Death of a Consumer
The old schoolyard adage of, "Do this or I will...," and celebrated response of, "Or you will what?" burns in my mind as the Occupy Wall Street movement continues to gain momentum, not only in New York, but across the world. Where is the leverage? Where is the threat that will evoke the desired change?
I think the leverage needs to lie in the one place where it would truly hurt the corporate machine: their pocketbooks. If we, the middle and working class, could cut consumption of material product to such a degree that we wholly survive on only our needs, and no longer our ever growing list of wants, then I think some true fear would ripple over the titans of Wall Street. After all, in reality, it is the majority that truly control financial stability, not the minority.
The question is, however, not whether or not the idea of cut consumption bothers the corporate heads, but whether or not we, as a people, are willing to give up the cushions of everyday life. Could the vast majority of us go without the new releases on Blu-Ray or the new iPhone or a new car? In a society that is built around the idea of mass consumption and a media that promotes and distorts our minds into thinking we absolutely have to have the next best thing, the idea of consumerism has become all we have ever known.
Yet, theoretically speaking, if the vast majority could dwindle their consumption to the necessary items that sustain life, such as food, shelter, water, clothing, etc., then our force and determination would surely be felt by those in higher places. It is long past time for true change in our society, that's a given, but are we willing to go without to pull the one ace in the pocket we really hold to promote that change? I can't say whether the general public is ready or not, but I for one, know that I'm about ready to do whatever it takes.