Synopses & Reviews
A piercing and vital look at how capitalism is consuming U.S. society.
An apt sequel to Benjamin R. Barber's best-selling Jihad vs. McWorld, Consumed offers a wrenching portrait of how adult consumers are infantilized in a global economy that overproduces goods and targets children as consumers in a market where there are never enough shoppers. Driven by a frantic imperative to sell, consumer capitalism specializes today in the manufacture not of goods but of needs.
This provocative culmination of Barber's lifelong study of democracy and capitalism shows how the infantilist ethos deprives society of responsible citizens and displaces public goods with private commodities. Traditional liberal democratic society is colonized by an all-pervasive market imperative. Public space is privatized. Identity is branded. Our world, homogenized. With brilliance and depth, Barber confronts the likely consequences for our children, our liberty, and our citizenship, and shows finally how citizens can resist and transcend the civic schizophrenia with which consumerism has infected them.
"Powerful and disturbing. No one who cares about the future of our public life can afford to ignore this book."--Jackson Lears
A powerful sequel to Benjamin R. Barber's best-selling offers a vivid portrait of an overproducing global economy that targets children as consumers in a market where there are never enough shoppers and where the primary goal is no longer to manufacture goods but needs. To explain how and why this has come about, Barber brings together extensive empirical research with an original theoretical framework for understanding our contemporary predicament. He asserts that in place of the Protestant ethic once associated with capitalism--encouraging self-restraint, preparing for the future, protecting and self-sacrificing for children and community, and other characteristics of adulthood--we are constantly being seduced into an "infantilist" ethic of consumption.
'\"Powerful and disturbing. No one who cares about the future of our public life can afford to ignore this book.\"\'\"Jackson Lears\n
About the Author
Internationally renowned political theorist Benjamin R. Barber is the Kekst Professor of Civil Society at the University of Maryland and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos in New York City, where he lives.