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Yes, the problem is the programming by commercials. They have become the most central educational experience in many young people's lives. Some societies have realized this and have wisely limited the exposure that children can have to commercials. Most societies have not done so.

The repugnance of consumerism is not something that only greens and the left should be concerned with. I think that even some more traditional conservatives understand the impact that mass capitalism and consumerism have on individual's lives. Money and consumption, as I think someone said upthread, does become the only moral compass as ads become so pervasive (everywhere from trams to TV to public toilets) they drown out all other instruction.

Many religious fundamentalists see this consumerist amoralizing and react to it through anti-globalization policies. This contemporary luddite reaction is as unlikely to prevail as the original actions. However, they will continue and probably become more violent since consumerism makes so many products for destruction available to so many.

Most Christian fundamentalists in the US have yet to make the connection between consumerism and what they see as the decline of morals. They have (for a variety of reasons) woven free market economics into their interpretations of the Bible.

It is a testament to human intelligence and free will that even some people are able to escape the onslaught.  

by gradinski chai on Mon Oct 31st, 2005 at 05:28:32 AM EST
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