Black Friday

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 11/23/18

Black Friday, the world shopping craze, points to a more fundamental phenomenon than the purchase of a cheap television screen: the impact of the environment on man.

Even someone who is not a compulsive consumer is drawn to the hedonistic pleasure of searching and purchasing products on sale. The satisfaction of buying gives us a feeling of renewal and joy that justifies every penny. In retrospect, when the monthly charge is sent, we are suddenly aware that most of the purchases were not derived from a real need, but from a social-competitive need that was in the air at the time and swept us up in the heat of the moment.

In general, our desire for shopping is diminishing.There is also an explanation for this: The purpose of the manufacturers and shop owners is to encourage us to consume more and more in order to move the wheels of the economy, the chain of production and sale. Simply put: when we buy, business revenues grow, as a result they pay more taxes to the state and can employ more workers. So more people have a salary and they can, not surprisingly, buy more. This circle explains why about 70% of US GDP comes from private consumption.

However, it is no secret that the recovery in private consumption and consequent economic growth is weak and disappointing, especially given the unprecedented incentives and zero interest rates since the 2008 crisis. Not only has the traditional economic toolbox failed to significantly boost the economy, there are other factors adding oil to the fire. The aging of the population, high technological unemployment and a lack of understanding of the behavior of the millennial generation all necessitate the need for a significant change in the system.

So, there’s no problem with shopping. It makes people happy to enjoy these shopping holidays, because by doing so they learn how much general participation in the environment, even if virtual, provides them with strength and joy. Hopefully such joint actions will make us recognize the need to strengthen our relations. If this is the result, we can say that we harnessed consumer culture to serve man, rather than vice versa.

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