"An attack of the gimmies — you know, give me this and give me that."
— Alice O. Howell in The Beejum Book

"Forfeit your sense of awe, let your conceit diminish your reverence and the universe becomes a marketplace."
— Abraham Joshua Heschel quoted in No Enemies Within by Dawna Markova

"Consumerism is our idolatry, the heart of our illusions of power, security, and self-sufficiency, which translate into the rape of the environment."
— Kathleen Norris in The Cloister Walk

"Consumerism is today's version of gluttony and needs to be confronted by creating an economic system that works for all people and all earth's creatures."
— Mathew Fox in A New Reformation

"Consumerism is a system that links the desires of those without awareness with the actions of those without scruples to produce destruction without precedent."
— Mark Burch in Stepping Lightly

"The American dream of a consumerist way of life has become a dangerous illusion that no longer fits the reality of the world and our human potentials."
— Duane Elgin in Promise Ahead

"The raw material of our lives mean one thing when we obtain them glistening at the mall, via the Internet, in mail-order catalogs, as gifts from friends. They mean something else in the naked sober world of their origin and being. They are literally made of oppression, pain, grief, and sacrifice imposed by the global economy."
— Chellis Glendinning in Off the Map

"Our pundits, pollsters, and politicians, and even many of our people, don't seem to get it: as long as the so-called American dream is the desire for tin-pot economic and material success together with an entitlement and an attitude, that dream will turn out to be the nightmare it has become for so many, and we bless God that it remains an elusive nightmare. People will beg, borrow and steal to claw their way into that material dream, and when all is said and done they remain unsatisfied, unfulfilled, and ill-served. What else can explain the paradox that the richest, most powerful, and most Christian nation on the earth — that's us — is also the most unhappy, anxious and spiritually insecure nation on earth, all at the same time? Could it be that who dies with the most toys does not win? "
— Peter Gomes in Strength for the Journey

"When all facets of one person's life are taken into account, it takes almost 120 pounds of natural resources per day to maintain the lifestyle of the average American."
— Ellis Jones in The Better World Handbook

"When you stop chasing more of what you don't need, you free up tremendous energy to do more with what you have, and what you have grows."
— Lynn Twist quoted in Happiness: How to Find It and Keep It by Joan Duncan Oliver


Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth by David Korten challenges us to move beyond Wall Street to Main Street.

Hooked! Buddhist Writings on Greed, Desire, and the Urge to Consume edited by Stephanie Kaza offers many spiritual practices for resistance to global consumerism.

Living From the Center: Spirituality in an Age of Consumerism by Jay McDaniels offers a Christian alternative to this pernicious force dominating American culture.


The Corporation is a wide-ranging and trenchant depiction of a beast that has grown too powerful and too dangerous to ignore anymore.

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room is a riveting documentary exploring corporate crime based on power, greed, and ethical malfeasance.

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price is a searing expose of the greed and systemic poor treatment of its workers by the largest corporation in the world.

What Would Jesus Buy? profiles the Rev. Billy's Church of Stop Shopping and its prophetic critique of rampant consumerism in America.