The Evils of Consumerism

By | Dec 2, 2008

Today I speak in a purely non-academic manner of speaking and will instead try to appeal the logic of the public in understanding modern human behaviour.  Everyone knows by now of how a Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death by customers eager to buy Christmas presents – specifically a discounted XBox.  Perhaps this author simply has an anachronistic paradigm that favours basic courtesy and regard for human life; but I cannot fathom why people consider it acceptable to push, shove, trample, and fight for the right to purchase items.  There is something terribly wrong in our society when someone dies because a crowd of people are racing to buy a toy for their children.

It seems like every year we hear reports of people being killed or injured in the annual gladiatorial contests in the malls of the United States on ‘Black Friday’.  Entrepreneurship and the activities of the market created this civilization, but days like this reveal the dirty side of this materialist society.  People stand in line for days and fight each other to purchase an Xbox (an item that is not rare, and can purchased at regular price at almost any store most days of the year) – is saving a few bucks worth it?  Surely one’s energies could be better spent.  Stay home next year.

I extend this philosophy to everyday shopping.  People get angry this year – for some strange reason our soceity has developed this need to shower our loved ones with mass produced junk; and we must all purchase these items from the same places at the same time.  Instead of Christmas shopping being an amusing activity where one goes out and buys a nice gift it is more often a ritualistic experience of valuating our loved ones through the price of the gifts we get them.  It doesn’t need to be like that.  I am not advocating any sort of politics here, just a basic word of advice.


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