converse keting activities? What is a marketing system?
entitled "The Development of a Science of Mar- How can marketing processes be distinguished
keting."' Other prominent writers who fueled the from other social processes? Which institutions
debate included Bartels, Hutchinson, Baumol, should one refer to as marketing institutions? In
Buzzell, Taylor, and Halbert.^ After raging short, what is the proper conceptual domain of the
throughout most of the '50s and '60s, the con- construct labeled "marketing"?
troversy has since waned. The waning may be
The American Marketing Association defines
more apparent than real, however, because many
marketing as "the performance of business ac-
of the substantive issues underlying the market-
tivities that direct the flow of goods and services
ing science controversy overlap with the more re-
from producer to consumer or user.'^ This posi-
cent "nature of marketing" (broadening the con-
tion has come under attack from various quarters
cept of marketing) debate. Fundamental to both
as being too restrictive and has prompted one
controversies are some radically different
textbook on marketing to note: "Marketing is not
perspectives on the essential characteristics of
easy to define. No one has yet been able to formu-
both marketing and science.
late a clear, concise definition that finds universal
The purpose of this article is to develop a con- acceptance.""*
ceptual model of the scope of marketing and to
Although vigorous debate conceming the basic
use that model to analyze (1) the approaches to
nature of marketing has alternately wa.xed and
the study of marketing, (2) the "nature of market-
waned since the early 1900s, the most recent con-
ing" controversy, and (3) the marketing science
troversy probably traces back to a position paper
debate. Before developing the model, some pre-
by the marketing staff of the Ohio State Univer-
liminary obser~vations on the controversy concem-
sity in 1965. They suggested that marketing be
ing the nature of marketing are appropriate.
considered "the process in a society by which the
1. Paul D. Converse, "The Development of a Science of demand structure for economic goods and ser-
Marketing," JOURNAL OF MARKETING, Vol. 10 (July 1945), pp. vices is anticipated or enlarged and satisfied
14-23. through the conception, promotion, exchange,
2. Robert Bartels, "Can Marketing Be a Science?" JOUR- and physical distribution of goods and services. "'
NAL OF MARKETING, Vol. 15 (January 1951), pp. 319-328; Ken-
neth D. Hutchinson, "Marketing as a Science: An Apprais-
al," JOURNAL OF MARKETING, Vol. 16 (January 1952), pp. Halbert, The Meatting and Sources of Marketing Theory (New
286-293; W. J. Baumol, "On the Role of Marketing Theory," York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1965).
JOURNAL OF MARKETING, Vol. 21 (ApHl 1957), pp. 413-419; 3. Committee on Terms, Marketing Definitions: A Glossary
Robert D. Buzzell, "Is Marketing a Science?" Hanard Busi- of Marketing Terms (Chicago: American Marketing Assn.,
ness Re\ieiv, Vol. 41 (January-February 1963), pp. 32-48; 1960).
Weldon J. Taylor, "Is Marketing a Science? Revisited," 4. Stewart H. Rewoldt, James D. Scott, and Martin
JOURNAL OF MARKETING, Vol. 29 (July 1965), pp. 49-53; and M. R. Warshaw, Introduction to Marketing Management
(Homewood, 111.: Richard D. Irwin, 1973), p. 3.
Jourrtal of Marketing. Vol. 40 (July 1976). pp 17-28 5. Marketing Staff of the Ohio State University, "State-
17
18 Journal of Marketing, July 1976

Note the conspicuous absence of the notion that new form of myopia and suggested that, "The
marketing consists of a set of business activities (as crux of marketing lies in a general idea of exchange
in the AMA definition). Rather, they considered rather than the narrower thesis of market trans-
marketing to be a social process. actions."^ They further contended that defining
Next to plunge into the semantical battle were marketing "too narrowly" would inhibit students
Kotler and Levy. Although they did not specifi- of marketing from applying their expertise to the
cally propose a new definition of marketing, Kot- most rapidly growing sectors of the society.
ler and Levy in 1969 suggested that the concept Other marketing commentators began to es-
of marketing be broadened to include nonbusi- pouse the dual theses that (1) marketing be
ness organizations. They observed that churches, broadened to include nonbusiness organizations,
police departments, and public schools have prod- and (2) marketing's societal dimensions deserve
ucts and customers, and that they use the nor- scrutiny. Thus, Ferber prophesied that marketing
mal tools of the marketing mix. Therefore, Kotler would diversify into the social and public policy
and Levy conclude that these organizations per- fields.'" And Lavidge sounded a similar CcJl to
form marketing, or at least marketing-like, ac- arms by admonishing marketers to cease evaluat-
tivities. Thus, ing new products solely on the basis of whether
they can he sold. Rather, he suggested, they
the choice facing those who manage nonbusiness
organizations is not whether to market or not to
should evaluate new products from a societal
market, for no organization can avoid marketing. perspective, that is, should the product be sold?
The choice is whether to do it well or pxxjrly, and The areas in which marketing people can, and
on this necessity the case for organizational mar- must, be of service to society have broadened. In
keting is basically founded.* addition, marketing's functions have been
In the same issue of the JOURNAL OF MARKETING, broadened. Marketing no longer can be defined
adequately in terms of the activities involved in
Lazer discussed the changing boundaries of mar- buying, selling, and transporting goods and ser-
keting. He pleaded that: "What is required is a vices."
broader perception and definition of marketing
than has hitherto been the caseone that recog- The movement to expand the concept of mar-
nizes marketing's societal dimensions and per- keting probably became irreversible when the
ceives of marketing as more than just a technol- JOURNAL OF MARKETING devoted an entire issue to
ogy of the firm."^ Thus, Kotler and Levy desired marketing's changing social/environmental role.
to broaden the notion of marketing by including At that time, Kotler and Zaltman coined the term
not-for-profit organizations, and Lazer called for a social marketing, which they defined as "the de-
definition of marketing that recognized the disci- sign, implementation and control of programs
pline's expanding societal dimensions. calculated to influence the acceptability of social
Luck took sharp issue with Kotler and Levy by ideas and involving considerations of product
insisting that marketing be limited to those busi- planning, pricing, communication, distribution,
ness processes and activities that ultimately result and marketing research."'^ In the same issue,
in a market transaction.* Luck noted that even marketing technology was applied to fund raising
thus bounded, marketing would still be a field of for the March of Dimes, health services, popula-
enormous scope and that marketing specialists tion problems, and the recycling of solid waste.'^
could still render their services to nonmarketing 9. Philip Kotler and Sidney Levy, "A New Form of Mar-
causes. Kotler and Levy then accused Luck of a keting Myopia: Rejoinder to Professor Luck," JOURNAL OF
MARKETING, Vol. 33 (Julv 1969), p. 57.
ment of Marketing Philosophy," JOURNAL OF MARKETING, Vol. 10. Robert Ferber, " t h e Expanding Role of Marketing in
29 (January 1965), pp. 43-44. the 197O's," JOURNAL OF MARKETING. Vol. 34 (January 1970),
6. Philip Kotler and Sidney J. Levy, "Broadening the pp. 29-30.
Concept of Marketing," JOURNAL OF MARKETING. Vol. 33 11. Robert J. Lavidge, "The Growing Responsibilities of
(January 1969), p. 15. Marketing," JOURNAL OF MARKETING. Vol. 34 (Januarv 1970),
7. William Lazer, "Marketing's Changing Social Rela- p. 27.
tionships," JOURNAL OF MARKETING, Vol. 33 (January 1969), p. 12. Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman, "Social Marketing:
9. An Approach to Planned Social Change," JOURNAL OF MAR-
8. David Luck, "Broadening the Concept of Marketing KETING. Vol. 35 (July 1971), p. 5.
Too Far," JOURNAL OF MARKETING. Vol. 33 (July 1969), p. 54. 13. JOURNAL OF MARKETING, Vol. 35 (July 1971): William A.
Mindak and H. Malcolm Bybee, "Marketing's Application to
Fund Raising," pp. 13-18; Gerald Zaltman and Ilan Ver-
ABOUT THE AUTHOR. tinsky, "Health Services Marketing: A Suggested Model,"
pp. 19-27; John U. Farley and Harold J. Leavitt, "Marketing
Shelby D. Hunt is professor of business and chair- and Population Problems," pp. 28-33; and William G. Zik-
man. Marketing Department, University of Wiscon- mund and Wilfiam J. Stanton, "Recycling Solid Wastes: A
sin-Madison. Channels-of-Distribution Problem, " pp. 34-39.
The Nature and Scope of Marketing 19

