no tv Those of us in the Western world are now accustomed to what Dennis Potter called “the commercialization of everything”. We have declined in social, political and economic importance from citizens participating in the development of our world, to disenfranchised consumers who do and buy what we are told. Our value in society is now based on how much we own and how much we earn, rather than how much we contribute. Our status is measured in terms of wealth, rather than well-being. Politicians and the media treat us as mere consumers of their ‘products’, and are constantly trying to sell to us rather than inform us. Voting has ceased being an exercise in participatory democracy and has become just another buying experience, where we decide essentially which of two execrable brands of government we want for the next few years. Most of the arts have been shanghaied and commoditized by commercial interests whose profit motives drive them to reduce ‘supply’, and homogenize and dumb-down the ‘product’ for mass consumption. In our world, as Andy Warhol said, shopping defines us more than thinking.

We can fight back. The first instrument of revolution is frugality. We can choose not to buy. We can reject brand names and products produced by slave labour or animal testing. We can buy local products made by small independent businesses instead of by multinational conglomerates. We can buy products that last longer and use less energy, even if they cost a bit more. We can learn what we can live without, without hardship.

The second instrument of revolution is education. We need to work with software developers to make it much easier for the majority of people to access independent thinking and information through the Internet. Those of us that now use the Internet to learn, to organize, to communicate, to investigate, have quickly become disillusioned with the mainstream media, and all the other juggernauts of commercialization. We watch less television than non-Internet users, we read more, on a wider range of subjects. We are more discerning in what we believe and what we buy, and more sceptical of what we’re told. We need to get everyone in the world connected the way we are. Through education and connection of everyone we can once again become citizens, not merely consumers.

The third instrument of revolution is the creation of a new, independent non-commercial economy. We can start new businesses that are connected to real human needs and values instead of working for monolithic organizations that manufacture consent and make us complicit in our own disenfranchisement and wage slavery. William Morris wrote over a century ago “…there is an enormous mass of labour which is just merely wasted; many thousands of men and women making nothing with terrible and inhuman toil which deadens the soul…”. Companies in this independent economy would agree to support each other, adhere to a set of unimpeachable social and environmental standards and principles, and measure their success by the well-being they create, not by their profit. Banks would soon realize how secure such companies would be as investments, since our businesses would be focused on the long-term instead of just the next fiscal quarter. Until then would pull our capital out of the institutions that contribute to the commercialization and economic enslavement of people, and invest them instead in each others’ businesses. We would eventually starve and supersede the old commercial economy, just as the information age superseded the industrial one.

The wielders of economic power are today totally reliant on obedient, ignorant consumers. Through frugality, education and the creation of a non-commercial economy we can take back this power. So consumers, unite! You have nothing to lose but your brand-nameTM chains.

This entry was posted in How the World Really Works. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. silly me says:

    Okay. Now that this post is near the bottom, I’ll speak my piece. Before I purchased the sat tv system. I did some research. I didn’t want the system Murdock owns because he and his company support the right wing the GOP So I purchased Directtv.. and now it’s going to be owned by guess who…. So the point is. Anything that becomes POPULAR or theatening becomes a target for take over or legal control… As wonderful as what your advocating is, there are some real world barriers that are going to be continually thrown up in front of you. The “golden rule”, those with the gold make the rules is still a functional doctrine even in a democracy. The finest example of a “GRASS ROOTS” struggle against corporate america is the war in marijuana. There!!! I said my piece in total obscurity. The power of one.

Comments are closed.