Thursday, October 13, 2011

Who is to blame for consumerism?

so the big question is: where does the word ‘consumerism’/’consumer’ come from, who invented this word, and who decided that it would be the primary focus point that lies at the heart of our experience within the society that we live in?

when we look at society, we see that ‘consumerism’ is but a result/side effect/consequential outflow of the ‘capitalist system’ as the monetary system that we ‘agreed to’ live in, for the following reason: in this system everything basically revolves around getting money, where it is each on their own on our quest for money as ‘personal happiness’. From this starting point of ‘each on their own’ in getting money, with money being something that you cannot just take or make but something that you have to get and receive from other people/the system, it is a small step for people to go and manipulate/deceive other people in more or less subtle ways to ensure that we actually get money.

To some level this is what every being in the capitalist system does, because we all just want to survive and if our survival depends on other people giving us money, then why not ensure the chances of actually getting money by for example ‘putting on a smiling face’ to make other people happy, or by being friendly, polite, nice, positive, happy, etc… to make other people feel good so they will want to make us feel good by giving us the money we want (by employing/hiring us or buying from our store or whatever it is).

This is though also what lies at the root of the manipulation, deception and cheating that’s being done to us by the major corporations that are in charge of providing us with the food we eat or the clothes we wear, the house we live in, the electricity we use, etc… because these ‘major corporations’ are also just people who want money. And if there is one addiction that we all have, it is money, we are all addicted to money, we all want it and as much as possible because we all just want to feel safe and secure and that is what money can provide for us in this reality: a safe/secure future. Therefore we cannot blame the corporations for cheating us, manipulating and deceiving us because if we were in their shoes, we would do exactly the same, because we’re already doing the same on a smaller scale towards the people in our own environment.

So, where does ‘consumerism’ come in? how did ‘consumerism’ come to be in this capitalist system and what place does consumerism take in the capitalist system?

First of all, the capitalist system, as the system that we ‘chose’ to live and experience ourselves in, revolves around our personal ‘capital’, meaning that which we have that gives us ‘value’, and that is at the current moment ‘money’. In other words, the capitalist system is by definition a system wherein you/your life are/is only as valuable as the ‘capital’ that you have, so a being living in this system is only as valuable as the money that it has. From when we were children we were taught by our parents and grandparents that being poor is ‘bad’ and that having sufficient and preferably more than sufficient money is ‘good’, so we have come to connect energetic charges within ourselves to the amount of money that we have, a more positive ‘higher’ energetic charge as a ‘good feeling’ the more money you have/earn.

because our lives is all about ‘capital’, we will define ourselves to the ‘capital’ that we ‘have’, which is all the stuff that ‘I’ call ‘mine’, that is ‘my’ capital, ‘my’ value in this reality because I live in a system that will only measure the value of my life according to the capital that I have.

So ‘I’ feel exited and somehow ‘uplifted’ as this energy within myself , when I look at MY house, the money in MY bank account, my children, my clothes, my image that I see when I look in the mirror, my garden, my books, my furniture, etc… when looking at all the stuff that I call ‘mine’, that I have purchased with MY money, I feel good inside, because I have allowed myself to believe that all the stuff I call ‘mine’ and thus define myself with, actually gives me a ‘value’, hence the ‘good/exiting feeling’ I experience when looking at ‘my’ stuff, so then I believe that ‘the more stuff I have that I can call/define as ‘mine’, the more value I have and the more valuable I will feel’.

Thus our desire for shopping and the constant need for ‘consuming’ that is where ‘consumerism’ comes from, because we’re actually looking to add value to ourselves, believing that it is the stuff we have that we can call ‘mine’, that determines the value of ourselves in this reality. Which is in fact an illusion as it is but an energetic reaction within ourselves attached to a word ‘mine’, an illusion that causes the never ending consumption of human beings because the funny thing about a feeling/energetic reaction is that it only lasts a few seconds or minutes and then it is gone, and when it is gone we only desire to again experience that energetic reaction/good feeling within ourselves as the illusion of ‘adding value to ourselves’ by buying more stuff that we can then define as ‘mine’.

So ‘consumerism’, from this perspective, is not just ‘the system’, it is in fact the people within the system and how they have allowed themselves to define the value of their life according to what is prescribed by the system that they live in and that supports them, which is their ‘capital’ in the capitalist system. We, as citizens of a capitalist system, have allowed ourselves to become programmed by the values as ‘rules’ that were designed within the capitalist system, which is basically that ‘you are only worth as much as what is in your bank account and the stuff you ‘have’’.

How this capitalist system with its twisted values came to be and why and how we allowed such a ruthless system to exist, is an entire book in itself that I will not be going into here.

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