Further, Dawson chastised marketers for ignoring emphasizing methodolog>' rather than substance
many fundamental issues pertaining to the social as the content of marketing knowledge, and (3) an
relevance of marketing activities: increasingly esoteric and abstract marketing lit-
Surely, in these troubled times, an appraisal of erature. Bartels concluded: "If 'marketing' is to be
marketing's actual and potential role in relation regarded as so broad as to include both economic
to such [societal] problems is at least of equal and noneconomic fields of application, perhaps
importance to the technical aspects of the field. marketing as originally conceived will ultimately
Yet, the emphasis upxjn practical problem- reappear under another name."'*
solving within the discipline far outweighs the Similarly, Luck decries the "semantic jungle"
attention paid to social ramifications of market- that appears to be growing in marketing.'^ Citing
ing activity.'* conflicting definitions of marketing and social
Kotler has since reevaluated his earlier posi- marketing in the current literature. Luck suggests
tions concerning broadening the concept of mar- that this semantic jungle has been impjeding the
keting and has articulated a "generic" concept of efforts of marketers to think clearly about their
marketing. He proposes that the essence of mar- discipline. He has challenged the American Mar-
keting is the transaction, defined as the exchange keting Association to create a sf)ecial commission
of values between two parties. Kotler's generic to clear up the definitional problems in market-
concept of marketing states: "Marketing is spe- ing. Finally, a recent president of the American
cifically concemed with how transactions are Marketing Association set the development of a
created, stimulated, facilitated and valued."'' consistent standard definition of marketing as a
Empirical evidence indicates that, at least among primary goal of the association.^*^
marketing educators, the broadened concept of Three questions appear to be central to the "na-
marketing represents a fait accompli. A recent ture [broadening the concept] of marketing" con-
study by Nichols showed that 95% of marketing troversy. First, what kinds of phenomena and is-
educators believed that the scope of marketing sues do the various marketing writers perceive to
should be broadened to include nonbusiness or- be included in the scope of marketing? Second,
ganizations. Similarly, 93% agreed that market- what kinds of phenomena and issues should be
ing goes beyond just economic goods and services, included in the scope of marketing? Third, how
and 83% favored including in the domain of mar- can marketing be defined to both systematically
keting many activities whose ultimate result is encompass all the phenomena and issues that
not a market transaction.'* should be included and, at the same time, sys-
tematically exclude all other phenomena and is-
Although the advocates of extending the notion
sues? That is, a good definition of marketing must
of marketing appear to have won the semantical
be both properly inclusive and exclusive. To
battle, their efforts may not have been victimless.
rigorously evaluate these questions requires a
Carman notes that the definition of marketing
conceptual model of the scope of marketing.
plays a significant role in directing the research
efforts of marketers. He believes that many pro- The Scope of Marketing
cesses (e.g., political processes) do not involve an
exchange of values and that marketing should not No matter which definition of marketing one
take such processes under its "disciplinary prefers, the scope of marketing is unquestionably
wing."'^ Bartels has also explored the so-called broad. Often included are such diverse subject
identity crises in marketing and has pointed out areas as consumer behavior, pricing, purchasing,
numerous potential disadvantages to broadening sales management, product management, market-
the concept of marketing. These potential disad- ing communications, comparative marketing, so-
vantages include: (1) turning the attention of cial marketing, the efficiency/productivity of mar-
marketing researchers away from important keting systems, the role of marketing in economic
problems in the area of physical distribution, (2) development, packaging, channels of distribution,
marketing research, societal issues in marketing,
14. Leslie Dawson, "Marketing Science in the Age of retailing, wholesaling, the social responsibility of
Aquarius," JOURNAL OF MARKETING. Vol. 35 (July 1971), p. 71.
15. Philip Kotler, "A Generic Concept of Marketing," 18 Robert Bartels, "The Identity Crisis in Marketing,"
JOURNAL OF MARKETING, Vol. 36 (April 1972), p. 49. JOURNAL OF MARKETING, Vol. 38 (October 1974), p. 76.
16. William G. Nichols, "Conceptual Conflicts in Market- 19. David J. Luck, "Social Marketing; Confusion Com-
ing," Joumal of Economics and Business, Vol. 26 (Winter pounded," JOURNAL OF MARKETING, Vol. 38 (October 1974),
1974), p. 142. pp. 2-7.
17. James M. Carman, "On the Universality of Market- 20. Robert J. Eggert, "Eggert Discusses Additional Goals
ing," Joumal of Contemporary Business, Vol. 2 (Autumn for His Administration, Seeks Help in Defining Marketing,"
1973), p. 14. Marketing News, September 15, 1974.
20 Journal of Marketing, July 1976

