[Paleopsych] Spiked: Why people hate fat Americans

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Why people hate fat Americans

    Today's attacks on obese Yanks are motivated by a broader unease with

    by Daniel Ben-Ami

    If Americans had to be described with one word, there's a good chance
    it would be 'fat'. Americans, we are constantly told, are the fattest
    people on the planet. Obesity is rife. Compared with other nations the
    Americans are not just big, but super-size.
    Yet this obsession with obese Americans is about more than body fat.
    Certainly there is a debate to be had about the extent to which
    obesity is a problem in America - a discussion best left to medical
    experts. But a close examination of the popular genre on obesity
    reveals it is about more than consumption in the most literal sense of
    eating food. Obesity has become a metaphor for 'over-consumption' more
    generally. Affluence is blamed not just for bloated bodies, but for a
    society which is seen as more generally too big for its own good.
    It is especially important to examine this criticism of American
    affluence in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. An assumption
    underlying much of the discussion is that, at the very least, wealth
    did America no good in its battle with nature. An editorial in last
    weekend's UK Guardian caught the tone: 'America is the richest and
    most powerful country on Earth. But its citizens, begging for food,
    water and help, are suffering agonies more familiar from Sudan and
    Niger. The worst of the third world has come to the Big Easy.' The
    implication is that America's wealth is somehow pointless.
    A column in the Washington Post went even further, by advocating what
    it described as a Confucian approach to the question. It argued that
    Americans 'blithely set sail on churning seas and fly into stormy
    skies. We build homes on unstable hillsides, and communities in
    woodlands ripe for fire. We rely on technology and the government's
    largess to protect us from our missteps, and usually, that is enough.
    But sometimes nature outwits the best human efforts to contain it.
    Last week's hurricane was a horrifying case in point. The resulting
    flooding offered brutal evidence that the efforts we have made over
    the years to contain nature - with channels and levees and other great
    feats of engineering - can contribute to greater catastrophes.' From
    this perspective, the pursuit of economic development is worse than
    useless: it may be well-intentioned but it only makes matters worse
    for humanity.
    To understand how a disaster such as Hurricane Katrina can become an
    occasion for attacking American affluence, it is worth examining the
    fat metaphor in more detail. Take Super Size Me, the documentary in
    which Morgan Spurlock lives on nothing but McDonald's food for a
    month. Within the first minute the American flag is shown fluttering
    in the wind. The voiceover then says: 'Everything's bigger in America.
    We've got the biggest cars, the biggest houses, the biggest companies,
    the biggest food - and finally - the biggest people.'
    Spurlock makes his assumptions even clearer in his follow-up book,
    Don't Eat This Book. The first chapter discusses how America has
    become 'the biggest consuming culture on the planet' (1). He talks of
    how 'the epidemic of overconsumption that's plaguing the nation begins
    with the things we put in our mouths' (2).
    Other popular works on obesity make similar points. Eric Schlosser,
    author of Fast Food Nation, says at the start: 'This is a book about
    fast food, the values it embodies, and the world it has made. Fast
    food has proven to be a revolutionary force in American life; I am
    interested in it both as a commodity and as a metaphor.' (3) Just how
    the Big Mac or Chicken McNugget can embody values, let alone make the
    world, is not made clear. Schlosser frequently argues that such food
    has little nutritional value but he seems happy to endow it with
    incredible powers to influence society.
    Greg Critser, a liberal and a Democrat, and author of Fat Land, talks
    about food consumption in almost religious terms. Like Schlosser and
    Spurlock he makes it clear that he is not talking about food alone. In
    chapter two of Fat Land he argues: 'Bigness: the concept seemed to
    fuel the marketing of just about everything, from cars (SUVs) to homes
    (mini-manses) to clothes (super-baggy) and then back again to food.'
    (4) In the same chapter he makes it clear that a key objection to
    McDonald's is that it campaigned to override 'cultural mores against
    gluttony' (5). Implicitly at least Critser is arguing that the Deadly
    Sin of gluttony should be somehow rehabilitated.
    Making a connection between obesity and consumption is not limited to
    books about fat Americans. It is a staple of many environmentalist
    texts. For example, Jeremy Rifkin makes a similar connection: 'The US
    GDP continues to expand along with our waistlines, but our quality of
    life continues to diminish.' (6) Clive Hamilton, an Australian critic
    of economic growth, talks of overweight people 'revealing in such a
    confronting way our dirty secret of overconsumption' (7).
