March 2, 2018

Anti-Consumer Protest Art/Ancient Wisdom Mashup

“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” 
- Socrates

Our last protest art/quote mashup post was well received. Combining thought-provoking nuggets of wisdom (not my own) along with eyeball poking visuals is an irresistible combination.

Our last mashup used zen quotes. This time I am tapping into the ancient wisdom of Socrates. The art is the result of an "anti-consumerism protest art" image search, which always yields interesting results.

“If you don't get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don't want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can't hold on to it forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is law and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.”

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” 

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”

“To find yourself, think for yourself.” 

"He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature."

Socrates is know for laying the foundation for western philosophy. When he was around (born 470 BC), there was no mass consumerism. And if we heeded his teachings, there would be no conspicuous consumption today, because we would be too smart for that.

Socrates believed that money had a corrupting influence, and that we should seek lives of material moderation. When asked about his frugal lifestyle, he replied that he loved visiting the market "to see all the things I am happy without."

Socrates lived his entire 71 year lifespan within the ancient city of Athens. He would have enjoyed the city for a longer period of time if he weren't sentenced to death for his rebellious and unrelenting search for the truth.

It seems that the elite of the day couldn't handle the truth.

I wonder what the philosopher would think of the state of the world today? We have improved our gadgets, but have we improved ourselves as human beings? Has mass consumerism brought us closer to the truth?


  1. Socrates was a bright boy indeed! PS love the new photo header.

    1. Franny And Danny,

      It hasn't snowed here for weeks (most unusual) and the snowy cabin was starting to feel like false news.

  2. Anonymous3/02/2018

    It is sad that we did not heed his words. I wonder what our world would be like today if we had.

    My first entry into the world of excess consumption was about a vacation.
    The ladies I worked with were always discussing their tropical holidays. I mentioned to my husband that they must be rich because even though everyone was on the same pay scale, tropical vacations were not in our budget.

    I found out later, when one of my co workers won 10,000 dollars at the casino and was going to us the money to pay off Most of her credit card debt.

    It did shock me...and made me realise how everyone else lived "the good life".
    However it helped me to figure out that I was the one living the good life by having no debt and even better having no wants


    1. Marie,

      At one time Linda and I also wondered how all the bells and whistles were being funded. That was before we found out, like you, that it was all a financing fantasy.

      No wants = No debt = freedom.

  3. Marie

    You sound like the smart one to me. This happened to me at work also...Someone who makes almost 3x what I do I heard had a hard time hanging on to her house and paying for the burial after her husband passed away. It shocked me - she is much older than me as to why her house was not paid off yet. I thought she may retire but I apparently I had misread the whole situation entirely. She's been making that big money for SEVERAL years.

    1. Anonymous3/03/2018

      Yes, you hear all the sad debt stories and you so want to say "I told you so"
      Did the lady set up a Go Fund Me Page :)

      I retired at 55 and most people told me how "lucky" I was.....luck had nothing to do with it.
      My husband took a buyout at we are reaping the thrifty rewards.....doing it frugally of course.


  4. Anonymous3/04/2018

    Fascinating and sobering post. I particularly like the graphic of the person breaking through the UPC code, and the Socrates quote about how visiting the market made him happy to see all the things he can do without. Good stuff! - Mary

  5. Anonymous3/11/2018

    Love the post :)
    We have been confronted several times on our low consumption lifestyle, and we have lost friends. We are not mean, and give gifts, offer to drive, bring extra food, but it doesn't work. We have been told to get a new kitchen and furniture like normal people. I'm glad to have a low impact, sad to lose friends over it.

    - Ann

    1. Ann,

      You escaped the high consumption rat race. It sounds like they may be envious. Happy to hear that you are unrelenting in your commitment to a more Earth friendly lifestyle. We are with you. Sad that it has to come to losing friends.

      Plus, who wants to be "normal"? Not me. No thank you. Don't make me choose between my integrity and our friendship - you probably won't like the outcome.


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