Recently I've been thinking about the current trend towards consumerism in society. I wasn't thinking so much about how, or even why, but more on it's value. Within our current society, Capitilism has taken a firm hold. This is no secret. While there is no firm definition of Capitalism, one of it's important aspects is profit in the marketplace. Nowadays, this has led to an 'anything for profit' mentality.
Some people will be up in arms, pointing to the Ronald McDonald house charity, or one of the numerous other big corporations doing charitable things, assumably at there own expense. However, every year, McDonalds has a McHappy month, in which they say they'll give $1 from each big Mac to the Ronald McDonald house charity. All well and good, but the number of big macs sold in this month can double or even triple, because of people looking to help charity, while still getting something for themselves. Ask yourself, have you even chosen one brand over another, not because of price or quality, but because you have heard of the good things the company does? I know I have.
Now you're expecting me to say something like "And this is horrible because..." But I won't play that game, yet. We've all heard it before. Instead I'm going to direct your attention to something that I have been thinking on. I call it Immaterial Materialism, and for simplicities sake, I'll treat it as real. Basically, some people get sick of prices, and whatever, and decide to give up things. Most do this sensibly, and give up all but the bare essentials, and 1 or 2 comfort items. Others however, take it to the extreme. They live with nothing but the barest of essentials. Clothes and a little bit of food and water. Many don't start like this, but slowly 'achieve' it. Bit by bit they sell, or give away they're 'useless' objects. Towards the end, they either give away thier money, or buy things with it to give away. I would assume that, like inversing materialism, every time they give an object away, they feel a sense of accomplishment. This is dangerous, as eventually they sell their home, or worse give it away, meaning they live on the street, or in the wild.
Everything has an opposite. Happy and sad, black and white, Theism and Atheism. This was my interpretation of the opposite of materialism. I'm yet to see evidence for its existance, though I am fairly sure it does. As it stands, materialism is on the up and up, and belief in people is dropping. Eventually, if this trend continues (assuming I'm correct in my assumption), people won't even notice each other anymore. They'll be aware of their existance, but other then that stuff is what matters, not each other. Just watch the movie Wall-E. Points it out perfectly.
Until next time - fui fides tantum in testimonium.