Consumerism’s Efficiency

I’ve said a lot of nasty things about consumerism, always checking the mirror as I do. But let’s give it what’s due: it’s efficient:

If in a consumer society, through all the advertising and subtly seductive approaches to it, you’ve got an iPhone but you haven’t got a fourth generation one, the consumer society is in fact the most efficient mechanism ever devised for the creation and distribution of unhappiness.

The answer to the consumer society is the world of faith, which the Jews call the world of Shabbat, where you can’t shop and you can’t spend and you spend your time with things that matter, with family. Unless we get back to these values we will succeed in making our children and grandchildren ever unhappier.

(Lord Jonathon Sacks, the chief rabbi of Great Britain)