UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Topic initiated on Saturday, July 14, 2007 - 11:53 AM
Earn more, spend more, want more
In the modern world, then, you have the age-old haves and the have-nots, and then you have the affluenza-afflicted: the have-mores.
So let us look at how the affluenza virus affects those four fundamental needs identified by psychologists: to feel secure, competent, part of a community and authentic.
Constantly comparing your lot with others leads to insecurity. You will have a nameless sense that there is always something you should be doing, a free-floating anxiety.
You will be obsessively running yourself down because you do not do as well as others, moving the goal posts if you do succeed. You may deal with the sense of your inadequacy by falsely building yourself up and by desperate attention-seeking.
The virus prevents you from meeting your need to connect with family, friends and the wider community by relegating them to low priority. Unless your family members assist your career, you keep them at a distance, going through the motions of family life because convention demands it.
Your values promote selfishness, so you miss out on the satisfaction to be gained from supporting others and feeling supported. The consequent lack of intimacy leaves you bored, empty and lonely.
You compensate with substance abuse and the "aholias": sex, alcohol, chocolate, work, shopping.
The same features of the virus that breed insecurity also impair your ability to feel competent. However conventionally successful you are, it is never enough.
By treating yourself and others as commodities, you are deprived of volition. You begin to experience yourself not as a person but as a powerless entity whose value is wholly determined by the market.
You may have the illusion of volition throughout your waking hours, who to hire and fire, what to buy and sell, but these choices are not really yours. It is not really you is deciding these things, but a commodity with your name.