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30 December 2009

In Praise of Consumerism

By Diana Hsieh

CSG supporter Joseph Kellard published a letter to the editor in USA Today in defense of consumerism -- always under attack during the Christmas season by Christians and their secular humanist offspring. The letter is entitled "Buying is a virtue":

The perennial rants against Christmas consumerism fail to acknowledge man's highest virtue: production -- the virtue that makes consumption possible, sustains his life and uplifts his spirit. ("You can't buy the real gifts of Christmas," The Forum, Dec. 21).

Productive individuals must exercise other virtuous behavior, particularly rationality, honesty, efficiency and love of hard work.

When productive individuals buy cars, computers, iPhones and other material goods, they celebrate their highest virtues. And they develop well-earned self-esteem, happiness and pride.

In contrast, the stereotypical insatiable consumer is essentially a social conformist, motivated to keep up with the Joneses and who has never learned to appreciate the inseparable connection between productivity and virtue.

However, when that connection is made, consumerism is something to celebrate.

Joseph Kellard
East Meadow, N.Y.

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