- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Monday, January 29, 2007

Affluenza


As the soullessness of consumerism culture meets with the environmental realities of unsustainable consumption, the social values of unbridled capitalism seem less and less attractive. It seems the 2% Plutocracy that own over 50% of the worlds wealth is a status quo we can no longer afford.

Affluenza afflicting western countries
LONDON - Beware the Affluenza Virus. An epidemic of mindless consumerism is sweeping the world with the compulsive pursuit of money and possessions making people richer but sadder. That is the stark warning issued by best-selling British psychologist Oliver James after a "mind tour" of seven countries chronicling how depression envelopes the affluent. "We have become addicted to having rather than being and confusing our needs with our wants," he told Reuters in an interview to mark publication on Thursday of "Affluenza".

Globe-trotting from New York to Sydney, Singapore and Shanghai via Copenhagen, Moscow and Auckland, he concluded after interviewing 240 people that "selfish capitalism" has run riot. Bigger houses, more cars, larger televisions, younger faces -- these goals are frenetically pursued by middle-class workaholics afflicted by "Affluenza". "Studies in lots of different nations show that if you place high value on those things, you are more likely to suffer depression, anxiety, addictions and personality disorders," he said. James concluded "People in English-speaking nations are twice as likely to be mentally ill as people living in mainland western European nations." Always wanting bigger and better is an emotional cul de sac, argues the 53-year-old psychologist, broadcaster and author. What makes "Affluenza" so readable and differentiates his eloquent polemic from the legion of self-help books that offer trite short-cuts to happiness are the potted biographies of the subjects he interviews.

Take New York.
Compare and contrast Sam, the miserable millionaire and sex-addicted atheist who treats women as commodities for fleeting satisfaction, with Chet the Nigerian taxi driver who is contented, optimistic, sexually faithful and religious. James freely admits that interviewing the affluent in Sydney was a depressing job, calling it "the Dolly Parton of cities in Australia, the most vacuous". Singapore, where he found shopping to be the national obsession, suffered from "sad, unplayful deadness." Denmark was commendable, worthy but not exactly "a barrel of laughs." But not all was doom and gloom for the peripatetic psychologist.

He admired the Chinese for their "best is good enough" stoicism and said "I most liked the Muscovites as they still have an interest in the life of the mind." James the optimistic believes the backlash has begun. "We are at a turning point. My argument dovetails with the ecological argument -- we cannot carry on consuming in this manner and feel confident our great grandchildren have any future. This inevitably leads us to question consumerism. "People are sick to the back teeth of this stuff. They don't want any more selfish capitalism."

- REUTERS

20 Comments:

At 29/1/07 6:41 am, Blogger sushil yadav said...

The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.
Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.


Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

If there are no gaps there is no emotion.

Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.


When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

Emotion ends.

Man becomes machine.



A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.



FAST VISUALS /WORDS MAKE SLOW EMOTIONS EXTINCT.

SCIENTIFIC /INDUSTRIAL /FINANCIAL THINKING DESTROYS EMOTIONAL CIRCUITS.

A FAST (LARGE) SOCIETY CANNOT FEEL PAIN / REMORSE / EMPATHY.

A FAST (LARGE) SOCIETY WILL ALWAYS BE CRUEL TO ANIMALS/ TREES/ AIR/ WATER/ LAND AND TO ITSELF.


To read the complete article please follow either of these links :

PlanetSave

EarthNewsWire

sushil_yadav

 
At 29/1/07 8:34 am, Blogger SamClemenz said...

A Solution!!!!!!

Stop paying your credit card bill's, your Mortgage, your car loan, cash in all your stocks, sell your house to the bloodsuckers who want it at a discount after you die, then don't die!
Don't pay your phone bill, or power bill - start doing drive-aways at the petrol station, and don't throw anything in the hat when it gets passed around where-ever(?) you worship God or whoever is on duty! Unequal wealth will come to a screeching halt within 2 months time and we'll all be back to square one! Happy people once again.

 
At 29/1/07 10:55 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You go first Sam - let us know how it goes ok?

AB

 
At 29/1/07 2:21 pm, Blogger SamClemenz said...

