We live in a world where big shopping trips are considered self care. Where annual holidays are just routine and someone’s worth is based on the clothes they wear.
We live in a toxic, utilitarian society that feeds off of consumerism. Nothing new, right? The media fuells this incessant greed for commodities, it continually shows us that we ‘need’ to buy a new jacket or pair of expensive shoes. In reality, we don’t need all of these things that we are encouraged to purchase. I mean, I get it, advertising and products make good money, but all they do is enforce the capitalist ideals held by the big business men and further split the working class and the ‘better’ class.
Not only are we controlled by our ceaseless greed until all we truly care about is buying more and more unnecessary products, but it has a damaging effect on the environment.
Most clothes we donate to charity actually just end up heading for the landfill, which is devastating because the UK, according to the BBC, ditch more than a million tonnes of clothing every year. We buy more clothes than we can manage and then throw them away and buy more. We further pollute the planet with our waste, we literally trash eco systems and ruin habitats with our selfishness.
Our commercial world has led to revolting revelations of our impact on our planet’s future. Our future.
We are running out of time to put things right. I know a lot of people feel intimidated by becoming more eco friendly as they may believe it is a 360 degree turn in lifestyle- but it really isnt. Skip out on meat once or twice a week, if everyone did that then there would be a lesser demand for meat products and therefore a healthier world with perhaps happier animals. Try to avoid buying things you don’t need. The Stoics took pride in minimalism and consuming food for survival rather than enjoyment, and I think there are elements in the Stoic philosophy that are indeed admirable. If we all lived somewhat ascetically, then we could help our planet.
We’re so distracted from poverty and unjust war because we are constantly thinking about buying more and more. It makes my stomach turn how brainwashed people can be by consumption. All they want is to buy more completely useless things just for the sake of having it and to show off having it.
With the Industrial Revolution and mass manufacturing of products, commodities became more accessible and the economy flourished… until it didn’t (see 1920s wall street crash). But stock markets and business men aside, we have the opportunity to change our planet. We can stop it from looking like a bleak wasteland if we just pay attention to these little things. Things like not paying £50 for a jumper- or rather the brand. Things like wasting plastic and literally just small changes that actually make a very significant impact. Our own greed has lead us to living in such a war torn and politically heated world filled with poverty, inequality and injustice.
To be entirely honest, this world feels despotic, being autocratically manipulated by capitalism.
I feel like we should stop protesting the capitalism ideology and actually do something to change it.