Global de-marketing

We live in an overpopulated and over-consumed world, facing an inevitable result of all our actions. But as with every other equation that involves life and its multiple, interdependent variables, the solution to our problem is already inside it.

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Desire and ability in humans helps us achieve many amazing things, but it also ruins everything. We do things because we can, but we don’t make an extra step inside our heads and hearts and ask “is this what I do really necessary”? Advertising goes in hand with this attitude of modern times, and explains ordinary humans (in an entertaining way) the ultimate ease of acquiring things through feeling good.

But what unleashes that attitude at such a magnanimous scale, so that all of the world goes crazy after things? We can ask a question in the following form too: how come, after so many centuries of religious predominance in the world — states ruled together by kings and priests, maharajas and brahmins, the preponderance of strict, God-fearing postulates of life — we’ve ended up in a world that seems to be an opposite picture of austerity and penance?

The sad truth is that there’s no big difference between the industrial marketing and modern advertising on one side, and the marketing of religious doctrine on other side: they’re both very poorly constructed forms of marketing. The former is advertising a life of possibilities here and now and achieving it is easy — and at all expense. The latter is advertising a better afterlife (i.e. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism), or no importance of existence at all (i.e. Buddhism in its various forms).

To a confused human, sick of seeing his or her children, father, mother, grandparents and the generations before suffering from diseases, poverty and lack of basic human rights, the choice is obvious — religious marketing offers nothing tangible and does absolutely nothing to help heal situation here, now. It only repeats silly doctrinal statements that are disproved by advances in science day after day.

The existence cannot be denied — the poor human surely experiences every bite of a mosquito and urge to have a breakfast in the morning — and the only marketing option there that supports existence here and now is material consumerism in various forms. It uses accumulated historical achievements and scientific insights to penetrate into every pore of human society and its needs.

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Advance of consumerism cannot go forever following the current route. The fall is inevitable because nature has limits, and with every passing day our chances for better and easier tomorrow fade. Almost every educated man today believes our civilisation heads madly to a global disaster that will put an end to it.

However, as said above, the solution to the problem is usually within the problem. Both material consumerism and religions need a good dose of de-marketing, or getting down to Earth. In the world of religions it would mean that there should be an emphasis on deeper meaning of life here, now, and not only on life after. A religion should become more spiritual and immanent, not only dogmatic and concerned with the transcendent. In the world of materialistic consumerism de-marketing would mean the opposite, or thinking about the future. Everyone (ideally) should stop and reason: “If I only think about now, I’m gonna ruin the future of my children and the future of life. So I better don’t.”

When religion and material consumerism both turn their heads in opposite direction to where they were going so far, they’ll finally look at each other and see each other face to face. And that’s where something new, positive, and above all — life-affirming — can happen.

— Zvonimir Tosic


One Response to “Global de-marketing”

  1. Rudra Prasad says:

    A most wonderful and cogent analysis of Religion–vs–consumerism. Its enlightening and poignant.