Consumerism is another aspect of cultural decline and social fragmentation because in many cases it is the preferred alternative to the sharing of opportunities and the development of individual human experience. Excessive materialism and consumerism is proactively encouraged by those in authority because in many cases it serves as a means of disempowering people and diverting their attention from the lack of opportunities for their direct individual experience to something which is beneficial to the organization, i.e. the corporations and the banks.
Excessive materialism and consumerism is one of the driving factors behind the destruction of our environment and our planet. The planet is drowning in an increasing sea of plastic. Not just of plastic products and products packaged in plastic, but also as a result of the plastic used in packaging for online purchases. Increasing people are being trained to spend money on things as a replacement for life experience.
Consumerism also has a toll on humans, as people are required to make things and this can often lead to exploitation, slavery and human rights abuses. It also leads to the creation of poverty and low pay conditions because people want consumer goods at a certain price and the corporations and businesses who supply these goods and services are forced to compete so this results in low wages and exploitation of workers.
There are also many people who believe in external authority and ideology. Ideology usually serves to replace one belief with another and maintain the current authority based dynamic, only with someone else being part of the hierarchy. Much of the awakening that people claim to happen isn;'t happening, it;s mainly people exchanging one ideology for another different, and newer ideology. Ideology always works against you, it cuts you off from genuine truth seeking opportunities and deprives you even further of your own personal experience.
Watching is another activity that many people do to fill their time. They do it either because they think that there;s too many people doing, or that they believe that they are not going to be good enough. However the woman on the cover of the glossy magazine has been Photoshopped and looks differently in reality. The singer has a backing of videographers and audio engineers and you can be sure that their song would sound somewhat different performed live in a local pub or bar. Watching as a form of consumerism is very disempowering, while you are watching you're not participating, not being at the centre of your own experience, and often not even having your own thoughts.
While there are many people out there very quick to point the finger at those in power it's important to remember that it is the consumers who are the ones who are keeping the system in place and upholding the hierarchies while making the corporations richer and even more powerful.