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Consumerism : the deadly equation

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posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 11:30 AM
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Consumerism is a scary and double bladed sword ,
without consumerism our economy would collapse ... but at what cost are we taking? hundreds of dollars wasted trying to get the newest sleekest products every month ...often throwing away perfectly good products and materials because of out dating , hence filling up our landfills , and making us consume limited resources .





posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 01:00 PM
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Such a vicious cycle , is there no end to to this ?



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 01:02 PM
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reply to post by Saytun
 


sure there's an end to it, stop buying crap you don't need from companies you don't like for reasons you don't understand, problem solved.



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 02:29 PM
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reply to post by Saytun
 


its like the circle of life, measured in big macs

you buy a mac , the mac guy buys shoes, the shoe guy buys ...

stop that cycle , and things break down



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 02:50 PM
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Sadly, as I was just writing on annother thread, consumerism has become a "belief system" that we use to fill the void. If we are bored, we buy. If we are unhappy, we buy. We buy to reward ourselves, to reward others, even to show our love and affection. It has become so prevelant, that many of us would not know how to function, (ie: show love, fight boredom, reward ourselves), without the end all purchase.

There are, as you point out, MANY problems that come at the hand of this ideology, and a crumbling socioeconomic state is just a part of it. The system was built this way: you are defined by what you have, not who you are. (Oh, is that YOUR car/house/watch?)
We have affectionatly dubbed this "the American dream". Somebody, anybody, time to wake up!



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 02:55 PM
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Originally posted by Torsion girl
Sadly, as I was just writing on annother thread, consumerism has become a "belief system" that we use to fill the void. If we are bored, we buy. If we are unhappy, we buy. We buy to reward ourselves, to reward others, even to show our love and affection. It has become so prevelant, that many of us would not know how to function, (ie: show love, fight boredom, reward ourselves), without the end all purchase.

There are, as you point out, MANY problems that come at the hand of this ideology, and a crumbling socioeconomic state is just a part of it. The system was built this way: you are defined by what you have, not who you are. (Oh, is that YOUR car/house/watch?)
We have affectionatly dubbed this "the American dream". Somebody, anybody, time to wake up!



Very well said and I don't think I could have put it any better.
What if your not American , lets use Canada as an example.. there has never been a "Canadian Dream" is it because Canada has no dream?
America likes to think of themselves as the powerhouse government , but what IF they lost that title to Japan for example... would it still be the "American dream " market... or would we switch over to japans economic beliefs.



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 03:10 PM
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Hmmm, that is interesting. "The American dream" is no longer exclusive to Americans. This is evidenced by an increasingly flat global ecomomy that is based on consumerism. (Cell phone sales in India, for example). For a couple hundred years now, people have fought to become part of the glorious "melting pot" of greed. There is a status assoiciated with it, and our global economy reflects those desires.

I know what you mean, though. When we are no longer the economic super-power influencing all markets, whose ideologies will rise to the top? Sadly, the "new" economic leader will most likely have adopted/adapted this crumby "dream". It is a means to an end for the ruling class, and the masses will most likely continue to submit, for what else do they know????



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 03:15 PM
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You see we all need to fill a spiritual void, that this society cannot fill no matter how much sex you have or how much fried food you eat.

People are spiritual beings, and egos play the negative role in this. I just wrote a long it in another thread about this and what society should do, and i cannot stand the consumer society and the way everyone has to be a b1tch.



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 03:27 PM
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Originally posted by Torsion girl
Hmmm, that is interesting. "The American dream" is no longer exclusive to Americans.


it never was, americans named consumerism "the american dream" but the desire to live comfortably at small cost is a universal desire.


[edit on 6/4/09 by pieman]



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 03:59 PM
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Originally posted by pieman

Originally posted by Torsion girl
Hmmm, that is interesting. "The American dream" is no longer exclusive to Americans.


it never was, americans named consumerism "the american dream" but the desire to live comfortably at small cost is a universal desire.


[edit on 6/4/09 by pieman]


Now I have to ask you definition of what a " small cost " means to you ?
As I was lead to believe part of that dream meant living "comfortable" by being able to afford these products.

So is living below the American Standard , better economically then achieving this dream?

To live at smaller cost , would be more environmentally friendly , but without feeding the monster that is our economy , it would drop .

Hense bringing us back to the original topic of is it better to save then spend ?



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 05:01 PM
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Originally posted by pieman

Originally posted by Torsion girl
Hmmm, that is interesting. "The American dream" is no longer exclusive to Americans.


it never was, americans named consumerism "the american dream" but the desire to live comfortably at small cost is a universal desire.


