ByVanessa Acheampong, writer at

What is affluence? Success? How do we achieve it? How many ways and forms does this ‘pigment of imagination’ come into form and embody itself in a universal materialistic standard of which we all seem to strive towards? And is there even the slightest possibility that achieving could not only be restricted by class but by culture?


Which problem does wealth seem to exacerbate in society?

Well many of us in this modern era associate success with the accumulation of wealth. It may be hard to comprehend, and many shun the idea of money bringing happiness. But doesn't happiness come with the advantages that wealth brings? In this case, can being ‘so materialistic’ be such a bad thing? In a society whereby money truly does make the world go round’ settling for the bare minimum could be lead you into a life of never-ending poverty- why should it be such a bad thing to strive for the best?

Thought provoking quote.
Thought provoking quote.

Looking at this concept, some would be able to heavily link the idea of success to class and subsequently ethnicity and culture. The idea and the concept of there being a dominant class in social hierarchy is evident, and truthfully those who chose to negate such an idea is a sign of ignorance at its bliss. This ignorance is what the bourgeoisie feed off to legitimise their place in the social stratification ladder. For those who do not see it, idea of the richest 1% is very real, it’s out there, and whether we like it or not, nearly every action we can think of is one that they could possibly benefit from. Even the idea of being materialistic. The concept of materialism is not a bad thing and shouldn't be a pursuit at which people frown upon. Since when did having realistic goals and aspirations become an idea that is constantly frowned upon by society?

Can wealth plague the idea of meritocracy?
Can wealth plague the idea of meritocracy?

Obviously when looking at the concept of ‘materialism’ there are 2 aspects to focus upon. There is the blatant goal of acquiring wealth and then there is the other less prominent aspect of prioritising those materialistic standards above the spiritual ones; which include relation It is this aspect of materialism that is frowned upon, simply due to the fact that a moral society does and should place a higher value on all things human- after all we are humans, made by humans, living amongst other humans. It only seems right?

To me and many others it is extremely hard to comprehend that the concept of ‘Ritualism’ as a way of life. Yet many are left with no choice. Money. Many are quick to blame the individuals, the social institutions, class- (a sign of status frustration). It is money- the tool of exchange- and is truly what makes the world go round. We happily accept money through pay when carry, yet those who have significantly less that ‘the wealthy’ are crudely quick to assume that the ‘wealthy’ have breached some sort of morality in order to have gained such wealth. How judgemental, how envious? These people who attack the ‘materialistic’- but really just aspiring are actually attempting to rationalise their envy though such assumptions and this is where the line should be drawn. We should not damn down others for succeeding and aspiring, but rather spur them on to do even better. How can wishing everyone who is not on your level to do badly possibly benefit anyone? It’s better some do well than none at all? These people claim that they want to ‘alleviate suffering’, but if nobody had the opportunity to succeed, this would mean a greater amount of suffering and failure, than the ‘preferred alleviating of suffering’. And this is whereby a communist society limits success. Envy is a twisted emotion. It’s not the money which is considered ‘evil’, but those who continue to view money as the perpetrator of all the World’s problems- because if we take a step back and actually analyse the situation, it is man that created money, amongst many other materialistic features that our in our lives today.

Envy. It takes away from what human beings should really be. This is coming from a person with no religious moral, but morals based on observation and inner morality.

Money. It is the only object that fuels materialism that keeps them going because the will- power, the drive, the ambition and the motivation are but lost. In this response, individuals still follows the rules and relations of the legitimate opportunity structure, but essentially as goals and success are no longer a priority, the culturally accepted means are internalised. The idea advocated by Robert Merton as a response to the strain put on individuals due to the difference in culturally valued means and culturally valued goals. Surely the repetitive, typical zero hour contract job is just an implementation of the bourgeoisie? Those who live with the bare minimum are obviously the subject of the system, they now live to believe that the stage they are at now is all they can ever achieve. Sadly, that may be the very case. for others, we may just continue to envy the so called 'free loading care free lives' of celebrities due to the hardship we tend to carry out too often.


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