lavish spending on goods and services acquired mainly for the purpose of displaying income or wealth. In the mind of a conspicuous consumer, such
display serves as a means of attaining or maintaining social status.
In the modern Western Society of today, a majority of us enjoy a standard of living in which our basic human requirements are met easily. Although
this is becoming harder each day for more and more people, I think it's safe to say the we are blessed in many ways. For the most part we do not have
to struggle to survive. Over time, we can become complacent and forget that for many others in this world such a life is not a reality; only
concerning ourselves with luxury, and instant gratification.
Introduce into this population a system in which the various trades/ talents of Man become automated functions of corporate entities, and you take
away a key part of the Human identity....Their contribution to humanity and community through their various trades and talents. Compound that with a
monetary system in which the trade of good and services is obsolete, instead all trade is through a form of "money", and you have a society in which
the "money" dictates the value of these goods and services.
Now that the Human identity is no longer associated with our individual talents, goods or services, in my opinion "money" becomes the key factor in
portraying one's individual identity. Herein creating a society in which the acquisition of wealth and goods are indicators of status and importance;
perpetuating the seperation of people into classes, and always funneling wealth and goods to those who have, while the have-nots starve. Even though
there is enough resources to cover the basic human needs of everyone on this planet.
In this lies the heart of the matter. The value of one’s abilities, order in the “food-chain” and even the value of life itself is based on
materialistic social order. Those without material possessions of value, or the “monies” to acquire such items, are viewed as lesser beings than
those who do have these resources. This can give way to indevious consumption, whereas wealth is used to induce envy from those around us.
Let’s be honest here. Many people around us, and possibly many of us, identify themselves by their material possessions and order in the social
food-chain. Our culture does not value character or compassion for other’s conditions. We value goods, wealth and status. We march to the beat of
capitalistic dogma, rather than act on the cries of help from our fellow man, common sense, and what we all know instinctively as right and moral.
Plain and simple, we would rather buy that new big screen TV than help our neighbors, or people in other nations, feed themselves or provide basic
needs. All in the name of materialistic self-gratification and bragging rights of status.
I understand that many nations spend large amounts of money and resources on humanitarian aid, but many times the resources are swept into the folds
of corrupt governments. These resources are not given to the people indiscriminatly, but to those who can control and/or profit from genorosity while
the people still starve. This is also an all-to-often excuse we use to justify why we do not lend more of a helping hand.
This way of living is bound to fail. We cannot sustain a system of living that protects the materialistic paradigm in which the value of life is
trumped by the value of profit....for whatever purpose. We cannot trust that the “generosity” of corrupt governments will fulfill the needs of all
the worlds citizens. It is up to the individual to value their neighbor and to realize that status, possessions and money do not make us who we are,
and only the strong character of Man and value of life itself can bring man from the brink of it’s self-created demise.
I believe that we cannot change our leadership, our corrupt governments, or destiny of Man itself until we are willing to change our habits and
unreasonable expectations of our time on Earth. Wealth and possessions do not make the Man.
offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.
I would also like to touch on the subject of arrogance. Simply defined as an attitude of superiority, arrogance is, in part, bred by and perpetuates
conspicuous consumption. Of course it is not solely exclusive, but it does go hand in hand.
It has become second nature to believe in, and sometimes act upon our imagined delusions that other people are somehow inferior. Even those of us who
have nothing to necessarily brag about, we find solace in our innate ability to alienate those around us with unbridled, nose-in-the-air arrogance.
Arrogance also coincides with power. The more “power” one has, be it a job or what not, the level of arrogance rises. Of course, this does not
apply to all cases but it can easily be seen in any of our workplaces today.
I will not go into this subject too much as I believe we all know the cocky attitude I speak of. Let me just say that no one person is better than the
other. The sooner we learn that the easier it will be to live together.