"One of the flaws of Western culture is the imbalance between materialism and many of the precepts of Eastern philosophy. Just as we should have a balanced diet, we should have a balanced philosophy. America places an extreme value on material accumulation and not enough of spiritual (and I don't mean religious) living. Let's face it, once you have the 60" flat screen TV, where is the thrill after watching the 50th program on it?
This addiction to materialism has probably resulted from the evolution of uncontrolled capitalism arising out of greed, which itself probably arises out of insecurity. And the insecurity arises out of our own false expectation of ourselves as somehow not worthy or competent. If we are, then bad things might happen to us, so we better get all this "stuff" before it's too late."
Your picture of modern materialism (it is not JUST American)is perfect, and your analisis too.
I am not so drastic though.
I do not condemn humans to try to be what they are.
For centuries the Church and state and whatsoever have tried to transform man from the animal he is into a spiritual being which he is not.
Sex had to be condemned because the expression of the inner animality, we shouldn´t be the image of what we are: evoluted monkeys.
I honestly am very proud of my gorilla ancestors, I prefer to be the descendant of a gorilla than of two idiots like Adam and Eve.
I like to read and improve my knowledge, but I like to go shopping and feel good if I look nice in my mirror.
I enjoy a good movie or a cultural event, but I also enjoy sex and eating the food I like.
I think the need of having more is also the need to be better and that is what they call progress.
That is what made our gorilla ancestor to become what we are now.
He wanted a more comfortable house, better food, he wanted to look nice to conquer more females and deep inside of his soul he wanted to have a huge screen to be able to dream to be what he was not: in a baseball game the hero of the game, in a movie the hero of the story.
What is wrong with that?