Consumerism - the STUPIDEST religion of all.

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We are taught to be good consumers. All the world is a smorgasbord from which we are brainwashed into participating. There is always some new wonder that we are convinced we need.

 

Be good consumers - support your economy.

 

Goods are manufactured and sold to us. The profits are reinvested in producing more goods. People go into debt to purchase things they do not need. Growth is the mantra - produce more goods, consume more.

 

Advertising cons you into needing it.

 

We buy too much food because our appetites are ignited by the advertising. Then we spend a fortune on health farms, health products and dieting products.

We buy beauty products, lotions, deodorants, anti-wrinkle cream, hair dye, make-up, and health products by the ton. It makes me wonder what people did a couple of hundred years ago when they didn't have any of it. Most of it is snake-oil.

 

Everything has a built in obsolescence and needs replacing regularly. Nothing is built to last. Every trend creates a new irresistible need.

 

When I was young we had nothing much in the way of electrical goods. We did not have a phone. We had a radio, one black and white TV, a radiogram, and my Dansette record player. In the kitchen there was an oven, a fridge and a twintub washing machine.

 

My present house has a huge TV, four or five radios, DVD player, A hi-fi system, record deck, tape deck, a CD player, 5 computers, 3 freezers, 2 fridges, gas hobs, oven, microwave, dishwasher, washing machine, clothes dryer, food mixer, 3 landline phones, 2 mobiles, 2 cameras, and probably a lot of other stuff I can't even remember without looking. It is all absolutely indispensable.

 

At school I used to get the kids to itemise their stuff. One kid said there were 10 TVs in the house including ones in all the bedrooms, the kitchen and bathroom. One kid had a dozen working cell phones shoved in a drawer. He was only fifteen. It seems that every Christmas and Birthday he got an upgrade because the old model didn't take photos, or videos, or connect with the web, or wake him up in the morning. He had to had the latest one with the latest gimmick. Nowadays your phone can do the job of everything - music, photography, films, internet, recording - but you still need the rest of the stuff.

 

I resist a lot of the stupidities of consuming. But I do collect vinyl and CDS. I have done since I was a kid. It's nuts. There is no end to the great music that I must have. More is issued every day. I now have many times more than I can possibly play.

 

The same goes for books. I have a vast library.

 

We have to have big houses to store and house the stuff we purchase.

 

They even sell us experiences when we have no more room for more stuff. They sell us storage to keep it in.

 

It is a sickness. It is called the religion of consumerism.

 

You can't take it all with you when you die. But that doesn't stop us.

 

We destroy the planet, use up the room, chop down the forests and claw out the natural resources to make things we really do not need, to satisfy the god of consumerism, to keep the profits flowing, so that some, a small minority, can live a life of luxury.

 

Heaven comes with your next essential purpose.

Comments

opher goodwin Added Mar 7, 2018 - 6:40pm
The stupidest thing is to kill the thing that gives you life.
Logical Man Added Mar 7, 2018 - 7:12pm
Here's me.....
Small apartment, no car, no cell phone, no TV, no credit card, no debt.
My enjoyments come from creating things - I love carpentry and archery, I have a nice collection of wooden longbows and arrows that I've made (I'm not a bad shot!), I paint, do calligraphy, 3D modelling / animation and cook a lot.
I'm a collector of scientific and historical knowledge
I ride a mountain bike almost everywhere locally and use public transit for everything else. I often ride 50km in the summer but I live in Canada so winters reduce my riding.
You'll notice that very little of what I do costs very much and has little impact on the environment.
A lot of stuff doesn't equate with a good life.
 
George N Romey Added Mar 7, 2018 - 7:20pm
I’ve walked away from consumerism. Since consumerism needs people with good jobs and the good jobs aren’t there the hell with it. If Americans were really smart they’d walk away from their debts and the financial criminal system would fold like a cheap tent. We have the power just not the guts.
A. Jones Added Mar 7, 2018 - 10:01pm
If Americans were really smart they’d walk away from their debts
 
If you borrowed money to buy a new iPhone and a 72-inch flat-screen TV, you feel no obligation to pay back the debt? Just "walk away" from it, eh? Good for you.
 
I suppose you learned that in one of your MBA courses at University of Maryland.
George N Romey Added Mar 7, 2018 - 10:12pm
Jones if you had any intelligence you’d realize the big banks are criminal enterprises. Of course you’d hand your money over to crooks. Your not smart to know otherwise. Luckily most Americans have more on the ball than you and realize the game.
 
