Are you a cog in the consumer machine, or are you a wrench thrown into its gears? Do you support its workings, or have you pulled the rug out from under its bulk?
The time has come to decide how we will react in response to overwhelming evidence that the consumerism beast is a tyrant disguised as a horn of plenty. Sure, it gives, but at a great price.
Consumerism kills freedom. It kills creativity. It kills life. Why would anyone support these outcomes?
The good news is that fighting back may be easier than you think. You don't have to become an activist getting arrested on the front lines (not that there is anything wrong with that), or live in a cave. You don't have to take up arms.
You just have to stop supporting the beast, stop serving it, stop feeding it with your time and money. This non-participation can be done through the time-honoured traditions of simple living.
Living simply is a withdrawal of support for global consumerism. It is a non-violent response to a violent way of life.
500 years ago, before the French Revolution, a gifted young man named Étienne de la Boétie, was writing about such things in his essay Discourse of Voluntary Servitude. Although he was writing about States and dictators, his ideas can be applied to other elite-driven, top-down systems as well.
Basically he said that things can change fast if the people's consent is withdrawn. Without the participation of the people dictators can fall, governments can fall, and other ways of doing things can fall too.
Reading this amazing essay I replaced "tyrant" or "the State" with "consumerism" and it still makes sense.
Consumerism then, has "nothing more than the power that you confer upon it to destroy you. Where has it acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can it have so many arms to beat you with, if it does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does it get them if they are not your own? How does it have any power over you except through you? How would it dare assail you if it had no cooperation from you?"
"Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces.” - Étienne de la BoétieAs simple living catches on with the masses, the tyrant of consumerism and all the death it deals out, will fall under its own weight and shatter for good.
It is up to us - we have the power. We can change everything by not participating in the problem.