How Consumerism Corrupts The Soul Essays

2202 Words Dec 6th, 2016 9 Pages
How Consumerism Corrupts the Soul We live in a society that values the quantity of our possessions over the quality of our souls. Capitalism is driven by the principle that if everyone acts in their own self-interest, it will benefit both the economy and society in the long run. Coupled with our consumerist culture, where our happiness and satisfaction often depend on the sheer quantity of things we own, our money-loving souls will never achieve their highest potential as Plato describes it. In Republic and Phaedo, Plato puts forth several theories regarding a balanced soul ruled by reason and how it benefits society as a whole, however they directly conflict with the “greed is good” mentality that drives modern capitalism and consumerism. This is not to say that our soul is completely greedy, rather that it is made up of parts. In Republic, Socrates lays down this groundwork: “It is obvious that the same thing will not be willing to do or undergo opposites in the same part of itself, in relation to the same thing, at the same time. So, if we ever find this happening in the soul, we’ll know that we aren’t dealing with one thing but many” (Plato 436b). Here, Socrates argues that one thing cannot have opposing views in relationship to the same thing; therefore, the soul must be made up of multiple parts. Plato and Socrates conclude that there is a clear and calculative rational part and an irrational part, “which lusts, hungers, thirsts, and gets excited by other…

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