Can Consumerism Cure Existentialism?


(Mel Saint) #1

We are in the midst of ideology war between Minimalism and Consumerism, one opposing the other. Our Capitalist Global Economy, spurred the never ending thirst for Consumerism. It’s a pandemia. From the Recession of ‘08, the Fast Fashion industry blossomed ever since because the people don’t have the enough money to buy luxury goods and are always looking for cheap bargains. Technology also exponentially exploded from the first generation of iPhone launch of Steve Jobs to the current generation of smartphones today. Technology has to be updated every year, to keep the wheels of capitalism running. Online shopping also decimated the existence of physical malls. But not in my country Philippines, as malls here served as the de facto “public parks” where friends and families meet, eat and gather in their leisure time. Much has been the opposition towards Consumerism as it makes the people greedy, selfish, uncaring, vain, materialistic, shallow, superficial. Great example is the contrast of attitude of North Koreans vs South Koreans. Now once the Communist Regime falls apart in North Korea, we will also see the radical transformation of their values from being simple to vain.

I am in a limbo, since I worked in the financial industry as a stockbroker so I cannot go against the hands that fed me. I identify myself as a Capitalist but I do not necessarily embrace the excesses of it. I cannot say that I will completely gravitate towards the opposite which is Minimalism, because I love shopping, both online and physical. Just today, I bought new monitor and keyboard for my computer and I never find it to be a hassle. And I also ordered tons of goods online from herbal supplements to self stirring mug. The only thing I really love about the Japanese Zen Minimalism is its simplistic and clean aesthetics. And the clutter free design that frees the mind. Versus a house that is full of stuff, your mind gets crowded as well.

In my mind, I’ve already solved the problem of money. So since discovering the “Holy Grail”, what’s next for me to do? To stare blankly in mid air, to oppose Consumerism? To live in the cave or in the mountains and be a monk? The way I see it is that people are looking for money in the wrong place. That’s why they will never ever find it. But since I already found it, what’s next for me to do? Should I just stare at my money and think blankly? Or should I be bullish in funding charities? How do I channel my never ending energy, if I will not divert some of my energy towards Consumerism? While the rest of the population are busy complaining and toiling as mere cogs in the machine, should I imitate them as well, or should they imitate me instead?

I therefore conclude that I can by all means combine both Minimalism for aesthetic purposes and Consumerism for fun. Not because others can’t do it, that I should feel sorry for myself as well. Others were never present in my struggle, but they would always want to present in my victory. Which I find strange because people in general do not want pain and struggle. They always want to have it easy.