Lately some heated debate have been going on in little oh Denmark.
It´s about the authentic life. A couple of journalists read a book by a guy named Potter. He writes about the authenticity hoax making the valid point that some companies seems to prey on the green consumer, falsely allowing said consumer to feel better about life, love, the universe and the self- when buying ecological, local groceries.
Green consumerism is nothing but consumerism, we agree- but still some items do really, really, like for real, poses a moral superiority, I think.
Small scale farming items over industrial farming products. Right? Are these items not better, in themselves?
However corrupted the business of going green might be, Potter and some of the journalists seem to neglect the fact that what´s going on is not only going on within the market mechanisms. You also see it in new economies rising (like in Argentina) or the prepper movements in usa or, hell, even in the lifestyle brands of, oh, the horror, us!
(yeah, I´m personally pissed)
People are actually leaving consumerism and capitalism (one of the journalists told me that he found this behaviour of ours to be a lack of solidarity, but don´t even get me started on that one)
The journalists seems to like the book and are now writing essays in the daily papers claiming that authenticity is nothing but a lie and people who strife towards this ideal are nothing but consumers, trapped in just another flavor of the month.
This attitude makes me so down right angry and I´m having a hard time containing myself. For these reasons:
1. To discard an entire movement in modern man is really underestimating modern man. It´s intellectual snobbery at it´s worst and it´s simply not true. Sure some companies may be corrupted and sure some consumers use green products for selfish purposes but the criticism discard an entire zeitgeist as fake.
I read an article the other day basically arguing that industrial farming is better than more conscious farming (sic!) simply because industrial farming is not plagued by an “I am holier than thou” attitude (sic!)
2. To deconstruct is not difficult. They teach it first semester at university. What is difficult is to construct. To improve. To suggest alternatives. To actually DO something. It bothers me when the elitist elite sit on their ass complaining about the stupidity of everybody else. Always have, always will bother me.
3. Why is it a hoax when green companies use the same marketing strategies that conventional companies use? Why should green companies be morally superior to other companies just because the sell morally superior products?
We all know how the market functions, everybody (even Axe or Pepsi) use storytelling and, well… advertisement.
Can´t a green company use advertisement?
If a green company was really green then it surely would not participate in consumerism at all, since consumerism de facto is anti-green. So. What´s the fuzz about?
Is it because they should not think that they are better than us (hello jantelov!) and is this why Potter is particularly popular with the Danish journalists right now?
4. the concept of authenticity have been highjaked (in little oh Denmark at least) by a political discourse between left and right. Green consumerism is percieved as somewhat “leftwinged” (Why? Who? Where?) wich might be why the rightwinged papers are picking up on this issue.
5. The concept of autenticity is elequently described in the books of philosopher Charles Taylor for instance in the book “Sources of the Self”. Unlike Potter, Taylor looks deeper than to the surface of the superficial “find your self” culture of our age and he actually in some way defend this hunt for autenticity. Potter does nothing but play the ridicule card (which, like deconstuctionism, is the easiest thing to do)
6. Something IS going on with the modern self. You see it in the Occupy movement, you see it in urban gardening, you see it lots of places- to reduce this ACTUAL trying to change the state of the world into some hipster trend of buying good consiusness is simply not valid. Change is coming and the current debate is nothing but extreme conservatism and playing it safe. Pftth!
SO. Without any further ado here are some authentical pictures of our autentical life, all glossy, fancy and fine.
I strive towards a better lifestyle, more time with my kids, better food and feeling more connected to the world around me. I do not strive towards perfect harmony. I just think there is an alternative, that´s why we did this- and it sure as hell wasn´t the easy way out!
Here it is: http://www.facebook.com/andthepioneerlife