Financial literacy, effective personal finance management
Mass impact on the consumer. Cult of consumption
I want to raise a serious enough topic again – mass impact on the consumer. In this article, we will talk about how the imposition of the necessary values occurs through the media, how people wean away from thinking and making decisions, how they form the cult of stupidity and cult of consumption, who needs it and why. Maybe you will read here about things you don’t like, however, I think it will still be useful.
This article will be a kind of continuation of the publication of the Consumer Society, where I have already characterized the model of the society in which we live – the society in which the cult of consumption is formed. Now let’s talk about exactly how the mass impact on the consumer.
Let’s go from afar. The psyche of any person is designed so that he does not like to think, because for this it is necessary to strain your brain, to stimulate some thought processes that cause some discomfort. Thinking, a person gets tired psychologically, in the same way as doing some hard manual labor, he gets physically tired.
Therefore, in order for a person to think, he needs to be stimulated. Either somehow from the outside, or he must stimulate himself. The education system that existed under the USSR, just appeared as such a stimulant: then a person was taught to read books, to solve difficult problems, to research, to invent something new, in general, they were taught to think. On the one hand, it was good, but on the other, it played against the state system itself: intellectually developed and thinking people understood the utopianism of communist ideas, and at the right moment supported the disintegration of the country.
What happened next? Then the emerging capitalist system came to replace it, one of the characteristic features of which is the consumer society and the cult of consumption that is created in it. Because capitalists earn it on consumers, and it is profitable for them: if there are no consumers, there will be no income.
Remember how in the 90s everyone laughed at Zadornov’s jokes about “stupid Americans”. To people brought up by the Soviet system, it seemed ridiculous and abnormal that Americans do not know how to think (all the satirist’s jokes boiled down to just that). But now look, as now, do these jokes seem funny? No … Why? Because people in the post-Soviet space have themselves turned into the same “stupid” – into a society with imposed values of consumption, which is not able and accustomed to think. Here the capitalist system dominates in exactly the same way, with its still underdeveloped and rather perverted form. I call it “corruption-oligarchic capitalism”. Therefore, such jokes no longer “enter” – there is nothing strange and abnormal in them.
The oligarch capitalists in power, of course, do not need thinking people. It is much easier to manage, sorry for the expression, a blunt herd that will think and do as they say. But not only to manage, but also to earn from them, creating a cult of consumption. Remember one important rule of capitalist society:
Omit the talk about retaining power in this way – let’s leave them to political blogs. We will be interested in precisely the financial side of the issue – the creation of a cult of consumption. Mass influence on consumers through the media is just one of the key elements of the capitalist system and consumer society. The more educated and literate a person is, the more difficult it is to “push” some unnecessary goods and services, while the stupid and narrow-minded will buy them “with a bang”, even getting into debts and loans. However, if in the countries of developed capitalism, consumption is stimulated, first of all, with a view to developing the state’s economy, in our country, first of all, with the aim of enriching oligarchic structures that have grown together with power. And these are completely different things.
Let’s consider how in practice mass influence on the consumer is carried out through the media. For a start, I recommend reading another important article – Zomboyaschik: the impact of television on a person – it also has a lot of interesting things on this topic. And now to your attention the main techniques used to promote the cult of consumption.
The formation of patterns and stereotypes. In the media, we are always trying to impose some patterns of thinking, trying to make all people think the same way, and this stimulated them to consume certain goods and services. How does this happen? Through films, series, talk shows, all kinds of expert authorities, and
“Black and white”. Creating a cult of consumption, the media almost never leaves readers / listeners the opportunity to think, analyze, calculate, draw conclusions, and they give the information unequivocally: this is bad, this is good, there is nothing average. Of course, people who cannot think will strive to consume what is “good.” As an example, you can take the promotion of visiting sports clubs,
Humor and entertainment. What is most interested in people in TV programs and the Internet? First of all – what they like to call it: “have fun”, “relax”, “relax after a hard day’s work”. Moreover, the more “flat” humor – the easier it is perceived, and the better it “relaxes”. Look at the pictures, videos, jokes that are now massively post and like on social networks – this is a direct confirmation of this. The more stupid and stupid the humor is, the more it gains likes and reposts, the wider it spreads, the more popular it is.
