James Leroy Wilson's blog

Saturday, January 06, 2007

To Buy Or Not To Buy

Via Wolfesblog, a story on the Compact, ten San Franciscans who resolved to not buy any new products except essentials (nutrional, hygienic, health) for the entire calendar year of 2006. Second-hand goods were allowed.

Apparently, the Compact involved individuals concerned about consumerism and the disposable society - it was a lifestyle experiment, and a successful one. I think it's easier to change one's lifestyle after changing one's values. If people were forced to forego new buying not because they wanted to, but because they had to reduce their debts, it would have been a lot harder. That's because one's values, one's attitude, one's desired lifestyle hadn't changed. People are able to change their habits when they change their thinking and values, but when they change their habits only to solve a problem, the change becomes a "sacrifice." And sacrifice is damn hard.

By the way, some people called members of the Compact "anti-American" and "economic terrorists." So, voluntary conservation is evil. Saving money is evil.

I suspect that civil discussion with people who hold such opinions is impossible.

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