Consumerism Essay

1487 WordsDec 7, 20116 Pages
Consumerism at the Cost of Lives and the Environment In “Synergistic Environmental Virtues: Consumerism and Human Flourishing,” Peter Wenz argues that traditional virtues oppose consumerism and that it is a major impediment to human flourishing and a major cause of environmental degradation. Wenz explains consumerism to be “the ideology of maximizing consumption without limit” (Wenz, 631). Wenz belief is that consumerism largely stems environmental problems in industrial countries. He also elaborates that consumerism not only harms citizens in Third World countries but also those in developed industrial countries. Wenz also tries to make it apparent that consumerism is fueled by traditional vices whereas traditional virtues stimulate human flourishing and environmental protection. Wenz uses these four main points: environmental decline, the well being of Third World citizens, the well being of industrial citizens, and consumerism being promoted and fueled by traditional vices to establish and support his argument. Wenz depicts consumerism as a large entity, whose mass is ever prevalent in industrial countries, such as the United States. He explains its part in politics, which plays a part in the American economy, which one way or another affects us all. Wenz describes consumerism as “the ideology that society should maximize consumption, pursue consumption without limit” (Wenz, 632). This quote is true to the meaning of consumerism because consumerism is the belief that a bigger economy is a better one and everyone supports economic growth. However, economic growth means more jobs producing more goods to earn more money to spend on consumption (Wenz, 632). This never-ending consumption has lead to mass deficit of the environment, which Wenz lists examples for. Wenz shows that the U.S.’s commitment to unlimited economic growth is to blame for the twenty four

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