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Cargo Cult and Illusion of Consumption

Cargo Cult and Illusion of Consumption
Konstantin Zinkovsky 05.02.2014

Once upon a time there were Papuans. A big, beautiful plane arrived to them once. It brought strange white people who brought to Papuans exotic goods. It isn't known why but Papuans decided that wonderful goods were created by spirits of their ancestors, and that white people by unfair means took control of these goods as they had planes. Savages decided to do what white people do, they began to build planes from wood and reed, start running across the field, waving banners, enlightening fields at night. So, they tried to attract planes hoping that planes would arrive and return them the riches created by ancestors.

Cargo cult, also religion of plane-worshipers, or a cult of heavenly Gifts — the term which call group of religious movements in Melanesia. It’s interesting, isn't it so?

Unless behavior of the modern consumer is not similar to cargo cult? Let's have сloser look. Consumer watches life of "rich and well-known" on TV: yachts, planes, barrels of black caviar, champagne and oysters, supermodels and magnificent cars. In huge shopping centers - temples of religion of consumption - he tries to join their life. He buys goods which, as advertizing assures, are integral attributes of life of successful people. The goods here act as a sign, as a symbol, as "success" passport. Real usefulness of goods has no value, a car bought for 10 000 and for 20 000 euros in the same way delivers consumer from point A to point B without problems and with comfort. Woman’t handbag with known brand differs from usual handbag only by its name, but the difference in its price can reach 10 times.

Unless a person earning even not usual average salary in 20-30 thousand rubles, but having, let us assume, 100 000 becomes closer to really rich people, if he buys iPhone of the latest version, a car for which he will pay credit for several years, will smell as branded "elite" spirits, unless his opportunities are comparable to opportunities of the billionaire? No more than possibilities of illiterate Papuans and educated white.

Consumption of the majority is only a substitute of consumption of the rich. Imitation of their "dolce vita". Consuming show-windows, images, myths of advertizing industry person is engaged in self-deception, he approaches “elite” only in his imagination. Very often instead of being engaged in real life, person wastes modest forces and resources to seem richer and more successful. Visibility, illusion is the only thing that remains to the vast majority as economic system is arranged in such a way that the majority has no opportunities to become richer than they are.

Inhabitant as well as the Papuan for some reason decided that all richness of the world can belong to him. That he is worthy and deserves all the best. Advertizing only strengthens this mad belief. Person never in his life reading any scientific work devoted to economy: either Adam Smith, or Karl Marx, or John Maynard Keynes, out of a sudden beсomes sure that he will surely grow rich. He trusts, surrounds himself with wealth symbols, but all in vain, as Sisyphus he is doomed to push a stone uphill all his life.

Moreover, there are even numerous sects and guru who claim that material welfare of person depends only on his “positive reinforсement on money and success". Attraсting of money by various prayers, meditations, magical rituals gains popularity. At that no guru has the slightest concept about the structure of economic system. From "Simoron" to "Transsurfing of Realities" - all modern "teachers of life", knowing nothing about it, repeat that everything depends only on you. Instead of trying to understanding oneself, his place in life people blindly copy behavior of rich men, not becoming сloser to them.

Economic system of capitalism is constructed on amplifying inequality. On the one hand we have escalating capitals of billionaires, on the other - increasing poverty and beggary. Inequality on global scale increases. Today already 1% of the population of a planet owns 40% of all world riches. You shouldn't also forget that there is absolute and relative poverty. Absolute poverty takes place in Africa when people have nothing to eat. Relative poverty is a gap in consumption level of rich and poor. Yes, in the European countries the majority of people don't suffer from hunger, they have roof over their heads, but they become poorer every day in comparison with consumption level of the superrich.

Whether it’s not better to open eyes instead of being content with illusory happiness, instead of professing cargo cult? All riches of this world are created not by rich men, Rockefeller or Abramovich didn't extract oil, didn't drill mine, didn't suffer from frost, didn't risk their life and health to extract coal and oil. Riches of this world are created by working hands. Really, as well as in cargo сult some people captured them using unfair means. Though it is impossible to return them by ridiculous imitation of the rich. It is necessary to understand that the wealth of one person is poverty of millions others.

Resources and riches on the Earth are limited. If someone took himself one million, one million other people won't have anything. Especially today when production of material benefits became so difficult that practically all population of a planet is occupied in it. It is impossible to make something without electricity, water, oil, gas, transport, computers and so on. Modern production is a joint work of millions people. Fruits of this work have to belong to millions, not to millionaires. Example of greed, limitation, lack of interests to all alive: to work, science, art, nature, while insatiable thirst of money and power isn't worthy sample for imitation.

Copying behavior of the rich, we support system created by greed and egoism. We reproduce relations of dependence and slavery, we transfer market laws to the sphere of private life, we impoverish ourselves.

Only having refused stenсil imposed by advertizing, having etched the slave of money and goods from oneself, having refused to be goods on show-window, only this way we can find ourselves.

Enough praying to planes. Enough parodies of liars and prostitutes.

The worker shouldn't feel shame of his status. It is necessary to straighten back and to declare, I am a worker, I am an engineer, I am a doctor, I am a cleaner, but I am a person. Everything has a particle of my work. All riches of the world belong to me by right. I remain myself - ordinary person, I don't want to copy someone’s life, I want to live my own.

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