marketing, intemational marketing, commodity and in the profit sector, and so on throughout the
marketing, and physical distribution. Though table.
lengthy, this list of topics and issues does not Some definitions are required to properly
exhaust the possibilities. Not all writers would interpret the schema presented in Table 1. Profit
include all the topics under the general rubric of sector encompasses the study and activities of or-
marketing. The point deserving emphasis here, ganizations or other entities whose stated objec-
however, is that different commentators on mar- tives include the realization of profit. Also appli-
keting would disagree as to which topics should be cable are studies that adopt the perspective of
excluded. The disagreement stems from funda- profit-oriented organizations. Conversely, non-
mentally different perspectives and can best be profit sector encompasses the study and perspec-
analyzed by attempting to develop some common tive of all organizations and entities whose stated
ground for classifying the diverse topics and is- objectives do not include the realization of profit.
sues in marketing. The micro/macro dichotomy suggests a clas-
The most widely tised conceptual model of the sification based on the level of aggregation. Micro
scope of marketing is the familiar "4 Ps" model refers to the marketing activities of individual
popularized by McCarthy in the early '60s.^' The units, normally individual organizations (firms)
model is usually represented by three concentric and consumers or households. Macro suggests a
circles. The inner circle contains the consumer, higher level of aggregation, usually marketing
since this is the focal point of marketing effort. systems or groups of consumers.
The second circle contains the marketing mix The positive/normative dichotomy provides cat-
("controllable factors") of price, place, promotion, egories bcised on whether the focus of the analysis
and product. Finally, the third circle contains the is primarily descriptive or prescriptive. Positive
uncontrollable factors of political and legal envi- marketing adopts the perspective of attempting to
ronment, economic environment, cultural and so- describe, explain, predict, and understand the
cial environment, resources and objectives of the marketing activities, processes, and phenomena
firm, and the existing business situation. As is that actually exist. This perspective examines
readily apparent, many of the subject areas previ- what is. In contrast, normative marketing adopts
ously mentioned have no "home" in the 4 Ps the perspective of attempting to prescribe what
model. For example, where does social marketing marketing organizations and individuals ought to
or efficiency of marketing systems or comparative do or what kinds of marketing systems a society
marketing belong? ought to have. That is, this perspective examines
During a presentation at the 1972 Fall Confer- what ought to be and what organizations and in-
ence of the American Marketing Association, Kot- dividuals ought to do.
ler made some observations concerning the de-
sirability of classifying marketing phenomena
using the concepts oi micro, macro, normative, and Analyzing Approaches to Marketing
positive.'^''- These observations spurred the de- An examination of Table 1 reveals that most of
velopment of the conceptual model detailed in the early (circa 1920) approaches to the study of
Table 1. The schema proposes that all marketing marketing reside in cell 3: profit sector/macro/
phenomena, issues, problems, models, theories, positive. The institutional, commodity, and func-
and research can be categorized using the three tional approaches analyzed existing (positive)
categorical dichotomies of (1) profit sector/ business activities (profit sector) from a marketing
nonprofit sector, (2) micro/macro, and (3) systems (macro) perspective. However, not all
positive/normative. The three categorical dichot- the early marketing studies were profit/macro/
omies yield 2 x 2 x 2 = 8 classes or cells in the positive. Weld's 1920 classic The Marketing of
schema. Thus, the first class includes all market- Fann Products not only examined existing dis-
ing topics that are micro-positive and in the profit tribution systems for farm commodities, but also
sector. Similarly, the second class includes all attempted to evaluate such normative issues as:
marketing activities that are micro-normative "Are there too many middlemen in food market-
ing?"^^ Thus, Weld's signally important work was
21. E. J. McCarthy, Basic Marketing (Homewood, III.: both profit/macro/positive and profit/macro/nor-
Richard D. Irwin, 1960). mative. Similarly, the Twentieth Century Fund
22. These observations were apparently extemporaneous study Does Distribution Cost Too Much? took an
since they were not included in his published paper: Philip
Kotler, "Defining the Limits of Marketing," in Marketing
Education and the Real World, Boris W. Becker and Helmut 23. L. D. H. Weld, The Marketing of Farm Products (New
Becker, eds. (Chicago: American Marketing Assn., 1972). York: Macmillan, 1920).
The Nature and Scope of Marketing 21

TABLE 1
T H E SCOPE OF MARKETING

Positive Normative
(1) Problems, issues, theories, and research (2) Problems, issues, normative models, and
concerning: research concerning how firms should:
a. Individual consumer buyer behavior a. Determine the marketing mix
b. How firms determine prices b. Make pricing decisions
c. How firms determine products c. Make product decisions
d. How firms determine promotion d. Make promotion decisions
e. How firms determine channels of e. Make packaging decisions
distribution f. Make purchasing decisions
f. Case studies of marketing practices g. Make international marketing deci-
Micro sions
h. Organize their marketing departments
i. Control their marketing efforts
j . Plan their marketing strategy
k. Apply systems theory to marketing
problems
1. Manage retail establishments
m. Manage wholesale establishments
n. Implement the marketing concept
Profit
Sector (3) Problems, issues, theories, and research (4) Problems, issues, normative models, and
concerning: research concerning:
a. Aggregate consumption patterns a. How marketing can be made more
b. Institutional approach to marketing efficient
c. Commodity approach to marketing b. Whether distribution costs too much
d. Legal aspects of marketing c. Whether advertising is socially desir-
e. Comparative marketing able
f. The efficiency of marketing systems d. Whether consumer sovereignty is de-
Macro g. Whether the poor pay more sirable
h. Whether marketing spurs or retards e. Whether stimulating demand is desir-
economic development able
i. Power and conflict relationships in f. Whether the poor should pav more
channels of distribution g. What kinds of laws regulating market-
j . Whether marketing functions are uni- ing are optimal
versal h. Whether vertical marketing systems
k. Whether the marketing concept is con- are socially desirable
sistent with consumers' interests i. Whether marketing should have special
social responsibilities
(5) Problems, issues, theories, and research (6) Problems, issues, normative models, and
concerning: research concerning how nonprofit or-
a. Consumers' purchasing of public goods ganizations should:
b. How nonprofit organizations determine a. Determine the marketing mix
prices (social marketing)
c. How nonprofit organizations determine b. Make pricing decisions
products c. Make product decisions
d. How nonprofit organizations determine d. Make promotion decisions
Micro promotion e. Make packaging decisions
e. How nonprofit organizations determine f. Make purchasing decisions
channels of distribution g. Make international marketing deci-
f. Case studies of public goods marketing sions (e.g., CARE)
h. Organize their marketing efforts
i. Control their marketing efforts
j . Plan their marketing strategy
k. Apply systems theory to marketing
problems
Nonprofit
Sector (7) Problems, issues, theories, and research (8) Problems, issues, normative models, and
concerning: research concerning:
a. The institutional framework for public a. Whether society should allow politi-
goods cians to be "sold" like toothpaste
b. Whether television advertising influ- b. Whether the demand for public goods
ences elections should be stimulated
Macro c. Whether public service advertising in- c. Whether "low informational content"
fluences behavior (e.g., "Smokey the political advertising is socially desirable
Bear") (e.g., ten-second "spot" commercials)
d. Whether existing distribution systems d. Whether the U.S. Army should be al-
for public goods are efficient lowed to advertise for recruits
e. How public goods are recycled
22 Journal of Marketing, July 1976

