Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Capitalistic materialism and a common misunderstanding with respect to it.

The strawman: in materialism we attempt to find meaning by purchasing as many glamorous goods and services as we can. This is a sham because the material will never satisfy. A meaningful life can be gleaned through pursuing love, self-sacrifice, community endeavors and other such gaseous baloney.

Critics of materialism (here roughly defined as a lifestyle or philosophy which endeavors to acquire THINGS) are wrong in assuming that we seek meaning in purchase and acquisition. They are dead wrong. Meaning is the plaything; the idol of the delusional. It exists as much as the ghost of Christmas past exists. It exists like a pair of sexually appealing lingerie for overweight women exists. In other words, it doesn't exist. Life is not meaningful. In capitalism, which is the art of individual ownership of divers means to production and distribution, and its subsidiary: materialism, which is the art of multiplying private property by means of these previous instruments....we have no desire to attain to a meaningful status. We have renounced meaning from the get-go. We acknowledge that life is a vapour, a chasing after the wind, and that there is no possible way to escape from chasing after the wind. Thus, we attend to chasing after the wind all the more readily, for such is life, and we endeavor to live the life that is ours with vigour and joy. All of the things which spiritualists and socialists call "meaningless" (as if the word carried within itself an ethical dimension or a prohibition) we sweep up into our purview and take hold of. This is scriptural wisdom, for the sacred and unerring scriptures say:

 "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom" -Ecc.9:10

"I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work." -Ecc.2:10

"Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work- this is a gift of God." -Ecc.5:19

What is the evil which may be mentioned in this regard? "God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them. This is...a grievous evil." Ecc. 6:2

This is also precisely what the church of pietism and the socialists esteem as one: shame over one's possessions. They think they are doing a service to God in such devious business; but they are really doing the very opposite.

In conclusion, we do not buy and acquire materials to find meaning. We are wiser than that. We buy and acquire because the very act is meaningless, the very materials are meaningless, and we enjoy them as such.

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