The Consume Product (Consumerism) Thread

Rush87

Hummingbird
I own cheap clothing from op shops that have lasted me at least a decade and still look pretty cool - So long as the gym membership isn't collecting dust.
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Gold Member
mr_ks said:
$600 somebrand Jacket sounds a lot like the Gucci, Prada etc designer hype.

There's a huge difference between luxury fashion name labels where a garment costs $20 to produce in China, is about the same quality as what you'd buy from Macy's, and retails for $600, and a Moncler jacket with high-quality materials and construction produced in Japan, Europe, or the US, where manufacturing costs are high.

In the latter case, you're getting what you pay for. In the case of the luxury brand, you're paying for the name. Most actual high-quality menswear doesn't have brand logos slapped on it, so the average person would have no idea how much your clothes cost.

That being said, you can probably maximize the bang-for-buck value shopping at thrift stores or Goodwill, where you can often find quality garments for very low prices.

What I've found, having worn high-quality clothing for some years now, is that you continue to enjoy wearing it over time and don't get "bored" and feel the need to go out and buy new stuff every season. If I buy a new item of clothing at this point, it serves some specific need. When it comes to items like jeans, leather shoes and boots, jackets, and even flannel shirts, these all break in over time and get more comfortable so the very nature of the thing discourages you from ditching it in favor of a new one that won't look or feel as good - instead, you'll be motivated to repair and keep wearing.
 

Eusebius

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Sounds like you're geeking out over knowing about cool secret brands like Moncler or whatever. I was the same with shaving products for years. But anything that you tell yourself you're going to keep it for 20 years to make it cost-effective, well that collection of stuff will just be a burden to keep all that time.
I embrace moderate consumerism, I like nice things and enjoy getting packages in the mail. I don't see a problem. I'm more in the camp of whatever brings you joy. If that means being the shoe geek who only wears the bestest secret brand from Japan, then fine. But don't think it makes you special.
 

CynicalContrarian

Owl
Gold Member
It is rather odd that 'they' promote consumerism.

"Buy Disney Star Wars!"
"Buy woke Nike!"
"Buy Amazon!"
"Buy Netflix!"

While at the very same time; 'they' promote "climate change".
The end result of which would require the complete control of the proles & a significant halt on consumerism...
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Gold Member
RawGod said:
Sounds like you're geeking out over knowing about cool secret brands like Moncler or whatever. I was the same with shaving products for years. But anything that you tell yourself you're going to keep it for 20 years to make it cost-effective, well that collection of stuff will just be a burden to keep all that time... If that means being the shoe geek who only wears the bestest secret brand from Japan, then fine. But don't think it makes you special.

This is weird.

I don't find anything about a small collection of quality clothing to be a "burden," if anything it makes dressing a lot easier when it's all stuff that can be combined easily in a lot of different ways. I just wear stuff as long as I can and the longer it lasts the better. If it becomes a "burden," you're way overthinking it.

There are guys out there with 25+ pairs of high-end shoes, or a bunch of Japanese leather jackets but to me that's crazy and defeats the whole purpose of it and just turns it into mindless consumerism or "collecting" stuff, which is an idea I have no use for.

I'm into this stuff because I enjoy it and get value out of it, I don't care at all about trying to impress other people. Nothing about the stuff I wear looks flashy or has any branding on it, it's essentially invisible to anyone who's not in the tiny subculture of style hobbyists.
 
The problem is modern Western clothing is way over-engineered. Extra zips, weird cuts, extreme differentiation etc etc. Back in the day if you needed a jacket you got the material and find someone and sew it together.

How to make a jacket.

1. Get materials. Fabric, lining, zips etc
2. Cut materials to size
3. Sew

Those expensive moncler jackets are ok if you want to go skiing or mountaineering but I think a down 'sports' jacket is weird when worn casually in a city or town environment.

Western clothing needs a serious rethink. These trends are taking us away and we should focus on wearing clothes that are sufficiently simple that we can have made-to-measure domestically at reasonable prices.

You need to understand that none of the brands want this, so we should not take a positive view on branded clothing.
 

Athanasius

Pelican
HermeticAlly said:
RawGod said:
Sounds like you're geeking out over knowing about cool secret brands like Moncler or whatever. I was the same with shaving products for years. But anything that you tell yourself you're going to keep it for 20 years to make it cost-effective, well that collection of stuff will just be a burden to keep all that time... If that means being the shoe geek who only wears the bestest secret brand from Japan, then fine. But don't think it makes you special.

This is weird.

I don't find anything about a small collection of quality clothing to be a "burden," if anything it makes dressing a lot easier when it's all stuff that can be combined easily in a lot of different ways. I just wear stuff as long as I can and the longer it lasts the better. If it becomes a "burden," you're way overthinking it.

