Consumerism versus Makers

Do and believe whatever you like, but I’m not really one for conspiracy theories. This being said I do like the following TED-talk by Jacques Peretti about Consumerism and Makers.

He certainly has a point, because over the last century we have shifted from a skills based society to a system lead by ‘free-market capitalism‘ and consumerism. We’ve lost touch with how the products we use were made. And working with your hands has become something dirty. Looked down upon by educators and the general public opinion. You have to strive to work with your head instead of your hands.

And I don’t believe this has been a ‘dark secret conspiracy’ induced by those on the top of the financial foodchain. No, it was a much more natural development, a product of the rising financial times after WWII and the prosperity tied in with it. One thing lead to another, fed by desire and enough money to buy the luxury goods thrown to us by smart marketing. For a long time everybody was happy with the arrangement.

But a system like this has its limits, as we have seen with the financial crisis. Endless financial growth is impossible. To keep the system running we would have to turn our homes into warehouses filled with refrigerators, television and audio sets, and a lot of other nice but unnecessary items. And off course get a new car every year, or better; multiple. I’m simplifying a bit, but am sure you’ll get what I mean.

And a more pressing issue; we’re putting a strain on the world we live in. Quickly draining all of the natural resources it took mother nature millions of years to create. Our lifestyle of limitless consumerism is causing problems.

We need to find creative solutions to the problems at hand. Care for what’s around us. We can’t save the world on our own. But maybe when everybody does a little part? A little bit of solidarity and simply trying to keep our footprint small…

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