The genesis of new fad of consumerism in our society is enslaving in nature. People are fanatically following it like they follow their religion.

It has been observed that ,in last centuries,the Industrial Revolution was the turning point of history which changed our every aspect of life .Some economists says our standard of living or life style has been dramatically changed in last few decades.The origin of materialism started after the advent of industrial revolution which gives rise to ego, greed, selfishness and rejected the spiritual sense of the human being, elevating the acquisition and possession of objects to a primary value,akin to a religion.

Now come to the definition of materialism and consumerism, materialism is a philosophy that holds the substance of reality is the real and it is the part of the reality that Sccotish philosopher Immanual Kant called the phenomenal, whereas consumerism is radically different from the materialism as it states that we live in economy where consumption is the machine that drives economic growth and citizen are convinced to be consumers.

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How materialism or consumerism has become a new religion for the people?
The perception of the masses about the life has changed.They treat their life as a journey not the destination. Nowadays masses have rejected moral and ethics which were the obstacles in the rise of ego, selfishness and greed. By adopting materialism we narrowed down our avenues and it has made human beings selfish and introvert. There are many aspects of human life. Here enters spirit and soul in equation.

Let us try to understand the situation with an example:
Using statistics and psychological tests,researchers have found that despite living a luxurious life people are distressed and struggling to find happiness. We see everyday in our daily life how consumer culture is bombarding us and how materialism continues to delude us in the name of happiness. Our general perception is that money will bring happiness for a long time but it actually brings too little a happiness, sadly, for short time.

A Harvard Pshychology professor who focuses on people’s flawed ability to predict their emotional reactions when people spend their efforts pursuing material goods in the belief that they will bring happiness,he said, they are ignoring other, more effective routes to happiness.

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Conclusion: We have become so exhausted from the pursuit of “nice things”- a big house, private school for the kids,a lots of property, fancy cars,Apple i phone. Due to this perception of life, a husband and wife,a son and father and other social relationships are no longer emotionally connected.We are treating every thing like commodities.

Consumerism(Materialism) damaged the relationship and self esteem. There is a heightened risk of depression and anxiety,less time for what research indicates truly makes people happy,like family,friendship and engaging work. We should also not deny that hunger for money can motivate people to perform better and even more creatively. So we have to make balance between necessities and greed or selfishness.

Note- We find materialistic people  every where. Due to globalization and consumer culture it has been captivating every life irrespective of culture,caste, creed,religion country.If you observe,our society, it has become a hyper-consuming society -each social experience is mediated by market mechanism. Hyper consumerism is fueled by brands and people are deeply attached to the brands and they use it as a status symbol. Another characteristic of hyper-consumerism is constant pursuit of novelty,encourage to buy new model or discard the old models.

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Hyper-consumerism has been also said to have religious characteristics and have been compared to a new religion which enshrines consumer above all. With element of religious life replaced with consumerist life, going to churches,temples,masjid has been replaced by going to shopping malls. Our saints,scholars,intellectuals are replaced by celebrities, penance replaced by shopping sprees,desire for better life after death replaced by desire for better life in the present, and so on.

Mark Sayers notes that hyper-consumerism has commercialized many religious symbols, giving an example of religious symbols worn as jewelry by non-believers.

Published at indiaopines blog

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