11.27.2011

Is This True?

24 comments:

troll said...

Pretty sure that which appears below is the whole quote in context. Methinks Aunty needs to explain what she means by " The Scourge of Commercialism". I suspect it's quite different from what Alexis was referencing.

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I know of no country, indeed, where the love of money has taken stronger hold on the affections of men, and where the profounder contempt is expressed for the theory of the permanent equality of property.
Chapter III, Part I
There is in fact a manly and legitimate passion for equality that spurs all men to wish to be strong and esteemed. This passion tends to elevate the lesser to the rank of the greater. But one also finds in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to want to bring the strong down to their level, and which reduces men to preferring equality in servitude to inequality in freedom.
Chapter III, Part I
Often misquoted as: Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
Furthermore, when citizens are all almost equal, it becomes difficult for them to defend their independence against the aggressions of power.

Boxer said...

You saw my Black Friday photo. Buy less? Is that American? Buy more? Is that stupid? I'm beginning to believe shopping has become our national ADDICTION (not commercialism) We buy food and bad products on credit cards and before things changed, actually charged them to our mortgages. Nutty? Who was telling us to stop? And who is telling us to stop now? If anything, I see it becoming AMERICAN to go shopping. Did the United States invent Commercialism?

It's all so disturbing to me.

fishy said...

Was it not the Obamanator himself who spoke out on world television saying Americans roll in the world economies is to consume?

Doom said...

I think he confused success, "making it", with money. Money, seen as access to a broader world, activities, even leisure, is quite different from the hording of money. I think T was off the mark.

My proof? Who gives the most to world charities? It is American people, even more so then our rather generous government.

Beyond, I would argue that shared wealth through hard work increases the lot of almost all, and that wealth goes into improving the general welfare. (If too I think it has tipped too far and has become outright theft for dubious causes and failed programs.) He was, after all, a European. :p

moi said...

Yes. But I'm not sure it's a bad thing. I've said this before and I'll say it again: I struggle to find a definition of humankind's purpose that isn't at its core, material.

From the moment we first moved from a hunter-gatherer species to a settled, agrarian one, we also became a material species, surviving by making, buying, selling, and trading.

In this context, the only judgement one can fairly make is whether or not the acquisition of money is achieved honestly or dishonestly. That's it. One cannot judge or place limits on its quantity or quality or the impulse to have it.

Aunty Belle said...

Troll,

Yes, the cartoon's quote is a wee truncated--and slightly outa context.

By scourge of commericalism I is in NO WAY besmirching capitalism. Not a'tall.

What I'se findin' distasteful is the reduction of all thangs to some commercial use/ gain--like Christmas.

Capitalism as an economic system is the best humans done set up as yet. It needs a republic ( not democracy) as its launchin' pad. Capitalism enables a more level playin' field whar' innovation and hard work merit reward, without respect to one's parentage or social standin' As such it has a natural effect of fosterin' a more general equality--not equality of results, but of potential. An' fer the most part the pursuit of wealth via excellence an' innovation is a worthy focus.


But commercialism is the view that production and consumin' is the end all be all of life.

To show allegiance to commercialism ya turn yore body into a billboard--all labels showin'. An ya' feel pressured to labelize all segemets of yore life--not I ain't sayin' pressure to seek quality, jes' to follow the commercial herd wearin' an' buyin' what Madison Ave would have ya purchase. Yore acquisitions become the total topic of yore life--whar' ya been, whar' ya dined, what' ya wore, drove, consumed....its the pursuit of stuff fer the sake of stuff. Not an' unnerstandin' of money as a tool that enables Man to pursue the good--that is time and freedom from want in order to pursue high goals.


Frantic scurrying to an' fro to cache up this year's "must have" items is silly--an' sad.

Phooey on that!


Boxer-Babe

it IS disturbin'. See response @ Troll. buyin' jes fer the sake of buyin', or from lack of better entertainment, or from pressure to be "in" or "hip" is a form of slavery. Yes--addiction. What OTHER nation has TV programs about hoarders??

Fishy,
yeah--keep China in yen --all the better to build their sub fleet.

Doom,

Ya put yore finger on a very key word: leisure. Money used as access to leisure is the true basis for an advanced civilization--whar' folks have time to think--to reflect an' learn how to make better judgments about the path for society.

I'se a fan of Josef Pieper.


Moi,

See comment @ Troll --

I ain't got no problem wif'
"making, buying, selling, and trading" but I does squirm at
"the only judgement one can fairly make is whether or not the acquisition of money is achieved honestly or dishonestly."

Ah...well, it a bit more broadened context, Aunty would say thar's other judgments--how does one use the money one earned honestly? Misuse of, or mindless use of money--even when honestly earned--is ripe fer judgment.

