Consuming Passion- From The Outsider
Do words denote meaning or does meaning denote words? If I don’t have a word for something, does it exist? Or must I have the word first to bring it into being?
The word ‘consumer’ is first noted in 1535 – just as the religious revolution of Tudor England was being launched. The counterpoint of ‘consumer’ and ‘producer’ is at the heart of the development of capitalism and reflects the dynamic which has got us into such bad strife today.
Economic growth demands increasing consumption but increasing consumption is killing planet earth. There is, however, hope. In the Japanese language, there is no word for ‘user’ that well known recipient of goods and services in a market economy. The Japanese prefer to call consumers ‘the persons who live”. Persons who live cannot also be persons that kill. So let’s get rid of the words ‘users’ and ‘consumers’ as we go about the ethical reconstruction of our world and celebrate a new word to describe our participation in a new political economy.
How about ‘sustainers’?