Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

Are You an Enlightened Consumer?

 by Julie Hanus


Tags: Spirituality, mindful living, consumer culture, shopping, thrift, anthropology, Urbanite,

dec09cover-urbaniteThrift is in—perhaps with lasting ramifications, according to Urbanite. We’re witnessing nothing short of a “tectonic shift” in consumer culture, Rob Hiaasen writes for the Baltimore magazine. Hiaasen hooks up with anthropologist Robbie Blinkoff, who “frames the issue as a before-and-after question: Why shop then? ‘I shop, therefore I am.’ Why shop now? ‘I shop because I live in a consumer society and I need stuff, but it doesn’t define me.’ ”

The transformation, which began last year, took “grief-like stages,” Hiaasen writes, “as ‘Homo Economicus’—a creature ‘consumed by consumerism’—was miraculously transformed into the more enlightened ‘Grounded Consumer,’ who lives within his or her means and understands the concepts of debt and savings.

“In the third stage of this transformation, the shopper moves from ‘Me’ to ‘We’ consumerism, Blinkoff says, which emphasizes family and community relationships rather than just satisfies personal material whims. In the fourth stage, consumers begin to “un-stuff” their lives by selling off or giving away excess possessions.”

Source: Urbanite

tom hendricks
12/21/2009 10:59:15 AM

Let's go further and collectively end poverty. There is needed a will and a way. The will is up to each, but the way - a new way built on micro loans is easy. 1. Set up CBA's community bank accounts. A gov, or any group or individuals can set it up. They put money into an account, and the interest goes to the community. Plus the banks have money to loan to the community. Rules: The money or capital is never spent. Thus this doesn't cost a penny ever. The interest on the money - that comes in every month forever, goes to the community. It empowers them to improve their community any positive way they choose. Their are checks on them from depositors who can remove their capital if they don't approve of how the interest is spent.. The banks holding the money must loan that money to that area only or loose the deposits. Therefore no capital is EVER spent, the interest on the money empowers the community (or county or state or any selected group) the money allows the banks to make loans to that area as well. This video shows how the money used for a single war, could eliminate all poverty in the US. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STR2-CgE6Ow