affluenza n. = An extreme form of materialism in which consumers overwork and accumulate high levels of debt to purchase more goods (affluence + influenza). //aito
Selfish capitalism is bad for our mental health
The growth in relative materialism over the past 20 years is taking a heavy toll on the wellbeing of English-speaking nations
Thursday January 3, 2008
By far the most significant consequence of “selfish capitalism” (Thatch/Blatcherism) has been a startling increase in the incidence of mental illness in both children and adults since the 1970s. As I report in my book, The Selfish Capitalist – Origins of Affluenza, World Health Organisation and nationally representative studies in the United States, Britain and Australia, reveal that it almost doubled between the early 80s and the turn of the century. These increases are very unlikely to be due to greater preparedness to acknowledge distress – the psychobabbling therapy culture was already established.
Add to this the astonishing fact that citizens of Selfish Capitalist, English-speaking nations (which tend to be one and the same) are twice as likely to suffer mental illness as those from mainland western Europe, which is largely Unselfish Capitalist in its political economy. An average 23% of Americans, Britons, Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians suffered in the last 12 months, but only 11.5% of Germans, Italians, French, Belgians, Spaniards and Dutch. The message could not be clearer. Selfish Capitalism, much more than genes, is extremely bad for your mental health. But why is it so toxic?… continue
· Oliver James is discussing Selfish Capitalism with Will Self, Madeleine Bunting and Stewart Wallis in three London seminars this month