There has long been an unwritten psychological boon which comes with this. We shop when we are feeling down. We shop when we are feeling good. We feel empowered even if we do not buy anything. The very idea that we COULD decide to exchange money for the good on display before us is a powerful notion.
Our new shopping complex at Ušće is another example of this. Never mind that we are teetering on the edge of solvency. Never mind that the new Ušće mall is a rearranged replica of Delta City. Who cares about uncertain finances, unemployment, inflation, and rising taxes? We can just buy a new pair of pants and all will pass.
I sound cynical, I know. But in reality I do believe in consumerism. The consumer is the one piece on the chess board that can move anywhere it wants. It can leap from one side of the board to the other even more ably than the queen. When the consumer's voice is heard, the rest of society redeploys itself to accommodate it.
Western capitalism. It is predicated on the consumer. We produce commodities and merchandise in large quantities to trade for money. With the money, we build more and we buy more. We have service providers who tell us what to do with our money, what to buy, what to do with what we bought, and how to tell everyone around us how cool we are.
The consumer's place as a link in the chain is immutable, and when the consumer decides to stay home, the whole economy trembles.
Therefore let us have another fifteen shopping malls in Belgrade! We need to draw the consumer out of his hiding place and into the aisles. As a side note, perhaps it is also a good thing that we do not have a lot of choice in shops. Maybe the monopolists are helping us become better consumers by hypnosis. We see the same shops over and over again until finally we feel they are part of our mental landscape.
If we had real consumer choices, not those dictated by one or two people from their yachts, we might become confused. We might wander aimlessly without BUYING anything. An embarrassment of choice is a burden on the much needed Shopping Automaton. We are, or so it seems to be, incapable of making informed choices in shopping. We need easy, binary choices.
Zeros or ones.
So far, the zeros seem to have it.