    Michael Moore only refers to the obesity issue in passing - in Stupid
    White Men he argues: 'If you and I would eat less and drink less, we'd
    live a little longer.' (8) Perhaps this is a sensitive issue for him,
    seeing as he is no lightweight. But he does criticise America for
    being number one in relation to several areas of consumption,
    including beef, energy, oil, natural gas and calories (9).
    Such arguments seem to have won considerable resonance both inside and
    outside America. According to the latest Pew Global Attitudes survey,
    a comprehensive opinion poll of public attitudes in America and 16
    other countries, the USA is routinely seen as greedy by Western
    publics. For example, 67 per cent of the Dutch, 64 per cent of Britons
    and 62 per cent of Canadians see Americans as greedy. Perhaps most
    striking of all, 70 per cent of Americans see their fellow compatriots
    as greedy (10).
    Despite the huge volume of discussion on American obesity the key
    arguments put forward by the critics can be reduced to a few simple
    ingredients. Each of these is open to question, although it is
    unfortunately rare for them to be critically scrutinised:
      * Over-consumption is not just about food. Food is being portrayed
        as simply the most conspicuous example of a society that consumes
        too many resources.
      * Consumption is widely seen as a problem. At the very least it is
        regarded as incapable of making Americans, or any other people,
        happy. At worst it is portrayed as having a down side or even
        being akin to a disease. So in their best-selling Why Do People
        Hate America?, Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Davies argue that
        'the "virus" of American culture and lifestyle replicates so
        readily because it is founded on the premise of abundance, the
        lure of affluence' (11). Similarly, an American documentary and
        follow-up best-seller on affluence was called Affluenza (12).
      * The sin of gluttony, it is widely argued, needs to be
        rehabilitated. Usually the argument is put in secular rather than
        religious terms but the content is the same. What is being
        suggested is that a morality of limits needs to be popularised.
        People should apparently be encouraged to limit their consumption
        - whether the limits are voluntary or imposed by law. Often
        controls on advertising are also favoured as it is seen as somehow
        propagating the culture of consumption.

    Let us examine each of these arguments in turn. Then we can consider
    why the attack on consumption has come to the fore in recent years.
    The end of hunger
    The first argument has some truth to it, in that there is a close
    relationship between food consumption and the use of resources more
    generally. So criticising the pervasiveness of cheap food in rich
    societies can also be a way of attacking affluence. In other words,
    the wide availability of food can become a metaphor for large-scale
    consumption more broadly.
    But critics of cheap food forget that its attainment is a considerable
    historical achievement. Most of human history involved a constant
    struggle to find enough food. The battle against hunger was the norm.
    This is still true in much of the developing world, where the World
    Bank estimates that 815million people ate too little to meet their
    daily energy needs in 2002 (13). So to have achieved a situation
    where, at least in the developed world, food scarcity is virtually
    eliminated is a tremendous achievement. As well as being good in
    itself, it also allows people to spend more time on other things
    rather than struggling to meet their most basic needs.
    Of course this does not mean that obesity cannot have negative
    consequences. But it should be recognised as a problem associated with
    success. Food today is more plentiful and of better quality than ever
    before. No doubt quality can improve still further in the future and
    other factors, such as insufficient exercise, can be tackled. However,
    these are relatively small challenges compared with the historic
    battle to rid the world of the scourge of hunger.
    Is consumption the problem?
    As for the second argument, that consumption is in itself somehow bad
    - that is deeply flawed. On the contrary, humanity has benefited
    enormously from economic growth and the attendant increase in
    consumption. It has allowed people to live longer and healthier lives
    than ever before. It also has brought enormous cultural benefits, as
    people have more leisure time rather than focusing their entire lives
    on survival.
    Critics of consumption start from the incorrect assumption that there
    is a finite amount of resources in the world. From such a narrow
    perspective any consumption by one group of people is inevitably at
    the expense of another. It also assumes, wrongly, that the world is in
    danger of running out of resources.
