Video of the Day – The Religion of Consumerism

The notion of consumerism as the religion of the United States is nothing new. That said, Warren Pollock did an excellent job explaining just how corrosive this mindset can be to a society. I was particularly taken by the idea that since the vast majority of people define themselves almost entirely by their level of consumption, or by some desired level of future consumption, their consciousness becomes easily controlled and their worldview easily managed and molded. They simply cannot see life in any other context and so they become trapped within a very sick and twisted form of human existence.

I’ve seen several of Warren’s videos in the past, but this is the first one I’ve shared. I know you’ll enjoy.

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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  1. Interesting stuff. The first sounding of this alarm, that I remember was the movie Fight Club which, at the very height of the fantasy consumer economy (circa 1998) called it all meaningless. Too many people missed that message, either enjoying the violence and vandalism or shrinking from it. But all Fight Club did was point out that the acquisitive life is meaningless. Pollock gives this rebuke depth.

  2. i watched the thing. it’s tiring.

    the rant against consumerism has been going for ages. before the mass media and modern marketing using televised imagery, you still had holdover print and radio ‘advertising’.

    while advertising certainly existed before the industrial revolution, in many forms—-the arrival of many products (from factories) combines with mass communication advertising is what defines much of modern consumerism.

    if you want to deny this characterization than you are forced into admitting, that consumerism, in its more generalized form of materialism and jealousy (coveting your neighbor’s X) has been with man since time started.

    this isn’t something new, nor is it a religion. this video makes a mountain out of a spiritual malaise . the antidote to rampant covetousness is not the desire to be holier than though renouncing of all possessions. even the guy in the video relates that the answer is moderation. this lesson has been taught and explicated in various literature all over the place.

    harping on consumerism as a religion takes it over the top as the cause of our problems. it is a partial cause. but it is not a religion.

    the cause of the problems of the modern condition—in so far as some of the cause can be attributable to the public at large as consumerism is——is the problem of apathy and stupidity and lack of critical thought. it is insufficient to be semantically argumentative about what ’causes’ what. it’s more of a feedback loop.of course apathy and stupidity are a flip side to consumerism.

    a self driving car. hooray, now children don’t need to worry about driving their old parents around when the medicare van cannot pick them up because the google self driving car gives everyone more freedom.

    despite my obvious sarcarsm, i am pointing out the difficulty of bashing consumerism. increased material prosperity IS a good thing. you cannot simply uni-demensionally characterize it as bad without coming off as a luddite revolutionary who thinks throwing out the baby with the bathwater will make things better instead of worse.

    the problem isn’t that people fail to reject consumerism. the problem is that peopel fail to find a happy balance between pursuing material prosperity, and taking an active mental and social role in the world around them to ensure that the average person is tehmselves able to benefit sufficiently from our shared bounty.

    consumerism replete with apathy and carelessness leads to less material prosperity for the many and a great increasse in oligarchic prosperity and control for the very few.

    that problem is not a religion nor does it stem from one. it arguably stems from the lack of religion or lack of at least socially conscietiouss spirituality—-a state of affairs where human beings feel actively responsible for themselves and one another.

    while I am non-theist myself , I find it hard to reject the notion that god-endlessness in american and western society is a problem in so far as that people have been driven away from feeling responsible both for themselves and one another in a direct manner, and have pushed off this responsibility on politicians and the ‘public’ . by blaming other human beings——-for circumstantial existence——-one deflects personal responsibility. or then makes a personal religion out of it like communism.
    Neither of these imbalanced social attitudes will yield anything but even more imbalanced results.

  3. People vote billions of times every day for the incumbent oligarchy, and then complain that once every 4 years, they don’t get much choice.

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