Maybe you can write a thoughtful article on how wonderful the big banks and the Federal Reserve have been for society. I’ll be sure to leave a comment.
James Travil Added Mar 7, 2018 - 11:23pm
I don't know Mr. Goodwin, I can think of some far more stupid religions. Pretty much anything to do with the Abrahamic garbage. But I see your point, at least to a point. When people start to complain about deodorant I start to think maybe they are on an entirely different wavelength from me. Yea people didn't have it in the past, but as I've said elsewhere I dream of living in the future not the crappy past. The romance of the past is utter rubbish, the past was full of superstitious bigots, diseases, famine, and yes, stinky people without deodorant, I'll take a big PASS.
 
I do agree that I could do without the built in obsolescence because I tend to hold on to stuff as long as possible. Don't like having to replace my cell phone every couple of years. I do well financially and certainly do my part in consuming things. It's hard not to when you have two ladies, four kids, and a cat. I figure if we recycle and don't get suckered into the latest trends we are doing OK.
A. Jones Added Mar 8, 2018 - 12:08am
Romey, you moron, if you had any honesty and integrity at all, you'd realize that when you borrow money, you pay it back according to the terms of the loan. If you have no intention of paying anything back, you shouldn't borrow money in the first place.
 
Were you born stupid and dishonest or did you study for it as part of your MBA?
Stone-Eater Added Mar 8, 2018 - 12:55am
Oph
 
I agree partly with Logical Man. I also live very modestly, have no car, few clothes, no stereo or big TV, but, for business reasons a dullphone with 2 chips in it and some computers (since I'm basically in IT). I live in one room, have 2 electric guitars and an amp, and my bed is a mattress on the floor.
 
Not much for 60 years, but I don't need more. Credit card ? No thanks. House on mortgage ? No thanks. I pay cash. I bought land in Senegal in cash, and my house is built on cash. That leaves me with no rent or paybacks, except US$ 100 a year for "the 99 year land lease" :-)
 
I never understood people who work in order to buy stuff as a means to arrive at a "higher social status". Hilarious ! I don't own much, but I have been and lived in 45 countries and was almost 25 years either not working at all or working for myself abroad.
 
That's immaterial value which could never be replaced by consumerism.
opher goodwin Added Mar 8, 2018 - 3:28am
Logical Man - you've got it sussed! That sounds idyllic. Buying things doesn't make you happy but creating things does.
opher goodwin Added Mar 8, 2018 - 3:29am
George - it's hard to walk away though. There are so many temptations. I walk away from most but books and music are my Achilles heel.
opher goodwin Added Mar 8, 2018 - 3:37am
James - well I do agree with you about the stupidity of religions. But consumerism is so incredibly destructive. The desire for profits overrides common sense. They are busy creating desire in their flock in order to fulfil their desire with products. The built-in obsolescence is ridiculous. The destruction created by this disease is immense. The misery it leaves in its wake is also immense. Consumerism, with its mantra of growth, more and new, is a dangerous religion. It's priests direct operations for personal gain and run amok over laws and the environment. It is eating the world.
opher goodwin Added Mar 8, 2018 - 3:40am
Stone - sound right to me. All those people having to have the flashy cars, Rolex watches and live their lives to impress others with what they have are plain daft. It's a foolish game.
Stone-Eater Added Mar 8, 2018 - 3:49am
Oph
 
It's an ego thing. Lacking personality and/or experience is being compensated by showing off wealth. Often the source is an inferior complex.
opher goodwin Added Mar 8, 2018 - 3:59am
Good observation Stone. Many people have to make themselves look good through what they can show off. That's an inferiority product.
wsucram15 Added Mar 8, 2018 - 6:03am
I think the person most off the grid on here is Donna. She has system for some food, water, not sure about power.  It is very difficult if not impossible to do.  Which leaves her independent of the flash and system.
I own beautiful things..but i have bought them used and refinished or in some cases rebuilt them due to people that owned that abused the stuff or I have had it a long time mostly buying with cash. But mostly functional items.   A handful ppl ever see these things, its for me..what makes me comfortable. I think my largest purchase was my Sony flat screen and it sat in my LR in the box for two months because aside from a car, its the most expensive thing I ever bought for myself, again cash. I felt really guilty since we already had a working tv.   Finally friends and family opened it and set it up while I was at work.
Most of what I ever had was spent on my kids, music, travel to music,  and to repairs my house.  
If that makes me caught up in the system..I guess so...but not for much longer.
George N Romey Added Mar 8, 2018 - 7:12am
Opher books and music are hardly crass consumerism. We’re talking Hummers, mini yachts, 7 bedroom homes, $50 tee shirts.
 
