Is there a mental illness that has spread and made us buy everything we see in commercials and ads? The producers of for ex, of Technical stuff we don’t need and appliances we don’t need to replace. Constantly working for their goal to make us all dependent of buying things. They say we have a free choice, but we don’t. With a constant bombardment from commercials and radio and magazines and internet and so on, we do not have a choice. This is eating its way into our brains.
Possibly the most unthinkable story of the last million years is the rise of the modern human culture. The cities we populate and the lives that we lead. It is the environment that our children will inherit. But after a century of exponential growth in population and consumerism people are questioning the nature of modern life.
We’re beginning to doubt our motivations and we’re predicting environmental destruction. In understanding human nature our current concerns look smaller, more transient, with, potentially, a solution. We’ve all got this weird “mental illness called consumerism” We’ve all kind of gone collectively psychotic. Chasing status, in public, with people who don’t really care and neglecting your own lovers and friends and neighbors and kids.
The consumption of material items as a means to acquire status is as much of a trap as it is a set of freedoms. The pervasive nature of it has perhaps crossed the threshold of us being able to cope with it and process the information. The high street is actually a stressful, anxious place. We’re getting very little from it, but we must work incredibly hard and just try to figure it all out.
We have the delusion that we really have deep insight into ourselves already. We’re very sophisticated now in the early 21st century, but we’re going to seem incredibly naive in another hundred years.
“When businesses convince politicians to encourage responsible consumption instead of implementing policy changes to solve environmental and social problems, business earns the license to create new markets while all of the pressure to solve the problem at hand falls on the individual consumer. For example, global warming is blamed on consumers unwilling to make greener choices rather than the failure of governments to regulate markets to the benefit of society and the environment,” write authors Markus Giesler and Ela Veresiu (both York University).
Culture in Decline
And last but not least. The last thing that fish would ever notice in its habitat is the water. Likewise the most obvious and powerful realities of our human culture seemed also be the most unrecognized. And it is only when we take pause, often at the risk of social alienation, to question the foundational principles and ideas to which our lives are oriented, a dark truth about our supposed “normality” becomes more clear.
Today we live in an ocean with enormous waves of status obsession, materialism, vanity, ego and consumerism. Our very lives had become defined not by our productive thoughts, social contributions and good will, but by superficial, delusional set of associations with the very fabric of our society that now radiates cheap romanticism, connected to vain competition, conspicuous consumption and neurotic addictions often related to physical beauty, status and superficial wealth.
In effect it is social conformity masquerading as individualism, with the virtues of balance, intelligence, peace, public health and true creativity left to rot on the sidelines. The cultural water we inhabit today runs deep with heavy pollution. It starts in our formative years when to be smart and achieving is to be a nerd or a geek.
Culture In Decline: Episode #3 covers a new epidemic disease rapidly spreading across the world: Consumption-Vanity Disorder.