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"I shop therefore I am" --Barbara Kruger

"The pseudoneeds imposed by modern consumerism cannot be opposed by any genuine needs or desires [and] unleashes an unlimited artificiality which overpowers any living desire [which] ends up by falsifying all social life." --Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle, thesis 68

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Anti-consumerism refers to the socio-political movement against the equating of personal happiness with consumption and the purchase of material possessions. The term "consumerism" was first used in 1915 to refer to "advocacy of the rights and interests of consumers" (Oxford English Dictionary), but here the term "consumerism" refers to the sense first used in 1960, "emphasis on or preoccupation with the acquisition of consumer goods" (Oxford English Dictionary).

Consumerism is a term used to describe the effects of the market economy on the individual. Concern over the treatment of consumers has spawned substantial activism, and the incorporation of consumer education into school curricula.

Anti-consumerism is often associated with criticism of consumption, starting with Thorstein Veblen, but according to Veblen's The Theory of the Leisure Class consumerism can be traced back to the first human civilizations. Consumerism can also denote economic policies associated with Keynesian economics, and, in an abstract sense, refer to the belief that the free choice of consumers should dictate the economic structure of a society (cf. producerism).

Critics of consumerism include German historian Oswald Spengler (who said, "Life in America is exclusively economic in structure and lacks depth"), and French writer Georges Duhamel, who held "American materialism up as a beacon of mediocrity that threatened to eclipse French civilization".

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Anti-consumerism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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