Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
People are now frequently persuaded to act in ways that are at odds with their own self-interest.  This ranges from the trivial of the annual changes in women's fashions

No, no, no. Following the changes in fashions, especially with high-end stuff is an excellent, clear piece of conspicious consumption that demonstrates you have the time and money to do so. It's all about status display, which is not against the person's self-interest: it's essentiasl to it.

This  is one of the failings of the utopians: people like status and currently it is derived from consumption. You have to provide acceptable substitutes. As energy gets more expensive, conspicious consumption of energy will become even more of a status symbol.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 at 11:04:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've long wondered how to get people to compete over who consumes less rather than who consumes more. I haven't the slightest idea of how to bring that about as the whole concept of status would seem to preclude it.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 at 03:35:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
kcurie is in favour of a potlatch economy, in which status is linked to how much you give away rather than hoard or consume.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 at 03:55:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the potlatch economy is where Veblen got his intellectual start--it is mentioned in "Theory of the Leisure Class."

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"
by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 at 05:03:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well sure, but how do we make that happen?

And is it sustainable from the standpoint that your consumption based neighbor will just run you over with his greater economic and (likely) military might?

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 at 05:15:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Occasional Series