Arvind Narayanan (arvindn) wrote,
Arvind Narayanan

Consumerism and libertarianism

I see consumerism as beneficial to both society and the economy. (In fact I think exuberant consumerism/conspicuous consumption offers a neat solution to the problem of copyright enforcement. I wonder if this argument has made before.) Anyway, I've never understood anti-consumerism, and frequently argue against it. Most recently I had a discussion with medryn in defense of artificial diamond scarcity.

[Not De Beers, mind you, just artificial diamond scarcity. I believe that consumerism in jewelry is a natural social need, having deep roots in our evolutionary history (like all human social behavior :-), and not created by artificial De Beers advertising pressure as most intellectuals believe. De Beers advertising arose to fill an already existing need, and if it hadn't been them it would have been somebody else. There are close parallels of the same phenomenon not involving De Beers. The means by which they achieved and maintain the scarcity are questionable, but that's not the object of discussion.]

Today I found out that most of the opposition to anti-consumerism comes from libertarian thought. Surprisingly unsurprising and comfortingly reassuring.
Tags: libertarianism
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