[edit on 6/4/09 by pieman]


I don't agree. There have been many cultures throuout history whose focus was not consumerism. I agree that the idea of the "American dream" was never exclusively "American", but we did much to propogate the ideas of global consumerism. Like my example regarding the cell phone sales in India, (have you seen the numbers on that??!), we have spread this thinking into far reaching places that once were not over run with the desire for "things". It it not a "universal" desire to have the best of everything, no matter what the cost, (and THAT is more reflective of the "American dream" than the "desire to live comfortably at small cost"). I am an American, and even I know that.



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 07:41 PM
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O k with my search of what the middle ground for Consumerism is ....
I came across a video showing the dramatic side of the spectrum showing how living by reused consumables



Freegans , If you were like myself and had no idea of this before .. you can at least say you have a bit more knowledge in your tool belt , which is never a bad thing in the least .



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 11:28 PM
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I couldn't load this video, but I'll watch it later. Thank you.

I had some time to think more about this particular issue, and I got a bit off base before.

What is to be done?? How can we at least change our own participatory role in the economic oppression machine??

A few things I do:

I drive a car that I own out right, and I drive it as little as possible. (I moved to live in the same town where I work). I carpool anytime I go anywhere with friends.

I shop at thrift stores and garage sales pretty much exclusivly. (The don't sell my favorite bleeding-heart-hippie-granola so I have to go to WALLYWORLD for that...)

I create less waste because I waste less stuff. I reuse everything as much as possible, and try to think creativly about potential uses for said "waste".

And the biggest thing that I have done in my fight against consumerism: (I know this sounds so self-righteous, but I really am sincere),

I gave up my need. There is nothing that I ever really need. I am SO THANKFUL AND LUCKY. I just don't need a new TV, or a new car, or a fancy dress, or even an ISP, I'll go somewhere and pick up the wireless for free, or on a good day pick it up from my house that I don't own full of "my" stuff that I really don't care about. (Some meaningful artwork excepted.) I should also say that I work full time and support myself.

This happened: A stranger at a party was on and on about my earings, she liked them SO much that I instantly decided she would enjoy them (even for a moment), more than I probably ever would so I took them off and gave them to her. (Of course, they weren't "expensive", I gave that up, remember), She held them in her hand, mystified, and put them on to match her new smile. It was easy enough. I give away things all the time.

I gave away my umbrella once while it was raining. My mother was furious, but we (me & my mom), were getting on a train and there stood a presumably homeless mother and child not getting on the train, so I just gave it to them. I was going to be dry.

The thing is, it can be reckless. The next time it rains I will get wet, because I won't have an umbrella. You have to NOT care.

If you want to let go of consumerism, it is a daily fight that I have just begun, (I am sure that the video I can't watch will asure me of that).

It is of the utmost importance to our well-being, (both indivdual and collective), that we overcome our addiction to consumption. We have to let go of our collective unyielding need for the "stuff".

...Wow, bit winded, sorry...

OK, few more ideas my friends and I are working on:

Start a co-op, I love veggies.

Cook dinner for eachother, create less waste and use less energy.

Unplug your cell phone charger, (someone is completely obsessed).

And on a last note, a brilliant tid bit from a ton of other threads: TRUST your gut and admit that: money IS an illusion.



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 11:32 PM
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Originally posted by Torsion girlIt has become so prevelant, that many of us would not know how to function, (ie: show love, fight boredom, reward ourselves), without the end all purchase


How to fight boredom? Try looking at things with the eyes of a child. Look at things with awe and wonder especially at nature. Problem with us that we got so used with our world that we no longer notice the 'little things'.



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 11:46 PM
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Originally posted by ahnggk

Originally posted by Torsion girlIt has become so prevelant, that many of us would not know how to function, (ie: show love, fight boredom, reward ourselves), without the end all purchase


How to fight boredom? Try looking at things with the eyes of a child. Look at things with awe and wonder especially at nature. Problem with us that we got so used with our world that we no longer notice the 'little things'.


Honestly, do you think most bored people step back and look at the world through the eyes of a child, (which I would also advocate), or do you thing they grab a StarBUCKS?



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 05:48 AM
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Originally posted by Saytun
Now I have to ask you definition of what a " small cost " means to you ?
As I was lead to believe part of that dream meant living "comfortable" by being able to afford these products.


when i say living comfortably at small cost, i mean consuming more than you could possibly produce. the cost is always bourne somehow, by the environment or the impoverished or whatever, but so long as the cost isn't bourne by you, that's living comfortably at small cost.


Originally posted by Torsion girl
I don't agree. There have been many cultures throuout history whose focus was not consumerism.


that's entirely a perspective, consumerism is a new name for an old idea in my book, the ruling classes were always consumers in every culture but in modern times a global situation has allowed entire countries to assume the role traditionally held by the ruling class.


