Welsh on inequality and political apathy


in Economics, Politics, Psychology

While the Occupy Wall Street movement stole headlines for the latter months of 2011, it ultimately fizzled given a lack of agreement among its members on a concrete agenda and its unwillingness to engage — even minimally — with existing political institutions. Twenty-first-century Americans — and the same might be said for citizens of other liberal democracies — have by and large submitted to a system whose permanence is assumed; they focus their energies on the private pleasures of consumerism rather than on cultivating the public good or the political or economic interests they share with others. Fukuyama’s fear that the end of history would foster a consumerist culture, and expose an “emptiness at the core of liberalism,” seems to have been fulfilled.

Welsh, Jennifer. The Return of History: Conflict, Migration, and Geopolitics in the Twenty-First Century. 2016. p. 276

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alena October 17, 2016 at 5:17 pm

I think that the consumer culture is especially vibrant in countries like China, India and other rapidly developing economies. From what I have seen in Europe, it never caught on there to the extent it has in North America. People in Europe seem to treasure their culture and enjoy their free time in coffee shops and pubs rather than in malls. Maybe shopping or window shopping is substitute for affordable theatre or music.

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