Yesterday [Wednesday 20th June, 2012] I heard Robert Skidelsky, an economist talking about a statement made by the economist Keynes. A century ago, economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that by now, no-one in Britain would have to work more than 15 hours week because machinery and technology would take the strain.
He finds a society "obsessed with consumption" and people working for more money, simply to buy more.
Well, consumer confidence is actually considered a message of a Country's relative economic strength.
When a load of poor deluded sad-acts are down at the shops running up debts on their credit cards, finance ministers claim that the economy is 'growing' and start celebrating. Recessions are deemed to be over the moment people start spending money which they don't have on things they don't need.
Consumption is synonymous with 'growth' and growth is good. It is always good, whenever and wherever. Hence, clearly consumption is good, all consumption, anywhere, anytime. Judged by the logic of world economics, the death of the planet will be the zenith of human achievement, because if consumption is always good, then to consume a whole planet must be the best thing of all.