The idea that growth is dangerous, that it will ruin our environment, that it will transform us in stubborn and brainless consumers, that it will get an implosion point, is nowadays more than a fashion: it seems to be a duty.
Francesco Morace, sociologist, writer and journalists who has studied market trends since several years, tells us that growth is not a seven-heads-monster. Growth is not only physiological, but necessary. We only need to change paradigm and understand that we cannot go on reasoning in terms of luxury, richness and quantity increase.
The new paradigm cannot rely on usual success concept. Success is not happiness, richness doesn’t mean happiness. Status symbols are changing: more and more experiences are based on the idea of excellence, not luxury.
More than this: some new happy behaviours are growing, trust & sharing, coworking, farmer markets… they are all symptoms of a new way to buy, based on trust and gift logic.
Happiness is less consumistic and more emotional, so Morace.
Do I agree with him? Well, of course, when eh says that paradigms changes are very slow! I just do the devil’s advocate…
Let’s see consumption: it can be a freedom act, says Morace. Consumer can become a consum-author, he says.
Yes, in my opinion too, a consumistic society is better than a sharia-based society, but I still know too many ladies who, when they feel blue, need to go out for shopping. Well, this is not properly my idea of freedom. And, in my opinion, there still are too many (my Good, really too many) fashion shops in the department stores. Too many horrible fashion shops. While libraries are closing.
Let’s look at Facebook and other social networks. Yes, true, they are very useful when they help programming social meetings or some sociological movements. But give a look to standard Facebook user: give a look to the intelligence level of his sharings and comments. He put more attention on abandomned kitten and dogs instead of war refugees or war corpses. Social networks – at the moment – do not push reasoning, they just push emotions. With their pro and cons.
Let’s look at the health systems: in my opinion we are putting too much attention to the technological side of the service (how to reserve a visit through Internet, for instance, or how to increase pills market), while neither social networks nor the official health system is focusing on the strong side of the matter: prevention (through healthy diets and excercise, mainly, but here I am a little partial, with my vegan view…). I just hope that the USA will play the captain role, here, considering the current efforts of Obama’s administration.
Last comment: I love the cover photo of this book. Let’s consume, but let’s do it in an intelligent way, it seems to say. Do not waste the peel of the orange, you could recycle it.
For instance, in a Christmas Tree decoration:-)