What today’s anti-capitalists loathe most is the ‘consumer society’, with its incessant advertising and wicked temptation to buy, buy, buy. On Buy Nothing Day, at the end of November, anti-capitalist protesters on Oxford Street and elsewhere advised shoppers to ‘detox from consumerism’ because ‘everything we buy has an impact on our planet’. Meanwhile, serious psychologists (as well as the seriously psychotic) claim that consumerism makes us ill — it gives us ‘affluenza’, apparently. Geddit?
Well, I’m sorry Brendan, but I believe that today’s brand of consumerism does make us ill, as I think one of the 'serious psychologists' you had in mind, Oliver James, proved beyond doubt in his book ‘Affluenza.’
Brendan seems very happy with a money and wealth-obsessed, turbo-capitalist globalised world, one in which there is a Starbucks or Macdonalds on every corner and in which local and national cultures are replaced by globalised ones. He's happy to see the total eradication of centuries old local culture and believes this is somehow a 'left-wing' cause. Brendan also fails to see that its modern turbo-capitalism which is perpetually driving us to go to war, be it in the Balkans or in the Middle East- wars which he- to his credit-opposes.
As I wrote recently, the real divide in the world today is not so much between traditional socialists and conservatives, but between those who support the neoliberal globalist agenda of privatisation, tax cuts for the rich and running the economy for the benefit of global capital, and those who believe that maintaining economic sovereignty, and safeguarding the interests of ordinary working people should come first. Needless to say, those in the first camp don't care a jot for preserving local or national culture; those in the second camp most definitely do.
Sadly, we now know which side of the divide Brendan is on.