    Food provides a good example of the flaws in this argument. Just
    because people in America are well-fed it does not follow that they
    are depriving those in, say, Ethiopia or Niger. There is no reason why
    with higher productivity - more production of food per person -
    everyone in the world should not have enough to eat. The problem is
    not too much food in America but too little food in the developing
    world. The aspiration should be to raise the levels of consumption in
    poorer countries to match those in the West. Instead, the
    anti-consumption campaigners seem to want to concentrate on reducing
    the level of consumption in the rich world.
    What is true for food also holds for other resources. It is not as if
    there is a set amount of resources which will be used up as society
    becomes wealthier. On the contrary, as the world becomes richer the
    amount of resources available to humanity also expands. For example,
    for Stone Age man, or even in the early twentieth century, uranium and
    plutonium were of no use to humanity. But with economic development it
    became possible to use them as power sources.
    A wealthy society can utilise more resources and use them more
    efficiently than a poor one. That is why the doom-mongers' arguments
    about the world running out of resources - which have been made in one
    form or another for over two centuries - have always been proved
    Consumption and happiness
    As for the contention that economic growth does not make people
    happier - that is less clear-cut than is made out. It is certainly
    true that, objectively speaking, Americans are better off than ever.
    As Gregg Easterbrook writes, comparing today with the 'Golden Age" of
    the 1950s: '[I]n real dollars almost everything costs less today than
    it did then, healthcare is light-years better, three times as many
    people now make it to college, and the simpler, more innocent ethos of
    the 1950s denied the vote to blacks and job opportunities to women.'
    Whether people feel subjectively happier is a more complex question.
    In Britain there are certainly those, such as Richard Layard, who
    argue that beyond a certain point society becomes no happier as it
    becomes wealthier (15). It is also widely assumed that Americans are
    less happy than those in other developed societies.
    But there are some grounds to dispute this view. According to the
    conclusion of a recent opinion poll by Harris Interactive: 'The big
    picture is that Americans are much more satisfied with their lives,
    much more likely to believe that their lives have improved and much
    more likely to expect their personal situations will improve than most
    Europeans.' (16) The poll found that 58 per cent of Americans said
    they were very satisfied with their lives in 2004-5 compared with 31
    per cent of Western Europeans in a similar European Union survey. Only
    the Danes, with 64 per cent saying they were very satisfied, were
    happier than the Americans.
    But let us assume that, as many polls seem to indicate, there is a
    pervasive sense of unhappiness in American society. It does not
    necessarily follow from this premise that economic growth is
    necessarily bad or should be downplayed. On the contrary, its
    objective benefits should be clear. The widespread sense of
    disaffection certainly raises interesting questions about American
    society and about the developed world more generally. In particular,
    why, despite greater affluence than ever before, is there widespread
    foreboding about the future? By simply assuming that economic growth
    is the problem, the anti-consumption critics avoid asking difficult
    but critical questions about the prevalence of social pessimism in
    contemporary society (17).
    Limiting consumption
    Finally, let us examine the idea that consumption should be limited in
    some way - that, in either a secular or religious form, the notion of
    gluttony should be rehabilitated. The call for limits is a central
    element of contemporary politics, whereas in the past the focus was on
    how best to make society wealthier so that everyone could benefit.
    The discussion of food and healthy eating clearly provides a metaphor
    for placing limits on consumption more generally. It is a useful way
    of illustrating the argument that individuals should consume less. In
    addition, the assumption is that people should eat what the
    anti-consumption lobby designates as healthy food rather than 'junk'.
    Underlying all this are the implicit assumptions that consumption
    needs to be limited and pursued in a responsible way. In other words,
    there is a strong element of moralism from the preachers of limited
    consumption. If they came from a traditional preacher, such views
    might be laughed at. But placed in the context of health - for
    individuals or society - they are taken seriously.
    Support for limits is also expressed in more general terms by
    contemporary thinkers. George Monbiot, a Guardian columnist and
    environmental campaigner, is a prime example. In his view, the world
    has reached the stage where 'the interests of global society will be
    served primarily by restraint' (18). Although Monbiot is often seen as
    a radical critic of society it would be more accurate to see him as a
    mainstream advocate of imposing limits on consumption.
