Treadmill Of Consumption Essay

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The treadmill of consumption is the process described by sociologist Michael Bell, of increased consumption, which results in elusive satisfaction. Specifically, it is the process of “moving materially ahead without making any real gain in satisfaction…” (Bell 49). The cultural implementation of consumerism deep into our society has created a world, were no one is ever satisfied, although they are constantly consuming. Although, many of the world’s major religions preach the harm of excess consumption, studies show that the idea of consumerism is just as imbedded in our cultural values as those religious teachings. Bell believes, not only are we consuming more than we need, but we are often consuming more than we want (Bell 50). The desire …show more content…
In a similar way, the treadmill of consumption is “interconnected” to the treadmill of production, and both remain dependent upon the social implications the consumerist society has attached to them (Bell 63). According to Bell, it is the treadmill of production that causes an increase competiveness between companies, which and then leads to an even greater increase in “economic inequality, economic growth, and environmental sidelining” (Bell 53). In a consumerist society, businesses must keep cost low and profits high, if they want to survive and remain relevant to …show more content…
It was during this time, when consumerism was first being pushed down the throats of all members of society. Due to the rising demand for products at the time, manufacturers needed a “quicker & cheaper” form or production to keep up with the pace of the treadmill of production/consumption in place during that era. Social scientist, McDonough and Brungart believe it was during the industrial revolution that manufacturers “grasped for the next best short term idea that came along…with no consideration to long-term consequences” (9). Human beings began to value economical profit above all else, including the environment and social equality. Some argue that the industrial revolution is an example of how brute force was used by manufacturers to get the “job” done at any cost. In my opinion, brute force only reinforces the negative actions of the manufacturers during the industrial revolution, by ignoring the fact that brute force does not guarantee efficiency or effectiveness. For example, McDonough and Brungart describe one of their permaculture experiments, which involved a stretch of 10+ acres of farm land that was being flushed with pesticides and fertilizers in order to erode the extremely high salt content in the soil (135). Identifying the years and years of damage this brute force exerted by the farmers onto the land, the researchers teamed up with other scientist to

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