The main argument in the book is that we now have a society, that is spreading globally, that only wants “simple satisfaction”. This global hunt for more is not only destroying the planet it is making many of us feel bad. It is not just the occasional day when people feel “down”, but something much deeper that is going on. James travels around the world to meet different people and use their stories to discuss different aspects of “Affluenza”.
The end result is not too far from Kalle Lasn and Adbusters, but James also add a little conservative touch by promoting more traditional family value.
The four root causes Oliver identifies are however structural and something that I think will be increasingly discussed the coming years.
1. Companies only looking at the share price
2. Privatization of public utilities
3. The belief that business need as little regulation as possible and that the rich don’t need to pay tax
4. The conviction that consumption and market forces can meet human needs of almost every kind.
To highlight these as (at least possible) fundamental challenges to our wellbeing, and at the same time also give concrete suggestions forward, is something more authors should try.