Challenging the consumer culture

Baha’is across West Berkshire have welcomed a challenge by the Baha’i International Community to the belief that human beings are slaves to self-interest and consumerism.

The Community issued a statement for the UN Commission on Sustainable Development’s two-week meeting in New York, which finishes on 14 May.

The document, entitled Rethinking Prosperity: Forging Alternatives to a Culture of Consumerism, challenges the view that there is an intractable conflict between what people want – which supposedly is to consume more – and what humanity needs.

It says: “The culture of consumerism … has tended to reduce human beings to competitive, insatiable consumers of goods and to objects of manipulation by the market.

[But] the human experience is essentially spiritual in nature: it is rooted in the inner reality – or what some call the ’soul’ – that we all share in common.”

West Berkshire Baha’i Shawn Khorassani said: “This document is a welcome and timely reminder about the issue of consumerism. It encourages us to reflect on the question of who we are and what our purpose in life is.”

You can read the statement at

Or you can read more on the Baha’i World News Service site.

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