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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 4 page 14


Secondly, we are saturated with a steady stream of propaganda and manipulation also known as marketing, which has tended to tighten the parameters of human self-image and behavior, so people have become more homogenized. And don’t start telling me that advertizing doesn’t work: if it didn’t, they wouldn’t spend billions on it.

Instead of spending enormous time and energy promoting consumerism, we should be planning a way out.

Image of Simeon the Stylite on pillar above marketplace
Simeon was closer to God than you

We know that the planet is headed for disaster due to consumerism, but one of the worse characteristics of consumerism is the mental habits it fosters. We no longer define ourselves as citizens helping to shape public policy. No, we are customers whose function is to make consumer choices in the marketplace: when it comes to saving the Earth, our responsibility is to wait for some corporation to present us with the right eco-friendly product at the right price.

I know what you’re thinking. If we try to become ascetics, then the economy will collapse which would be a disaster because the world has so many mouths to feed. Everybody’s scared to let go of consumerism.

Less consumerism doesn’t mean there is no more economy going on. As long as there’s life, there’s an economy.