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?