'Anti-Consumption' Merchandise

Stuart Hayashi's picture
Submitted by Stuart Hayashi on Sun, 2007-09-02 22:23

Have you encountered anti-capitalist hipsters who assert that, by making certain purchases, they are rebelling against consumption per se? You can see that in people who purchase organic produce for primarily ideological reasons, as well as scruffy college students who boast to you that they are such rebellious, independently-thinking nonconformists for wearing the same Che Guevara T-shirt that all the other cool kids wear.


I think that the quasi-leftist book Nation of Rebels, by Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter, provides a rather astute sociological assessment of this phenomenon. What detracts from it, though, is the authors' rather wacky attempt to smear Ayn Rand as an "anarchist."

Rhys Southan's YouTube video, "Consuming Hypocrisy," also provides a good lampoon of merchandise that bills itself as anti-commerce. It asks the question, "Which party is feeding the anti-capitalists? Who makes it possible for the anti-capitalists to survive?" I believe we know the answer to that question.

We often hear that, when businesspeople make millions of dollar selling anti-capitalist propaganda movies and environmentalist tracts, it is an example of commerce having co-opted collectivist ideology.

But I'm increasingly coming to see it as the other way around: maybe it's actually collectivist ideology that is taking advantage of the channels that commerce has made available to it. As Michael Moore himself observed in The Corporation, it is a case of the businessman selling to the statist the very rope with which the statist will hang him. We're talking about the sanction of the victim.

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Wait...you mean we have a

KingRandor82's picture

Wait...you mean we have a political party that DOESN'T? Please- fill me in.

ON a lighter note, I put this video on my MySpace; I had to- and it'd be a nice balance, as I'm a toy collector, and the majority of them are Anti American Pro Communism leftist nutjobs.

And plus, anyone else who thinks I'm cool and looks at my page gets to see it...and question their thinking Laughing out loud

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