Anti-Consumerism Is Gaining Strength

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (from Of Two “The anti-consumerism Degrowth movement is gaining visibility and adherents in Europe. Degrowth (French: décroissance, Spanish: decrecimiento, Italian: decrescita) recognizes that the mindless expansion of mindless consumption fueled by credit and financialization is qualitatively and quantitatively different from positive growth.

“Degrowth is based on a number of principles:

“1. Consumerism is psychological/spiritual junk food (French: malbouffe) that actively reduces well-being (bien-etre) rather than increases it.

“2. Better rather than more: well-being is increased by everything that cannot be commoditized by a market economy or financialized by a cartel-state financial machine– friendship, family, community, self-cultivation–rather than by acquiring more. The goal of economic and social growth should be better, not more. On a national scale, the cancerous-growth measured by gross domestic product (GDP) should be replaced with gross domestic happiness/ gross nation happiness (GNH).

“3. A recognition that resources are not infinite, despite claims to the contrary. Even if fossil fuels were infinite and low-cost … , fisheries, soil and fresh water are not. … Indeed, all the evidence suggests that access to cheap energy only speeds up the depletion and despoliation of every other resource.

“4. The unsustainability of consumerist consumption dependent on resource depletion and financialization (i.e. the endless expansion of credit and phantom collateral).

“5. The diminishing returns on consumption. Investing in clean air and water, public transit, universally accessible knowledge/information–these forms of consumption yield high returns in public health, affordable mobility, etc. Buying clothing to wear once or twice and then throw away does not. …

“6. The failure of neoliberal capitalism and communism alike in their pursuit of growth at any cost.

“7. We have reached Peak Consumption ….

“The Degrowth movement explicitly questions what John Michael Greer calls the religion of progress (i.e. growth). The civil religion that growth equals progress is akin to the Cargo Cult of Keynesianism, the notion that growth is so essential that expanding debt exponentially to drive diminishing returns of growth is necessary.

“But both the religion of growth and its Cargo Cult enablers are merely superficial facades masking the real force: the expansion of global finance via financialization. Expanding capital, profits and power is the key agenda, and the quasi-religion of growth is just the public-relations narrative that mesmerizes the debt-serfs, political toadies and media sycophants.

“What does Degrowth mean in practical terms? Use the thing until it cannot be repaired.“

My Comment: New movements and parties begin to emerge in various countries and with different governments; their programs are partly similar to the ideas of “Integral Education” (IE) but cannot be realized without it. The future is coming. They will start developing their ideas and find the lack of tools for their implementation, then they will understand the need for IE.

Related Material:
A New Stage Of Mankind’s Development
Start Corresponding To Nature Instead Of Trying To Make Nature Correspond To You
Money Cannot Buy Happiness

One Comment

  1. I have always known in my heart that massive consumerism/over consumption only leads down an ugly trail to a great big empty facade of a house with no home or family existing inside.

    If they exist at all in this state, they are probably malnourished, stressed, and living on ugly media that encourages thoughts of violence and fear.

    Money does not equal value and substance and what it means to be a “real” human being.

    Today, people are often taught how “to act” as opposed to really feeling what is right, knowing it and behaving accordingly.

    It starts with us and personal responsibility, taking ownership and pride in ourselves and what we have been blessed with. From there we can help to teach others that things needn’t be the way they are today. Inside of a man’s heart and will to do good: Therein lies the value.


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