Escape from the Cult of Materialism

Fair Wind Films (2016)

Film Review

This strange little documentary develops the premise that materialism (the pressure to buy stuff we don’t want or need) is actually a cult.

It argues that like a cult

  1. Our culture is hijacked by sophisticated rituals and symbols that bear little resemblance to our genuine needs.
  2. The materialistic belief system imposed on us destroys our relationship with the environment and each other.
  3. This system pressures us to ignore contradictory views and any activism against it is punished.
  4. Leaders encourage us to focus on external threats (ie Muslims, immigrants, etc) to keep us from recognizing contradictions in the current system.
  5. Our materialistic belief system operates purely for the leaders’ benefit.

The filmmakers go on to trace the history of forced materialism and the brief rebellion against it (the hippy movement) in the 1960s.

The solution they offer – forcing ourselves to focus on Plato’s concept of idealism – strikes me as a bit too abstract for a mainstream audience. However they offer some good examples of millenials rejecting materialism in favor of strong interpersonal relationships and community.

 

Comments
  1. Alan Scott says:

    Yes, sadly the 60s rebellion is just a memory. The anti-materialist ethos was bought, packaged and sold. I feel sorry for kids today. What have they got to be idealistic about?

  2. Too true, Alan. At the same time I meet a number of millennials who are really committed to fighting carbon change – and a surprising number who want to dismantle capitalism.

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