continual economic growth is only possible if needs are constantly diversifying to create new markets. there is a necessity for ever more diverse needs so that ever more specific products can be devised to meet them. advanced capitalism maintains itself by fostering spurious individualism, pressuring us to define ourselves through our purchases, with ever more precisely marketed products that create a fetishistic concern to have 'this' rather then 'that', even when there is no significant practical or aesthetic difference. it profits from the dissatisfaction and rage that are engendered by unreal social comparisons, encouraging us to fill the consequent psychic void with material goods and drugs of solace (alcohol, illegal drugs, food, nicotine).
money can even be made from restoring the chemical imbalance in our brains that result from these overheated ambitions and false identities, selling pills and therapeutic services to the damaged and subordinated. capitalism does very nicely at both ends. it creates misery, and it cures it. our inner lives foot the bill.
-Oliver James, Adbusters Vol 11 No 5