The Dragonfly and Raven

The Dragonfly and Raven

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

We are all slaves (to capitalism and consumerism)


I am a slave.

You are a slave.

We are slaves to the culture of capitalism and the consumerism that we are all a part of. They are our masters. They tell us how we are supposed to dress, how we are to work, and what we are supposed to eat and to drink. They urge us to consume, to endlessly consume new things—new clothes and cars and cell phones—when there is nothing wrong with the older things.

In fashion, we are told that fall is here, and that orange is in, that it is what is cool. Then winter rolls around, and now orange is out, and red is in. This cycle continues indefinitely, with colors and cuts constantly changing, moderate iterations on previous styles. We are made to perceive—nay, we are told—that if we don’t consume these newest fashions that we will lose social standing. In that way, we are slaves to the culture of capitalism and consumerism.

In the world of gadgets, of technology, we are made to consume by minor improvements or alterations of design. You should really go get a new refrigerator to replace that year-old one. You couldn’t possibly live without that extra inch of space that the new model has. Goodness gracious, have you seen the new iPhone? It is one percent faster than last years’ model. But you know, maybe it’s a good thing that you did buy the new model, because in another year or so, the old one you had would have broken, since they are designed to work only until the warranty has expired.. So in that way, we are slaves to the culture of capitalism and consumerism.

Even in how we perceive social interactions are we slaves to the culture of consumerism and capitalism. If I see a girl that I like, and I want to get to know her better, I ask if we can get some coffee, or get some lunch, or maybe a romantic candlelit dinner. If I want to catch up with an old friend, I ask him if he wants to go get a drink. Social interactions have become an excuse to consume. Think about holidays. On Valentine’s Day and Halloween, and Easter for that matter, we buy candy. Their original purpose has become clouded, as they now serve as reasons to consume. The worst offender of them all though is Christmas—the holy day in which everyone goes and spends money on presents for the people who matter in their lives. So much money being spent—so much profit being made.

I am a slave.

You are a slave.

We are all slaves to the culture of capitalism and consumerism that permeates our society.