Monday, May 28, 2012

The End of Possessionism

A thread on the Democratic Underground blog observes that right-wing political correctness is being used as a tool to corral the masses:
"Today, however, the big threat to our discourse is right-wing political correctness, which — unlike the liberal version — has lots of power and money behind it. And the goal is very much the kind of thing Orwell tried to convey with his notion of Newspeak: to make it impossible to talk, and possibly even think, about ideas that challenge the established order."  http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002730957    and for the full story, http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/26/the-new-political-correctness/
So now there is going to be a sellers market in stories that challenge the established order? Those who dare to break the taboos and to speak of the unspeakable are already at the top of the best seller lists. Human nature may be hard to change.

The established order is crumbling into the sea. It always has been so.

What may be ending soon is the worship of possessions, "possessionism".

The word "possessionism" is already used to denote a person's tendency toward 'spirit possession' or to denote an individual who acts as if he possesses another individual. A third definition for "possessionism" that denotes human attitudes toward collecting possessions in general does not seem inappropriate.

Most television advertising promotes possessionism. People are encouraged to own the newest, own the best, own things that tell people who you are. Ownership of objects gives a person a stake in reality.   

Filling a home with good furniture used to be an ideal. Make the parlor a palace. Then jobs gave out. The probability of still being employed a year hence has become less for many people. Simplicity has become economical. Portability enhances mobility, and mobility enhances survival.

Tomorrow I may live in a one-room studio. What will I take there? Why should I need anything more? If I go live under a bridge, what will be in my shopping cart?

A person doesn't need much. The new order, the information society, lets a person live a life that is both simple and richly creative. Who needs wealth?

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