January 4, 2013

A Mall The Size Of The Planet

The world is in the process of adding another 2 billion people to the middle class, an event that most think of as a good thing. Remember that we aren't talking about getting people out of poverty, although slowly that is happening, too. What we are talking about is getting more people past 'enough' and to the point they can afford stuff no human needs for survival.

Middle class means more cars, more meat eaters, and more recreational visits to the shopping mall.

Uruguayan writer Eduardo Hughes Galeano, in his 1998 book Upside Down: A Primer for the Looking-Glass World, discussed global consumerism. He wrote:
“Consumer society is a booby trap. Those at the controls feign ignorance, but anybody with eyes in his head can see that the great majority of people necessarily must consume not much, very little, or nothing at all in order to save the bit of nature we have left. Social injustice is not an error to be corrected, nor is it a defect to be overcome; it is an essential requirement of the system. No natural world is capable of supporting a mall the size of the planet... [If] we all consumed like those who are squeezing the earth dry, we’d have no world left.”
We can't all be members of the luxury and excess class, and we can't all be members of the consumer class (even if those were good things). But we can all join the 'enough class'.

We can save nature from a mall the size of the planet.

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