Downward Mobility

“We have a deep need to belong, to feel that we are valuable and our lives are worthwhile”

I think that this need is inherent to us, and me being an unreligious person I have to agree. This need is something that is a part of human nature and is part of evolution. Our need to belong is caused by our survival instinct. We have a better chance of survival in a pack. This is similar to us wanting to find the best possible mate so that we can reproduce and pass on our genes that will have the best chance of surviving and passing on their genes. It is because of our survival instinct that we feel this need to belong, not that we feel valuable, though society makes us feel like the two are correlated.

“Our desires are stimulated and shaped by social rivalry.”

This is very similar to the one above, but I really like the point. However, I have some problems with it. What I stated above is that our major NEEDS, the need to belong, the need to reproduce, etc. are evolutionary. These needs are different from our desires, which are more likely to be material things. However, to fine the best possible mate as stated in #1, we must distinguish ourselves from everyone else. We do this by appearing prettier, skinnier, wealthier, cooler, etc. Businesses know this and create a need for specific “status” objects so that we will feel like we need them to prove ourselves and they will make more money. This is true with almost everything we buy, from designer purses to vintage comic books. It fits with every niche and socio-economic background. These become our desires. The material things but also the desire for wealth and self-improvement.

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