February 9th, 2023 | Nick Edward

Consumerism Keeps Us Civilized

We often take for granted the civilizing effects of material possessions.
Consumerism keeps the beat of our modern society, the pulse of the American Dream. It drives us forward, sparks innovation and fuels progress. In the endless pursuit of material goods, we are constantly searching for something new, something better, something that brings us closer to happiness. This endless desire keeps us striving, pushing us to be better, to create and to achieve. But it’s not just about the things we buy. Consumerism has a civilizing effect on us, shaping our attitudes and behaviours, giving us reason to be more responsible, more considerate and more cautious in our dealings with others.
The dark side of consumerism, but the very side that works to keep us civilized, is rooted in its ability to distract us from the problems and troubles of the real world. We are constantly bombarded with images and messages that encourage us to focus on our material desires, rather than the larger issues that face our society. As we focus on acquiring more things, we become increasingly detached from the world around us. We become consumed by our own wants and needs, and we begin to ignore the suffering of others. This detachment can sometimes lead to a lack of empathy and an utter disregard for the welfare of others, however, it also keeps us reluctant to engage in extremist behaviour.
Moreover, the focus on consumerism creates an endless cycle of desire, where we are never truly satisfied with what we have. We are always in pursuit of the next thing, the next upgrade, the next fashion trend. This leads to a constant state of wanting and it can be difficult to break free from this cycle. On the other side, it keeps us motivated and eager to maintain the status quo which allows us to acquire more.
In this way, consumerism keeps us distracted from the real world problems and troubles, such as poverty, war and inequality. But, it keeps us working to maintain the world order that allows us to continue obtaining and achieving even more. 

Having Something To Lose

Few things are more dangerous than a man with nothing to lose.
Next to family, consumerism remains a powerful force for good, fueling our creativity and ambition, shaping our attitudes and values and pushing us to be better, more responsible and more careful people by giving us something to lose.
When people have invested their time and money into acquiring material goods, they are more likely to value and protect these things and the social order that keeps them intact. This can encourage people to act in more responsible and cautious ways, as they are motivated to protect their investments, their homes and their possessions.
In addition, consumerism compels us to be more considerate of others, as we strive to maintain our status and reputation. For example, people may be more likely to behave politely and courteously, to follow traffic laws, or to engage in other activities that help to maintain social order and stability—all in the hope of keeping together and maintaining the order that allows them to keep their material possessions and wealth.
As inflation soars and possessions become more expensive, consumerism becomes a more difficult pursuit. With the breakdown of consumerism and affordability comes the slow breakdown of society.

The Social Breakdown

The rising cost of living has had a significant impact on the well-being of many individuals and communities. With the cost of essential items such as housing, food, and healthcare continuing to increase, people are finding it more difficult to make ends meet. As a result, they are forced to cut back on non-essential items, including entertainment and leisure activities. This reduction in discretionary spending has far-reaching effects on society, including increased social unrest, crime, and violence.
One of the most noticeable consequences of the rising cost of living is the decrease in the standard of living for many individuals and families. For example, a recent survey showed that nearly half of all American households are living paycheck to paycheck and are unable to save for their future. This means that families are unable to afford basic necessities such as proper nutrition, clothing, and healthcare. In turn, this leads to increased stress and tension within households, which can result in domestic violence and other forms of social unrest.
Another direct result of the high cost of living is the increase in crime and violence in communities. When people are unable to afford the things they need to survive, they may resort to criminal activity in order to make ends meet. This can include theft, robbery, and other forms of property crime, as well as violent crimes such as assault and battery. The stress and tension caused by financial insecurity can also lead to an increase in drug and alcohol abuse, which can further contribute to crime and violence in communities.
For example, rural areas in Canada have seen a rise in property crimes and theft in recent years, as individuals become more desperate to obtain the things they need to survive. Urban areas in Canada have seen rising housing costs and income inequality lead to increased levels of poverty and homelessness, which in turn have contributed to an increase in crime.
The high cost of living also has indirect effects on social order, as people become less able to participate in leisure activities and cultural events. This can result in a sense of isolation and disconnection from society, as people are unable to connect with others and engage in activities that bring them joy and fulfillment. This can lead to increased feelings of hopelessness and desperation, and can further exacerbate social unrest and violence in communities.
Rapidly rising costs of living are a major concern for individuals and communities in Canada. With people struggling to afford basic necessities, they are forced to cut back on non-essential items, which has far-reaching consequences for society. The high cost of living has already led to increased social unrest, crime, and violence, as well as a decrease in the standard of living for many individuals and families.

Consumerism And Civility

As frustrating as it all may seem, it is important to acknowledge the value of consumerism in keeping society and the social order intact. Consumer spending drives economic growth and helps to create jobs, which in turn supports communities and contributes to a sense of stability and security. By purchasing goods and services, individuals are able to meet their basic needs and improve their quality of life, which can lead to increased happiness and well-being.
Moreover, consumerism plays a crucial role in shaping the cultural identity of society. The products we buy and the brands we support reflect our values and beliefs, and help to define us as individuals and communities. By participating in consumer culture, we are able to connect with others and express our individuality, which can promote social cohesion and a sense of belonging.
There is a strong correlation between weaker economies and less consumerism and increased levels of civil unrest in many countries around the world. Countries with high levels of poverty, income inequality, and unemployment are often characterized by low levels of consumer spending and a lack of economic growth, which can contribute to social instability and increased levels of civil unrest.
For example, countries in the Middle East and North Africa, such as Syria, Iraq, and Egypt, have experienced significant economic challenges in recent years, including high levels of poverty, unemployment, and inflation. These conditions have contributed to increased levels of civil unrest and political instability, as people take to the streets to demand change and better living conditions.
In South America, countries such as Venezuela, Peru and Brazil have also experienced high levels of poverty and economic instability, which have contributed to increased levels of crime and social unrest. In many of these countries, people are struggling to afford basic necessities, and are unable to participate in consumer culture, or to engage in leisure activities due to financial constraints.
There is clear evidence to suggest that countries with weaker economies and less consumerism are more likely to experience increased levels of civil unrest. By supporting economic growth, creating jobs, and fostering social connections, consumerism plays an essential role in maintaining a stable and thriving society.