We Are, Most Essentially, Consumers?

This is sad. Look what we’ve become. I can’t help but think that most of us in old age will look back on our lives in despair, seeing only ads and money and consumption, and a dark, bottomless void where something substantial and life giving should have been. Could Confucius have anticipated something like this? I suppose he would just say this is a natural result of a myopic focus on the self, and a slavish attachment to our goods. Maybe we could all use a good shot of the Confucian virtues–filiality, devotion, respect, humanity or benevolence, and reverence for social welfare.

3 responses to “We Are, Most Essentially, Consumers?

  1. Getting that shot is so difficult when all the needles are dirty… who’s going to administer it?

  2. An injection of Daoist simplicity and Buddhist mindfulness couldn’t hurt either, right?

    I think at this point, *any* sort of standards would be helpful.

  3. Alexus McLeod

    Any standards, indeed. It surely wouldn’t hurt our society to adopt Daoist or Buddhist values.

    Part of the problem may be the “free market” notion of moral standards–where the claim is something like “we’re all free to create our own values.” The difficult thing with this is that it simply leads to the creation of no values at all–because values are, in part, shared social goals and a communal sense of the worth of the community and the individual. The notion of “individual values” strikes me as incoherent at worst, and impossible to maintain at best.

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