Is our lack of civil discourse tied to consumerism?

Donald Miller cranked out another great observation in a post posted this this morning titled How a Consumer Thinks.

. . . the creator has a binary opposite, and that is a consumer. There is also a middle ground, and that is a critic . . .

Rivalry is consumer thought. We are taught to be for or against something rather than to understand an issue from multiple perspectives. We are taught there are only two sides to an issue. This is of course absurd.

Which makes me wonder, has consumerism contributed to a lack of civil discourse?


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

One Response to Is our lack of civil discourse tied to consumerism?

  1. sojournwanderer says:

    The binary of us v. them is easily reduced to right v. wrong. Simply said, it’s easiest to stereotype and oversimplify, because it gives us a way of packaging – and thus controlling – the Other. Right and wrong is easier than good and better. The truth of anything, I think, is essentially unknowable: it’s impossible to thoroughly understand every part of any situation. The best one can hope for is to be reasonably well-informed and to do what seems most likely to be successful. Everything is a matter of degrees. Lack of civility is equivalent, to me, to a lack of respect, both for self and other. Recognize oneself and each person as a sovereign and the picture changes fast.

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