Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What is consumerism?

The word ‘consumerism’ is a word that has influenced our lives and the world we live in extensively, in the news the people living in the country are often referred to as ‘the consumer’ when they talk about ‘protecting the consumer’ for example, because apparently ‘the consumer’ (which is us) needs to be protected by ‘the producer’. This means that we need to be protected against being abused and taken advantage of by the business corporate executives (= the ones ‘pulling the strings’ and making the decisions of what we buy each day in our reality to survive or enjoy ourselves).

We’ve actually come to accept this situation wherein we are in fact being ‘taken advantage of’ as in being manipulated, lied to, cheated and abused by major corporations that make and sell us the products that we buy as our basic necessities (and much more). We find it normal because it is all we hear and see, like the commercials on television and in magazines, we are aware that they use subliminal messaging and manipulation and deception techniques to get us human beings to buy their products and to desire buying their products, in fact every single commercial uses this technique of deception and manipulation. We also often hear stories in the news of a ‘cover up affaire’ that has been ‘uncovered’/discovered about for example a pharmaceutical business using damaging substances in their medicine for whatever purpose that always has to do with profit and selling more of whatever it is they want to sell, or just think about the chemicals and hormones that animals are injected with to make them fatter or to give the meat a ‘fresh’ colour when it is in the stores to make people want to buy it more, or what about all the sugar that is deliberately added to most of the processed foods that you find in stores to make people addicted to the foods and make them want to buy it more. In all these examples the people who make, produce and sell the food, aren’t considering what is best for the ones buying and consuming it at all, quite the opposite actually.

Within this consumerist society we cannot trust the food we eat (especially) because we cannot trust those that sell us the food because the companies producing/manufacturing and selling the food do it from the starting point of only making money out of it for their personal happiness and wealth (=money), in this basically going to any lengths to just make the consumer buy their products, regardless if the product will in fact support the one who buys it in their physical health and growth. This is also done with all other products that is being sold to us, where for example clothes or equipment deliberately has a short expiration date, it is designed to break easily just so that the product will be sold more, though it is food that actually affect us the most because it actually poisons our human physical bodies.

So, therefore, we consumers need protection from the corporations as the abusers and we trust our governments as those in power, making the decisions, to do this for us, to protect us, in this clearly we are not considering and realizing that those in power are also just looking out for their own personal wellbeing (=money), and therefore they are willing and able to ‘turn a blind eye’ to what they know is actually happening as manipulation, cheating and deception by the major producing corporations because when it comes down to it, it is always simply those who have the most money that are truly in power, that are respected and protected, and that would be the producers, not the consumers. So basically this means that we’re being duped from all sides.

So how did we come to simply accept this situation as being ‘normal’ and ‘acceptable’? how come we don’t and have never stood up from this within the realization that this is simply an unacceptable way of living? When asking myself this question, I answer to myself ‘because this is just the way it is, and who am I to change it? This world is after all not in my hands, I am but the consumer’, and in this answer is where the problem lies, because I have accepted myself as ‘but a consumer’. To understand the problem in this we must look at the word ‘consumer’ and ‘consumerism’, what does it mean to be ‘a consumer’? the ‘definition’ of ‘consumer/consumerism’ as what we’ve accepted ourselves to be/become is a being/entity that only takes but doesn’t give, a being that ‘takes’ without considering where what I take comes from, or how it is made or how it got here, because ‘the consumer’ only consumes and leaves the ‘producing’ up to ‘the producer’, thus the consumer is a being that exist in total unawareness of the effects and consequences of its ‘consummation’, and this is how we have allowed ourselves to define ourselves, this is the self-definition that we have come to accept of ourselves, a definition that is being supported by our own governments that use the word ‘consumer’ to define its citizens.

So, in being ‘a consumer’ and believing myself to be but ‘the consumer’ I place myself in a very inferior position, where I just have to ‘swallow’ and ‘take’ what the producer, as the corporations, give me within and as the products that they sell to me. Consumerism/consuming is then the implied and suggested way of living in this society that is founded on the principle of ‘consumerism’, wherein we consumers have become consumed by consuming products, we have become the addicts of the products that are being sold to us, as if we are attempting to ‘hush’ and ‘appease’ our experience of accepted inferiority by having allowed ourselves to be reduced by society to ‘but a consumer’ as a being that exists in complete unawareness of how and why everything exists and of where everything that exists comes from and of the consequences of our production and consummation on the planet and all beings that exist. Instead of realizing our shared responsibility towards the world/reality we live/exist in and standing up from this perceived and induced inferiority position as a being that stands as self responsibility, standing within and as full awareness of all that goes on in this world, to ensure that no more cheating, manipulating and deceiving for the sake of personal interest, where what is best for all is not considered, happens ever again.

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