By Ben Cohen
The horrific story of a Walmart worker literally trampled to death on 'Black Friday' (the mass shopping day after Thanks Giving) is an example of a nation with some very serious problems. The 34 year old part time worker was 'bum rushed' by 200 people, according to witnesses, and died later from his injuries.
Let's put this in perspective for a moment. How far have we declined as a society where getting the latest flat screen TV is more important than human life? Some of those shoppers must have been aware of the man they were trampling over, yet continued in their quest for material consumption.
Crazed shopping is a manufactured tradition, perpetrated on us by marketing companies and the PR industry. We are literally hypnotized into desiring things we really don't need, and whipped up into a frenzy when 'special days' are imminent.
The culture pervades modern society. George Bush told us to defy terrorism after the attacks on 9/11. How? "Go Shopping", he said. The answer to the recession? "Go Shopping". When we are told that are sole function in society is to buy, we denigrate what it means to be human. Sharing, compassion, love and kinship are qualities we should resort to in times of crisis, not mindless shopping sprees. Buying reinforces individualism, an act of personal material enrichment rather than one of national unity and shared sacrifice. Buying junk may increase corporate profits, but it does not increase human happiness.
Make a stand against mindless shopping, and make 'Black Friday' a 'Buy Nothing Day'.