    The case for limits was put in more theoretical terms by Christopher
    Lasch, a prominent American social critic who died in 1994. In The
    True and Only Heaven he developed an intellectually coherent case
    against progress. Lasch, who was generally associated with the left,
    criticised liberals for not seeing 'the positive features of
    petty-bourgeois culture: its moral realism, its understanding that
    everything has a price, its respect for limits, its scepticism about
    progress' (19).
    Such views are not simply social theory but they have become embodied
    in contemporary policy. For example, the concept of 'sustainable
    development' has been accepted by international agencies, such as the
    United Nations and the World Bank, as well as by national governments.
    The notion of sustainable development itself embodies the needs of
    limits. Our Common Future, a landmark UN report first published in
    1987, clearly defined sustainability in these terms, describing it as
    'development that meets the needs of the present without compromising
    the needs of future generations to meet their own needs'. It goes on
    to say that sustainable development contains 'the idea of limitations
    imposed by the state of technology and social organisation on the
    environment's ability to meet present and future needs' (20).
    The UN has also more explicitly spelt out its assumptions in relation
    to consumption. Its Agenda 21 report to the 1992 Rio Summit made this
    clear. One of the principles of the report was 'to achieve sustainable
    development and a higher quality of life for all people', and it
    called on states to 'reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of
    production and consumption and promote appropriate demographic
    policies' (21). More recently the 1998 edition of the UN's annual
    Human Development Report was on 'consumption for human development'.
    Although it starts by acknowledging the advantages of consumption it
    soon changes tack to talk of its downside: 'Today's consumption is
    undermining the environmental resource base. It is exacerbating
    inequalities. And the dynamics of the
    consumption-poverty-inequality-environment nexus are accelerating.'
    National governments have also taken on board such ideas. For example,
    under President Bill Clinton the USA had the 'President's Council on
    Sustainable Development (PCSD)' (23). One of its task forces, created
    in 1994 and reporting in 1996, had the specific role of looking at
    population and consumption (24). The arguments in this report were
    posed in terms of finding a better balance between consumption and
    population on the one hand, and the environment on the other.
    The sin of gluttony
    So it should be clear that the idea of limiting the growth of
    consumption is mainstream. Gluttony has, in a subtle way, been
    reinstituted as a sin. It does not apply just to food but to
    consumption of resources more broadly. The need to impose limits on
    consumption is accepted by national governments and by influential
    multilateral agencies.
    Of course, many would go along with the idea that limits should be
    placed on consumption. They might reject the use of religious language
    but they would accept the notion of sustainability. After all, such a
    view has become the conventional wisdom.
    However, those who hold to this view should remember that there is
    still an enormous amount of work to be done to raise the level of
    consumption in the world. This is most clear in relation to the poor
    countries. According to the World Bank, 2.7billion people were living
    on less than $2 a day in 2001, of which 1.1billion lived on less than
    a dollar (25). A lot remains to be done to raise a large proportion of
    the world's population to the consumption standards we enjoy in the
    But even in the developed world there is still much to do. For
    example, there is much talk of a 'demographic time bomb', meaning that
    it is not possible to provide a decent income for pensioners. However,
    with economic growth, and higher consumption levels for all, there is
    no reason why this problem cannot be solved. A more productive economy
    is key to solving what is often wrongly cast as an intractable problem
    Perhaps the most misleading aspect of sustainable development is its
    supposed orientation towards the future. It wrongly assumes that
    curbing consumption growth will benefit future generations. The
    opposite is true. Holding back on economic growth means that future
    generations will be less wealthy than they would otherwise be. It
    means that they will be in a weaker position to tackle their problems
    and live an affluent life. The worst that we can do for the future is
    put limits on economic growth in the present.
    Before examining why anti-consumption sentiment has come to the fore
    it is worth saying something about advertising. The whole anti-fat
    genre makes much of the fact that fast food companies spend a huge
    amount on advertising - particularly aimed at children. In itself, the
    discussion of advertising is not new. Back in 1957 The Hidden
    Persuaders, a study on how the American advertising industry was
    shaping personal behaviour, was first published (27). What is
    different today is the power attributed to the power of advertising
    across the whole of society. It has now become mainstream to rail
    against the advertising industry. Anti-consumerist campaigns such as
    Adbusters are highly respected (28).
