I was surprised a few days ago to find a quote that was advocating one of the Use 10 Percent Less themes, namely “all things must change when the consumer does“. When I found the following quote in the April/May 2020 edition of the “Resurgence & Ecologist” magazine and saw “they need us more than we need them“, I was very interested.

“The corporate world will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”

Arundhati Roy, War Talk

An Example – They need us more than we need them

Here’s one example. What if we all decided immediately that drinking Coca Cola was a bad idea and we just stopped (you can replace this brand with dozens of other brands). What would happen? Well nothing really. Most people would be healthier and have more money to spend on other things (hopefully important things). The people who work for Coca Cola might be very upset, because they might be out of a job, even though the job is not helping them much as they’re struggling to get by (in general) on what they’re earning from such colossal corporations. The people with most to lose are the owners and shareholders of the corporation – generally the super rich – and they can cause some trouble – they can influence the media and politicians who’ll try to convince us that we need to start to drinking Coca Cola again for the sake of jobs, the American economy and to keep the American dream alive. We’d be swamped with a bunch of propaganda like that, but it would all be basically a bunch of crap.

Can you imagine how crazy the situation would be. Everybody has decided that drinking soft-drinks, or soda like Coca Cola, isn’t necessary anymore so they’re saving money and being healthier, but some part of the government is urging people to stop this because it’s bad for the economy. If this thing called the “economy” is damaged by people making sensible decisions and being healthier, then such an “economy” is wrong and needs to go. If we have to have an economy, we need a new one. The economy we have now is really just a mechanism to move money from the masses to a few.

Photo by Sri Lanka on Unsplash

The world can change – and it would be better

There are so many things like this but we, the normal people, the consumer, can awaken and see what’s going on. They need us more than we need them. Life can be much simpler. We don’t have to worry about having enough money if the world worked differently. We don’t need to have so much. What’s most important is health and our connection with others. To be healthy, actually we need less.

I really have to thank Arundhati Roy for reminding me that “They need us more than we need them”, but they’d hate for us to realise this and will move mountains (using the money they got from us!) to stop us from finding out. Let’s not let them know, let’s just use less and change the world – it won’t be as painful as they’ll tell us.

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they need us more than we need them

Photo by Cosmin Serban on Unsplash