Do We Live in a Throw-Away Society?
A “throw-away society” is a term with highly negative evaluative connotation that means the same as the more neutral “consumer society”. Both terms, however, in the course of time acquired that negative tinge which everybody is supposed to express when pronouncing them; it is fashionable to denounce our society for being a consumer society rather than… no one actually knows rather than what.
It is just one of the cases when people speak about things they do not truly or fully understand. There is nothing wrong about consumer society. Moreover, any society that develops naturally finally comes to the point of becoming a consumer one, which means only that the majority of material needs people feel have become attainable, unlike they were before. I daresay that the majority of people frothing at their mouths about the evils of consumerism, be they placed for a while in a real, undecorated communist or feudal state will very quickly become much cleverer and understand that there are not many alternatives to the consumer society and all of them are much, much less nice to live in.
It is said that the amount of wastes produced by humanity as the result of over-consumption will very soon become completely out of control and virtually bury the humanity under it. As all predictions are, it means and costs nothing. The statistics in the early 20th century warned the people that by the middle of the century the traffic in big cities (i.e. the quantity of horse carriages) will become so great that the streets will be covered with a meter-high layer of horse-manure. A really dreadful problem it is, is it?