    What is rarely commented on is the elitist assumptions on which the
    anti-advertising campaign is based. Their starting point seems to be
    the snobbish view that people are somehow duped into consuming by the
    advertising industry. Yet, in reality, consumption is popular
    precisely because, for obvious reasons, people like to be better off.
    This is the big weakness of the anti-consumption movement. It wants to
    persuade people to curb their consumption but, from a common sense
    perspective, individuals rightly prefer to be richer rather than
    poorer. Advertising might persuade them to eat in, say, McDonald's
    rather than Burger King, but it is not necessary to persuade people to
    enjoy consumption.
    The pervasiveness of attacks on affluence, despite the benefits of
    consumption, begs the question of why they are so popular. Criticisms
    of consumption are not new. Back in the late nineteenth century
    Thorstein Veblen, an American sociologist, coined the term
    'conspicuous consumption' (29). But they have never been so pervasive.
    From the 1970s onwards, anti-consumption sentiment has moved from
    being an elite preoccupation to the mainstream (30).
    There are many reasons why this shift has occurred. A complete
    explanation would demand a comprehensive examination of how society
    has changed in recent years. But a key part of the reason is the
    institutionalisation of the idea that there is no alternative to the
    market. Capitalism, in one form or another, is seen as the only
    realistic way of organising society. In terms of political debate
    there is what Thomas Frank, a liberal social commentator, describes as
    'the systematic erasure of the economic' (31). In other words,
    cultural matters are open for debate but fundamental economic
    questions are not. Or as Will Hutton, a British liberal commentator,
    puts it: 'The allegedly futile and empty materialist culture [is]
    deplored by conservative, liberal and religious fundamentalist alike.'
    One way to understand this point is in relation to consumption and
    production. Matters related to the sphere of consumption are open to
    debate. This includes not just the literal act of consumption itself
    but related questions such as brands and identity. To the extent that
    the economy more broadly is discussed - whether by critics or those
    who are pro-business - it is from the perspective of consumption.
    Areas such as advertising, brands and marketing are given inordinate
    In contrast, the productive sphere is seen as fixed. This is not just
    a technical question of the manufacturing process for, say,
    semiconductors or plasma screen televisions. It means that the
    possibility of developing a qualitatively better economy is denied.
    Humanity's creative potential, including the possibility of
    transcending the limits of the market, is banished from discussion.
    As a result, a one-sided view of humanity has taken hold. The
    consumption of resources, important as it is, is given too much
    weight. Human beings are seen as parasites on the planet using up the
    world's natural resources. In contrast, the creative side of humanity,
    the ability to solve social problems and create a more productive
    society, is at best downplayed in importance. At worst, the capacity
    of human beings to create a more productive society is seen as a
    problem, a destructive characteristic, rather than the positive
    quality it represents.
    That is why fat Americans are so widely hated. Overweight Americans
    represent, in caricatured form, the affluence of US society. They are
    the personification of a society in which scarcity, if not eliminated,
    has become marginalised. Yet we live in a world in which consumption
    is seen as a problem and the possibility of creating a better society
    is seen as unrealistic.
    By focusing on fat Americans the critics of consumption are saying,
    implicitly at least, that people should consume less. They are arguing
    for a world in which Americans become more like those who live in the
    poorer countries of the world. From such a perspective equality means
    levelling everyone down rather than raising the living standards of
    the poor. It means giving up on the battle to resist hurricanes or to
    reclaim land from the sea.
    Yet implementing such a viewpoint is a super-size mistake. Our
    aspiration for the world should be to give the poor the advantages of
    affluence enjoyed by those in the West. Living standards in countries
    such as Ethiopia and Niger should be, at the very least, as high as
    those in America today. In that sense we should all aim to be fat
    Daniel Ben-Ami is the author of Cowardly Capitalism: The Myth of the
    Global Financial Casino, John Wiley and Sons, 2001 (buy this book from
    [2]Amazon (UK) or [3]Amazon (USA))
    Read on:
    [4]spiked-issue: Obesity
    (1) Don't Eat This Book, Morgan Spurlock, Penguin 2005, p6
    (2) Don't Eat This Book, Morgan Spurlock, Penguin 2005, p7
    (3) Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser, Penguin 2002, p3
    (4) Fat Land, Greg Critser, Penguin 2003, p29
    (5) Fat Land, Greg Critser, Penguin 2003, p20. Also see Rachel Cooke,
    'The big issue', Observer, 9 March 2003. See [5]Fat and fiction, by
    Rob Lyons
    (6) The European Dream, Jeremy Rifkin, Polity 2004, p81
    (7) Growth Fetish, Clive Hamilton, Pluto 2003, p95
    (8) Stupid White Men, Michael Moore, Penguin 2002, p156
    (9) Stupid White Men, Michael Moore, Penguin, 2002, p174
    (10) 'American character gets mixed reviews', Pew Global Attitudes
    Project, 23 June 2005, at the [6]Pew Global Attitudes Project website.
