The Consumer Society

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Written by Christopher Flavins

The argument that consumerism defines our age runs much deeper: the drive to acquire and consume now dominates many peoples' psyches, filling the place once occupied by religion, family, and community. Consumption has given hundreds of millions of people a new sense of independence and has become a common benchmark to measure personal accomplishment. Time spent at church is now dwarfed by time spent at the "mall"--and consumption's connection to broader economic goals such as employment is a touchstone for politicians. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001. President Bush advised his fellow Americans that it was their patriotic duty to go to the malls and "buy".

Christopher Flavins, Preface: State of the World 2004, p.xvii.

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