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How can we interact with each other (play, have fun, socialize, etc.) outside the context of consumerism?

+3 votes
Maybe my definition of consumerism is too ambiguous or encompassing, but I find it hard to do anything with friends, family, strangers without perpetuating our cycle of consumerism, i.e. without consuming some thing in some way. Besides hiking or simple games and get-togethers, there ain't much to do without having to consume some resource. Is consumerism not so bad if it's "sustainable" (an oversimplification, probably)?

What brought this question to mind is my friends' excitement over various new local small businesses in our podunk town, none of which will actually bring anything new (just restaurants, shops, etc.), except for maybe one as an entertainment venue, and one as what I assume will be a local art exhibit.
Also the question below, in a sense, though I kinda think the OP is a privileged, hopeless dunce. That's just my unfounded opinion though.
asked Mar 19, 2013 by anonymous
"though I kinda think the OP is a privileged, hopeless dunce."

Yes, because anyone who refuses to conform to your utopianist ideals of a family picnic for a nation and still believes there is some hope in controlled capitalism, which is worse than murder, is a privileged, hopeless dunce who doesn't have to struggle as much as the next guy to make it in life.
since you didn't ask "what will be fun about a post-capitalist world" (or a question more like the one we're commenting on) but instead asked a question that completely accepted capitalist/corporate standards for fun/entertainment, i have to agree with the spirit of the name calling, although really i would just castigate the "without corporations" post as entirely unimaginative (since unprivileged, smart people can also be blindered). but the hopeless is a real possibility.

1 Answer

+3 votes
part one of the answer:
there are all kinds of games that exist without products (frequently party games are like this). there are reading groups. making food together. gardening. going for walks. making music/singing. working on projects.

part two:
we can't. we exist in a culture that has created us. getting outside of the way we have been assimilated will take time, imagination, and will.

part three:
some amount of consuming is inevitable, but doesn't have to be the main or only thing. emphasis can be meaningful. the point is not to be floating in the world, but to engage with it deeply and meaningfully.
answered Mar 19, 2013 by dot (50,310 points)