    Americans are also viewed as violent and not to be trusted in relation
    to the global environment. On the positive side they are often seen as
    hardworking, honest and inventive. The survey was conducted among
    nearly 17,000 people in 16 countries, including America
    (11) Why Do People Hate America?, Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn
    Davies, Icon 2003, p117
    (12) See the [7]Affluenza website
    (13) [8]Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, 1990-2005,
    United Nations Statistics Division
    (14) The Progress Paradox, Gregg Easterbrook, Random House 2004, p78
    (15) Happiness, Richard Layard, Allen Lane 2005. For a critique of
    such arguments see [9]Economic misery, by Benjamin Hunt
    (16) Quoted in 'Contented cowboys', Wall Street Journal Europe, 17
    August 2005
    (17) For an alternative explanation of social pessimism see Culture of
    Fear, Frank Furedi, Cassell 1997
    (18) [10]A restraint of liberty, George Monbiot, Guardian, 24 May
    2005. Monbiot argues that the threat of climate change means restraint
    is necessary. For more on Monbiot's anti-consumption approach see
    [11]Recipe for austerity, by Daniel Ben-Ami
    (19) The True and Only Heaven, Christopher Lasch, Norton 1991, p17
    (20) Our Common Future, Oxford University Press 1987, p43
    (21) [12]Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and
    Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992
    (22) [13]Consumption for Human Development, UN Human Development
    Report 1998
    (23) See [14]President's Council on Sustainable Development
    (24) See [15]Population and Consumption Task Force Report
    (25) [16]Global poverty down by half since 1981 but progress uneven as
    economic growth eludes many countries, World Bank, 23 April 2004
    (26) See [17]Ageing: the future is affordable, by Phil Mullan
    (27) The Hidden Persuaders, Vance Packard, Penguin 1960
    (28) See the [18]Adbusters website
    (29) [19]The Theory of the Leisure Class, Thorstein Veblen, 1899,
    chapter IV. For a discussion of Thorstein Veblen, see [20]Conspicuous
    consumption, a century on, by George Blecher
    (30) The popularity of EF Schumacher's Small is Beautiful, first
    published in 1973, is a signal of growing pervasiveness of attacks on
    large-scale consumption
    (31) What's the Matter with Kansas?, Metropolitan 2005, p127
    (32) 'Shopping and tut-tutting', Will Hutton, Observer, 4 September
    2005. Hutton then makes the mistake of arguing that the way to counter
    the attack on consumption is simply to embrace shopping.


    2. http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0471899631/spiked
    3. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0471899631/spiked-20
    4. http://www.spiked-online.com/sections/health/obesity/index.htm
    5. http://www.spiked-online.com/articles/0000000CABC8.htm
    6. http://pewglobal.org/
    7. http://www.affluenza.org/
    8. http://unstats.un.org/unsd/mi/mi_coverfinal.htm
    9. http://www.spiked-online.com/articles/00000006DDBD.htm
   10. http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2005/05/24/a-restraint-of-liberty
   11. http://www.spiked-online.com/articles/00000006DE37.htm
   12. http://www.un.org/documents/ga/conf151/aconf15126-1annex1.htm
   13. http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/1998/en
   14. http://clinton1.nara.gov/White_House/EOP/pcsd/index.html
   15. http://clinton2.nara.gov/PCSD/Publications/TF_Reports/pop-toc.html
   17. http://www.spiked-online.com/articles/0000000CA4E3.htm
   18. http://www.adbusters.org/
   19. http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/VEBLEN/veblenhp.html
   20. http://www.spiked-online.com/articles/0000000CA542.htm
   21. http://www.spiked-online.com/Articles/0000000CAD43.htm

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