From Workers To Consumers

Western countries used to be composed of citizens, alternatively of workers and bosses. Almost the only term now used for their denizens, however, is “consumer”. This sacred title links them, and is intended to make them feel so linked, to the ancient aristocratic mentality, whereby a gentleman was someone who did not work, and merely consumed what lesser mortals created by the sweat of their brows. (In the case of alcoholic beverages, however, he often consumed a very great deal, hence the expression, “drunk as a lord”.)

Yet how can we have a whole country of aristocrats? These are by definition a minority. The answer is that we can all be nobles if there exist vastly more numerous servants somewhere else. And the replacement of the terminologies of the citizen or worker by the terminology of the consumer coincides quite nicely with the outsourcing of productive industry to tropical sweatshops.

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