How the world embraced consumerism - Deepstash
The slow increase of consumerism

The idea of people as consumers took shape before WWI, but it became more common in America in the 1920s.

People have always consumed the basics of life - food, clothing, sh...

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How the world embraced consumerism

bbc.com

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In the late 19th-Century Britain, a variety of food became accessible to people who previously lived on bread and potatoes.

The improvement in food variety did not extend durable items to th...

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Through the 1890s, existing shops were extended, mail-order shopping increased, and massive department stores covered acres of selling space.

Retail was already moving from small shopkeepers...

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In 1920, US production was more than 12 times greater than in 1860, while the population increased by a factor of three. The additional wealth provided basic security to the great majority ...

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In 1927 Victor Cutter, president of the United Fruit Company wrote that the greatest economic problem of the day was the lack of consuming power in relation to the powers of production.

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Economist Edwar Cowdrick advised corporations about the new economic gospel of consumption, where workers could be educated in the new "skills of consumption."

New needs would be created, wi...

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In a 1929 article called "Keep the Consumer Dissatisfied," the general director of General Motors Research Laboratories stated that there is no place anyone can sit and rest in the road of progress...

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Electrification was vital for the consumption of the new types of durable items—US households with electricity connected nearly doubled between 1921 and 1929. Radios, vacuum cleaners, and refrigera...

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After WWII, the consumer culture took off again throughout the developed world.

In 1921, the radio was seen as a vital tool in debt-financed consumption. But with the advent of telev...

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In 1955, retail analyst Victor Lebow remarked, "We need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate."

A huge effort was devoted to persuading peo...

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The commodification of reality and the creation of demand have profound implications. Philosopher Herbert Marcuse state, "people recognise themselves in their commodities".

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