For those of you who may not have read the now infamous and important statement by Victor Lebow written in the 1950s, I have presented it here.
“Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfactions, our ego satisfactions, in consumption. The measure of social status, of social acceptance, of prestige, is now to be found in our consumptive patterns. The very meaning and significance of our lives today expressed in consumptive terms. The greater the pressures upon the individual to conform to safe and accepted social standards, the more does he tend to express his aspirations and his individuality in terms of what he wears, drives, eats, his home, his car, his pattern of food serving, his hobbies”.
-Victor Lebow, 20th century economist
I find it chilling to read.
Happiness depends in part, on breaking free of this pointless and wasteful pattern, and getting off the Hedonic Treadmill.