2. Our good life will be protected by consumer rights and the invisible hand of the free market.
The free market is a chimera. States have taken an active hand in enabling commercial interests to advance – often at the expense of citizens’ well-being and local ecologies – for centuries, from the enclosure of the Commons in the 1600s to current patent and copyright laws which often commodify and privatize cultural assets. Moreover, the notion that our good life is to be found in the consumption of goods and services flies in the face of studies in the fields of longevity, health and well-being, and even prosperity. As Eric Hoffer, the American philosopher once commented, “You can never get enough of what you don’t really want.” It generally seems that people don’t really want unlimited personal power and big bank accounts at the expense of personal relationships and deep belonging, but the so-called free market, like a meat grinder, has a way of pulling us out of community life and into the industrialized world of the Empire. From the curse of hidden persuaders like Edward Bernays to the gigantism of Globalism, we have been socialized to consume goods and services to such an extent that we are rapidly overshooting the limits of our planetary boundaries, and that which we are consuming is starting to consume us.