The not-so-secret secret to consumer capitalism

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This aphorism is going to be to-the-point. It may also come off as dark, so reader beware.

I had this thought the other night and jotted it down in my bedside notebook:

The not-so-secret secret to consumer capitalism (and, just maybe, pretty much any system of human organization) is that people want to be lied to. The bigger the lie, the more they’re willing to pay.

Commodities satisfy needs. As such, there require less lying to sell. They have use value.

Brands, by contrast, satisfy wants. They demand more lying. They have what Marxist economists call “exchange value.”

There’s a double-lie at play in these transactions: the lie that’s being told and the lie that the transaction isn’t a lie. The seller must never break character. They must play the lie straight — as a self-evident truth.

The more the seller can maintain the double-lie, the more wealth they accrue.

All purchases boil down to desperate attempts to reinforce or bolster the illusion that is the thought-up self. The illusion begets the delusion (that what is purchased can buttress the self).

And ironically, here’s something for sale:

Confessions of a Hallway Hustler cover

Confessions of a Hallway Hustler

Another Shameless Wimpy Kid Parody
By Jest Ninney

Confessions of a Hallway Hustler is the rollicking tale of Anton Altanero, a foreign transplant with delusions of grandeur, navigating the wilds of a typical American middle school. It's Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets Scarface, without the guns but with all the greed and ambition.

Grab Your Copy

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