Monday, 20 January 2014

The Curse of Competition

From 'You Can Add Years To Your Heart' by P.E. Norris (1963):

The Curse of Competition (p105)
One of the prime causes of coronary disease is the intense competition men have to face in the business world; and women in social life. 
Today competition is vastly increased by unscrupulous and tendentious advertising which forces one to keep up with the Joneses or become an outcast. Nowhere is this brought to such a pitch of destructive perfection as in the United States of America. One has merely to read books like Ernest Dichter's The Strategy if Desire to realise how great an evil has been perpetuated. 
Dichter contends that " creative discontent is necessary to progress", and that advertising produces discontent. 
Man seems determined so to twist every invention for his benefit, and every force for his good, into an evil thing. Advertising, which was meant to bring the world's produce to his front door so that he could choose just what he wanted, is now an ogre which dragoons him into buying that which he doesn't want or need, and can't afford. 

Ten thousand mechanical devices have been invented to make life easier; but they have made it more complicated than ever. In America and now in Britain, if you want to be " anyone", you must own most of these gadgets; and to own them you must increase your income or become a slave to hire-purchase; and to make a satisfactory income you must sell yourself into bondage and work yourself into your grave long before your appointed time. 

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