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Consumerism as Patriotism

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posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 09:52 AM
I recently watched part of a short documentary arguing the premise that, in the U.S., consumerism has replaced real patriotism. It argued that, since 9/11, Americans have been encouraged to spend and go about life as usual as a counter measure to terrorism and its effect on our society.

We really haven't been asked to sacrifice anything unlike during all previous conflicts. (Okay, well maybe our liberties!) The documentary gave an excellent example of how Americans will put magnetic ribbon decals on their cars as a show of support for troops overseas but, unless they are in a military family, Americans are not asked to do much else to show support or sacrifice. Their lives go on as if nothing big is happening in the world. Consequently, no one seems to be very concerned about the current state of things and certainly not concerned about change.

Does anyone know the name of this documentary? Any opinions about this doc or topic?

What would happen if, as a protest to current policies, American citizens and their allies overseas committed to not buying anything for 1 week and only neccessities for 1 month? We know China would not like it but what about the "Powers That Be"? Would it make them pay attention? Could it bring about reform?

posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 10:46 PM
Kosmicjack, thanks for the semi link to this thread!

If people can just resist buying needless items it would have a huge impact, every small step has a big impact when it is collectively done. The problem with giving time structures to things like a gas strike, is after the time period is over people go right back to the way they were beforehand.

Take the bus to work, or hey even just ride a bike on the weekend! Walk to the store that is just 4 blocks away, we could use the exercise. Stop paying to go to the gym when you have a whole outdoor world to exercise in! All this comfort in the world has a big price and guess who's rolling in the big payroll?!!!! Not the common people, that's for sure!

In the past few years I have hardly bought anything that I haven't needed. I find it to be very satisfiing that I moved 1000 miles by airplane with only 3 suitcases and a bike that I shipped. I can get up and go at any moment! I don't have these "things" weighing me down. Being without "things" has made my life less complicated and in that I find happiness.

My next step is not paying taxes. I just came to the realization of this last year, and I was a little scared of what would happen if I didn't. I really don't own anything anyone could ever want or take from me so what am I worried about?! Does anyone have any thoughts on how I go about this? Do I adjust my dependants so that I pay nothing in?

posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 12:32 AM
Oh...and I also saw that documentary. Sorry to say..cannot remember the title.

Altought I do not think this is the complete center of the problem with todays society....I do beleive that is a huge portion.

posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 08:48 AM
I really admire your conviction. It's very hard to live our principles. Might I inquire about your age and occupation? I understand if you don't want to give it. Its just that I find young people are more likely to correlate their lifestyle to their principles than older people, people with children or people with jobs in a typical corporate structure. I have a four year old and work part-time for a major corporation so it gets complicated.

As far as not paying taxes, you could start by not buying anything at the wholesale or retail level, utilizing only the second hand market or barter system. This would also take a huge commitment. I read on ATS somewhere that there is a member who is currently operating like this. I'd like to know more about it.

Your point about time-frames or time-limits is well taken. I think it is pointless when it comes to the so-called "gas boycott". It takes a minimum amount of gas for any person, family, etc. to operate on a daily basis. Obviously they are going to buy that amount of gas on either one day or the next.

But - as for hard goods, the vast majority of food and luxury items they can refrain for a specific amount of time without increasing their purchases either before or after the designated time period. We waste so much in this country anyway.

Also, there is a book out right now about a family living for one year without any products "Made in China". The author said that it was extremely difficult and expensive so I am not sure how may Americans would really be on board. I'd like to try but when you start looking at labels it is very daunting.

The President has asked Americans, on numerous occasions, to go about spending as usual to show support for our troops and to prove to our enemies that they cannot effect our society. I really don't see the correlation between the two unless you surmise that America is self-absorbed self-indulgent and greedy. Oh but wait...

I say stop spending money to show the government we disagree with its policies and the infringement on our liberties it has taken.

posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 10:00 PM
I am 28 and I work for an ecommerce company that is on it's way to big time. Right now it is fun to be there to be there as it is growing and I love the intellegent people that I work with. Although commerce is against what I believe in, it is the way I support myself in this very expensive city.

It almost feels as if we could never escape the wheel competely, you know?

I have thought about saving up money to buy land and start a farm and teach myself how to do it all. In this day and age that would be truely amazing. I must say the Amish are amazing people! It is hard to imagine that I will ever be able to complete this, because of the cost of living. I hate that money rules our life!

I definately am going to try out the barter system! My ex-husband was a master at it. Another great benefit of that tactic is: one persons trash is anothers treasure! I love secondhand items because they feel like they have a history.

My boss said he read that book and said it was very interesting. I can only imagine how hard it is to find items only made in America. He also noted that she had stated it was extremely expensive. On that note, the price of goods should be raising quite a bit with the new China import tax that goes into effect soon. So maybe there won't be so much of a price difference after that goes into effect.

I agree, I will tighten up my wallet even more in the coming months. Especially near the Christmas season, that is the best time to take action because of the major impact we could make. Second hand gifts, homemade gifts, gifts of the heart, or my favorite, no gifts at all.

posted on Aug, 25 2007 @ 12:05 AM

I am interested in what you are doing for our well being? You seem to have great experience and I would love to hear!

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