Keeping up with the Joneses2017
If you haven’t seen this film I recommend it.
It’s not by any means a masterpiece of cinematography. But it has a great script. It highlights the consumerism and the consumer society we live in.
And most of the time, such consumers of the high-value goods are not what they seem they are. They might not be that rich, as we perceive them.
The word perceived stands out in all this.
We create lots of assumptions as we go through our everyday life. And we are validating less and less to understand what our assumptions are really worth.
Today’s society is an information overload driven society. There is no more time to validate all this information. Most of us choose to just perceive most things based on where the mainstream guides us.
Once we create such assumptions in our heads, we become the strong defenders of them in our own social circles. Without much validation, if our assumptions are true or false.
Marketing & PR industries have learned how to use various information flows and how to help us create the assumptions which work for their purpose. And they do it very well.
We love our top brands, top TV shows, top mainstream music, and the list goes on.
In a similar manner, the mainstream assumption generating machine will tell us that capitalism is a freedom for us to try and keep up with the Joneses.
After all, we in the Western world have a chance to buy all the cool goods, style, and happiness other people cannot afford.
But is this assumption true? Or it’s just one part of what capitalism really is? Maybe the part dedicated to mainstream users?
Capitalism is the best economic system we humans have created so far. It’s productive, moves all of us towards growth and innovation. It gives the opportunity to everyone.
However, the key principle of capitalism is different than the one promoted by mainstream PR messages.
It’s about the owners of capital, capitalists, using their capital to generate growth, progress, and more capital. Building on top of what they own and controlling their capital flows.
Unfortunately, more you are keeping up with Joneses the less capital you own.
If you do not own capital, you will be locked in the prison camp for a foreseeable future.
Thinking like the owner who is driven by the clear future goals and who spends an effort on validating the mainstream assumptions is the key to start ignoring Joneses.
After all, with freedom to choose, comes the responsibility.