3 types of consumerism
I make a distinction between three different kinds of consumerism. One is mainstream consumerism; the dominant hegemony that happens in our culture. Mainstream consumerism is mega. Walmart exemplifies this kind of consumerism, as does the mega-church. Boomer consumerism is mainstream consumerism.
Then you have counter consumerism, which is savviness. They are aware that Walmart and [Microsoft] Windows are trying to dominate, and they resist just like they resist mega-churches. But the odd thing is they’re no less consumers. They’re just counter consumers. A counter consumer buys Apple. It is absolutely consumer driven. They are consuming an identity that says we’re different; an alternative from the rest of you.
It’s youth rebellion. A reaction against what you’re parents like.
Yep. Instead of Starbucks you’ll go to the independent coffee shops. But it’s still coffee shops and it’s still consuming to form an identity. The emerging church is largely counter consumer. It’s really edgy, hip and trendy. But it’s no less consumeristic.
The third type is anti-consumerism. That is what I would call my context. Mennonites resist both the hip Apples and the hegemonic Windows. They would rather not have a computer. They’d rather make their own clothes, sow their own quilts, build their own homes. They’re very, very, very careful not to consume. That’s anti-consumer.
Read the rest of the short interview, including what type of consumer Hipps thinks Jesus was.