Countering Consumerism

Though almost 10 years old, here’s a great article, Consumerism and its Discontents, with a good finger on the pulse of the shifting culture among Millennials in regards to American Capitalism and Consumerism.

A short excerpt:

“What is the solution for Americans unhappy with consumerism? Many are beginning to make changes in their personal lives…Many are “downshifting” to a simpler life.”

A simpler life, as in minimalism.

  • Discontent with excess
  • Unhappy with over-consumption
  • Overwhelmed by surplus
  • Burdened with clutter

There’s more awareness today of the downsides of consumerism, and the article goes on to address the larger, more systemic problem with western capitalism at a national level.

While that’s important, I think the reaction of Millennials, and other like-minded people, is a great start because the immediate adverse effects of over-consumption are directly countered at the individual level by practicing minimalism, along with a healthy dose of contentment. 

Sometimes systemic change is best sown at a grass-roots level, being firmly planted and allowed to grow naturally in the environment. It’s like a bottom-up rather than top-down approach. Yet it’s likely best to address excess consumerism from both ends for the most holistic and sure solution.

What do you think?