“Capitalist markets generate a culture of consumerism.”
This string of careless, thoughtless, conceptual violence comes from not just A sociologist, but perhaps THE sociologist in the United States, a person supposedly not just trained to detect and avoid bias and slippage, but a self-described scholar of analytic rigor above and beyond the ordinary.
“Markets,” of course, are not only a stratospheric abstraction, but a particularly dangerous one. As a genuinely analytical sociologist has observed, “the market” is actually a conceptual black box. Markets do nothing. Capitalists and traders and buyers and others merely do things that end up getting called “the market.” To start at the end and treat that start as an explanation is to skip actual sociological description and analysis of outcomes — to remove from view things like the trillion-plus-dollars-a-year big business marketing juggernaut. Thanks for that, “analytical Marxist!”
Next, “consumerism.” Adopting that word is simply a form of self-sabotage, for the elementary historical and logical reasons I always mention. Devoting an entire book chapter to it? Thanks for that, “analytical Marxist!”
Finally, trying to inflate “consumerism” into a general culture (whatever that is) is to remain defiantly unwilling to think carefully, all in the name of familiar obscurantist slogans. Thanks for that, “analytical Marxist!”
With analysts and Marxists like these, who needs ideologues and liberals?