The difference between consumer and stakeholder

Would you rather have a stake in the environment or merely consume it?

Be a consumer or a stakeholder? Your choice. .

Be a consumer or a stakeholder? Your choice.

If a bank loaned me money the relationship would be that of a consumer.  The bank has no interest in my business, only on making a fast profit at my expense. The bank will require that I pay back its loan plus interest.  The bank would see me as a cow to be milked for every penny it can through bank charges and selling me expensive unnecessary financial products.  The bank has a parasitic viewpoint to its customers in making profit without regard to encouraging happiness, health or abundance in its customers.  If an individual invested money in a business they are in effect a stakeholder, their focus is on producing a healthy profitable business so they gain a return on their money, the downside is they take a loss if the business fails.  It is in the interests of the investor to do everything in their power to assist the business to succeed.

The consumer

In the old economic global order you and I are classed as consumers.  Our interest is limited to the consumption of products and services sold to us by the providers of those products and services. We have no say in the processes or the provision of the products or services: for instance the process that employs children in factories to provide Apple products; or the processes of Monsanto that kills bees.

Short-termism

The contract between consumer and provider is limited to a short-term exchange of product and service for money, often with a notion that what is consumed will in a short time be thrown away for a better one, or as a result of the design that gives it a short-term life cycle to encourage further consumption.

Consumers are placed in a state of constant need

The consumerist system is designed to see you and me as nothing more than a hungry locust, we the consumer are always placed in a state of need in a system that often favours an outcome of parasitism where one side loses and one wins.   The idea is we satisfy this need by spending on products we often do not need, regularly and continuously; wiping out our savings, the legacy for future generations, and enslaving ourselves in perpetual debt to money merchants (banks) to keep this unsustainable system going.  Consumption is the golden ideal in this system, where the health of a nation is measured by the amount of consumption via the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and recession is considered bad indicating consumption has slowed or reversed. Spending is good and saving is bad in such a system.

The stakeholder

When you get involved in the conversation on sustainability you and me are often referred to as stakeholders.  As stakeholders we take on a radically different world view to that of the consumer.  As a stakeholder you have an interest in the community, economy and the environment you are involved in.  No longer are you merely consuming resources, you have authority, and responsibility for those resources.  You become like the investor in the business, investing in the health of energy systems thus reaping the benefits of the prosperity in terms of happiness, health and abundance that the energy system will bring.  Instead of being a bystander you are centre stage in the conversation and processes of anything that you have an interest in.  You become a change master, in that now you have the power and voice; you are the change maker, in that you not ruler, priest or merchant makes the changes.

The choice

The attitudes, ideas and processes that worked at the expense of the environment for the last 50 years around spending, consumption and relentless growth are no longer sustainable.  The energy systems are no longer coping, are breaking down into disorder.  The consumer is heading towards extinction, the rise of the stakeholder is the beginning of a new order.  The choice remains if you wish to continue to be a consumer or take on a new role as a stakeholder.

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24 responses to “The difference between consumer and stakeholder

  1. I enjoy your blogs, Alex. Sometimes they endorse my own views. At other times, you send me on a thought track previously not travelled by me. Thank you.

  2. Our current system of monetary systems are going to be seen to change I should’t wonder very soon.. and so will the Banks … I envisage a day when we will have more Co-operation and Co-operatives systems in place to enable communities to thrive.. the system we have at present has to change with the changing environment we are all of us seeing can not go on for ever.. And a day will come when we have to see we all Have a Say and a Stake! in our Future… 😉

  3. A very interesting post.. and having read it twice I find nothing I disagree with, if anything I’m behind everything you say. The world today is no longer an individual person to which the concern is given but rather to the big stake holders that keep the government of their choice in power.. this for their own good and not their consumers… people like Monsanto, of whom I’ve written a few articles, have no individual at interest, no country in fact their only concern is the bottom line… the fact they are killing the environment, causing cancer in so many more and in the name of poverty, actually selling their products to stake holders doing their best to better the worlds hunger.. and it is this very concern for their own pockets that is causing more trauma for the borderline poverty fighting farmers… I agree Banks are in it for one thing only.. profit.. they won’t take a risk or give support unless, if you as the lender, give them so much collateral that no matter what they will get their money back… Alex it is a dog eat dog situation now and I think it is difficult to choose between moving from a consumer to that of a stake holder…

    • Hi Bulldog, thanks for your observations. I watch the activities of Monsanto with great concern. My attempt to be sustainable is fraught with challenges from a system that favours an unsustainable process. Everything is weighted to an unsustainable consumerist process, and as you observe it is difficult to act in ways counter to this process.

      The choice however must be made to follow a sustainable process, since it is scientifically inevitable that all systems will collapse into disorder if the unsustainable processes of the last 50 years continue.

  4. Thank you for writing such a great thought provoking blog. I always leave the posts with more questions than I started with.

  5. [ Smiles ] I like your insight, Alex.

    Many of us have suspected that there was something deeply wrong with the banking system.

    Fabulous article.

  6. My goal has always been to live sustainably. I would love to get to a point where I grow my own food and consume a lot less of everything than being a part of current society requires. I do all I can in my current situation but I will continue to make steps toward my childhood lifestyle dream. 🙂

    • All that each person can hope to do is do the best they can with the circumstances they find themselves in. Well done on your own efforts 🙂

    • We have four mature apple trees on our property and have planted five more varieties, an Italian plum, cherry, paw paw and have blueberry, blackberry, raspberry plants in place. Since fruit is so luxurious and expensive, this is where we decided to raise our own and organically. Some native fruits on our little acre – thimbleberries and huckleberries, my favorite. I’m really happy about this. Pears are going in next!!

      • One aspect of living sustainably is to be self-reliant, be able to live without being dependent upon others, to be able to offer a benefit for that which you need through trade whilst being free of enslavement. Well done on growing your own food.

      • That’s great and smart. fruit is the more expensive and also the most vunerable to environmental change. Get all you can canned up and enjoy 🙂

      • Oh, and I forgot the pomegranate. Once I began to eat almost exclusively organic foods, I was amazed at the taste and the way my tummy felt. I’ve said this before – “It doesn’t hurt anymore!!” 😀

  7. I have definitely left the consumer lifestyle behind me. I would rather take what time I have to leave less waste behind and leave something better behind, unlike say our Congress, who have no concerns about leaving the next generation with the results of their current choices, I want to leave something good for the next generation and beyond. As for the banking system, I was raised by grandparents who grew up through the Great Depression and their mistrust of banks, credit and the like so always had that vision with me.

  8. Banks are a real sore spot with me. I think they’re pimps and pushers. So, at every chance I get, I use THEIR money, when they offer me a free ride for a year or two, I take it, and make dam. sure I’m done with them at the end of the term. I’ve taught all my kids to use OPM (other people’s money) 😉

  9. Pingback: Sharing my favorite posts of the week | livingsimplyfree

  10. Awareness and conscious decision making of individuals contrasts with automated business practices, in which we relay more and more on computer programmers’ choices for us.
    Oscar

    • There is an ongoing process in modern society to reduce the individual to nothing more than an unthinking machine like the machines that humanity now so heavily depend upon. Thanks for your comment.

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