Consumerism: Scourge of our Time or Path out of Poverty

Date:        Monday 17th September 2018, 7.30pm
Venue:    the back room of the Tiger Inn, Lairgate, Beverley, East Yorkshire, HU17 8JG 

Our September meeting wase a discussion lead by Susan Harr who made the case against the consumerist society we live in.

Socrates said “What is the point of walls and warships and glittering statues if the men who build them are not happy?” The twentieth century Humanist Bertrand Russell once said “It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly”. Others point to pollution and environmental problems caused by mass consumption of consumer goods, yet few of us would choose to live without the comforts of household appliances such as washing machines, fridges, televisions and computers. The average person in the UK has a much higher standard of living in material terms than in previous centuries and some would point out that the main beneficiaries of the cheap products sold in western stores are the low income group consumers who purchase those products, yet many people such as John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, object to what they see as “rampant consumerism”. Does consumerism make the world better or worse?

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