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 Blooming Stars

Unbridled Capitalism and Consumerism

            The run-away capitalism and consumerism, the twin evils of modern age, are like two loose cannons hitting at the vitals of humanity, and stealthily destroying the whole fabric of modern civilization. They treat human beings as objects to be packaged and bartered for money in the market economy. In this economy needs are not respected and met; wants are generated and catered to. And wants before long become needs.

            In capitalism the sole motive is profit. The cut-throat competitions and hostile take-over of companies thrive. Wealth and its creation are not guided by social and spiritual dimensions. The multi-national corporations become powerful economic empires and monopolies, and almost create parallel governments by their sheer wealth. They extend their clutching tentacles to smother competitions and establish convenient, alluring, 24-hour, one-stop super-markets where many go for purchasing fashion products as well as window-shopping to check out on new gadgets. Their popular, ever- enticing chain stores and franchises snuff out mom-and-pop neighborhood stores where a great deal of socialization and camaraderie also take place. The representatives of powerful drug companies visited the offices of psychiatrists where I worked as a doctor clinical psychologist in the US, and provided delicious lunches almost daily besides gifting pens and other materials.

            They provided free expensive vacation packages to physicians and their spouses to popular destinations. Two American studies (reported by TNN July 6, 2014) have high-lighted the medical malaise in the US. The Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatology found that about a third of total knee replacements in the US might have been unnecessary. The US National Cancer Institute questioned the efficacy of expensive Digital Mammography over conventional mammography to detect breast cancer in women. We can all understand that very expensive machines in hospitals cannot be maintained without a minimum number of tests. Add to that the ever-willing, litigious lawyers ready to breathe down the neck of physicians not prescribing every available test there is. But do we need unnecessary expensive tests to keep these machines?

            The national and international corporations with unlimited wealth and power “buy” politicians and influence law-makers through their powerful lobbies at seats of governments. They hire powerful team of attorneys to plead their cases even in government law-suits, and often emerge from them scot-free. They even attempt to influence and corrupt judges through sweetheart deals. Needless to say a few judges have succumbed to the difficult-to-refuse inducements. Handlers from consumerist culture package even the so-called God-men and God-women who peddle God-connections. I cited a few examples to show how the capitalist, consumerist culture infiltrate daily into every sphere of life to effect corruption, and to diminish human dignity and freedom.

            Now the question is: What kind of a society, that safeguards our fundamental human rights, dignity, and freedom, do we need to have? To begin with, how about a living wage for all? How about a cap on the maximum wage/salary, bonus, and perks of executives? Consumerism goes hand in hand with sexualized advertisements and commercials to peddle its wares and ever-increasing wants. A sensible and rational approach to sex education may take away much of the curiosity related to glamor women and actresses who feel the need to reveal their sexual endowments/body parts and sexual exploits for notoriety and money. I do not want to leave out glamor men who dictate their fees. A conscientized society does not need celebrities to sell products. Finally, everything comes down to conscientization, instilling of basic values, fine impulse control, and, above all, a purposeful spirit-life. We need to keep tight reins on capitalism and consumerism.


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