“U.S. capitalism is natural by-product of desire to acquire,” by Philip Martin, from the

“They’re [in New York City] because they have to be somewhere, because they can’t imagine being anywhere else, because there’s really no other place to be that’s genuinely real to them. But maybe they’re not buying stuff like they used to either, maybe the show in the street is just that—maybe all those Fendi bags, all those heavy blingbling watches are counterfeits, purchased around the corner from a large Nigerian with sad, wise eyes. […] “Look, it’s understood that most of the world doesn’t live the way we live—most of the world doesn’t have the equivalent of two nickels to rub together. Most of the world still uses that big wheel money, don’t they?—they haven’t got cable modems and Discover cards. “They don’t, but you do. And maybe you don’t go to New York every year to do a little Christmas shopping, maybe they don’t know you on sight at the Essex House, maybe your personal shopper doesn’t make a weekly stop at Prada, but you are an American, my friend, and a literate American at that. And though you might say you hate to do it, you have probably shopped merely to entertain yourself.”

Posted December 25, 2002

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