Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Unquenchable Hunger

     In a healthy society, individuals are appropriately nurtured in their formative years to know that excessive: working, shopping, drinking, gambling, sex, etc cannot provide the profound peace & happiness that we all seek. See:!Seeking-Authenticity/c17jj/569e31530cf2d42376d4d8f6
     Our society is far from healthy, desperately lacking nurturing supports, and actively promoting every form of unhealthy excess. On the excellent radio program "Ideas", Alan Lightman pointed out one of the causes of excessive shopping in our society:

     “More work is required to pay for more consumption fuelled by more production in an endless, vicious cycle. 
     And what is it that we are consuming so voraciously? What impels us to work faster and longer hours, even in the face of higher efficiency? What are these burning material needs, when Americans have become wealthier and wealthier, more than doubling their real income per person in the last 50 years? 
     One of the methods of capitalism is to create demand for its product, even when that demand did not previously exist. I was astonished to read this aim so unabashedly spelled out by Charles Kettering, a major inventor and general of GM Research Labs. In 1929, at the beginning of the automobile industry in the United States, Mr. Kettering wrote in Nation’s Business Magazine that business must create ‘a dissatisfied consumer’ and ‘keep the consumer dissatisfied.’ A more recent example of the same idea was voiced by the economist John Kenneth Galbraith, as he surveyed the future of capitalism in an ever wealthier America. In his book The Affluent Society, in 1984, Galbraith writes that, in modern America, production will have to ‘create the wants it seeks to satisfy.’ In short, a large part of our consumption is what we are told to consume, told that we need, and the cycle continues.” 
       Alan Lightman. "The World is Too Much With Me: Finding Private Space in a Wired World." Second Annual Hart House Lecture, University of Toronto, aired on the CBC Radio program Ideas, April 18, 2002.


  1. Love this! The Stones speak truth!

    1. Someone recently suggested in a book that economics must conform to humanity instead of the other way around - WOW!