Critics of consumerism point that what is sought in consumption is often a fiction, a magical happiness, an ultimate fruition that is actually impossible. They say consumption promises while being unable to fulfil.
What i wonder is: does this promise really exist? Certainly, after consumer laws, no one would be as fool as presenting false hopes publicly. I know, a host of conduits for false hopes can exist. But maybe i can pull an Ockam.
Maybe this ultimate fulfilment is not a part of consumption itself, but a conjectural development of it. Maybe it has never been actually promised, but anti-consumerists think it should. This would explain both the current state of affairs and of literature.
That is, anti-consumerists believe that the so called consumption-society has the means to produce some sort of utopia they envision, but is not progressing towards that goal. Means without a goal.
Now those people do not propose a goal (knowing all too well that goal-proposals are always filled with political agendas), but they accuse this consumption-society of lacking goals.
Now i am not one to complain that criticism should give solutions, but i feel this particular criticism is misguided. I feel that specific goals are not strictly needed in a collective reality (though they tend to develop in specific conditions). I do not feel this “complete fruition” that does not exist should exist. I do not feel that advertising actually does promise complete happiness, and i do not think complete happiness should exist.
Say for example a guy marries a woman that resembles his mother. That is not uncommon. He obviously is seeking a feeling of security that associated to him with his baby days, and he will probably not find this in marriage, and lots of frustration will be the consequence. Can we really put the blame in the poor woman? I mean, she could choose better, but… Is she to blame for the problems in the head of her man?
I feel the unfulfilled promises of consumption are, in exactly the same way, not promises at all. She never promised to be his mother. Coke never promised to bring about a completely happy life — and i know they show this in their commercials, just as they show Luize Altenhofen in beer commercials but no one feels like buying a skol amounts to buying Luize.