How to Survive the Modern World: Making Sense Of, and Finding Calm In, Unsteady Times Author(s): de Botton, Alain ISBN: 9781912891535 Publisher: School of Life Format: Hardcover Year: 202107

Materialism: It is often said that the problem with modern societies is that they are far too ”materialistic”, which is taken to mean that we are far too interested in buying objects. This is not entirely fair. We are indeed materialistic, but not primarily because we buy a lot; rather because we harbour an immense faith in the power of whatever we do buy to affect our state of mind. We aren”t so much greedy as hopeful. We may, for example, develop a faith that a certain kind of diamond ring will render us able to sustain a long-lasting and harmonious relationship, or that a soft drink will be able to assist us in healing the divisions in our family. Our belief that complicated psychological ambitions might be accomplished through the possession of an object is a poignant feature of our age. We hope these objects will have success in transforming complex and elusive bits of our internal functioning

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