QotD: June 1st, 2006 (Growth Fetish week)

From “Growth Fetish”, by Clive Hamilton:

“It is now becoming clear that the Sixties generation tilled the ground for the neoliberal reforms and ‘turbo-capitalism’ of the 1980s and 1990s. Railing against the conventions of their parents, the counter-culture tore down the social structures of conservatism that, for all their stultifying oppressiveness, held the market in check. The demands for freedom in private life, freedom from the fetters of career and family, and for freedom of sexual expression were noble in themselves, but it is now evident that demolition of the customary social structures did not create a society of free individuals. Instead, it created an opportunity for the marketers to substitute material consumption and manufactured lifestyles for the ties of social tradition. In the face of revolutionary changes in social attitudes in the West, consumer capitalism has remained unruffled. Indeed, each new social revolution has provided an opportunity for consumer capitalism to rejuvenate itself. Both the counter-culture and environmentalism contained within them seeds of revolt, but they were effortlessly co-opted, so that now those who are inclined can simply buy an alternative lifestyle.”