Monday, July 23, 2012

Are we consumers or citizens?

The video Story of Change is a nice attempt to make clear why Green consumerism falls short of inducing the radical shift needed. More than 20 years of the business model of "sustainable development" show how little can be accomplished by just relying on consumers and businesses to make the "right choices". For sure, to make the right individual choices are important - but not enough. And it is a dangerous illusion that we will select a good future by how we consume (i.e. shop). Gradually, the consumerist paradigm takes over also the political sphere and patients are treated as customers in hospitals instead of patients or citizens.

The video is perhaps a bit naive, but less naive than the idea that we will change the world by consumer choice.....

In the end I also wonder if "citizen" is the right term for what we ought to be. It has a connotation of nationalism (as citizenship is linked to a nation), and its link to the "city" as an organism is dubious, but that might be the subject of a later blog post.

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