essentially profit/macro/normative perspective.^"* During the late 1960s, the environmental ap-
Other important works that have combined the proach to marketing was promulgated by writers
profit/macro/positive and the profit/macro/nor- such as Holloway, Hancock, Scott, and Marks.^
mative perspectives include those of Barger, This approach emphasized an essentially descrip-
Cox, and Borden.^' tive analysis of the environmental constraints on
Although the profit/micro/normative (cell 2) marketing activities. These environments in-
orientation to marketing can be traced at least cluded consumer behavior, culture, competition,
back to the 1920s and the works of such notables the legal framework, technology, and the institu-
as Reed and White,^^ the movement reached full tional framework. Consequently, this approach
bloom in the early 1960s under proponents of the may be classified as profit/macro/positive.
managerial approach to marketing, such as Two trends are evident in contemporary mar-
McCarthy." The managerial approach adopts the keting thought. The first is the trend toward social
perspective of the marketing manager, usually the marketing as proposed by Kotler, Levy, and
marketing manager in a large manufacturing Zaltman" and as promulgated by others.'^ Social
corporation. Therefore, the emphasis is micro and marketing, with its emphasis on the marketing
in the profit sector. The baisic question underlying problems of nonprofit organizations, is non-
the managerial approach is: "What is the optimal profit/micro/normative. The second trend can be
marketing mix?" Consequently, the approach is termed societal issues. It concerns such diverse
unquestionably normative. topics as consumerism, marketing and ecology,
During the middle 1960s, writers such as Lazer, the desirability of political advertising, social re-
Kelley, Adler, and Fisk began advocating a sys- sponsibility, and whether the demand for public
tems approach to marketing.^^ Sometimes the sys- goods should be stimulated.^^ All these works
tems approach used a profit/micro/normative share the common element of e\'aluation. They at-
perspective and simply attempted to apply to tempt to evaluate the desirability or propriety of
marketing certain sophisticated optimizing mod- certain marketing activities or systems and, there-
els (like linear and dynamic programming) de- fore, should be viewed as either profit/macro/
veloped by the operations researchers. Other normative or nonprofitVmacro/normative.
writers used the systems approach in a profit/ In conclusion, it is possible to classify all the
macro/positive fashion to analyze the complex in- approaches to the study of marketing and all the
teractions among marketing institutions. Finally, problems, issues, theories, models, and research
some used the systems approach in a profit/ usually considered within the scope of marketing
macro/normative fcishion: using the three categorial dichotomies of profit
The method used in this book is called the general
systems approach. In this approach the goals, or- 30. Robert J. Holloway and Robert S. Hancock, The Envi-
ganization, inputs, and outputs of marketing are ronment of Marketing Behavior (New York: John Wiley &
examined to determine how efficient and how effec- Sons, 1964): Robert J. Holloway and Robert S. Hancock,
Marketing in a Changing Environmertt (New York: John
tive marketing is. Constraints, including competi- Wiley & Sons, 1968): and Richard A. Scott and Norton
tion and government, are also studied because they E. Marks, Marketing and Its Environment (Belmont:
affect both the level of efficiency and the kinds of Wadsworth, 1968).
effects obtained." 31. Kotler and Levy, same reference as footnote 6: Kotler
and Zaltman, same reference as footnote 12: and Kotler,
same reference as footnote 15.
24. Paul W. Stewart, Does Distribution Cost Too Much? 32. Mindak and Bybee, same reference as footnote 13:
(New York: Twentieth Century Fund, 1939). Farley and Leavitt, same reference as footnote 13: Zikmund
25. Harold Barger, Distribution's Place in the Economy and Stanton, same reference as footnote 13: Carman, same
Since 1869 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1955): reference as footnote 17: and Donald P. Robin, "Success in
Reavis Cox, Distribution in a High Level Economy (En- Social Marketing," Joumal of Business Research, Vol. 3 (July
glewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1965): and Neil Borden, 1974), pp. 303-310.
The Economic Effects of Advertising (Chicago: Richard D. 33. Lazer, same reference as footnote 7: Dawson, same
Irwin, 1942). reference as footnote 14: David S. Aaker and George Day,
26. Virgil Reed, Planned Marketing (New York: Ronald Consumerism (New York: Free Press, 1971): Norman Kan-
Press, 1930): and P. White and W. S. Hayward, Marketing gun, Society and Marketing (New York: Harper & Row,
Practice (New York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1924). 1972): Frederick E. Webster, Jr., Social Aspects of Marketing
27. Same reference as footnote 21. (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1974): Reed Moyer,
28. William Lazer and Eugene Kelley, "Systems Perspec- Macro-Marketing (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1972):
tive of Marketing Activity," in Managerial Marketing: John R. Wish and Stephen H. Gamble, Marketing and Social
Perspectives and Viewpoints, rev. ed. (Homewood, 111.: Issues (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1971); Ross L. Goble
Richard D. Irwin, 1962): Lee Adler, "Systems Approach to and Roy Shaw, Controversy and Dialogue in Marketing (En-
Marketing," Han'ard Business Review, Vol. 45 (May-June, glewood Cliffs, NJ.: Prentice-Hall, 1975): Ronald R. Gist,
1967): and George Fisk, Marketing Systems: An Introductory Marketing and Society (New York: Holt, Rinehart &
Analysis (New York: Harper &. Row, 1967). Winston, 1971): and William Lazer and Eugene Kelley, So-
29. Fisk, same reference as footnote 28, p. 3. cial Marketing (Homewood, 111.: Richard D. Irwin, 1973).
The Nature and Scope of Marketing 23

