It is consumerism that has driven the engine of growth. Thrift has been bad for business, which is why even now – as we tighten our purse strings and look anxiously towards our savings and pension plans – we are urged to continue to spend to get the economy back on track. Even though spending is what has got us into trouble in the first place.
…But as much as we have been bombarded with media messages about the pleasures of consumerism, so there has been a growing sense of its costs – a realisation that the great national spending spree is both economically unsustainable and inimical to a healthy and happy life. This feeling may be detected in the rise of what the social theorist Kate Soper had described as ‘alternative hedonism’ – a recognition of the pleasures of slow, rather than fast, food; of simple living, a life less dominated by the car, air travel and the computer screen, a respite from the anxieties of status and from being judged not by what you are but by what you own.
Wise words from an unlikely source – the Daily Telegraph. Read the rest of this great article by Mick Brown here.