Natchely I think a body has a right to use his money as he pleases (assumin' it be legal use)--

but what I'se lamentin' in this post is the choice fer vulgar commercialism--whar' money is the whole ball o' wax--not a tool to achieve better thangs--pursuit of excellence in art, music, philosophy, literature--all the elements that make a culture, not just a hawker's bazaar. Do that make sense?

Anonymous said...

Good Cyber Monday Auntie.

Another commercial day for you.

Shop til your fingers drop.

moi said...

Certainly, Aunty, that makes perfect sense. But putting aside for a moment that of course we should judge the legality of how money (however earned) is put to use (and we have plenty of laws governing that), all the rest of what you're saying is simply a matter of taste.

There are 300,000 million people in this country alone. All struggling to make a living. So what is crass commercialism to one person is a healthy economy to another. A chance to pay their employees a decent wage and good benefits so their families in turn can benefit.

And who is to judge how money is spent, if not illegally? If I choose to save for a year to purchase a $1,000 silk scarf, does that make me less crass than the secretary who oohs and aahs over the Christmas-time hyped up polyester version at Target?

I'll expand a bit on what Doom said above, by saying that I don't think any society in the history of this planet has contributed more to charitable and artistic efforts than the Americans. Some called the Robber Barons of the late 19th century vulgar, but look at what they built. It continues to this day. Those tacky Wal-mart commercials? Those profits built the new Crystal Bridges museum of American art in Bentonville, Arkansas, a MONUMENTAL artistic achievement that has gotten little to no recognition in the press. Why? I suspect in part because crass Wal-mart money built it.

chickory said...

"this is a mans world" by the hardest working man in show biz splains it all.

Aunty Belle said...

Moi,
mornin'--- ya make valid points-- an' I agree here:

"And who is to judge how money is spent, if not illegally? If I choose to save for a year to purchase a $1,000 silk scarf, does that make me less crass than the secretary who oohs and aahs over the Christmas-time hyped up polyester version at Target?"

Amen!

I tried to make a distinction
--Aunty is not at all critical of lavishness. I'se fer it in many many instances.


An I'se wholly in favor of mercantilism-ishness that enables folks to make a buck to FEED THEIR FAMILIES (an pay tuition, medical, yadda yadda)

An' to add to the clarity I'se strivin' fer--taste ain't mah concern either--put them plastic snowmen in yore yard, wear jingle bells around yore neck--whatever floats yore boat.

An the Wal-Mart museum is a grand example of usin' profits fer higher goals--hooray!

The thang I'se tryin' to git at is not taste or lavishness--but the attitude that the ONLY significant reason to git up each day is to make another buck, wear another status symbol dictated by Madison Ave, drive a more upscale buggy than yore neighbor--this is the crassness Aunty laments--the commericalization of everythang in life--we brand everythang an' judge everythang by the brand--it is a means of measuring --

but not measuring quality or value, merely as perceived status: If I wear this label, drive this machine, dine at this restaurant I'se defacto "worth" somethin'. How shallow or crass is that attitude?

Nope, Youse worth somethin fer yore character, yore achievements yore virtues, yore relationship with others--these *intangible* (non-taxed...yet!) values is what Aunty holds much much higher than any commercial consideration.

Aunty Belle said...

Chick9!!
Happy Birthday the day after!!

But...uh...who does ya ,mean? The hardest workin'man in show biz? I daon git it. Hep me.

Troll said...

I guess I agree with Moi and Doom. One thing I'll add, now that Aunty has defined "Crass Commercialism" is this:

1)England equally "crass".

2)Canada more "crass".

3) Denmark equally "crass".

4) Virgin Islands equal.

5) Jamaica FAR worse and basically a poor country.

6) Aruba FAR worse and certainly not as afluent as the USA.

So, I'd put Americans in the middle on that out of the places I've been to. And Troll Countians as LESS crass than America generally.

Anonymous said...

Troll-Man

Take note I ain't worriet about how
Other nations fare--

I'se askin' is this the culture we want?
Is we proud of a culture that elevates rapper
An' Soros-ites jes' cause they have moeny?

An do we want our fellow citizens to care more
About what their neighbors drive than
What their neighbors are as people? Or..
Is it really ok to reduce evrthing to
A price tag?

moi said...

Alrighty, I'll accept your asertion, for which you make a compelling case, that there has to be a more significant reason to get up in the morning than to pursue a buck and the status that money brings. But let's take it further. Let's ask why.

Why is making the pursuit of material gain one's primary motivation in life (for argument's sake, let's assume it's a legal pursuit) inferior to the pursuit of artistic, scientific, intellectual, or spiritual gain?

