Disqus Doodlings – Treehugger is so upset we buy clothes for ourselves….Part 3

Part 1 is here.  In Part 2 over at Treehugger, Chris Howard decided to deride shopping altogether:


Shopping for self pleasure, not want or need.

Well, he took the bait and answer my question of “And how is “shopping for pleasure” different than “want”? I see no difference at all”.  I still see no real difference between want and “self pleasure” – you’re still buying a product and in this case, fashion items.  Now, me no know fashion from shinola – I generally don’t care unless it is for professional reasons in meeting with clients so I don’t have a dog in the actual fight of why H&M is tubing itself.  I do have problems with activists going after companies simply to give them hard times based on difference on ideologies.  But he did answer back; and I’m still puzzled over a distinction without a difference:

You can very easily buy stuff you neither want nor need if the reason you shop is for the rush or whatever you get from the shopping experience. I am by no means the first to identify this “shopping for neither want nor need”.

Thus shopping for pleasure is clearly a problem.

<shaking my head slowly> So WHAT if you want “a rush”?  My Youngest is an adrenaline junkie – he does stuff that I’d never do because he enjoys the feeling of what is happening.  What causes that rush is sometimes immaterial – merely collateral.  Now, that has led to bad outcomes but that’s another story.  The fact is, doing something that’s legal that also produces a rush is not illegal.  It’s not even immoral – unless you are apparently Chris Howard.  Methinks he doesn’t have a rush problem but a Catch-22 problem (sorta sideways).  I do believe his REAL problem is that of being a stealth Puritan who hates capitalism, but that’s just me.  But I did respond (emphasis mine):

Easy to buy stuff” – a function of our capitalist system which I maintain is a feature and not a bug. So what if it is for “a rush” – it still is a form of “want“.

So what if that is what “motivates” someone to purchase something? They’ve indicated to the market that they want a particular good or service and are willing to voluntarily exchange money at that given price point for a legal transaction.

Why should that be a concern for anyone else – unless of course, one holds capitalism in great distaste, even worse for inexpensive goods, and the idea that people want to buy things that you disapprove of?

and also added:

Let me also add this – again, if someone is willing to voluntarily enter into a legal transaction but in your eyes lacks the self-control to NOT do that transaction – what is that a problem for me?

Or better, why is it your business to make it your problem?

So, where am I wrong?


by Skip

Co-founder of GraniteGrok, my concern is around Individual Liberty and Freedom (and how Government is taking that away from us). My fight, from a Conservative (with small “L” libertarian leanings) and evangelical Christian perspective, is with the Progressives that are forcing a collectivized and secular humanistic future upon us. As TEA Party activist, citizen journalist (and pundit!), my goal is to use the New Media to advance the radical notions of America’s Founders back into our culture again.