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Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole
Consumed How Markets Corrupt Children Infantilize Adults and Swallow Citizens Whole Author:Benjamin R. Barber A piercing and vital look at how capitalism is consuming U.S. society. — An apt sequel to Benjamin R. Barber's best-selling Jihad vs. McWorld, Consumed offers a wrenching portrait of how adult consumers are infantilized in a global economy that overproduces goods and targets children as consumers in a market where there are never en... more »ough shoppers. Driven by a frantic imperative to sell, consumer capitalism specializes today in the manufacture not of goods but of needs.
This provocative culmination of Barber's lifelong study of democracy and capitalism shows how the infantilist ethos deprives society of responsible citizens and displaces public goods with private commodities. Traditional liberal democratic society is colonized by an all-pervasive market imperative. Public space is privatized. Identity is branded. Our world, homogenized. With brilliance and depth, Barber confronts the likely consequences for our children, our liberty, and our citizenship, and shows finally how citizens can resist and transcend the civic schizophrenia with which consumerism has infected them.« less
Not the light read one might suppose. Though it is not academic, there is a good deal of political history and philosophy to support his assertion that the outcome of advanced capitalism as practiced in the U.S. is infantilism of adults. The last third of the book looks at responses to excessive marketing and consumption, and the author's prescription for correcting capitalism's excesses.