Escape from the Cult of Materialism
Fair Wind Films (2016)
This strange little documentary develops the premise that materialism (the pressure to buy stuff we don’t want or need) is actually a cult.
It argues that like a cult
- Our culture is hijacked by sophisticated rituals and symbols that bear little resemblance to our genuine needs.
- The materialistic belief system imposed on us destroys our relationship with the environment and each other.
- This system pressures us to ignore contradictory views and any activism against it is punished.
- Leaders encourage us to focus on external threats (ie Muslims, immigrants, etc) to keep us from recognizing contradictions in the current system.
- Our materialistic belief system operates purely for the leaders’ benefit.
The filmmakers go on to trace the history of forced materialism and the brief rebellion against it (the hippy movement) in the 1960s.
The solution they offer – forcing ourselves to focus on Plato’s concept of idealism – strikes me as a bit too abstract for a mainstream audience. However they offer some good examples of millenials rejecting materialism in favor of strong interpersonal relationships and community.