Tuesday, September 1, 2015

For Reflection: "Mass Consumerism Reshapes People."

The ideology and practice of mass consumerism reshapes people—their fundamental visions of who and what they are—not into active citizens but acquisitive consumers.  Society itself is transformed not into a rich network of various sorts of communities and social institutions that together comprise a civil society that promotes human flourishing, but rather a national mega-supermarket of endless products and services where shoppers (having been “empowered” by their incomes) seek human fulfillment through mass consumption.  In such redefined human and societal realities, things like community life, civic participation and political engagement become extraneous, almost meaningless.  They are reduced to places where the rules of the market, wealth distribution and product safety and determined.  In the end there is no such thing as a common wealth, a public square, a common good.  All that exists are income-earning workers, commodity producers, service suppliers, markets, regulation and sites for satiating consumption.”  Christian Smith, et. al., Lost in Transition (2011), 217.

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