15 June 2008

Materialism sucks

For this 100th poast, I will ruminate on the topic of materialism.  As in, why do so many people feel that possessing "stuff" and spending their hard earned money on frivilous pursuits will bring them happiness?  

Capitalism is wonderful in that it is the most efficient means of satisfying human wants.  But there is a line between serving basic wants and needs, and then going further and possessing "stuff" simply to keep up with the Joneses or whomever.

A television is a television.  One does not need to spend $5000 to purchase something sophisticated and technologically advanced that will be outdated in five years.  What was wrong with the old Zeniths and RCAs of old?  They served the exact same purpose, and were not so expensive as to require an installment purchase plan to pay them off.

The whole purpose of spending $5000 for a TV is simply to show off, and buy into the flawed theory that just because it is "the latest and the greatest" it will provide happiness.

First off, "things" do not bring happiness - living a fulfilling life and engaging in fulfilling pursuits is the best course to achieve life satisfaction.  Secondly, spending money on non-essentials is the most surefire way to enter debt and impoverishment.  No wonder so many people are hurting financially.

But everyone knows these things.  So why do so many fall into the materialism trap?

It is a conformity thing, of course.  The dickheadery is a coherent class with a narrow range of acceptable behavior, and part of that is the whole conspicuous consumption bit.  Like dumbasses they play right into the retailers' game and blow their incomes on crap.

It is their right, of course, to do whatever they wish with their money.  But looking at the greater society and its sordid tales of failed marriages, broken families, etc. etc. leads me to believe that we should be focusing more on what really matters and less on acquiring material possessions.