On Consumerism

For most of his life, Aaron Burr was the consumate consumer of the finer things. A man of epicurian tastes in everything – clothing, furniture, housing, books, wines – he was never coy when it came to his love of opulence. In fact, he had a keen understanding of himself and his innermost desires. He just loved having nice…stuff. For him, if he wanted something, even if it was cost prohibitive, he just acquired it and accumulated debts accordingly. He made really good money for his day, but really only saw his vocation as a way to satisfy his base need for…stuff. His wants and needs shared a fine line, often blurred by a world view that can best be called materialist:

“We cannot control necessity, though we often persuade ourselves that certain things are our choice, when in truth we have been unavoidably impelled to them.”

I can clearly see AB being a neighbor of mine…A guy with a three car garage jammed with so many things he “just HAD to have” that he can’t get his dandy carriage in it. He was one of the Jones’ I wouldn’t have wanted to keep up with. I imagine Christmas under the Burr family tree was a sight to behold!


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