In general, when people have asked me about my non-shopping project this year, they’ve been somewhat impressed. I get lots of questions about how hard it is and what I do and don’t buy and how I’m coping.
This question, over lunch one Sunday, was a new one:
‘But doesn’t our economy rely on consumerism?’
Now that, I hadn’t thought of.
If westerners, presumably the largest consumer body in the world, ceased to consume to the same excessive extent that we do, would our economies, or even the economies of many poorer countries that support our habits, collapse?
Has the world become reliant on our greed and excess?
I don’t know. But it doesn’t really worry me for two reasons:
- I don’t see a large-scale departure from our consumerist ways, and
- I think it’s more of a moral issue than an economic one.
Greed and gorging on excess is something that should probably prick the conscience of any moralist. I think we can all afford to depart from excessive consumerism on moral grounds, and leave the economy to God.
After all, when a country sticks to God’s moral law, things tend to go pretty well.