Contemporary Materialist Morality

The fact that this new morality is materialistic, quantifiable, and often merit-based and change friendly is not undesirable. Indeed these qualities are an inevitable consequence of rational social development. Rather, the source of the problem is that the equation here is incomplete. The consumerist, capitalistic value system is circular and self-referential; it fails to include the negative externalities of industrial production, for example. Nor is it able to include intangible qualities such as beauty or friendship. Further, the moral foundation of this value system is based on a tautology in that rich is good and poor is bad, that winners win and the losers lose and the winners are perceived as being inherently better than the losers – a flawed interpretation of Darwinism twisted and perverted to substantiate a preordained conclusion.

The value of money is not being questioned or even being measured in a valid context. People structure their entire lives based on the search for monetary wealth (and the products money can buy), it is the desire for money just to have more money. The effort is pointless because it has no context just as consumers are divorced from meaning and a separate identity outside of the money loop. Consumers are strongly discouraged from finding or forming independent meaning and identity and especially from questioning the established value system of consumer driven capitalism, just as under more traditional moral authority codes.

Taking a grand view of events I have to conclude that the moral values of contemporary consumer driven capitalism are an intermediate stage in the progression towards a system that adequately includes human needs and the needs of the natural environment around us, and the sooner we get to it the better.


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