But through numerous apt examples and nuanced explanations, Twitchell comes around to acknowledge the power of consumerist impulses and seeks to explain what drives them. He also argues that capitalist consumerism is not something that is imposed on people as academic critics often claim. Instead, the continued thriving of consumerism is due to our own innate needs, desires and aspirations. This essay will qualify the aforementioned working thesis by considering all the facts and arguments presented in these two articles.
Download PDF Of all the strange beasts that have come slouching into the 20th century, none has been more misunderstood, more criticized, and more important than materialism. Who but fools, toadies, hacks, and occasional loopy libertarians have ever risen to its defense? The world of commodities appears so antithetical to the world of ideas that it seems almost heresy to point out the obvious: The really interesting question may be not why we are so materialistic, but why we are so unwilling to acknowledge and explore what seems the central characteristic of modern life.
When the French wished to disparage the English in the 19th century, they called them a nation of shopkeepers. When the rest of the world now wishes to disparage Americans, they call us a nation of consumers.
And they are right. We are developing and rapidly exporting a new material culture, a mallcondo culture. To the rest of the world we do indeed seem not just born to shop, but alive to shop. Americans spend more time tooling around the mallcondo—three to four times as many hours as our European counterparts—and we have more stuff to show for it.
According to some estimates, we have about four times as many things as Middle Europeans, and who knows how much more than people in the less developed parts of the world. The quantity and disparity are increasing daily, even though, as we see in Russia and China, the "emerging nations" are playing a frantic game of catch-up.
This burst of mall-condo commercialism has happened recently—in my lifetime—and it is spreading around the world at the speed of television.
The average American consumes twice as many goods and services as in ; in fact, the poorest fifth of the current population buys more than the average fifth did in Little wonder that the average new home of today is twice as large as the average house built in the early years after World War II.
We have to put that stuff somewhere—quick! Sooner or later we are going to have to acknowledge the uncomfortable fact that this amoral consumerama has proved potent because human beings love things. In fact, to a considerable degree we live for things. In all cultures we buy things, steal things, exchange things, and horde things.
From time to time, some of us collect vast amounts of things, from tulip bulbs to paint drippings on canvasses to matchbook covers.
Often these objects have no observable use. We live through things. We create ourselves through things. And we change ourselves by changing our things. In the West, we have even developed the elaborate algebra of commercial law to decide how things are exchanged, divested, and recaptured.
Remember, we call these things "goods," as in "goods and services. Our commercial culture has been blamed for the rise of eating disorders, the spread of "affluenza," the epidemic of depression, the despoliation of cultural icons, the corruption of politics, the carnivalization of holy times like Christmas, and the gnat-life attention span of our youth.
All of this is true. But it is by no means the whole truth. Commercialism is more a mirror than a lamp. In demonizing it, in seeing ourselves as helpless and innocent victims of its overpowering force, in making it the scapegoat du jour, we reveal far more about our own eagerness to be passive in the face of complexity than about the thing itself.
Anthropologists tell us that consumption habits are gender-specific.Free two cheers for materialism james twitchell papers, essays, and research papers.
Two Cheers for Materialism In this article, James Twitchell discusses the topic that approximately characterizes America as a whole today: Materialism. Twitchell discusses how humans are described by things as well as their success being defined by things.
The chosen article is Two Cheers for Consumerism by James Twitchell. In this article he talks about consumerism, commercialism, and materialism. He argues the stand point of consumers and the role they live by every day.
In other hands the critics, Academy, gives the consumers and overview description to their consumers. by admin on July 26, in Business, Economics, Management, Society with Comments Off on ‘Two Cheers for Materialism’ by James Twitchell & ‘Profiles in Splurging’ by Randall Patterson: .
Materialism as Twitchell says in his essay “Two Cheers for Materialism” is not always bad, but to me it depends on how bad a person wants materialistic t It looks like you've lost connection to our server. Jan 18, · It is easy to blame this unflattering culture characteristic−materialism−on commercialism but Twitchell insists that it is “the scapegoat du jour” often blamed for social epidemics and the corruption of youth (Twitchell, , p).