Shopping

I shop therefore I am … Barbara Kruger’s slogan from 1987 didn’t lose its bite. And what she says is not just that shopping became a matter of life style, as some commentators suggest. Shopping or rather consuming in general became a matter of survival. It is the only way to have a rest. Consumption is the only escape from the pressure to perform. If we don’t consume we have to work, if we don’t work hard (in the office), we have to work out (at a fitness center), if we don’t work out, we have to have fun (organize fun). What is at stake is the old-fashioned Marxian thesis of commodity fetishism – although in a slight variation. Commodity fetishism does not only function to conceal exploitative relations of production (which it still does, of course!), but to presumably provide the only remaining island that is entered without effort. Have a break! Have a treat! You deserve it you worked hard enough to reward yourself is what the products from the shop shelves keep calling at us.