How Consumption can lead to global Conflict

18 Jun

Consumption in itself is not morally wrong. You might be able to guess the many things associated with consumption that can be considered immoral.

The obvious ones are taking resources for granted while others can’t afford them, or the self gratification in achieving higher consumption than your peers. Although you have not reached the top 1%, you might be chuffed by your relative success in, for example, buying a nice car that was not an easy task and that the average person failed to achieve. Or you might just want to create some sort of status around your persona in order to impress or feel sexually dominant. Or maybe discarding old valuables for more higher quality stuff just makes you feel more complete. Without it you might feel inadequate. Or you might simply require greater utility so that you can do more exciting things with your time. Yes, your BMW not only makes you feel safer, it gets you there faster and in style. Whatever floats your boat. Nobody is perfect.

What I see as most immoral about consumption is that, contrary to what I may have convinced myself, I have undervalued my individual self by putting so much focus on what I consume as opposed to what I am or do. Excessive consumption is an attack on the self and on the people and wonder of life around you. Consumption is one of the many wonders on Earth that we must of course appreciate. But you get what I’m saying. There’s only so much of something you need before you are no longer yourself.

Now, it just so happens that there is a backlash to this behaviour. And lately it is becoming bigger than ever. It is because of our collective participation in it. When an individual over-consumes, the repercussions could be very apparent, like heart disease, or very subtle, like emotional isolation. At the very best, consuming far beyond one’s needs tricks a person into believing they are doing better than before. And that can be a good medicine, a morale booster. But depending indefinitely on this medicine does little more than give you boosts in supporting whatever projects you are doing. For example, if it is your aim to sell music records, using a lot of expensive props in your music video might aid in the project. It can also be exciting. In fact, if you are full of life you can really appreciate consumables for what they are, day after day. But then you are also in good enough condition to appreciate lots of simple things that need not require mass consumption. When it comes down to morals, the only exemption I can qualify for extraordinary consumption is one that directly supports moral developments, such as scientific exploration or owning a business that provides fulfilling jobs or spreads messages.

Take the extraordinary consumption of the masses. Not only does collective abuse of the world’s resources have direct repercussions if the consumption is immoral, but morally intended mass consumption can lead to conflict of interest. That is, one person might be working hard to do the right thing by means of consumption, while a lot of other people might be doing the same. Then you might ask yourself, is this the only way I can make a difference?

~ Post not finished ~

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