It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


The Conspiracy of Consumerism.

page: 1

log in


posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 09:23 PM
In this time, far different from when we were kids, or our parents or grandparents time, we increasingly fall prey to the idea that we MUST have everything newer, bigger, better, faster.
If the Jones's have it..we NEED it too.
Wants become confused with needs.
Consumerism is the equation of personal happiness with consumption and the purchase of material possessions.

Have you ever really looked at the things you own?How many hours did you work to pay for it? Are you Still paying for it?Break it down to the cost of raw it worth what you are paying?Did it improve your life? Make you happy?
In a Utopian world, we would buy only what we needed...

Imagine yourself dwelling in the following world:

You live in a safe pleasant and unpolluted community where you actually know your neighbors and interact with them, be it a small town, a suburb or even a city neighborhood. You can easily walk, bicycle or take effective mass transit to your nearby job, giving you time to think or read as you get there.

The work that you do improves our future, benefits your community and means something to you and those with whom you interact. You actually look forward to Monday. The longer that you are employed the more you learn and the more valuable you become to your employer with an increasing level of pay.

Your work schedule leaves you sufficient time to enjoy your friends, family and outside interests. Money isn't a controlling influence in your life because your needs are easily met. Your possessions are few, yet of high quality, thus allowing your home to be smaller and less expensive to own or rent.

You're connected to your surroundings, rather than just dwelling in them, your backyard, for example, provides most of the produce you might need plus a surplus that you can trade with neighbors. You have a stake in your community and participate in local decision making at the Town Council, P.T.A. and other grass roots organizations.. You buy what is necessary in nearby establishments whose owners are known to you and live in your community. If you have children, they walk to a nearby well-funded neighborhood school in safety and then learn authentic social skills as they interact with a community of honorably employed adults when away from school.

Occasionally you need to travel to a large store on the edge of town. You do this on a free shuttle bus or perhaps in a simple, older vehicle, the use and costs of which you might share with others or a car that you rent only when you need it, thus preserving for yourself the weeks or months that it takes to earn the thousands of after-tax Dollars that owning a new car would take away from you each year. Your interests, the things that you really like to do with your mind and your hands, all the possibilities of your life, are there to be explored because you have the time.
Too far fetched?
Of course..because the reality is that we are bombarded everyday by this:
"You work in a job you hate, to buy stuff that you don't need, to impress people that you don't like."

- Unknown

"He who dies with the most toys wins"

"I can imagine it, therefore I want it. I want it, therefore I should have it. Because I should have it, I need it. Because I need it, I deserve it. Because I deserve it, I will do anything necessary to get it."

Flawed logic?Definitely...but true.
The father of it all:

Bernays invented the public relations profession in the 1920s and was the first person to take Freud's ideas to manipulate the masses. He showed American corporations how they could make people want things they didn't need by systematically linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires. Bernays was one of the main architects of the modern techniques of mass-consumer persuasion, using every trick in the book, from celebrity endorsement and outrageous PR stunts, to eroticising the motorcar. His most notorious coup was breaking the taboo on women smoking by persuading them that cigarettes were a symbol of independence and freedom...

You have this man to thank for the state of the so called Economy right now, and it's flawed basis on consumption of goods not necessarily needed but wanted.
Our economy itself, is an illusion.
We can barely afford the goods and services we actually need at present.
What part of Industry is devoted to the things we don't need (speculative I know) based on what we really do need to maintain a healthy standard of life and happiness?
Of course you say..but I can't just stop buying things! Then people lose jobs and the economy gets worse!
Does it? Or do they want you to believe that?

It is in the interest of product advertisers and marketers that the consumer's needs and desires never be completely or permanently fulfilled, so the consumer can repeat the consumption process and purchase more products.

Made-To-Break products are more beneficial to the producer, marketer and thus the entire market. Thus, planned obsolescence is embedded in the manufacturing and marketing process of new goods and services.

It is also profitable to the producer to make their products part of a continuously changing fashion market. By doing this, items that are still in good condition and can last for many years are deemed in need of constant replacement, in order to keep in synch with current fashion trends.

In this way, steady profits are assured for this self-perpetuating system, but consumers are not comfortable or satisfied for a significant length of time with what they own.

Nothing is built to last anymore.
We work hard to earn the money to buy this week what we'll throw away next month.
Lightbulb moment anyone?
Time for a shift in priorities.
Needs versus wants. Prioritize, quite simply.
Shift focus.
The pursuit of Happiness does not end with stuff.

posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 09:34 PM
I have seen this happen in my town, and i am glad someone else realizes this.


posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 09:42 PM
reply to post by AccessDenied

It is not the fault of anyone, but the people who foolishly buy into those ideas get what they deserve. No one forces a person to buy everything they see in an ad. Most people are just suckers with low self-esteem.

[edit on 22-6-2009 by grapesofraft]

posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 03:41 AM
My TV is large and of good quality, it’s 20 years old. My auto just turned 200,000 miles, and I hope to get another 100,000 out of it. My house is a 2-1, 50’s cottage style with a nice big back yard for my garden. I’m 44 and have never bought a stick of new furniture outside of my bedding, and that was in 94. Ok, it’s probably time for a new mattress. I don’t have an IPOD, I still use a VCR, though I do have a DVD player now, and my cell phone and Compaq Presario are the only possessions I would consider ‘consumerist’ it nature.

Like we say here in Texas, it aint bragging if it’s true. The irony here is that in Dallas, home of the $30,000 a year millionaire, anyone would brag about not being a consumer.

posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 03:48 AM
I have started to use a service called freecycle, basically going to rich peoples houses in london who want to get rid of stuff they no longer use. They feel like their doing a good "green" thing and dont really need the money. I can pick their stuff up which saves them money and time.I have decked out the whole house. No need to buy new stuff

posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 03:57 AM
All hat, no cattle.

Let them sleep in the bed they made. (2nd line)

posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 05:29 AM

Originally posted by woodwardjnr
I have started to use a service called freecycle, basically going to rich peoples houses in london who want to get rid of stuff they no longer use. They feel like their doing a good "green" thing and dont really need the money. I can pick their stuff up which saves them money and time.I have decked out the whole house. No need to buy new stuff

YES! I use Freecycle myself...a wonderful option.And if I need something I always look for it used before buying new.

posted on Apr, 18 2010 @ 12:37 PM
reply to post by AccessDenied

I have had the same type of observation and feelings. Not sure if you saw this. Someone sent me this video The Story of Stuff, by Annie Leonard in an email. It was well worth watching and seems to describe a vicious self defeating cycle that needs some sort of interruption. Our values are skewed and really not even our own values. We seem to have adopted a consumer mindset with a whole lot of persuasive advertising.

An interesting quote from this video which I found myself dwelling on is this: "A linear system on a finite planet." How could this have ever worked?

posted on Apr, 18 2010 @ 12:50 PM
Excellent points and post, S&F..!

Thank you

posted on Oct, 18 2010 @ 08:32 PM

Your a Communist!!

All good, so iz I...

new topics

top topics


log in