January 29, 2016

Shopiate of The Masses

Aldous Huxley, writer and psychonaut, wrote a lot about drugs. He also wrote one of my favourite utopian novels, Island, in which characters were constantly reminded by brightly coloured birds to focus on the present, to be "here and now".

Slightly altering one of Huxley's quotes about pharmaceuticals, it can be seen that consumerism is a drug. It is the ultimate shopiate of the masses.

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method consumer economic model of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. shopping
And this seems to be the final revolution.”

- Aldous Huxley

There is that distraction thing again. That sounds a lot like the culture I have lived in for a large part of my life. 

Shopping has been the high of choice for a few decades - we are dazed and consumed. It is a harmful drug that takes us away from the beauty and simplicity of the present moment.

Want to kick the consumer habit? Need help? You have come to the right place.

  1. Check out our post "A Consumaholic 12 Step Program".
  2. Visit our blog regularly. We usually post about 3 times a week, most commonly Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  3. Check out our comments section at the end of each post. The commenters on our blog represent a vast network of post-consumer wisdom and support.
  4. Enjoy the present, here and now.


  1. Dear Gregg and Linda,
    Today I am thankful for a reasonable heat bill. Socks and a sweater, a blanket over my unused fireplace, closing shades and shutters at night have helped. The wind is howling outside but I am burning candles and feeling cozy. I appreciate your posts. Don't worry about repeating yourself. The other side repeats on a continual loop. I'm glad to have your quotes to combat the pressure to conform and consume. Annie

    1. Annie,

      Our power bill for the last two months was considerably lower than this time last year. We continue to tweak how we live and it is nice to see tangible results. Cozy is good, especially when it doesn't drain the bank account.

  2. Anonymous1/30/2016

    I have never read the island, but it has come up in a number of places. Will order from the library and thanks for the reminder. Alex

    1. I am probably due for a re-read to see if it has the same impact as it did when I was younger.

  3. Anonymous1/31/2016

    I read this blog often to keep me focused on what i know to be the way i want to be living. It is truly challenging to see through our consumer habits. Thank you.

    1. It is indeed a challenge to live differently than the masses. Not buying in has its consequences, but I accept them gladly to live a simple life with integrity and gentleness. If we can help other do the same we have achieved our purpose. We are glad you are with us.


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