Consumerism Warping Human Values : We Are Consumers

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Consumerism Warping Human Values
You and I consume; we are consumers. The global economy is set up to enable us to do what we innately want to do: buy, use, discard and buy some more. If we do our job well, the economy thrives. If for some reason we fail at our task, the economy suffers. This model of economic existence has been reinforced in the business pages of every newspaper, and in the daily reportage of nearly every broadcast and web-based financial news service. It has a familiar name: consumerism. Therapeutic ethos has created a consumption-oriented ideology that ultimately transformed American culture and life, as we know it. This multi-dimensional approach shifted nineteenth-century American values of frugality, moderation, and self-denial to periodic leisure, compulsive spending, and individual self-fulfillment. There are three main factors that contributed to this transformation: radio and billboards, credit, and mind-cure religion. Consumer culture developed out of the rise of modernity and the historical emergence of capitalism as an economic force throughout the world. Perhaps the most significant component in turn-of-the-century American societies was the emergence of what historian T. J. Jackson Lears calls the “therapeutic ethos.” During the turn of the century, the feeling that life was troubling and overwhelming prevailed creating the idea that everyone was inadequate and in need of improvement. This resulted in a strategically placed rise of

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