Consumerism is a social and economic order and ideology that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-greater amounts.
- Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed.
- U.S. consumers and industry dispose of enough aluminum to rebuild the commercial air fleet every three months; enough iron and steel to continuously supply all automakers; enough glass to fill New York's World Trade Center every two weeks.
- Environmental Defense Fund advertisement, Christian Science Monitor, (1990)
- Be glad that you're greedy; the national economy would collapse if you weren't.
- Mignon McLaughlin, The Complete Neurotic's Notebook (1981)
- Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites.
- William Ruckelshaus, Business Week, 18 June 1990
- Racial injustice, war, urban blight, and environmental rape have a common denominator in our exploitative economic system.
- Channing E. Phillips, speech, Washington, D.C., (22 April 1970)
- … the consumerist pornography of advertising
- Ronald Wright, A Short History of Progress, (2004) Chapter 5, note 68.
- Under present conditions, people are preoccupied with consumer goods not because they are brainwashed but because buying is the one pleasurable activity not only permitted but actively encouraged by our rulers. The pleasure of eating an ice cream cone may be minor compared to the pleasure of meaningful, autonomous work, but the former is easily available and the latter is not. A poor family would undoubtedly rather have a decent apartment than a new TV, but since they are unlikely to get the apartment, what is to be gained by not getting the TV?
- Mass consumption, advertising, and mass art are a corporate Frankenstein; while they reinforce the system, they also undermine it. By continually pushing the message that we have the right to gratification now, consumerism at its most expansive encouraged a demand for fulfillment that could not so easily be contained by products.
- Ellen Willis, "Introduction", Beginning to See the Light (1981).
Consumerism and religion
- He who knows he has enough is rich
- Tao Te Ching Chapter 33
- Excess and deficiency are equally are at fault.
- Confucius, XI 15
- Eat and drink, but waste not by excess; verily He loves not the excessive.
- Islam Qu'ran 7.31
- Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which does not satisfy.
- Isaiah 55:2