We have to create culture, don't watch TV, don't read magazines, don't even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you're worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered, you're giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you and your friends and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we are told 'no', we're unimportant, we're peripheral. 'Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.' And then you're a player, you don't want to even play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that's being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.
We are a society of notoriously unhappy people: lonely, anxious, depressed, destructive, dependent — people who are glad when we have killed the time we are trying so hard to save.
Nin knew how much humans loved money, riches, and material things—though he never really could understand why. The more technologically advanced the human species got, the more isolated they seemed to become, at the same time. It was alarming, how humans could spend entire lifetimes engaged in all kinds of activities, without getting any closer to knowing who they really were, inside.
Experts in ancient Greek culture say that people back then didn't see their thoughts as belonging to them. When ancient Greeks had a thought, it occurred to them as a god or goddess giving an order. Apollo was telling them to be brave. Athena was telling them to fall in love. Now people hear a commercial for sour cream potato chips and rush out to buy, but now they call this free will.At least the ancient Greeks were being honest.
When deeply religious subjects view sacred iconography or reflect on their notion of God, brain scans reveal hyperactivity in the caudate nucleus, a part of the pleasure system that correlates with feelings of joy, love, and serenity. But Lindstrom and Calvert found that this same brain region lights up when subjects view images associated with strong brands like Ferrari or Apple.
The Christmas presents once opened are Not So Much Fun as they were while we were in the process of examining, lifting, shaking, thinking about, and opening them. Three hundred sixty-five days later, we try again and find that the same thing has happened. Each time the goal is reached, it becomes Not So Much Fun, and we're off to reach the next one, then the next one, then the next.That doesn't mean that the goals we have don't count. They do, mostly because they cause us to go through the process and it's the process that makes us wise, happy, or whatever. If we do things in the wrong sort of way, it makes us miserable, angry, confused, and things like that. The goal has to be right for us, and it has to be beneficial, in order to ensure a beneficial process. But aside from that, it's really the process that's important.
Modern man is drinking and drugging himself out of awarness, or he spends his time shopping, which is the same thing. As awarness calls for types of heroic dedication that his culture no longer provides for him, society contrives to help him forget. In the mysterious way in which life is given to us in evolution on this planet, it pushes in the direction of its own expansion. We don’t understand it simply because we don’t know the purpose of creation; we only feel life straining in ourselves and see it thrashing others about as they devour each other. Life seeks to expand in an unknown direction for unknown reasons.What are we to make of creation in which routine activity is for organisms to be tearing others apart with teeth of all types - biting, grinding flesh, plant stalks, bones between molars, pushing the pulp greedily down the gullet with delight, incorporating its essence into one’s own organization, and then excreting with foul stench and gasses residue. Everyone reaching out to incorporate others who are edible to him. The mosquitoes bloating themselves on blood, the maggots, the killer-bees attacking with a fury and a demonism, sharks continuing to tear and swallow while their own innards are being torn out - not to mention the daily dismemberment and slaughter in “natural” accidents of all types: an earthquake buries alive 70 thousand bodies in Peru, a tidal wave washes over a quarter of a million in the Indian Ocean. Creation is a nightmare spectacular taking place on a planet that has been soaked for hundreds of millions of years in the blood of all creatures. The soberest conclusion that we could make about what has actually been taking place on the planet about three billion years is that it is being turned into a vast pit of fertilizer. But the sun distracts our attention, always baking the blood dry, making things grow over it, and with its warmth giving the hope that comes with the organism’s comfort and expansiveness.
The world economy would collapse if a significant number of people were to realize and then act on the realization that it is possible to enjoy many if not most of the things that they enjoy without first having to own them.
When selecting a one-night stand, a heterosexual woman who is materialistic is a trillion times more likely to choose a sexually unattractive poor man who seems rich over a sexually attractive rich man who seems poor.
Getting through life without a lot of money, possessions, and/or friends is admirable, especially if it is by choice.
The second most dangerous thing about money is that it leaves most of the people who have a lot of it with the unshakable belief that they are intelligent and well informed. The most dangerous thing about it is that it leaves most of the people who do not have a lot of money with the very same belief.
Some people will insult your intelligence by suddenly being nice or nicer to you once you make it … or they think you have.
Most of the very few people who would choose a good heart over riches would eventually use that to either make a lot of money, or attract men or women who are rich.
The capitalist and consumerist ethics are two sides of the same coin, a merger of two commandments. The supreme commandment of the rich is ‘Invest!’ The supreme commandment of the rest of us is ‘Buy!’ The capitalist–consumerist ethic is revolutionary in another respect. Most previous ethical systems presented people with a pretty tough deal. They were promised paradise, but only if they cultivated compassion and tolerance, overcame craving and anger, and restrained their selfish interests. This was too tough for most. The history of ethics is a sad tale of wonderful ideals that nobody can live up to. Most Christians did not imitate Christ, most Buddhists failed to follow Buddha, and most Confucians would have caused Confucius a temper tantrum. In contrast, most people today successfully live up to the capitalist–consumerist ideal. The new ethic promises paradise on condition that the rich remain greedy and spend their time making more money and that the masses give free reign to their cravings and passions and buy more and more. This is the first religion in history whose followers actually do what they are asked to do. How though do we know that we'll really get paradise in return? We've seen it on television.
