10.24.2008

I Do Not Believe in Fun

The happy life is thought to be one of excellence; now an excellent life requires exertion, and does not consist in amusement. If Eudaimonia, or happiness, is activity in accordance with excellence, it is reasonable that it should be in accordance with the highest excellence; and this will be that of the best thing in us.
-Aristotle Nichomachean Ethics

What is consumer culture? It is very simple. Once upon a time we had little; and then we discovered machines, and had plenty after. What drove the plenty was determination, ambition and even love. But then, one day, we took the plenty for granted. And what was hard work, and excellence, became amusement. And those who were customers and creators and workers became consumers and victims and users. If the excellent life does not consist of amusement, then we must do as Francis of Assisi remarked: "Do not try to change the world. Change worlds."

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