sector/nonprofit sector, positive/normative, and ago, a debate raged in philosophy conceming the
micro/macro. This is not meant to imply that rea- definition of philosophy and philosophy of sci-
sonable people cannot disagree as to which topics ence. Some philosophers chose a very narrow
should fall within the scope of marketing. Nor definition of their discipline. Popper's classic re-
does it even imply that reasonable people cannot joinder should serve to alert marketers to the
disagree as to which cell in Table 1 is most ap- danger that narrowly circumscribing the market-
propriate for each issue or particular piece of re- ing discipline may trammel marketing inquiry:
search. For example, a study of the efficiency of
. . . the theory of knowledge was inspired by the
marketing systems may have both pxjsitive and
hope that it would enable us not only to know
normative aspects; it may both describe existing more about knowledge, but also to contribute to
marketing practices and prescribe more appro- the advance of knowledgeof scientific knowledge,
priate practices. Rather, the conceptual model of that is. . . . Most of the philosophers who believe
the scope of marketing presented in Table 1 pro- that the characteristic method of philosophy is the
vides a useful framework for analyzing funda- analysis of ordinary language seem to have lost this
mental differences among the various approaches admirable optimism which once inspired the
to marketing and, as shall be demonstrated, the rationalist tradition. Their attitude, it seems, has
nature of marketing and marketing science con- become one of resignation, if not despair. They not
troversies. only leave the advancement of knowledge to the
scientists: they even define philosophy in such a
way that it becomes, by definition, incapable of
Analyzing the Nature of Marketing making any contribution to our knowledge of the
and Marketing Science world. The self-mutilation which this so surpris-
ingly persuasive definition requires does not appeal
The previous discussion on the scope of market- to me. There is no such thing as an essence of
ing now enables us to clarify some of the issues philosophy, to be distilled and condensed into a
with respect to the "nature [broadening the definition. A definition of the word "philosophy" can
concept] of marketing" controversy and the "Is only have the character of a convention, of an agree-
marketing a science?" debate. Most marketing ment; and I, at anv rate, see no merit in the arbitrary
practitioners and some marketing academicians proposal to define the \\x)rd "philosophy" in a way
f)erceive the entire scope of marketing to be that may well prex'ent a sttident of philosophy from
profit/micro/normative (cell 2 of Table 1). That is, trying to contribtite, qua philosopher, to the ad-
vancemetxt of our knowledge of the \\x)rld.^''
practitioners often perceive the entire domain of
marketing to be the analysis of how to improve
the decision-making processes of marketers. This Four conclusions seem warranted. First, defini-
perspective is exemplified by the definition of tions of the nature of marketing differ in large
marketing Canton has suggested^'* and, somewhat part because their authors perceive the total
surprisingly, by the definition proffered by Kotler scope of marketing to be different portions of
in the first edition of Marketing Management: Table 1. Second, there is a growing consensus
"Marketing is the analyzing, organizing, planning, that the total scope of marketing should appro-
and controlling of the firm's customer-impinging priately include all eight cells of Table 1. Third, it
resources, policies, and activities with a view to may be ver>' difficult to devise a definition of
satisfying the needs and wants of chosen cus- marketing that would both systematically include
tomer groups at a profit."^'' all eight cells of Table 1 and, at the same time,
Most marketing academicians would chafe at systematically exclude all other phenomena.
delimiting the entire subject matter of marketing Especially difficult will be the task of including in
to simply the profit/micro/normative dimensions. a single definition both the normative dimensions
Most would, at the very least, include all the of the practice of marketing and the positive di-
phenomena, topics, and issues indicated in the mensions of the discipline or study of marketing.
top half of Table 1 (that is, cells 1 through 4). The fourth conclusion deser\'es special em-
Kotler and others now wish to include in the phasis and elaboration. There is now a consensus
definition of marketing all eight cells in Table 1. among marketers that most nonprofit organiza-
Other fields have experienced similar dis- tions, such as museums, zoos, and churches, en-
cipline-definitional problems. Several decades gage in numerous activities (pricing, promoting,
and so forth) that are very similar to the market-
ing activities of their profit-oriented cousins.
34. Irving D. Canton, "A Functional Definition ol Market-
ing," Marketing News, July 15, 1973.
35. Philip Kotler, Marketing Management (Englewood 36. Karl R. Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery (New
Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1967), p. 12. York: Harper & Row, 1959), p. 19. [Emphasis added ]
24 Journal of Marketing, July 1976

There is also consensus that the marketing proce- Is Marketing a Science?


