Comment 69832

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted September 18, 2011 at 21:43:44 in reply to Comment 69824

Consumerism is a logical product of industrialism. Mass production makes set-up very expensive, but individuals very cheap once that's done. This means that in order to be efficient, these systems must produce a LOT of identical units. At some point, though, these kinds of systems hit a wall - what happens when there's no more demand for the products? They can't just go back to producing small numbers of units to replace those that wear out - that wouldn't spread the cost of the assembly line thinly enough to break even. They could return to simpler production methods - but then what advantage do they have over the competition? At the end of the day, cultural engineering to drive up demand was the only way for these industries to survive.

Was consumerism a product of "choices people made"? To a degree, though most of those choices were made by a very small number of people. Fundamentally, though, consumerism is a part of our economic system, and can't just be halted without far broader changes. Pretending otherwise would be like saying "I'm going to stop breathing out, but I'm going to keep breathing in".

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