From Combatting to Challenging Consumerism

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : January 10, 2005

In the past, I’ve had a category for my posts called "combatting consumerism." No longer.  Now, it is called "challenging consumerism." Let me tell you why.  As I’ve studied the nuances of consumerism, I’ve realized how pervasive it is.  Those of us who have grown up in the West, especially America…especially urban America…have had our thoughts, actions, and desires shaped by consumerism.  This has had a generally evil effect on us…but not a completely evil effect.  Consumerism has done some things that have been helpful: giving us greater choices, more freedom to buy increasingly better products.  And some people in the developing world have benefited as well.  But not all.  The effects, I’d argue have been more bad than good.  But it hasn’t been all bad.  And so it isn’t fair to say that we should combat consumerism–as though we are seeking to destroy it.  Instead, it is fairer to say that we should challenge consumerism–speaking out against its dangers, combating some of its elements, chastising others.

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One Response to “From Combatting to Challenging Consumerism”

  1. Brett on January 12th, 2005 11:59 pm

    Hey, I like the change. It is subtle I think the difference in attitude is important. Keep up the good work, I love reading what I find here.

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