Jones run along this is an adult conversation. Beside you wouldn’t want to miss Rachael Maddow. I’m sure she’s got some hot news on Russia.
Pardero Added Mar 8, 2018 - 7:40am
Opher,
Three freezers?! How many pork pies do you need to keep on the premises? You sound like a survivalist with food. Trade one of those freezers for a gun safe and become a real survivalist.
I had downsized when nomadic and moved to this town with all my possessions fitting into a mini truck. Now my guns and ammo alone wouldn't fit into one.
Nobody will begrudge you your music collection. When I downsized, I ditched the LP records and turntable. I try not to buy more than a dozen CDs a year, lately. I have lost too much music on computers and want a hard copy.
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 8, 2018 - 8:27am
As John Steinbeck wrote in The Grapes Of Wrath (from memory) "The monster has to grow or else it dies, and for it to grow the monster must be fed."
What we must rediscover is the self discipline to say, "No, I will not be a sheep, I will not do this just because  the advertising industry tells me it is 'cool' or politicians tell me it is good for the nation."
And young people in particular, because they value being considered 'cool', need to be made aware that doing something because everybody else is doing it is not 'cool'. Being cool is not giving a damn what anyone things of you, so long as you treat others with due respect.
TexasLynn Added Mar 8, 2018 - 9:29am
Wow, Opher you and I find ourselves in somewhat agreement again.  Enjoyed the post.
 
I think consumerism falls into the same category a lot of modern trappings do; there is middle ground in there you should shoot for.  Like many, I think I'm closer to that than most of society.  What little money I've saved over the years has been by not having a car payment.  While my peers were getting a new vehicle every 3 or 4 years, I kept driving whatever I had paid off with the equivalent car payment going into savings.  I think I've averaged 12 years on my vehicles.
 
Pardero >> Trade one of those freezers for a gun safe and become a real survivalist.
 
That reminds me of my Y2K story!  When Y2K was rolling around, I had an ultra-leftist boss.  We would often give each other grief concerning our political leanings.  We were discussing the approaching rollover with a group at the office, and he mentioned he was ready, having got some cash, and bought extra water and food and such-like.  He asked if I had prepared and I said yes, I had bought a case of shot-gun shells.  He said I couldn't eat shotgun shells to which I replied, "True... but I know where you live and I know you're unarmed." :)
 
Today, I'm no minimalist or survivalist by any means; but I think my family would last a little longer if the zombie apocalypse hit.  Shoot 'em in the head.  Got it.
Even A Broken Clock Added Mar 8, 2018 - 10:13am
Good post Opher.  It is true that the entire economy is based upon a false premise that in order to prosper, the numbers must increase. There must be more vehicles sold, there must be more profits gained, there must be more. And exponentially more is better than linearly more. We are at the tipping point globally. Just hope that we can recognize it and help to fix it before a singularity event happens and resets the globe overnight, because that would not be good for anyone.
 
I am the last who would be considered ascetic, but if the economy depended upon my purchase of things, we would have had the great depression 2. Now if you consider meals eaten in restaurants, that's another matter altogether.
Katharine Otto Added Mar 8, 2018 - 10:46am
Opher,
This post warms the cockles of my heart.  In the second half of my life, I have dedicated myself to getting rid of stuff, so that heirs (such as they are) won't have to do it.  I'm still dealing with stuff my parents hoarded and resent it.  I don't buy anything except food for self and animals, and replacements for things that have outworn their usefulness, like shoes.  Even these I've purchased from Goodwill.
 
George,
I think many more people than we know are walking away from debt.  That may explain why the Fed can't produce the inflation it wants, that is, that so much debt is being written off.  When there is no collateral at stake, such as student loan debt, or medical debt, or even credit-card debt, walking away becomes easy.
 
A. Jones,
Walking away from debt becomes understandable when you feel you were tricked into it, such as a product whose packaging lasts longer than the product.  Also, as George says, the whole system is so dishonest that renouncing debt becomes almost a patriotic act.
 
Logical Man,
I admire you.  I've noticed that using what I already have costs nothing and provides lots of satisfaction.  I have lots of books I haven't read, and some I would like to re-read.  I have stockpiles of yarn waiting to be knitted up.  I am an amateur woodworker, too, but also like my variety of tools for doing minor home repair.  I'm good at improvising so I don't have to buy things to do a project.  I'm tired of being a homeowner but have no better plan.  No TV, no cell phone, not even an electric toothbrush since the last one broke.  
George N Romey Added Mar 8, 2018 - 11:03am
Katharine it’s why the Fed will never normalize interest rates. The Ponzi scheme will fail.
 
