Friday, July 22, 2011

Christopher Lasch Lashes Consumerism

    It is advertising and the logic of consumerism that governs the depiction of reality in the mass media.

    It is the logic of consumerism that undermines the values of loyalty and permanence and promotes a different set of values that is destructive of family life.

    Make it new is the message not just of modern art but of modern consumerism, of which modern art is largely a mirror image.

    Neoclassical economics insists that advertising cannot force consumers to buy anything they don't already want to buy.

    Propaganda in the ordinary sense of the term plays a less important part in a consumer society, where people greet all official pronouncements with suspicion.

    Relentless improvement of the product and upgrading of consumer tastes are the heart of mass merchandising.

    The family wage has been eroded by the same developments that have promoted consumerism as a way of life.

    The model of ownership, in a society organized round mass consumption, is addiction.

    The same historical development that turned the citizen into a client transformed the worker from a producer into a consumer.
From these insightful pages — Christopher Lasch Quotes.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Carl M. said...

These quotes about consumerism remind me of what I've been thinking about the Rupert Murdoch scandal lately. The scandal has made it more obvious to me that there are serious implications to the fact that it is the same guy who produces Fox TV (famous for lowering television's standards) and the NY Post who also produces Fox News and the WSJ (famous supposed defenders of capitalism and traditional values). For people like Murdoch, debasing the culture through consumerism is the first step towards selling people on a self-righteous superiority to the now debased culture. The only way out of it is to resist both the crassness of consumer capitalism and the shallowness of those who praise capitalism as an inviolable end unto itself.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Like water in the desert...

And a fantastic antidote to libertarianism. Glad to see you are embracing Lasch -- he was thinker who most influenced my own journey from libertarianism to conservatism. Kirk, Lasch, Weaver, Oakeshott. There are the guides to wisdom...

5:34 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Social libertarianism needs no antidote, as it is ultimately self-destructive.

Libertarian isolationism, as defined on this blog's sidebar by one of its enemies, Michael Lind, is our only hope.

"Libertarian isolationism draws its adherents from both the left and the right. According to the libertarian isolationist interpretation of history, the U.S. changed from a decentralized republic into a militarized, authoritarian empire in the late 19th century, when the Spanish-American War made the U.S. a colonial power and trusts and cartels took over the economy. Every president since McKinley, they believe, has been a tool of a self-aggrandizing crony capitalist oligarchy, which exaggerated the threats of Imperial and Nazi Germany and Japan and the Soviet Union and communist China and now of Islamist terrorism in order to regiment American society and divert resources to the bloated 'military-industrial complex.' If the libertarian isolationists had their way, the U.S. would abandon foreign alliances, dismantle most of its military, and return to a 19th-century pattern of decentralized government and an economy based on small businesses and small farms."

8:30 AM  

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