The phrase ‘Consume, Be silent, Die’ embodies a critique of consumer culture, capturing what also has been called the poverty of abundance. Variants include ‘Work, Consume, Be silent, Die’ and ‘Work, Buy, Consume, Die’.
The phrase traces to 1970’s environmental protests but regained prominence during the Occupy Wall Street protests of 2011.
Our cultural industry can be seen dangerous because it creates false psychological needs and teaches individuals to consume. We live in a capitalistic Society in which people are taught to consume and consume, from mass-produced companies.
In order to combat false needs and find true psychological needs, Society needs to have genuine happiness, creativity and freedom.
Society is taught to consume with the aid of media and advertisements, people’s lifestyles are starting to change to become almost robotic. The more money we make, the more we want to buy stuff, the more we consume, the more we want more, and thus we create this unhealthy ongoing cycle of consumerism.
We are no longer thinking when we shop, because we buy and then have that doubt or regret once the card has been swiped.
Shopping is no longer becoming an activity where individuals are able to socialize with one another but rather isolate themselves, thanks to online shopping.
Products then become just objects and no longer have an appreciation. People are losing that connection and no longer having relationships with other individuals, but building relationships with objects.
The false reality is, that we buy to fulfill happiness or so we think. The more we buy the happier we get, however it is the opposite. Once we made our dream purchase(s) our happiness declines over time.
We continue to give in, because the cultural industry manipulates consumers. We end up becoming trapped because we choose not to break way form these fabrications of false needs.
We can distinguish between want and need, but we choose not to change our mentality because of the fact that by consuming we satisfy our need for that moment.