A few weeks ago, I was stuck in an airport.
Usually, I love airports. It’s great people watching. I love to travel. And every airport experience is unique.
But ever since airports became a government indoctrination center where I’m forced to watch CNN, no matter where I turn, I’ve come to think of it as “stuck.”
On this given day, CNN was running one of their historical specials in which they interview their cadre of historians and talk about major events with film footage from the time.
They were focused on the late 1940s and 1950s, and they kept using the phrase “nation of consumers.” We had become a nation of consumers. We had just come home from World War Two and gone back to work. It was a time of peace, and families turned their attention to matters of the home.
As more and more people got jobs and the middle class grew, we started buying more. We invented more goods and services, and people purchased more goods and services. We became a “nation of consumers.”
Whenever a leftist uses that phrase, it always comes with the judgement that suggests we’re all a bunch of lemmings, materialistically conforming, like thoughtless drones, to buying useless stuff we don’t need because we’ve been taught there’s virtue in buying shi*.
In fact, this is the opposite. It’s freedom. With prosperity comes the empowerment to pursue your interests and determine for yourself where you will spend your money. The more prosperity one enjoys, the more they can acquire for themselves or others.
To judge what they’re spending their money on is simply none of one’s business. I don’t care how anyone other than me spends their money. It’s not my concern, and it’s not even interesting. To even have an opinion is a waste of time. It doesn’t matter.
But it also demeans the role of the inventor and producer. Not only are people buying, but many are making and inventing. As we evolve, our goods and services solve more of life’s little inconveniences and problems. But that just creates more. So it’s a constant cycle of innovation and solution.
It’s simply a matter of control. Socialists don’t like it because they’re not in control of what people are buying or selling. They’re not even in control of how much of it we buy or sell. Capitalism is a celebration of freedom, and that’s messy to people who seek the order that comes with control.
Ironically, it’s those who speak this way of Americans who are doing exactly this. Only instead of consumer goods, we’re being asked to submit to an ideology of groupthink where our masters tell us what we like and what we don’t. They tell us what products, services, and ideas can be available and which ones are OK to consume.
When I hear “nation of consumers,” I think of a nation of prosperity. I think of a nation that is self sufficient, creative, innovative, peaceful, and thriving. And that can only mean I’m thinking of a nation that is free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness, as they see it.