Also, banks no longer own the debt. In fact your bank would be hard pressed to tell you actually who owns the debt for which they collect the payment. Walking away is easy because the bank has no skin in the game. Whoever the owner is doesn’t even know you defaulted. One big fraud.
 
The problem with 2007/2008 was that losses became so bad by 2006 investors fled the mortgage market. But the fees were so good for the banks they continued to make the loans and house them off balance sheet away from the prying eyes of shareholders and clueless regulators. Their assumption was that the investors would eventually see the light again, or at worst the Treasury and Fed would crank up the bailout machinery.
 
Then they got into playing Casino with the mortgage market. In the end Obama handed over trillions to his fraudulent friends on Wall Street. This biggest successful con in mankind.
 
Stone-Eater Added Mar 8, 2018 - 11:36am
I don't have bad conscience refusing to pay or walk away from debt which is caused by things which were forced on me like household insurances, taxes which aren't spent on the public good or simple interest rates on unpaid debts caused by job loss or other things. I go along with Katherine. Fuck them robbers.
Katharine Otto Added Mar 8, 2018 - 11:45am
Thanks, Stone,
It's good to see you back.
 
George,
It's a book in the making, and you're the bookie, but so far few people want to read.  It's hard to admit you're being played for a fool.  Better to participate and be considered one of the winners than to acknowledge the game is stacked against honest players.
opher goodwin Added Mar 8, 2018 - 11:48am
Jeanne - Well Done to Donna!! That's the way to do it. I have friends in Tasmania who have built their own straw-bale house and are completely self-sufficient. Fabulous. Their only fear is forest fires.
I think a TV is good - as long as you're discerning. It's good not to be too much of a consumer.
opher goodwin Added Mar 8, 2018 - 11:50am
George - I'm a bit obsessive. I do have a lot of books and music. It drives my wife nuts. I am aware that I am influenced by advertising of new product. I have to control myself.
George N Romey Added Mar 8, 2018 - 11:52am
Katharine it’s said many of the Jews went willing into the gas chambers because the guards told them they would get a warm shower. The same guards that beat them and treated them less than an animal.
 
I find it fascinating and at the same time sad that anyone could actually believe in a financial system so corrupt and evil. Yet again they think the Fed will be bestowing a “warm shower on a frigid day.” Wow.
opher goodwin Added Mar 8, 2018 - 11:54am
Padero - Well those freezers are small. We had two and inherited a fitted one when we recently moved house. It is a bit overkill but we do seem to manage to fill them.
I don't own a gun and never felt the need.
We've become too settled and consequently built up too much stuff. I've built up a huge music collection - much more than I could ever listen to. It's ridiculous. I enjoy collecting it.
opher goodwin Added Mar 8, 2018 - 11:56am
Ian - great quote from Steinbeck (a great book). Thanks for that. Resisting feeding the monster is a hard thing to do. Being cool is an attitude isn't it?
opher goodwin Added Mar 8, 2018 - 12:00pm
Thanks Lynn - glad you enjoyed it. I agree - it's about keeping things in proportion. I've always driven old cars and most of the stuff I buy is used. I do not need to constantly have new stuff.
Hopefully we won't suffer a zombie attack any time soon!
opher goodwin Added Mar 8, 2018 - 12:03pm
EABC - Thank you - I reckon that experiences are part of consumerism - holidays, cruises and bungee jumps. Maybe eating out falls into that. Sorry. 
This constant drive to growth is a madness and I agree that we are at a tipping point. We can learn to live within our means. We are at that tipping point. If we do not find a better way we will destroy nature.
opher goodwin Added Mar 8, 2018 - 12:12pm
Katharine - you are a model for all of us. Downsizing and sorting stuff is great. I'm presently selling off a thousand of my albums.
opher goodwin Added Mar 8, 2018 - 12:14pm
Stone - there are many robbers who use a pen instead of a gun.
Dave Volek Added Mar 8, 2018 - 12:24pm
Opher
I liked the title. In some ways, we all have our own religion (or two). It is where we park our value system that define us as a human being.
 
Too many people put their value in the things they buy. And they get a little high after a purchase. When they exist for consumerism, we could call that a religion, right?
 
Other religions are politics and ideologies, occupations, and lifestyles and recreation. When people don't say they have a religion, I have to wonder.
 
Some religions are good; others are not.
 
 
 
 
Doug Plumb Added Mar 8, 2018 - 12:40pm
A Jones re "Romey, you moron, if you had any honesty and integrity at all, you'd realize that when you borrow money, you pay it back according to the terms of the loan. If you have no intention of paying anything back, you shouldn't borrow money in the first place.
 
