Reading Task 2 – The Rebel Sell

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Quotes from Reading Task “The Rebel Sell” by Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter:

  • Capitalism requires conformity to function correctly.
  • The system is based upon a generalized system of repression. Individuals who resist the pressure to conform therefore subvert the system and aid in its overthrow.
  • Consumption is not about conformity, it’s about distinction. People consume in order to set themselves apart from others.
  • Once too many people get on the bandwagon, it forces the early adopters to get off, in order to preserve their distinction. This is what generates the cycles of obsolescence and waste that we condemn as “consumerism”
  • We are often forced into competitive consumption, just to defend ourselves against the nuisances generated by other people’s consumption…in many parts of North America, the number of big SUVs on the road has reached the point where people are forced to think twice before buying a small car. The SUVs make the roads so dangerous for other drivers that everyone has to consider buying a larger car just to protect themselves.


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