Always Learning

Don’t you love it when you find you’ve been completely ignorant on a topic!

Well, that happened to me this morning. El Bryan Libre posted about consumerism. Now it is possible that I have been ignorant because I don’t fall into the consumerism category (at least not completely). We have been trying to disengage from materialistic values for years now. Downsizing, cleaning out possessions that aren’t necessary. And so I, in my narrow knowledge set, attached consumerism to materialism. I was glad to know that wasn’t a complete misinterpretation.

Here it is defined from Answers.com:

n.

  1. The movement seeking to protect and inform consumers by requiring such practices as honest packaging and advertising, product guarantees, and improved safety standards.
  2. The theory that a progressively greater consumption of goods is economically beneficial.
  3. Attachment to materialistic values or possessions: deplored the rampant consumerism of contemporary society.

consumerist con·sum’er·ist n.
consumeristic con·sum’er·is’tic adj.

The articles attached to this deal mainly with definition 1. But right there in #3, materialism is mentioned, along with “rampant comsumerism.”

With Ron in sales, I’ve always thought of consumerism in a positive light. We do want you to build your house, garage, shed or patio with brick! (And thank you for doing so!)

From Merriam Webster:

Main Entry: con·sum·er·ism
Pronunciation: \kən-ˈsü-mə-ˌri-zəm, -mər-ˌi-\
Function: noun
Date: 1944
1 : the promotion of the consumer’s interests
2 : the theory that an increasing consumption of goods is economically desirable;
also : a preoccupation with and an inclination toward the buying of consumer goods

Look at that date! 1944! Even then though in definition 2 – there is the key to this discussion:  a preoccupation with and an inclination toward the buying of consumer goods.”

Ouch. If that was part of the definition in 1944, how much greater is that preoccupation and inclination now with sales and outlet malls and walmarts?

On EBL’s post, Nathan suggests googling consumerism christianity. I did. I went to google scholar to find books and articles. Double ouch. There looks to be some informative reading out there. I’m sure I’ll be posting again.

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