Modern Slavery and the Gods of Consumption by Ofer Even
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The current American society thrives on consumerism. It is all about I, me and myself. A totally hedonistic society which believes to live in today and doesn’t care a damn about tomorrow.
Michael is living an idyllic life a beautiful wife Iris, one son and a daughter. They are living an American dream having all the materialistic comforts at home. He believes to live in present and lives on borrowed money. He has become workaholic so that he can pay the EMIs and has 3-6-9 rules for them. Still he is not happy despite all the material comforts to him and his family. Iris sometimes remind him that they are living beyond their means and their children are being pampered. His black servant Johnny has five children and lives a frugal life. His wife and children are also happy in limited means. He is working for a firm who manage everything for their clients by any means. If someone is not their client he is doomed. One of his client Andy is incarcerated due to some embezzlement charges. Michela is falling for his wife Chloe and they both know it will be disastrous for both of them especially when his wife is pregnant with their third child. What happens next forms the story.
The story can be of anyone of us. We are running insane for material comforts and being sucked into the quicksand of this rat race. But if you are in a rat race and wins it, you are still a rat. The story has so many insights that you read some passage, then pause and relish it.
1. We are becoming more and more dependent on technology to remember things which we can remember easily otherwise. This is leading to digital amnesia.
2. Michael used God shamelessly to get his means. He knew that Americans love god. Even judges tend to give lighter sentences to criminals who demonstrate remorse. God, Family and repentance all in one paragraph improves situation of people like Andy immensely.
3. No one wants to live in a world without justice still “IGNORANCE IS BLISS”.
4. There is a lot of racism in America and a tacit assumption that hundreds of thousands of blacks in America simply chose to remain poor, have a lot of children and never attempt to better their conditions.
5. Prisons are teeming with blacks as they are easy targets and privatized prison system need more people incarcerated.
All in all a very good book. I enjoyed it immensely and it made me think.
Recommendation and rating:
I would recommend it to those who like to read thought provoking books which makes you think and bring face to face with reality. I give the book a 4/ 5 stars.
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