There is no black-Friday or cyber-Monday here. You are in a safe space. I will not try to sell you anything…even at drastically reduced prices. This is not a gimmick. There is nothing more. No special deals. There is simply no stuff.
We have entered the annual month-long national buying frenzy, which is always accompanied by articles and commentaries (like this one) rejecting commercial gluttony. But so what?
See, here’s the thing that gets me any time I think about our economy: it appears that capitalism, in order to survive, must grow steadily year over year. And, the way it grows is pretty much through consumerism. You want a strong economy? You want to avoid a calamitous national depression? You better get out there and BUY!
Do not watch this video with small children nearby. It is definitely X-rated for consumerist obscenity.
One take on our consumerism:
Challenge: Buy Nothing Until 2013
Post written by Leo Babauta.
Leo’s post comes complete with a pretty reasonable manifesto and a set of “challenge rules.” Leo suggests we extend Buy Nothing Day through the end of the year. He says:
Why the hell would you want to do this challenge?
Do it as a protest against consumerism and corporate influences on our lives. Do it as a tool for contentment, for simplicity. Do it to reclaim the holidays as a time of connection and love, not of buying and debt. Do it just to see if you can.
And yes, you can still do it if you’ve already done some Black Friday shopping. We’ll forgive our past sins and start afresh.
Again, see Leo’s complete manifesto and challenge rules, here.
BUY OR GO ZEN?
So, NCPR readers, there you have it. I’m inclined to come down on the side of moderation: buy as little as possible. How about re-gifting as a code of the season–that is, give away stuff you already own. Nice things. Even cherished things. Funny things. Things to eat. Things to read (who doesn’t have a gazillion books gathering dust on over-loaded shelves).
Dale Hobson, our web manager, tells me he and his wife have purchased farm animals through Heifer International and “given” them to young family members, along with a book about how these animals help small scale farmers get started.
Tell us about your approach to the holiday giving season. Please comment below.