You never quit do you? You never stop to realize that when someone says something cynically that makes a statement that's a little under the surface, you just don't get the picture AB.
Same par as a blow fly, buzzingly irritating, but fun to swat!

 
At 29/1/07 5:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually Sam it sounded like just the sort of fuckwit idea you,Boomer and the other hysterical posters of the left that frequent this sewer like blog would come up with and recommend to all and sundry.


AB

 
At 29/1/07 9:35 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't pay someone who provides you with a good or service? Nice one Sam. You would like that done to yourself obviously and you wouldn't mind ay? Say you work in a servo for minimum wage. No one pays for their petrol. Your boss goes bust. You no longer have a job. Christ what a fuckwit.

 
At 30/1/07 10:56 am, Blogger SamClemenz said...

I guess we come to this sewer blog because we like to swat "Blowflies".

Hey Bomber, can I borrow your swatter?? there's a couple of really fat ones above!!!

Listen AB & Anon-y' Moose. I'm tired of both of you, and this is my notice to you that I don't intend to respond to either of you anymore.
I would much rather debate issues with people interested in solutions or at least ideas, than to trade insults or try and defend my blogs to folks that don't have any interest or intelligence to meet anyone half way. Both of you are here with the sole intention of disruption not discourse. Th-th-that's all folks!

 
At 30/1/07 12:51 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 31/1/07 4:00 pm, Anonymous deano said...

And the Chinese aren't materialistic? No country has more greedy up-and-comers than China. And Moscow? It is the most expensive city to live in in the world at the moment. That article is shite.

 
At 31/1/07 4:12 pm, Anonymous deano said...

Also the greediest, most selfish people I have ever met are women from Russia.

 
At 31/1/07 4:29 pm, Anonymous Bubbles said...

Right in both posts Deano..that article has some of the dumbest generalisations I've seen...

 
At 31/1/07 4:31 pm, Anonymous TJ said...

"People don't want any more selfish capitalism" Funny that people are risking their lives to get out of places like North Korea, Cuba, just like they used to to get out of the USSR and the rest of the Eastern Bloc...I don't see anyone risking their lives to get in...

 
At 31/1/07 4:38 pm, Anonymous deano said...

But they are workers' paradises TJ! I don't understand it. It must be all the American propaganda.

 
At 31/1/07 4:58 pm, Anonymous bomber said...

...
Oh please children - grow up - no one is suggesting communisim - are you both slow? How is it that if you don't embrace american capitalisim fully with no criticisim of it at all, you are suddenly a commie? How come one can't critique their system and push for strong Democratic principles with capitalisim as the engine? Isn't it funny how when you get down to it, it's you cats who are the black and white fundies.

 
At 31/1/07 7:32 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no other system that offers the same amount freedom and fairness as capitalism. If it exists then society hasn't discovered it yet.

Yes capitalism has its downsides, but it works better than any other idea around. Most of the ideas floated by Sam/Bomber etc. are akin to Stalinism and either involve a disproprionate redistribution of wealth and property or curtailing of personal freedoms.

 
At 31/1/07 8:38 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey bomber, nice censorship mate.
I criticise sam and you delete it!!
And only because I constantly kick his ass in legitimate debate!!

Gutless gutless gutless.

When it comes to the crunch, you ain't as liberal as you make out to be.

 
At 1/2/07 2:43 am, Anonymous Polina said...

Give me money and stuff now!!!

 
At 1/2/07 4:55 pm, Blogger bomber said...

...
Groan - no anon, I booted your comment because you were being offensive to sam, not because you were 'kicking his arguement' - you have yet to do that, and as for the 'you're not as liberal as you make yourself out to be' I laughed so much I'm putting it on a T-shirt.

Look, repost, minus the offesive nature of your post and we can battle the ideas, chin up - and try again

 
At 1/2/07 7:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You insult people all the time bomber....why have you suddenly started acting as a "moral guardian"?

 
At 1/2/07 9:23 pm, Blogger SamClemenz said...

Bomber, re-post isn't going to get another response from me to either one of them.
I have had enough of them - full stop. Neither one have the shared intelligence god gave a gnat, and have never actually had an original idea or comment that they have posted, or had any intelligent discourse here to anything ANYONE has posted. The only thing these people know is insult technology, and I'm not into that.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home