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Designing Obsolescence, Promoting Consumer Demand
Designing obsolescence, promoting consumer demand

The logic of growth within a capitalist market economy necessitates continual pursuit of increases in productivity and perpetual innovations in design and manufacture of an endless stream of products, an essential corollary of which is the need to ensure consumer demand for the proliferating variety of ‘new’ goods is continually generated by utilizing a variety of techniques and strategies to cultivate appropriate levels of interest and desire. As one critical analyst of the promotion of consumer culture has noted:

In response to the exigencies of the productive system of the twentieth century, excessiveness replaced thrift as a social value. It became imperative to invest the laborer with a financial power and a psychic desire to consume. (Ewen, ...

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