by Rob Horning

8 February 2006


Pardon the self-indulgence, but I came across this in a three-by-five spiral notebook I used to carry around with me, before I had a blog to dump thoughts into.

Lurking behind much of the critique of consumer capitalism is a sense that it produces inauthentic selves and deprives individuals of a richer ground in which more thoroughgoing and satisfying dreams would flourish. But such a view can never be substantiated; it is instead always a kind of faith, a belief for someone who is totally secularized like me to hold on to, that some true self is there beneath the commercial masks. Perhaps the only consolation for how a consumer society prefigures our actions, our motives, our desires is to embrace the pleasures of ownership and stop trying to cancel them out with a regret that is no more authentic. That is the form of temptation my devil takes.

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