Were you born stupid and dishonest or did you study for it as part of your MBA?  "
 
Mr Jones, there is no money. Its technically known as "war script". It carries no substantiative or promissary value, its creators have no obligation to the country, as you can easily verify from main stream sources and a basic understanding of law.
I haven't answered many of your insults because they sound idiotic, you shouldn't be on WB. You are just a common asshole and you have shit for brains. I answered this one because your misunderstandings regarding what "money" is is lacking any kind of formal foundation.
You have never had anything intelligent to say about anything. You have never indicated that you can even tell shit from toothpaste.
Doug Plumb Added Mar 8, 2018 - 12:45pm
I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting nice things, people mistaken this for materialism and this is common. A $50.00 T shirt will last 10 times longer than a $5.00 one. Whats wrong with mini yachts?
 
I don't chase material things, I'm not consumerist. I value knowledge and understanding, but not everyone does. Having a yacht would be nice.
 
Pardero Added Mar 8, 2018 - 12:58pm
I really dislike that word 'consumer.' I don't remember what was said when I was a kid. Not consumer. A locust is a consumer.
In these times, citizen may not be inclusive enough.  
Is there a better word, Opher?
Dave Volek Added Mar 8, 2018 - 12:59pm
Doug
 
I have to agree that there is no problem in owning and using nice things. And I would say that that long-lasting $50 T-shirt would be better for the environment than 10 $5 T-shirts. But we consumers want clothes that look nice and are cheap.
 
Recreation and hobbies are great for our psyche. Unfortunately even in our modern world, most occupations fail to provide us with the creativity and personal satisfaction. We have to go outside our work to find this. So we need to exercise that "selfish" part of our brain.
 
The danger lies when we let those hobbies and recreations define us as individuals. A good sign of that is hobbies and recreations we can't afford with our current occupation. Or when we really can't find the time to enjoy those hobbies, yet the "toys" still clutter our homes.
 
 
 
opher goodwin Added Mar 8, 2018 - 1:07pm
Dave - good thinking! We have many religions.
Yes we do get a buzz out of buying something - but it is very short-lived. I used to spend my Saturdays going around second-hand record shops looking for albums. I used to get a huge buzz when I discovered something good. It was like hunting. The internet has taken that away.
opher goodwin Added Mar 8, 2018 - 1:08pm
Doug - I think it gets into consumerism when you find yourself buying lots of things that you really do not need.
opher goodwin Added Mar 8, 2018 - 1:10pm
Padero - how about indulger? Or over-indulger? or zombie-buyer? 
opher goodwin Added Mar 8, 2018 - 1:11pm
Dave - going on shopping sprees for things you really do not need, having a house cluttered with things you never use - that seems like consumerism to me.
wsucram15 Added Mar 8, 2018 - 1:43pm
Opher..
what is zombie buying? Is that buying junk and fixing it?
You know I make alot of my own stuff, right?  If I go to an auction and buy a piece of old furniture for 15.00, I can fix and finish it and sell it for a couple hundred.  I would build my own furniture but that is a real art I never got a handle on. So I do trade from time to time with glass fixtures, like light switch covers and small light shades I make (for pendant lamps) with a guy that does some wood and metal work for something I might need done..
So most of my stuff, including my lamps I redid myself. I know a lady that does lampshades so they are custom. I really believe in supporting your community.
You can have wonderful nice things if you just take an interest in your things and care for them.
If you buy something of quality to begin with and not junk, you will have it for years and years.   You dont need to be a consumer.  You can provide jobs for local businesses like upholstery or shoe repair (ive got a great shoe repairman ) and keep your stuff new every year if you like, my mother did it that way.
You can re-purpose almost everything and I bet you have awesome stuff there. You dont need to cut down anymore trees or build anymore homes. Fix what you have or refinish it.
When I refinished my bathroom, I redid all the fixtures myself and sanded/stained the wood vanity. I found a counter top at a warehouse (that only uses donated re-purposed materials) and donated my old counter top.  I used recycled wallpaper and paint I already had.
You dont have to be a consumer..you need to do work and fix what you have if you care about your surroundings. 
opher goodwin Added Mar 8, 2018 - 2:43pm
Jeanne - it is mindlessly buying things.
That is the way to do it. Cherish your possessions. Have quality and care for them. It is this constant replacement of the latest gimmick with the next gimmick, built in obsolescence and fads that create the problem.
Stone-Eater Added Mar 8, 2018 - 2:48pm
Oph
 
I've read once that the fun of buying something stops at the moment when you paid it and leave the place. Maybe a bit exaggerated, but it has a point.
opher goodwin Added Mar 8, 2018 - 4:33pm
Sometimes it's more. I used to buy an album, rush home to put it on, play it and study the cover art, read the notes and enjoy it. The pleasure lasted.
Dave Volek Added Mar 8, 2018 - 4:48pm
Stone
There are people who like to make deals, whether as a buyer or seller. If they can sense a weakness of the other side and take advantage, that sends a little happy jolt through their electrochemistry.
 