There are guys out there with 25+ pairs of high-end shoes, or a bunch of Japanese leather jackets but to me that's crazy and defeats the whole purpose of it and just turns it into mindless consumerism or "collecting" stuff, which is an idea I have no use for.

I'm into this stuff because I enjoy it and get value out of it, I don't care at all about trying to impress other people. Nothing about the stuff I wear looks flashy or has any branding on it, it's essentially invisible to anyone who's not in the tiny subculture of style hobbyists.

I converted over to buying less, but better quality, some years ago. I bought a leather jacket in Italy 20 years ago for probably twice what one cost in the states, but I still have it, still wear it occasionally, and it still looks really good. Wife bought a leather jacket in the states around that time that wore out years ago.

Same with Tommy John boxers. $30/pair but I've had some of it for years and it just keeps going, plus it's a lot more comfortable than junk.

The difference for me is spending on trendy stuff vs spending on quality that'll last. As you noted, some trendy stuff is no better quality than the cheapest Walmart clothing. And even if it does last, you probably won't want to wear it in a few years if it looks trendy instead of classic.
 

SlickyBoy

Hummingbird
TooFineAPoint said:
That's all well and good, but what will prevent this feeling from mutating into:

5.%2BLips%2Band%2BLiquor%2Bspoof%2Bcopy-%2Bc.jpg

...into another parody photo, you mean? Always wondered why the women in that photo looked so over the top horrendous. It was more than likely a deliberate parody by the purveyors of booze.
 

VincentVinturi

Pelican
Gold Member
First of all you have to define what you mean by "consumerism" otherwise we're all talking about different shades of grey.

Here are two related but rather different definitions:

1 - A social and economic order that encourages an acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts (Wikipedia)

2 - the preoccupation of society with the acquisition of consumer goods (Oxford)

As to the first definition, the key word is 'encourages'. Nobody forces you to buy a thing.

As to the second definition, it's vague and necessarily so. Because who will be the judge of whether your consumption habits are a 'preoccupation'? Your mom? Government bureaucrats? Some self-appointed moralists on high? A YouTube celebrity?

Consumer goods make your life better. Immeasurably better. Better than it would have been at any other point in history.

Have you tried the apple earpods? They will change your gym workouts forever. But they're expensive, one might say excessively so. But it's all relative to how much you earn isn't it? And besides, it's nobody else's damn business if you spend your food money on a pair of Nike's.

There's a corollary:

IF you want choice and competitive pricing in the things you buy then you have to allow for the possibility that people are going to spend their money in a way you might consider frivolous.

I'll take that over standing in line for bread at the only government approved store in town.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for simple living. You give me enough food to eat, a guitar, and a BJJ gym and I'll be A-OK. But it's not my place to dictate to somebody who wants to blow through their hard earned money that they ought to think and do the same as I.

By the way, sometimes you NEED cheap crap, it has its place. Sometimes you want to buy a big stuffed whale for your honey because it makes her smile and gives you pleasure. So what? Or you need a pair of cheap shoes from Decathlon to go hiking in because they rock and cost less to buy another pair than to get them cleaned. Would you rather NOT have any of these options?

The rally against so called "consumerism" is finger wagging, the logical conclusion of which is that the benevolent anointed ones ought to dictate the appropriate levels of consumption, and we benighted ones who are too stupid to make decisions for ourselves will be eternally in their debt.

Give me a break.

But the main point I want to make is that you can't consume anything without that something first being produced. One presupposes the other. That production process creates jobs, lifts entire nations out of poverty (China), and allows risk takers (entrepreneurs) to become wealthy by creating something people want.

Nor can you consume anything without first possessing the purchasing power you earned by exchanging something of value (probably your time and expertise) in the marketplace for money.

If you want to live as a minimalist, ascetic, spartan, or whatever else—go do it. But don't moralize to me about consumerism because it's none of your business how I spend my money.
 

ilostabet

Pelican
I think what most people here object to is not a natural operation of market forces, which obviously has buying and selling as two of its main components on one side, and on the other production and operation. That dynamic is as unavoidable as human nature, because property is an inescapable human reality.

However, when consumption becomes too elevated in people's lists of concerns, like these people who live for Star Wars or Marvel movies, then you have a problem. There is no scientific measure to this, but a sane man recognizes a consoomer when he sees one. A twitter account named Moldbugman had a recent thread about a guy making a comic book overview of his whole life now at 30, and at every stage he was defined by the brands and entertainment he consumed, or was eagerly waiting to consume in the future.

