Monday, May 19, 2008

The Consumer Society: We Are Citizens to Corporations

I visited jwharrison's blog today, The Largest Minority, and read a very interesting post called Just A Quick Heat-Induced Thought.

Harrison proposes that we have become a society (North Americans, I am assuming) that no longer meet to talk, converse and exchange ideas. We have become focused solely on being consumers. He makes an excellent point when he writes:

"Parks are the only place where you can sit down without being harassed for not consuming. If you dare to rest anywhere else it’s called loitering."

Corporations have become the forces behind countries. Countries aren't based on the people that make them up anymore, they are based on corporate entities. The sole reason for being in our society is to make money, and to spend money. This mentality takes presedence over mostly everything else (possibly excluding religion).

Take the example of Enron for example. That company's sole mission was to make money, and give off the perception that they were worth investing in, and were on top of the market. That was just the PERCEPTION though, because in reality they were in major debt. What did the executives do though? Continued to deceive everyone into thinking they were a money-making venture. They were so blinded by corporate mentality and greed that they continued the facade and ended up destroying the lives of many people. The interesting aspect is that many big investing banks and companies knew about it and continued to invest as long as they were making money. Just goes to show you have much of an emphasis is put on making profit at any cost.

The emphasis needs to be put back onto the aspect of society that matters the most, everyday people! Corporations may help the politicians garner funds for their campaigns, provide commodities, and jobs, but it is the people that hold the power. Underneath all the corporate blanketing there lies a nation of people, people that hold more power than they have been led to believe.


bluesky said...

I noticed your link to freerice and I thought I would let you know of another great charity site which is It donates money to children in need through World Vision.

Check it out at

DC said...

Thanks for the link again bluesky. I have already checked out the site and think it is a good cause. I replied to you in the former blog post that you commented on. thanks again for the link, but please try to keep your comments on topic.

If you want to send me a miscellaneous comment, could you do so through my email. Thanks again.

Charles Cheeseman said...

I like his point of view. Consuming is such an obsession because individuals allow it to be that way. Advertising wants, and succeeds in making most of society believe that purchasing a product or service will enhance your life, make you more content - it's basically buying happiness.

DC said...

I agree. If you think about it, advertising is like a 'drugdealer' and the product is the 'drug.' The more we buy, the more we think we are happy (because that is the way we are informed we should feel), but really it doesn't satisfy anything at all.

The Commentator said...

I went to see Mellencamp in February (he mysteriously did not play 'Hurst So Good' which still annoys me) and he talked about this very same subject.

The need to be civil and human was what kept his community alive. Carnivals, town squares that sort of thing.

Now it's all empty as we face life as individuals rather than as communities.

When I was in Italy, the idea of the town square (piazza) was still alive - though I'm sure tenuously. It's what gives the vibrancy and style of a place. The entire Mediterranean has a certain flair to it when it comes to this sort of thing.

I imagine Newfoundland being the sort of place where community still matters? I only got as far east as Nova Scotia but strive to get to Nfld one day.

DC said...

@The Commentator: I have been recently reading about Italy, and the Mediterranean in a Art History course I am taking. The Piazza's, or townsquares, were very popular during the Renaissance and because of that legacy they still hold some prominence in their society today.

Newfoundland is a place where community is still rather important, but it really depends on where you live. In St. John's, the capital city, there is a lot of individualistic thinking. However, in smaller communities 'commune' thinking is still prevalent.

By the way, you should definitely come to Newfoundland. There are many beautiful places to visit and see. Also, Labrador is quite pristine and beautiful as well.

The Commentator said...

Oh, I will one day. No doubt about it.

I need a good batch of fresh Newfie jokes.