Jeanne
Your hobbies are making the world a better place--as well as providing some personal satisfaction. If we are truly world citizens, we would choose hobbies like yours.
 
Opher
I always wonder about big musical concerts. They consume an immense amount of resources to stage. And getting people to the event also takes hit on the environment. Maybe we need to scale back the spectacle and be willing to spend a little more to have more artists in smaller locations.
 
 
 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 8, 2018 - 5:15pm
I rolled my eyes when I read the title thinking that it's more of the Frankfurt School rubbish. But in a way some people treat going to the market like a religion where you can sin (buy fur, non-organic food, or something that is advertised with boobs). It ostracises its heredics (conservatives who just buy these things). ...
 
So thanks to your idea that buying stuff has religious, cult-like features I realised that the left is even more evil than I thought.
opher goodwin Added Mar 8, 2018 - 6:14pm
I'm not evil Ben. You shouldn't categorise people or ideas in that way.
Dino Manalis Added Mar 8, 2018 - 7:22pm
Consumerism is economics, not a religion.
Michael B. Added Mar 8, 2018 - 8:08pm
Opher, when H.L. Mencken said "An idealist is someone who feels that, because roses smell better than cabbage, they must be more nourishing," I have no doubt whatsoever that he had people like you in mind, lol.
Michael B. Added Mar 8, 2018 - 8:39pm
Btw, I make a distinction between normal consumption and CONSPICUOUS consumption. Somebody better have a little chat with those Flipinos and others who come from smelly slimy, third-world sewer shitholes and immediately consume CONSPICUOUSLY as soon as they have the cash and/or a line of credit that they're ruining themselves and taking the entire world along for the ride. Don't buy that BMW! Ban Ray-Bans at all costs! Fuck the Rolex! And stay away from designer clothes! And I always thought that overpopulation was the main problem of this world! LOL!!!
 
Opher, your fellow communists and whatever you want to call those crazy, stupid, fucked-up assholes in Vene-Fucking-zuela should be reminded that the communist/socialist plan, if followed properly, works to perfection; judging from the long lines, empty shelves, and HIGHEST MURDER RATES IN THE WORLD, it's a worker's paradise, for sure!
Doug Plumb Added Mar 8, 2018 - 9:10pm
re "Walking away from debt becomes understandable when you feel you were tricked into it, such as a product whose packaging lasts longer than the product.  Also, as George says, the whole system is so dishonest that renouncing debt becomes almost a patriotic act.
The income tax is unlawful, rotten, and at the root of most of our problems. It has fueled the banks and their wars. Not a dime of it pays for the highways. Its stolen and the people who steal it have no obligation to anyone whatsoever. If you pay it then you only have yourself to blame for what you see around you. Its going to get worse and worse until we stop it all. The easy way is now, the hard and/or impossible way is sometime in the future.
Non payment of the income tax means no more guns for the bankers and they can't force other nations to accept our corrupt money, then our oligarchs would have to turn to honest money.
The income tax is the root of evil, not consumerism or fractional reserve banking. The average person works about a day to two days of the week to support corruption and the most sickening kind of human depravity imaginable, and the entire Lefty movement.
Doug Plumb Added Mar 8, 2018 - 9:17pm
re "I'm not evil Ben. You shouldn't categorise people or ideas in that way. "
 
You are. You are just too naive to know it and everyone on here is telling you the same thing. I see you have 50 books published on Amazon. Find the time to read a book instead of practicing your writing skills, which are quite good. But judging from your book covers, you spread this evil you see as good. You do not like your views to be challenged. You are wise, you are well read, you are experienced. The rest of us can only learn from you. That is a level of hubris that is associated with the Left.
A. Jones Added Mar 8, 2018 - 9:27pm
A. Jones,
Walking away from debt becomes understandable when you feel you were tricked into it, such as a product whose packaging lasts longer than the product. 
 
Otto, can you cite a real-world example of a consumer who was tricked into getting into debt after buying a product whose packaging lasts longer than the product?
 
