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As Clark says, again and again and he is correct, we are being swayed in our thoughts and desires by those who wish us to consume more. Part of “The Trick” of the Industrial Revolution, was to get people to desire stuff they did not know they needed, an excellent example is tea and cakes/biscuits. Build factories to manufacture ceramic table ware. Import sugar from the Americas. Import tea from Asia. Construct a canal system. Build factories to manufacture biscuits/cakes.
But “The Trick” is to get people to desire this new life style. To get middle class people to desire beautiful crockery, so that it is displayed as well as used, that it is part of a set that can be added to. The tea comes from China, the Sugar from the West Indies, an aspiration life style is born. We have not looked back, we are “helped” to want ever more stuff, that we did not know we needed or wanted, much of this is promoted by television and now the Internet.
Probably this is the greatest addiction of all time.