Joyous

Welcome to the new world of what might be called inequality therapy.

In a hyper-capitalist world where advertising and financial pressures channel the drive for status into an obsession, no one can really win – even those who appear to have it all. Commerce infiltrates even the language we use to describe our deepest concerns: am I worth it? Am I valued? Do I count?

This problem is exacerbated by the market system because, Glantz says, it values a particular type of identity, one based on “achievement rather than on belonging”.

Inequality makes that harder to see as it unendingly promotes what psychologists call “materialistic values” that are harmful to mental and physical health. These involve prioritizing the pursuit of “money, status and image over things like family, spirituality, helping the community and just having fun”, says Tim Kasser, professor of psychology at Knox College and co-author of the book Hyper-capitalism: The Modern Economy, Its Values and How to Change Them.

The bit the idiots are missing is that a market system allows you to choose what you value. And pursue it. That’s rather the point.

14 comments on “Joyous

  1. I need money to be able to have fun and to help the community – both subsets of “being alive”. Presumably, “they” would rather I didn’t have fun and help the community as long as I wasn’t attempting to obtain money.

  2. All these snowflakes with ego problems should read Atlas Shrugged.

    It might not change their world view but it should at least keep them busy for a long time.

  3. All of these people are famous, rich and live in fantastic houses. For people who sneer so much at “materialist values” they seem to appreciate and pursue them as much as anyone.

    Could it be, perhaps, the upper middle-class objecting to those below them bettering their lot and competing for the nice places to live, thus removing the ‘birthright’ of every upper middle-class person to live in the best areas?

  4. ‘ [markets encourage] a particular type of identity, one based on “achievement rather than on belonging”.’

    Competence preferred over race, gender, class, etc, etc. This is terrible because?

  5. “Money, status and image over things like family, spirituality, helping the community and just having fun”

    After 50 years of attacking the family, spirituality and helping the community the left have the gall to make this statement. Unbelievable.

  6. When Guardian types talk about status obsession, they never grasp just how much that’s about Guardian types. Ok, and Kardashian types that want Cristal and bling, but these people are as bad, but in a a less honest way.

    These are the people who buy overpriced crappy craft ale, overpriced craft gin, overpriced organic food, go to Glastonbury to hear distorted music, buy vinyl, Moleskins, Apple Macs and do lots of long haul flights. They’re obsessed with status. A Tory voter will buy Sainsbury’s premium gin.

  7. Bloke on M4,

    I still fondly remember Heston Blumenthal – interesting for his science, if pretentious – offering “vintage champagne” to passers-by in Canary Wharf and getting widespread approbation for this excellent example of what was surely an expensive, well-aged example of the méthode champenoise… In fact it was that well-known premium brand “Blue Nun”, given a quick pass through a Sodastream.

    But then as a student, long ago, I did a little agency work at a St Ivel factory, clicking buttons to measure exactly the same sugary gloop into plastic containers, five hundred millilitres at a time; some in more ornate, fussier vessels labelled “Luxury Premium Super Duper Expensive” and others into simple tubs labelled “Cheap Own-Brand Version For Smelly Poor People”. Other than the shape of the container and the printing on the label, no difference at all.

  8. As Alexi Sayle pointed out 38 years ago;

    “The rich left-wing have all the same cars and houses as the rich right-wing, they just ‘feel a bit guilty about it’. If a rich leftie is drowning, all their previous Habitat furniture passes through their mind”

  9. Wonko the sane said:
    “Marxists don’t believe in free choice”

    Anyone remember Eoin’s coffee rant, when he complained about the fact that modern caffs offer a choice of different types of coffee and he couldn’t cope with it?

    Then a few months later he went to France and couldn’t get his usual Nescaff & milk, and objected bitterly about that.

    Lefties – they want everyone to buy whatever they want, nothing more and nothing different.

  10. I’ve got (enough) money, (some) status, (some) image, a (happy) family and (some) spirituality. Also, I help my community and I have a lot of fun.
    PS capitalism is great!

  11. “Could it be, perhaps, the upper middle-class objecting to those below them bettering their lot and competing for the nice places to live, thus removing the ‘birthright’ of every upper middle-class person to live in the best areas?”

    The upper middle class don’t object to anyone “bettering their lot”. And only in your imagination do the upper middle class believe they have a ‘birthright’ to live in the best areas.

  12. ‘In a hyper-capitalist world’

    What a dick.

    Capitalism is Marx’s pejorative for free enterprise. Hyper free enterprise is stupid. Free is free. Hyper free is shit talk.

    Who is Maia Szalavitz? Oh, a Guardian writer. The Guardian must be proud. Does their employment application have a check box for, “Are you a dumbass?”

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