(I don't think you can.)
A. Jones Added Mar 8, 2018 - 9:51pm
I haven't answered many of your insults because they sound idiotic, you shouldn't be on WB
 
An illiterate Nazi-wannabe posted an insult. Boo-hoo. Sniffle. 
 
You have never indicated that you can even tell shit from toothpaste.
 
I can sure tell "stupider" from "stupidest", which is something you haven't been able to do yet, even with the convenience of online dictionaries.
 
Oh, and by the way, super-genius, the correct term is "war scrip", not "war script." A "war script" would be something like "Battle Cry" or perhaps, "They Were Expendable" (the script being made into a feature film starring John Wayne and Donna Reed. Excellent film — based on a novel of the same title — about the U.S. Army getting its butt kicked on the island of Corregidor). Another fine "war script" is "Guadalcanal Diary", also based on a book of the same name. Read much?
 
"War scrip" is completely different; viz:
 
"A scrip (or chit in India) is any substitute for legal tender. It is often a form of credit. Scrips have been created for payment of employees under truck systems, and for use in local commerce at times when regular currency was unavailable, for example in remote coal towns, military bases, ships on long voyages, or occupied countries in wartime. Besides company scrip, other forms of scrip include land scrip, vouchers, token coins such as subway tokens, IOUs, arcade tokens and tickets, and points on some credit cards."
 
If you are merely "stupider", then the above explanation should adequately clarify the difference between "script" and "scrip"; however, if (as I suspect) you are "stupidest", then no explanation at all will suffice. So please — by all means — continue to employ the wrong word in the wrong context. I shan't say a thing. It is, after all, the very least I can do.
 
Finally,
 
I believe the traditional phrase is "You can't tell shit from Shinola"; not "shit from toothpaste."
 
"Shinola" was a popular brand of shoe polish decades ago.
 
You're welcome.
opher goodwin Added Mar 9, 2018 - 4:09am
Dino - yes Dino.
opher goodwin Added Mar 9, 2018 - 4:10am
Wow Michael - great insight!
opher goodwin Added Mar 9, 2018 - 4:11am
Doug - try listening to yourself for a while.
Doug Plumb Added Mar 9, 2018 - 5:46am
If you can't argue anything else, argue semantics. The term is script in this instance and our "money" isn't money, its script.
Doug Plumb Added Mar 9, 2018 - 5:49am
People sometimes think I'm stupid or crazy, but I'm the only one on here that has ever read an actual law book, and I have read (and studied) many - big difference between the two. I can tell this from the response to my posts.
Doug Plumb Added Mar 9, 2018 - 5:50am
Benjamine has probably read a few, as has wuscram. But no one else.
opher goodwin Added Mar 9, 2018 - 5:53am
Perhaps you should try reading a novel Doug?
Doug Plumb Added Mar 9, 2018 - 6:29am
Why?
opher goodwin Added Mar 9, 2018 - 6:54am
You might learn more about people from a novel.
Neil Lock Added Mar 9, 2018 - 6:56am
I can’t say that Opher’s little anti-consumerist diatribe has made me feel guilty at all. I live in a two bedroom flat (the second bedroom is my office). Of the health products Opher mentions, deodorant is the only one I use. The only food I waste is stuff that goes off before I have time to eat it (e.g. bread rolls that don’t even keep for 3 days). I stopped watching TV seven years ago. All the news and entertainment I want I get from the Internet. My CD player will be 25 years old this year. Even my computer is 9 years old. Of my two brass instruments, one is 14 years old and the other over 100. With cars (and I like big cars – not for show, but for comfort), my policy has always been to buy the very best car I can possibly afford, and run it into the ground. I’m currently on my 7th car in almost 50 years of driving. And apart from having a mortgage for 16 years, I’ve never been in debt for more than a month.
 
Like Opher, I do get annoyed by planned obsolescence, and I avoid buying such products whenever I can. (That’s one of the reasons I don’t carry a mobile phone). But I wouldn’t say that consumerism is the stupidest religion. The religion of my-military-and-my-nuclear-arsenal-are-bigger-than-yours is the one that qualifies for that accolade.
 
Interestingly, among those here it’s actually Doug who seems to have sussed this out best, when he talks about the income tax. When you pay for a consumer product, at least you’re doing something for the good people who designed it and made it. But when you pay a tax, a lot of it is going to politicians, bureaucrats, corporate cronies, media stooges and the like – not to mention the military and the nuclear arsenal.
opher goodwin Added Mar 9, 2018 - 7:14am
Thanks for that Neil. Glad you are not a victim of consumerism.
338 Added Mar 9, 2018 - 7:17am
We are taught early,
 
Buy crap we don't need, with money we don't have, to impress people we don't know.
 
