Are we Citizens or Consumers?

In Political Studies class this week, Oliver is learning about the differences between the economics spectrum and the political spectrum. This post from Stephanie Booth was a good jumping off point for our own discussion about this:

Ce matin, dans un podcast un intervenant remarquait que l’on avait été tellement bien éduqués à être des consommateurs qu’on réagissait en consommateurs et non en citoyens aux problèmes politiques ou de gouvernement. Je pense que c’est une remarque très juste, et que c’est grave. On ne résout pas les problèmes politiques en agissant comme des consommateurs mécontents.

In 2014 when I presented, on behalf of PEI Home and School Federation, to the Standing Committee on Education, during in the question and answer period with MLAs afterwards, I said “The education system is not Walmart,” and it’s this “We do not solve political problems by acting as dissatisfied consumers” sentiment that I was trying to convey. We are not customers of the public school system, we are actors in it, co-conspirators in the process of educating ourselves, all of us, as citizens.


Andrew's picture
Andrew on November 20, 2018 - 11:58 Permalink

There's a lot of truth there. It seems people are only capable, for the most part, of complaining. Rarely do people offer solutions.

An out of warranty iPhone or an overcooked burger should not be treated the same as people living in their cars because of lack of affordable housing or doctor shortages.

I don't want to incite a riot, but people need to band together and demand change. Getting up off the couch to vote two or three times a decade is a good start.