Saturday, 6 February 2021

It's That Royal 'We' Again...

Sarah Wilson thinks the pandemic was a great thing:
Do you remember what we did? We stopped consuming. And we really rather loved it.

Really? I thought there'd been an immediate run on Amazon and eBay and Just Eat. Not to mention online entertainment, or does it not count if pixels are flowing into the house rather than parcels..? 

In April discretionary spending dropped by 30% in Australia. In early May 52% of us told the researchers behind the BCG’s Global Consumer Sentiment survey that we planned to “reduce spending on luxury products even after the crisis is over”. We told others that, post-pandemic, we’d focus spending on meaningful, simple experiences with each other and buy less stuff.

Yeah, yeah. 'We' tell ourselves every year we'll give Veganuary a shot too, yet the ramainder shelf in supermarkets stays packed with unbought PlantChef and Wicked ready meals...  

But it didn’t stick. And this truth has been hammered home as we start the new year. By early June we were spending like mad people, back to pre-pandemic levels. Consumer confidence reports released on 12 January showed spending on goods went up 13.3% year on year, and consumer confidence was at a 13-month high.

Whoever thought we wouldn't? 

It’s 2021; can we call it as it is? Drop the C-bomb? We were hoping to be freed from capitalism.

Who's 'we'? Clearly, 'we' weren't! 

To my mind, we become so trapped in the cult that we struggle to imagine how to release ourselves, or a better world beyond it. But we are going to have to.

Oh? Really? 

It’s worth casting our mind back to early Covid and the hope, lightness and connection we felt as we go forward into the abject uncertainty of 2021. Because, and here’s the Great Revelation in it all, that was us. That was who we are.

It appears it was who circumstance forced us to be, temporarily. But now we're back, baby! 


Stonyground said...

I have never believed that you can spend your way to happiness by filling your life with consumer goods. However, it is good to have a few nice things and I don't see any reason for the kind of pointless abstinence that "we" is advocating. I've recently bought a Garmin Fenix watch and a Yamaha Clavinova digital piano.

Anonymous said...

With yet another inflammation busting rise in Council tax, maybe another £100 on fuel bills and the price hikes going on all over the place using the virus as an excuse I will certainly have less money to spend in the next year.

Ted Treen said...

"...hoping to be freed from capitalism..." Only in The Graun would you find such utter bollocks.

"...trapped in the cult..." Nutarally, because there's no other system that produces the things we want and the things we need in sufficient quantities and at generally affordable prices. Time & time again it has been shown that the collectivist socialist order is just a pipe-dream which cannot survive its first contact with reality. See Venezuela if you have doubts.

It's frightening to think this Wilson creature has a vote:- one can only hope it doesn't breed.

JuliaM said...

"However, it is good to have a few nice things..."

Ir doesn't buy you happiness, it's true, but better to be miserable in a mansion than a hovel, surely?

"...I will certainly have less money to spend in the next year."

Yes, I think this March's Budget will be only the start...

" can only hope it doesn't breed."

They usually don't, which is why they need to increase their numbers by conversion.