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Materialism

The absolute reign of Big Money leads naturally to a triumphal materialism, which in turn becomes a sort of religion.

Materialism is expressed by our overconsumption, which today, is almost deified.

I turn on the television and see that Christmas, today, is about foie gras. A few months later I see Easter reduced to chocolates. Materialism is stuffing ourselves. Materialism, by way of Big Money, has spread its gangrene reach to even our most sacred emblems. The principle of this system is simple: work less, earn more, in order to consume still more.

Contrary to what we might believe, this has led to a decline in the quality of goods. Most food stuffs have turned into poison, injected with all sorts of artificial growth hormones and doused with pesticides. Those who are aware of this seek in vain food that is still edible, if it is available at all. So each day we consume our daily poison in accordance with the new laws of consumption.

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The media, for its part, has created a Manicheism of products, declared one day to be perfectly healthy, only to then be deemed a carcinogen, and vise-versa. Waste has also increased, to almost criminal levels. Restaurants and stores throw away food that is still fresh, while the beggar a few feet away has barely a piece of bread to eat.

It is the same everywhere. Countries with a surplus don’t know what to do with it, so tons of food are destroyed. Entire fields are purposely uncultivated while people around the planet starve.

Consumption has resulted in a dramatic change in our notion of time. Time no longer exists. Only the current moment. Nothing lasts anymore. Products are designed to unrepairable, to be thrown out, so that we will buy them again, over and over, in a vicious cycles that make the manufacturers and the producers rich.

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As a result of pernicious advice, people want to work less and less, to the point they no longer want to work at all. Yet they still want to earn more, to consume more, but in reality they cannot earn more, as no economic system allows this. There is a point of saturation, where earning more cannot lead to even more consumption, as they have consumed so much that they cannot possible consume anymore. So the calculus that says to earn more and consume more indefinitely is a fiction, from the beginning, it was designed to fail. All the more so as the day approaches when the citizen is no longer able to consume more and becomes jaded and finds himself penniless. This is a critical point at which his debt increases and so he borrows still more until the lending institutions themselves have to borrow to fill this demand.

The deification of consumption also leads to a curious phenomenon: we no longer question ourselves. In effect, there is a product for everything, some machine, an appliance, or someone else to do the work for us. Everything that we formerly did for ourselves, someone or some product does for us today. Everyone follows suit, buying the same machines, consuming like the others. We have become entirely dependent upon products, and we lose our autonomy in the process.

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This results in a change in the nature of our relationships. Egoism now rules. Each for his or her own. This brings about intolerance, discrimination, and racism that extend to places of democracy and liberalism. A universal aggressiveness rules. There still exists in Mediterranean cultures a warmth and openness, a smile or kind word in the street, but in Paris I see this general aggressiveness and egoism in the streets every day, the disagreeable confrontation and antipathy toward others. I love the souks of the East. Despite my agoraphobia, I feel at ease there, in the dense crowds where you are never pushed or shoved. In the West, I feel it is the opposite. We no longer think of others. Our society favors those who will knock others to the ground. In the West, it is best to hit the tarmac and avoid the elbows and kicks.

Katy recommended the film “Churchill” to me. The film touched me.

My conclusion: compared to that epoch, honor and patriotism have all but disappeared, and so has heroism, sacrifice, and discipline.

Today is about money, and only money.

Materialism is part of life. Of course we are not pure beings. We like to eat well, we like to drink, we make love, we buy things, a new car, a house, and clothing. These, of course, are not crimes, they are not sins. However, it becomes a problem when they are our unique aims, when materialism takes priority above all else.

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The priority should be spirituality. The awareness, comprehension, and penetration of the invisible world, of altruism and a love of nature, life, and truth. Of course, we can seek the help of a master, a guru to explore these spiritual matters, but the best master, the true guru, are the individuals themselves.


by  Prince Michael of Greece

9 comments on “Materialism





  1. Ananda Massoubre

    Thank you for your great stories and inspiring insights. I cannot but agree with you when it come to our contemporary society being so driven and controlled by money alone. It is so very sad. I hope and pray that your wise words will be heard and that the world will change for the better.



  2. Dolla Nomikos

    How very true ,and well said. ,how many though
    feel” secure” without all that …..?????


  3. Marie Jose Pagliai

    It is a great pleasure to hear from you, my Dear Friend, in such an inspiring way. You make us reflect.
    Am I also that way?


  4. Ghislaine Graziani

    I agree with you, hélas !
    Thank you for your ideas and old photographs always so interesting.


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