Posted by Kevin Matthews on September 23, 2002 at 10:07:39:
In Reply to: Re: consumerism-consumption-technology &the decline of the traditional architectural space posted by Richard Haut on September 21, 2002 at 14:03:19:
There has been progress, in several dimensions, and there are serious problems, as well.
In terms of the trend for commercial culture to prey on people's needs, beyond just satisfying them, I think a basic problem is unrestrained growth of enormous commercial enterprises, which are also lent certain legal priviledges by most contemporary national governments.
The resulting international corporate power structure serves to supplant and ultimately to reduce the choice that Paul points out is fundamental -- not because they provide better value, but because their scale affords them more power to control.
Western culture having reformed the unrestrained power of hereditary monarchies as governments, we may now be seeing the quest for surpassing power emerging again, outside of traditional government, supported this time around by the language and philosophy of market fundamentalism.
This is why the exposure of the Enrons, WorldComs, Qwests, Haliburtons, etc. is in a long round-about way important for both local and world culture, and therefore for architecture.
The intellectually bankrupt concept of GDP (gross domestic product) as currently measured and announced is just one example of the parameters of market fundamentalism that must be changed to enable deeper understanding -- and truer choices.
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