when did I get duped?

dumb is never cute

Well.

As a follow up to my long convoluted indulge or decadent article <and some notes I received> I wanted to share a question <and thought>.

The thought is about … well … the question. The question is ‘when I got duped into becoming an accumulator of things?”

Here is the thought from some commenter in a national publication:

 

“… we, and by that I mean most of humanity since the Neolithic, have been duped into believing that life must be lived by accumulating. This is simply an ideological lie. Is it impossible to imagine a world lived by the economics of the gift? Even the most cursory look at various enduring cultures around the world shows us that people (who are left alone to do so) living lives according to deeper principles are more content, more spiritually rounded, less troubled by existential angst, than by westerners tricked into believing in the ideologies of power and wealth.”  – comment in The Guardian about Materialism

 

 

Well.

I will begin with acknowledging there is a shitload of psychological research that seems to support the fact that materialism <accumulating shit> doesn’t make us happier <psychologically>.

 

The gobs of research suggests that materialism, a characteristic that reaches both rich and poor and researchers define as “a value system that is preoccupied with possessions and the social image they project”, is both socially destructive and self-destructive.

It’s associated with stress, anxiety, depression and even how personal relationships can be affected.

 

In fact … there has long been a correlation observed between materialism, a lack of empathy and engagement with others, and unhappiness and research is reinforcing this by showing causation.

For example, a series of studies published in the journal Motivation and Emotion showed that as people become more materialistic, their wellbeing <good relationships, autonomy, sense of purpose and the rest> diminishes.

As they become less materialistic, unhappiness rises.

 

I say all of this to say … well … Nuts.

 

Nuts to the comment I began with.

Nuts that maybe I should be smarter.

Nuts that maybe I have been duped.

 

Oh.

What a bunch of crap.

 

I haven’t been duped.

I have a mind of my own.

 

And do I really not know when I am unhappy? <and why I may be unhappy>

Yup.

Ok.

For the most part … yup.

 

I believe most of us understand that it is a dreadful mistake allowing ourselves to believe that having solely more money and more stuff enhances our wellbeing.

Oddly … despite the fact we poor everyday schmucks know this … this belief appears to not only be embraced by those poor deluded people in movies, but by almost every member of almost every government <and civilization>.

 

How can this be?

Worldly ambition, material aspiration, perpetual growth … taken in and of itself … is a formula for mass unhappiness.

 

I say that … but I have not been duped.

damned straightIf I enter the rat race then I have chosen to be a rat.

If I choose to compete with the Joneses than I have chosen to be one of the Joneses.

 

Society hasn’t duped me into doing so.

If I decide to follow an ‘ideology of wealth and power’ than that is my choice.

And you know what?

For the most part I don’t have to choose that game if I don’t want … and still be successful.

 

Do I believe the game is rigged in some form or fashion?

Yes.

Do I believe that the game is easier won if you decide to play the wealth & power game?

You bet.

Not choosing to do so is like swimming against the tide in some form or fashion.

 

It’s not easier … but it can still be done.

 

But the bottom line.

 

Do I feel like I have been duped into becoming an accumulator? Shit no.

If I truly believed that then I disregard free will, free choice and self-interest <balancing moral and material>.choice what it looks like

 

Do I believe there should be a balance of moralism and materialism?

Absolutely.

But.

Here’s the deal.

Having a thread of materialism makes better society … through creating better and smarter stuff.

 

But being duped? C’mon. I am not buying it.

I think I am smart enough <and most people> not to accumulate bad thinking.

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Written by Bruce