The different rates of social, political and economical developments in different countries are directly due to the difference in socio-political and economic philosophies and policies that these countries have undertaken. Some policies have proven to have profound positive effects where they have been applied. Examples of such philosophies are consumerism, existentialism and feminism.
Consumerism has been defined as a social and economic philosophical order that encourages consumption of goods and services and by extension purchase of the same in ever-greater amounts. Consumerism has had a profound impact on the development of many developed countries. The trend has been encouraged by the media. The demand for luxury goods was first observed on a large scale in the 17th to 18th century in Britain, when demand for luxurious goods was on the rise. These included tobacco, sugar, tea and coffee led the country to establish vast plantations in its overseas colonies in the Caribbean to grow these crops.
The Industrial revolution and consumerism are co-related
The revolution saw an upsurge in the demand for luxury goods. Encouraging consumption therefore encourages production, which in turn encourages industrialization. As consumers demand for more sophisticated goods and services, innovation comes about to ensure that such goods and services are produced. Encouraging people to consume further encourages them to work harder in their respective economic activities so as to attain more wealth and thus be able to purchase luxury goods and services. Consumerism therefore, directly enhances economic growth and encourages innovation.
Consumerism also calls for consumer protection, which is aimed at protecting and informing consumers through insistence of ensuring that such practices as honest advertising and packaging, product guarantees, and high standards of safety. The consumerists movements that call for consumer protection, get to ensure that consumers get high quality goods and services and the use; if any side effects they are well–informed of and thus get to have value for their money.
Consumerism can be enhanced by putting in place economic policies that lay emphases on consumption. Such policies should ensure that the consumers’ free choice should be the chief determinant of the society’s economic structure.
This is a social philosophy that aims at promoting the view that human beings should exhibit human values and should therefore act, have feelings, and generally think as human individuals. Søren Kierkegaard, a renowned existentialist philosopher proposed that each and every individual has the sole responsibility of giving meaning to their life. Existentialism also claims that existence precedes essence, meaning that an individual should be considered first as whom they are as an individual rather than by the social stratum they are placed in by preconceived categories in which the individual fits. Encouraging existentialism encourages equality, equity and social justice for all as it encourages viewing people as human individuals first and not through stereotypes accorded by the society.
Feminism and improved gender relations
Feminism is an ideology aimed at establishing equal political, social and economic rights for women. The rights include the establishment of equal opportunities for women in attainment of education and employment.
Women’s empowerment has been instrumental in defining the United States’ social structure. It is the empowerment that has seen their social lives change profoundly for the better since the establishment of the first feminist movement in the 1800s. However, equality has not been achieved, especially in employment, where men still hold more than 75% of managerial positions in major firms and in leadership positions. Reverse of this trend will give more confidence to women.
The growth of China’s economy in the recent past has been partially attributed to giving ensuring that women, who form a good proportion of the population, are encouraged to take careers that are still predominantly male in other parts of the world.
Enhancement of these philosophies will ensure that the United States continues to grow and maintain dominance in the global social, political and economical fronts.