Tuesday, June 4, 2024

"We're Not Materialistic Enough"

Ask anyone what’s wrong with consumer society and they’ll almost certainly tell you that it has made people “too materialistic”. We are obsessed, we’re always told, with things, and our material engrossment is killing the environment, our relationships and our spiritual lives. It strikes me that precisely the opposite is true: we are not materialistic enough.

Consumerism demands the fast and careless use of materials. It relies on our detachment from and incomprehension of the material world. Do you know where the components of your TV or your computer come from? Do you even know what they’re made of? Have you ever considered how these materials were extracted, which peoples needed be displaced so that their lands could be mined or logged? Can you sharpen a knife? Or are you forced to buy knives with serrated edges, or buy a new one every time yours gets blunt? If the answers to these questions embarrass you, then you are, like most of us, a non-materialist.

If were genuinely materialistic people, we would understand where materials come from and where they go to.

But, at the moment, the entire global economy seems to be built on the model of digging things up from one hole in the ground on one side of the earth, transporting them around the world, using them for a few days, and sticking them in a hole in the ground on the other side of the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment