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In Praise of Consumerism (14-10-2005)

Consumerism does not enjoy a favourable press, never mind a pulpit. Scholars, journalists, and priests are feverishly engrossed in their laptops looking for words of condemnation for people who instead of bowing humbly before "values" and giving sacrifices to gods are rushing to a "temple of Satan" and buying material things. Priests are thundering the loudest. But scholars do not let the grass grow under their feet either. "What contemporary thinkers describe as consumerism seems to be something more than merely a modern modification of hedonism and utilitarianism. The consumer model is based on an anthropocentric, secular vision of the human being, a conqueror and master of nature," writes Antonina Sebasta, an associate professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Papal Academy in Krakow.


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