Debt slavery is worse than chattel slavery, it's what they use to keep the tax cattle producing as much as they can for as long as they can.
 
Brilliant at face level.
 
Once people start getting off the debt wheel, they can become a tiny bit free of the system, although it's a long difficult process.
 
The first step in the twelve step plan.
 
Kill your television, and start thinking for yourself again.
 
Just a thought.
 
Sean
opher goodwin Added Mar 9, 2018 - 7:23am
A good thought Sean. It is a treadmill they want you to stay on. Debt binds you in.
Doug Plumb Added Mar 9, 2018 - 2:18pm
re "You might learn more about people from a novel. "
 
??? I've read far more than a hundred novels. Learn something about people ? Its light entertainment unless you read Doestovsky or something. The novels of today are low level entertainment for the most part.
Doug Plumb Added Mar 9, 2018 - 2:21pm
re "But when you pay a tax, a lot of it is going to politicians, bureaucrats, corporate cronies, media stooges and the like – not to mention the military and the nuclear arsenal.  "
 
There is nothing wrong with taxation. The income ISN"T A TAX !! Its stolen from you from liars and by people who like to lock up children, hang them in cages and watch them starve. It is to feed the deepest and more depraved kind of human sickness. It does not pay for the fucking roads. It pays for leftism and sickness.
Pardero Added Mar 9, 2018 - 2:36pm
Neil Lock,
That is a commendable lifestyle and thanks for those wise words. 
Sean
Great comment. 
 
Opher,
I was surprised that your article could stir up so much debate, some of it unpleasant. I suspect that animosities are carried over from other articles that engender strong emotional responses.
For what it is worth, I try to compartmentalize every article
and judge it on the interest it holds. This one has broad interest and got some fascinating comments.
 
Spartacus Added Mar 9, 2018 - 11:29pm
 
The stupidest thing is to kill the thing that gives you life.
 
Another stupid article, opher.  
 
You bozo, where do you think we humans came from?  Planet Zorb? 
The very thing that gave us life, designed us to be collectors, must have had a very good reason to design creatures who found an advantage in securing/acquiring material possessions.  
 
You either have to be the biggest fucking idiot here, or the biggest lier to ignore the fundamental advantages for humans to acquire material goods.  This is our nature and we were designed to be this way on a hostile planet . . . the same planet that gave us life.
 
The most obvious question opher, why do you even own a house and a computer if you really believed your own bullshit.
Katharine Otto Added Mar 10, 2018 - 12:03am
Opher,
You mention the cosmetics industry.  I wonder why people want to smear those poisons all over their bodies.  My mother used to nag me to wear make-up, but I hated the stuff.  Mascara gave me eye infections, lipstick smeared on face and things, skin cream spotted clothes.  And the cosmetics industry uses animal research to determine toxicity.
 
A friend wanted her stock broker to sell stocks in companies that used animal labs for research.  He told her it would be impossible.  Not only cosmetics, but medical research, agricultural chemicals, household cleaners and on and on.  
 
So another pox on consumerism.  William Stockton, not everyone wants to acquire things.  Some people thrive on simplicity and even asceticism.
George N Romey Added Mar 10, 2018 - 8:58am
Katharine particularly things to obtained by credit card, easy financing and anything goes financing. Since banks no longer hold loans and pass off the risk to some chump being repaid is no longer a concern.
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 10, 2018 - 8:59am
Bill I am with what you are saying from the standpoint of people being able to make these choices for themselves.
 
I do, however, agree with Opher's general premise that consumerism is a religion/disease, whatever....its not a good thing. 
 
More of us are figuring it out. As long as its a choice? It is what it is; it will be what it will be
A. Jones Added Mar 11, 2018 - 7:47pm
Some people thrive on simplicity and even asceticism.
 
But you're not one of them. Owning a personal computer and subscribing to a broadband Internet connection are hardly examples of simple living or an ascetic lifestyle.
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 12, 2018 - 10:48am
A Jones,
I think you are being a little unfair there, owning a computer and having a broadband subscription now is no different to owning a pen, paper and ink or a typewriter and having a membership card for the local library fifty years ago.
It would be morally acceptable to an aescetic to own a fountain pen, but probable not a Mont Blanc gold plated fountain pen.
opher goodwin Added Mar 14, 2018 - 2:35pm
Ian - I agree. A computer is almost indispensable. I am a consumer and subject to the temptations of consumerism. I identify the problem but do not hold myself up as a paragon of virtue. I am probably better than most but there are many, some on this thread, who are much better than me.