State of the World 2010: Tranforming Cultures: From Consumerism to Sustainability
The core problem we face, these would-be rebels say — without a single shred of evidence, by the way — is that “we continue to think of ourselves mostly as consumers.”
And where does “consumerism” come from, according to Worldwatch? From a viral illness:
As consumerism has taken root in culture upon culture over the past half-century, it has become a powerful driver of the inexorable increase in demand for resources and production of waste that marks our age. Of course, environmental impacts on this scale would not be possible without an unprecedented population explosion, rising affluence, and breakthroughs in science and technology. But consumer cultures support—and exaggerate—the other forces that have allowed human societies to outgrow their environmental support systems.
Yes, friends, our own stupidity has unleashed a runaway cultural rot, which in turn “allows” things to unfold as they are. We have met the enemy, and it is us, the “consumers.”
Capitalism? The word does not appear in any of the promotional material for this allegedly “subversive volume.”
And what is the cure prescribed by these self-described award-winners? If it weren’t entirely, comically, howlingly unrealistic, it would be damned frightening:
…Preventing the collapse of human civilization requires nothing less than a wholesale transformation of dominant cultural patterns. This transformation would reject consumerism—the cultural orientation that leads people to find meaning, contentment, and acceptance through what they consume—as taboo and establish in its place a new cultural framework centered on sustainability. In the process, a revamped understanding of “natural” would emerge: it would mean individual and societal choices that cause minimal ecological damage or, better yet, that restore Earth’s ecological systems to health. Such a shift—something more fundamental than the adoption of new technologies or government policies, which are often regarded as the key drivers of a shift to sustainable societies—would radically reshape the way people understand and act in the world.
Transforming cultures is of course no small task. It will require decades of effort in which cultural pioneers—those who can step out of their cultural realities enough to critically examine them—work tirelessly to redirect key culture-shaping institutions: education, business, government, and the media, as well as social movements and long-standing human traditions. Harnessing these drivers of cultural change will be critical if humanity is to survive and thrive for centuries and millennia to come and prove that we are, indeed, “worth saving.”
Alas, this kind of rote, thoughtless, misleading, dishonest, apolitical, and authoritarian drivel is what passes as “subversive” on the topic of corporate capitalism’s ongoing micro-management of off-the-job life/destruction of the planetary ecosphere. Such crapola causes über-poseur $99 sneaker pimps to ejaculate verbal turds about Worldwatch’s reactionary mental mush somehow being “a cultural mindbomb exploding with devastating force.” Hah and ROFLMFAO, times ten!
Talk about obstacles to change…How, pray tell, are we ever supposed to change the world if our gas-bagging award-winners continue to refuse to help us describe it?