American advertising has brainwashed the whole world. The poor billions want a pimp-mobile and a McMansion and a porn princess.
Yes, but tlr, it was that way before advertising.
"The eye of man is never satisfied."
I could tell you a dozen stories about Native Americans and how they amassed loads of stuff, just that it was all hand made. That's what the potlatches were about. And the chief spent the year amassing loads of stuff because his power and reverence came in being able to give the most stuff away.
After the white man hit and trading started the Native Americans wanted all the stuff they saw white people with. Of course, those in power (and this is one of those very unpopular historical facts) saw that through these trades they were losing their leadership roles and tried to stop their people from consorting with the whites.
The full story of Tecumseh is a perfect example of this. He was a wonderful man who, I believe, only wanted what was best for his people. But he had a deranged brother and people with in his own tribe who believed it was time to live like the white man. They were sick of the leadership structure and felt it was time they be given a chance to get off the bottom of the ladder.
There are diary entries written by the first white men to come to the west coast and they talk about piles of smoked salmon as big as a log cabin which the tribes amassed for their vast trading networks. And these networks didn't just trade for food. People wanted stuff. They found wampum from the east coast there.
We somehow have been trained to believe tribes lived like wandering gypsies. Only the plains tribes did, and only they did for about two hundred years or so - as they were pushed westward by other tribes being pushed west from white settlement. (Which tells us something about evolution and adaptation, but I digress).
Most of the tribes were settled, or enough so that they came back to places with regularity. Truthfully, a lot of the reason the east coast tribes moved at all was because they used up a soil's ability to grow things, so they had to move to new places. I know that is not what we've been taught, but that's what the scholarship says.
Anyway, I had a professor that got really angry about white people's (and even most Native Americans these days) attitude that Native Americans lived like Adam and Eve in the jungle.
He said, first of all, that it made them seem no better than animals, unable to improve their lot. Which is incredibly untrue because they had a vast, and often incredibly malignant, influence on their environment - just as every other human, or the ones that live outside a rain forest. And he was a scholar, so he loathed how the scholarship has been manipulated.
Because the scholarship (and there is a vast amount from men and women who weren't racist assholes, who really were interested in historically preserving the anthropological data) says that Native Americans wanted the things the white man had. And got it. Anthropologists and diarists of the day write of Native Americans with full sets of china, huge wardrobes, even things the couldn't use - butter churns, for example, because they wanted stuff.
Read about the Cherokees. Their leadership had vast plantations, beautiful homes. And lots and lots of stuff.
Psychologists and sociologists surmise (and most of you probably know this) that this need for stuff is part of the hunter-gatherer portion in our brains.
Anyway, that's a more accurate version of Native Americans and stuff. Even if they realized the white man's ways were stupid and the leadership saw their power slipping away, they all wanted more stuff.
It's a strange world where we want stuff, but the planet doesn't support the desire. Lots if tinfoil there, I suppose.