The rise of the middle class in the wealthy west has seen a huge increase in consumerism and materialism. Fashionable abodes and furnishings used to be the exclusive domain of the upper classes. It was their signifying distinction from the rest of us. Capitalism sold us the narrative that we too could become rich and famous in our own lifetimes. This is the carrot that drives the whole free market enterprise system. We want what they have, and we want it to look sublime. Beautiful homes and gorgeous attire our both on the hit list of every red-blooded westerner.
Palaces & Castles in the Suburbs
This surge toward materialism has now crossed over into the east, where India and China are seeing the rise of their middle classes. Religions have lost their cache in the latter part of the 20C and into the 21C. No one wants to know about the afterlife, when they can have it all in this life. Dressing for success is a big part of life in the wealthy urban cities which dot our coastlines. Fashionable abodes and furnishings are de riguour for the well-adjusted Australian, American and European. We are building little palaces and castles in the suburbs for our own edification. Indeed, morals have been put on the back burner and avarice and greed have come out to play.
Dress it Up in Style
Peruse this excellent online showcase for some fine examples of quality timber furnishings for the home. We strive today to live well within our houses and apartments. There is nothing morally wrong with that per se. The desire for bricks and mortar to safely enclose our families has been there for millennia. Similarly, the urge to dress it up in style is a natural advancement upon that basic motivation. We want to sit down to a fine table and relax in the splendour of our own home. That we wish to deny the opportunity to those less fortunate than ourselves is where the problems start.
Sharing the Pie
Many of us see the pie as a finite resource. That if we share our pie with another there will be less for our self. That we can blithely watch children in detention centres suffer and not do anything about it, speaks volumes about the values we hold dear and our humanity. Fashionable abodes and furnishings cannot muffle the screams of the tortured in our midst.