The naivete, it would seem, is on the side of these who accept this critique of the consumer society. Whenever you look at the list of consumer goods that (according to the critic) people don't really need, what you invariably see is a list of consumer goods that middle-aged intellectuals don't need. Budweiser bad, single-malt Scotch good; Hollywood movies bad, performance art good; Chryslers bad, Volvos good; hamburgers bad, risotto good and so on. Furthermore, intellectuals have a natural bias against consumer goods in general, precisely because they are people who tend to be more engaged and stimulated by ideas than by goods.
Consumerism, in other words, always seems to be a critique of what other people buy. This makes it difficult to avoid the impression that the so-called critique of consumerism is just thinly veiled snobbery or, worse, puritanism.
——《The Rebel Sell》
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