Won’t you read this story over at Orion? Choice, consumption, citizenship.
Then reread Charles Kettering’s 1929 article, “Keep the Consumer Dissatisfied.” Says Kettering:
If everyone were satisfied, no one would buy the new thing because no one would want it. The ore wouldn’t be mined; timber wouldn’t be cut. Almost immediately hard times would be upon us.
You must accept this reasonable dissatisfaction with what you have and buy the new thing, or accept hard times. You can have your choice.
Says Jeffrey Kaplan, in “The Gospel of Consumption,” to give a sample of the link:
As far back as 1835, Boston workingmen striking for shorter hours declared that they needed time away from work to be good citizens: “We have rights, and we have duties to perform as American citizens and members of society.” As those workers well understood, any meaningful democracy requires citizens who are empowered to create and re-create their government, rather than a mass of marginalized voters who merely choose from what is offered by an “invisible” government. Citizenship requires a commitment of time and attention, a commitment people cannot make if they are lost to themselves in an ever-accelerating cycle of work and consumption.