dures that have been developed for profit-oriented Returning to the "Is marketing a science?" con-
organizations are equally applicable to nonprofit troversy, the preceding analysis suggests that a
concerns. These are the two major, substantive primary factor explaining the nature of the con-
issues involved in the debate over the nature troversy is the widely disparate notions of market-
(broadening the concept) of marketing. On these ing held by the participants. The common ele-
two issues there now exists substantial agree- ment shared by those who hold that marketing is
ment. not (and cannot) be a science is the belief that the
The remaining two points of disagreement entire conceptual domain of marketing is cell 2:
among marketers concerning the nature of mar- profit/micro/normative. Hutchinson clearly exem-
keting are minor when compared to the points of plifies this position:
agreement. Issue one is essentially whether the
activities of nonprofit organizations should be re- There is a real reason, however, why the field of
marketing has been slow to develop an unique
ferred to as marketing activities or marketing-like body of theory. It is a simple one: marketing is not
activities. Given the agreement among marketers a science. It is rather an art or a practice, and as
concerning the two previously cited substantive such much more closely resembles engineering,
issues, the problem of distinguishing between medicine and architecture than it does physics,
marketing activities and marketing-like activities chemistry or biology. The medical profession sets
must be considered trivial to the extreme. The us an excellent example, if we would but follow it;
second issue on which disagreement exists con- its members are called "practitioners" and not sci-
cerns developing a definition of marketing. Al- entists. It is the work of physicians, as it is of any
though certainly nontrivial in nature, on this issue practitioner, to apply the findings of many sciences
to the solution of problems. . . . It is the drollest
marketers would be well advised to take a cue travesty to relate the scientist's search for knowl-
from the discipline of philosophy, which has been edge to the market research man's seeking after
around much longer and has yet to develop a con- customers .^^
sensus definition. That is, the discipline of market-
ing should not be overly alarmed about the If, as Hutchinson implies, the entire concepttial
diffictilty of generating a consensus definition of domain of marketing is profit/micro/normative,
marketing as long as there appears to be a de- then marketing is not and (more importantly)
veloping consensus concerning its total scope. probably cannot he a science. If, however, the
The preceding analysis notwithstanding, there conceptual domain of marketing includes both
does remain a major, unresolved, substantive micro/positive and macro/positive phenomena,
issue concerning the nature of marketing. Al- then marketing could be a science. That is, if
though marketers now recognize that nonprofit phenomena such as consumer behavior, market-
organizations (1) have marketing or marketing- ing institutions, marketing channels, and the ef-
like problems, (2) engage in marketing or ficiency of systems of distribution are included in
marketing-like activities to solve these problems, the conceptual domain of marketing (and there
and (3) can use the marketing p>olicies, practices, appears to be a consensus to so include them),
and procedures that profit-oriented organizations there is no reason why the study of these
have developed to solve marketing problems, we phenomena could not be deserving of the designa-
must candidly admit that most nonmarketers have tion science.
yet to perceive this reality. Sadly, most adminis- Is marketing a science? Differing perceptions of
trators of nonprofit organizations and many the scope of marketing have been shown to be a
academicians in other areas still do not perceive primary factor underlying the debate on this
that many problems of nonprofit organizations question. The second factor contributing to the
are basically marketing in nature, and that there controversy is differing perceptions concerning
is an extant body of knowledge in marketing the basic nature of science, a subject that will
academia and a group of trained marketing prac- now occupy our attention.
titioners that can help resolve these problems.
Until administrators of nonprofit organizations The Nature of Science
perceive that they have marketing problems, their The question of whether marketing is a science
marketing decision making will inevitably suffer. cannot be adequately answered without a clear
Thus, the major substantive problem concerning
understanding of the basic nature of science. So,
broadening the concept of marketing lies in the
area of marketing marketing to nonmarketers. 37. Hutchinson, same reference as footnote 2.
The Nature and Scope of Marketing 25

what is a science? Most marketing writers cite the does not, and should not, have to wait to be
perspective proposed by Buzzell. A science is: knighted by others to be a science. How, then, do
. . . a clzissified and systematized body of knowl- sciences differ from other disciplines, if not by
edge, . . . organized around one or more central virtue of having central theories?
theories and a number of general principles, . . . Consider the discipline of chemistryun-
usually expressed in quantitative terms, . . . knowl- questionably a science. Chemistry can be de-
edge which permits the prediction and, under some fined as "the science of substancestheir struc-
circumstances, the control of future events.^' ture, their properties, and the reactions that
Buzzell then proceeded to note that marketing change them into other substances."'*' Using
lacks the requisite central theories to be termed a chemistry as an illustration, three observations
science. will enable us to clarify the distinguishing charac-
Although the Buzzell perspjective on science has teristics of sciences. First, a science must have a
much to recommend it, the requirement "or- distinct subject matter, a set of real-world
ganized around one or more central theories" phenomena that serve as a focal point for investi-
seems overly restrictive. This requirement con- gation. The subject matter of chemistry is sub-
fuses the successfid cidmination of scientific efforts stances, and chemistry attempts to understand,
with science itself. Was the study of chemistry not explain, predict, and control phenomena related
a science before discoveries like the periodic table to substances. Other disciplines, such as physics,
of elements? Analogously, would not a pole vault- are also interested in substances. However, chem-
er still be a pole vaulter even if he could not istry can meaningfully lay claim to being a sepa-
vault fifteen feet? As Homans notes, "What makes rate science because physics does not focus on
a science are its aims, not its results."^^ The major substances and their reactions.
purpose of science is to discover (create? invent?) What is the basic subject matter of marketing?
laws and theories to explain, predict, understand, Most marketers now perceive the ultimate subject
and control phenomena. Withholding the label matter to be the transaction. Some subscribe to
science until a discipline has "central theories" the narrower thesis of marketing and wish to de-
would not seem reasonable. limit the basic subject matter to the market trans-
action. Others propose the liberalized thesis of
The previous comments notwithstanding, re- marketing and wish to include within the subject
quiring a science to be organized around one or matter of marketing all transactions that involve
more central theories is not completely without any form oi exchange of valties between parties.
merit. There are strong honorific overtones in
Harking back to the chemistry analogue, mar-
labeling a discipline a science.'*" These semantical keting can be viewed as the science of
overtones are so positive that, as Wartofsky has transactionstheir structure, their properties, and
observed, even areas that are nothing more than their relationships with other phenomena. Given
systematized superstition attempt to usurp the this perspective, the subject matter of marketing
term."" Thus, there are treatises on such subjects would certainly overlap with other disciplines,
as the "Science of Numerology" and the "Science notably economics, psychology, and sociology.
of Astrology." In part, the label science is con- The analysis of transactions is considered in each
ferred upon a discipline to signify that it has of these disciplines. Yet, only in marketing is the
"arrived" in the eyes of other scientists, and this transaction the focal point. For example, transac-
confirmation usually occurs only when a disci- tions remain a tangential issue in economics,
pline has matured to the extent that it contains where the primary focus is on the allocation of
several "central theories."''^ Thus, chronologically, scarce resources.**^ Therefore, the first distinguish-
physics achieved the status of science before ing characteristic is that any science must have a
psychology, and psychology before sociology. distinct subject matter. Given that the transaction
However, the total conceptual content of the term is the basic subject matter of marketing, market-
science is decidedly not just honorific. Marketing ing would seem to fulfill this requirement. Note
that this conclusion is independent of whether one
38. Buzzell, same reference as footnote 2, p. 37.
39. George C. Homans, The Nature of Social Science (New subscribes to the narrower or more liberal thesis
York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1967), p. 4. of marketing.
40. Ernest Nagel, The Structure of Science (New York: Har-
court, Brace & World, 1961), p. 2.
41. Marx W. Wartofsky, Conceptual Foundations of Scien- 43. Linus Pauling, College Chemistry (San Francisco: W.
tific Thought (New York: Macmillan Co., 1968), p. 44. H. Freeman & Co., 1956), p. 15.
42. Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revela- 44. Richard H. Leftwich, The Price System and Resource
tions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970), p. 161. Allocation (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1966), p. 2.
26 Journal of Marketing, July 1976

