?

Log in

No account? Create an account
click opera
February 2010
 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fri, Jan. 9th, 2009 01:36 am
Capitalism: doesn't it make you (mentally) sick?

92CommentReplyFlag

ataxi
ataxi
Tom
Fri, Jan. 9th, 2009 03:48 am (UTC)

The possibility of living and functioning in those particularly satisfying places (e.g. the "sexy Berlin" you often go on about) isn't available to every consumer. Even if I lived there I doubt I'd find it easy to join the community in a meaningful sense. And living and functioning in that community presumably confers a feeling of relative status without necessarily costing a lot.

Anyway, there was also an Australian book called Affluenza published. It was authored by two economists with a history of involvement in somewhat left-wing think tanks, and is more or less a polemic attacking spiralling consumer debt and supporting a social movement it alleges to exist and refers to as "downshifting". In the same vein as James perhaps with less of an emphasis on individual psychology and more on Freakonomics-esques statistics and survey results.

Interestingly, one of the authors, Clive Hamilton, is now coming under fire from the generic left-progressive-green cohort in Australia for being a somewhat wowserish "communitarian", a chap who tends to attribute any social ill to the breakdown of traditional social networks, the nuclear family, extended family, labour movement, social clubs etc. He's also one of the prime movers behind the socially conservative Rudd Labor government's plan to censor the Internet at the ISP level, which you would probably find as disturbing as most net users do.

As a personal anecdote, after nine months of "colonial tourism" backpacking around the world, I am back in my old cultural context but still haven't reconnected the TV after nearly a month. It's feeling good.


ReplyThread Parent