OPINION

Consumer ethics

…It is common knowledge that religious sentiment cannot bend the crude rules of realism which pervade human relations. It could not have been different; it’s enough to think that what we see as crime is someone else’s just war. However, something seems to be changing these days – and not only in the Christian world – as the festive atmosphere seems to be conquering countries which do not share our creed. This trend is often attributed to consumerism, as the expansion of Christmas traditions seems to carry a common desire, which is fostered by both Christian and non-Christian participants in the globalized economy, that is, to profit from the customary shopping spree. If this is the case, then there is no paradox. Mass production and consumption are the fundamental and much-praised achievements of the Western way of life, an achievement which is reflected on this major holiday also… As for Christmas itself, it is widely known by now that it acquired its festive character when British merchants thought of turning it into a commercial holiday. Something is changing these days – and this is not only because of the holidays or due to the contact with our loved ones, but also because of the increase in consumption which, considering the characteristics of our world, is a normal cause for satisfaction…