The consumer society – the path of inhumanity


2018-04-04 18:00:15




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Many philosophers and sociologists of the twentieth century tried to define and describe the level of development reached by the most successful economically of the country. It was called and developed industrial and post-industrial society, believing that a systemic restructuring of the economy and the achievement of abundance will bring benefits for humanity. But the most critical and at the same time an accurate description of such a society was proposed in 1970 the French philosopher-postmodernist, sociologist and cultural commentator Jean Baudrillard. “the consumer Society” since this term is firmly entrenched in our language, turning into some kind of label. However, even with 70 years has passed already enough time, criticism of this ironic intellectual has not lost any of its significance nor its relevance.

At the time, this famous philosopher came from neo-Marxist environment, and in some degree adopted the live analytical and critical approach to Marx. We can say that his book “the consumer Society” is a kind of “Capital” of the twentieth century, only it is written in a different paradigmata. The philosopher is not as interested in the background of economic and social relationships, as the impact on people of routine and daily life. After all, if in Marx's time the daily life of the people depended on the economy through social relations, but now it has become dependent on technology, media, and other mass regulators, which penetrate into our lives and control it. Actually, this transformation of consumption from a means of survival into a means of dehumanization and dedicates his book Baudrillard.


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The Society of consumption – is a feature of the new society, where all human relationships lose meaning, becoming a ritual of the scheme, the marks define the hierarchy of status or degenerating in the competition. This "brave new world” virtually destroyed the old, traditional consumption, when people buy any goods because they need to because they meet their needs. It analyzes quite different, “iconic” consumption when the goods are bought because it is fashionable, because it's advertised because it is new. Thus, the thing loses its meaning, Ostrava before will buy it because the ad may suggest new, more fashionable item.

In addition, the consumer society deprives of meaning and communication between people, because it makes the process of buying a flashy. Consumption becomes a code regulating the communication because people not only prefer to talk about new purchases, but also assess each other to buy a particular item. This is the kind of game that is not based on any natural reality, but only on its own. Things rule over people who are defined by them, not only comfort, but also prestige, and involvement in this vicious circle declare freedom of choice and the triumph of the individual.

The Society of consumption, not only put the person and his feelings are dependent on things, and things reduced to the level of characters that have no real meaning (simulacra), it also turned art into a commodity thing and a simulacrum. The search for truth is displaced by myths that are easy to consume, serious literature and art are displaced entertainment genres. The manipulation of these genres became a transmission belt of power mechanisms and their ideology. In fact, human culture is also put on the conveyor, it is produced on a template, it also depends on demand and consumption. Mankind used to eat certain signs and stopped to take something original and truly individual.

The Philosopher criticizes the consumer society and even for the fact that it only mean a society of abundance and equality. This society and the manufactured simulacra does not give one any confidence, on the contrary, he is in the race for new brands and signs and fear that I will miss and not be able to acquire another prestigious simulacrum. The rule of signs, simulacra leads to inequality, because people who are not able to purchase all new signs of prestige, is thrown out of the circle of relations, cultivating success, like a loser. Despite the fact that this book was written several decades ago, it shows that Jean Baudrillard actually predicted the main trends in the development of modern society.

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