What would we talk about if we stopped talking about the things we want to buy?
But perhaps capitalism is only the most efficient means of fulfilling a population’s physical needs — needs for food, shelter, clothing, etc. Because in a capitalist system, it also becomes economical to feed into everyone’s insecurities, their vices and vulnerabilities, to promote their worst fears and constantly remind them of their shortcomings and failures. It becomes profitable to set new and unrealistic standards, to generate a culture of comparison and inferiority. Because people who constantly feel inferior make the best customers.
After all, people only buy something if they believe it will solve a problem. Therefore, if you want to sell more stuff than there are problems, you have to encourage people to believe there are problems where there are none.
The only real long-term solution is for people to develop enough self-awareness to understand when mass media is prodding at their weaknesses and vulnerabilities and to make conscious decisions in the face of those fears. The success of our free markets has burdened us with the responsibility of exercising our freedom to choose. And that responsibility is far heavier than we often realize.
This is why I can’t scroll through my Facebook newsfeed without wincing in pain. Why I can’t look at one more god damn naked newborn baby picture, one more here I am at 6 months old picture, one more here I am with my boo in front of this tree picture, one more here is our house and our yard and our car and our SHIT OMG THAT WE BUY
The makeup and the gym memberships and the live shows and the coffee shops and the plates on plates on plates of food.
I’m exhausted, America. I subscribe and follow the writers the artists the thought piece-ers the explorers. Give me something else. Give me something besides your stuff.