Conspicuous Consumption

I just came back from a Walmart Super Store. Therein one can seemingly buy ANYTHING. The place is gigantic and stocked with food, clothing, hardware, kitchen ware, camping gear, drugs, electronics, home and office furniture, bath items, toys, automotive items, and on and on. It is the the Mount Everest of an economy built on constant demand for many essential and many stupid products. To me, the place is entirely depressing. Maybe it’s efficient to be able to buy anything you want in one place. But this is not what is disheartening about being there. It is seeing all the buyers trudge sadly through the aisles looking for what they think they need. They search for crap instead of feelings of friendship and love. The things that really matter. These feelings have been replaced by the need to acquire things.

I found it telling that when the virus quarantine was first lifted, people crowded into stores in order to buy new clothes! Modern societies depend on constant demand for consumer goods, needed and inane. This requires constant production, ruthless competition for money, and status seeking. These in turn create alienation, class warfare, envy, denial of health needs, environmental degradation, racism, and the election of a schmuck like Trump. Consumer economies have worked to overshoot the carrying capacity of the planet and of human societies. I think this may all end soon and violently .

2 thoughts on “Conspicuous Consumption

  • The purchase of items does cause a stimulation of dopamine and a temporary happiness This goes way back to hunter gatherer days when you had the same reaction to finding some valuable food or hunting something good

    • True. But shopping can be an addiction. So maybe the compulsive shopper is like one addicted to dopamine and may not feel too high but just normal when acquiring things. They are not happy but like opioid addicts, just looking for a shopping fix.At least the Walmart shoppers seemed miserable to me, Or perhaps it was just projection. Or a little of both.

      How are you? I am okay but not great.

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