And, let's use as our springboard, the open heart surgeon who went into his career not because he wanted to help people but solely because it pays a lot of money.

Or, if you prefer, a rapper who loves money more than the music to which she is, essentially, tone deaf. Who figured out how to con the public into loving her and is now reaping obscene amounts of wealth because of it.

Bottom line: are these two people bad people and why?

chickory said...

i am tawken bout the lyrics this is a mans world by james brown

Troll said...

Well Aunty,

MY part of American Culture doesn't elevate Soros or Snoop Dogg nor do we judge people on their cars rather than their character. WE may appear to be a minority but that's just because we're under-represented in the leftist media oligarchy.

I do know people who could be described as "obsessed" with making money and the good things that come from money. I also know people who are "obsessed" with having power over others including the power to redistribute what the "money-obsessed" earn. And people (older people) who are obsessed with Sex.

Ain't that the big 3? Money, power and sex?

I like the "money-obsessed" people a LOT more. It's true they tend to view people as customers. But that's better than tending to view them as subjects and objects.

Aunty Belle said...

Moi!

NO kiddin'? y'all know that surgeon too? Boy, it's a small small world.
Mercy, that doc is on wife number 4, an sick of wadin' in blood all day. But he cain't stop replumbing hearts 'cause all he's got is vendor relationships an' his toys--if he loses that, he woan have no identity. Bless his li'l ole heart.

Moi, Cherie, I know youse jes' a funin' Aunty wif' yore question, since the answer is in that chillen's book, King Midas.

Reckon it comes to this:
That heart surgeon sews ya up an pronounces youse got six weeks to live. Does ya spend yore final weeks making all the money ya' can? Countin' yore toys? What will mean the most to ya' then?

Troll-Man,

Ahhhh,I see. Now, thas' makin' good sense to me--YORE part of the culture be different--an' thas' exactly whar' I'se aimin': We need MORE like yore part of the culture.

Recall, please, Aunty never said thar's anythang wrong wif' makin' a heap of green--jes' that money is a means, not the end.

An' of the Big Three ya named, I concur wif' ya--(though one and two often go together).

Now that I looked it up, CHICK9 nailed it wif' James Brown's final couplet:

"He's lost in the wilderness
He's lost in bitterness"

moi said...

I agree with you that money is the means to an end, a tool, and not necessarily the end in and of itself. Because, yes, if I had only six months to live, I might want to use it to do something like take a trip around the world in a last hurrah. But if I found myself with nothing in the bank with which to take that trip? I'd be kicking myself in my butt for not having spent my life . . . making money.

But I seriously don't believe there are many folks who fit the stereotype of the soulless money-grubber. In fact, of the handful of folks of my acquaintance who do have money? You'd never know it. They don't own fancy cars or Taco Bell mansions or wear $5,000 suits. But making money is their primary goal in life because it's the ultimate act of individual freedom and expression. Acquiring stuff, on the other hand, is not.

Like Troll, I'm more concerned with—and believe there are way more of—people who are motivated by power over other human beings. For me, that's our society's most pressing worry.

chickory said...

i know! its the perfect song to address the general situation. and so economically!

Aunty Belle said...

Chick9
"so economically"....

doan worry 'bout hurtin' mah feelin's none. Thar's worse thangs than verbosity.

troll said...

@Moi,

I agree the power-crazed are and always have been the greatest concern. I guess I should have prioritized my list.

1) Power (dangerous cretins)

2) Sex (rediculous sad cretins if over 30)

3) Money (not cretinous at all intrinsically but can become that way if they gravitate towards power-crazy)

I cite Ayn Rand's best line:

"Money is Society's barometer of virtue. Watch where it goes."

If it's going to safe-seat "elected" traitor-democrat-party-of-filth politicians like Pelosi trading on insider information, you have a sick society.

If it's going to people who invent or improve products and services, you have a strong society.

Aunty Belle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aunty Belle said...

Troll-Man

Doan ya think Rand corroborates Aunty's point--money is a barometer of society--an'when unsavory pursuit of all thangs money-based dominates the culture--watch out.

I ain't a huge fan of Rand--she favors selfishness( an other silliness)

Aunty Belle said...

Corroboration always makes me smile--this heah comment is at a new blog on Preserving the South recommended to us'uns by Chickory.

On her first post, Scout wrote:

"I don’t want America to die, I don’t want all that is lovely about the South to die, and I darn sure don’t want to die before my time because of a crazy lifestyle that puts money in my pocket but kills my spirit and wrecks my health."

(http://preservingthesouth.blogspot.com)

See? it ain't jes' Aunty thas' worriet 'bout these thangs.