Consumerism: The Slavery of the 21st Century?
Over the past week, we’ve done a series of posts on The Seminal about Wal-Mart and the ethical conflicts posed by shopping there. At this point, I’d like to broaden the conversation to our overall consumption habits and the need for a broad-based social movement to counter the forces of consumerism.
Before I take a bite out of that giant apple, however, I’d like to start with a question for the readers:
Is it fair to compare the burgeoning consumer justice movement of the 21st century to efforts in the 19th century to free African-American slaves? Today, it’s hard to imagine that in the early 1800’s, many people of otherwise high moral principles had no problem with the institution of slavery – that they considered it a necessary component of the economy. Will people in coming centuries look back on our society today and wonder the same thing about our choices of where to shop, what to buy, and how much to consume?