I agree that the idea of the "American dream" was never exclusively "American", but we did much to propogate the ideas of global consumerism.


only where it suited america to do so. the spread of global consumerism was just a side effect of marketing of american products, i think you're putting the horse before the cart on this one.


Like my example regarding the cell phone sales in India, (have you seen the numbers on that??!),


mobile phones are a very useful invention, i think that's the reason they're so popular in fairness. they don't need to be marketed strongly unless they are very expensive.


we have spread this thinking into far reaching places that once were not over run with the desire for "things". It it not a "universal" desire to have the best of everything, no matter what the cost, (and THAT is more reflective of the "American dream" than the "desire to live comfortably at small cost"). I am an American, and even I know that.


it is not necessary to have the best of everything regardless of cost to be a consumer. it is only necessary that you exchange real value (work) for illusionary value (a new tv when the old one works fine). paying more for a clothing label is consumerism but so is paying very little for clothes you never wear.

consumerism isn't exactly the american dream, that changes with the generations. in the beginning it was something like "a man can rise to the best of his potential regardless of class or creed" and now it's "a person must embody the consumerist ideal", in ten years time it'll be something else.

[edit on 7/4/09 by pieman]



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 05:54 AM
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Originally posted by Seany
reply to post by Saytun
 


its like the circle of life, measured in big macs

you buy a mac , the mac guy buys shoes, the shoe guy buys ...

stop that cycle , and things break down


Perhaps it's not a case of actually stopping the cycle, but more how fast that cycle spins.

Also, obviously the example you're using is a very simplistic one (as you'd probably admit yourself) - it's not all 'buy a mac so a guy can buy shoes so the shoe man can buy' a lot of what everyone is buying in needless at a time when it's glaringly obvious resources (needed to buy these needless things) are increasingly limited and finite.

I see this as a maths equation where you can cancel a lot of things out to make the problem more manageable. Cancel out the needless things and you can still have that cycle, but one that's more manageable and more realistic.



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 06:25 AM
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Originally posted by Torsion girl
Honestly, do you think most bored people step back and look at the world through the eyes of a child, (which I would also advocate), or do you thing they grab a StarBUCKS?


Right, they grab a starbucks but maybe it's because no one has told them, but they need to know.



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 03:10 PM
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Originally posted by pieman
when i say living comfortably at small cost, i mean consuming more than you could possibly produce. the cost is always bourne somehow, by the environment or the impoverished or whatever, but so long as the cost isn't bourne by you, that's living comfortably at small cost.


Sacrificing the environment and fueling the oppression of the poor is NOT a small cost.



only where it suited america to do so. the spread of global consumerism was just a side effect of marketing of american products, i think you're putting the horse before the cart on this one.


Global consumerism is the GOAL, not a side effect. Of course we are marketing American products worldwide, but the powers that be did not care if it was right for the global economy, they seek the almighty $. (You really don't see this?)...I am sure there are some, (or at least one) socially responsible corporations out there, but for the most part, we see the grab and dash, and that is helping no one. So what of our corporate polocies in America?



mobile phones are a very useful invention, i think that's the reason they're so popular in fairness. they don't need to be marketed strongly unless they are very expensive.


Sure, mobil phones are nifty and useful, and I am not saying that there is no need for them, I am pointing out the fact that consumerism has taken over to the extent that we are now seeing hill side shephards in India with no money taking loans out so they can talk on a celly. That is the spread of ideologies, not just of technologies.



it is not necessary to have the best of everything regardless of cost to be a consumer. it is only necessary that you exchange real value (work) for illusionary value (a new tv when the old one works fine). paying more for a clothing label is consumerism but so is paying very little for clothes you never wear.


I was not saying that "consumers" must have the best of everything to be consumers. I was getting at the current state of the "American dream".


consumerism isn't exactly the american dream, that changes with the generations. in the beginning it was something like "a man can rise to the best of his potential regardless of class or creed" and now it's "a person must embody the consumerist ideal", in ten years time it'll be something else.


And we agree. I love that initial idea of the American Dream, don't you?? I have very little fear about what is to come, but I don't think that the "American dream" stands to be much improved in the next ten years. Different, yes...better? Probably not.



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 03:11 PM
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Originally posted by ahnggk

Originally posted by Torsion girl
Honestly, do you think most bored people step back and look at the world through the eyes of a child, (which I would also advocate), or do you thing they grab a StarBUCKS?


Right, they grab a starbucks but maybe it's because no one has told them, but they need to know.


They sure do need to be told...and that is in and of itself part of the problem.



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