Marie Kondo Privilege Detractors are Missing the Deforestation for the Trees

Low-income Ghanaians working in Agbogbloshie, a suburb of Accra, Ghana, site of the world’s largest electronics dump. (photo: Marlenenapoli)

“Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.” — Henry David Thoreau

Marie Kondo’s new hit show on Netflix, based on her book of the same name, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, is not peddling privilege.

Marie Kondo is Bringing Balance to the Universe

Kondo has the simple, unassailable answer to what is probably the biggest and most important question facing humankind in 2019, and beyond. It is a question deeply rooted in privilege, the implications of which have the power to negatively impact every human being on Earth.

How will humankind survive with a larger and larger population who must all share limited resources?

Marie Kondo knows the secret, and she is willing to share.

Convincing the Wealthy to Want Less

The answer is convincing the wealthy to voluntarily consume less.

Hope for the Rich at Heart

Marie Kondo privilege detractors do have a point: Poor people do not have the luxury of surrounding themselves only with things that “spark joy.”

Rich Eyes and Poor Hands

Being poor in America in 2019 is made all the more painful by a constant barrage of advertisements, mass product launches, product placements, movies, magazines, poor characters on tv in mystifyingly luxe digs.

Pandora’s Box

We opened Pandora’s Box: Advertising was inside.

The Cure for Conspicuous Consumerism

Marie Kondo is the equal and opposite reaction to Proctor & Gamble and LVMH. She is the inevitable blowback to a decades-long, multi-trillion dollar ad campaign run by the biggest advertisers in the world and designed exclusively to convince more people into believing they will be more happy/thin/loved/accepted/envied/fulfilled if only they buy more stuff.

The Ultimate David Versus Goliath

In one corner, we have the world’s largest advertisers: They have trillions of dollars at their disposal, decades of experience, millions of smart people, teams of psychologists, psychoanalysts, scientists of every stripe, market analysts, government-lobbying firms, the world’s most powerful computers, consumer focus-groups, and a sucker born every minute.

A Global Goliath

The billion-dollar ad campaigns, megalithic companies and multinational conglomerates that have sold us conspicuous consumerism have a massive head start. Commercials, glossy magazine ads, celebrity product endorsements have been drilling in our dear little ears without ceasing since before most of us learned to walk.

The Life of Things

The first generation to grow up with single-use plastics is learning the high cost of convenience. In lakes, rivers, streams; in the bellies of dead animals and on every roadside, we can’t escape seeing it everywhere we look.

If buying things is supposed to make you happy, disposing of things is supposed to make you sad. The message that it doesn’t, that it is only a natural part of the whole process of responsibly owning something, is the antithesis of advertising.

Ethical Consumerism

The idea that buying something- from a new shirt to a new package of razors coated in a well-nigh impenetrable plastic layer of excessive packaging- carries a great responsibility is almost revolutionary.

Buy Less, Be Happier

Convincing people in wealthy nations to buy less, eat less, consume less; that they don’t really need all that stuff, may seem like a losing battle. That doesn’t make Marie Kondo an elitist: She’s a dreamer.

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