The Market Failure of Modern Consumerism

This film is covers a wide range of subjects to explain what has gone wrong in our society.  It provides insights into the psychology, economics, philosophies that have framed the structure of thinking that has conceptualised our system believing it is our civilisation.  The flaw and confusion in the system is the money sequences in selling goods as providing income and Gross Domestic Product which leads to human wellbeing.  It is regarded a structured dysfunction.  A system disorder which was stated as fatal.  Wellbeing and happiness are not the measures but reflected in economic abstractions.  It is questioned if this tells us the value of wellbeing of people’s lives.  It is measured in GDP, a standard of living and the focus on growth as a good thing.  The example used is the $2.5 trillion spent on health care which would be seen as economic growth rather than investigating the health impacts that is recorded in the use of health systems. They refer to private corporatations running jails which would be seen as economic growth not the decline in prisons.  Thus consumption is cyclical and depends on monetary growth, thus the system has a vested interested in increasing this growth.  Cost minimisation is part of the equation of production keeping wages down, optimising costs and seeking ways to shrink cost margins.  The other problem is built in obscelence so that people will buy more products and services.  This increases landfill and waste.  Sustainability does not work in tandum with this infinite growth philosophy.  The planet is finite within a system that extracts resources and promotes consumption without any limits on growth. This is the theory and practice of infinite growth models.  It is self defeating with diminishing returns as we are seeing today. It does not work as a pro-life system.

This system became like a religion where it was not to be questioned.  It was promoted as a good thing given jobs and material comforts, however the opportunity cost of the planet cannot be costed as it beyond this type of system.  The self interest, short sighted focus, identifying with money, dependent on the system and disconnected from the reality of a planet and its life forms that require their needs to be met but not as a material fix but as a socio-emotional wellbeing and to ensure the basics are organised.  Economics is another cult that is in the present being faced with ideas that deprogram.  This is viewed as threatening but again, as I said in other blogs is it a snake or a rope?  Those in fear of loss will see a snake in those who are the clarion call, others will realise that harmonious, balanced, collaborative social ordering in harmony with nature is the ‘rope’ which will save us from mind control that is no longer working in homeostasis.

It is not a holistic philosophy that is aware of the whole in the individual and the individual in the whole.  The analogy is realising you are a cell in the body of the earth.  The current system is a piece meal approach detached from the whole eco system that has been formulated by 17th century thinkers, a predominant masculine viewpoint of materialism as the basis of wellbeing ignoring the human condition as the most fundamental basis for peace and happiness.  The materialism is associated with being loved and secure, this is the false economy promoted by advertisements speaking to the want but not the fundamental and legitimate human needs.

A powerful statement in the film is:

“Efficiency, sustainability and preservation are the enemies of our economic system”

Efficiency is a statement outside of business paradigms, it is to do with real efficiency. For example indigenous people when they killed animals used every part of the animal.  The animal was honoured and intrinsically linked to their spirituality as wholistic, as they belong to the land not the other way around.  It is a completely different perception of life and a human’s place in nature.


Mohandas Gandhi

“Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion.”