Through the media and the Internet, we are actually being promoted that it is fashionable to be stupid and inadequate – this is how you can best attract attention to yourself. The most popular in any TV show, in video clips and pictures on the Internet is always any shocking, hysterical, stupid, inadequate character. And it serves as “not to be like everyone else,” and adolescents and even adults try to imitate such images, while incurring the cost of appropriate accessories and lifestyle. That is, here we are taught to think as little as possible and consume as much as possible.
Contempt and hatred. Another very abnormal trend that forms the cult of consumption is to incite hatred and hatred between people of different views, different social groups, different professions, different lifestyles and
Significance and pleasure are paramount. The next very important element of the mass influence on the consumer through the media is the cultivation of the cult of “enjoyment of life” and emphasizing one’s own importance / significance. “Take everything from life”, “live once”, “be cool”, “be in trend” and similar slogans are massively introduced into the minds of consumers, encouraging them to spend money on pleasures and underline their own status. But, in fact, these are the most recent and completely non-obligatory cost items in the list of priorities. After all, what is this fashion trend and this apparent coolness? As a rule – cars, girls, clubs. All this is well earned by the entertainment industry, the production and sale of non-essential goods, which are always set maximum margins.
Stimulation of the development of “necessary” emotions and qualities. And, of course, in general, all the influence on the consumer through the media and the Internet is reduced to stimulating the development of a number of emotions and qualities that provoke consumption. Well, for example:
- Greed, the desire for “freebies” (rash purchases on stocks, discounts, sales);
- Egocentrism, narcissism, a sense of superiority (buy to look better than others);
- The desire to look sexy (stimulating the consumption of relevant goods and services);
- The desire to stand out, not to be like everyone else (encouraging purchases of unpopular products with the highest mark-ups);
- The desire to be fashionable, to be in trend (stimulating frequent changes of wardrobe, shopping for branded items with a large overpayment for the brand)
Interestingly, all these qualities were perceived negatively for many centuries, people possessing them were often subjected to general disapproval and even persecution. But with the beginning of the propaganda of the cult of consumption, everything changed, and now it all serves as positive images to which one should strive, which one should correspond to.
Thus, one of the key but unofficial tasks of the mass media in a consumer society is the formation of an ideal consumer: a stupid, selfish and self-loving person who is ready to spend money endlessly on maintaining his own ego. A person whose emotions prevail over common sense, which in the category of finance is always destructive. A person who seeks to consume that in which he has no real need, even without earning money for such consumption.
It is thanks to this that all sorts of consumer loans, credit cards, microloans have become so crazy. In the countries of developed capitalism, too many people are accustomed to consume on credit, but the conditions for lending there are completely different. When someone takes a microloan with us at hundreds of percent per annum to update their mobile gadget, I, to put it mildly, are very surprised. And there are thousands, tens, hundreds of thousands of such cases every day! As a result, how many people are in the credit hole? Now, according to various sources, this is up to 20-30% of the working-age population, and these are just terrible numbers! And the cult of consumption, which is so successfully promoted, and which our people accept as successfully, is to blame for everything.
This is how a mass influence on consumers through the media and the Internet. The goal is the same: to disaccustom a person to think, to gain maximum power over him and to make him perform the necessary actions. For example, consume the necessary goods and services.
How to deal with it? Do not take at face value what you are served, learn to think independently and make independent, and not imposed by someone conclusions. Especially in the moments concerning personal finances, this is an area where any emotions will always have a destructive effect. In general, have your head on your shoulders, and always miss what you see, hear, read through the prism of your own thoughts and your own vision.
I wish you success, and I hope that my appeal will not pass without a trace. Join the Financial Genius Subscribers and let’s learn financial literacy together. See you again!
Author Konstantin White Date