Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Sacred Canopy of Consumption

"Where there are no objectively desirable ends, and the individual is told to choose his or her own ends, then choice itself becomes the only thing that is inherently good. When there is a recession we are told to buy things to get the economy moving; what we buy makes no difference. All desires, good and bad, melt into the one overriding imperative to consume, and we all stand under the one sacred canopy of consumption for its own sake."

So, as Cavanaugh argues, the American dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, i.e. freedom, is never a freedom from, as many believe, but always still a freedom for. Without a clear understanding of one's end, i.e. their version of the good life, one's good end can only found in the possibility of choice as such. So, while one thinks one has been liberated, or set free, to live ones own life, one is really still a slave to choice. Their is a market place of desires in which we are free to choose our own lives, but then this is based on a understanding of human nature as autonomous, being as such and not in relationship to the divine, i.e. YHWH/Jesus Christ.

Or, as Bob Dylan said, "You're gonna have to serve somebody."

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