From as young an age as I can remember people have been talking about the commercialization of the holidays. In recent years with stories of mobs and trampling it seems to have hit a crescendo and backlash has ensued with no-shopping-day movements and serious criticism of some of the major shopping chains’ practices.
It’s great when folks get involved, but it’s rare when that involvement actually makes anything happen. The GMO labeling war is a fine recent example, those in favor of labeling far outweigh those in Monsanto’s corner, but we are still losing against it by a landslide.
My theory is that the reason these great efforts get so easily thwarted by money and power is because they are not centered in truth.
The truth about shopping is its addictive nature, which goes completely ignored in our culture, because it’s very inconvenient to the money makers if we understand this truth. What did Bush say to those who wanted to rally in support of the war? “Go shopping!”
From In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Maté
“Compulsive shoppers experience the same mental and emotional processes when engaged in their addiction. The thinking parts of the brain go on furlough. In a brain-imaging study conducted at the University of Munster, Germany, scientists found ‘reduced activation in brain areas associated with working memory and reasoning and, on the other hand, increased activation in areas involved in processing of emotions,’ when even ordinary consumers were engaged in choosing between different brand names of a given product. (16) Under logo capitalism, it turns out, the vaunted “market forces” are largely unconscious–a feature of addiction that advertising agencies well understand. In previous work the electrical discharges of the brain circuits governing pleasure were also found to be in overdrive during shopping, in contrast to the rationality circuits. Neurologist Michael Deppe, the lead researcher, said that ‘the more expensive the product, the crazier the shoppers get. And when buying really expensive products, the part of the brain dealing with rational thought has reduced its activity to almost zero . . . The stimulation of emotional centers shows that shopping is a stress relief.”(17) p. 227
Just like any other addiction, what are shoppers seeking comfort from? Their lives. Why are their lives so stressful? Mindless consumption. Working in order to buy more stuff. This is no longer about keeping up with the Jones’, this has gone far beyond the status symbols, beyond sport, beyond any reason–suffering in the long-term in order to consume more, and therefor feel better– in the short-term. That’s the cycle of addiction.
Food addiction is similar and should be the primary drive behind getting folks to stop eating foods that are poisoning them, GMOs among them. This movement shouldn’t be about labeling at all, because the issue goes far deeper than that. The smartest people I know are incredibly clueless when it comes to understanding and appreciating cooperation with nature instead of domination. And that’s because they’ve bought into the government propaganda.
“If we’re going to raise animals, we have to have a totally separate area for them where they can’t, quote-un-quote, and I hate to use this word, cross-contaminate our fruit and vegetable areas,” says Schaner. Indeed, under the draft rules for the Food Safety and Modernization Act released by the Food & Drug Administration, farmers would be restricted from replanting a plot for nine months after letting poultry graze on harvested fields.”
This is just plain sad. Our government is so far from the truth about working with natural systems that it’s regulating the vast majority of the population into serious ill-health. An issue I guess they plan to solve with the efficacy of policy that is Obamacare.
“They’re corrupt as all hell, but they’re not fools.” Stefan Molyneux on Obamacare, “People make crappy choices about their health.”
I’d say that’s not the whole story Stef. Rather it’s almost impossible for people to make good choices about their health when they’re drowning in misinformation, propagandized “experts” and constant change. Like disempowered children they do whatever the doctor tells them, which is to take the latest drug cocktail. Just ask whistleblower Gwen Olson, author of Confessions of an Rx Drug-pusher, who says, ”There’s no such thing as a safe drug.”
In feeding our consumption addiction and staying comforted by the perpetual lies, whether food or product or the system itself, when will we hit the addict’s proverbial rock bottom?