‘Tis the Season to Celebrate Mammon
Today, amongst other things, I am thankful for having four stories in a row on the Wall of Fame. In the midst of all the buildup to the impending holiday shopping season, there has been an inspiring amount of resistance against the rampant consumerism as well. And today we celebrate another journalist who can see the forest for the trees…our favorite Texan…Jim Hightower. One of his recent op-eds for Nation of Change lambasts the corporate greed and obsession with growth that is taking over holiday traditions.
“This is the season of mass consumerism, bucko. So lift your tail-end out of that La-Z-Boy and hit the malls — pronto.” His lighthearted and witty approach to serious subjects makes Hightower a very effective writer. Sometimes sarcasm is the way to reach people and he knows just when those times are. Like now.
This piece is also brave enough to call out the culprits, namely all of us, in a painfully honest way. “Let us now praise the one God we all serve: mammon.” For those who aren’t familiar with the reference, mammon is material wealth or possessions. And this really is a God that our system and way of life has learned to worship above all else. Hightower illustrates this notion with the example of Black Friday, which has now found its way into Thanksgiving day as well. And more and more stores are jumping on the bandwagon and doing it earlier and earlier.
“This year, Macy’s, Target, Toys “R” Us, J.C. Penney, Best Buy, Kohl’s, and others are also pushing the Friday Shop-a-Rama into Thursday. Walmart will open at 6 p.m., intruding even deeper into Thanksgiving’s family dinner hour. And, pushing excess to a new high, Kmart will open at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.”
The move toward advocating more consumerism during the holidays is offensive on so many fronts it’s hard to even count them all. Workers’ rights, the environment, our holiday traditions, and our very beings are violated when we allow the growth and greed to take over. As Hightower says, this should not be some sort of battle that big box stores can wage against one another and against us. But I say, if they want a fight, let’s give it to them. And we can win by not shopping on Black Friday, by not making purchases on extra items we don’t need, by being conscious consumers, and by reading the writing on the walls. We are not consumers; we are human beings. And both the planet and our civilization depend on our realization of this.
Looking for an alternative to the holiday shopping madness? Join us for a free online screening of GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth. Find details here http://www.growthbusters.org/see-the-growthbusters-documentary-free-on-black-friday-around-the-world/ and join our Facebook event to stay up to date and share it with friends at https://www.facebook.com/events/385543968215496/?ref=2&ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming
Thanks for reading and Happy Thanksgiving! We hope to see you all tomorrow.