Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

Crown Lost in the Junkyard

One of problems that capitalism faced, immediately before it entered its consumerist phase, is that the masses' material material quality of living was reaching sufficiency for a good life in developed nations. In order to continue economic growth, unnecessary at that point, a consumerist, materialist transformation was needed. The fully modern economy is based on this lie -- brand names, customer loyalty, advertisements are all designed, a la Brave New World, to cause people to waste money on branded products they don't need, while those closer to the bottom economic ranges make due with non-brand products, occasionally attempting to make up with their being unable to fulfill the urges brainwashed into them by buying lottery tickets or expensive stereos for their cheap cars. Although I would suggest that the Marxist notion of history does not actually suggest that Communism is our necessary future in the sense that it will happen, I sould suggest that a transition towards it is complicated by this manipulation. The biggest risk is that, as we may be seeing now, alienation from nonmaterial notions of the good life may cause a backlash towards religion, something which might or might not be seen as a tool of the status quo (note that this may be quite different from the mechanisms of the state) to keep the masses content or act as a false dichotomy against material wealth, rather than cause people to seek social happiness. It is our task, as Socialists who hope to form a new Communism, to found a new asceticism -- a better understanding of what things fit into our life and make them better rather than a focus on insubstantial image. We must find ways to unravel, through mockery and open disavowal of consumerist values, the things that hold people back from understanding that the majority of us have all the wealth we need to be happy. Strip the logo from your clothes, stop watching advertisements, take public transit, and your wealth will become apparent to you. Focus on the inexpensive, quality things, and even moreso focus on the nonmaterial things that are important in life -- friendships, nature, information, and live softly on the earth. When the rat race becomes a leisurely stroll, the dust clears, and the actions of the greedy tyrants become visible and endable.

Tags: philosophy
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