(…) The distance between “citizen” and “consumer” is the distance we have traveled. Where “citizen” has a certain dignity, even gravitas, carrying with it notions of responsibility and capacity for decision, “consumer” conjures something far more passive, lacking either dignity or responsibility, save responsibility to one’s self and for getting the best deal.
Yet “consumer” has steadily infiltrated our language and become our self-designation and default definition of what it means to be a person. (…)
The subtext of cultural change in the past 30 years has been the way the market has seeped into every sector of life and come to define how we think of who we are and what we do. We are consumers, feeding the great insatiable maw of the consumer economy.
Is it too much to suggest that consumerism has become a kind of alternative faith, a religion of sorts? Religions are characterized by some vision of a good life, by their rituals and by a particular language. Consumerism seems to be developing all three apace. (…)
Anthony B. Robinson, Articles of Faith: Consumerism is a greedy society’s religion, in Seatlepi.com, 8.2.2008