Healing Ourselves and Healing the World: Consumerism and the Culture of Addiction

by Duncan M. Taylor & David Segal

For many people the meaning of their lives is derived through consumerism. Hence, any shift from
a consumer to a conserver society is often met with both resistance as well as denial. However, as
subsystems of the larger social and biophysical systems we are progressively being forced to change
the way we live and consume. What has been referred to as ‘affluenza’ is an addictive condition
whereby many are substituting their true needs with addictive behaviors. This article explores the
parallels between addiction and unsustainable growth, as well as highlights the growing trend where
people are creatively redefining growth.

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