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Intro

Materialism has existed for a long time, manifests itself into capitalism in
modern era
Could be argued materialism causes tunnel vision, bad morals
Could be argued it provides incentive

Materialism and indulgence have been deeply rooted in societies since


thousands of years ago; from kings of civilisations that seek endless growth to
businessmen who have an insatiable appetite for more investment and more
return. In modern times, the cycle of pursuit has been reinforced by capitalism
where more money leads to more possessions and more choices. It could be
argued that this pursuit is futile with no clear end, but many would argue that
the journey itself is what we savour the most.
To be wealthy in most societies is to have status and control. However
paradoxically, to be wealthy you have to have money, but to appear wealthy you
have to spend. For this very reason, people develop an uncompromising attitude
where the more money we earn, the better. This attitude at its most extreme is
capable of blinding people, causing the end to overwhelmingly take precedence
over the means. Every human being has a limited time on earth, so one has to
sit and ponder; is hunting down wealth throughout a lifetime the way to bring us
happiness? Its more likely caused by severe tunnel vision that prevents us from
realising that no amount of money will ever satisfy us.
We can evaluate whether or not riches make us happy by simply looking to
people above us in society. It is clear that self-actualisation is not brought about
through having money because there is no shortage of tragic stories of
billionaires realising their money wasnt enough. Embracing the idea of extreme
materialism can consume us as it is an ideology that states that our self-worth is
entirely based on what we own. As a result we risk losing control over our
identities and eventually, our property owns us. Conversely, being less mindful of
status and our net worth will allow us the freedom to discover ourselves.
Removing the monetary barriers that separate people shifts the focus into the
depths of each individuals personality. This is instead of the focus being on
material objects that are cosmetically fixed up then put into a perverse viewing
room that allegedly dictates who we are.
However, as Abraham Lincoln argues, seeing other peoples success relative to
ours is a driving force for us to be enterprising. We may seek to make money
from other people by offering them services or goods that in turn benefit the
economy. Moreover, the idea of attainment was never a foreign concept
introduced to human beings; it is ingrained into our nature. The rise of
communism showed us just how destructive trying to equalise a society is it
seeks to destroy a natural urge within us to succeed and to ignore the
undeniable differences between individuals. The futility of communism is clear
when you understand that different people excel in different fields, which is what
makes society grow. There should be no embargo on the natural enterprise of
human beings.
While human beings natural instinct is to seek provisions for ourselves, and
even comfort or status, its important for us to remember that our possessions
are just objects. They can be broken, lost and traded to other people and cannot

dictate who we are or our self-worth. Getting lost in a cycle of attainment is


dangerous because it blinds us from the things that are most resilient about
human beings personality and individuality. This continues until its too late. No
one can deny the fleeting nature of life, so while enterprise and riches can
provide us with joy, its importance should not be overstated.