The Difference Between The Valuables Of Consumerism And Actual Values

Ricardo Guaderrama Caraveo
4 min readOct 24, 2023

True victory lies in your role in the conflict, not in coming through safely: it consists in the honor of battling bravely, not battling through. — Montaigne

I realized something yesterday. I am very unhappy when my life consists purely of, as we say in Spanish: “perseguir el hueso”, which means going after the bone, after the money.

Yesterday, later in the day, I saw this video from David Foster Wallace in which he argued that consumerism has the tendency to make people unhappy.

Capitalism, with its ever-ready mind, takes advantage of this situation by giving you the option of always buying another “solution” for your spiritual maladies, such as a Yoga retreat or whatever, and cure you.

When all you truly need is to sit down in quiet with a book, a classic is better if possible, and read your way out of the mental fog of modern life, where you are everywhere and nowhere.

At some point, they ask him the question, what can you do about the system that we live in? Is there any form of rebellion available? To which he answered that yes, there is the possibility of rebellion, it’s just that it is not as sexy as you think. It’s not as if change is going to happen just while being tear-gassed and running from the police screaming for freedom.

Real change is boring. People who truly change the world are more akin to critical thinkers. People who see through the fog of endless consumerism and that stop buying so much shit. People who actually read who the candidates are and what they have actually done in the past. People who know the differences across history between a Democrat and a Republican. In short, people who think.

And man, who the hell has time to think nowadays?

We are always busy. Busy, busy, busy to keep being able to buy fancy stuff and go out to fancy restaurants. But this feels like a trap, because the more stuff you buy, the more you have to work for it, and the more you have to work, the less time you have. Unless you’re smart and you work on getting out of the “having always just enough money to survive cycle”. And…

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