The Cult of Endless Growth and Late Stage Capitalism

Book Review: The Joy of Missing Out by Svend Brinkmann

I have paired some of quotes by philosopher bell hooks and psychologist Svend Brinkmann with some darkly funny photos from the Inhumans of Late Stage Capitalism page on Facebook. This has formed a disturbingly compelling and strange mashup!

Inhumans of late capitalism

“Only robots always say yes.” ~ Svend Brinkmann

Inhumans of late capitalism

“Confronting the endless desire that is at the heart of our individual over-consumption and global excess is the only intervention that can ward off the daily call to consume that bombards us on all sides.”
― bell hooks, Where We Stand: Class Matters

Inhumans of late capitalism

“Being oppressed means the absence of choices”
bell hooks

Inhumans of late capitalism

The main threats to humankind were once posed by the forces of nature. Now they are self-inflicted. We are the cause of our own problems and they can only be solved at the level of the society that created them. One help would be to collectively rediscover the ancient virtues of frugality, moderation and the art of missing out as a means of counteracting social acceleration and its damaging effects. ~ Svend Brinkmann

The hedonic treadmill is the concept or idea that we revert back to our given ‘level of happiness’ soon after a desirable event has happened. Acknowledging this allows us to protect ourselves from disappointment when it transpires that buying a particular car, or holiday home or falling in love with a new partner fails to elicit the profound and everlasting sense of happiness that we expected. ~ Svend Brinkmann

“Everywhere today, in fact, the ideology of competition gives way to a ‘philosophy’ of self-fulfillment. In a more integrated society, individuals no longer compete for the possession of goods, they actualize themselves in consumption.”
― Jean Baudrillard, The System of Objects

“Without an ethical framework, the will is random, controlled solely by the individual’s more or less fleeting desires…” ~ Svend Brinkmann

Inhumans of late capitalism
Inhumans of late capitalism

“It is claimed that self-realisation results in self-sufficient adults, but it actually creates infantile, dependent adults who think that the truth lies within them.” ~ Svend Brinkmann

From The Joy of Missing Out by Svend Brinkmann

Svend Brinkmann

Svend Brinkmann is a Danish Professor of Psychology in the Department of Communication and Psychology at Aalborg University, Denmark. He serves as a co-director of the Centre for Qualitative Studies. He is the author of ‘The Joy of Missing Out’ and ‘Stand Firm.’ Read the review

The Joy of Missing Out by Svend Brinkmann

Published by Content Catnip

Content Catnip is a quirky internet wunderkammer written by an Intergalactic Space Māori named Content Catnip. Join me as I meander through the quirky and curious aspects of history, indigenous spirituality, the natural world, animals, art, storytelling, books, philosophy, travel, Māori culture and loads more.

14 thoughts on “The Cult of Endless Growth and Late Stage Capitalism

    1. I’m so glad you will add this to your list for reading Kev. 😍📚 you won’t regret it. It’s not really about delayed gratification, more it goes into why we even feel the need to buy stuff at all, that the desire for more crap in our lives is meaningless and that it doesn’t bring happiness, that participating in endless consumerism doesn’t bring us deep joy. It was an amazing book!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s it! It is an addiction and we are surrounded by it in our technology. Although there are ways and means to block it out. I have put together a mega-list of ways that you can opt-out of the cycle of consumerism and be mindful. Blocking and opting out of online advertising is a big one. It’s on my other website here:

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The ‘sexy factory owner’ outfit is quite surreal!! Like…who would pick that?! Why does it exist?

    So many of these images are sadly familiar sights (like the ‘You really CAN buy happiness’ sign), but its so grim, but interesting, to see them all in a row!! Usually they’re so mixed in with other sights, and we’re so used to them, that we don’t even notice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know Carly that’s the thing right? it is so common-place to see these cold-blooded signs in our environment that we have become desensitised by them. Only once you contemplate them for a while do you see the insidious and creepy nature of them.

      It would be really interesting to interview the person who created Inhumans of Late Capitalism on Facebook, the signs and the branding are just incredible, it’s sort of like post-modern art or something, it is shocking but also strangely compelling too! Hope you are doing well my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Be Kitschig it seems to hit a nerve with a lot of people. These messages are often so subtle and running through our lives, but there they are still and they can be quite damaging to emotional well-being and damaging to the environment. This book is great! Packed with these insights I recommend it


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