People now seek fulfillment from entertainment, but also participation, ritual, mythology and religion. They incorporate it into their lives like people used to incorporate all of their culture – the only difference now is that the culture is copyrighted and owned by giant corporations, which even if we discard any malicious intent beyond greed, have a greedy incentive to incentivize such a consumer culture. People depend on culture to survive. Privatizing culture like this, where all of its mythology and ideas are owned by someone, is extremely dangerous and destructive.

These people are trying to fill a God shaped hole in their hearts, with whatever is offered. But not just a God shaped hole, like 100 years ago, but now as a natural progression the hole has widened, now it’s a God, Church, Tribe and Family shaped hole, as all those things withered away. Modern people are close to having nothing BUT the material. It’s not surprising they seek what they lack in the only place it is given: the market. But we shouldn’t pretend this is healthy just because, technically, everyone consents to each individual interaction.

Because of the fact that children are not allowed to work, they spend their earliest and most important years participating in the consumer culture, while having little to no responsibility in production. So they are reared into this mentality. If you add all the ‘make-work’ or ‘high intensity’ type jobs that exist in the metropolitan area that perfectly support this culture in a variety of ways you end up with large chunk of the population whose whole lives revolve around consumption in one form or another. But not just consumption, but one of a specific kind. If I pick some fruit from a tree in the forest and eat it, that is consumption, but it's not the same as me buying a cheese burger at McDonalds. So it's this specific, multinational consumerist culture which is the problem, not consumption.

Another problem is that advertising has ceased to be about presenting products for 60 or 70 years now – it sells you a lifestyle, a cause, an idea. It persuades you not to buy a product, but to elevate yourself to a higher plain of existence… by buying shoes or dishwasher detergent. The goal is not to inform you, but seduce you. On the other hand, it also started to drive everything else: magazines started selling for less than production costs, because they would make up for it in advertising. So reaching more people and advertising more became synonymous. Same thing on tv, and now same thing for the internet.

These are just some of the problems. There are many more. They aren’t caused by the market, but they also cannot be fixed by the market. It has to be an external moral framework that provides the market with a direction.
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Gold Member
I used to subscribe to the "it's none of your business how I spend my money!" idea because it was the almost-edgy libertarian retort to Marxism, but it's a hollow argument. For one, it's exactly the same as "it's none of your business what I do in the bedroom!", which is a major reason why our culture is a sexual dystopia. The problem is that what you do in private has ramifications for broader society.

As a right-wing nationalist, my goal is to see a healthier social environment that will lead to stronger communities and better family and interpersonal bonds - similar to America, pre sexual revolution. People should feel social pressure to be invested in their surrounding community and neighbors, and should be mocked for acting in selfishly hedonistic ways, particularly if that manifests in ways that are directly harmful to the community. From that perspective, the ConsumeProduct phenomenon is exactly what we need more of - shaming bad behavior.

The rally against so called "consumerism" is finger wagging, the logical conclusion of which is that the benevolent anointed ones ought to dictate the appropriate levels of consumption, and we benighted ones who are too stupid to make decisions for ourselves will be eternally in their debt.

I see someone else has read Thomas Sowell's "Vision Of The Anointed." But it's irrelevant to this situation. None of us want the government to dictate consumption limits, that's silly Marxist drivel - Marxists use the government to enforce preferred behavior, with typically disastrous results. I want decentralized communities to do that job, as they have through 98% of all human existence, and still do in honor/shame cultures.
 

Handsome Creepy Eel

Owl
Gold Member
I think consumerism isn't about price or quality, but about your identity being defined by what you purchased/consumed. In essence, instead of you owning things, the things own you.

I don't see a meaningful difference between a low-class bargain-shopping consumer buying a $20 jacket and a high-class luxury-handcraft consumer buying $600 jacket. If anything, the luxury shopper is even worse, because at least the bargain shopper doesn't think much about the products he bought, and his ego isn't derived from the consumer choices that he made.
 
There is nothing wrong with buying and enjoying products if we can afford it.

The issue with the consumerism is that this becomes the focal point of their lives.

When you camp outside of a store to get your new Iphone, then you are a lemming consoomer.
If you value this more than personal or spiritual experiences, then you are a consoomer.
If you consume fiction or media without question taking every crap, even highly insulting or hostile programming - then you are a consoomer.
 

Kurgan

Kingfisher
I found another variation of the Consoomer meme with MovieBlob... eh MovieBob, this is pretty good

cover8.jpg


And a video I posted before in another thread that is essentially a documentary in regards to consoomers

 

Coja Petrus Uscan

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Reddit have banned the ConsumeProduct Reddit.

It seems it's now set up as it's own board on a .win domain, like TheDonald:

https://consumeproduct.win/

I don't know if those sites are hosted on a central platform or if they just use the same software.

Now would be a good time to set up a free-speech Reddit alternative. Out of all the major tech platforms it was probably the most lenient. But that's now gone.
 
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