Building the New Imaginary

Here’s an interesting article about imagining a world beyond consumerism by Jonathon Rowson.  The piece makes distinctions about consumption versus consumerism that I think are helpful.  A critical element to the piece and its impact is the imaginary defined by Sam Earle as follows:

“the encompassing paradigm of ideas, beliefs and practices that makes society possible.”

and goes on to explain:

“The imaginary is not ‘the system’, it’s not ‘the culture’, it’s not ‘the ideology’ — it is our experience of navigating all of these things in search of a sense of acceptable behaviour and desirable forms of life. We are stuck in a consumerist imaginary and it is very hard to see a way out of it because we see through it.”

a few highlights from the piece:

“remember that consumerism as usual is just not an option full stop. If nothing else, consumerism drives our use of fossil fuels, which are the preeminent cause of climate change, a pre-competitive issue for everyone: no viable planet”

Important baseline consideration.  Change is coming.  We can work on change or be run over by change.

Read the article if you have a few minutes.  It’s full of interesting ideas and suggestions.  Maybe it will expand your imaginary slightly.

last quote from the piece:  “As Pablo Picasso once put it: “Everything you can imagine is real.” To which I would add: but only everything you can imagine.”