As prescribed by Paulina Constancia

Slavery: Then & Now (3) – CONSUMERISM

August 23 is International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and of its Abolition. This week we look into SLAVERY: Then & Now.

As I searched the internet for materials related to modern day slavery, I chanced upon this article on a blog called Beyond the Margin.  The article’s title is Life as a Slave. The author speaks of a form of modern slavery that has taken a more subtle and devious approach, but its effects on the lives it touches is no less tragic and devastating. Can you guess what it is? CONSUMERISM.

Slave of Consumerism
Image Source

Life as a Slave


1: Drudgery, Toil
2: Submission to a dominating influence
Officially Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery with the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865, but the masters of servitude have been unable to resist the appeal of wealth and power derived off of the backs of others. Modern slavery has taken on a more subtle and devious approach, but its effects on the lives it touches is no less tragic and devastating.

The consumption society that dominates American culture is perpetuated by major corporations and the government. Its goal: to entice the masses to spend their paychecks on new cars, clothes, electronics, and toys. Companies skillfully use marketing – product placements, targeted advertising, and celebrity endorsements – to create perceived “needs” in the minds of American consumers. The government sends token “stimulus” checks to prevent any slowdown in consumer spending and discourages savings through taxes on wealth (capital gains, dividends, and estate taxes). Banks lavish financing and debt on consumers to facilitate the demand motivated by the innumerable societal influences that drive consumerism in America.

You might wonder how consumerism is related to modern day slavery. According to Wikipedia, slavery “is a social-economic system under which certain persons — known as slaves — are deprived of personal freedom and compelled to work”. Consumerism compels those who lack self control and the ability to see beyond the constant barrage of propaganda to spend beyond their means and accumulate overwhelming debt all in the name of keeping up with the Joneses. They become burdened with onerous debt and are unable to break the shackles of consumerism, all the while enriching the wealthy elite and filling the government coffers. In order to satisfy their needs and financial obligations, they become trapped in a vicious cycle of work for the very people that profit from their behavior. Modern day slaves toil at the crucible chasing a fleeting dream of financial independence. Until America wakes up to the value of thrift, savings, and wealth accumulation we will continue to live in a society dominated by consumerism and burdened by overwhelming debt, trade deficits, and currency depreciation. Info Source

Debt Slaves
Consumerism is slavery. Modern life, which is based exclusively on the constant acquisition of consumer goods, is the main cause of those feelings of depression, anxiety, and loneliness that accrue in so many people’s lives today. Unlike past forms of slavery, however, there is no specific delineation between human masters and servants; rather, it is an enslavement to ideas and beliefs. We chain ourselves willingly to things we simply do not need. (Read More..)
Here’s a quote to ponder on:

“We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”
― Dave Ramsey, The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
Read Dave Ramsey’s tips to a debt-free life

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This entry was posted on August 21, 2012 by in Uncategorized.
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