I just finished watching Fight Club for the second time. Apart from being a good film, it raises the issue of consumption being the shackles of society. This would fit nicely along with my previous post on identity through non-ownership. That is, if all consumption leads to ownership – which of course it does not.
The consumption of material things differ from services or disposable items such as food or drink, through binding up money in the form of an object. You can happily spend anything from 25 to 55 Swedish crowns on a beer – but if you buy a brand object for 50 crowns, you find it hard to throw away. Even though you don’t need it, and don’t intend to use it. You lock your money into objects that create a mental weight that needs to be carried.
In order to avoid these objects and the anxiety that can be connected to them (old memories, bad decisions when choosing the product) , I’m implying that there will be a large increase in the consumption of services and disposable items instead. Food and drink are experiences that you carry with you in your memory, not on a shelf in your home. Therefor they stays in your mind as long as they are needed or wanted, and may come or go during your life depending on what triggers your memories. The experiences are free in your mind, and thus – you are also free.
Also, you can buy more of this freedom through consuming services that allow you to not do certain things. A popular example here in Sweden, connected to our recent shift in government, are maid services at home. Cleaning and general housekeeping, for instance. You purchase these services in order to expand your free time, and your freedom through that. The carpet is always clean, and the thought of it not being so doesn’t even enter your mind. I’m leaving the moral aspect of housemaids and the likes aside for the time being.
The more I think about it, the more I see people moving away from physical things and towards experiences instead. And in order to have these fantastic and memorable experiences – you need the knowledge and information that leads you there. This information on the other hand, can’t necessarily be bought. And at that moment, the value of information supersedes the value of money. This is new, and I reckon it’s a trend that should be watched very carefully. Read more about it in my previous post concerning The Netocrats by Alexander Bard and Jan Söderqvist.