Our “Thing”-Oriented Society
Since World War II, the human race has consumed as many goods and services as all previous generations combined. Unsustainable consumption is the root cause of our planet’s most pressing problems, resulting in deforestation, depletion of our oceans’ fisheries, loss of biodiversity, and increased pollution and global warming from a continuing reliance on fossil fuels. We don’t think about our consumption patterns as exploitation, but instead seem them as “normal” and a “right”.
Our enormously productive economy… demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption . . . We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced, and discarded at an ever increasing rate .– Victor Lebow, Economist. 1955
But There Are Consequences …
- Can we de-commodify the way we use our resources and all living things, and instead place people and our planet before profit?
- Will we learn to live in harmony with our world, rather try to dominate, control and re-engineer life forms, at the risk of destroying ecological balance?
- Will we find a way to cooperate with one another because we believe in the abundance of Creation?
- Or, will we continue to compete and exploit people and resources because we are operating out of a fear of scarcity?
We Know What To Do, But Will We Do It in Time?
We CAN shift to a new paradigm in time to avert disastrous consequences associated with living beyond our limits and a a warming world. But we need to begin right away. While there are many things we can do individually, changing systems and structures requires us to work together. Visit our action pages to see what you can do and what others are doing!
“I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” -Martin Luther King, Jr., April 4, 1967