La historia no ha cambiado. Hace mil anos ellos eran los duenos del mundo. Hoy en dia lo siguen siendo. Claro, lo tienen que compartir con los grandes magnates de la tierra, esos que controlan el petroleo, las drogas, la tecnologia y por supuesto la television y la radio. La Iglesia domina los miedos y la promesa de la salvacion; las grandes empresas tambien manipulan los miedos y los paliativos para estos: la satisfaccion de las necesidades basicas - y las no tan basicas que hoy en dia parecen primordiales: carro, casa, belleza y entretenimiento - , una via directa al consimismo. Ambos en busca de lo mismo, la minipulacion del pueblo que los lleva a la gallina de los huevos de oro: el dinero de las masas. No es causalidad que la gente no quiera pensar. La Iglesia se encargo por siglos de esto, evitando la lectura de cualquier cosa que no fuese su religion. Desde Aristoteles, Ovidio, Pitagoras, Platon, Socrates, Antistenes, Heraclito, hasta Voltaire, Huxley, Hesse, Sade, Maquiavelo, Rousseau, Nietzsche, Dumas, entre otros, fueron censurados.
We know – it has been measured in many experiments – that children with strong impulse control grow to be better adjusted, more dependable, achieve higher grades in school and college and have more success in their careers than others. Success depends on the ability to delay gratification, which is precisely what a consumerist culture undermines. At every stage, the emphasis is on the instant gratification of instinct. In the words of the pop group Queen, “I want it all and I want it now.” A whole culture is being infantilised.
If doctors are paid the same salary as bus drivers, community would not be crazy about making their children doctors
A customer facing crucial decisions: What should I wipe myself with? What should I brush with? His personal hygiene was deteriorating rapidly as he stared at the rows of possibilities, sweating profusely. Would he ever bathe again?
Perhaps if we could popularise through the techniques of branding and consumerism, a different idea, a different narrative, perhaps the world can change. After all it changes constantly and incessantly, it's just the perceptions that we have are governed by people with self-interest and are not inalignment with the health and safety of us as individuals or as a planet.
We typically misunderstand what's wrong about consumerism. It's not that it makes us love material things too much. To be a good consumer, you have to desire to get lots of things, but you must not love any of them too much once you have them. Consumerism needs children who do not stay attached to their toys for very long and learn to expect the next round of presents as soon as possible. When consumerism succeeds, our attachments are shallow, easily broken, so we can move on to the next thing we're supposed to get. Being a good consumer means desiring new things, not cherishing old ones. And the new things you're supposed to desire are not always material things. Spirituality is now a consumerist enterprise, too.
Most people do not mind having a house that is smaller and/or a car that is cheaper than their neighbours’, as long as they each earn and have more money than their neighbours, and, equally important, their neighbours know that.
We have glorified wealth and freedom so much that it is impossible for most of us to truly believe that a man can truly be happy in a shack or within the confines of a prison cell.
In the marketing society, we seek fulfillment but settle for abundance. Prisoners of plenty, we have the freedom to consume in stead of our freedom to find our place in the world.
It used to be that rebels were the type who wore leather jackets, rode motorcycles, smoked cigarettes and drank cheap domestic beer. Today’s rebels are people who look at their world critically and observe the ensnaring patterns of the consumeristic lifestyle. (Life Hacks, p.50
The way of the consumerist culture is to spend so much energy chasing happiness that it has none left to be happy.
You do know you could find yourself charged with being a dominant species while under the influence of impulse-driven consumerism, don't you?
If you truly believe you need to pick a mobile phone that says something about your personality, don't bother. You don't have a personality. A mental illness, maybe - but not a personality.
Because he has finally realized that it is it and not him that is loved by the woman he loves, many a man is jealous of his own car, house, wardrobe, or salary.
Most women sell sex, most of them just don’t take cash (nor do they each sell to more than one ‘client’ at a time).
Many a woman is in a relationship with or married to her man not because she loves him but only because she likes men like him.
Many a woman would not be in a relationship with or married to her man, if he earned half of what he earns; and many a man would not be in a relationship with or married to his woman, if he earned twice as much as he earns.
Some people will each start investing more of their salary on ‘their’ house and spending less of it on ‘their’ car or cars only when they start being able to take ‘their’ house to work, funerals, weddings, etc.
All told, over the period 1932-1980, nearly half a century, the top federal income tax rate in the United States averaged 81 percent.
You swallow hard when you discover that the old coffee shop is now a chain pharmacy, that the place where you first kissed so-and-so is now a discount electronics retailer, that where you bought this very jacket is now rubble behind a blue plywood fence and a future office building. Damage has been done to your city. You say, ''It happened overnight.'' But of course it didn't. Your pizza parlor, his shoeshine stand, her hat store: when they were here, we neglected them. For all you know, the place closed down moments after the last time you walked out the door. (Ten months ago? Six years? Fifteen? You can't remember, can you?) And there have been five stores in that spot before the travel agency. Five different neighborhoods coming and going between then and now, other people's other cities. Or 15, 25, 100 neighborhoods. Thousands of people pass that storefront every day, each one haunting the streets of his or her own New York, not one of them seeing the same thing.
The re-establishment of an ecological balance depends on the ability of society to counteract the progressive materialization of values. The ecological balance cannot be re-established unless we recognize again that only persons have ends and only persons can work towards them.
I look forward to seeing more and more people willing to resist the direction the world is moving in, a direction where our personal experiences are irrelevant, that we are defective, that our communities are not important, that we are powerless, that our future is determined, and that the highest level of humanity is expressed through what we choose to buy at the mall.