Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Every day is Buy Something Day

Anti-consumeurism is bullshit. Buy Nothing Day is bullshit. To me, every day is Buy Something Day.

I am a normal person. I need to eat. I walk a couple blocks to the store. I enter the gocery store. That grocery store has a large array of foodstuffs of all kinds - meat, fish, fruits and vegetables, pasta, soups, ice cream, cakes... whatever I desire or need for my dinner.

The grocery store exists as a mediator between the producers and me, the customer. They draw foodstuffs from all around the continent in one place so I can buy them. And I buy them so I can "consume" them.

The Greenies have made "consume" into an evil, dark word. Consuming is what the greedy humans do when they are not in harmony with nature. Other species, or more primitive societies, hunt and fish, but they are not inherently evil, and so they don't "consume". But I'm a human being with clearly-defined values and defending human progress, therefore I am an evil consumer, unlike the noble Greenie who preaches undefined "natural" values and attacks human progress in the name of "sustainability", "culture" and "harmony".

On the other hand, no one can live without consuming resources. So the anti-consumeurist movement is predicated on one giant contradiction. But as I said in "The Greenies and their beliefs", maybe they think it's okay as long as you can brainwash your children to become "caring" Greenies like they are. I don't feel like knowing one long enough to figure that out.

The Greenie ideology is predicated on repressing human instincts and needs, as well as compassion towards the least fortunate, in order to fulfill a vague idea of social and environmental "harmony", which is really nothing more than self-righteous sacrifice which accomplishes absolutely nothing. Even though they resent this assessment, Greenies are inherently amoral and anti-humanist : to them human values are inferior and must serve higher ideals.

I'm willing to bet that most Greenies have never lived in a third-world country, never had to shop at Wal-Mart or eat at McDonalds for monetary reasons, and never had a primary sector job. I'm not playing holier-than-thou here (even though I am, in fact, holier), as I'm not part of those categories either, but I'm not advocating hurting the least fortunate, so I have nothing to feel guilty about.

Consumption, on the other hand, fulfills basic human needs. In modern society, it is the most basic expression of value. It is by "consuming" basic goods that we express our values, from the simplest like eating, to the most complex like social visibility. Even Greenies "consume" to fulfill these values, they're just dishonest about it. I find it hard to talk about Greenies and "sustainability" fanatics because I think their position is a basic contradiction, and that only the greatly dishonest or the outright insane could possibly adopt it. There's just not much to say beyond "you're lying".

Consumption and gift-giving are also the greatest expressions of voluntary action. The fact that anti-consumeurists strenuously argue against them (in fact, right now a "Buy Nothing Christmas" image has been slapped on the Buy Nothing Day page - the idea is so sacrilegous and disgusting that I'm not even going to dignify that) shows that what they are after is not a better lifestyle or worldview, but the basis of cooperation itself. Of course, this assumes that they are intelligent enough to think their position up to that point, which sadly is not true.

When I buy my foodstuffs, there are a few rules I follow. I buy the store brand unless there is an important difference in quality with more expensive brands. And I don't buy any vegetarian, "organic" or low-fat food. Unlike the first rule, this one is purely a matter of principles - I do not subscribe to the anti-scientific bias inherent in "organic" goods, I do not subscribe to vegetarian propaganda, I don't subscribe to the obesity scares, and I don't want to contribute to any of these ideologies and sacrifice any enjoyment of life.

And in the end, that is the real issue. All the anti-globalization, vegetarian, anti-scientific rhetoric is just rationalization that they don't even understand anyway, and certainly don't want to think through. The real reason why they align themselves as our cultural enemies, and on the side of primitivism, is a simple question of values. We value life, comfort and pleasure, science and human progress. They preach ascetism and the "natural", and reject human values as evil and corrupt. In short, our ideology is about the reality of human life, and their ideology is about submission to a higher, unreal, non-human ideal. Greenie collectivism, like religious collectivism and political collectivism, should be relegated to the trash heap of history.

At least that's what I think about when I come back from the grocery store, every single day : thank Providence my ancestors weren't Greenies. Happy Buy Something Day everyone !

Oh, and by the way, the Carnival of the Green doesn't want entries that are about anti-consumeurism. Apparently anti-consumeurism is not Greenie. What-ever...

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