TED Conversations

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Could consumer economies just cause more war and make us grow farther from peace?

After looking at war in various novels/epics from the Iliad to Junger's War i have come to a conclusion that our consumer economy is distancing us from peace. Soldiers fight for what is back home, their possessions, family and freedom. The soldiers in the Iliad fought with shields which had designs on them representing their possessions back home. They were fighting to protect those possessions and to have peace in their society. But I do not believe that they were coming close to peace at all and neither are we in our society today.If you look at what peace is in eastern culture, "riding oneself of desires" and reaching the state of moksha. Peace in the united states will never be reached until we stop being a consumer economy. All the ads on T.V. create even more desires for things we do not need but feel we must protect through war.

progress indicator
  • thumb
    Dec 17 2012: on the contrary, free trade is the best preventer of war.
    • thumb
      Dec 17 2012: Right, especially when it comes to resources today or the 'free slave trading' in the past.
  • thumb
    Dec 20 2012: The global fiscal paradigm is "war-based". If we were to declare peace, our economy would collapse. This is verifiable.

    So the answer is, yes, consumerism supports the military industrial complex that profits greatly from war. The more we buy and the more we are afraid, the more those who profit from war want to increase profits by increasing wars
  • thumb
    Dec 19 2012: Great topic, Trey. I don't know, because when I look within, I find that I really want things, not because TV ads have told me I should, but because I genuinely want to be surrounded by beauty, convenience, power. It's very hard for me to understand people who have given up possessiveness. Have you given it up? How does it feel? How did you do it?
  • thumb
    Dec 18 2012: The facts do not agree with you.
    • thumb
      Dec 20 2012: I disagree. What facts?
  • thumb
    Dec 17 2012: Yes. You are right:
    “Peace in the united states will never be reached until we stop being a consumer economy.”

    Moreover, what we get from the consumer economy is mostly INVALID happiness, which is not necessary for the goal of our life --- keeping our DNA alive.

    (For INVALID happiness, see the 1st article, points 1-3, at https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=D24D89AE8B1E2E0D&id=D24D89AE8B1E2E0D%21283&sc=documents)
  • thumb
    Dec 17 2012: A smart man once said "Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." That was Albert Einstien the man the created the super powers of today. Even he understood that his atom bomb of force was not going to bring peace forever. Another man I look highly up to is Milton Friedman he also said “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.” A consumer economy is alright as long as the government stays out of it, which would be a free market. Instead right now are government has so much power that we can go to war with out declaring it. "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" - John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton
  • Dec 17 2012: For things for sure If that is the same thing as a consumer economy I'm not sure. Remember that the Banana Wars and Banana republics were named for bananas which were a new thing to eat.