Is Consumerism a Mental Illness? (Video)


Image credit: Slackjaw

Earlier today I wrote about the conflict of being an environmentalist in a modern, market-driven world. And many a TreeHugger has warned about a cult of consumerism, even as our paychecks are made up from ad revenue. Now a new documentary is looking at consumerism through the twin lenses of psychology and evolution.

Consumed Trailer from slackjaw on Vimeo.

Available online and packaging free for $4.95, or with minimal packaging for a little more, Consumed: Inside the Belly of the Beast sets out to explore how consumerism has become such a driving force in our society, and what can be done about it.

Created by English film maker Richard Heap, the documentary talks to ecologists, psychologists, designers and an expert in sustainability in an effort to understand what drives us to consume, and what the consequences might be. The conclusion—that consumerism is a form of collective, psychotic mental illness—may make for uncomfortable processing. But given recent news about CO2 emissions rising as the economy recovers, it is not an easy one to refute.

Whether or not the rise of collaborative consumption can help us rethink our relationship to stuff remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain—something has to change.

More on Environmentalism, Economics and Consumerism
Cult of Consumerism at Root of Environmental Degradation
Confessions of a Conflicted Environmentalist
Economy Recovers, CO2 Emissions Jump Dramatically
What Does a No Growth Economy Look Like?
Is a Green Economy as Inevitable as Change in the Middle East?
Living Without Cash for a Year: Hypocrisy or Heroism?

Tags: Activism | Consumerism | Economics | United Kingdom