Overcoming Materialism

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

This also and especially must be the task of any new political movement of the working class. But materialism has been and is the new god, even among and particularly the working class, despite the fact that many may not be able to afford the things that they want.

It would appear that everyone almost everywhere in the developed world believes that things make him or her happy and the more things the greater the happiness. Alas this is, however, not so. The problem is that the more wealth and possessions people have the more they worry about losing them through theft and in other ways and that sure does not make happy.

Even the poor, who can barely afford, if at all, to feed themselves and their families, more often than not, want all those material things, those goods that advertising makes them believe that they need. Needs and wants are two different things and those needs suggested in such a way are but wants. However, the manufacturers must make us believe that we actually need those things; otherwise they cannot sell us those things.

People all too often end up in a quandary here in that, because of advertising, they really believe that they need all those material goods and then also there is the “keeping up with the Joneses”, with the neighbor. If the neighbor gets a new three-piece suite they have to get an even “better” and more expensive one, and so on, regardless of whether they need it or actually can afford it, and often they forgo, in order to be able to compete in this game, the necessities of life.

Material possessions are put before anything and everything else and people are being judged by everyone almost as to how much they earn, have and own, and it was Margaret Thatcher, to a great degree, in Britain who bequeathed this to us. She also stated, so it is being reported, that anyone in his early thirties still using a bus should be considered a failure. It was the Thatcher government who also destroyed the social rented housing market buy wanting “to make everyone home owners”, which is a load of garbage.

Using the bus rather than driving and even owning a car or renting a home (in the social sector) should not make someone a failure. In many countries in the European Union, such as, for example, Germany, the great majority rent their homes rather than own them, although many areas are now becoming gentrified and rents are rising to such an extent, with the protection that used to exist, apparently having been removed, well beyond the ability of the ordinary people's incomes.

All too often – most of the time – people judge other people by what they have by way of possessions and money; by the kind of house they own and if you don't own your home you are already looked down upon automatically; by the car they drive and if you don't drive, and well, if you do not own a car and drive one then there must definitely be something wrong with you and you must not be working hard enough to earn enough; by the clothes they wear; and by the gadgets they own, aside from also how they look, talk and walk. We are not what we own or what we wear but how we live.

© 2014