A distinct subject matter alone is not sufficient phenomena during the past three decades proba-
to distinguish sciences from other disciplines, be- bly exceeds the total of all prior research in mar-
cause all disciplines have a subject matter (some keting. Substantial research has been conducted
less distinct than others). The previously cited in the area of channels of distribution. Also, ef-
perspective of chemistry provides a second insight forts in the consumer behavior dimension of mar-
into the basic nature of science. Note the phrase, keting have been particularly prolific. Granted,
"their structure, their properties, and their reac- some of the research has been less than profound,
tions." Every science seeks to describe and clas- and the total achievements may not be commen-
sify the structure and properties of its basic sub- surate with the efforts expended. Nevertheless,
ject matter. Likewise, the term reactions suggests who can deny that some progress has been made
that the phenomena comprising the basic subject or that some uniformities have been identified? In
matter of chemistry are presumed to be systemat- short, who can deny that there exist uniformities
ically interrelated. Thus, another distinguishing and regularities interrelating the subject matter
characteristic: Every science presupposes the exis- of marketing? I, for one, cannot.
tence of underlying uniformities or regularities The task of delineating the basic nature of sci-
among the phenomena that comprise its subject ence is not yet complete. Up to this point we have
matter. The discovery of these underlying unifor- used chemistry to illustrate that all sciences in-
mities yields empirical regularities, lawlike general- volve (1) a distinct subject matter and the de-
izations (propositions), and laws. scription and classification of that subject matter,
Underlying uniformities and regularities are and (2) the presumption that underlying the sub-
necessary for science because (1) a primary goal of ject matter are uniformities and regularities that
science is to provide responsibly supported expla- science seeks to discover. The chemistry example
nations of phenomena,''^ and (2) the scientific ex- provides a final observation. Note that "chemistry
planation of phenomena requires the existence of is the science of. . . ." This suggests that sciences
laws or lawlike generalizations.'** Uniformities can be differentiated from other disciplines by the
and regularities are also a requisite for theory de- method of analysis. At the risk of being somewhat
velopment since theories are systematically re- tautologous: sciences employ a set of procedures
lated sets of statements, including some lawlike commonly referred to as the scientific method. As
generalizations, that are empirically testable."*^ Bunge suggests, "No scientific method, no sci-
The basic question for marketing is not whether ence.""*' The historical significance of the de-
there presently exist several "central theories" velopment and acceptance of the method of sci-
that serve to unify, explain, and predict market- ence cannot be overstated. It has been called "the
ing phenomena, as Buzzell suggests. Rather, the most significant intellectual contribution of West-
following should be asked: "Are there underlying em civilization."'*' Is the method of science
uniformities and regularities among the applicable to marketing?
phenomena comprising the subject matter of Detailed explication of the scientific method is
marketing?" This question can be answered beyond the scope of this article and is discussed
affirmatively on two groundsone a priori and elsewhere." Nevertheless, the cornerstone re-
one empirical. Marketing is a discipline that in- quirement of the method of science must be men-
vestigates human behavior. Since numerous uni- tioned. The word science has its origins in the
formities and regularities have been observed in Latin verb scire, meaning "to know." Now, there
other behavioral sciences,"* there is no a priori are many ways to know things. The methods of
reason for believing that the subject matter of tenacity, authority, faith, intuition, and science
marketing will be devoid of uniformities and reg- are often cited." The characteristic that separates
ularities. The second ground for believing that the scientific knowledge from other ways to "know"
uniformities exist is empirical. The quantity of things is the notion of intersubjective certification.
scholarly research conducted on marketing
49. Mario Bunge, Scientific Research I: The Search for Sys-
45. Same reference as footnote 40, p. 15. tem (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1967), p. 12.
46. Carl G. Hempe\, Aspects of Scientific Explanation (New 50. Charles W. Morris, 'Scientific Empiricism," in Foun-
York: Free Press, 1965), pp. 354-364. dations of the Unity of Science, Vol. 1, Otto Newrath, Rudolf
47. Richard S. Rudner, The Philosophy of Social Science Camap and Charles Morris, eds. (Chicago: University of
(Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1966), p. 10; and Chicago Press, 1955), p. 63.
Shelby D. Hunt, "The Morphology of Theory and the Gen- 51. Shelby D. Hunt, Marketing Theory: Conceptual Foun-
eral Theory of Marketing," JOURNAL OF MARKETING. Vol. 35 dation of Research in Marketing (Columbus, Ohio: Grid Pub-
(April 1971), pp. 65-68. lishing Co., 1976).
48. Bernard Berelson and Gary Steiner, Human Behavior: 52. Morris R. Cohen and Ernest Nagel, Logic and the Sci-
An Inventory of Scientific Findings (New York: Harcourt, entific Method (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World 1934)
Brace & World, 1964). p. 193.
The Nature and Scope of Marketing 27

