Our second reading looks is from an unfinished manuscript of Ivan Illich, entitled simply Needs. This traces the origins of the modern certainty that humans have abstract 'needs' for good and services, and that the more they consumer the more further they are from being poor. As with a lot of Illich's writing, this one rewards relistening. We have only got time for the first part of this - part two may be forthcoming in a future episode.
Our second hour features a radio adaptation of the film Shop Til You Drop, which features a number of voices. It traces the history of conspicuous consumption, and how 20th century advertisers refined their techniques at make US citizens buy products they don't need. Several voices speak up about different angles of the victimisation of the US public intended to turn them into consumers whether they like it or not. It notes that Peak Oil will mean less and less rather than more. It concludes that US consumerism is in crisis, and that it is time for self-directing people to demand more of themselves than passive consumerism, to overcome programming by advertisers and governments, and manage their own lives and help others to wake up to the real world.
Thanks to Rowan WalkingWolf of Yggdrasil Distro for the Marshall Sahlins reading.