You have not seen any nation on this earth consume itself into power – gain power by spending only. You will never see a nation that is a nation of consumers ever be a free nation and a powerful nation in this world. You will only see nations who have made it in this world economically; that are nations that are productive, and have control over the means of production which means property, resources, both human and non-human resources and materials.
There is no way you are going to exercise real power in this nation and in this world, if you believe that your wealth and possibilities can be freely given without any kind of stipulation to any other group of people. I don’t care how righteous it sounds, it’s not going to happen. And yet we have that kind of ideology out here and that is the reason we suffer the way we do. We have the ideology of individualism. Each of us doing his own thing.
Yet the building of these stores, the occupying of these stores by other groups is done by a coordinated system of activities. It’s done on the basis of institution and group behavior, not just mere individuals pursuing their own self-interest; but of individuals who have coalesced and combined their resources so that this could happen.
We are in the condition we are in because our consciousness is reactionary. It’s more concerned with defending our injured egos than with advancing our interest. It is a consumerist consciousness, that is absorbed by consumption and buying and eating more than it is with producing. It sees the end of life as continuous consumption. It sees the very meaning of life as contained in consuming and buying; not in owning and controlling.
We don’t care who sells us, just as long as we can buy. Just as long as you “get out of the way and let me get to the white man to give him my money”. We are only concerned with how we can consume – not with how we can produce. And because we have that as our central concern we are under the control of other people. Our values are such that we value being smiled at by Koreans more than owning the businesses that they have, and feeding our children through their profits.
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