bbc.co.uk 1/2021 How the world embraced consumerism – Over the course of the 20th Century, capitalism moulded the ordinary person into a consumer. Kerryn Higgs traces the historical roots of the world’s unquenchable thirst for more stuff.
ft.com 11/2021 In the Crosshairs – US, guns , FT reviews Ryan Busse “Gunfight”, Tim Mark “Misfire”
churchlifejournal.nd.edu 6/7/2021 Consumerism and the Liquefaction of Desire by Angela Franks
“What do your desires mean? The average university graduate would have a hard time parsing this simple query. Since when is desire about meaning? Like the man who has to explain why he did not call after a one-night stand, most of us shrug in the direction of our desires, saying, “It didn’t mean a thing, baby.”
This meaninglessness serves a purpose, as the philanderer would understand well. Meaningful desire would require commitment, as well as self-sacrifice in pursuit of a goal somehow bigger than ourselves. We dimly sense that meaning makes demands, whereas simply following the dictates of animal instinct, or pursuing momentary pleasure, or lighting up the right parts of our nervous system, or whatever it is we think desire is and does in its meaningless fashion, requires nothing especially onerous of us.
Yet this evacuation of significance has the unexpected side-effect of making our desires insignificant. Why bother to pursue a woman at all? That seems to require too much effort, when one can simply self-pleasure at home with the help of a screen. Unshackled from meaning, our desires have become liquid, unfocused, and increasingly trivial.
Desire and Significance
Triviality was not what desire’s liquid revolutionaries had in mind. They were aiming rather for liberation. According to Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, who understood quite well that desire and significance implicate each other, both ought to be fluid. …” …
vox.com 7/7/2021 Why do we buy what we buy? A sociologist on why people buy too many things. by
… “We have a society which is structured so that social esteem or value is connected to what we can consume. And so the inability to consume affects the kind of social value that we have. Money displayed in terms of consumer goods just becomes a measure of worth, and that’s really important to people.” ….
…”Has the conversation around consumerism and the environment picked up? Should we be talking about consumerism more in the context of saving the planet?”
“I think we should, and there are two parts to it. One is consuming differently, and the other is not consuming as much. So, volume and composition. To meet climate targets, we need to do both.”…
vox.com 6/7/2021 All-Consuming – The acquisition of stuff looms large in the American imagination. What is life under consumerism doing to us?
Substantial academic attention has recently high-lighted the increasing and contradictory tendency topromote neoliberal market-based mechanisms suchas “ethical” consumption as the solution to environ-mental problems exacerbated by processes o capitalistaccumulation themselves. o date, the majority o thisresearch has drawn on Marxist or Foucaultian rames,and thus has paid little attention to the embodiedpsychodynamic processes supporting this paradoxicaldynamic. Tis article thus draws on Lacanian psycho-analysis, primarily through the work o Slavoj Žižek,to analyze the role o antasy and desire in sustaining aith in the potential o market-based environmental-ism. In the process, it seeks to synthesize Marxian,Foucaultian, and Lacanian perspectives in pursuit o a comprehensive theoretical ramework or understand-ing how contemporary environmental governanceunctions. It does so by treating the body as a crucialnexus o convergence among these dierent perspec-tives. Te analysis is illustrated through discussiono how the practice o ecotourism, a quintessentialmarket-based conservation strategy, is sustainedthrough its promise to provide a transcendent experi-ence o nature-culture unity yet instead oers, or themost part, a mere “pseudocatharsis” that paradoxically intensies the very desire that it promises to satisy and thereby supports the twin neoliberal antasies o consumption without consequence and accumula-tion without end, in terms o which the body itsel becomes a prime site o capitalization.
: neoliberalism, environmental gover-nance, ecotourism, body