“…money has become modern man’s most popular way of accumulating Being, of coping with our gnawing intuition that we don’t really exist.” David Loy
In American culture, advertising is based on the premise that greed is good. Although greed is contrary to the ethics and values of most religions, it doesn’t really seem to matter much. Given the pervasiveness of greed today, the most widely accepted religion could be called Money, the religion of greed.
You may have paused for a chuckle at the absurdity of such a thought, but consider that under the rules of this form of religion, the marketplace, instead of being a space for the exchange of goods and services, has become the guiding principle for all nations and people. It even sends out corporate missionaries to the less-industrialized countries to integrate the people fully into the consumer market of spending money. Can’t afford it? No problem, can you say “charge it”?
According to Carolyn Wesson, author of Women Who Shop Too Much, “59 million persons in the United States are addicted to shopping or to spending.” The number of U.S. shopping centers has grown from 2,000 in 1957 to more than 30,000 today, meaning the number of shopping malls has surpassed the number of high schools in this country.
Two years ago the Nielsen Company ran a survey showing 10 percent of the world’s population (627 million), shopped on-line, while 2 years later the numbers had increased by 40 percent to 875 million people. Whether traveling to the stores or sitting at home we continue to feed our need to consume.