In defense of rampant consumerism is an article written by Ryan Bourne of the Institute of Economic Affairs. His main argument goes contrary to the Archbishop of Yorks argument. The Archbishop of York John Sentamu is in support for a compassionate, sustainable and just society. Together with John Welby, the Archbishop of York is against the rampant consumerism of our modern times. According to Socrates, there is no point of warships, walls and glittering statues if those great men who were involved in their construction are not jovial. The author is in total support of individualism and materialism. He believes the Archbishop of York is just doing his part of denouncing human beings desire for stuff and material advancement but in real sense embraces it.
With regards to Bournes argument, I must say for a fact that I do concur with his argument on materialism and individualism. My arguments and instincts go contrary to the Archbishop of York and his counterpart Welbys argument that money is not everything and that rampant consumerism is not the key to happiness.
I agree with Bournes argument that views with regards to rampant consumerism always conjoin in predictable narratives where there is the political inclination to the Gross Domestic Product and the always rising demand for material stuff. On the contrary, I disagree with Sentamus idea when he asserts that the aforementioned have caused human beings to lose the big picture of really what matters. He further outlines that what matters is family, community and the obligations we have on each other. Sentamu tries to explain that materialism has overridden the crucial aspects that ought to be our first priorities in life. His argument states that nowadays human beings opt to satisfy their material urge than to really focus on the true meaning of life where our obligations towards each other is one of the topmost priorities. His agreement goes in line with his earlier argument where over the last thirty years, a soldaristic state has been created where more markets have been established hence erosion of these topmost values and at the same time dehumanizing the less fortunate and the poor. Similarly, I agree with the conclusion of Bourne over the aforesaid issue where he asserts that we us human beings would be better off placing little emphasis on growth and subsequently re shaping an activist state aimed at targeting other issues and concerns. The author tries to give a suggestion that we as human beings should strive to maintain our core values as humans by fighting for the plight of the poor instead of putting more focus on material wealth.
Similarly, I tend to concur with Bourne when he claims that it is prudent enough for human beings to enjoy material stuff being that three centuries ago, laborers earned peanuts in todays money with all their hard work. He further asserts that since most of the world lived in abject poverty than Bangladesh today, it is in order for us as human beings to enjoy materialistic desires. The materialistic desires he illustrates include cheap food, decent sanitation, central heating and cheap clothes. As an individual, I couldnt agree more to Bournes view and argument on rampant consumerism. Materialism nowadays has been brought about by the desires our forefathers had in the past. Because the yearned for better living conditions, the materialism aspect is borne and always present in our today lives.
I disagree with Keynes who claims that each generation has its target limits of progress and when we reach there we should always be contented with it. In my opinion, human beings always strive to go a notch higher in their advancements of for example technology. That is why, nowadays technology companies now and then invent new stuff. A case study in time is Samsung. Over the past few years, Samsung has developed new model of phones for the same generation. And there is still more to come in the near future. But then again, I tend to agree with Bournes argument that it is consumerist to yearn for refrigerators, washing machines, the computer because in one way or the other these machines have enriched our well- being and lives as a society. He further argues that just a handful of persons would wish to join hands with the Archbishop of Yorks argument that these materialistic stuff have eroded the true values of the society and that it is prudent enough for us as human beings to go back to the ancient days. Furthermore, because these materialistic devices help to get rid of the abject poverty that was there then, few persons according to Bourne would want to revert to the old days where materialism was still not present.
I once again concur with Bourne, when he asserts that consumerism has been the important driver of the innovations that have enhanced the well -being of the less fortunate and the poor. I could not agree more. Due to consumerism, technology has been improved hence the livelihood of the poor has been taken care off by provision of adequate housing facilities, communication has been improved etc. Even though, the clerisy criticizes the market societies, economies of developing nations such as China and India have adopted the aforesaid hence reduction of poverty to greater levels.
Similarly, I tend to agree with Bournes argument about the difference in opinion between the clergy in rich and developing countries with regards to consumerism. The clergy in developing countries tend to believe consumerism erodes the true values of being human beings and replaces it with materialistic desires as a priority. However, the clergy in rich countries tend to shun the desire for expensive devices while at the same time embrace the wealth used for charitable and philanthropic causes. I tend to disagree with the clergy stance in rich countries. By denouncing and at the same time supporting consumerism is a sign of hypocrisy. The clergy in rich countries ought to decide whether they are with or against consumerism. Similarly, I agree with Bournes argument that inequality is a useless measure of anything. He goes ahead and claims that even though you can equality can be realized by having fewer well off people, doing so does not assist in reducing poverty in equal measures. I believe equality can be realized when governments can raise employment rate and living standards of the poor to fend for themselves.
To conclude Ryan Bournes defense of rampant consumer entails the uplifting of living standards through the growth and development of materialism. This is contrary to what the clergy led by Archbishop of Yorks argument that materialism is rampant and it erodes the moral values of human beings who in turn do care more about consumerism but not what matters the most. I must say, I am for Ryan Bournes argument because materialism has for many years led to reduction in poverty levels as opposed to the decades ago where materialism was never present.
Bourne, Ryan. "In Defence of Rampant Consumerism". Telegraph.co.uk. N.p., 2015. Web. 10 May 2016.
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