Scientific knowledge, in which theories, laws, language (or languages) and common criteria for
and explanations are primal, must be objective in the justification of knowledge claims and beliefs.'*
the sense that its truth content must be intersub- Is Marketing a Science?
jectively certifiable.-^ Requiring that theories, laws, A Conclusion
and explanations be empirically testable ensures
that they will be intersubjectively certifiable since The scope of the area called marketing has been
different (but reasonably competent) investigators shown to be exceptionally broad. Marketing has
with differing attitudes, opinions, and beliefs will micro/macro dimensions, profit sector/nonprofit
be able to make observations and conduct exper- sector dimensions, and positive/normative dimen-
iments to ascertain their truth content. "Science sions. Reasonable people may disagree as to
strives for objectivity in the sense that its state- which combination of these dimensions repre-
ments are to be capable of public tests with sents the appropriate total scope of marketing, al-
results that do not vary essentially with the test- though a consensus seems to be developing to in-
er."^"* Scientific knowledge thus rests on the bed- clude all eight cells in Table 1. If marketing is to
rock of empirical testability. be restricted to only the profit/micro/normative
There is no reason whatsoever to presume that dimension (as many practitioners would view it),
the scientific method of analysis is any less ap- then marketing is not a science and could not
propriate to marketing phenomena than to other become one. All sciences involve the explanation,
disciplines. Similarly, scholarly researchers in prediction, and understanding of phenomena.^^
marketing, although sometimes holding rather These explanations and predictions frequently
distorted notions concerning such topics as the serve as useful guides for developing normative
role of laws and theories in research, seem to be decision rules and normative models. Such rules
at least as technically proficient as researchers in and models are then grounded in science.'*
other areas. Finally, although some marketing re- Nevertheless, any discipline that is purely evalua-
searchers continue to cite "proprietary studies" as tive or prescriptive (normative) is not a science. At
exidentiary support for their positions, the extent least for marketing academe, restricting the scope
of this practice is now extremely small. of marketing to its profit/micro/normative dimen-
sion is unrealistic, unnecessary, and, without
In summary, sciences (1) have a distinct subject question, undesirable.
matter drawn from the real world which is de-
scribed and classified, (2) presume underlying Once the appropriate scope of marketing has
uniformities and regularities interrelating the been expanded to include at least some positive
subject matter, and (3) adopt intersubjectively dimensions (cells 1, 3, 5, and 7 in Table 1), the
certifiable procedures for studying the subject explanation, prediction, and understanding of
matter. This perspective can be appropriately de- these phenomena could be a science. The question
scribed as a consensus composite of philosophy of then becomes whether the study of the positive
science views on science.''' For example, War- dimensions of marketing has the requisite charac-
tofsky suggests that a science is teristics of a science. Aside from the strictly hon-
orific overtones oi nonmarketers accepting market-
. . . an organized or systematic body of knowledge, ing as a science, the substantive characteristics
using general laws or principles; that it is knowl- differentiating sciences from other disciplines
edge about the world; and that it is that kind ol have been shown to be (1) a distinct subject mat-
knowledge concerning which universal agreement ter drawn from the real world and the description
can be reached by scientists sharing a common and classification of that subject matter, (2) the
presumption of underlying uniformities and reg-
ularities interrelating the subject matter, and (3)
53. Same reference as footnote 36, p. 44.
54. Carl G. Hempel, "Fundamentals of Concept Forma- the adoption of the method of science for studying
tion in Empirical Science, " in Foundations of the Unity of the subject matter.
Science. Vol. 2, Otto Newrath. ed. (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press. 1970), p. 695. The positive dimensions of marketing have been
55. See, for example: Nagel, same reference as footnote shown to have a subject matter properly distinct
40, p. 4; May Brodbeck, Readings in the Philosophy of the
Social Sciences (New York: Macmillan Co., 1968), pp. 1-11; 56. Same reference as footnote 41, p. 23.
Richard B. Braithwaite, Scientific Explanation (Cambridge: 57. Nagel, same reference as footnote 40. p. 15; Henry E.
Cambridge University Press, 1951), pp. 1-21; B. F. Skinner, Kyburg, Jr., Philosophy oi Science (New York: Macmillan
Science and Human Behavior (New York: Macmillan Co., Co., 1968), p. 3; Carl G. Hempel, The Theoreticians Di-
1953), pp. 14-22; Rudner, same reference as footnote 47, pp. lemma," in Aspects of Scientific E.xplanation (New York: Free
7-9; Abraham Kaplan, The Conduct of Inquiry (Scranton, Press, 1965), p. 173; and Nicholas Rescher. Scientific Expla-
Pa.: Chandler Publishing Co., 1964), p. 32; Popper, same nation (New York: Free Press, 1970), p. 4.
reference as footnote 36, pp. 44-48; and Hempel, same refer- 58. Mario Bunge, Scientific Research II: The Search for
ence as footnote 54, p. 672. Truth (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1967), p. 132.
28 Journal of Marketing, July 1976

from other sciences. The marketing literature is ers in marketing are at least as committed to
replete with description and classification. There the method of science as are researchers in other
have been discoveries (however tentative) of uni- disciplines. Therefore, the study of the positive
formities and regularities among marketing dimensions of marketing can be appropriately re-
phenomena. Finally, although Longman deplores ferred to as marketing science.
"the rather remarkable lack of scientific method
employed by scientists of marketing,""'^ research-
The author wishes to gratefully acknowledge the con-
59. Kenneth A. Longman, "The Management Challenge to structive criticisms of earlier drafts of this article by Profes-
Marketing Theory," in New Essays in Marketing Theory, sors George W. Brooker and John R. Nevin, both of the
George Fisk, ed. (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1971), p. 10. University of Wisconsin-Madison.

MARKETING MEMO

America, Free Trade, and the U.N. . . .


The U.N. is an upside-down institution, in which the nations that are dominant
in the worldby wealth, power, even populationare a tiny minority, and
where the nations that are weak and unimportant are in a position of unassailable
superiority. The unreality of the place is summed up in the phenomenon of the
Third World, which exists as a political entity only within the context of the
U.N. The real world is not a place where militant poor nations bludgeon com-
plaisant wealthy ones into submission. The ultimate danger of the U.N. is that,
by the force of its imagery, it will coax the real world into acting out the sordid
and destructive fantasy that flourishes on the East River and that has already
given the world OPEC, Black September, and Idi Amin, the Ugandan President
who is a self-confessed admirer of Hitler for exterminating Jews.
There are many throughout the West, of course, who think the U.N. is no kind
of a mistake, who in fact see in it a large hope for a radically different and better
future.
Not a few persons in the U.S. State Department advocate this posture. Their
attitude can be traced partly to the fact that American diplomats often seem to
identify more with the interests of the country to which they're posted than with
those of the U.S. Partly they dislike opposing and disputing other diplomats. . . .
And Ambassador Robert O. Blake, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-
national Organization Affairs, observes: "If ever there was a place without a
market system, it's the U.S. That's the imagery of what we have. The reality is
that they don't have the socialist system they say they do, and we don't have the
capitalist system we project. Americans don't want free markets. They want an
assured source of raw materials and will pay an awful lot for it."
Paul H. Weaver, "Making the U.N.
Safe for Democracy," FORTUNE,
Vol. 92 (November 1975), pp. 114-
119, 192-196, at pp. 194 and 196.
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