Addiction In Free Markets By Bruce Alexander And Stefa Shaler

1009 Words3 Pages

Every day people are bombarded with images and captions painting shiny, perfect illusions that await them just a quick purchase away. They are the illusions that it is possible to buy happiness, acceptance, and perfection. Although they are not the only temptations, the constant tug of these promises soon become dependences that plague the countless people seeking an escape from their lives. The main issue here is that society is afflicted with a series of addictions caused by social dislocation and family stress. Addictions which have fed, and been fed, by the overabundance of external stimulation by outside forces, such as free markets, and lack of internal well-being as a result of a degrading sense of family and community. In the following, …show more content…

Propaganda such as the newest, shiny vehicle that will be the necessary turning point its owner needs to finally get that promotion or land the perfect date or the latest lifestyle trend that will transform and give people the life they’ve always dreamed of having. All this is sold by vendors who wish to tap into consumer’s deep seated desires for fulfillment they incorrectly believe they will find externally. This, as stated in Addiction in Free Markets by Bruce Alexander and Stefa Shaler, in turn leads to addictions, not just simply drug addictions or alcoholism, but a reliance on excessive pleasures that can be bought. This is a result of them believing, either consciously or subconsciously, that those pleasures are viable substitutes for a lack of stability in their lives (paragraph 5). This tie between free markets and addictions is not only seen in the twenty-first century but actually spans back through the last few centuries. One such example is England’s move into a free market system between the sixteenth and nineteenth century. Those who were victims of negative circumstances such as evictions from their farms and villages and forced into urban slums turned to addictions, like alcoholism, to cope with the instability and unhappiness of their lives (Paragraph 6). This correlation between dislocation and addictions can be seen in other instances as …show more content…

Alexander and Shaler make the observation that the current stance has many celebrating free markets for their advancement while ignoring the connection it has to dislocation and addictions. Additionally, there is constant attention drawn, with medical reasoning and facts, to how addictions are individual problems, either medical or criminal (Paragraph 12). Society is on a search to fix social issues yet they have not found one of the right culprits: addictions. People are living with damaged families and social ties or none at all and they are left to self-medicate without the correct tools they need to find the cure. All that is a toxic mix resulting in addictions that are further tearing apart and tearing down what little there is left. On the other hand, there is still hope. Understanding that looking for a cure by finding someone or something to blame is not the right way to go about this issue is the first step. It’s also knowing that these addictions can be contained by working from within, working to repair and build long-lasting and resilient ties with society and families can also heal the fissures and cracks in the foundations of all the lives that make up society. Just as addictions can be overcome, so can the problems responsible for creating a need for those addictions in the first

In this essay, the author

  • Argues that society is afflicted with a series of addictions caused by social dislocation and family stress.
  • Analyzes how the tie between free markets and addictions spans back through the last few centuries.
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