I have long been interested in the way a person consumes. How it consumes. What consumes. It seems to me that today it is necessary to rethink the attitude towards consumption, set in the middle of the 20th century, in the short period of the Western welfare states. Unfortunately, the inhabitants of the post-Soviet space were faced with the possibility of mass consumption only in 1991. Therefore today talk about limiting personal consumption causes resentment. At the same time, virtually everyone is outraged by the consequences of total “affluenza” – pollution of the environment, mountains of garbage, race for things and division into those who have everything and those who will never have it. But they again and again buy products in disposable packaging, they use a car to move their loved one on the road “home – office – home”, each season change their belongings “for one evening” and require care of themselves from the state. Let the state men immediately solve the problem with the removal of garbage from Chelyabinsk. Yes, and do not forget, the landfill and processing plant should not spoil the view (and air) near my garden!
Rationalization of consumption practices is not possible without deep reflection. The race for things, for brands, for labels is an attempt to fill a black hole inside a person who has lost himself. In the same black hole, a lost person sends alcohol, drugs, fast food, consumer goods, serials, video games, sports, selfies, likies but can not fill it. Hole yells “Give me more. More! More, more! Otherwise I will devour you. “
For me, the availability to consume goods and services is limited not only by income level, but also by common sense. A complete rejection of the benefits of civilization is nonsense for a modern citizen. But I can sort garbage for food waste, batteries, plastic and paper. I can wear a quality item for several seasons and do not waste time on advertising “zamanuhi”. But for this I have to ask myself the question “Do you really need this? Why do you need? What will this thing give you? “. And if the answer is “the satisfaction of vanity,” “pride” or “I want to be like everyone else” – I can do without this thing. With spiritual consumption the situation is more complicated. I honestly admit that I read Heidegger in order to know more about the world than “ordinary people”. And, perhaps, this is not the most correct approach to philosophy. Therefore, being proud of the fact that “I do not wear branded clothes, but bought myself a ticket to the theater or to the exhibition”, “I do not watch TV, but I read Kant” we do not realize the irrationality of our approach to spiritual consumption, as well as those from we do not understand the incorrectness of “affluenza”.
And, perhaps, it is worth to end a quote from “Modern Man” George Carlin
I bought a microwave at a mini-mall.
I bought a mini-van at a mega-store.
I eat fast food in the slow lane.
I’m toll-free, bite-sized, ready-to-wear,
And I come in all sizes.
A fully equipped, factory-authorized
Hospital-tested, clinically proven,
Scientifically formulated medical miracle.
I’ve been pre-washed, pre-cooked, pre-heated,
Pre-screened, pre-approved, pre-packaged,
Post-dated, freeze-dried, double-wrapped
And… I have an unlimited broadband capacity.