"On the verge of a economic crash landing, and perhaps a great depression, the dark side of the mythos of the 'consumer driven economy' -- the collapse of it -- is now in play."
The play between vendor and consumer in the 'affluent society' is like a kinky role playing game run amok. Unless we envision a new out come, a lot of people will get hurt.
The vendor knows the cost of the widget; the consumer is addicted to the act of purchase; not the object itself but the act of buying and subsequently the act of replacing it; thus the higher the price of the widget the higher its value rather than the use-value of the object. The consumption of the new new and the garbaging of the old new is the modern consumer fetish. One up on displaying the new car, the new living room set, is the display in the garbage, the box that the new thing came in. Now the Jones's garbage may be better than yours. The garbage is always better garbage on the other side of the fence.
On the verge of a economic crash landing, and perhaps a great depression, the dark side of the mythos of the 'consumer driven economy' -- the collapse of it -- is now in play. In this neo-con fantasy, the consumer and the vendor strive for the dream of conspicuous consumption driven by the fear that the whole thing will collapse soon. They both 'know' they must eventually pay for their 'good times'.
The global economy is now resolving this self fulfilling prophesy; unless we think otherwise, no other out come is possible.
The other thinking is that the neo-con myth is just that; and that the solution is in a socialist direction; we need a new New Deal, another Great Society vision.